- The hubs and I decided to do a series of mini-trips instead of one long vacation. The hubs attended a week long conference in Vegas at the Bellagio, so of course I had to tag along. Pool, spa, gambling, shopping, and tasty dining was on the agenda --- this girl definitely enjoys her time in Vegas, baby! We then trekked down south to San Diego to visit friends (thanks Lisa & Howie for your oustanding hospitality), then finished the road trip at the St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point.
- The SIL and her boyfriend were kind enough fly in from Jersey to house and puppy sit for us, and we were fortunate to spend time together before and after the trip...thanks Mel & Tom...you guys are welcome anytime!!!
- I started a 10 week digital photography course at UCLA. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I DON'T about using my camera! My classmates are great and our instructor, George, has great passion for his art and his enthusiasm is infectious. I'm not sure that you'll see an improvement in my photos, but at least I'll know how the camera gear works!
- We capped the month with a trip up to Pismo Beach for the wedding of our dear friends, Teresa & Jim. I've been really gun-shy about sharing this... I had the priviledge of making their wedding cake and cupcakes. This was the first time I baked at this scale, and the experience was fun, exciting, and anxiety-filled! Once I get my hands on some pictures, I'll definitely share them with you.
Anyways, I'm happy to get back in the rhythm of blogging...
This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe, Split Level Pudding, was a perfect way to ease back into my baking routine. Simple and comforting, this recipe consists of a chocolate ganache base topped with a rich vanilla pudding. To be just a little decadent, I used vanilla bean paste instead of extract. I love seeing those beautiful vanilla specks in the pudding:
Dorie's recipe calls for the use of a food processor. Although it can get messy tranferring the mixture back and forth from the saucepan to the processor, you are rewarded with a pudding that has a wonderfully silky smooth texture. This technique was previously used with her chocolate pudding recipe, and I was blown away by the results.
Once you dig into the silky smooth vanilla pudding, you get a wonderful chocolate surprise: