Looking at the calendar last week I realized that The Daily Tiffin and What's For Lunch, Honey? were turning two years old! Over at the Daily Tiffin we celebrated on Friday with the entire DT Team and our readers. Hard to believe that both blogs have been around for two years! I actually started with The Daily Tiffin. Just dived into it really. My concept then was to share Soeren's lunchboxes and to give people ideas of the diversity of lunches one can pack for a, at that time, 3 year old.
Two days later I decided to start What's For Lunch, Honey? Not even knowing what I'd be getting myself into! I had no idea what was out there, what was coming my way and how grand the food blogging community was. I just wanted to record some of my recipes that were literally falling out of my old recipe folder.
I was armed with a camera, a computer, had my kitchen and my craze for cooking. That was it! Soon I met many people along the way and they opened my eyes. They advised me on camera equipment, lighting, software, HTML and templates. I have not forgotten these people and I will forever be thankful to you.
Both blogs have given me so much - the first and foremost being all the fantastic people I have met: bloggers, readers, writers, cookbook authors, photographers, food lovers - all of them sharing a similar passion as I do. I have come across some sensational blogs and made friends with many people, all inspiring me in a new way. I have received advice, compliments, motivation and feedback, helping me to grow and to shape the blog to what it is today. The comments and emails always put a smile on my face or make me think in a different direction. I am always surprised and at times overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness I have experienced by my fellow bloggers.
This blog has dared me to think out of the box, having a positive effect on the way I look at food and new dishes. I experience flavors and aromas from a different point of view, making me experiment with new ideas.
Food photography lured me into a whole new world, teaching me so much along the way. I am by no means professional and do not even dare giving people advice on the subject, but I do enjoy my photo sessions extremely. This blog has opened doors and taken me into directions I would not have dreamed of two years ago. People are actually interested in buying my photographs for magazines and their websites! It blows me away. I have also started to write for FoodieView and my first article comes out later today.
All I can say is - thank you! To all of you. I am so glad I was able to share these two years with you - many of you have been there from day one! I look forward to much more and hope you will accompany me on my journey. I hope I was able to give back a tiny bit of all you have given.
What's coming your way in the future?
I do have a few plans and have been working "back office" a bit lately. I have been playing around with the template - you might have noticed a few new trials on the banner. I am not 100% done yet and will be mucking around a bit. I have also de-cluttered my sidebars. As the blog grew so did the recipe index. I was finding it a bit tedious having all of the recipes listed on the sidebar. So I have created a recipe index, which you will find easily on the navbar above, under "Recipes". Furthermore, I have moved all the resources links to one place. What was previously "My Reads" has now become "Links". I have sorted the links out in categories and I really like the idea of having all my links in one section as it makes finding things easier. Having said all that - I do have to say it is all work in progress and I still need to fine tune a bit. I'd love your feedback on these things so whenever you like or dislike something I have done, let me know. There will be a few other changes happening here, but I will let you know when the time is right.
On other fronts, I will be starting a new job in April and am totally ecstatic about it. It's a position I have had my eye on since last summer. It's at the university here in Weimar working with international PhD. students. The Bauhaus Research School will be my workplace as of April. Wish me luck!
This of course will be effecting a few things around here too. One thing that will be changing is the way the Monthly Mingle will be hosted. I am planning on asking guest hosts to take over an event every other month. If you are interested in hosting the Monthly Mingle please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org. On the Monthly Mingle page I will place the official MM Hosting calendar for everyone to refer to. In March, the Monthly Mingle will be hosted by my charming DT colleague Abby over at Eat The Right Stuff. We'll announce the theme during the roundup of the current One-Dish Dinners theme.
Phew! A lot of news, information and happenings. Now I guess you are ready for some food. Well, I do have a little treat for you. I recently got my hands on the spectacular cookbook by Alice Medrich - Pure Desserts. It's a refreshing dessert book, where the ingredients play the main role. It's my newest addition to my ever growing collection of cookbooks and this is the first recipe I decided to try.
I love tangy and tart desserts, so when I read Medrich's note on this recipe, I knew that this was what I wanted to make first. She says:
"An esteemed New England cooking magazine once pronounced my lemon bars too sour, though my cooking students and guests continue to declare them the best ever. ....
I mention this so you will know what you are getting into here: very special (and very tangy) citrus bars with a tender, crunchy crust."
I used limes for these bars and everything Medrich says about them is true. They are not sour, but wonderfully tart. The topping soft and moist, the base tender and crisp. We actually ate them a day after they were made, which gave the aromas an opportunity to infuse with each other is such perfect harmony, it was as if one was biting into their own piece of heaven.
I hope to discover Pure Desserts further and already have my eyes on a few interesting desserts. When I do I will share my discovers with you. In the meantime enjoy these lovely Lime Bars!
Come on over with your casseroles, crockpots or baked dishes. I am looking for innovative and creative one-dish meals. Looking forward to having you all over.
Share your fresh produce with us. Show us your weekly bounty from the Farmer's Market, grocery stores or CSA box.
Deadline: March 31st, 2008
Very Tangy Lime Bars
(from Pure Desserts by Alice Medrich)
Printable version of recipe here.
For the crust
8 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
For the topping
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated organic, unsprayed lime zest
1/2 cup strained fresh lime juice - from organic limes, preferably
Powder sugar for dusting - optional
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line the bottom and up the sides of an 8-inch baking pan with foil.
For the crust
Combine the melted butter with the sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated. Using your fingers, press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, our until the crust is fully baked, well browned at the edges, and golden brown in the center.
For the topping
Stir together the sugar and flour in a large bowl, until well mixed. Whisk in the eggs, then stir in the lime zest and juice.
When the crust is ready, turn the oven down to 150 degrees C. Slide the rack with the pan out and pour the filling onto the hot crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes longer. The topping should not jiggle in the center when the pan is tapped. Place on a rack and cool completely in the pan.
Once cooled, lift up the foil liner and transfer the bars to a cutting board. If the surface of the topping is covered with a thin layer of moist foam, this is not unusual. Simply blot it gently using a paper towel. Lay a square of paper towel on the surface and sweep your fingers over it gently. this will absorb an excess moisture. Remove and repeat with a fresh piece if required.
Cut into bars and if desired, sift powdered sugar over them just before serving.
Storing: the bars can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for several days or more. After 3 days, the crust softens but the bars still taste great.
We took these over to some friends for afternoon tea. The flattering compliments were extraordinary. I spoke out Medrich's warning - however all of my friends found these to be delicious. The sweetness is complemented by the zesty lime flavors and the crunchy yet soft crust provides an excellent base for the topping.
You might enjoy these tangy and tart creations too:
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