Our older daughter, Alyssa, made a cookbook for a birthday present! Given how busy she is at college (she is an engineering student) this was an even more thoughtful and touching gift. The cookbook Alyssa gave me is titled, "Mary Grube's Cookbook for the Fictional and Fastidious Feminist." Pretty slick title don't ya think? The back cover reads, "RECIPES FROM ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, FROM WORLDS BOTH UNDERGROUND AND UNMASKED. Meals for every occasion! From the secret world of Harry Potter to the everyday life of Stars Hollow, these recipes are sure to bring back fond memories of sleepy days spent binge-watching Netflix."
My sharing this gift with you dear Readers, accomplishes two important things:
1. You get a great gift idea.
2. You gain (unwanted) insight into my life...
Alyssa and I have already made two recipes from the book she gave me! I know what you're thinking. No! I did not follow the recipe but changed them completely. Of course! We had such fun! Yesterday, Alyssa and I made Cauldron Cakes from the Harry Potter section of the book. The recipe calls for a spiced, date filling and an almond filling that is enclosed in two pieces of pastry. Well, I made up my own for all three and instead of sandwiching together two rounds, I rolled out the tender dough and simply cut squares we folded into triangles and pressed closed with a fork. They are super delectable! I used a marzipan paste as a base for the almond and dates for the date filling, dah, and each filling got whirled about in the food processor. Alyssa and I worked as a team and baked off several dozen of each type. We even used some homemade plum jam in a few.
You could simplify your attempt at Cauldron Cakes by using (GASP) store bought pie dough, (DOUBLE GASP) a can of almond filling, (TRIPLE GASP) a jar of store bought jam and combining dates in the food processor along with your favorite "warm" spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom and coriander. Cut the rolled out dough into squares with a pizza cutter, as we did, and bake them until slightly golden, about 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees.
I was so touched by how much thought and love Alyssa poured into the lovely cookbook. That is really what cooking is about. Cooking is a way to bond with your kids, family and friends and a vehicle for sharing love.
I hope happy, happy times are ahead for you all!
The pressing of our Cauldron Cakes.
The Cauldron Cake yummies all baked and ready for enjoying!
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Avid home cook and passionate instructor