Thursday, January 19, 2012

Baked Alaska, penuche and cat treats

It's a little surprising how peaceful the lake can be even during the winter. Last weekend I went to my dad's place out at a lake about two hours from where I live. Despite it being pretty chilly (and we certainly stayed away from the water), the air was clear and the water beautiful. 

I got some reading done, I enlisted my dad to help me with some baking (which I'll share with you next week), I cooked kebabs for lunch one day, and generally hung out with my dad and stepmom. Also, it was an excellent place to watch the second episode of Sherlock, which was scary enough in broad daylight! If you haven't watched this show yet, go find the first season on Netflix. Excellent British television, and each episode is a like a mini movie.

Baked Alaska is one of those things that's always seemed a little weird and intriguing to me. After all, you're baking ice cream, and that's not totally normal. So on a recent trip to Aunt Betty's, we made it.

Courtesy of Joy of Cooking, we made the chocolate genoise cake bottom, molded the cookies and cream fro-yo and piped on the meringue, which insulates the ice cream so it doesn't melt like you think it would. And actually, as far as desserts go, it's not that terrible for you. I think next time, though, I'll make it for a dinner party or something. Definitely a dessert for many.

Back when I visited Keane in Salt Lake City, we went to a chocolate and candy shop where I met my new favorite candy: penuche. Basically, it's brown sugar fudge. I was definitely one of those kids who tried to sneak tastes of brown sugar when my mom made cookies when I was little. So having a brown sugar-flavored fudge is like heaven. This is also a Joy of Cooking recipe that includes pecans mixed in. And I will definitely make it again.

Aunt Betty suggested we try making cat treats because, you know, we're cat people. Well, animal people. Anyway, this is Archie, her black kitty, investigating the treats. We made tuna treats and modified the recipe a bit so it wasn't too runny and would actually form treats. Basically, they're tuna-flavored patties that you bake to dry them out. Honestly, they weren't much of a hit with both Archie and my cat, Melvin. Oh well. Worth a shot!

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