New Location

Hey! Sorry for the lack of posting this week; man has it been crazy! I didn’t even get to bake anything, can you believe that? Well, I’d like (actually, LOVE) to show you what I’ve been so busy working on. Are you ready??

PEACE.LOVE.PASTRIES. has a new home and it’s own website! Peacelovepastries.com

Now, as you know I am a baker, not a web designer, so this has been a grueling month trying to learn how to build a website.

Thank you so much to Jacob Cox for pointing me in the right direction for where to even start.

Thank you David Nguyen for teaching me about coding, not getting annoyed by all my bazillion questions, and for being online to chat with whenever I needed you.

Thank you to my artistic husband, Jonny, for creating me an awesome logo!

And thanks to all my readers for following me through my journey. If I didn’t have that support, I would have never made the jump to my own URL.

If you are subscribed to this blog, please remember to subscribe at the new website so you can get all my new posts!

Much love,

Ashley

Eating my way Down the East Coast (Part 2)

…and there we were, face to face with the biggest, slimiest, and ugliest creature we had ever seen.   Oh wait, that’s another story.

Back to the road trip!

Day 3 – Virginia Beach, VA

After a hike through the Norfolk Botanical Gardens we drove to the beach and had lunch at Catch 31 Fish House located inside the swanky Hilton hotel. We ordered the pretzel bread at the recommendations of online reviewers.  It did not disappoint with it’s fantastic mustard dipping sauce.

Which reminds me, I really need to make pretzels soon.

Day 4 – Wrightsville Beach, NC

We planned on driving straight through NC after we left Virginia Beach, but by 10:30pm that night we were in Wrightsville Beach, NC and tired.  We had a hard time finding a hotel since it was Labor Day weekend and ended up getting the last room at a smokey, run down hotel.  The next morning, Jon found a nice restaurant on the pier for us to have breakfast, called Oceanic.  We sat outside, taking in the fresh ocean air and were served these adorable (and warm) blueberry muffins while we waited for our breakfast.

Day 5 – Myrtle Beach, SC

When I wasn’t eating, I was either driving or being the passenger.  Being the passenger allowed me to get some blog time in, even if I did have guest bloggers (thanks again Elizabeth and Kent!)

Day 6 – Savannah, GA

We arrived in Savannah in the afternoon and let me tell you, it was hot and humid!  We walked along the river for a bit, made it through some old cemeteries (complete with a fire ant attack on my foot), and ducked into Huey’s, a cajun restaurant, just in time for it to pour.

I’m glad we found this little restaurant though, because I got to try fried green tomatoes for the first time.  They were fantastic; everything I imagined they would be.  It took everything in me not to raise my arms and yell, “TOWANDA!”

Day 7 – Leaving Savannah and heading for Miami

In case you are ever stuck with figuring out what to do in a strange city, always, ALWAYS check the NY Times “Travel” section articles entitled “36 Hours in…”  If it weren’t for the Savannah article I would have never found my dream bakery: Back in the Day Bakery.

Take a little trip inside with me, will you?

When you first walk in, you notice the case of goodies, of course.  Bread pudding, with bourbon?  Drool.

I’m not sure who Miss Hannah is, but her cookie sandwiches look lovely.

Then, you turn to your left and see this:

Yes. Please.  All of it.

Oh wait, we came here to eat right?

Sweet and crumbly; a perfect scone.

Look at the old scale!

It’s like someone went into my brain, took all my ideas, and made a real life place out of it.  I almost wanted to tell Jon that we couldn’t drive any further.  I just had to work there.  But, since that couldn’t happen, we bought a “drunken” blondie and hit the road, destined for our new home.

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for. -Epicurus

Eating My Way Down the East Coast (Part 1)

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I just relocated to Miami.  Because of this, you’ll probably see many posts with me referencing my new home, the flavors of Miami, and different restaurants.  I still have a TON of exploring to do!

Today, however, I want to share my experience of the trip down to Miami.  Well, mainly my stomach’s trip down to Miami.  So here are a few places we stopped along the way:

Day 1 – Philaphelphia, PA

This photo needs no introduction.  When you think of Philly, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a cheese steak (or It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia or maybe Rocky.)  Jon just had to have one.  So we put little post out on Facebook asking for recommendations and we were told to go to Steaks on South.  As you know, I don’t eat meat so I just took Jon’s word for it when he said it was tasty.  And I believe he ate the whole thing (sans Cheez-Whiz, which is supposedly how you are supposed to eat them in Philly.)  By the way, notice the bite taken out?  You’ll be seeing this in a few of my photos as Jon always got to the food before I had a chance to get my camera out.  Guys get hungry, what can I say?

Now for dessert!  We walked past little store front and the pink just drew me in.  We decided to step inside and check it out.  We met Roz, the owner of this cute little shop called Homemade Goodies by Roz.

The kitchen is open for you to see and there were bakers peeling apples and pulling things out of the ovens.  Roz explained that they are a Kosher and non-dairy bakery.  I was interested in trying the buttercream icing because of this.  We ordered a mocha cupcake and it was delectable!   The cake was so moist (I’m not afraid to use that word) and not too sweet.  The icing was soft and flavorful.  To be honest, it tasted a bit more like maple than mocha but I’m not complaining because it was that good!

Day 2 – Ocean City, Maryland

Maryland is known for their crabcakes so I was on the hunt for some.  We walked the boardwalk in Ocean City looking for the right place to go.  Everyone boasted to have the best so how was I supposed to choose the right one?  I turned to Yelp, which is my favorite food finder, and was told to go to Captain’s Table.  The cakes were fantastic!  The tartar sauce had a bit of dijon mustard in it that complimented them so nicely.  As you can see below, the food bandit hit once again.

While in Maryland, we were told that we had to try the Fractured Prune for the best donuts ever.  I hadn’t had donuts in so long and my mouth was watering just thinking of them! (My mouth is watering NOW just thinking of them.)  We got there and they were closed!  I guess they close at noon because who would ever think about eating donuts in the afternoon?  I mean, that’s just crazy.  So, if you’re ever in the area, please go there and let me know how it tastes, or kindly ship me one.

To be continued…

But even if I’m left high and dry at the end of this wild journey, just taking it is a great feeling.  -Olivia Wilde

Gazpacho: There May Still Be A Hot Day Left

We’re in that time of year where the weather is truly unpredictable.  On Facebook I see my New York and Kansas City friends either complaining about the cold or rejoicing over sweater weather, but within a day or two they are back to talking about the beautiful 70’s or hot 80’s.  Well folks, I’m as unpredictable as the weather.  Just last week I posted about the fall giveaway and today I am sharing a recipe for the most summery soup I can think of: Gazpacho.

To be honest, I don’t like gazpacho as a soup.  I was hoping that this recipe would change my mind, but I guess I still haven’t acquired a taste for it.  To me, it’s so much better as a salsa spread over some tortilla chips with melted cheese, which is actually what I did with it for the rest of the week.  I am providing this recipe because it was requested a while ago, but with all the moving and traveling I am just now getting around to posting it.  For the person who suggested this recipe, I wish three things for you:

  1. that this recipe is so amazing you can’t help but comment just to tell me how crazy I am for not liking it.
  2. that you have a week of 80° weather to justify making this so close to fall, and if not, just serve it with some chips on football Sunday
  3. that if you do like the recipe, you share this post with others

Now, let’s get started!

Gazpacho
Yields: 4 servings
Ingredients:
  • 2lb Roma tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber (peeled)
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 1/2 tspn fresh garlic; minced
  • 1/2 tspn cumin
  • 1 1/2 tspn hot sauce such as Tabasco
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T fresh cilantro; chopped
  • 1 T fresh parsley; chopped
  • 1/2 lime; juiced (save other half for later)
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil (plus 1 tblsn for later)

1. Chop all the tomatoes in half and and squeeze gently to remove the seeds.  Seeds can give this soup a bitter flavor.  It’s ok it you don’t get them all out.  My tomatoes didn’t have many so I just left them in.  Coarsely chop two-thirds of tomatoes and place in a large bowl.  Cut the remaining tomatoes into 1/2-inch cubes and place in a separate bowl.

2. Remove the seeds from the peppers and cut them into small pieces.  Divide these the same as with the tomatoes with 2/3 in the large bowl and the rest in the other bowl.

3. Slice the Cucumber in 1/2 longways and remove the seeds with a spoon.  Cut 2/3 of it into big chunks and the rest into small 1/2-inch cubes.  Put the large pieces into the large bowl and the rest into the other bowl.

4. Add the garlic to the large bowl that contains all the coarsely chopped veggies.  And toss to combine.

5. Place a 1/3 of the contents of the large bowl into a food processor and blend until smooth. (it won’t 100% smooth but get as smooth as possible)  Repeat with the remainder of the large bowl, adding 1/3 add a time.

6. Pour smoothed veggies back into the large bowl.  Add balsamic vinegar, lime juice, olive oil, hot sauce, cumin, and salt.  Stir.

7. To that same bowl, add the parsley and cilantro and stir.

8.  Toss remaining veggies (the ones in the separate bowl) with the 1T of olive oil.  Squeeze a bit of the lime juice from the other half of the lime as well.  You don’t need a lot.  Just taste.  If it needs more, then add it.

9. If you are serving immediately pour the soup into a bowl, top with a bit of the veggies, add a garnish and Voila!  OR if you wish to save for later, keep the veggies separate from the soup and let them marinade for a few hours and taste.  Adjust the seasonings accordingly.

The fun thing about cooking is that you can always taste as you go.  Unlike baking, you don’t really have to worry about the chemical reactions, only the flavor.  So feel free to play around with this recipe.  You can even add a bit of sugar to sweeten it up.

This soup should last up to 3 days in the fridge; however, be wary of the chopped veggies as they will start to break down from the acid in the lime juice.

Have you ever had gazpacho?  What did you think?

The journey is the reward. -Tao Saying

Whole Wheat and Oat Banana Pancakes

I’ll admit it.  Most mornings I can only muster the energy to make eggs. Oh, and sometimes there’s toast.  And on the mornings I would go to work, it was usually a yogurt with fruit and granola.  But THIS morning I woke up with a song in my head and a brown banana on the counter.  It was meant to be.

In order to get the full effect of what I was feeling this particular morning, you need to listen to this song.  Listen to it while reading this (if you’re one of those people who can multi-task like that) and then listen to it again while making these yummy pancakes.

Whole Wheat and Oat Banana Pancakes

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 C rolled oats
  • 3/4 C all purpose flour
  • 2 tspn baking powder
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 C milk
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 tspn almond extract

1. Combine both flours, oats, baking powder, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together.

2. In a separate bowl, add egg and banana.  Mash that banana.

3. Now, add the milk, vegetable oil and almond extract to your banana mixture.  Stir until combined.

4. Make a well in your dry ingredients and pour the wet into the dry.  Stir until combined and there are no dry pockets.

6. Heat a large non-stick skillet over Med heat on the stove.  Add a little butter and melt.  (Do not add too much butter or your pancakes will look like this:

I wasted about 4 pancakes until I figured out what I was doing wrong.

7.  Pour or spoon batter onto skillet and let it bubble. (My bowl has a spout which works perfectly for this kind of stuff, but you can use a measuring cup, or ladle to get a smooth pour as well.)

8. Once there are lots of bubbles and it starts to cook around the edges, FLIP!  And try to do it gracefully.  This takes practice.

9. Let it cook for another 45 seconds.  Then transfer to a plate.

If you have more than 1 banana then feel free to top these babies with it.  Or just add butter and syrup and they will be just as delicious.  The almond extract adds a nice little nutty flavor; it’s just enough to complement the oat and banana.

Who would you make these for?  Tell me!

All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast. – John Gunther

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