March 16, 2017

Philadelphia Flower Show 2017: Holland

My mom and I took our annual trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show last weekend. The theme was Holland, so I expected a lot of tulips.


And I got them! It was tulip heaven.


My mom is a member of the horticultural society, so we got to go to the members' preview before it opened to the public. Wow, what a difference in the crowds! It was a much better experience. Sometimes the Philly Flower Show can get crushingly crowded. The members' preview was fantastic. We weren't getting bumped into, we could see everything, and there was space to move around.


The show this year was spectacular. It is one of my favorites of all the years. The design of the exhibits was really well done. It's like they stepped it up a notch this year.


There were tulips everywhere and windmills and bicycles.


I've never seen dark blue tulips. Of course, there were other types of flowers besides tulips, too.


But the tulips were the best. There were a lot of daffodils, which I didn't know were big in Holland. Overall, a tremendous flower show. I highly recommend going this year!

March 13, 2017

Burnt sugar bundt cake with caramel frosting

This past weekend I made burnt sugar bundt cake with caramel frosting from Baked Explorations.


It was delicious!! However, I didn't follow the recipe exactly because I had a caramel disaster when I was making the burnt sugar part. Cooking the sugar went okay, and then when I added the cream and it clumped up I was worried, but it eventually melted into a nice caramel. Then it was time to add the coconut milk. It turned into a giant hard blob of caramel.


I had store-bought caramel in the fridge from the last time I tried to make caramel for something from this cookbook and had to run out and get it when I had another caramel disaster. So I just combined that with the coconut milk and lemon juice and soldiered on.


The cookbook offered a substitution of vanilla extract for the rum in the frosting, and that's what I did. The cake was really, really good. Everyone loved it. I'll definitely make this again.

March 4, 2017

Ziti with broccoli rabe and turkey sausage

I've been wanting to try more new recipes lately, so I went with this pasta dish from Lidia's Favorite Recipes, by Lidia Bastianich.


It was easy and so tasty! Okay, so that's supposed to be sweet Italian sausage, but I substituted sweet Italian turkey sausage instead. Still yummy! Broccoli rabe is always good, of course. It also called for garlic, red pepper flakes, and parmigiano reggiano, which all combined to add a nice flavor.


I can't wait to try more recipes from this book!
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