Something Sweet!

IMG_3447{Heart-shaped shortbread cookies with raspberry filling from la Madeleine at the Reston Town Center}

Lately when running errands I always seem to be walking up to a bakery window to see what wondrous confections have been assembled for my review, even grocery stores are displaying tasty treats for you to toss into your carts.

IMG_3396 IMG_3406{The double chocolate, three-layer cake from the Amphora Bakery in Vienna, VA. This is definitely going on my list of go to cakes}

Recently a family friend recommended a bakery located in the next town called Amphora so, after work the other day I drove over to see what sort of baked goods were on display. Immediately upon entering, delicious aromas wafted throughout the shop from layered cakes, latticed designed pies, braided breads and cookies piled high with nuts, chocolate or fruit; and for the pièce de résistance, an espresso bar located behind the main display case had the most tantalizing smell of freshly brewed coffee…does it get any better!

IMG_3464In the past week I have been into three patisseries to savor a delicacy made with the freshest ingredients and to enjoy an espresso or dark roast coffee. But, yesterday while in Trader Joe’s I found these cocoa dusted truffles with toffee bits, just waiting to be brought home and savored in a private moment.

Bon appétit and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Fresh from the Farmers Market

{Blueberry crumble muffins with chocolate and almond croissants for breakfast}

Our local farmers market opened today and it was sheer heaven to be able to amble through stalls of unbelievably fresh fruits and vegetables, freshly baked goods along with artisan cheeses and organic meats. The flowers were absolutely gorgeous and I wanted to purchase every bouquet that was situated in the mason jars, but decided to wait for mine to flourish at Heath.

My first purchases were aromatically baked blueberry muffins with almond and chocolate croissants to serve with freshly brewed coffee for breakfast this morning.

Next I was onto the “greens”, which consisted of a huge bunch of mustard greens, spring onions, leeks, asparagus and a few herbs; parsley, cilantro, thyme and rosemary.

{Several ears of freshly shucked sweet white corn to steam for today’s lunch}

You could get 12 ears of sweet white corn for $2.00 and boy did I dive in for the kill. Steamed corn was definitely on the menu for lunch today. I absolutely love corn with no butter or salt, and to have a bit of room to saw into several ears without question.

{Fingerlings to go with Sunday’s menu of steak and herb buttered potatoes}

And last, but most certainly not least were the fingerling potatoes that would be perfect for Sunday’s menu. Several of my friends and I from work have been experimenting this past week with herb butters to keep for various evening meals. Cynthia our culinary expert shared her recipes for garlic and shallot herb butters and I cannot wait to try them on either steamed or pan-fried fingerling potatoes.

Garlic Herb Butter
In a mixer combine, a stick of butter, several tablespoons of garlic and about a ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese with a dash of kosher salt. I added a touch of Herbs de Provence and et voila…. herb butter. Portion the mixture into a log using plastic wrap and that which you do not use may be frozen.

Shallot Herb Butter
In the mixer combine, a stick of butter, 1 small shallot, minced, flat-leaf parsley, rosemary and kosher salt with crack black pepper. Blend and form into a log using plastic wrap.

These flavored butters are great with crusty breads, on pan-fried steaks, potatoes or with fresh asparagus. The possibilities are endless!!

Market stylishly,