Recipe 2: Simple Mushroom Pâté from The Vanilla Bean Blog

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A-hoy-hoy (again).

This week’s Pinterest-ing comes from The Vanilla Bean Blog: Simple Mushroom Pâté.

I’ve always wanted to make a mushroom pâté, and was super excited to undertake this recipe! Because that meant I was going to get to eat it. And eating things is the only point to cooking things in my mind. If I didn’t get to pig out after cooking something, I think I would never cook anything. I would survive on Cheese-its and LaCroix, and be generally slovenly and unfortunate.

This was surprisingly easy, and so I have no idea why it took me so long to decide to make a mushroom pâté. The ingredient list was pretty simple; it did require me to purchase a bottle of dry sherry, so hopefully I can find another use for that. I also went rogue on one of the ingredients: the goat cheese. The shop I usually…um, shop…at didn’t have goat cheese or herbed goat cheese, so I just bought cream cheese with onion and chives.

I know, I’m a horrible monster. But since it’s noted in the blog that the original recipe used cream cheese, I’m only *kind of* a monster.

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Come to think of it, I actually went rogue on 2 of the ingredients: I also messed with the mushrooms. You see, I already had half a pound of shitake mushrooms in my fridge that were staring me down and had nearly begun their inevitable decline into nastiness. So I used a ratio of 1/2 shitake mushrooms, 1/4 button mushrooms (like the recipe calls for), and 1/4 baby bellas (this one because I just can’t leave well enough alone). I thought this might give some more depth of flavor. That is, I’m told, a thing.

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Washed ’em, chopped ’em, showed no mercy.

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NO MERCY.

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It made a TON of pâté, and the ingredients were on the cheap side.

Served it with saltines, and it was totally amazing. AMAZING!

I think this would be really good as a sandwich spread, or on bagels, baked potatoes, pizza… yummo!

Verdict: will definitely make again.

Recipe 1: Fresh strawberry cake with strawberry buttercream from The Baker Upstairs

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Ahoy-hoy.

So to get a handle on my ever-growing collection of “Recipes to Try” on Pinterest, I figured I should get my ass in gear (what?) and start working my way through the huge backlog (176 recipes) pinned there. It’s become a repository for recipes that time forgot.

To that end and for my own record-keeping, I’m going to make 1 recipe from Pinterest every week and recount my failures and victories in this blog. You can find the board with the 52 recipes here.

This week, I started with a fresh strawberry cake with strawberry buttercream from The Baker Upstairs.

So first, it’s obviously not strawberry season anymore. I didn’t want to get out-of-season, picked-green-and-shipped strawberries in the cartons (’cause I figured they would be icky), so I opted to use frozen strawberries for this recipe.

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This cake gave me a pretty good excuse to go and buy those spring-form pans I’ve always wanted. Note: I couldn’t find 8″ pans at Target, so I just got 9″ pans (so my cake was definitely flatter than the recipe cake).

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I even bought cake flour for this. CAKE FLOUR.

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(On the right, that’s some of my blood, sweat and tears.)

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(My cute, flat little cake pancakes.)

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For the frosting, I went a little rogue: The recipe called for 2 Tbsp of strawberry puree.  Well, I added that and tasted it and thought it needed way more strawberry… so I added (kind of a ton) more. I’m guessing I put about 1/2 cup into the frosting alone. It still stood up well so I don’t have any regrets.

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All in all: happy with the result. It was a pretty dense cake, but I think that’s baker error (the butter that I cut into the cake batter really wasn’t cold enough, and my pans were just too damned wide). It tasted really good, though. I brought it to my Mom’s house for a bonfire, and a grand total of 4 people almost plowed through the entire cake!

Result: I’m 5 lbs fatter.

Will make again!