foodbuzz, peet's coffee, tastemakers program

A Pairing For Peet’s

I didn’t know that I had been chosen to participate in the Peet’s Coffee/Food Buzz Tastemakers program until the box arrived at my door. Inside, a 16oz tumbler and 2-12oz bags of their latest ground, medium blends: Cafe Solano and Cafe Domingo.

With the price of coffee skyrocketing over the past year, it was a grand treat for a cash strapped coffee drinker as myself. Their one request: Pair the two coffees with something that spoke of fall flavors.

It was easy when I had my first cup of the Domingo blend-a combination of three Latin American beans. The toasty, nutty notes would be perfect with chocolate. The Solano, however, was a bit richer and needed something creamy to cut through its full bodied flavor.

After a couple of weeks of switching off on these coffees, it finally hit me: Whoopie Pie. This IS Maine, after all. So, after a bit of poking around for filling ideas, I settled on a Martha Stewart/King Arthur Flour mash-up recipe to create a Pumpkin Whoopie Pie.

Cakes

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/2 cup Dutch Process Cocoa Powder

2 1/3 cups Unbleached King Arthurs Flour

1 cup milk

For the Filling:

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup canned solid pack pumpkin

Pinch of cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg


1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.

2) To make the cakes: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla till smooth. Add the egg, again beating till smooth.

3) Add the cocoa, stirring to combine.

4) Add the flour to the batter alternately with the milk, beating till smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and beat again briefly to soften and combine any chunky scrapings.

5) Drop the dough by the 1/4-cupful onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving plenty of room between the cakes; they’ll spread. A muffin scoop works well here.

6) Bake the cakes for 15 to 16 minutes, till they’re set and firm to the touch. Remove them from the oven, and cool on the pans. While still lukewarm, use a spatula to separate them from the pan or parchment; then allow to cool completely.

7) Prepare filling: In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese, butter, and confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg; whip until smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

8) Spread the flat side of half the cakes with the filling. Top with the remaining cakes, flat side towards the filling. Wrap individually, in plastic wrap, till ready to serve.

9) Yield: 8 large whoopie pies (about 4″ dia., about 5 ounces each)

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foodbuzz, kodak photobooks, winning

Edible Pages

Through the luck of the draw, I recently received a free Medium sized Kodak Gallery Photobook from Foodbuzz’s Tastemaker Program. The process, to say the least, was interesting as I have over 6 years of photos–at least 1/3 of them food–on my hard drive. I have thought about making a book documenting some of my food related images of Maine but never wanted to sit down and wade through gigabyte after gigabyte of photos.

It’s amazing how much a free gift like this can be a motivator.

From start to finish the process took me nearly four hours and almost half of that time was spent trying to move one single picture from one frame to another. I don’t know if it was my mind at the late hour or a hiccup in the system, but there was a point when I was so frustrated that I was going to scrap the whole thing. Free gift be damned!

So, the overall layout was kept modest. Black cover, black borders. Single sentence captions beneath pictures ranging from the cat at Harbor Fish Market(at the top), a two page layout dedicated to meat, and a picture my youngest nephew cracked out with a S’mores in hand and covered in chocolate–fittingly, the last image in the book.

Link

I’m glad that my momentary frustration didn’t get the best of me because the final product, while simple, made me extremely proud of many of the shots that I’ve taken over the years. So, thank you to Kodak and Foodbuzz for giving me the opportunity to create an archive of memories that I’ll have around for quite some time.

Kodak is also kind enough to be giving a 40% discount to readers, until the end of August, to create their own photobook (food, family or otherwise).

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