Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Review: Gilmon's Bakery

Jacksonville's newest Bakery has arrived, and it's called Gilmon's Bakery. Conveniently located at 11362 San Jose Blvd, in the same plaza as the Tree Steakhouse and Beach Road Diner, it's going to be Mandarin's go-to source for their fix of sweet treats.

As you walk into the shop, you're greeted with the heavenly aroma of baking, a swirl of vanilla goodness. The walls are painted a shade of Tiffany blue and the floors have a retro feel with a black and white checkerboard pattern. There are some brushed stainless tables to sit and enjoy your treats with your friends. You can't miss the display case holding all of the luscious sweets. I picked out 6 different flavors to try and share with my co-workers. They have a great selection of cupcakes including the following, plus more:
  • Peanut Butter : chocolate cake topped with peanut butter frosting and a Reese's Cup
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: yellow butter cake with a chocolate chip cookie baked inside, topped with chocolate frosting and mini chocolate chips.
  • Cookies and Cream: chocolate cake topped with Oreo frosting
  • Coconut Rasberry: Coconut cake with rasperry frosting topped with coconut shreds
  • Classics: Yellow butter cake topped with chocolate fudge icing, chocolate cake topped with vanilla frosting and chocolate sprinkles, or vanilla cake topped with vanilla frosting
  • German Chocolate: Chocolate cake topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts, and shredded coconut
  • Salted Caramel: German chocolate cake topped with a smooth salted caramel frosting
  • Red Velvet: a red velvet cake topped with cream cheese frosting.
When we had our sampling, the hands down favorite was the Red Velvet. Gilmon's homemade cream cheese frosting just melted in your mouth and was like a little bite of heaven. In a close second place came the Peanut Butter.... the peanut butter frosting complimented the chocolate cake so well, the perfect ratio of peanut butter to chocolate. The cake part of all of the cupcakes was superb. It was moist, and light, not too dense or dry. Each of the frostings were creamy and delicious.

Gilmon's also has a daily selection of cakes available whole or per slice. My mom tried the Italian Cream Cake and said it was simply wonderful. The cake was moist and buttery, while the cream cheese frosting with chopped nuts was to die for.

Gilmon's also takes orders for wedding cakes, special occasion cakes, and cupcakes. Stop by or call Gilmon's owners Dena Bowman or Kathy Jones at 904-288-8128.

Gilmon's Bakery on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 1, 2010

Quiche Lorraine

Ah, the wonders of Quiche. A recipe that uses ingredients that most people have readily available to them. A bit of this, a bit of that, and you've got yourself a delicious breakfast or brunch entree. We had some refrigerated pie crusts that we had bought extras for some Christmas baking that we didn't use.

Classic Quiche Lorraine traditionally is made with bacon, but Julia Child says that it has NO CHEESE. Well where's the fun in that? I grabbed some leftover bacon from the morning's breakfast, some shredded swiss, and some frozen chopped spinach and got to work.

For those that like to take the easy route, grab your thawed pre-packaged pie crust and place it into a high sided pie pan. Press it lightly around the edges, making sure not to tear. Take a piece of foil, press it into the pie crust, and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the foil, and check for bubbles in the crust. Press down any bubbles, and put the crust back into the oven for 3 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set to the side.

The egg base of the quiche is the following:

  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream (you could also use half and half)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • I also added 1/4 tsp of dried mustard, 1/2 tsp garlic powder to my mix for extra flavor!

Crack your eggs into a bowl and whisk until they are all combined, then add all other ingredients. Once you have this egg mixture, the possibilities of your own quiche are endless. My quiche had 7 slices of bacon that I finely chopped, 1 1/2 cups of shredded swiss cheese, 1 chopped green onion and a half a package of frozen chopped spinach that I had thawed and squeezed out all the moisture.

Take your filling ingredients and place them into the baked pie crust. I like to mix mine up for even coverage throughout the quiche. I even save a little of the cheese to sprinkle on top before baking. Pour your egg mixture over the filling, then bake at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes. When it's done, it should not be jiggly, it should be firm. Let stand for 10 minutes before eating. This is also a dish that's served well at room temperature or even cold. One of my favorite lunches is a slice of this paired with a small salad!

Some other ingredients that are wonderful in quiche are :

  • leftover ham, chopped
  • sliced mushrooms
  • sharp cheddar
  • cooked leeks
  • blanched and chopped asparagus
  • cooked and crumbled sausage
  • crab

As I said before, there are endless possibilities in the world of quiche.... just take whatever is leftover in your fridge and go wild!