For every food blogger, chef, and recipe developer there are test days in the kitchen. Test days in my kitchen are my favorite, except for the countless dirty dishes that seem to accumulate every time I turn my back. Test days are full of excitement and suspense. It is a “come to life” moment for an idea. An idea, that for me, has usually kept my mind spinning as I tried to go to sleep. An idea that when thinking of all the different components can almost deliver the taste, or should I say the perceived taste. For everyone who has had test kitchen days know that not all are successes. Even with disappointing test kitchen days, I always end up learning something, so that always makes it worthwhile. On the other hand, successful test kitchen days makes me do a happy dance in the kitchen. The dance usually begins as I anxiously take the first bite and my taste buds erupt with affirmation.
The first day I made this Leftover Mashed Potato Almond Torte was definitely a successful test day. Successful test kitchen days always include a call to my mom to tell her the good news. That day, especially, for I was testing this torte recipe for her. Those that know me, know that I am not a baker, but I wanted to make something special for my mom. So I set my creative sail in motion. My inspiration–I needed something to present for my television segment and I wanted to make something that had my mom’s favorite whipped lemon curd in it. I decided to do leftover mashed potatoes for the show and shall I say, that’s how the whole thing started. Leftover mashed potatoes make such wonderful scones and bread, I thought what other baked goods? I apologize for lack of quality photos, but each time I have made this torte, it hasn’t seem to have made it into pictures, shall we say, just into mouths!
Put Your TO COOK IS TO CREATE Thinking Cap On: Have a favorite berry? Add it to the lemon curd filling or use to garnish torte, it is blueberry season and I love blueberries and lemon. Not an almond fan? Use ground pecans or walnuts. No lemon? Use an orange or lime. Not everything has to be sweet (although I think my mom would disagree) so if you have leftover loaded mashed potatoes, use them. The torte will be a bit denser but will be a nice treat served with sour cream or even leftover chili. Still have some leftover mashed potatoes? Make Creamy Crab Mashed Potatoes Au Gratin
FOOD FUN: My test kitchen days are definitely some of my fun days. What is something that makes for a fun day for you whether successful or not? Fishing would be another one for me. Ask yourself when was the last time you had a “fun” day and if it has been a while, plan one.