Posts Tagged 'baking'

Late July Adventures

I checked out this awesome book from the library,  because Zach is going through a ‘no-white-flour’ kick. It’s the first cookbook I’ve ever read that truly addressed the challenges of cooking with whole grains, and not just substituting 1/2  a cup of whole wheat flour but still making essentially fluffy white breads.

Thanks to this YouTube video, I now know how to make a 6-braid challah! I also know now that I don’t really care for poppy seeds on top of bread.

Here is the poor Chibberty in my shirt, which I had heard can calm a dog down in a thunderstorm. I don’t believe he was calmed by our laughter or this photoshoot.

In our little town, the moving of this house from its place by the cemetery, across the busiest intersection in town, and into the lot next door to the cupcake shop, was big news and a spectator event.

Hee Hee. A modification of the Fleming Street sign downtown where the road begins.

I bet my Walgreens is cooler than yours. Formerly the Strand Theater. The place where I spend buckets of money on athletic tape for my poor, injured footie.

As a reward for learning to swim, the Boogedy received Perplexus. Possibly the coolest toy ever invented. We are all addicted to this game. As Zach says “there’s no better reward for a physical workout than a toy that will put you on your butt for hours”.

People berries or bird berries?

We distinguish edible from inedible by naming their intended eater. These purple berries were so pretty, I had to take their picture for my sister, Jeaka.

The Boogedy loved the opportunity to use a real needle to thread buttons on a string.

And I brooded and pondered and thought while sorting my button collection.

A little boy did some dancing.

And I burned my hand royally while trying a new recipe. I picked up a skillet that had been preheating in a 450-degree oven. I’m lucky I got off so easy, with just some patches of puckered skin and three blisters.

On the up side, the No-Knead Bread Recipe lived up to it’s fantastic reputation. I have not had sourdough bread this good since I lived in California. Seriously, make some for yourself. It is amazing. Just don’t burn  your hand on the skillet.

July Games

Everyone in my family knows this game:

This boy’s favorite part is taking the little travel case all apart and putting all the pieces and piggies back where they go. And “reading the structions” each time.

We played laundry day tent. What’s that on his face?!

Cookie dough! Didn’t have enough honey, so used sugar and molasses in these chocolate chip cookies. Hours later somebody was still ramped up.

Baking Experiments

Yesterday I made homemade crackers from this recipe. These are far better than storebought and easy too!

I made 9 of these long crackers, and seasoned each batch differently! Then put them in baggies and froze a bunch of dough for later.

Then I made a nectarine galette, roughly following this recipe, but using honey instead of sugar. It was perfect for me… I love crust and this was one of my flakiest ever. But Zach prefers filling and found this tart to be too dry. I didn’t do a jam glaze, and probably should have.

A tart that pretty was clearly made for showing off, so we took it to our friends’ house and served it with ice cream while the fellas drank short glasses of bourbon, or whiskey, and expounded upon the differences thereof.

Homemade Pop Tarts

I made these at the beginning of May, and forgot to post the pictures! I’m sure I didn’t post them because I made a ridiculous mistake in the baking, but I thought that you deserve to see:

I forgot to eggwash the tart tops until halfway through baking so I thought, “oh, I’ll just put it on now”, not realizing that the hot tarts would instantly scramble the eggs. *unappetizing*

Other than their unattractive appearance, these poptarts were fantastic! SOO much better than the storebought stuff. And easy too! For this first try, I just used strawberry jam, so that I would be able to truly compare to the commercial version. But then I couldn’t help it and I used some whole wheat flour for deeper flavor.

Now I want to make poptarts with all different kinds of stuffings, especially a savory version with pesto.

This awesome recipe came from Smitten Kitchen, a really beautiful foodie blog, whose recipes are also delicious.

Foul Gluttony

blueberry 1 (Small)

I was inspired by this beautiful post at Bakerella to make some blueberry pancakes. I didn’t follow her recipe because I have my own whole-wheat, sugar-free pancake formula that my family loves. This is the blueberry-tastic pancake that Zach demanded:

blueberry 2 (Small)

It partially fell apart under its own weight during flipping, and never cooked all the way through. Zach ate it all anyway, claiming that the hot bursts of blueberry were his favorite part and that gooey pancake middles were fine too. I didn’t believe him.

A thick whole wheat pancake is pretty hearty, so I wouldn’t want to eat a pretty stack of them like Bakerella’s!

Honey Lemon Cake!

honey lemon cake (Small)

This cake is SO delicious and light and fluffy, not like many of the other things I’ve made using honey instead of sugar. Zach has been telling me that the reason I haven’t been successful is that I’m trying to do the substitution myself, rather than just looking for recipes that call for honey from the get-go. But for me, baking comes on a whim, and I’m not always up for recipe hunting the moment before I bake.  I’m also not a big experimenter: if the recipe fails the first time, I’m unlikely to modify it to try a second time.

We have two kinds of local raw honey on hand at home in bulk (and I mean A LOT of honey). One is a golden liquid honey that tastes like commercial clover honey. It is good for using in recipes that have another overpowering flavor, like homemade hot chocolate with cinnamon and cayenne pepper, or my deep dark honey molasses ginger unsnaps, but it is too cloying to use in something like chocolate chip cookies, which was a big failure last week.

We purchased the other honey in a 5-gallon bucket last fall at the Downtown Salt Lake Farmer’s Market and it’s solid and creamy tan. It is AMAZING in tea or on hot toast with butter, but it is not easily spreadable and sticks like glue to every measuring cup. This is the honey I used this time, and I will be baking with it in the future (Oiling every spoon or licking my fingers where that fails!).

Here is the recipe for this delicious cake. The Jugalbandi blog was recommended by the computer as something I would like to read. It’s the best recommendation I’ve gotten so far! Jai and Bee have a beautiful site with gorgeous photos and an exotic feel.

Because I have a well stocked pantry, I didn’t have to shop for anything except a single lemon!

Deep Dark Honey Molasses Ginger Unsnaps

After lots of other disappointments trying to substitute honey for the sugar in recipes, I’ve finally hit upon a success!

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My little  helper and I set out to bake some ginger snaps using my mom’s recipe (a spicy family favorite).  The recipe  calls for 1 c. brown sugar, so I used 3/4 c. local raw honey.  I ended up adding a few tablespoons of flour in after all the ingredients were mixed together, but only until it didn’t feel so wet. Here is a photo of the dough at the right consistency:

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You may be tempted to add more flour, and you will end up with a more puffy, cakey cookie if you do. At this point, you MUST chill the dough, or you won’t be able to roll it into balls. You must also lick the beaters and the spatula.

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Note to self: NO SUGAR for this kid. Even honey. He was so cranky for the next hour, and couldn’t fall asleep for another hour after that.

I won’t be winning any foodie bloggy awards for these pictures, but you can trust that these cookies are delicious straight out of the oven and stay moist all day.

Deep Dark Honey Molasses Ginger Unsnaps

350 degrees, 9-12 minutes

In your kitchenaid (with paddle attachment), CREAM:

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c. raw honey
  • 3/4 c. softened butter
  • 1/3 c. molasses

In another bowl, SIFT:

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • a dash of nutmeg

Add flour mixture to honey mixture, mix well, then add a few spoonfuls of flour as needed, just until dough is no longer wet. CHILL well. Roll into 1-inch balls, cookies will flatten as they cook.

These cookies are so dark that you must tell doneness by texture rather than color. When they progress from spongy to firm-spongy, they’re done!

Easter Recap

easter-cake-small

Forgot to post these pics earlier…

On Easter Sunday I got up and made a lemon cake with cream cheese frosting, coconut flakes, whopper eggs, and some kind of gross edible easter grass. This was more sugary and less “whole food” than I usually do (especially considering I used box mixes), but the end result sure was pretty!

I went early to my sister’s house to play Liar’s Dice (Perudo) with my niece and nephews. I did some trash-talking about how I was going to kick some butt and take no prisoners, etc. But I wasn’t there for the warm up rounds and my family is merciless:

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I lost all my dice and was completely out of the game on my second turn.

So, I gave up and put the Boogedy down for a nap, fell asleep myself, and didn’t wake up until the lasagna came out of the oven and the garlic bread needed cutting. A yummy meal!

I will have to whollop those nephews at dice another time. mwah ha ha. One can’t be a dice-shark without a humiliating loss to make your naivete more believable!

Snakes and Frogs Birthday

The Boogedy’s 2nd birthday was actually in February, but the house was in shambles under construction, so we opted to wait and hold the party once the house was decent again. It was part birthday, part grand re-opening of the house party. The theme was snakes and frogs, inspired by this great hat I made for the Boogedy and a cute froggy invitation we sent to everyone.

Here is the awesome coral snake I made using two chocolate bundt cakes and cream cheese frosting. This was ideal for our family, most of whom do not care much for frosting. The dark sections are unfrosted. This snake is enjoying his frog dinner.

bday-coral-cake-small

We played a great balloon stomping game where everyone tied a small balloon to their ankle and took off their shoes. Then, they tried to pop everyone else’s balloon while keeping their own balloon safe. The last person to remain unpopped is the winner. This was really fun, but the little kids in attendance were a bit overwhelmed.

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Then, we played pin the fly on the frog, using a frog face modeled on the invitation we’d sent out and using hand-drawn flies.

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We had visited the wine store the day before and picked out wines based on their labels (the wine specialists on-site do not approve of picking wine by our criteria). Here were some of the possibilities:

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bday-wine-3-smallbday-wine-4-small

We couldn’t find any with snakes on the label! Lots of bicycles and kangaroos. Lots of estates and abstract color blocks. Lots of hoofed animals. But no snakes. So we went with the Nathanson Creek because they had white and red wines for a good price.

We put out some decorations:

bday-king-snake-smallbday-green-snake-smallbday-frogs-small

And I made a baked potato bar with lots and lots of toppings. About halfway through the evening, Zach lit a bonfire in the backyard firepit and sent someone to the store for s’mores fixins. The weather was just right for sitting outside at night, just nippy enough to appreciate a fire.

It was the nicest (and biggest) party we’ve ever held, and the Boogedy received so many adorable presents. Thanks everybody!!


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