Friday, November 19, 2010

cooking and me

well, today I am home getting ready for about 20-30 people to come over tomorrow night for a Thanksgiving dinner. I started doing it the week before because the siblings usually had other places to go and I wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving at my house. So today I am thankful for the ability and the desire to learn to cook.
I had been helping in the kitchen for quite some time before I attempted to bake anything. I was 11, I asked my mom and she said if I made something edible, that was fine. It seems my two older sisters had wasted a lot of baking supplies by dumping them in buckets and such, not really practical applications for food.
So I began. I made chocolate chip cookies, yellow cake with chocolate frosting, peanut butter cookies. I still maintained the "prep" status by peeling potatoes, cutting up onions and celery for whatever needed to be cooked. I used to cut the last class on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving so I could go home and do prep work for the Thanksgiving dinner. That should have given me a clue as to a future occupation, but of course, I didn't take it.
And as I begin the prep work today, I am reminded of the gift my parents gave me by allowing me to experiment in the kitchen. I am also reminded of my parents' presence in gathering my siblings together. I am very thankful that I have been given this talent and gift for cooking. I'm not always so thrilled to cook on a daily basis (I get tired from work) but basically I do enjoy it. And I get cranky when it's a long week and I want to cook but I'm too tired. It doesn't make any sense, does it?
So far, I have the pound cake baked and the stuffing bread made. It's time to stop fooling around on the computer and make the chocolate cheesecake....hmm, chocolate cheesecake......

Sunday, August 29, 2010

cooking action lately

Not much at all, I'm sad to say. The only baking I did last week was a pineapple upside down cake for my brother's birthday, And I forgot to get a photo of that. I didn't even bake brownies and boy was _I_ sorry about that....
But this week I made up for it.  I baked a blueberry swirl cake. Basically, I made a yellow cake and swirled some blueberry pie filling in it. It looks pretty ugly because, as you know, blueberries mixed in something looks grayish. I put blueberry pie filling inbetween layers and frosted with a vanilla buttercream frosting that I sort of winged it on. I couldn't find the recipe I use all the time (I know, I got to be better organized). So I thought I could recreate it from memory. Turns out I was wrong. I think it will be okay, at least I hope so.
I also made brownies (but of course). I made them the "normal" way but instead of 6 eggs, I used 5. I wanted to see what type of effect that would have, chewy or fudgey. We will see - and taste.
Believe it or not, I am already starting to think about Thanksgiving dinner. I'm thinking instead of ham, I'll make chicken and noodles like my mom used to make (not for Thanksgiving). My oldest cat and I really love eating the ham, but secretly even we get tired of it after a few weeks.  I should run the idea by my beloved, see what he thinks.
I try not to mess with the Thanksgiving menu too much, I'm a traditionalist. But I do think the chicken and noodles would be warmly received at Thanksgiving.
Nope, haven't thought of what to bake, Of course rolls, lots and lots of rolls. I tried making sweet potato rolls one year and they just weren't all that special. Perhaps it was the recipe or I messed it up, but there was no great sweet potato taste. So the usual dinner rolls and the potato rolls will be fine.
That's all I got for now. I should think about getting my lunch together for the week (boo! hiss!), but it must be done. Work, the curse of the eating class;)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

if it's going to be hot like an oven outside,

it should smell like a brownie inside;)

Friday, July 30, 2010


I have been baking although it's been horribly hot. How do I manage to do this? It's called sweating;)
So what have I baked? Of course, the "usual" brownies. I've added overripe bananas to the batter but later it's been a straight forward stick by the recipe baking. Oh, wait, not quite true. I have been melting bits of baking chocolate and using it in the batter. I have bits and pieces of baking chocolate that don't really add up to make a whole recipe, but a little extra chocolate is always good.
I made a strawberry swirl cake for my beloved. Instead of using a cake mix and Jello, I tinkered with Trisha Yearwood's recipe for key lime cake. I used the Jello to flavor the whole cake. I cooked some frozen and fresh strawberries into a puree and strained them.
I had reserved some cake batter after putting most of the batter in the pans. I mixed the puree strawberries into the reserved batter to give it an extra taste of strawberries. I was a little apprehensive that since I messed with the proportions of liquids, the cake wouldn't rise properly or taste okay. I topped it with a vanilla buttercream frosting.
My beloved said it turned out great. I had a piece of it today and I liked it. But honestly I love chocolate cake.
Besides baking my honey a cake, I baked a birthday cake for my "baby" boy who just turned 29. Last year, he picked the Cheeto cake that shows up as the photo on the blog. This time, he wanted a chocolate cake. So I lucked out, made his cake and got a slice of chocolate cake.

cake saw in use
Will trying to keep all his cake to himself

I bought the cake saw and really like it. I have a few photos of Will cutting the cake, but this is the only one that didn't turn out blurry because of his speed to cut it. 

This is Will in an attempt to make sure no one else will eat his cake. It failed miserably because we still ate a slice. I should have swiped a slice before he took it home, but didn't think about it. oh well.

I have to admit, I did enjoy baking a cake for my brother and sister-in-law. My brother wanted me to knock it off as my sister-in-law is diabetic and should watch her cake eating. I did make her a coconut cake for her birthday.
I should make my brother a pineapple upside down cake for his birthday. He likes that and his birthday isn't that far away. Chocolate cake is the usual tradition for siblings, but why not a pineapple upside down cake? It's his birthday.
Anyway, that's what I have been up to lately, Trying to stay out of trouble and the heat and just baking now and then. I think I would love to open a bakery but I don't honestly know if I could do that much work.  I'd like to believe it's all just baking and the customers will flock in. But I do know it's a lot more complicated than that.  I should research it more to really see if I could manage to work more baking into my life. Maybe I should find a family to bake for? hmmmmmm

Friday, June 11, 2010

whoopie pies

I'm not entirely with it, I think. Maybe it's because I think I should be on summer vacation, maybe it's brain fog, maybe.....I just don't know....
But I reviewed a book for Amazon

 and actually made whoopie pies.... so I thought I'd share a few photos with you. The recipe was quick to put together and used ingredients you most likely already have. They do suggest you use parchment paper and I have to agree - it makes the clean up so much easier.
My beloved loved them (after they were out of the fridge. I stuck them in the fridge to begin with because I was tired and it was late). My younger son and my youngest sister also gave them the thumbs up. So if you like whoopie pies, this is a shameless plug  for the book. Nope, I don't get a kickback from the authors. However, if you do use the link I provided, Amazon pays me a referral fee from the cost of the book.
They have a lemon whoopie pie that looks interesting. I think the next time I make the whoopie pies, I'll use more instant coffee. These were supposed to be mocha, but I didn't add enough instant coffee (what can I say, I don't like coffee). But next time I will.
I also made brownies this week. I did something a little different - I had left over vanilla mousse from my beloved's cake and I put a half a cup of it in the brownie batter. Again this is the  Hershey recipe with the exception I melt the butter and add the cocoa in it to give the cocoa a chance to bloom. The brownies seemed somehow richer, but not overly rich.

The mousse reminds me a bit of vanilla ice cream, but not frozen. I still have more left, I'm thinking of using it in the coconut cake I'm making for my sister-in-law today for her birthday. Maybe mix some coconut with it and use it as the filling between the first and second layer.
These are photos of my honey's birthday cake. It got eaten up relatively fast, believe it or not

The mousse reminds me a bit of vanilla ice cream, but not frozen. I still have more left, I'm thinking of using it in the coconut cake I'm making for my sister-in-law today for her birthday. Maybe mix some coconut with it and use it as the filling between the first and second layer. I used the mousse in the buttercream frosting I made for the cake.

This is how the filled cake looked when it was sliced. The mousse held up much better than the Baviarian cream has in the past.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

more disasters in cooking;)

Yup, it's true I had more disasters this weekend in cooking. But it happens to the best of us (and the worse of us, too).
Here's the latest. Every Memorial Day weekend Sunday, I make a big to do over the Sunday dinner. I know I'm not going to cook a big meal on Sunday until after Labor Day - and since it's my love's birthday weekend (usually), I try to make it special.
This time it was going to be roast chicken. I had a nice Purdue Oven Stuffer and I was looking forward to roasting and eating the chicken.
So I prepped the chicken and put it in my slow cooker. This slow cooker has a light on it so you know you turned it on and I made sure it was on. I baked some bread in the bread machine and it smelled pretty good. It didn't occur to me I couldn't smell the chicken. My sense of smell is not that good, but still......
About 7 hours later, I decided to remove the chicken from the slow cooker so we could eat supper. When I turned the chicken over (I roast mine breast side down so all the juices drip into the breast), I noticed the pop up timer was not popped up.  I thought that was weird. Than I stuck the chicken with a fork. It was still raw inside. Definitely not cool.
I debated whether to try and nuke it or put it in the oven, but my fear of having a chicken sitting out on a very warm day and the chicken stayed raw made me decided to trash the chicken as well as the slow cooker. I was not a happy camper, I had to rustle up some canned chicken breast and make a quick chicken and rice dish. Not what I wanted, but what could I do? Just the thought of eating that chicken turned my stomach, so I figured it wasn't worth it. 
Now my slow cooker has died without even giving me a warning. I got to start the process of finding another slow cooker. If anybody's got any suggestions on brands or types of slow cookers, I'd be glad to hear them. 
But I do have photos of my love's birthday cake. It turned out fine the second time around.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Betty & Pam save the day

Yesterday, I decided I would make my love's birthday. It's a filled cake, I'm sure I described it before. Last year, I used a sort of delicate vanilla cake and it didn't stand up to the Bavarian cream. So I decided to make a few changes this year - going with vanilla mousse with strawberries in it and a sturdier cake.
I decided to try a cake from an ancient recipe (okay, it's older than me so that makes it pretty old;)) and I should have know I was in troble when it called for 4 teaspoons baking powder. Just because a recipe is in an old cookbook doesn't mean it's good. Plus the page was completely clean, no evidence the recipe had ever been used. I baked the cake (40 minutes at 375 degrees - not kidding, 375 degrees). First, it took longer than 40 minutes to bake all the way through. Okay, strange, but maybe some weirdness.
But to depan it! well, I throrougly  greased the pan with Crisco. The filled cake pans are a little weird and I thought I'd go that route. The cake would _not_ come out of the pan. I tried the few tricks I knew to depan a cake, but it didn't work. So when the pan finally released, a good portion of the cake stuck to the pan.
Or maybe I should refrain from using the word "good". That cake was one of the driest cakes I ever made in my life - it was like a very stale generic yellow cake. My love suggested I cut it up, cover it with the mousse and it should work out. And probably he was right. But I said no, I'll make another cake. The birds were happy about that.
I turned to my buddy, Betty Crocker. I used the recipe for "Bonnie Butter Cake" and coated the pans with my other cooking buddy, Pam. The cake tastes great and depanned like a dream.
I got to finish adding strawberries to the mousse and make the frosting, But I just wanted to give a huge thank you to my cooking pals, Betty Crocker and Pam - they never let me down.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Misleading ad?

I get a lot of junk (snail) mail and today was no exception. There was an ad for Anne Byrn's  "The Cake Mix Doctor Deluxe Edition" for a free 21 day trial and a price of probably $34. There's 4 payments of $7.49 but that doesn't include shipping and handling.
I like Anne Byrn's books, I have three of them. And my beat up copy of  "The Cake Mix Doctor" was not the "deluxe edition". It had a completely different cover. So I was debating with myself did I _really_ want this book for that price.
Since the book is "not available in any store", I decided to try Amazon to see if that had it or if it was a brand new book. And here's what I found

Looks like the same book from the ad and most likely it is. I ordered it from Amazon because Amazon had a price I was comfortable paying. The front of the ad, where my address is, has "Postmaster Deliver 5/27/10 - 5/29/10" but I'm not sure why that particular time was specified. I got the ad on May 26, 2010.
I just wanted to alert any buyers out there about this book, Maybe somebody has purchased this particular edition from "Cake Mix Doctor, 33 E. Minor St, Emmanus PA 18098"  and can tell me a little about it. It could be different than the 2003 edition in Amazon's database. But somehow I doubt it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

McCormick rosemary roasted chicken spice package

I received the McCormick package of spices and the recipe for rosemary roasted chicken with potatoes from Gather yesterday. I decided I would try it today.
Most of the spices I would normally have on hand except for the coarse ground black pepper. I just don't normally use that much pepper. But this collection of premeasured  spices made it easy to put together this meal.
I didn't want to buy anything else to make dinner, so I used the white potatoes I had on hand in substitute for the small red potatoes. I washed the potatoes and cut them into 1  inch cubes. I mixed the ingredients in the olive oil as per the instructions. I mixed the chicken and potatoes, lined a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and placed in the oven.
While the meal was roasting, I managed to squeeze in a look at my mail and a quick shower. It was great not to stand over the stove to make sure sinner was cooked. I had to cook the food just a bit longer than what the recipe called for, but my oven is a little quirky when it comes to the temperature.
My husband and I ate the results. We both liked the way the potatoes turned out, but we felt the chicken itself was a little "edgy", a little too much spice for the chicken.  But it didn't bother us enough to make us stop eating the food.
I would give this recipe over all a 4.5 stars out of a possible 5 stars.  Even though I got home later than I usually do from work, the meal came together quickly and easily, perfect for a work night dinner. The ingredients are premeasured, so the seasoning is not a problem.  The clean up was easy and quick, always a plus for a week night dinner.  For us, it seemed a little spicy, but we tend to shy away from spicy food. I would definitely make this again but maybe reduce the amount of pepper and paprika than what is given in the recipe.
I would recommend this McCormick seasonings for rosemary chicken and potatoes highly to anyone who likes chicken. I think I with try the pork one next.
Thanks to Gather, who supplied me with the ingredient pack.

Monday, April 26, 2010

another cake!?

yes, this soon. My younger son asked me to bake a "birthday cake" for one of his co-workers. He decided it should be chocolate (it's the tradition cake here for birthdays) and so I baked it, using the Hershey's cake recipe.
And what to frost it with? Well, none other than the chocolate frosting I have tweaked to make it more powerful than normal chocolate icing;) One problem - I could not find the corn syrup, an important part of this recipe. So okay, I thought, I'm make buttercream frosting. Well, I didn't have the ingredients on hand to make a chocolate buttercream. I thought, oh heck, won't need it until Wednesday, so I'll just let it go until tomorrow.
Than it occurred to me I will probably be working late tomorrow and won't be in the mood to fool around with frosting when I got home. So it's marshmellow frosting to the rescue.
Yup, you may know it as "7 Minute Frosting" or "Boiled Frosting", I just call it marshmellow because that's what it tastes like. And I've been making it for a very long time, so I think I can call it what I like;)
With a cup of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar, some vanilla, hot water and the powdered whites of eggs, it's pretty simple to put together. (You could use an egg white, but I don't think that's recommended anymore). This is a recipe your really need an electric mixer - unless your hands are much better than mine, which is possible. It takes 7 minutes of intense beating to make these ingredients into this fluffy frosting.
But now I got to wait until Wednesday to see how it's received.......

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April 25, 2010 in baking

This is my new toy, a "Cakewich" cake pan  by Fred and Friends.

This is the first time I used it and  you can see I had a little trouble cutting the cake in half.  The box the "Cakewich" pan comes in has a white pound cake recipe, which is what I used in the pan. The pan releases well, but I think I was in too much of a hurry. I should have waited for the cake to cool a little longer. The inside frosting is damson jelly and a peanut butter icing.  It tastes pretty good, even if I do say so myself.

In other baking action, the cake of the week is another pound cake - my Aunt Roe's pound cake recipe. It's strange because you start it in a cold oven and it bakes for about an hour and a half up to 2 hours.  My sturdy tube pan was, as always, up to the task It looks pretty good, too.
The third and final thing I baked was (what else?) brownies. I followed my normal procedure of "blooming" the cocoa in the melted butter, substituting 1/2cup of applesauce for 1/2 cup of butter and using whole wheat flour. Now you're thinking "yuck", but it comes out fine. That's the way I usually make it. That way I can fool myself into believing it's a little healthy for me;)
That's all I got so far this week - _enjoy_

Monday, April 19, 2010

ta da

This is the key lime cake I made from the recipe in the April 2010 "Redbook" magazine, it's the one that has Trisha Yearwood on the cover. It's her recipe, I tweaked a few things (flavored the icing with lime, for example). My husband said it is _great_.
I also baked brownies, using 1 cup of butter and 1/2 cup cooking oil and the whole wheat flour. This gave the brownies a fudgy texture.

I made spaghetti and I made Italian bread to go with it - well, actually I made "Mr Food"'s recipe for thick crust pizza and baked it as a loaf. It had a wonderfully crisp crust.
I also tried the baked jelly doughnuts from "Bread in Half the Time". I don't think Dunkin' Donuts has anything to worry about anytime soon. They just taste like sweet rolls with raspberry jelly in them. Yeah, it's good, but not that big a deal.
I had a poor history with doughnuts. I tried frying some many years ago. They came out _horrible,_ all greasy and as black as the soles of my shoes. I used an electric deep fat fryer, but apparently it was a bad recipe or I didn't do it right. I was going to toss them but saved them for my younger son to come home. He knew I was making them and I figured if I tossed them, he would think we'd eaten all of them. He looked at the doughnut and said "Is this supposed to be chocolate" and I said "nope".....
I also

Saturday, April 10, 2010

baking action for Easter week

well, let's see. I baked a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting to take to my oldest sister's house. I usually take a cake and it would have been my father's 83rd birthday. He loved my mother's chocolate cake. Mine isn't as good as my mom's but it's good - at least that's what my sons say. They manage to "choke it down";).
I also baked brownies for the week, but nothing too special about them, just the "usual" tinkered with Hershey's brownie recipe. I didn't put icing on them this week. I found out that putting icing on brownies you are going to cut and take to work in a plastic sandwich bag makes more of a mess that I want. Plus, really, the icing is overkill to me.
I also made potato bread from the Bernard Clayton book. My poor book is falling apart - the spine is split and you can definitely tell what recipes I use the most. I probably should transcribe the recipe to my computer cookbook. I got a ton of them to do, though, and I get lazy. Anyway, they turned out great. I love potato bread - well, truthfully, I just love bread.
This week's baking? I'm not sure. I got a new recipe for brownies that uses cooking oil instead of butter. It's from a small cookbook I got at the thrift shop. I thought I would try something different. It still calls for cocoa, so I'm ready for that. I don't know if they will be drier or wetter - though it calls for oil instead of butter, it still calls for 5 eggs. The usual recipe I use calls for 6 eggs.
I don't know if I am going to make a cake or not. I want to, but time might slip away from me. I don't know what kind of cake I want to make, but I want to make one. And probably no bread baking tomorrow - we are going to a baby shower type of thing and I doubt I will cook a "big" dinner tomorrow. We'll see

Monday, April 5, 2010

Washington Post "Peeps Show"

Check out the Peeps dioramas made for the 2010 Washington Post contest - they are great

Saturday, April 3, 2010

quick note - chocolate covered Peeps

There was no baking action last week as I got hit with a particularly vile stomach bug. I didn't even think of making toast, let alone baking something. But I do have a quick Easter treat for you...Here's a word of warning ***the melted chocolate will be hot, be careful not to burn your fingers***

Chocolate Covered Peeps

1 package Peeps (10)
1 container of Baker's dipping chocolate (microwavable)
Toothpicks / tongs
Wax paper

Arrange way paper of cookie sheets. Nuke the Baker's chocolate according to the package directions. Take 1 Peep (using toothpicks,tongs or a fork - it will be _hot_ and messy) and dip in the dipping chocolate up to the Peep's head. Remove and allow to cool on wax paper.
Each container of Bakers dipping chocolate makes approximately 15 Peeps.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

3/21/10 baking action

I managed to make my youngest sister's cake and apparently it was acceptable. I haven't heard any complaining about it (yet;)). I still have bread left over from what I made Wednesday, so I won't make any for dinner tonight.
So far I have made brownies, big surprise. I put some orange flavoring in them. I considered putting icing on them because I have icing left over from my sister's cake, but I didn't. I might end up eating the icing by itself;) Or maybe saving it for another cake down the road.
The cake this week follows the orange theme, the infamous "Cheeto cake". Although I did not find an an orange cake mix to begin with, I did add orange juice for the liquid in the cake. I also baked 3 layers, I don't usually do that. I still have to frost it using the buttercream frosting. That will be orange, also. It won't be as dramatic looking as the "Cheeto cake" but it should be good.
I should (and I might) make some small egg cakes and freeze them for Easter. I have the pan, it has 9 egg shaped cavities for cake. I tried doing the milky way cake in it, but it doesn't work out so well. The little bits of milky way that doean't completely melt stick to the pan no matter what I have tried.
I don't have too much to add to this. I am trying to think of a suitable dessert for Easter dinner, bit so far only came up with lemon cake. There's nothing wrong with lemon cake, but I love chocolate and I don't believe lemon and chocolate work well together. It gives me something to ponder...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Brownies this week

A great cook knows what ingredients she/he has on hand and makes sure to plan the cooking around it. She/he knows pretty much to the ounce how much flour, sugar, yeast and all that stuff is in the pantry.
A good cook knows what's in the pantry, He/she might not be able to tell you if it's a 14.5 ounce box of currants or a 15 ounce box, but he/she knows that the ingredients needed are at hand.
Than there's me. I thought I had plenty of granulated sugar. At least, it seemed I had a five pound bad tucked away somewhere. But, as it turns out I didn't. And I had already melted the butter and threw about a half a cup of semisweet chocolate chips in the melting butter as my experiment this week.
What to do, what to do? I went to my favorite cookbook "The Joy of Cooking". I knew that if anybody could save this recipe, it would be the Rombauers. And I was right. The advice was to substitute one cup of brown sugar for 1 cup of white sugar. I wasn't quite sure how it would work, but much to my surprise, it did work.
The brownies came out a nice cross between cakey and fudgey. I would say it was a success - at least to me. The food critic hasn't tried it yet;)
As to other baking, I have my fovorite yeast dough rolls rising so I can pop them in the oven. I also baked my honey a strawberry swirl cake, using the basic "Cheeto cake" method. I used a yellow cake mix instead of a strawberry one. I also took some frozen strawberries and cooked them down to a sort of strawberry paste. Part of this I used to flavor the buttercream frosting and part I used as the "icing" between the two layers of cake. He hasn't tried it yet, but he won't complain. He's afraid if he does, I'll never cook for him again.
My older son's birthday was yesterday and he requested his favorite, ice cream cake. Yes, the Carvel kind. Hey, that's what he wanted. I would have noticed the lack of sugar sooner if I had to bake a cake for him.
I was hoping to wait until next grocery shopping day to get more sugar, but I can't. My youngest sister's birthday is Tuesday and she will not settle for a Carvel ice cream cake - it has to be chocolate with chocolate frosting. And don't mess with any of the ingredients. I can't change the way the frosting is made and I can't change the cake recipe. She's very picky when it comes to that.
Anyway, that's it for me this week.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Yeah, it's been a very long time. I figure I lost about 14 days just to the process of having 48 inches of snow outside of my house. When you are stuck in the house and not sure when you will get out to buy groceries, it makes you a little conservative as to what you bake - or at least it makes _me_ conservative in what I bake.
But there's only small piles of snow in our yard now. There are parking lots spots that are still blocked by snow, but mostly it's clear in MD.
I baked brownies last week, I used one half a cup of applesauce in the batter. This made for a more cake like brownie. I didn't add any extra chocolate (I had been melting some chocolate and adding it in) because I wanted to see how it would be without it.
I did like the cakelike texture. But I also like the fudgey texture. Now to figure out how to make a brownie that combines the best aspects of fudgey and cakey. Sounds like I need the Keebler Elves for that;)
I also made a lemon cake with lemon buttercream frosting. I used a cup of lemonade in place of the water in the directions on the back of the Duncan Hines box. I also used a box of lemon Jello to make a swirl cake, but it is not as dramatic as the Cheeto cake. Still tasted good o or so my beloved says.
I made a spice cake, not particularly thrilled with it. My grandmother would make the best spice cake. I hated the frosting, way too thick and sweet, but my older sister loved it. so we'd swap icing for cake. It was a cooked frosting. I never tried to duplicate it because I didn't particularly care for it. But my aunts and uncles still talk about it.
My older son's birthday is next week and he wants - ice cream cake. Yes, you heard me. That is his traditional cake. Last year he wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and I was stunned. But usually he gets the ice cream cake (Carvel's). But don't worry, I will be making a chocolate cake for my youngest sister's birthday later that week. so I won't get out of practice.
That's it, that's all I got...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I'm still here, still hanging on. I always try to take one day at a time, but quite a few ganged up on me;)

I've been baking brownies, of course, for my sons. I've started adding 1/4 cup of melted semi-sweet chocolate chips to the Hershey recipe I have been tweaking. The Hershey brownie recipe is from Hershey's website:
I have "bloomed" the cocoa in the melted butter and added the chocolate chips to that mix. I've even cut the butter by 1/2 cup and replaced it with vegetable oil. The vegetable oil does not seem to make a large difference in the taste or texture of the brownies, but "blooming" the cocoa does - it makes it a more chocolately tast. Adding the melted chocolate give the brownies a fudgey texture. I have also adjusted the baking time. I am baking the brownies for 45 minutes at 325 degrees for a 9"x13" pan. So far, this has given the best results.

I've made some bread from the Bernard Clayton Jr's

as well as the "Touch of Grace" biscuits. They always turn out well.

I have offered to make my sons chicken and noodles, but every time I do, it snows - a lot - like 20 inches or more. I didn't even offer to make any today and we're still supposed to get about another foot of snow. I guess I will continue to nimble on my brownies and drink hot tea.
I think for my honey I will make some raspberry thumbprint cookies, but I will shape them into a heart for Valentine's Day.

That's all for me, stay warm and enjoy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

photos of chocolate cheesecake

I was so proud that the cheesecake didn't crack, I had to take pictures of it.

_enjoy_ we did;)

Sunday, January 10, 2010


For New Years' Eve, I made chicken and noodles. Not exactly a traditional dish, but good all the same. I didn't even make a cake. I'm slipping.

I haven't baked much this week. It doesn't make any sense since I have been home (on vacation) this week, but we still have Christmas goodies to eat. I did make some shortbread cookies from
I made them into thumbprint cookies by sticking my thumb in to make a small bowl to hold seedless raspberry jelly. They have disappeared.
The other thing I baked I never baked before was chicken parmigiana pizza, I used the Art Ginsburg recipe in for the thick crust pizza. That worked out pretty well, too. Even my beloved ate the pizza crust and he likes the thin crust. I did use some drippings from the chicken in the pizza dough. It gave it a better flavor.
As for brownies, haven't made them yet. I do plan to make them, I think I will add some Ghiradelli chocolate to the batter. I have found that "blooming" the cocoa in the melted butter before adding it to the batter seems to bring out a deeper chocolate taste. I should try some dutched cocoa to see how that works in the recipe. It will be interesting.