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Posts Tagged ‘Baking’

Yesterday evening things were chaotic. I had dinner going, was working on a French Apple Tart, the boys were acting nutso, hubby was getting things ready for his next shift of work, and I started load one of 3 of laundry. Multi-tasking hard core! Oh, and Lil Miss was kinda all over the place and I did have to pull an apple peel from her mouth. Fun times.
I wanted to do this tart for a playgroup we have today. About 15 years ago I was at church camp and we learned to make this very artistic dessert. Concentric circles of thinly sliced apples. It just looks elegant! I had to make it again once I saw the Granny Smith’s in the lunchbox package from Bountiful Baskets. The top apples are supposed to be sautéed but I nixed that out because I didn’t want them too soft as they are cut thin. Mainly, I didn’t want them to squish or tear up as I laid them in the pan. I did have to reposition the apples because GamerDad thought that while I was carefully placing the slices it would be prime time to playfully smack my bottom. Not cool, I was almost done and had to re-do half my work.

After it baked and cooled, I knew it needed the glaze of apricot preserves and water (booze could be used too, but I opted to not. Now I wish I had!). I whipped that together and brushed it on, frustrated that my tart looked nothing like the photo. My artistic apples ruined by clumps of apricot.

This morning, I looked at my pie/tart (I do not have a tart pan, must fix this)

20140521-070420-25460207.jpg. Then I looked at the directions: heat preserves in a small sauce pain, boil, then add water or booze, strain. D’oh! Not only did I not hear up the preserves, but I didn’t strain them either.

Lesson learned, never try to do too much at once when it comes to baking and always triple check the directions.
It should still taste delicious, I just wish it looked like food art.

God Bless!

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Yes, it has been a while since I have out anything in this lil corner of the web. I’m sorry!
I have excuses, plenty of them:
1. Lil Miss is mobile, crawling all over the place and trying to stand on her own. Nix that, she can stand 5 seconds without assistance.
2. I dove head first into some books that I have read before but never in order.
3. Hubby was away for a while and juggling the house, three active kids, and volunteering kinda hit me in the face.
4. Hubs returned and went on a blah schedule and we needed to find our new norm.
5. Actual trips were planned but are now being rescheduled for various reasons.
6. I had to strip the cloth diapers. The first way I tried didn’t work so I did it a second way. Two day process, glad it is done!
7. I began participating in Bountiful Baskets. Sure, I pay my money and go stand in line. However, I like to create new stuff with my goodies. For instance:

20140519-194120-70880248.jpg Apricot Coffee Cake! Yum! It lasted 36 hours. I still have a French Apple Tart and French Toast Cupcakes to make this week as well as something that used daikon. It makes me feel like I got the mystery basket in Chopped sometimes. It gives the whole family a chance to learn about a new veggie or fruit and how to prepare it. Homeschool win even though we are off until next month!
8. We are also doing DDP Yoga now to get fit. I admit, I am dragging my feet as if they are filled with lead. Downward Dog is the only pose with the proper name. The rest are odd wrestler variations. I also like my relaxed version…adding dynamic resistance is weird. It is in the name of losing some flab and being with the hubs, so I will do it even if I want to growl at the perky chested, flat bellied, midriff showing chick demonstrating Child’s Pose at the end (I forgot the silly name DDP uses for it).

Hopefully, I will be back on a more regular basis!

God bless!

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Today it has drastically cooled down from last week and we have refreshing rain to go along with it. Refreshing in that it does not have crazy thunder and lightning paired with it (I love a good t-storm, but quiet is nice!). The boys and I were reluctant to get out of bed and finally did so at 7am. I know most of you are balking at that, but we are usually all up around 6 or so.

The boys wanted cookies last night. I am not the sort to go buy them at the store and have them sit around. I -have- to bake them myself. They requested the oatmeal raisin cookies my Great Gramma used to make. No, I will not share that recipe, you must be related to inherit it, sorry! I have modified it a bit too because I always have to play with recipes. Since this morning was nice and cool, we got to baking right after homeschooling. Yep, I am cruel and homeschool year round with a few mini breaks thrown in here and there. Needless to say, they were thrilled to have their cookies. Ach and two. Then our youngest looks at the cooling racks filled with cookies and looks at me. I told him that of he takes one more, he’d go to the corner. He grinned, nabbed one in a lightning quick manner and started walking to his corner. I sent him back to the table with his “prize.” Yep, he got out scott free for being a smarty pants. Hubby was on the phone with me during this, “you let him get away wi something I would pull?!” Yes dear, yes I did. He is your son after all. 😉

Well, I made their cookies and then had it in my head to make lactation cookies. MilkinMamas Lactation Cookie Recipe, follow their instructions! Man does it make a tasty cookie! This time I threw in dark chocolate chips and coconut. Be warned, they are addictive and they are VERY effective. I made these for the first time a couple months back. I had only been leaking colostrum out of one side…then I tried one (and then all the others that didn’t fit in the box to my cousin) and they have both been leaking ever since. This recipe makes a TON too, I got 6 dozen plus four more cookies. Two found their way to my belly today. Yes, not even nursing yet and noming on lactation cookies. They are in the freezer now. Oh, oh! The chocolate didn’t bother me for once, horray!!!

This tale is turning into “If you give a Mouse a Cookie.” After the mass cookie baking, I cleaned, and cleaned my kitchen. I even vacuumed the entire house, dusted half of it as well. Oh, and since our landlady is dropping by for farm eggs (I got them from another neighbor yesterday) and to get my list of emergency numbers, I decided I must mop all the floors too. Mid-mopping I felt some Braxton Hicks contractions. Nope, I didn’t listen, I kept mopping. She is due to knock on my door soon and the boys are still peacefully napping. Even after I finished and plopped down with some water, I was still getting them. I really want to finish dusting and wipe all the finger prints off our screen door and glass doors to the entertainment center, but I get it BH, I get it. I must be lazy the rest of the day. Good thing I already prepped dinner too. 😛

God Bless!

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Being that this is the last week for our oldest to be in kinder homeschool, I wanted a laid back and low key kind of day. Our youngest also worked really hard on his pre-school and I got my school work for the week completed. All that was done by 8:30am!

Lunch rolls around and I see we have tons of apples (I tend to not say no when the kids want tons of fruit). It is then that I get it in my head that dinner can be apple cake. Once the boys head to nap, I tell them that if they nap they can help me make the apple cake when they wake up and then it’ll be cooled to have for dinner. They never passed out so fast!

Fast forward an hour and a half and the boys wake up, all sleepy eyed and adorable. The five year old went and grabbed the apples from the fridge and a bag of flour without me saying a word. I started peeling the apples and coring them. The kiddos (ages 3 and 5) helped chop the apples. They held the knife and I guided their hands. Each did a beautiful job taking turns.

This is the kind of thing I remember, always helping Mom in the kitchen. My memory is full of moments like this. I love passing on that tradition to our kiddos. We even rocked out to some tunes as we baked.

I would share a recipe, but I mashed two together and the batter was not wet enough, so I added heavy cream. Shush, remember, I am pregnant. 😛

We had the apples mingle with sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom. The boys took turns again, stirring it up. They did not get chucked into the batter.

In my 9×13, I poured half the batter and then half of the apples. Then I added oats, pecans, and raisins to the apples for the top. Then ya pour on the rest of the batter and finish up with the jazzed up apples. The oats, nuts, and raisins were on a whim because it sounded good. Yes, the kiddos were constantly stealing apples out of the bowl. 🙂

45 minutes later, this beauty came out of the oven:

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As it baked, I made some whipped cream from the rest of the heavy cream I had. Yep, added cinnamon and a tad of cardamom to that too. YUM!

Now, this is not something we do for dinner on a regular basis. As a kid, there were rare instances we would have ice cream or pie for dinner, just for the heck of it. I was in one of those moods today and made it happen.

Here’s a slice of heaven:

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The cake is so moist and flavorful and the top has a zing with a crunch that satisfies. My mash up of recipes and my own whimsy tastes very much like my Gramma’s apple cake. I haven’t had it for years (over a decade, maybe two) and I do not have that recipe. Now I wish I had written down everything I did from each recipe. Oh well! At least the boys and I have the memory.

God bless!

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Cake experiment

By no means do I consider myself a professional cake decorator. I am self taught and like to learn as I go. My husband’s birthday is coming up and I wanted to build him a Tardis cake.

Six layers of delicious chocolate cake enclosed in an ok buttercream (still need to find the perfect recipe).

There were many lessons learned in building this cake.

1. Expand food color collection. I could not get that lovely Tardis blue out of my small collection.

2. Support, when dealing with many dense layers of cake you need support or you get the leaning tower of cake effect. It looked straight when I got the whole thing frosted, but when I took a break before adding accents, it started to lean and buckle.

3. Make my own dang fondant no matter how crappy I feel. Sorry Wilton, I love most of your products but your pre-made fondant is blah and does not pair well with buttercream.

4. Do not attempt to make a monster cake like that with two kids at your heels. It makes you rush and do a mediocre job.

5. Do not let the cake beat you down. I verbally expressed while doing the final decorations if I should really open up my own bakery in the next 10 years. I was upset that this cake became a disaster so quickly. I snapped out of it though because I know I have had no one teach me how to do this (decorating, baking is what Mom and Gramma taught me), it is all trial and error.

6. Definitely take cake decorating lessons after gaining my BS in Entrepreneurial Studies.

With that, I will show you all some photos:

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See how bad the lean got? Yep, we celebrated hubby’s b-day early. No way was the cake going to stay upright until then.

God bless!

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Again, I have neglected my blog. However, we are settled in aside from the shed. That means I got to use Black Beauty, my Kitchenade mixer, on a regular basis.

20121130-064338.jpg

Yes, I flipped through cook books and print outs of my holiday selection for this year. In two days I baked upwards of 10 dozen cookies. There is substantially more now and add in two batches of home made marshmallows. Here is just a couple:

20121130-064603.jpg Poppy Seed wreaths

20121130-064635.jpg Cranberry chocolate cookies.

The wreaths do not look great but they are tasty. Forgive me, I bake and I am trying to hone my decorating skills.

I have also made peppermint white chocolate chip cookies and pecan tarts. Yes, there are photos of them, but they are on my phone and not my iPad. Recipes might be shared at some point. I tried to do a step by step photo blog for the poppy seed cookies, but I got carried away with my flow of baking.

I still have a few more varieties to whip up, like my pizzelles, YUM! There is also the matter of three Christmas parties to attend in a week’s time and I will be making a chocolate turtle cake for the first one (plus mini ones for our awesome land lords).

I failed to mention, my oven here is electric. I LOVE it! 🙂

God bless!

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