Posted in Baking, Desserts, Fitness, Recipes, Vegan

No Bake Chocolate Almond Butter Bars

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When I was in Alaska I ate.  I ate a lot.  I’m not sure how much weight I put on, but my clothing was tight.

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Posted in Baking, Desserts

Sunday Baking

I spent the whole day yesterday laying on the couch feeling nauseous and watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix.  Today I thought I should do something.  Something for our afternoon meal date with Alex’s law school friends and their significant others.

Out comes my trusty the complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook and I make a Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake with Vanilla Buttercream.

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Posted in Baking, Bread, Recipes

Sugared Crescents

This is the last weekend of spring break.  It has been a much needed break.  I feel it was far to short.  I’m not sure if I am zen enough to return to work on Monday.  Work has been extra challenging this past month.  I’ve been trying to sort out my feelings about it over this past week away and have come to an impasse with myself.  I am not willing to give up, so I need to move forward.  Thus I’m declaring this weekend the weekend of Crescents. It’s something I have not made before.  And something very French.  I feel that in order for me to move forward I need to get back to the things that I use to love.  I need to remember that I use to love using my weekends to make lovely things in the kitchen.

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Posted in Baking, Bread, Desserts, Friends, Holidays, Life, Mamasita, Recipes, Turkey

Thanksgiving Recap

My friends I had not meant to be away from this space for so long.  I’ve been so busy with work and not really doing anything else that I haven’t had anything to share with all of you.  Here are some of pictures from our feast yesterday.
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Finishing up the last of the meal!

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Remnants of our meal.
On the Menu was:
Collared greens (which were way too salty!)
Green bean casserole (provided by M)
Beef Curry (made by Jacks)
An attempt at stuffing and gravy
Apple Pie
Apple Pie
(The Joy of Cooking, pg. 873)
Crust:
Ingredients:
  • 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water (can add 1 to 2 tablespoons more if needed)
Directions:
  • In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, and salt
  • Break shortening into large chunks
  • Cut butter in small pieces
  • Add shortening and butter to flour fixture
  • Cut fat into the flour mixture (I used a pastry blender, but two knives work as well) until mixture is the consistency of coarse crumbs with a few pea-sized pieces.
  • Drizzle ice water over the mixture.
  • With a rubber spatula, cut the mixture until it looks evenly moistened
  • Press down with your hands until the dough coheres
  • Divide dough in half and make into two flat disks
  • Wrap tightly in plastic wrap
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes up to 2 days
  • Roll one out on lightly floured surface and transfer to pie plate
  • Roll out second and set aside
  • Keep refrigerated until ready for filling
Pie Filling:
Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds granny smith apples
  • 2 pounds pink lady apples
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons large granulated sugar – for topping
Directions:
  • Peel, core, and slice 1/4 inch thick all the apples
  • Combine all dry ingredients and lemon juice with apples.
  • Let stand for 15 minutes, stirring several times.
  • Pour mixture into the bottom crust
  • Dot the top with butter
  • Drape top dough over the top, trim and crimp.
  • Cut steam vents in the top of the crust
  • Sprinkle with large granulated sugar
  • Bake pie at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes
  • Place a baking sheet underneath and reduce  heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking for 30 to 45 minutes until apples feel tender when a knife or skewer is poked through a vent.
  • Let cool for 3 to 4 hours.
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Now we are spending our Friday recovering.  Even Mama is tired from all the activity.
Posted in Baking, Desserts, East Coast, Recipes

Sugar cookies

003 A plate full of cookies
I’ve been wanting sugar cookies for several days now.  But most of the recipes that I find require eggs.  So today we are making egg-less sugar cookies.  The weather was bad so I decided to stay home instead of going to the speaker tonight.  Though I did study today from 8:30 am to about 2:00 pm and I worked out so that means I deserve cookies right?  Right!

Sugar cookies
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Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter ( 2 sticks)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk (we no longer drink skim or fat free)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 & 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
Directions:
  • Cream together sugar and butter
  • Add remaining ingredients and combine
  • Refrigerate for two to three hours
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Roll out
  • Use cookie cutters
  • Bake for 8 minutes

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Posted in Baking, Desserts, East Coast, Life, Recipes, School

New Yogurt Cake!

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Tomorrow, is my last day of practice teaching.  It has been a long hard ride, but the end of this year of Montessori training is in sight.  Today has been a good day.  We were able to get a special dispensation from the California DMV to have our car smogged when we return in July and Alex was able to get a YEAR extension for renewing his driver’s licence.  I was worried that I would have to drive all the 3,000 miles home to Cali in July, but now I do not have to.  Happy Day!
Because tomorrow is my last day at this lovely school in Maryland I’m making my yogurt cake.  Though I made an extra one for Alex and I. For ours I made a few tweaks to the original recipe.  I’m calling this one the new and improved yogurt cake!
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 coconut oil, heated to liquefy
  • 2 large cage free eggs, room temperature
  • 1 & 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 16 ounces of fresh strawberries, halved
Directions:
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Butter and flour a round cake pan
    • In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
    • Set aside.
    • In a large bowl whisk together yogurt, sugar, salt, and vanilla until smooth.
    • Add oil in a steady stream whisking to combine
    • Add eggs one at a time, whisking after each to combine.
    • Add flour mixture to yogurt mixture
    • Whisk lightly to combine.
    • Pour into cake pan
    • Top with strawberries
    • Bake on center rack for 45 minutes, until golden and slightly risen

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The first cake of the evening: with diced peaches and apricots.
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Second cake of the evening: with strawberries
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Posted in Baking, Bread, East Coast, Recipes

More Wheat Bread

002 Another day, another Wheat Bread recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups very warm water
  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Directions:
  • Dissolve yeast in water in a large bowl (or mixer bowl)
  • Add honey, salt, and both flours
  • Using the bread hook attachment mix
  • Once a ball forms knead for 3 minutes
  • Place ball in a well oiled glass bowl
  • Cover bowl with tin foil
  • Heat oven to broil for 2 minutes – turn off oven
  • Place bowl into oven and let rise for an hour and a half
  • Punch down
  • Form into a loaf
  • Place on a greased pizza stone
  • Let rise for 15 minutes
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown
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