Cake By Jellybean

Jellybean from time to time likes to bake and cook with me. Sp during his birthday shenanigans we made a birthday cake. We made the cake together and then I added the base coat of chocolate frosting.

He then went to town with every color of frosting, every decorating frosting tip I could round up, and literally every variety of sprinkle we own. He wanted to make it look like “trash” and not the derogatory kind. He was thinking a la Oscar the Grouch. I think he nailed it!

Then he proceeded to grab my phone and take “beautiful” photos of it.Β  He concentrated SUPER and hard and I stood off to the side laughing till I cried. My kid is something else and I wouldn’t trade him for anything. So I’ll just leave you with a few of his cake glamour shots….

P.S. it was also delicious!

Holy Carbohydrates Batman

I’m on a kick of cleaning and using things from my pantry. I have a squirrel like habit to stash food items so that I have a stocked pantry and then constantly buy new items weekly at the store so I “don’t run out”. This kinda means I have a few boxes and cans that languish. Well that is silly! I did some scrounging for dinner the other night and managed to pull a spaghetti dinner out of my pantry without needing groceries.

While I was in there I found a box of hot roll mix. It was on the cusp of expiring and that just can’t happen. So I made a batch of non-uniform but still tasty cinnamon rolls. I got two thumbs up from everyone in the house. But between spaghetti and garlic toast for dinner and cinnamon rolls for dessert….Holy Carbohydrates Batman! I’m gonna need to walk this one off!!

P.S. Cream cheese icing was added after this photo. But they were devoured so quickly that I wasn’t able to snap a new photo!

Happy Baking!!

Don’t Bake While Hungry

It’s cold and grey here in Kansas. And I made the mistake of baking while hungry. Which resulted in oatmeal lactation cookies turning into peanut butter banana protein muffins and chocolate chip banana bread. I don’t even like bananas! But my house was warm and smelled amazing.

Guess PB and Jellybean have snack and breakfast sorted for a few days?! πŸ˜‹

Ps. I still have bananas on the counter AND in the freezer. What else should I make with them??

Grinching

Jellybean is OBSESSED with Grinches this year. To the point that he dressed as the Grinch for Halloween and PB was Max the dog. Add this to my desire to have rolled sugar cookies at Christmas meant we made frosted Grinch cookies!

The Santa hats were harder than I thought they were going to be…

And we attemped hair and beards. Professional cookie makers…..we are not!

Some cookies are more grinch-y than others. But they are all tasty and wonderfully festive. Now we are ready with cookies for Santa…Bring on Christmas!!

Bread Machine Fail

I grew in a strongly Norwegian and Swedish influenced family. One of my fondest memories was Swedish Rye bread straight out of my Grandpa’s oven slathered in butter. My family makes dark brown loaf flavored with molasses and textured with medium ground rye flour. We omit the caraway seeds and other ingredients some people put in other rye breads.

Well, PB likes when I eat bread so I have been cranking loaves of Swedish Rye out of my bread machine for toast and sandwiches to keep said fetus happy. Jellybean has affectionately nicknamed it “mommy toast” and now requests that for breakfast four or five time a week. Well this latest loaf…..complete flop….literally….

Me thinks that pregnancy brain either mis-measured the yeast and put too much in….or I forgot to the put the salt in to keep the yeast in check. I sliced this loaf and it was dense and awful. Thank goodness for do-overs!

 

Cookie Cravings

Happy New Years to all! Now, maybe it was pregnancy in general or the fact that PB (the nickname I have given this fetus = picky baby) has rejected most things I have tried to eat lately……but I NEEDED rolled sugar cookies this holiday. It was just an irrational craving I could not kick.

I baked a batch two weeks before Christmas and then promptly got an upper respiratory virus and didn’t get anything done for 15 days. I was disappointed the cookies were stale by the time I was ready to frost them. So on Christmas weekend I baked a fresh batch and nabbed some buttercream and decorations from my Aunt Barb. And boy howdy did I go to town!

Everyone else cleared out to go to Ferdinand and I had three hours of peace and frosted quietness. My decorating skills leave something to be desired but the cookies were scrumptious and JUST what I wanted. The cookies didn’t last long either!

What was your holiday craving this year?

Lemon Bars: a Pinterest experiment

I got the urge to bake this past weekend but I didn’t want to invest a lot of time. A Pinterest idea popped into my head, Lemon Bars

All I needed was an angel food cake mix and lemon pie filling. Easy, quick, and low maintenance!

20130527-152222.jpg

I combined the two together in my mixer. Was a bit of a strange texture but I may not have mixed well enough in fear of over mixing.

20130527-152334.jpg

Slipped in a 350 degree oven for 30-32 minutes. It was only slightly brown on top.

20130527-152421.jpg

Then after cooled I cut and served with powdered sugar.

20130527-152525.jpg

It is a very spongy cake. I wouldn’t categorize it as a bar so much. It was very lemony and not overly sweet. Tasty none the less. But next go around I think a lemon icing or glaze would punch up the sweetness to cut the tartness.

This recipe is so easy and quick it’d be great for last minute baking needs. And it’s very pretty on a plate. For a Pinterest recipe this wasn’t too bad. Not the finest I’ve ever had but I’m not one to turn down desert!

Fake Thanksgiving

The hubs and I are invited to a Fake Thanksgiving tomorrow with wonderful friends. I am in charge of bringing pie:

20121110-160125.jpg

(My first try at pumpkin pie, hopefully it’s ok!)

Oh and wine…

20121110-160228.jpg

I might also bring a chocolate creme pie since I’m not a fan of pumpkin. Right now though it’s time for some knitting. I currently have a Rikke Hat by Sarah Young.

Happy Pre Thanksgiving!

A Muffin To Brighten My Monday

Where do you stand on Pinterest recipes?

I love paging through wonderful recipes and creative craft ideas. But I have to admit…..my results have sometimes been less than stellar.

To cheer myself up after my washing machine/sewer overflow problem this past weekend I decided to try a delicious looking recipe from Pinterest, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins.

The instructions were easy and the ingredient list short, so I went from ingredients to finished baked cup cakes in less than 30 minutes. Here is my results:

20121029-102639.jpg

Look great so far, right? I bake in silicone and use a rotation method with my really old and really stubborn oven so that I don’t end up with charcoal bricks.

20121029-102835.jpg

20121029-102848.jpg

Despite my best efforts the bottoms burned and it was really hard to peel the paper. I cooked the least amount of time the recipe suggested. Argh……

20121029-102954.jpg

20121029-103008.jpg

They were ugly BUT they were tasty! The mix of savory peanut butter with the sweet chocolate chips was amazing. The muffin was fairly light and maintained moisture even with the “over caramelization” of the bottom. (But hey, those just pull off right?) The recipe made 16 muffins for me that were about 200 calories apiece.

Next time I think I will use a nuttier tasting PB to punch up the flavor and also skim milk to trim a few calories. I am going to call this a Pinterest success because it was technically my oven and not the recipe that caused me problems.

I packed one of the muffins for breakfast at my desk this morning and my cubicle mate said it smelled wonderful. I doubt they last long in our house!!

Happy Monday!

Nothing Beats the Smell of Baking Bread

My mother is an AMAZING baker, for almost 15 years she churned out homemade buns, biscuits, rolls, crust, and everything in between. All done daily in the local elementary school kitchen for hundreds of hungry tummies. She can make anything from scratch and her cinnamon rolls and pretzels are particularly amazing. This being said I have inherited her taste for fine homemade goods……just not the patience to do it by hand.

Two Christmas’s ago I received a bread machine and last Christmas I got the most wonderful cookbook to go with it, The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook. This book is jam packed with 300+ recipes for both bread in and out of my machine. It’s literally to die for! So thanks to this wonderful book I bring you today, Applesauce Bread!

20121018-102949.jpg

It’s sooooo easy to cook in the bread machine. Step one: add all wet ingredients to bottom of the pan.

20121018-103037.jpg

Step two: mix all dry ingredients together (except yeast) and pour over wet ingredients.

Step three: add yeast on top of dry goods.

Step four: punch in the machine settings for you bread type, hit start, and walk away!

20121018-103220.jpg

The machine does all the mixing, kneading, proofing, and baking! Three hours later you get this….

20121018-103321.jpg

20121018-103336.jpg

This bread turned out golden and perfect. It has a nice dense texture perfect for toast and a lovely hint of apple pie flavor. This recipe gets a star in my copy of the book to definitely use again!

I packed some for breakfast today along with some of my homemade jam and it was beyond delicious for breakfast on this cool autumn morning!

20121018-103621.jpg

The machine lets me be my mothers’ daughter, just in my own way! I love the way my house smells because of baking bread, and this way I still get to knit at the same time!

Stay tuned tomorrow for my FO Friday and one of my largest finished projects ever!!!!

Happy Knitting! (And baking πŸ™‚ )