Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘baking’

Kitchen Adventures

Who doesn’t love a good kitchen adventure?  Whenever I enter the kitchen I always expect the unexpected.  That’s not to say I’m a bad cook, but with Husby being such a good cook I “let” him spend more time in the kitchen than I do.  Because of that I get a little out of practice.

My latest adventures started with making Milano cookies, from scratch.  OK, so they’re not actually Milano cookies, but same diff.  I thought it would be fun to try something new.  They were putzy, but well worth it.

First you make the dough tubes.

Bake dough tubes until they turn into oval cookies.

Top one cookie with chocolate and top with another cookie and you’ve got so much cookie goodness you won’t believe it.  The putzy part comes with the baking time – 15 minutes per pan times about 5 pans.  When it comes to cookies that’s too long, because who wants to wait to eat a cookie?  It was so worth it though.  They were much more substantial than the store-bought kind, and Husby said he liked them better!  I did too.

For Easter I thought I’d make some homemade buttermint candies.  I made them once before, but forgot how 5 1/4 cups of powdered sugar can make the kitchen covered with sweet dust.

I thought the pictures could capture how utterly dusty things got, but compared to what I saw in real life these pictures are pretty tame.  However, the end results were great.  These little pillows of sweetness are set out to dry for at least 8 hours before serving or storing.  Another long wait!

Last, but not least, an important PSA for those who prepare food with hands versus utensils.  Secure your jewels, or this might happen when you’re mixing your meatloaf with your bare hands.

Luckily I noticed it before the mixing was complete.  Diamonds and gold aren’t great for the digestion.

Time spent in the kitchen is never wasted time.  Despite the time (anxiously awaiting the finished product), mess, and occasional jewelry mishap I’d have to say making food is something everyone should know how to do.  Adventures happen everywhere, even in the kitchen.  Enjoy!

 

Read Full Post »

Cherry Poutons

Once upon a time I knew a woman who used to love hearing me describe the food I made.  When I would have company I would describe the meals in detail she said it made her mouth water just hearing about it.  I was under the impression she was one of those women who didn’t have much time to cook, what with kids and all their after-school activities and whatnot.  Seriously, her kids were involved in sports and music and any other kind of activity that would keep them occupied nonstop.  I felt kind of sorry for them, the kids, as it didn’t seem like they had any time to just play or hang out, much less eat some decent food.

I remember one year she told me about how she took some time with her youngest child who might have been about ten or twelve years old.  They made some Christmas cookies together.  She was surprised when her son told her that was the best thing about Christmas that year, making cookies.

Tonight I made a batch of cookies that took but an hour to mix, bake, drizzle, and clean up, doing the dishes by hand.  There is no reason to not make cookies, especially at Christmas time.  If you’ve got kids they can join in with the fun.  Or at least lick the bowl.  It takes no time at all.

I never had kids, but I do have Husby.  He stays clear of the kitchen when I’m doing my Christmas baking, but is always available to sample what I’ve made and loves the sweet morsels right out of the oven.  Tonight’s cookies were new.  When he looked at them he announced, “Cherry Poutons!”  The name was a spontaneous labeling of what he saw, no matter that it didn’t mean anything.  Except for the cherry part.  There were actually cherries involved, but neither of us knows where the “pouton” came from.  I don’t even know what the cookies are titled on the recipe, but forever more they’ll be referred to as Cherry Poutons.

Christmas baking makes memories.  Like the boy who will always remember that time he made cookies with his mom.  Like a new favorite that will be known as Cherry Poutons.  I hope the tradition of baking Christmas cookies never dies and that none of us are ever too busy to treat ourselves to the sweetness that comes with the season.

Read Full Post »

Butter and Sugar

Christmas is coming.  Sooner than I think.  But I’m trying to maintain my cool and enjoy the minutes I’m taking in preparation.  Of course there are the gifts.  I’m pretty much decided on what I want to give people, some gifts which are already bought or made, others which are still on the list of things to make/buy.  I don’t have long, and the longer I wait the less options I have in case something goes horribly wrong.  You know, like if I can’t find what I’m looking for.  And that can happen easily with a person who doesn’t like to shop anyway.

Charlotte is all done with her shopping, at least I assume so.  She always seems so with it when it comes to Christmas.  I’m jealous of her organizational skills and every New Year’s Eve I vow to become more like her when it comes to getting things done.  But besides the gifts (of which I have most) my preparations aren’t anything to smirk at.  That is to say, things are moving along quite well.

I spent most of the day baking.  I like the baking part of Christmas.  And even though Husby is the one who does most of the cooking around this house, I’m the baker.  When it comes to entertaining I’m not only the baker, but I’m also the cook.  Every year Charlotte and I have a holiday gathering for our family.  She does hers on Christmas Eve morning every year.  I usually grab a weekend evening that’s available for everyone, which isn’t always easy considering the schedules of the eight of us.

But I digress.  Sugar, butter, and flour were my best friends today.  Christmas cookies are a must at my house.  Husby is always more than willing to sample the cookies, candies, and other delectable treats I make for us and for any entertaining we might do through the season.

I’m happy with what I accomplished today, even though it wasn’t nearly as much as I would have liked to do.  Those pesky household chores get pushed to the back burner when it comes to Christmastime but can’t be ignored completely.  Luckily I multi-tasked and got some laundry done in between cookie batches.

Now I just have to find some time for dusting.  Maybe tomorrow.

Read Full Post »

The plan was to make some clam and pasta soup for dinner.  There was also a plan for snow and slippery roads.  I wondered what I could do instead of going to the store to buy some bread sticks or ciabatta rolls to go with the soup.  Make popovers, of course!

Lots of people think popovers are difficult and complicated.  Guess what?  There are only four ingredients and chances are better than good you have them all in your house right now.  Eggs, milk, flour and salt.  Who would guess these four ingredients would make such a delicious accompaniment to a winter evening soup?  The best thing about popovers is that everyone thinks they’re really fancy ~ only you’ll know they’re the easiest thing you could ever make from scratch.  I love them hot out of the oven with some a substantial amount of butter on them.

I make them in popover tins, but you can use custard cups or even muffin tins.

I use a basic recipe from Betty Crocker.  The recipe offered online is the same as it is in my cookbook, which is about thirty years old.  The classics last forever.

 

Read Full Post »

I haven’t been blogging much lately because I’ve been so busy with all that comes with the Christmas season. That includes baking Christmas cookies. While I’m baking cookies for the season lots of things go through my head. Like, what makes this particular cookie a “Christmas cookie” for me? Why don’t I make cookies more often throughout the rest of the year? And this year I had to wonder, is baking Christmas cookies (or any cookies for that matter) an obsessive/compulsive’s dream, or nightmare?

Take, for example, these lovely little morsels. They have to be shaped into “small” balls. Without the help of one of Martha Stewart’s completely neurotic cookie dough baller thingies, one must be very careful to use the exact amount of dough in each cookie and shape them in to perfectly round balls.

Not only do the dough balls have to be perfectly round, they also have to be perfectly spaced on the cookie sheet.

Then, two minutes, exactly two minutes, before they’re complete, chocolate stars must be placed in the middle of the nearly baked cookies, then baked for two more minutes.  Did you hear me?  The chocolate stars must be placed in the middle.  It would be wrong to have a lopsided cookie.

The thing is, I don’t think I’m too obsessive or compulsive when it comes to baking cookies.  However, when I noticed how absolutely perfectly I executed this project I thought an obsessive/compulsive would be proud.  And what’s more, the recipe said the batch makes “about” sixty cookies.  About?  My yield was exactly sixty cookies.  I’m the boss of Peanut Blossoms.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: