Sunday, December 12, 2010

Such a busy time of year.

Aside from getting the house ready for showings with realtors, I'm trying to get ready for Christmas.  Unfortunately that hasn't included too much baking lately.  I did pick up some stuff to get shortbread made and that's my plan for this week so I'm hoping to get some posting done on that and have some nice pictures.

We did manage to get out this morning and find our Christmas tree.  We go to the same u-cut every year and we love it.  I would buy it if we could afford it since the owners want to retire but a new house is a little more urgent than a tree lot so I'll have to wait until we win the lottery some day. 

The kids all took turns cutting the tree and they dragged it out of the woods to the truck.  Then we had a little lunch and some hot chocolate right there in the tree lot.  It was great!  I can't wait until we have our decorating party. We're thinking of having an ugly sweater party so that should be a lot of fun.

So I hope you are all having a great holiday season, whatever holiday you might be celebrating.  And if you're not celebrating any particular holiday I hope you're enjoying winter and baking up something yummy!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pics of my "coffee cake"

Sitting at the table having a little snack this afternoon  and Mackenzie was wondering about the cake I made.  After I told her all about it she says "So it's really a coffee cake."  I guess so.

    Here's a picture of it, with some cuts and some pieces just torn off.  It's better the day after too!

   And a picture of a batch of rice crispie cookies Zoe helped me with the other day. They didn't last too long either.
This one I just thought was too cute.  I left some shopping bags in the living room and the kids figured they made good chairs for watching tv!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My twist on things.

I've imposed a diet on the family this week, and it's only because I'm so unhappy with my own weight.  Of course, I'm craving something sweet to have with a cup of tea, so I started to do a batch of my grandmothers cookies minus the chocolate chips.  Then I thought 'hey I have some wheat germ in the cupboard' and I toasted some of that and added it in.  It needed a little something extra so I threw in a spoonful of instant coffee. Zoe keeps telling me (Thanks to the host of Best Recipes Ever) that fat is flavor, but right now we're cutting down on fat so I needed to find something else for a flavor boost.

At this point, I hadn't actually looked at the original recipe and I added too much milk so I had to add extra flour and it ended up being a cake instead of a batch of cookies.But that's ok because it's not too bad.

No picture since the camera is stowed away along with most other things in the house (realtor showing this evening) but maybe tomorrow I'll have a chance to snap a picture before it's all gone.

In the mean time, here's the recipe for you all to try out.

3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp - 1 tbsp instant coffee (depending on how much you want it to taste like coffee)
1/3-1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
Mix all this together and set aside.

Cream together 1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
add 1 egg and 1 can evaporated milk.   I think you could probably use about 3/4 cup of regular milk as well but evaporated milk was all I had on hand tonight.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  When I did it it was like a banana bread consistency.  Bake at 375F for 30 minutes.  Check it with a tooth pick or cake tester to make sure it's done.

I lined the bottom of a round pan with parchment paper and it popped right out no problem.  You can let it cool completely but I cut it after a few minutes. 

I hope some of you try it and let me know how you like it.  My kids seemed pretty happy with it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


In my never ending search for free things online, I came across a few years ago.  It's basically word of mouth marketing.  Companies use BzzAgent to send out some of their product to us agents and all they want in return is for us to talk openly about what we've received, share some of what we get in our BzzKits, and to let them know what people are thinking about it all.

Over the years I've gotten lots of things to try out, some food related, some not.  I've found out about some other interesting web sites from other agents and also gotten little rewards.

Now we can register our blogs with BzzAgent and get exclusive content to use as well as the opportunity to participate in more campaigns. So I've just registered My Baking Babies and we'll have to wait and see what goodies we get to try and talk about.

If you are interested in becoming a BzzAgent or just want to know some more about it, go to BzzAgent

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Fabulous Princess Cake

I'm pretty proud of myself today.  I made Zoe a princess cake like she's been coveting at the supermarket for months and months.  I had the same kind of cake when I was 4 (Thanks Aunt M) so I think it's pretty funny that's what she picked at age 4.

So here it is, along with the birthday girl blowing out the candles.  I'm having a hard time uploading pics tonight so if I can get some kinks worked out later I will post more then.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

finished santa hats

So the hats didn't work out like I wanted them to, since the chocolate got too hot and clumped, but I think the ones that I ended up with after it was all said and done turned out to be pretty cute.

The first thing I had to do was make the ganache, which is just cream and chocolate.  When that was cooled I piped it into a mini ice cream cone.  You can see them to on the left side of the picture in a bowl.  Then we made the cookies that would be the bottom part of the hat.

The recipe we used wasn't that good (first time trying it) so next time we'll use a recipe we know and love.

After baking the cookies we let them cool and then trimmed them to be sure they were round.  Then we put the cones on and they looked like this.  If you overfill the cones a little the ganache will act like glue to keep them in place.
Next step was to get them ready to cover in chocolate so we spread them out on a cooling rack with some parchment paper under the rack to catch the drips.
This is the candy coating we had but when I microwaved it I wasn't very careful and it got too hot.  On to plan B.  I got out the icing, coloring, and piping bag. I piped red stars all over and to finish off put a big blob of white on the top for a pom pom and then some white stars around the bottom to be the fur.

I'll try it again with the candy melts because I think doing it all in icing is just a bit too much, and I might even trim the cones to be a bit shorter (if I have time and patience).  The kids love them though and even before they were all put together some of my babies were nabbing ganache cones to nibble on while watching tv!

Santa Hat Cookies

I have an idea (that I'm changing a little from a halloween recipe I saw this year) for Santa Hat cookies.  The original recipe I saw online and it was small sugar cones filled with ganache laid on top of a flat round cookie and covered in dark chocolate to make a witch's hat.  I'm using mini icecream cones, sugar cookies, and red candy wafers to coat them.  I hope they're going to be as cute when they are done as the picture I have in my head. 

The cones are filled and now I'm going to make the round cookies.  I'll have to get some white icing to make "fur" trim and a pom pom while they are baking.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Birthdays birthdays birthdays.

We have 4 birthdays in our family in November.  1st, 10th, 12th, and 24th.  In between there we have cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends.  We're not even half way through and I'm exhausted already.

But I do love celebrating milestones with our family and I love having the babies help me bake cakes, or in the case of the last two birthdays, cupcakes!

Our little man Hunter's day was the 1st.  He decided on chocolate.

Next was Mackenzie and she wanted a very grown up french vanilla.  Sprinkles courtesy of Zoe.

Tomorrow is mine and Zoe has informed me that they would like to use Mackenzie's giant cupcake pan to make my cake.  I'm really looking forward to that and to spending the day with three of my babies.

Hopefully I'll be back in the swing of blogging soon since the house is on the market and there's no other renovations to be done (knock on wood).  Zoe has requested a princess cake so stay tuned for that.  I had one when I turned 4 too so it's a bit of a big deal that she wants the same cake that I had at that age.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A giant cookie

I decided to bake some of nanny's cookies the other day but Zoe wanted a giant cookie so here it is!  It almost flowed off the baking sheet.

The only other thing I've done this week (besides make curtains and keep organizing the house) was mix up a cake mix from a box.  Maybe the house fairy will come soon and bring me a bigger house with a huge kitchen and a small price tag.  A girl can dream can't she?!

Happy baking and if I'm motivated enough I'll make some popcorn pumpkins with the kiddies by this weekend.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Splitting wood.

Nanny P needed some help splitting wood this weekend (for the wood furnace) so those willing to brave the rain on Saturday went out to help.  Sleeping babies and bad knees kept me from doing too much but I did bring desert and helped out with some food when it was all finished.  The apple crisp seemed to be a hit, which is good since I made so much of it. 

I havent' been doing very much baking but we have managed to get a ton of stuff done with the house, new carpet is going down on Saturday, and the realtor is coming right after that!  I'll be baking in my new kitchen in no time (I hope!)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Great weekend!

I got to spend the weekend with my wonderful family as usual but this weekend we drove to see my aunt and uncle who I don't get to see nearly enough.  It was thanksgiving weekend and a perfect time to take a little post-summer road trip. 

Of course we at too much while we were there but that always happens when we have jiggs dinner.  If you're not familiar with jiggs dinner you don't know what you're missing.  It's basically a traditional Newfoundland boiled dinner consisting of salt beef or pork, potatoes, carrots, turnip, cabbage, peas pudding, and we usually do a roasted chicken and a blueberry pudding.  Everything is put in a pot and boiled for hours. I found this link which has a big of an explanation about where jiggs dinner came from and a recipe at the end but everyone does it just a little bit different and I can't imagine trying to go by a recipe, but then again, I grew up with it.

Anyway, we had the jiggs dinner and a roast turkey and homemade bread that I brought with me.  Even Zoe tried some turnip and cabbage which she never eats.  Yummy!  and I brought some apple blueberry loaf that we picked at after the dinner dishes were cleaned away.

I'm anxious to get back to baking this week but I need some down time to get over the 4 hour drive back home.

Thanks to Aunt L and Uncle L for the great weekend. I can't wait to do it again!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

What's your favorite brownie recipe?

I have to say that my absolute favorite brownie recipe is on the the Fry's coco tin.  My mom always made those for us and the chewy ones on the outside were too irresistible and I had to grab one of those first.  Add some walnuts to the batter and eat it with a glass of ice cold milk and I think I was in heaven.  I think it's a pretty hard recipe to screw up too.

I'm planning on making these either tonight before I go to bed or after the holiday weekend but either way, here's the recipe if you don't have it already.  Might turn out to be desert for Thanksgiving this weekend.  Oh and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating this weekend.

Fry's Fudgy Brownies

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 cup Fry's Cocoa
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.  Melt butter in a large saucepan.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cocoa.  Blend in sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Blend in dry ingredients and nuts.  Pour batter into greased 13x9x2-inch rectangular baking pan.  Bake in preheated 350F oven 30-35 minutes or until done.  Cool.

I'm also going to try to post some of the recipes for other things I've baked lately.  Right now I have another blueberry apple cake in the oven, an apple cake ready to go, and some bread dough rising for something yummy later on.  It's a cold rainy fall day and I'm in a baking mood!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Blueberry Apple Cake

Yesterday's baking project was a blueberry apple cake.  The original recipe is for just blueberries but since I've still got a pile of apples to use I did half apples and half blueberries.  It worked out really well!  How can you go wrong with apples?  or blueberries?

NO pictures since I did it while the kiddies worked on homework and helped at the end with folding in the fruit, but another one will be made tonight and I'll try to get a picture before we eat it all up.  Last night's cake is nearly gone already.  Yummy!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More Tea Buns.

I made three batches of tea buns on Monday and yummmmmmmmm.  I'm not sure if I'm just good at baking or if I'm finding good recipes.  Maybe a combination of both.  I've been baking and cooking since I was a little girl so I must be pretty good at it by now.

Anyway, tea buns.  The recipe is from the Purity/Cream of the West cookbook.  I say both because I'm pretty sure the only thing that is different is the cover.  I've seen both and that's the only thing I can find.

I also want to credit 'campy' for the recipe since they posted it on 50Plus Discussion Forums. and that's where I got it the other day.


Preheat oven to 425 F

Sift together
2 cups Purity Flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

With a pastry blender or two knives cut in finely.
1/2 cup shortening.

Add 1 cup milk.

Stir with a fork to make a soft dough.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 8 to 10 times
Roll or pat to desired thickness (biscuits will double in height when baked)
Cut with a floured 1 3/4 inch cookie cutter
Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet, close together for soft sided biscuits or about 1 inch apart for crusty biscuits.

Bake in preheated 425 F oven for 12 to 15 minutes.  Makes 20 biscuits.

A tea biscuit dough should be soft and slightly sticky. A little kneading improves the quality of the biscuits but should be done with a gentle touch as too much handling tends to make them tough.

I made ham and cheese biscuits again and just added 1C of sharp cheddar cheese and 1C diced ham right before I added the milk so that it would all be mixed in evenly. 

I also made apple cinnamon raisin tea biscuits.  And wouldn't you know it, they were all gone yesterday.  I had to guess at amounts but I must have guessed right.  With the dry ingredients I added 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.  Then after the butter was cut in I added two apples (peeled, cored and diced), and I didn't measure but it was around 3/4C of raisins that I rehydrated in some boiling water for a few minutes.  It just makes them softer and nicer in the biscuit. 

Both kinds are baked the same as a regular biscuit so additions are the only changes.  I think if you add something fairly wet, like pineapple, you might have to add some more flour or decrease the milk amount but I'll experiment some more as soon as I get to the store to replenish my baking powder supply. Maybe I'll do raisins dates and walnuts next, or chocolate chip, or cornmeal cheddar and jalapeno, or.......

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Are ours better???

I stopped for coffee and tea biscuits this morning...ham and cheese biscuits to be exact.  Oh and mediocre coffee.  But as I was eating I thought 'I have ham home in the fridge and I also have several big blocks of cheese in the freezer.  I could make these!'. So that's what we did and YUMMMMMMMMM.  If I could find my pastry blender I'd go into business.  NO not really but I'm certainly going to make some more and find some room in my tiny little freezer.  They will be great to take out for a quick breakfast or mid-morning (afternoon, midnight, anytime) snack.

Zoe helped me, as usual, and we think hers turned out a little fluffier than mine.  Delicate little hands???  Maybe.  But all of them are super yummy and I'm sure won't last past tomorrow.  Oh Lord help my waistline!!!!!

I also took some pics of my mini chicken burgers that I mentioned yesterday, and I found some pictures of the bread and calzones that I made last weekend. Oh where is the time going?????  It seems like I just made all that stuff.  But I guess it's October 2 already and soon we'll be trick-or-treating and then into birthdays and then Christmas.  So much baking, so little time.....and with that here are some pictures.

You want me to eat what????

Here's my giant calzone.
Mini chicken burgers (nuggets)

Fresh bread right from the oven.

The final product. mmmmmmmmmm

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mini Chicken Burgers

No pics of this (yet), but I made the perfect size chicken burgers for the kids the other day.  I cooked regular sized chicken nuggets and put them on the mini buns that I got from Superstore.  Add some ketchup, cheese, or whatever else they wanted, and voila, mini chicken burgers!!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Looking for apple recipes....with regular ingredients.

I've been looking for apple recipes, since I have 80 lbs of apples to use up, and a lot of the recipes I have been finding have such odd ingredients in them.  Who has blond cane sugar, quinoa flour, tapioca flour, or sweet rice flour on hand in their pantry all the time or any time for that matter.  I found one recipe that sounded super yummy and the picture was fabulous but out of about 15 ingredients, I only had 3 and one of them was water!

So here's my plea for recipes with everyday ingredients.  I've got a pretty well stocked pantry and I don't mind having to go get a few different things but as normal as possible is always better in my books.

Today was a successful day with some caramel apple pecan squares, and some oatmeal apple bars.  Recipes and pics later on!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


We took the babies apple picking this weekend and boy did they pick.  We came home with about 80 lbs of apples and 10 lbs of pears.  and no my hunt is on for apple recipes.  We made some apple butter yesterday and my task later this evening is to put that in containers and then maybe make a cake or some muffins.

The rest of our weekend was spent painting the house (getting ready to sell) and taking the kids to gymnastics so we didn't have a whole lot of time for anything else.

Here are some pics from our time in the orchard!
mmmmmmm apples

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Grandmother's Chocolate Chip Cookies

I sent out a message looking for the ultimate chocolate chip and ultimate oatmeal cookie recipe.  My cousin L sent me a copy of our grandmother's chocolate chip recipe.  Needless to say, I ate way too many cookies last night.

Everyone helped out and I think nan would be proud.  I'm posting some pictures of making them, baking, the final product, and my little man after he ate one of them.  Yummy!

Everyone putting in the chocolate chips.
Into the oven they go.
Finished Product Slowly Cooling
Sooooooo yummy!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

It' a start.

I've just set up a basic template and as I get some more time over the next day or two we'll get some good stuff posted here....mmmmm yummy baked goods from my Baking Babies.

No guarantees of how consistent I will be on posting, in the beginning anyway, but I will try my best to bake a few times a week and get stuff posted as soon as the kiddies are in bed.

For now, here are a few pictures of some local ingredients and some things we've made since it's been cool enough to turn on the oven and of course the babies who help me in my tiny kitchen.