baking

How Bazaar

Nutella Shortbread for this year’s Christmas Bazaar at our Church.  

 

If I’d known that I’d be administrating email password resets for hundreds of customers this week, I don’t think I would have said yes to baking  cookies for the annual Christmas Bazaar at church. 

Want to make people angry? Ask them to upgrade their email passwords and then tell them they can’t use their name or their domain name in their password. It’s a guaranteed head spinner.

But I did say yes. Yes to 6 dozen cookies and by gum, I’m a girl of my word. Even if my word is “by gum”–and that’s really a phrase. 

Of course, one might arch a well groomed eyebrow or not at my choice to try a completely new recipe when a standby would be quicker. Saner. Safer. However, I felt a bit challenged. When I asked what kind of cookie was desired, I was told, “Oh, you can make chocolate chip.”

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Role Reversal Muffins

I already love him for the Almond Milk Mocha each morning, but now I’m willing to follow him into battle. Muffins, friends. MUFFINS. 

 

Most of you are Evidently readers, so you know: IZ cooks. I bake. But lately, we’ve found ourselves playing Freaky Friday in the Kitchen. (that could totally be a comic book. You’re welcome)

I’ve been cooking more and more. Right now, work-life for IZ means 70-80 hour work weeks… he doesn’t feel like cooking and fast food got old in August. I’ve been pinning recipes and seriously folks, I actually made something last week that was NOT chicken based. Though, there was orzo, so I still haven’t kicked the pasta habit just yet. I’m not going to be trying out for any cooking shows—but I’m learning to follow a recipe without burning the house down, we’re calling that a WIN. 

And IZ, because I think he misses his kitchen, has taken to baking muffins.

I love him for that. 

I know that eventually life will settle down and IZ will find himself back in the kitchen. Though, he professes his love for my food —  this is also the man who tells me I’m beautiful in my fat jeans, so he’s not to be trusted — he is a true chef and no amount of my adapting really good recipes touches what he makes in the kitchen. I’m just hoping that when we come up for air and find our rightful places, there will still be muffins.

Lots of muffins. (recipe after the jump) Continue reading →

Cardamom Bread

Not even trying with this photo. Because, it’s too good to waste time taking photos when you could be eating tasty bread.

 

Poor IZ is laid up with bronchitis. He’s been sick for a week and on enough meds to make me thankful we at least have decent insurance on the prescription front. He’s always had sketchy lungs, but this is his first bout with bronchitis in a couple of years. I thought after struggling to cough and sleep and generally cope with 70 hour weeks on top of an illness he deserved a bit of comfort food.

So, I got up (skipped church!) and baked him 4 loaves of Cardamom bread.

There are times when you just need old fashioned medicine to get over a nasty bug. Time off from work (stop answering emails, IZ!), lots of fizzy water, and homemade bread.

I hope it’s a step up from the salines and golden oreos he’s been existing on for the past week.

Anyhow, I put this recipe up on Evidently 2 years ago, but I’ll post it here too. The recipe makes 3 large loaves, but this time I opted to divide the dough into 4ths; I think I like the smaller loaves better. I’d suggest popping one of the loaves into the freezer to enjoy at a later date, but. . . who are we kidding? I mean, it’s Cardamom bread. If you’re willing to devote the hours it takes to make this stuff, you totally deserve to consume it while it’s hot and fresh. Recipe under the fold.

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On This Week’s Agenda

Pie!  We’re traditionalists at heart.

 

It’s nearly the 4th of July, but unlike most years I’m not so frazzled. My traditional schedule of deep cleaning the house right before the arrival of guests over the holiday was put on hold this year. IZ’s sister isn’t feeling up to making the drive this holiday(it is a hike out to Astoria!) because she has to work the next day. So, while we will miss getting to visit, I’m not running around like a nutty person cleaning things that no-one will ever see.

Of course, that means I’m not running around like a crazy person cleaning. Um. That might be a problem. We’ve not reached code “pig-stye” yet, but we’re on the way if I don’t get to that long to-do list.  That’s the upside to incoming relatives: I get compulsive about cleaning the house. Otherwise, I find different things to occupy my time… the yard calls, I answer. The thrift store beckons, I succumb. The lounge chair and a good book and a cup of tea, and I have a case of cleaning amnesia. Cleaning? What’s that? 

However, while the deep cleaning frenzy will be happily over-looked by the men in this house, I’m not off the hook for baking pie. It’s just not the 4th of July without pie. IZ asked if I wanted to cheat this year, but it’s Cherry Pie. I’d prefer to cheat on hard things. Like laundry. Or painting. Or exercise! No, Cherry Pie is easy. So, in addition to breathing, I’m baking. You know, sometime between that book, the lounge chair, and a cup of tea. 

It’s all on a week’s agenda. 

Beet and Cheddar Tarts

It’s the new in thing to do, winging recipes and pretending to know what you’re doing. Yes, those are un-peeled beets. 

 

Aren’t these tarts pretty? Gorgeousness. If color was the only factor, I’d already be a fan of beets. What’s not to love about that ruby red  juice that pools on your plate and sticks to your fingers and stains you clothes. Wearing white, what was I thinking?

But color is only part of the issue. Following the recipe, it turns out, is also in play. Who knew? So, this is my Beet Redemption Check-in… and well… oh, just read it. 

I left my puff pastry (that Pepperidge Farms so lovingly made for me. They’re awesome like that) on the counter to thaw and made a quick dash to the Thrift Store. A quick dash, hahaha. When I got home an hour late and found myself pressed for time,  I just began making these tarts without reviewing the recipe. Save for a quick  glance at the necessary oven temperature I was working off of my memory. 

Oops.

That’s how I missed Martha’s very clear instructions that I should not only scrub my beet, I should also peel it. 

To my credit, I scrubbed. And scrubbed. And these little tarts baked for 17 minutes at 400 degrees, so I’m not too worried about poisoning us. But I think that peel might have altered how the beet baked and I’m not sure I’m in love with the texture. The rest of the tart is divine; cheddar and puff pastry and apple and thyme.  It’s possible, that I really dislike beets. However, I’m not willing to admit defeat yet, so let’s just say it’s my reading skills. Or lack thereof. 

Beets 1: Wende 0 (though, if you adore beets you’ll love this recipe!) 

Recipe below the fold.

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