Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Frosting for the Cause: Moon Pies

Hey everyone!  I'm guest posting over at Frosting for the Cause today, and I made moon pies for the occasion.  Check it out!!

Update 8/18/13:  It seems as though the Frosting for the Cause website is no longer up :( However, I have reposted the story and recipe HERE.

Frosting for the Cause

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Snow Day Baking

It's almost amusing to talk about the snow day we had a couple of weeks ago, considering that the temperature the last few days has been in the 70's!  Crazy, I know.  But anyway, we had a snow day at the beginning of the month.  Well, honestly, it was more of a snow-covered-ice with sub-zero windchill day.  The schools closed.  My husband even stayed home from work!  So, of course I wanted to bake.  And bake I did!

I was able to cross making challah bread off my learn-to-do list, which was awesome!  My loaf of bread certainly wouldn't win any beauty contests, but it definitely tasted good.  I used this recipe from Red Star Yeast (which I love by the way!), and I would use it again.  I mixed it up in the bread machine, then shaped it by hand and baked it in the oven.  I must make challah bread more often!!

I also tried the Baking Illustrated chocolate chip cookies via Brown Eyed Baker.  I don't know if it was just me, but the dough was super crumbly, not the stick-together cookie dough I was expecting.  But it worked.  The instructions for how to form the cookies may sound lengthy, but if you're going for a certain "look" to your cookies, it's worth it.  I used some Ghirardelli chocolate chips that I had found at Sam's, and they're larger than normal chocolate chips.  I thought they were fine, but my family didn't seem to like them as much as the cookies I usually make.  I did make them a bit smaller than the recipe instructed and got 2 dozen cookies.

I fired up the bread machine a second time for cinnamon raisin bread.  I decided to try a new recipe this time, also from Red Star Yeast.  My kids love cinnamon raisin bread (ok, I do too) so there's not much to say, except it was good!

And then the blueberry coffee cake muffins from Ina Garten.  Delicious.  I will seriously make these again.  My husband's office was probably happy that we had a snow day.  I haven't sent many baked goods to the office lately, but they got the majority of the leftovers the next day.  :)  So, what do you do when you have a snow day??

Enjoy!  :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

French Bread Pizza

Sometimes it's the simple things in life that are the best.  Like French bread pizza.  So quick and easy to put together.  And yet so good.  I had originally planned on making homemade pizza for supper on Monday, Valentine's Day.  But it was Monday.  Who had the bright idea to make Valentine's Day on a Monday?  I mean, seriously. 

So, when I made a quick grocery store run earlier in the day I bought a loaf of French bread and decided we would go that route.  And get this, the bread was the only thing I had to buy.  Everything else was already in my pantry or fridge.  That means this meal only cost me 95 cents.  That's right.  Less than a dollar...if you only count what I had to buy yesterday.  :)  Even so, counting everything I used for it, less than 10 bucks, easy. 

Random, but the bread came off the "day old" cart.  My mom used to call that the "used bread".  Honestly.  And the bread thrift store?  Yeah, the used bread store.  Anyway...

I like to split the loaf in half lengthwise, but the kids like it sliced, so I did a little of both.  I whipped up some of my favorite pizza sauce, spooned that on, added some cheese and toppings, and baked in a 450'F oven for about 6-7 minutes.  And ta-da!!  Supper! 

Enjoy!  :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Random Pet Peeve

So, this is just a random pet peeve of mine.  Have you ever noticed on cooking shows and other TV spots that the chef will handle raw meat, and then dig his hand right into the salt bowl, or grab the pepper mill?  So. Not. Cool. You know they know better.  Or at least you sure hope so.  But they do it anyway.  I'm sure it has something to do with not wanting to take away precious seconds out of the well-scripted time slot to properly wash their hands or something.  But hello!!  Food safety, people.  It just irks me.

Any why, do you ask, am I ranting about this today?  Well, because in the winter, my hands get so dry that my knuckles will start to crack if I don't watch it.  And repeatedly washing my hands during the day doesn't help matters.  But I do it anyway.  When we had a snow day a while back, I did a lot of cooking and baking.  And a lot of hand washing.  And watching of cooking shows on TV.  ;)  And that's when I really go to thinking about this issue.  It just sends the wrong impression to the viewer, in my opinion.

I wouldn't classify myself as a germophobe, but I do wash my hands often.  I have kids, and I cook/bake a lot, and well, I just want to be clean!!  So that's it.  My random pet peeve and vent for the day.

Now, where did I put that hand sanitizer...

Image Credit:  Soap bubbles by the Italian voice

Friday, February 4, 2011

And the Winner Is...

First, thank you all so much for the birthday wishes!!

Sorry it took me a little longer than planned to get the winner drawn.  A group of almost 20 wild and crazy 8 & 9 year olds playing laser tag and eating pizza took my attention.  :)

The winner, chosen by random.org is commenter number 2 -- Jen!!  And you're right, I'm not sure what you can't buy at Amazon.  I need you to email me to arrange (electronic) delivery of your gift certificate!  alphabet dot soup at live dot com  Thanks!!

Enjoy!  :)