mocha chip meringues

This was something completely new for me, which is always exciting, but also makes me a little nervous that I might mess up. The guy told me that he loves meringue cookies, so that didn’t put any pressure on me at all.  So after sweating away in the kitchen, the guy and I devoured a half dozen of these in one afternoon. Addictive little crunchy and fluffy buggers.

I used this recipe from Martha Stewart. I think next time I will try smoothing them out a little more on top, but I also kinda like the DQ swirls on top of them.

meringues meringues2


lemon poppyseed muffins

I am on an ongoing journey to find a muffin recipe that makes those big muffins with the big fat tops on them. I read somewhere that the secret was using yogurt, or something like that to give your muffin some oomph when its baking. I used a recipe similar to this, and added some lemon zest and poppy seeds.

One of the best parts of making muffins or cupcakes is putting the little cupcake liners in the pan. Instantly makes me feel like I am in the kitchen with my ma.poppyseed5

This batter is super thick. I imagine you could maybe put it in a loaf pan and make bread too.poppyseed4

The recipe said it makes 12 muffins. I checked multiple times. So I made only 12 (overflowing) muffins.poppyseed3

I skipped a glaze on top, since its mostly sugar, and we are trying to be a little healthy here.poppyseed2

And here is the huge muffin! Perfect for our Sunday brunch. I don’t think it is my perfect muffin recipe yet, but by george, it sure has a glorious top on it.poppyseed1


granola bars

It is quite a shame that not all treats are easy to mail. I wish I knew how to send a pie in the mail. It would be the best feeling to know that someone is going to get your pie in the mail at any minute.

I needed a treat to send to all my wedding peeps, but it needed to not be melty, and to hold up for a couple days while it flies across the country. I decided on granola bars. Because they are like the universally eaten treat.granolabar4

I used this recipe here. It was pretty easy. Basically you mix stuff together.granolabar3

At this point, you resist the urge to crumble it all up and keep it for yourself.granolabar2

Chop em up into bars. I got somewhere between 40-50 bars that seemed perfect sized.granolabar1

I ended up dipping them in chocolate. To be fancy.granolabar5

I would make these again any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Because people consume more granola on Sunday than other days. I would try making them with some dried fruit and coconut, or mini marshmallows and tiny chocolate chips. Or just tiny m&m’s mixed in. Or just plain.


peach crisp and vanilla ice cream

I usually stick with something apple-y for dessert on the Fourth, but I decided to try peaches this year. I really wanted peach pie at the wedding, but they weren’t in season there yet. So I have had a hankering ever since.

Our air conditioning decided not to work that day. I think it was making a point that it was a holiday. So I tried to get all my baking done in the morning before it got blazing hot. I managed to make a peach crisp and the ice cream base before noon. I called my ma to ask if it was ok that the ice cream never got fluffy enough, and she assured me that it will taste just fine. She is always right.

peachcrisp2 peachcrisp3 peachcrisp1


getting closer

Today, we are baking. Tomorrow, we are getting married. I am trying to make sure I remember everything.

mass production of cookies


christmas cookie baking

In my house growing up, you got “fired” from certain jobs if you weren’t doing good work. I rarely got fired from anything, but I was promoted very quickly up the cookie making ranks. The cookie baking sessions at Christmas are always some of my most favorite times of the year.

Santa brought me a couple of new (and old) cookbooks, so I am looking forward to all the kitchen adventures soon to come in the new year!

xmas cookie1 xmas cookie2 xmas cookie2 xmas cookie3 xmas cookie4 xmas cookie5 xmas cookie6


christmas candy

For our Christmas goody bags this year, we went with a selection of candy. I have only made a couple kinds of candy before, so it was fun to experiment. Secret: candy making really isn’t all that hard.

We made gingerbread caramels (on which I burned my thumb very badly…). It was so satisfying to wrap the little squares in parchment.caramel

We made gingerbread cookie ornaments (not candy, but still in our goody bags). I actually had to put a label that said the cookie was for your tree, not your mouth. But, despite the presence of a piece of ribbon going through a hole in its head, people still ate it!gingerbread man

We made sweet and spicy peanut brittle, which turned out really delicious.peanut brittle

And we made candied citrus peels, because we are engaged now, and these seem more grown-up and fancy.candied citrus


the season of christmas cookies

I have the best memories of baking with my ma at all times of the year, but holiday baking is always special. There is just something about a big plate of beautiful cookies at Christmas that bring out the warm fuzzies.

thumbprints

If you are in the market for some cookie recipes, check out my list of 100 cookie recipes here. Now that I am looking through the list, I might make a batch of these animal cookies to give to the little ones I babysit.

animal cookies


bake time: chewy chocolate cookies

Sometimes, you just need a cookie. And then sometimes, you also need one at work the next day on a post-it plate.

chocolate peanut butter cookie

These chocolate cookies with peanut butter chips are chewy and fudgey, and made me really popular at the office.


Another good idea stolen by someone else

So this weekend while the Girl was baking up a storm, I had an idea that someone should be making phone and tablet accessories that protected people’s devices while they used them to look up recipes and cook in the kitchen! I had thought I was on to something because when I searched for the phrase “case for phone while cooking or baking” it returned limited results that appeared promising to me that I might have stumbled across an untapped market…

Screen Shot 2012-12-09 at 10.32.53 PMThat is until I found www.chefsleeve.com which looks like they have a fairly good stranglehold on the cooking/baking protective cases for the iPad and iPhone. I have to admit that their cutting board with iPad holder is simple, yet ingenius…

Screen Shot 2012-12-09 at 10.36.34 PMOh well! Maybe there’s still time for me to tap into the Android market…


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