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Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Some things worth remembering/mentioning about 2010.  In no particular order.

California– after wanting to go since I was probably 8 (when my Grandma started promising Disneyland), I finally went this summer.  Even better: I met one of my best friends there for some girl time!  First time west of Colorado!

I’ve tried out many new recipes this past year, but the one that stands out the most to me right now is the French Macaroons.  Probably because it’s something you see pretty pictures of all the time, and I’ve wanted to make for a while.  These were delicious!  Too bad I didn’t get any pics of the actual ones I made.  Borrowed this one from Martha. 🙂  As a side note– I’m now the proud owner of a signed copy of this year’s Holiday Cookie magazine thanks to my baby  brother Taylor and his girlfriend Dana (who’s sister is Martha’s assistant!).  These cookies are also a step forward in my quest to master the pastry (see my list of 100 things to do before I die).

Speaking of Baby Brother– he moved away to go to college in Macon, Georgia this past fall.  It’s sad to have him so far away, and that he’s sort of an adult now! 🙂

In the sewing department I’ve feel like I’ve made some fairly good headway this year.  Sewed many new things, including a few dresses for Lillian.  One of which caused me to tackle (and conquer!) my fear of sewing with Satin.  Now I’ll be all set for her prom dresses. lol.   Hopefully I’ll have some better pics to share of this soon!

Find out that Toney baby #3 was on his way was definitely a big deal!  We are eagerly awaiting his March 18 due date.  I’m hoping I can make it that long. 🙂

We had a rather exciting Christmas present this year!  My sweet new nephew, Jude!

Even though it didn’t change things much THIS year, it’s worth noting that my parents celebrated their 30th anniversary this year!  Not many people married when they are 18 make it so long, and I know it hasn’t always been easy.  What marriage is, really?  Congrats to them, and thanks for all your hard work! 🙂

Our family has grown in more ways than one this year!  In August we traveled to Wisconsin to see my brother, Nicholas, marry his beautiful wife, Staci.  Glad to have another female (and sister) in the Campbell family.  We need them. 🙂   She can also whip the guys butt in most games.

And on the Toney side we got a new brother when Chad’s sister Gretchen married her long-time boyfriend, Jeff.  It’s nice to have another “kid” at all the family functions.

This year we’ve been getting used to having an actual Kindergartner among us.  It was going a little better before we had to take a 3 week recess!

We started hard-core homeschooling this year, and I’m facing my fear of teaching Brendan how to read.  It’s actually going fairly smoothly… especially compared to teaching him to write neatly!!

Well, that’s a very quick look at the last year, but now it’s time to start looking ahead!  Next post, we’ll go for Goals for 2011!

More Cakes

Posted on: June 1, 2010

I’ve done more cake baking than sewing lately.

Martha Stewart’s Graduation cake.  Yummy dutch chocolate cake, with tuiles on top to look like diplomats.  I couldn’t find candy ribbon easily, so I just used twizzlers.   Not exactly a big hit on a really hot day outside.  Something to remember.  The regular old chocolate chip cookies I made were all gone by the end of the day though (not that I don’t love them too).

The cheesecake I made for Chad’s birthday party/Memorial day celebration went over a little better.  I just finished off this last piece after taking the pic. 🙂  I got the recipe from a friend whose version was better in my opinion.  Maybe it was a substitution I made.  Maybe she’s just a better cook.  It has orange zest in the cheesecake,  orange marmalade on top, and chocolate shavings.  Yum.  The only cheesecake I might prefer over the traditional plain with fruit topping.

My uncle Brad also brought homemade strawberry icecream with fresh strawberries from his garden.  Too bad I didn’t have that to finish off this afternoon.  Mmmmm.

Yumminess

Posted on: March 1, 2010

Just thought I’d share one of my tried and true cookie recipes.  The only one I actually crave besides your regular chocolate chip actually.  It’s from Best of Country Cookies: Mmmmm! More than 250 of the best cookie recipes from our national contest. From Taste of Home.

Meet: Peanut Butter Jumbos (they’re even sorta healthy!)

1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 tsps baking soda
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup miniature M&M’s

In a large mixing bowl, cream peanut butter, butter, and sugars.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.  Combine oats and baking soda; gradually add to cream mixture.  Stir in chips and M&M’s.  Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls 2 in apart onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-13 minutes or until edges are browned.  Remove to wire racks to cool.  Yield: 9 dozen

Enjoy!

BTW I almost always halve this recipe– it’s huge!

Pictures: Part of my fabric stash.  Photo credits belong to my very helpful assistant Olivia.  Then my already messy brand new craft table that C found for me FOR FREE! Much better than the previous cardboard table.

Outside:  Very cold.  Little bits of snow on the ground.  I’m ready for spring!  And more sunlight.

In My Kitchen: Mainly just been baking lots of bread.  Most recently a Pumpkin Brioche from Healthy Bread if 5 Minutes a Day. I used it to make a crescent roll.  I have to admit that the shape was the only thing like a crescent roll.  Way too healthy. 🙂  It baked up much better as a loaf today.  Tomorrow– either donuts with the leftover dough, or french toast with the bread.

I am wearing: Jeans, v-neck sweater that is a lot more comfy that cool, and brown t-shirt.  Wool socks of course.  It’s cold!  Didn’t I mention that?

Can’t Wait For: Energy.  I’ve been feeling very drained lately.  For no good reason in case you are wondering.

Current Read:  Still working my way through the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy.   It’s good, I just haven’t been reading much lately. I go in stages.  Plus, I’m a little annoyed with both Kristin, and her husband.  Especially her bum of a  husband though.  Also, reading Pilgrims Progress for the first time since elementary school (so really for the first time).

I am hoping: to learn to be a better businesswoman/ salesperson.

Around the house: some new curtains going up.  A purchase of counter tile should happen this weekend.  If I’m lucky.  More on both soon (I hope).

Simple Pleasures:  L’s new habit of singing “I love ____”  over and over.  The first time it was pancakes.  Today we graduated to Daddy.  She’s a sweety.

Creativity:  should have some pics up soon of some of the stuff I’ve been working on.  Changing one of the purse patterns for the shop.  One purse has shown up from that endeavor, but I doubt it’s the final pattern even though I have gotten some good feedback about it.  Clothes and curtains for L.  Now working of filling some special orders including something like my 30th diaper bag.

Plans for the Weekend: Just realized purchasing tile was on my last update.  Who knew tile could be so elusive!

Family Update:  Our cat did come back.  He’s been driving me a little crazy lately actually.  But that hasn’t been a hard thing to lately to be honest.  Did I mention I need sunlight?  hehe

Lillian:  is so affectionate towards B.  It makes me so happy to see them hugging on each other.

Brendan:  is  a pretty good big brother.  Even helpful at times!  I can’t believe how big he’s getting.  Easier to take him places these days too.  Unless his Daddy keeps him up playing Xbox that is.  =P

Valentines Day:  was a good one this year.  Unexpected/undeserved  presents.  A  fun date (even though it didn’t quite meet our expectations).  Made Chad a yummy steak and potatoes meal too.

Outside: Snow snow snow!  And it’s freezing!

In My Kitchen:  I’ve tried out a couple recipes from my new cookbook.  It’s turning out to be as good as THE COOKBOOK, which I never stop raving about.  So Far I’ve made “Holy Moly!  Strawberry Jam Rolly Polly” for New Years day’s breakfast.  Plus, the lovely cupcakes from L’s b-day party were “Pinkalicious Princess Cupcakes”.  I love using these cookbooks as much as I love eating the goods (well, almost).  The thing I’m most excited about having made for Christmas is the delicious cream puff tree from the front of the martha stewart living magazine.  Mine doesn’t quite look the same, but the taste more than made up for it!  Thanks to Gretchen for modeling it for me!

I am wearing: I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve been so busy today trying to catch up from the weekend and caring fora  sick kiddo (L) that I am still in my pjs!  It’s already naptime!  I guess I should change.

Can’t Wait For:  Spring!  I’m not usually one to hurry along the seasons, but I’m done with this cold weather!

Current Read:  I am absolutely IN LOVE with my new book The Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art, and the Comforts of Home.   It is like it was written for me! 🙂 The author, Jane Brocket, also has a blog you should check out: Yarnstorm.  A favorite quote:

“… a great part of the gentle art of Domesticity is an acceptance and then a valuing of repetition.  Although I admit that I’ll never be thrilled with many aspects of repetitive housework, I have discovered some more pleasurable domestic patterns that, like the hypnotic ice-skating, I am more than happy to repeat.

Every project or creation has its own mode of repetition sandwiched in between the excitement of starting and the delight in finishing.  This is the part that offers an often therapeutic and blissful zoning-out during which your mind can wander with your hands…”

I am hoping: to have my kitchen complete soon!  We made alot of headway with my father-in-laws help over the holidays.   I’m very excited, but remind me not to mix holidays and work weekends ever again!  I think the next step will be tiling the counter top and back-splash!

Around the house: Made some laundry detergent earlier today with Ivory soap, washing soda, and borax.  Doing a week’s worth of laundry, lots of dishes, and various other cleaning today.  I did get my Christmas tree and most of my decorations taken down on Saturday though.

Simple Pleasures:  Both kids have taken to cuddling with me in bed in the mornings for a little while, and it’s so nice and snuggly!

Plans for the Weekend:   G’s birthday party.  Maybe some tile purchasing.  We’ll see.

Family Update:  Chad and I got to go on a date to Avatar yesterday, thanks to my Gma.  She also watched the kids!  It definitely lived up to all the talk!

We have been missing our cat (he has a bad habit of jumping out the door at inopportune times)  for about a week now.  We are hoping he’s been keeping warm at a neighbors house and will show back up once it thaws.  Worried.  Brendan said he thought he heard him meowing this morning…

Lillian: Well, she’s two now as you know.  Her vocabulary is astounding.  She’s growing up way to fast when there is no new baby around!  =(

Brendan:  Is very impatient for his birthday (in April) now that Christmas is over.  He’s been obsessed with the new Xbox 360 we got for Christmas.  I’ve been very thankful to be homeschooling him, since I have had that to keep him busy when everyone else has been taking a long break!  Don’t worry I did give him almost a week off. 😉

House: Isn’t it depressing how you clean your house basically top to bottom for guests and holidays (minus my bedroom in my case :), and then once its over you have to start over again.  After a week.  I guess that’s why the quote above was helpful for me….

Creative:  In the pic above of Gretch (c’s sis) she’s wearing the cowl I knitted for her for her bday (which we also celebrated during the holiday).  Sorry– didn’t get any better pics.  I have made lots of other knits lately… maybe I’ll get some pics up soon.

Anyway, thanks for sticking with me, and stay warm!!

In the last week I’ve made two new recipes from the Sticky Chewy Messy Gooey cookbook.  Both awesome of course.   Double Crumble Hot Apple pies I made for my baby bro’s 17th birthday.  It’s a crisp and a pie– the best of  both worlds.  PLUS it’s double the crisp, which is always how I prefer it.  I even burned the top layer of crisp and had to pick it off, and still there was plenty.  I think I’m going to make another for craft night tomorrow night, just so I can experience it with full crisp.  No pictures unfortunately.  OH I and drizzled caramel sauce on it too.

I did however get a pic of the Rich Risotto Rice Pudding, which was close to my favorite so far.  I love the ultra rich chocolate desserts, but rich and creamy milk with real vanilla bean?  Oh yes.  I also used the other half of the caramel sauce drizzled on this, topped with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.  The picture does not even come close to giving you an idea:

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Just thought I’d rave some more about this cookbook. The above bread is  100% wholewheat and flax flour.   No white!   No dense healthy bread here. 🙂


About Me…

A stay-at-home mother of 3 trying to balance homeschooling, gardening, baking, and crafting besides all the day-to-day upkeep of house and family (and still keep my sanity).
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