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Sweets for my sweeties…

My oldest, back when he had Michelin Man rolls and had no idea that these pictures could come back to haunt him later in life...

So, has your Valentine’s Day sugar rush worn off yet? If you were to sneak a peek at the list of chocolate industry-supporting holidays, Valentine’s Day would probably be right up there near the head of the pack. For weeks (since before Christmas in some stores) we’ve been inundated with chocolate hearts in every size, flavor, shape, and color, to the point that they all started to look the same and kind of lost their appeal!  (Don’t get me wrong- I like a good piece of chocolate as much as the next girl, but given a choice, I generally prefer my sweets in the form of baked goods.)  As the holiday rapidly approached and our household pestilence slowly receded, I realized that it was WAY past time to plan for my holiday baking.  Thank goodness for Pinterest!

First on the list was my oldest son’s class Valentine’s Day party. Cupcakes, fruit, and all of the other party basics were already covered by the other fabulous room moms, but we have a few kids with allergies to consider, so I usually plan to make something egg/nut/corn syrup-free so that everyone can share the sugar high. My first plan was to bake up some of these Chocolate-Dipped Brownies from Sweetapolita, using egg replacement powder instead of real eggs.  I baked up a test batch on Monday morning (I’m still leery of the whole fake egg thing), and they were great!  After a day of cutting out PTA Valentine’s hearts, I raced home and threw together a triple batch.  That’s when something went tragically and inexplicably wrong, resulting in three trays of very pretty brownies that were hard as bricks on the bottom. (My best guess would be that baking, doing mental math, and negotiating preschool peace treaties at the same time is just a BAD idea and should never be attempted.)  By the time that I discovered the problem after an evening of prepping Valentines and cutting out red paper hearts, it was about 3am, so I called it a night and decided to try again in the morning.

Down to the wire and suffering from a severe case of sleep deprivation, I decided to skip the brownies and move on to my (untried and untested) back-up recipe, these fabulous Meltaway Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting that I discovered via Pinterest over at Landee See, Landee Do.  Thankfully, the baking gods were smiling that morning, so the cookies were fabulous!  (Please note that there are only two cookies on that plate- that was all that was left for a picture out of a double batch by the time my camera battery charged.  Yes folks, they were that good.)

Meltaway Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 C Butter
  • ¾ C Cornstarch
  • ¾ C Powdered Sugar
  • 1 C Flour
  • 1 Recipe Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)
  1. In a medium bowl, cream butter until fluffy.
  2. Add cornstarch & sugar and blend well.
  3. Beat in flour until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Drop by small teaspoons (a cookie scoop worked well) onto a parchment-covered baking sheet & flatten out with the bottom of a glass. (You’ll need to dip the glass in powdered sugar to prevent sticking.  If you’re making these for yourself, smooshing them down by hand works well, too!)
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Cool on wire rack & frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.  For the classroom cookies, I simply frosted each cookie and added a dash of red sugar.  Once that quota was filled, I started to play around with the remaining cookies and decided that I liked them even better sandwiched together with a dollop of frosting in the middle as well as the bit on top!

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 (3oz.) Package Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 C Powdered Sugar
  • ½ t Vanilla Extract
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Color with food coloring if desired.

After an afternoon packed with baking, class parties, and WAY more sugar than I should ever consume in a 24 hour period, it was time to grab the kids and run for home so that I could prep our Valentine’s Day dinner.  I’d been pondering dessert for a week or so, because I try to do something special each year, and it was a really tough choice!  Normally I go for something that’s high on the chocolate level, like a flourless chocolate cake or a chocolate cheesecake, but this year I decided that I wanted something a bit lighter to follow what is inevitably a big meal eaten later in the evening.

After careful consideration, I settled on a Chocolate Angel Food Cake recipe that I found in the November/December of Cooking with Paula Deen(Side note- I JUST received the November/December issue last Friday.  GO APO MAIL!)  It was a nice, easy recipe to put together, and definitely a departure from our norm.  The chocolate taste was subtle, almost overwhelmed by the cinnamon (I’d probably cut the cinnamon in half next time around), but what struck me as odd was the faint taste of coffee when there’s no coffee in the mix!  I served it up with a drizzle of chocolate and caramel syrups, a puree of strawberries and raspberries, fresh berries, and both plain and chocolate whipped cream (to make the chocolate cream, just add a dash of Ghirardelli sweetened cocoa powder to the whipped cream near the end).  It would probably also be very good with ice cream and hot fudge, or in a trifle with chocolate mousse and berries!

Paula Deen’s Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Mocha Sauce

Makes 10-12 Servings

  • 12 Egg Whites at room temperature
  • 1 t Cream of Tartar
  • 1/4 t Salt
  • 3/4 C Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2 C Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1 C Cake Flour
  • 1/4 C Cocoa Powder (Paula says Dutch process, but we had Hershey’s- you know how that goes…)
  • 1/4 t Cinnamon (I might cut this to 1/8 t next time)
  • Mocha Sauce (I didn’t use this since my husband isn’t a huge coffee fan, but I’ll include it for you all, just in case- it probably compliments the mysterious coffee flavor in the cake quite nicely!)
  1. Preheat oven to 375* F
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until foamy.
  3. Add cream of tartar and salt, and beat until soft peaks form.
  4. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
  5. In a small bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar, flour, cocoa, and cinnamon.  Sift.  (I’m bad, I hate sifting with a passion, so I didn’t do this- I just fork fluffed…)
  6. Gently fold cocoa mixture into egg white mixture until combined.
  7. Spoon batter into an ungreased 10″ removable-bottom tube pan.
  8. Bake for 32-35 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.  Remove from oven.
  9. Immediately turn the pan upside down, and place on the neck of a funnel or wine bottle to cool completely.  (This keeps the cake from sinking.  I didn’t quite believe it until I saw it, but the cake actually stays in the pan quite nicely while balancing upside down on a wine bottle!)
  10. Gently run a knife around the outer edge of the pan to release the sides.  Remove the cake from the pan by pushing up on the removable base, and then run a knife along the inner edge and bottom as needed to release the cake from the base.
  11. Serve with warm Mocha Sauce (or berries, ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream…), if desired.

Warm Mocha Sauce

Makes 1 Cup

  • 1 C Chocolate Sauce (Paula recommends Hershey’s)
  • 1 T Instant Espresso Powder
  1. In a small saucepan, heat chocolate sauce over low heat.
  2. Add espresso powder, stirring until dissolved.

And there you have it, our official 2012 Valentine’s Day sugar rush!  Aside from the brownie catastrophe, everything turned out just the way I wanted it, so I’d call the holiday a success.  The only real problem that I ran into was that I was so tired by the time that I’d cooked and eaten dinner, given everyone their Valentines, and gotten the kids settled, that I fell asleep on the couch while my husband took a work call- BEFORE DESSERT!  Luckily, the cake stayed safely balanced overnight on that wine bottle, and it’s just as good the second day…

One final note- if you created something special for Valentine’s Day, head on over to Sew BitterSweet Designs for the Valentine’s Day Showcase link party!  Melissa has thrown the floor open to her readers, and three lucky winners will win some fabulous prizes for linking up to their Valentine’s Day creations.  Definitely too good to miss!

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Cakes, Cookies, Other Baked Delights..., Recipes

 

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Break out the PMS Cookies!

We’re still battling the ‘everyone’s sick, so anything complicated is unappealing’ cooking funk, but after I read Lisa’s Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Buttercream recipe in the Valentine’s Day Showcase this afternoon, I knew that something had to be done to get me past the intense chocolate craving that resulted.  After some deep contemplation (it’s amazing how much deeper everything seems when you have enough cold medicine in your system), I remembered something wonderful:  I have frozen cookie dough!!!

Frozen cookie dough is a wonderful thing!

Back at Christmas time, I made up a batch of PMS Cookie dough.  Since it’s a big recipe, I was able to bake half and then roll the other half into balls and freeze it for an emergency just like today!  Of course, right about now, you’re probably asking yourself, “What on Earth are PMS Cookies?…”

A few years ago, I was playing around with some cookie recipes and couldn’t find anything that quite fit my cravings, so I decided to experiment a bit and create my very own Frankencookie that included some of my favorite go-to flavors.  After a lot of test batches (a fattening labor of love that I suffered through for the sake of culinary excellence), the PMS Cookie was born!  As I mentioned above, this is a BIG recipe, so you may want to either cut it in half or plan on freezing either the dough or the baked cookies (it never hurts to lay in an emergency stash).  Also, these cookies are VERY chunky.  Like, shake the mixer almost off of the counter chunky.  If you’re not a huge chunk fan, you can cut all of the add-ins in half without any major consequences, although somewhere I may shed a tear because you’re missing out on all of those wonderful, calorie-laden bits and pieces… LOL

PMS Cookies

Makes…. a lot.
  • 1 1/2C Butter, softened
  • 1 1/2C Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2C Dark Brown Sugar, firmly packed
  • 2C Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 3 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 5C + 4TBS Flour
  • 2 TSP Baking Soda
  • 1 TSP Salt 
  • 1C Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips 
  • 1C Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1C Roasted, Salted Almonds, coarsely chopped (I use the Diamond smokehouse ones)
  • 1C Pretzel Sticks, coarsely chopped 
  • 20 Caramels, cut into morsels (I did 9 pieces from each caramel) OR 2C of the Kraft caramel bits (little chip-sized balls for baking)
  • Parchment Paper
  1. Preheat oven to 350*. Wait impatiently for oven to heat and butter to soften. Yell at German oven that takes forever to heat and never does what you want it to.
  2. Beat butter, sugars, and peanut butter at medium speed with a heavy duty mixer until creamy. Defiantly lick peanut butter off the measuring cup, just because you can.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla, using more force than is really necessary on the eggs and making a mess. Beat until blended.
  4. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating just until blended. Get a face-full of flour when you accidentally turn the speed up too high. More yelling.
  5. Beat in remaining ingredients just until combined. Sample cookie dough while wistfully thinking “Salmonella- would that get me a night alone in the hospital?…”
  6. Drop by tablespoonfulls (I used a cookie scoop, but as long as they’re smaller than beer steins, you’re good) onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Eat more dough because really, who needs 5 dozen cookies kicking around the house?…
  7. Decide whether or not to flatten the cookies- they stay mounded if you don’t, but will work either way. Flattening is cathartic, and makes it easier to spread extra peanut butter on them later…
  8. Bake at 350* for 10-14 or until desired degree of doneness (okay, we’ve already established that they’re good RAW…)  Note: If you’re using frozen dough, they’re going to probably take a little bit longer than normal- just keep an eye on them and play it by ear.
  9. Remove to wire racks, burning mouth in the process while trying to sample the finished product, and cool completely (about 15 minutes).
  10. Tell child that they’re ‘mommy cookies’, and boys don’t like them (well, he probably wouldn’t…)!
  11. Eat smeared with additional peanut butter, possibly with a side of Swedish fish depending on just how bad the hormones hate you this month.

Ready for the oven! Please note: I was good, I only made a dozen of these tonight!

Finally baked! Twenty minutes never seemed so long...

The finished product! Now, off to enjoy some cookies with a Nyquil chaser...

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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Cookies, Recipes

 

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Let them eat (pretend) cake!

Still no real baking in sight (sick kids kind of beat the cooking instincts into submission around here), but I do have something that’s at least baking-related: felt cake slices!

I recently participated in a play food swap (everyone in the group makes a bunch of one item, sends them to a central location, and gets back one of each), and I made these yummy-looking little cakes from this fabulous tutorial by Bugga Bugs that I found at YouCanMakeThis.com. (Warning- that site is dangerous…)

It was a bit of a stretch on my comfort zone (yeah, hand sewing is NOT my niche), but once I played with them a bit and worked a bit outside of the instructional box, I was really happy with how they turned out!

This is the first time I've ever spent this much time on cake that couldn't be eaten!

P.S.- Don’t forget, my Valentine’s Owl Stuffie will be featured in the Valentine’s Day Showcase at Sew BitterSweet Designs today! I’d love to see pictures if you give it a try, so please share! 😀

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Random Acts of Craftivity

 

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Whooooooooooo Loves Ya, Baby?…

Greetings from the Wintery wilds of Bavaria!  It has been a CRAZY month or two, and I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m just catching up to myself after the holidays.  There have been tons of projects in the works, and lots of planning for our latest challenge over at ‘I don’t have a problem, I have a well-rounded fabric stash!’  This month we’re challenging you to create the perfect hat, so be sure to visit the Hats Off Challenge event page for details and to see the fabulous entries that are already coming in!

No baking today, but I do have a sneak preview of a Valentine’s Owl Stuffie tutorial I’ve put together for the Valentine’s Day Showcase over at Sew BitterSweet Designs.  Melissa has put together ten days of tutorials from some fabulous bloggers and crafters, and I’m lucky enough to be featured on February 6th!  To download a printable PDF version of the tutorial below, click the images or visit http://tinyurl.com/ValentinesOwlStuffieTutorial .

PLEASE NOTE- THE PATTERN PIECES BELOW AREN’T TO SCALE!  YOU’LL NEED TO PRINT THE PDF TUTORIAL TO GET THE FULL-SIZED PIECES!

Thanks for reading- I’d love to see project pictures if you give the tutorial a try!

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2012 in Random Acts of Craftivity

 

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Muffins for the masses…

This past weekend, I had the unique opportunity of working in a booth at a German Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market) as a fundraiser for the twins’ school.  It was a lot of fun, even if my shaky German made for some interesting sales pitches..

The entire square around the Rathaus (town hall) was full of booths sponsored by various local businesses and organizations, all selling food, gifts, and Gluehwein (hot, spiced red wine).

I thought that the decorations on the Rathaus were especially cool- they wrapped the entire building with gigantic, scrappy scarves!

Our booth (we only had the right side of the hut) sold hot dogs, chili dogs, eggnog, and a variety of baked goods that were donated by parents.  And what did I bring?  Muffins, of course!

I can’t take credit for all of the baked goodness shown above, but I did bring four varieties:  Cranberry Pumpkin Spice Muffins (bottom right, in the green wrappers), Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins (bottom right, in the red wrappers), Blueberry Cream Muffins (bottom left, with the sugar on top), and some Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes (top left, with the peppermint bits and gold wrappers) for a little variety.  These are some of my favorite recipes to bake and give for the holidays, and I hope you’ll enjoy them!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Chocolate Glaze
When I make this recipe in a Bundt pan, I like to add some gooey chocolate glaze to the top. I opted not to add the glaze to the muffins this weekend, since I was already using the glaze on the cupcakes, but it’s always fun to either pipe some into a muffin center or brush some on top for a little added sweetness!

Ingredients

  • ½ C Butter
  • 1 ½ C Sugar
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 2-3 Very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 TSP Vanilla extract
  • 6 TBS Buttermilk
  • 1 TSP Baking Soda
  • 2 C Flour
  • ½ TSP Baking Powder
  • ½ TSP Salt
  • 1 Bag Semi-Sweet Miniature Chocolate Chips
  • Chocolate Glaze (see below)
  • Additional chocolate chips or shavings for decoration, if desired

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Grease and flour a Bundt pan or spray with a flour-infused baking spray
  3. Cream butter and sugar
  4. Add eggs, bananas, and buttermilk
  5. Add dry ingredients and vanilla extract
  6. Add chocolate chips
  7. Blend until well mixed
  8. Pour into prepared Bundt pan or into lined muffin cups and bake at 350* for 40-50 minutes for a Bundt or 20-25 minutes for muffins, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean
  9. Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely
  10. To glaze, transfer to a cake plate (make sure that there is room on the edges for glaze overflow- a plate with a lip is helpful) and, using the end of a wooden spoon or dowel, make holes at intervals around the top of the cake. (I use the bumps of the Bundt pan as guides, making a tunnel every 2nd bump.)
  11. Prepare the chocolate glaze (see below) and, while still warm, pour over cake. I usually take a spoon or ladle and pour over the holes first to ensure that they’re filled with glaze, and then pour the remainder over the cake to cover.
  12. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips or chocolate shavings over glaze for decoration if desired.

Shiny Chocolate Glaze
Adapted from the Shiny Chocolate Glaze recipe found in The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn. I like a lot of glaze, so sometimes I double this recipe and let it pool in the center of the Bundt cake so that everyone gets plenty of chocolate!

Ingredients

  • 2 TBS Butter
  • 2 TBS Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 C Heavy (whipping) cream, plus additional as needed
  • 1 TSP Vanilla extract
  • 1 C Powdered sugar (the original recipe says to sift, but I rarely do)
  • 1 C Semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cooking Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan
  2. Add the cocoa and cream, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Do not boil.
  3. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla until mixture is smooth
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips until melted, putting the pan over low heat again if needed, and adding a little more cream if the mixture seems too thick.
  5. Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake as directed above.

Cranberry Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Adapted from the Addictive Pumpkin Muffins recipe found at AllRecipes.com. My version omits the nuts, substitutes cranberries for raisins, and adds a bit of cinnamon sugar for a finishing touch!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups craisins/dried cranberries
  • 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • cinnamon sugar for dusting

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Grease three 12 cup muffin pans, or line with paper muffin liners. Soak cranberries in hot water for ten minutes to plump, then drain.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ground cloves. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, pumpkin, and applesauce, until smooth. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly to make a smooth batter. Stir the raisins and walnuts into the batter. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar while still warm.
Blueberry Cream Muffins

Adapted from the Strawberry ‘N Creme Muffins recipe found at Food.com. I substituted a 2 ounce package of dried blueberries for the strawberries, and used a vanilla-flavored hagelzucker (a large crystal sugar- I found this particular flavored variety in the coffee and tea section at the local drug store) in place of regular sugar on top.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 lb unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • sugar (regular granulated or hagelzucker, if you can find it), for sprinkling
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 2oz. bag of dried blueberries (fresh or frozen should also work- I’d say about 1-2 cups)

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and 1 1/4 cup sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time. Do not overmix.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture and cream alternately to the butter mixture. End with the flour mixture.
  5. Stir in vanilla and then fold in berries.
  6. Fill greased or lined muffin tins 3/4 full.
  7. Sprinkle with sugar.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until tester dipped in center comes out clean.
Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze

Adapted from the Basic Chocolate Poundcake recipe found in The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn. I add a bit of peppermint liqueur to the batter in order to infuse the cake itself with a nice, peppermint flavor!

Ingredients

  • 1 18.25 ounce box of Chocolate Fudge cake mix WITHOUT pudding in the mix
  • 1 3.9 ounce box of chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Cup sour cream
  • 1/2 Cup warm water
  • 1/2 Cup vegetable oil
  • 1 TBS peppermint liqueur/schapps
  • 1 bag of dark chocolate chips (semi-sweet works if dark isn’t available)
  • 1 box of mini candy canes (easier to unwrap than full-sized ones)
  • Chocolate Glaze (see recipe above)

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place cake mix ,pudding, eggs, sour cream, water and oil in large bowl.
  3. Blend with electric mixer on low for 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 2-3 minutes more. Batter should look thick and well combined.
  4. Add peppermint liqueur and chocolate chips and mix to combine. There should be a nice peppermint scent to the batter at this point. If you don’t feel it’s strong enough, add a splash more!
  5. Put batter in lined muffin cups and bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed, 20-25 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from oven and place on wire rack to cool for 20 minutes, and then move cupcakes to a wire rack to finish cooling, 20 minutes more.
  7. Unwrap candy canes and pulse in a food processor until pulverized, leaving some larger bits for texture. (Note- be VERY careful that you’ve gotten all of the plastic off of the candy, because it’s NOT fun picking those little bits out later on!)
  8. Make 1 recipe of Chocolate Glaze (see recipe above)
  9. Using a frosting gun or pastry bag, inject each cupcake with a little glaze and then brush or drizzle some more on top. Immediately sprinkle with crushed peppermints, and allow to rest until the glaze has set.

That’s all for today, muffin fans- tune in next week, when the REAL holiday baking extravaganza is set to begin, for cookies, cakes, and more!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 5, 2011 in Cakes, MORE Muffins!!!, Recipes

 

I have a problem.

Yes, I have a problem, folks.  In the greater scheme of things, it’s not a big problem- some people would even say it’s NOT a problem, but it’s a part of my daily life, all the same.  And what is this problem, you might ask?  I love to bake.  I know, Earth-shaking, right?

The problem isn’t so much the baking itself- that’s kind of cathartic, actually!  The issue lies in what to DO with all of those baked goodies when I’m done.  Obviously, I can’t keep them all at home.  Aside from the fact that I’d need to be rolled to and from the kitchen in under a year, my family just isn’t up to the task of powering through mass quantities of muffins before they lose their shine, and my freezer can only hold so much.  Add to that the fact that my family just won’t eat some of my favorite baked treats (seriously, who doesn’t like baked fruit or peanut butter- they may be pod people), and I find myself constantly in search of new places to distribute my baked creations.

Many, MANY banana muffins have gone to school, work, friends, and neighbors.  (On a side note, does anyone else here find themselves fighting the banana battle?  On weeks when I just buy a few bananas, the kids fight for them like they’re the last Wii on Black Friday, but if I anticipate and buy in bulk, you’d think they were brussel sprouts…)  My husband’s job involves working with a constantly rotating batch of soldiers, so lots of muffins, bars, and cookies have gone out to the troops, which is kind of gratifying.  Still, I have to wonder when I’m going to see a look of dread in someone’s eyes when they see me approaching with yet ANOTHER tray of muffins.  After all, even good things have their limits, don’t they?

As I wait for the day that I will hear the inevitable, “what, MORE muffins???”, I wonder if it’s worth it.  Can I really justify all of this baking?  Am I imposing on others by pushing muffins, cakes, and cookies to feed my baking addiction?  Am I “killing them with sweets,” as a friend’s neighbor once accused her when she brought over a neighborly plate of treats?  I know that I can’t stop (my rapidly growing Recipes board on Pinterest is evidence enough of the baking bug at work), so how can I turn my fattening hobby in a productive direction?

Well, after much thought, I found a solution: a blog!  I love being able to find recipes and tutorials online, and I love to share my work both online and in real life, so this should (hopefully) be a match made in Heaven.  Tune in here for a selection of my favorite recipes, as well as some fun sewing and crafting tutorials to let all of the creative juices flow.  We’ll also periodically have recipe and tutorial link parties where everyone can share their favorites, and I’ve set up a Flickr group and a Pinterest board (post your Pinterest name in the comments below, and I’ll give you access to post) where we can all share pictures of our finished creations and our latest recipe discoveries!

Happy reading, and please come see us again soon!

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2011 in Life in General...

 
 
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