Friday, April 30, 2010

Super Simple Smoothie

It has been almost a week since I have had time to bake anything. Life has been so hectic! 

I had the interview with Wild Flour Bakery and it went well. There are positives and negatives of taking this job and I have been going back and forth in my mind trying to decide what to do. I am going there today for awhile and I have to sit down with the head baker and talk out all the details.  I'm really torn! 

Even though I have not found time to bake I offer this recipe for a smoothie.  Super quick. Super easy. Super cheap.

1 frozen banana
10 frozen strawberries
1 cup apple juice
little squeeze of honey

Fantastic flavor and good for you too! What I love most about this is not only is it made with fresh fruit (which is so much better than those powder mixes) but you don't have to use ice. I personally can not stand smoothies made with ice, it just taste watered down and I don't enjoy the consistency. 

I promise I will be baking this weekend. Must get ready for the bake sale! Details to come.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Baked Strawberry Crumble Pie

Strawberries were buy one get one free at Acme the other day so of course I bought them and figured out what to do with them later. I have never made a pie before so I went on the hunt for an interesting pie recipe involving strawberries. I will admit I was pretty excited to try this. I feel like a pie is one of those desserts everyone should know how to make. A certain sense of pride comes with having accomplished such a feat.

Of course a home made pie crust was needed. Easy enough to make, hard to put in the plate! I just could not just the crust into the pie pan. I ended up having to piece it together like a cheap puzzle. I found myself cracking up as I did this alone in my house. Glad no one was around to see.

It's okay if you laugh a little too :)

Like my improvised pie weights?

Set the crust in the oven to pre-bake while I cut up the 2 1/2 cups of strawberries. I didn't have cornstarch so I tossed them in flour and added in sugar of course.

They didn't look how I expected so naturally I get nervous, but after they sat for a bit I felt relieved.

I made the crumble mix and tossed it on top.  Crumble topping is yet another simple thing I never made and am very glad to have done.  Super easy and everything is better with crumbly tops.

My overall thoughts are positive. As I said, it feels great to make a pie especially having never done it before.  Greg (my boyfriend, can I start calling him my his name now it's much easier?) suggested adding more sugar with the strawberry inside yet I found it to be to sweet. It is all a matter of opinion. The topping  we both agreed needed a little extra something. Next time I would like to make a drizzle type icing, the kind you would find on scones and danishes. That would be the perfect fix. I am sending a piece off Greg's mom and aunt for some more feedback.

This whole baking/blogging thing definitely has its claws in me. My mind is constantly thinking of what to bake next and what new flavor combination  I should try.  I need to get a second job just to pay for all these supplies. Actually, that reminds me! Last weekend when I sold my cupcakes at the bake sale we ended up at the farmer's market across the street. I met a really sweet lady selling bread. Her and her husband where the market managers and also own Wild Flour Bakery. We talked for quite some time about my baking and trying to start something for myself and most importantly, trying to decide if school is the next appropriate step for me. She pretty much said skip school for now and try working in the field first to see if I still enjoy it. She gave me tons of advice and asked for my information and told me to stay in contact. I just received an e-mail from the head baker at Wild Flour. He asked for my resume and wants to set up an interview. It isn't exactly where I saw myself working/interning (they are much more bread makers as opposed to desserts and pastries )but they seem like great people and I just need to get my foot in the door.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies

After making the Oreo cupcakes for the bake sale I still had many left over cookies. Determined to not let them so stale, or just end up being eaten by me, I was going to search for a recipe that would use them. Crazy timing that one of my absolute favorite bloggers just posted an awesome looking recipe for Oreo chocolate chip cookies.

Not only did I get to use up the extra cookies but also my left over chocolate chips. I am surprisingly not a fan of to much chocolate so I cut out some of the chocolate chips the recipe calls for. Also, I think I broke the Oreo bits up to small, next time I will keep them bigger.

The batter was to die for. My boyfriend wouldn't stop eating it. The cookies were very good. I would like to fiddle with this recipe again sometime.

Banana Brown Sugar Pound Cake

I knew all day that as soon as my boyfriend went off to band practice I was going to bake this. I have never made a pound cake before and this recipe caught my eye. The website has a ton of different pound cakes and other things I think I may be trying soon. I don't have a 10 inch tube pan so it took me long enough to find out how to convert it to the size I did have. After that I had to cut the recipe in half. With all the changes I made figuring out the cook time was hard. I checked it about every 15 minutes after the first half hour and it just never seem quite done. Maybe this recipe just makes a really moist cake but to me it seems almost undercooked. I was thinking maybe because of the mashed bananas it just looks more wet?  Even after it cooled it didn't seem to cut properly. I may just be picky but I personally found it to be to moist. Regardless we both thought it was very good. The banana flavor is subtle and I added cream cheese frosting which topped it off perfectly. 

Recipe: (I did not use pecans either. This recipe is for the 10 inch tube pan. Or you could just two 9x5 pans)

Oven- 350
Bake Time- 1 hr 30 mins

1 lb Light Brown Sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 lb butter
5 eggs
2 large bananas
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tb vanilla
1 cup pecans

Cream brown and white sugars with butter until very light and fluffy. 
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
Stir in mashed bananas and set aside.
Sift flour with baking powder and salt. 
Mix milk and vanilla together. 
Add each to first mixture alternately. 
Stir in the pecans. 
Pour into a prepared pan. 
Bake until firm.  

The batter was by far the prettiest and  most colorful I have ever made.

I wish I hadn't used my silicon pan because it is to flexible and the batter pushed out and it did not look like a perfect loaf.

Even though there were slight flaws I will say it tasted good and I am glad I made it.

Now tomorrow is oreo chocolate chip cookies!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My First Bake Sale

The night before the bake sale my boyfriend and I went to try one of the cupcakes we made. Since it was my first time making it I wanted to be sure it was perfect. Well thankfully we gave it a try! The oreo was completely stuck to the cupcake wrapper. We could barely pull it off and when we did it had most of the paper stuck on it. So naturally I begin to freak out.  It was decided that we would just have to wake up early the next day and try again. 

Next day we wake up at 7 and are going to give it a go but now I'm nervous the same problem might happen. I was going to leave the oreo out of the bottom and do everything else the same but to be honest I wasn't thrilled with my icing either. It is getting later and later so i decided to make something a little more...."semi-home made". My boyfriend ran to the store for me and bought white cake mix and cream cheese frosting. I chopped up the oreo's as i had before, threw them in flour and mixed them in the batter. I threw them in the oven, let them cool and decorated them the same as the original batch. We raced off to the city and got there only a few minutes late. 

The bake sale seemed to be a hit. My cupcakes looked great and people did buy them, so that makes me feel good. I was surprised to see everyone had their treats all wrapped up and tagged with their name or blog. I did not : (   I wasn't sure what the protocol would be for an event like this so I felt totally unprepared. Thanks again to my boyfriend's help he drew me up a cute little sign and it looked much better. And because every entry needs  pictures....

I can't say the whole mishap didn't bum me out big time. I know that everything is about trial and error and I know that I will learn from my mistakes. I really do want to give the original recipe another try. Especially the icing! I am determined to make good icing. I have attempted before and never does it come out right. I am beginning to think it is all because of my lack of a mixer. I have been buying a lot of things lately- ingredients and supplies and such- but a mixer is a bit pricier. It is starting to become quite a pain mixing my hand. Everything would be so much easier with Fred. Yes, I named my unborn mixer. He is the pear colored one and I love him without even having met him. One day.....

Friday, April 16, 2010

Oreo Cupcakes

Yesterday I found out about the National Food Bloggers Bake Sale. There is a cute little cafe in one of my favorite parts of the city that is participating. I decided at the very last minute that I would like to donate something. I wish I would have had more time to really work on a recipe, I sort of just whipped this together based on a few different ideas I found on various other blogs. I'm so nervous I haven't even tried one yet!

The first thing I found that I thought was great was putting a whole half an Oreo right in the bottom before pouring the batter in.

So many cut up pieces of cookie in there.

They came out looking more like muffins, don't you think? A little darker than i expected.

I wanted to give my icing bag and tips that my boyfriend gave me for Christmas a try, I most certainly need more practice.

My finished product!

I must admit I am mighty pleased with how the look, I sure do hope they taste good! So if you are in the area tomorrow stop by A Full Plate between 10 and 3 and buy some snacks. All funds raised go to support Share Our Strength's efforts to end childhood hunger.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Peeps Rice Crispy Treats

I made these for Easter to bring to my work. They are definitely sweeter than regular rice crispy treats but no one seemed to mind.

I never made rice crispy treats before so i just threw the Peeps in with the butter and let them melt....

See that brown swirl? That is not supposed to be there. I didn't realize the burner was still on and I burnt my whole first batch. Now keep in mind that its the night before Easter and im looking for multiple boxes of Peepes. It took us over and hour to find them the first time, thank god the same store had some left when we needed them the second time!

Finally I got it right, except this time I only had two colors. But they came out beautiful and so tasty.