• Daily Life

    Strawberry Cake

    I made strawberry cake for Easter. I based it off of this recipe even though the blogger has a strawberry cake recipe, I just loved those vanilla cupcakes (I’ve made those twice although I used a mix of flavorings the first time and used a mini cupcake pan). I substituted boiling strawberry mush (from fresh strawberries) for the water (though more than one cup), and added red food coloring and strawberry flavor. I put strawberries and whipped cream in the middle and loosely based the icing off of this recipe. My sister thought whipped cream instead would’ve been better as it is lighter and less sugary.

    Edit: I also used that cupcake recipe plus cinnamon to make Snickerdoodle cupcakes. Add 1tsp of cinnamon to your favorite white batter and 1T to your favorite vanilla icing. Yum.

  • Daily Life

    Autumn Epicureanism

    I have been wanting to try chicken tetrazzini, and so one day when I had some chicken and the job of preparing supper I found a recipe and tried it. We rarely have wine on hand, but I scavenged a teeny tiny bottle from Brazil which Dad must have received as a gift or something on one of his trips. The bottle held just the right amount.

    I followed this recipe except I did not want peas and could not find mushrooms. We also did not have fresh herbs, so I used the ratio of 1/3 dry to fresh conversion. I would like to try it with fresh herbs and mushrooms. But we still enjoyed it. We barely had any leftovers.

    We have also been testing out recipes for the showers. I made these savory scones. I had to substitute a bit of onion for the 1/3 cup of chives or green onions. Hopefully for the shower we will have the original ingredients.

    I am making petit fours for one of the showers, but many of the recipes called for almond paste and almond extract and we have a lot of nut allergies at church, so I tried a new pound cake recipe. I have previously made this pound cake (but used all butter and now shortening), so I will just have to choose between the two. Another time I would like to try the almond recipes since I love that flavoring.

    Hopefully I will remember to get shower photos.

  • Daily Life

    Recipe Binder

    This assigned dish (with this crust) caused me to bring out my recipe binder 
    . . . to fill out the recipe for my own use
    I do not know if I mentioned this before, but last year I finally got seriously started on copying favorite recipes for my future family. You can see some scrap paper with a list of recipes that need copying. I am also trying to copy new recipes soon after trying them.
    Years ago my grandmother gave me this recipe binder (I also have a few Susan Branch cookbooks). I now prefer a binder like this to loose cards in a box. I need get some more recipe page protectors. I would also like a recipe stand. We used to have a cast iron one; I would like something sturdy (for normal people anyway) and yet pretty like that. 
  • Daily Life

    Christmas Cookie Exchange

    Mom and quite a few other ladies have done a Christmas cookie exchange for the past two or so (?) years (I think this may be the third year?). This year I decided to participate. Mom and I both baked enough to keep batches of our own cookies, so I have 14 total bags of around 6 cookies each.

    I have tried a few pieces from Mom’s basket, but I have not broken into mine yet. Do not worry I will share . . . at least the ones I do not like as much, 🙂 I have seen fruit cake cookies, gingerbread, chocolate chip, maybe butterscotch, mine are thin cinnamon cookies, and Mom’s are sugar/shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with peppermint bits. There are some bar-like cookies which my sister described as being chocolate and butter, “hot chocolate” cookies (chocolate with a marshmallow covered in chocolate on top), and several types of ball cookies. Technically we were supposed to bring recipes, but very few did, and hopefully Mom got them, so I can copy hers if I want although I may have to ask people for their recipes if I really like their cookies.
  • Daily Life

    Happy Thanksgiving and Three Recipes

    Bread pudding. Do not judge it by the photo; it is really quite good and does not need a sauce. Mom said it tasted like fancy French toast.
    I tried making this for the first time Sunday and loved it so much that I wanted to make it for Thanksgiving and surprise my grandparents (it is Papau’s favorite dessert and perhaps Mamau’s also). I looked at a few online recipes and comments and then used the Betty Crocker as my guideline but changed a few things to get this recipe.
    1/4 cup of butter
    1 and 1/2 cups of milk
    3 eggs
    1/2 cup of brown sugar
    1/4 tsp. salt
    2 tsp. vanilla extract
    1/4-1/2 tsp. almond extract
    6 cups of sourdough bread (not soured)
    Warm the first two ingredients together until butter is melted. Blend eggs, sugar, salt, and extracts. Add bread and then add milk mixture. Pour in greased square stone set on glass dish full of water. (I did this because some comments mentioned burning and suggested the glass dish to help; I may not have needed it because I used a stone). Bake @ 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
    I do not know the recipe for the starter (it is called potato starter, I think), but here is the bread recipe I used ( I got up at 6:15 after going to bed at 11 or later, and I worked 8.5 hours today with close to two hours total of driving, so pardon the lazy recipe photos, being an adult is hard . . . first world problems :/).
    I have bread waiting to be made into bread pudding tomorrow as I finish this post on Wednesday night.
    For our church Thanksgiving celebration on Tuesday I made this recipe (doubled) for mac and cheese but used twice the amount of sharp cheddar (instead of sharp and mild) and substituted cream cheese for the cheese food. I think I would either use another recipe it or try more adjustments. I liked it right out of the oven, but cold at the church it was only okay. . . which might fit most homemade cold mac and cheese dishes.
    I also made these homemade samoas on Monday for Tuesday. I would turn the oven down a little when toasting the coconut and stir at least every two minutes (or maybe skip the toasting completely). I would also keep the 1/4 of the caramel on very low and use a double boiler on low for the coconut-caramel mix. I think homemade caramel might taste better too. These are the presentable ones. I am not satisfied with this recipe. I want them to really taste like samoas . . . they taste like caramel cookies. I think I will try a more homemade caramel or sugar syrup that doesn’t drown the coconut flavor next time.
    Last night I made pumpkin bread for my work potluck today from our good old Pillsbury recipe. It is almost like pumpkin cake.
  • Daily Life

    Sweet Cornbread

              I am neither a cook nor a baker, but I want to be able to serve a decent meal. I think that if I master one dish at a time it will be easier to develop a decent set of skills. When I tasted this cornbread at a friend’s, I asked for the recipe, and I was determined to make it myself because it was simple enough. Weeks later I got around to doing this. I intend to add this to my Pinterest portfolio board which is supposed to encourage me in crafts and skills…unfortunately I only have a few finished projects on it, as I am better at starting a bunch of things than finishing one. Currently I have a great many things started and in various stages.

              Anyway, here is the recipe. The original called for Bisquick so I had to look up a substitute, hence the odd butter amount.

    The oven temperature is 350 degrees and the time is about 30″ although I think mine could have stood 5″ longer.

    2 cups flour
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp soda
    1 T baking powder
    4 heaping tablespoons cornmeal (my heaps were so large is was probably more like 8 tablespoons)
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 1/2 to 2 2/3 sticks of butter melted
    2 cups milk
    2 eggs

    Mix the dry then the liquids and pour into a greased 9×13″ pan. I think this would make a nice mix; I prepared the dry ingredients last evening which took all of 5-10.” I added the liquids this morning, and it took about 5.” I would love to have a bunch of homemade mixes on hand whenever I have my own place.