Bake Sale!

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my lovely blog readers! I made a ton of stuff in the last 2 weeks but as many of your lives were.. mine was also busy. Here’s a recap of the seemingly large bake sale we hosted over Xmas.   We didn’t actually attend any and don’t have any kids ~ it was an intimate gathering of west coast family of 3 & several animals ~full of maple butter stuffed turkey (30lbs!) and cashew apple dressing. My husband is a rock star chef and I stepped up to the plate with several baking experiments. Here’s a sampling:  Chocolate coffee and bacon cupcakes (type that into the search for the recipe on this blog this past year). My sweety made enough sugar and cream cheese cookies for an elementary school which we lovingly decorated like school kids ~ while listening to many xmas vinyl’s ~2 shown below. We would have eaten these two cats because they were such bad kitties this holiday but they were too adorable at photo opps. I made Haystacks ( I renamed Beaver dams) in both butterscotch and also mint and chocolate ~both with peanut butter and chow mein noodles (recipe from Nana on this blog). Not shown but previously blogged were peanut butter balls ~ they were my fav and went first ~ my husband’s ginger bread cookies & turkey dog bones. Hope I didn’t forget anything. winks*

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  Make Something Every Day

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Snapper snowflakes… for dogs

That’s right.. another excuse to make dogbones for my dog…  Xmas party season.

Last Xmas my practice co-horts raved about the dogbones I baked and gave out at potlucks. So this year when asked, it was easy to oblige, as every day with our aged pup is a chance to spoil him. He was such a big helper standing over me in the kitchen for 2 hours! Here’s something that I learned that made my life much easier. The last time I made turkey dogbones (see previous blog entries) I froze three big balls of batter in ziplocs. I simply opened the wedding freezers and found 4 balls ~2 were the snapper  and 2 were turkey. I thawed, rolled, cookie cut & baked them up in no time. The snapper recipe was a little lack luster so I added peanut butter and garlic salt. Sounds gross but dogs love the ingredients.   

This year I went the silly extra step of putting them in little santa bags with bows. And yes, Amos taste tested each batch and got all the ends, saved in a jar on the counter (which already requires refilling).

Happy Christmas to the mutts that make us so happy all year. 

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Deck the Balls with Peanut Butter

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20111203-094607.jpg As a kid, my mom used make loads of Xmas goodies. Possibly my fav was Peanut Butter Balls. She even mailed them to University or they were frozen waiting for my visits. These gooey, crispy, balls of joy are a non-bake, coconut coated, idiot proof recipe ~ that as long as I stay away from the chili powder & hot sauce… I’ll ace. So today, I honoured my mom, by using her recipe properly & made 4 batches of kick ass balls, for dessert, Xmas parties & freezing. The last batch I DID alter, by adding nutella. My husband was a “big helper” on the ball making committee. Did that come out wrong? Lol!
What’s your fav Christmas family goodie or memory? Tell us in the comment section! Happy almost holidays.
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Sexy meatloaf photography

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Don’t tell anyone ~ feminists make meatloaf. It’s true. Here’s the evidence. Yesterday, while my sweety was off- island, I wore my wedding gift, Martha Stewart apron & made a meatloaf. Several actually. Not only did I attempt to follow a recipe & make meatloaf for the first time in my adult life… But it was a recipe FROM a Martha Stewart magazine! Ps. The magazine selection @ the ferry terminal sucks! To be fair to myself, I only got excited because the recipe makes them in the cupcake pan! Here’s the recipe & my attempts to make photographing meatloaf.. Sexy.
Funny how the magazine recipe Photo doesn’t show the leakage mess.

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20111203-093530.jpg Review?: “fun shape, mostly good but needed TUMS.”
I went for the Mexican version, adding organic pineapple salsa & chilli powder to the top thumbprint. But as usual, I made them waaaaay too hot. So I added sour cream to serve, with little tomatoes & mint leaves. Instead of cheese whizz (Jeez), I used real shredded cheddar & nutty whole grain bread instead of boxed stuffing (or is it called “dressing”… Corey?).
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Shortbread short listed

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I’m a total farm fresh egg snob now. We love eggs from the neighborhood! This week I was a bit “make” lazy but part of any creative process is purging, organizing, planning. I cleaned out (unpacked from our last move, actually) the recipe file box. I threw out a bunch of hand me downs I’ll never make & honoured some handwritten family & friends recipes by protecting them in ziplocs & filed everything in the kitchen. I made a “to make” pile, all of which my sweety is also excited about. We also have as winter goals 1) learn how to & make Sushi. 2) eat more salmon from the freezer, in creative ways. I’m still in crockpot heaven… Got any crockpot fav recipes or websites for me? I’ll post what I make. Here’s the short list for Xmas baking! Im sure dogbones will also be on the list (for Amos & to take to xmas work potlucks). I’ve never as a grown up, actually made anything for Xmas!

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20111114-150147.jpg Blanche’s Shortbread, Nana’s haystacks & mom’s peanut butter balls. Classics. What are you baking this Xmas? Please share a recipe in my comments?
Make Something Every Day

How to stuff a dog… With turkey

Sunny but stormy calls for indoor recess baking. What to make today? Turkey, carrot, roasted garlic dogbones. Yum! I froze all the would-be gravy and bits of skin and innards from our recent feast.

20111111-150027.jpg ingredients: turkey skin, giblets, turkey pieces (left after boiling bones for stock), fat, would-be gravy liquids~ food processed, carrots & roasted garlic & parsley ~ food processed, baking powder & soda, whole wheat flower, oats, farm eggs, love.

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20111111-150700.jpg I made two baking sheets of cookies & froze them. Left a glass jar of them on the counter for current treats. I froze two ziplocs of dough balls for the baking at another date (or to make as Xmas presents). Then I…

20111111-150829.jpg made a turkey loaf for the dog. All the same ingredients, baked for an hour. It turned out amazing and the house smells delicious. The loaf is twice the size shown in photo. First impression from eager dog Amos? He almost bit my fingers off.
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one glass makes an average amount of freckles

38 Inspiring Objects

2. Freckle Juice.

The book by Judy Blume. What can I say? It may shock you how many copies of this book that I received, as a child for birthdays. Or maybe it wouldn’t. I AM a redhead, after all. I reread it this morning. Really formative-years, creative stuff. I wrote (and won) every elementary school speech ~on my freckles and red head hair. I was made fun of and my parents tried to use them to make me stronger and it did, in the end build my self image to the amazing place that it is today..barf. More importantly, the book reminded me of how Martha Dundas & I made baby powder & street mud cakes in my Betty Crocker oven, as infants, in her basement. I think it was taken away shortly after but my need to create my own recipes (or not follow them properly) still inspires my creativity today. and PS. DAD~ the freckles did not go away in high school, like you promised.

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my little cod croquette!

I was feeling frisky in the kitchen and decided to learn a new way of using some of the frozen ziplocs of fish in our freezer – thanks to my fisherman husband. The above video is Hilarious! I went with a Greek Christmas recipe Cod Croquettes but I used Ling Cod & Snapper. I didn’t dress quite like the crazy video lady (winks to husband) but I did use her recipe. It was a lengthy process & as usual I made way too much so after dinner we were still frying croquettes. Here’s how I did it:

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pan fried all the fish in butter & garlic till flakey. Made mashed potatoes with milk. Melted butter with onions, green onions & more garlic & parsley. I grated Mozzarella cheese and crumbled Feta.

20111022-093509.jpg I mixed it all together in a big pot and put in the fridge for 45 mins.

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I made little balls of mixture (recipe called croquettes to be fingers but mine fell apart during frying). I dipped balls in egg whites then in a mixture of Panko & Cajun seasoned fish crisp & lemon pepper.

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Then I tightened up my Martha Stewart wedding apron (from Annelli in the Saulte) and got down with some frying. I used olive oil and blue mechanics paper towels for grease drying after. Naughty bits of yummy were consumed with wine & sour cream to dip. Fisherman’s review: “they were very tasty. The lemon pepper made them zingy. They were the prefect combination of zingy & crispy. It was good”. There you have it folks! Ling Cod & Snapper Croquettes.
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What? Make bread in a crockpot?

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Today was a low fi house day, humid with relatively no sun. As good a day as any for some crockpot experiments. Using my trusty crockpot book, I found a cornbread bean recipe. What? Make bread in a crockpot? For goodness sakes, I don’t even know how to make it in the oven. I substituted taco seasoned ground beef for the base (instead of the bean recipe it called for). Cooked the meaty underbits first, put them in the crockpot, covered with the cornbread mixture and set for High at 2 hours.
Results? Well I’ll be. We thought it tasted great. “a corny twist on shepherds pie ~ beefy & good” is the review from my audience.
It was a bit dry so my sweety added some of what i call my “fail salsa” from last year. If I made it again I’d double the taco seasoning in the meat, add shredded cheddar between the layers and on top and some more red sauce.
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not as good as Kate’s but okay ~ cornbread

Rocking the gluten-free diet, mostly. These were not bad. And it was the first time perhaps in my grown up life that I have used a muffin tray for it’s intended purpose. I’ve used them (no, not THIS one Corey) for paints, paper mache mixing, oysters on BBQ etc.. So this was a pleasant change. I prefer Kate’s home-made ones with the little happy corn bits in them, but these did nicely with our mounting supply of frozen home-made soups.  We need a full-size freezer stat. Turkey Veg on the woodstove, as I type this. The weather outside is TOTALLY made for soup & snuggles only.