"No matter where I serve my guests, it seems they like my kitchen best" -something I saw on my mom's kitchen wall as a kid, author unknown

Posts tagged ‘I need to bake!’

Today I opted for the creme-filled, coffee cake muffin to go along with my coffee. Great choice. Not for the creme-filling though… and not for most of the muffin even. The glorious, glorious glory of the muffin top – particularly of the coffee cake variety. H.E.A.V.E.N. (especially when you have not been able to smell or taste things in about a week)

What is it about the muffin top? I can’ t be alone on thinking it’s the absolute best part of the muffin, and best savored saved for last. Is it the crunchy goodness of the hard outter shell that gives way to the soft muffiny goodness beneath? Or, is it the goodies on the top, such as brown sugar, glaze, or nuts. Perhaps it’s the mere notion of doing something backward – you know, tear the top off the muffin and set it to the side… and then watch it while you consume the fluffy, soft muffin bottom. Bottoms up? Even now, there is a portion of my muffin top left – sitting just next to me. Look, I’ll even include a picture:

What’s your favorite part of a muffin? And why is it so – does it depend on the flavor or type of the muffin?

(By the way, it took a little doing to get that pic from my cell phone to my blog and I ate that thing in the interrim!) I think I may venture to make some pumpkin muffins with a brown sugar-crumby toping. I haven’t begun to look for a recipe yet… maybe I’ll make my own. You know, start with a basic coffee-cake recipe and spice it up. I’ll let you know what happens. Also, I still have to make those pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I’d say “maybe this weekend”, but this weekend is my birthday – Saturday, acutally – so I may not get around to it. There are no plans as of yet, but I guess I’m still hopeful that Michael has something up his sleeve.

Thanks for coming by today – coffee AND cake has been lovely! Cheers ❤

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Floating in Delerium – Still

Yes, Delerium, not Dalaran… if Delerium is, in fact, a word. If not, then I just made it up! ha! The worst of my zombie attack is over, but still feeling in the clouds. Come to think of it, it’s not all bad – feeling perpetually tipsy, only without the alcohol. :p Anyway, October is one of my favorite months. The weather turns cool, the trees make their flamboyant display of color, my windows get open and I bake. I’m trying a new recipe this year and I thought I’d share it out with all of you:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
  2. Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.
  3. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.

They sound really great. Let me know if you try them to! For now… back to bed.

❤ Thanks for stopping by, Sorry that things have been slow this week.

The Kitchen Sink

So it comes to pass that Michael and I may be selling our house and renting for a short while. This is all in preparation for us to move across the country since, as Michael gently pointed out, the house is the biggest road block to that move. I admit, I have been trying to hold it tight to me for sentimental reasons and well, because it’s OURS.

I am torn. I think I love the house more for the idea of the house, than for the house itself. It’s layout is bad and wastes space, and energy – but, but… it’s big! I find myself caring less and less about the big though… I mean, who ever said bigger is better? <insert shifty eyes here> I do like having places to put everything, that aspect is kind of nice – though, I find it encourages us to ‘collect’. I am looking forward to a fresh start and really, planning to take … well, not so much. (I hope). I say that, and then I think… but oh, what if I ever need <insert some ‘thing’ I haven’t even seen in over a year>. Yes, I will most certainly need Michael’s good judgment to sort through what we will take and what we will give to local shelters/charities.

On a positive note, one thing I’m looking forward to is the possibility of a more updated kitchen… perhaps one with a garbage disposal! Honestly, as long as the oven is up to date, and perhaps a dishwasher for easy clean up (nice but not necessary)… I’ll be happy.

The truly most motivating reason behind the move (for me) is to be close to my best friend. I tease about the excitment of being able to zombie-walk to her house in the mornings for coffee, and to be able to steal her boyfriend’s mage hat… but these are only the silly reasons I want to be close. To be able to see and talk to her as opposed to the limitations of typing messages will be SO good. I mean, what better way to blow off some steam when we’re angry or frustrated then to be able to just go out with your best friend. Or, hey, what if you just want some company to head to the local Wal Mart… or to share that OSM recipe – or, just drop by for a hug? And who can pass up a good ‘girls night IN’ with a good bottle of wine and some fun movies? (Sorry, boys not welcome!) Sometimes it’s hard to convey how much we really care through the typed word. Teres has supported and encouraged me so much over the past few years through so many situations, words alone can not express the gratitude and love I have for her. So thanks, lady – I heart you and can’t wait to be out there!

Oh! How can I forget?! Today, instead of a word, I bring you a recipe…

My Favorite Bread Recipe Ever:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 cups bread flour

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
  2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9×5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.

 

As always, thanks for stopping by for coffee… enjoy the bread – and the hugs.

A Moment of Clarity

Happy Monday! Oh, don’t grumble. Monday is a day like any other – we choose to make it what it is. Today, I choose to make it happy… no matter that I got stuck behind a garbage truck and then when I was free from that mess, the school bus in front of me stoped every 4.687 seconds to pick up more children and, consequently, I was late to work. I view it as: “Hey, I got to listen to Pandora THAT much longer!” Yes, I am – THAT girl – who sings at the top of her lungs in the car as if she were <insert your favorite singer here> and on stage.

So, back to the kitchen… no baked goods from this weekend. There was a crazy hot day on Saturday and we even put the air conditioners on for a few hours just to cool down and take the terrible humidity out of the air. But, I think I’ll make bread tonight – we’ll see. The events of the weekend had me thinking though, and my word of the day today is ‘clarity’.

Why clarity? Clarity is like… well, it makes everything make sense. Without clarity what do we have? Assumptions – which may or may not be right. Sometimes one may have ASSUMED clarity… which, is really just an assumption all dolled up in the pretty dress of clarity. You know, that time when you really believe that you understand and know how someone feels about an issue or subject, only to find out later that you, in fact, couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Sometimes getting to true clarity is frustrating and painful. I’m telling you, though, it’s WORTH it. I encourage everyone that if you THINK you know what someone’s elses point of view is, ask that question that may spur on a deeper conversation – which, in turn could lead to a deeper understanding. Try to understand not only what the person is saying to you, but WHY they are saying it. And, keep an open mind when they are telling you. It takes more than just hearing what they have to say… it takes accepting what they are saying, and if necessary, explaining your own point of view on the given topic. It can be a painful back and forth until you meet an even ground, or a compromise. However, when we understand the motivation behind someone’s intent or feelings, not only do we understand the situation better, but we learn more about the person. Isn’t learning more about the people we care about almost the point of relationships?

clar·i·ty

[klar-i-tee]

–noun
1.
clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.
2.
the state or quality of being clear or transparent to the eye; pellucidity: the clarity of pure water.

What’s your word today?

Thanks for the coffee this morning… and here’s to fresh bread tomorrow! *cheers*