"The real winners in life are people who look at every situation with an expectation that they can make it work or make it better." - Barbara Pletcher

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

This is baking season.

Cool weather just makes me want to bake.  All the time.  I'm waiting for HyVee to put their baking goods on major sale so I can buy $1 bags of flour and chocolate chips and stuff my freezer to the brim.  When we wake up and the house is a brisk 58* but I know it will warm up by lunch, I see no reason to fire up the furnace.  I'd rather fire up my oven.  Glory! 

I have a 50mm lens I'm trying to figure out and get used to, but so far I'm just not having much luck. I need to take a class. 
We made what will now forever be referred to as "hard bars" last week.  Previously we had been calling them crunchy granola bars.  Silly us ;)

Hard Bar recipe from the newspaper...many years ago:

2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup nonfat dry milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch salt
2 tbsp oil
4 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients and press into 9x13 pan lined with foil. Bake 18-22 minutes at 325*.  Cut while still slightly warm.  Store in sealed container for up to a week, or freeze. 

I actually double this recipe and use a cookie sheet instead of a 9x13 pan, and I line with parchment paper.  I've also added craisins, chopped nuts, etc. 

This is the only picture I love with that lens, and it's of food! Common! 
I love having bars on hand to throw at the kids for a quick snack.  They're super cheap and easy to make, and I know they're more healthy than whatever I'd buy at the store.  Plus, the kids love them.  Score.  

Cupcakes!  I need to break down and buy a few more cupcake pans.  Seriously, I'm so ridiculous, and I know it, but I don't do anything about it.  I have one airbake pan that I love and I quit using the other ones I had, and eventually gave them all away.  So now anytime I make cupcakes or muffins I can only do 12 at a time...cool...remove...repeat.  So ridiculous.  

For Halloween we made my absolute favorite sugar cookies, which never turn out as well as my mom's.  We both have issues with under baking.  I absolutely can not tolerate dry baked goods.  I would rather eat warm dough.  My brother mocks us, and swears we just put pans of dough in the sun instead of using the oven.  Whatever, dude :)  When in doubt, I take them out.

 Sour Cream Sugar Cookies:
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup margarine
1cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups flour

Mix and refrigerate 4 hours or longer  Dough will be extremely sticky, flour surface, roll out, cut, bake at 350* for 3-4 minutes.

Seriously, 3-4 minutes.  Otherwise you'll have a hard, puffy useless piece of wasted calories on your hands.

I haven't perfected this just yet.  In fact, I threw away the 14 we had left over after giving most away on Halloween night to family.  Sorry, family!  Our icing was a little runny and combined with the under baked cookie created a bit of a soggy situation.  Better luck next year :)

Honestly, when all of this is going on, my hands are covered in dough and flour, and I'm trying to take pictures at the same time...it's inevitable that the timing doesn't work out perfectly.  Oh, well.  We'll just wait until Christmas and make ourselves sick on Marcy's and won't be tempted to make them again for another few months. 

My sister is about to have a baby, her fourth BOY in less than 5 years...so, this is a very good excuse for me to spend ,my days in the kitchen throwing casseroles and loaves of bread together for her freezer.  I absolutely love it, and I've been doubling everything to stock my freezer at the same time.  Awesome!  If only the kitchen would clean itself afterwards...

Choosing to love,


Gu34 said... Best Blogger Tips

What is the shape that Ry is frosting yellow? I couldn't figure that one out. =)
Also - What casseroles do you have in the freezer? I've decided that I'm sick of preparing everything the day of. I need to mass produce things again so I can just pull them out occasionally when I'm tired of cleaning the kitchen. Just need ideas!

Becky said... Best Blogger Tips

So far I've done meat balls, cheesy potatoes, that pizza roll-up thing, tater tot casserole, lasagna, the guts for runza casserole, spaghetti pie, chili and english muffin mini pizzas. I'm hoping to do chicken and rice, and enchiladas.

I could use some inspiration as well! I have a hard time looking at a recipe and deciding if we'll like it or not.

Tiffany said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm looking forward to enjoying the fruits of your labor! :) I also need ideas for meals - Brandon wants to send me to a cooking class. It's getting pretty bad around here.