Archive for the 'baking' Category


Pictures I didn’t have when I wrote my last post

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Here are my new glasses. They have a green lining on the inside of the frame, which you can’t see very well.

Lilah took this picture for me.

Here are the five jars of applesauceĀ  and the three jars of pie filling, or my half of what Sam and I canned on Thursday.

New, straight to your computer…

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

… Is Lilah teaching the world her many wisdoms!

The first is How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich.

The second video are clips of what she did before, during, and after teaching the world how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Lately she’s been asking a lot of questions about how the people are in the TV. If they’re real or if what she’s watching is really happening, opposed to acting I think. She asks about the cartoons she watches and how the get there.
After watching a cooking show she got the idea that she should give the world the idea of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, so yesterday we made the video of her making the sandwich.

I think she’s so cute, and does a wonderful job. I also love all the knowledge she has in her young mind. The second video really shows her little mind at work.

They’re done.

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

So I finished my last batch of truffles last night. I made around 350, but I learned that there will be couple from each batch that crack or don’t turn out so they have 330.

I am so relieved.

Here are some close ups of the truffles though, I plan on taking some nice pictures of them individually packaged also.

But first I have to explain that the silver accent was so frustrating and on accident I found a way to use it and like it completely. I just wasn’t feeling what I thought would look nice. So I say if you want a silver accent beware that it’s frustrating unless you have time to figure out the design. I should have tried it a couple different designs but I didn’t have time, and the two ways I did the silver look OK but I found the way I loved it on the last batch on the tenth from the last truffle and completely on accident.

The first design. I think it looks better in the picture than it did in real light. I also did lighter silver accents which you see in the one with lots of truffles.

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What my counter looked liked for four nights, with a brief pause for Sunday.

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The accidental truffle is on the left, the second design is on the right. (I also want to say these are also examples of the largest truffles I would make an the smallest. Most of my truffles were in between these two sizes. )

I was going for contrast so I never thought to have the silver in line with the Z. It looks so obvious now that it would look better, but I’m not a creative person.

I made three batches the first day and then four batches for the other three days , or around 80- 100 truffles depending on the size. I got pretty good at getting exactly 25 per batch by the third day. I was going for slow and steady since I had other things to do in the mornings and couldn’t devote the my whole day to truffle making.

In fact I had other things to do like grocery shopping, but I didn’t have time to put the groceries away, except the frozen and cold items.

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My house while making truffles. It was only like this one day though.

I wasn’t sure if I enjoyed making these truffles at first.

To tell the truth I think the fact that they’re weren’t turning out as nice as I liked made the task harder and less rewarding. To see one truffle that I was completely happy with was a big relief and actually made me say ‘I wonder if I could market these’. The one problem being is they are so time intensive and I’d have to sell them for at least $1 a truffle and to me that’s a little steep if you’re wanting to buy 300 for a wedding and I’m not sure I want to do small orders, like boxes of truffles.

Things I learned while making truffles:

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

1. It’s easier to shape them when the truffle centers are harder, or more set. If they’re too soft they’re even more lopsided, but it hurts your hand to scope the harder center over and over and over and over again.

2. Chocolate that has had coloring added looks funny after it’s hardened and been remelted, but not funny enough to not keep the chocolates that had it drizzled on them from being used.

3. Adding a silver accent is so hard and frustrating. It runs second time melted colored chocolate, though not enough to still not use the chocolates. (It’s not too noticeable but to me it’s annoying.) (My silver accent is silver dust for fondant frosting applied with clear vanilla, opposed to the also recommended lemon juice or vodka.)

4. Making truffles for nearly 4 days straight is tiring even when you take Sunday to rest and have only done it for three of the four days.

5. Bagging each truffle individually and tying small bows is very tiring and adds like 2 hours to every 100 truffles, if not more time

6. To get a nice looking base trim the chocolate off by turning the truffle while you hold the knife stationary. That way you’re not doing chops or straight lines because you’re trying not to touch the navy blue drizzles.

7. Drizzled colored chocolate melts when touched with anything that has warm blood and then leaves colored spots on your white truffles when you touch them.

8. Trim the excess chocolate when they are plain truffles.

9. Truffles are fun to make and go all out on one day, maybe twice a year.

10. I don’t want to make truffles on a large scale to sell. It’s too much work.

I’ll post pictures later. I’m just to tired. On an up note I bought a new outfit today and it makes me happy.

Also we got caterpillars last Monday and four out of the five went into the pupa stage today, or made their chrysalis’ and it is so cool to watch. I think the 5th caterpillar is about 2 days behind in growth and will soon join the crowd. I’m also planning on posting pictures of that later.

Hippity Hoppity, Easter’s on it’s Way!

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Saturday our ward did an Easter egg hunt.

Lilah had been dying to go since we’ve heard about it and was so excited.

They had the kids 2 and under go first, but their eggs were just tossed on the floor in the middle of a room. They did turn off the lights so they had to use the flashlights. Eden enjoyed it, but I kept thinking she was three, and not still two.

Then they had the 3-7 or so age go out into the building. Lilah actually was just hitting up the eggs that were left from the little kids in the middle of the floor, but I convinced her to go into the hall way. They each had a maximum number of eggs and I had to keep taking eggs out of Eden’s basket as she found more than her share during Lilah’s egg hunt.

They had ostrich eggs, that had been drained, hidden around the building and Britta’s dad found her one. At the end those who found the ostrich eggs got to choose a prize.

Their was also a pinata, but that was for the older kids to hit that may not have found a lot of eggs.

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Waiting for the fun to begin.

 

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Britta, Lilah, and Eden. Lilah totally reminds me of her cousin Katy because that is totally a stance and smile Katy gives.

 

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Eden.

 

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Showing off their baskets.

It was a crazy, but fun, night. I have too much Easter candy already, and we have one more egg hunt to go. I think I’ll reuse the candy.

The eggs we hide will probably contain some raisins and coins, like last years. The girls love raisins and coins.

When does the candy stop? I don’t have to ever buy candy because it seems like we always have some form the previous holiday.

Second part to our Easter fun.

Yesterday, or Tuesday, we had Sam and Britta over for lunch and making cookies. The girls had a blast and Eden was obsessed with the flour.

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Cutting out cookies.

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Eden loved playing in the flour container.

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Britta was being bashful.

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She called the egg cut out a rotten egg.

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Frosting the cookies.

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Britta liked a lot of frosting on her cookies.

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Reaping their reward.

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Cakes, cookies, and whatever else you want.

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

My friend Amber is doing a little contest about plugging her business here on her blog, and you can visit her business site here which is in Utah, and I want her yummy cookies.

I only know a few people in Utah, but if you know people who need a cake or whatever tell them about Amber, she’s fantastic and makes me want to be an artist of cake making.

My forsaken vegetable.

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

Russet potatoes were one of the things that made my $40 a week budget possible earlier in my marriage.

Growing up we pretty much had them baked or if we got real fancy we did home made mashed potatoes, but that was only on holidays.
My mom did have some recipes she started using in my later years and I now use one, but baked and mashed is what I grew up with.
Jon likes mashed, especially home-made with the skins, though I’m not so keen on skin unless it’s red or golden potatoes. We do have baked, but very seldom. I learned different ways to cook them, some more time intensive, like twice baked, but I usually stuck to the easy stuff, like on the stove top with chicken broth, onion, garlic etc.

When I was pregnant with Eden I became a potato snob. I disliked russet potatoes. Recipes I use to love disgusted me if they were made with russet and one is still unappetizing with red or golden potatoes because the memory of russet is just too strong.
I’m not sure what happened but baked russet or mashed with no skin is the only way I like russet potatoes now. The skin is just too thick for me to eat and the thought of chewing it makes my stomach churn. The texture even gets to me a little, hence why some recipes I won’t eat with russet because I find them to grainy.

So enough already with russet potatoes and why I don’t like them.
I now only buy red and golden potatoes and I often forget that I have them or for some reason I don’t want to make them. But lately I’ve been wanting soup and I’m happily anticipating the tuna chowder I’ve made for tonight. (I’m waiting for Jon to come home.)
It’s so easy but very good.

Tuna Chowder- from Arthur Schwartz “What to cook- When you think there’s nothing in the house to eat”
(And only one of the two recipes I use from the book and I have changed it just a little to what I do. Also if you don’t like tuna it still makes a nice potato chowder, though the tuna adds a lot of flavor. It’s kinda a simple comfort food.)

2 Tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped (2/3 to 3/4 cup)
~ 2 1/2- 3 cups potato cut into 1/2 inch dice
2- 2 1/2 cups milk
1 6 1/2 ounce can of tuna, drained.
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter and saute onion until golden.
2. Add the diced potatoes and milk to the amount of liquid desired. (It will thicken slightly as cooked.) Bring to a boil, turn down to medium heat and cook until potatoes are done or about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add tuna and then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Yearly truffle making

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

So I did popcorn on Sunday night and the truffles today. The girls were actually pretty good and only in the afternoon was the TV on.
Lilah liked to watch me do things and was there to lick up any stray chocolate that got on the counter.
At one point she was relieved of her chocolate counter licking duty when she was getting in the way and trying to lick things like the spoon I still needed. She wasn’t too happy. Plus I’m not having her take regular naps so she becomes pretty sensitive.

So I made about 150 truffles.
Yeah.
Craziness.
I did have some difficulty when a batch of the candy melts were terrible and not looking nice as the coated the truffle. It had an oily separated look, so I made a lot of chocolate covered almonds with that chocolate and a went through a few bowls trying to figure out what was wrong.
Jon has 25 things of chocolate covered popcorn and 25 bags of truffles, each containing one of each truffle I made, and I did 5 kinds.
He has a lot of people at work to give them to. The list became so long because Jon would want to give some to a person in one office but they share the office with other people he knows and somewhat works with so he feels obligated to give a some to the whole office. Hopefully he has enough. He gave me 22 names and he has 3 to work with.

I’m just happy the day is over and the dishes are washed. (All our bowls had been used so I had to do dishes tonight so we could have something to eat from tomorrow.)

For tomorrow Christmas shopping and cutting out snowflakes for our window.

Compliments.

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

I love compliments. Heck, that’s half of the reason I do things! Not really, but I think everyone enjoys hearing nice things about what they’ve done or their children.

We went to a work picnic Sunday afternoon and once introduced as Jon’s wife three of the co-workers almost immediately complimented me on the truffles I made for Christmas time last year. So I loved hearing that even though it’s been nearly 9 months.
We figure if I continue to make them maybe they won’t fire him so they can have his wife’s truffles once a year. šŸ™‚ No, Jon’s a hard worker so I don’t think they’ll fire him unless something strange were to come up.

The other compliments were about Eden. The nursery leader that had her on Thursday, who is new to the group, said how sweet Eden was and how nice she was the whole time. Our regular nursery leader also tells me how nice Eden is and that her disposition is so kind.
My girls definitely behave better for other people, but I love to hear that those watching them enjoy to watch them because how nice they are. It makes it easier to find babysitters.

Grocery shopping

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

With wanting to stick to the budget I didn’t go grocery shopping the last week of September even though we needed a few things. I had spent the final part of our grocery budget at Costco. Milk was the main thing we needed. So this last week to make it last we had a lot of oatmeal and the girls got french toast twice within 4 days. We had plenty of eggs and bread, just not a lot of milk.
So yesterday being October 1st, I can’t believe it’s October, I went on one of my normal long shopping trips. First to Food -4-Less, where nonperishables are usually cheaper and then to Smith’s where I can find the store brand bran flakes and shredded wheat that I can’t at Food-4-Less and where dairy is cheaper.
I took the girls along and since Lilah found a penny that I pointed out to her. She was actually very happy and didn’t complain about being tired. Then at Smith’s I let her pick her own yogurt as a reward for behaving. (Before the penny happened and before we even got in the store she started to say she was tired!)
I’ve decided that many people do a month’s worth of shopping on the first day of the month. I saw a lot of people with two shopping carts full of groceries and the lines took forever to get through.
It reminded me of when I would got o the commissary with my mom for our monthly shopping trips for groceries.
It was crazy.
Smith’s was busy but not nearly as bad as Food- 4 -less.

Anyways, I bought a whole chicken and roasted it in my crock pot last night. It is delicious and was perfectly falling off the bones this morning.
I did it during the night so I could cook it on low, as to not rush it, and because I have Lilah’s gymnastics class tonight and I don’t like leaving things like crock pots on when I’m not at home, even if that’s one reason to use it. If a fire is gonna happen I’d like to be here to call the fire department.
I got the idea of roasting the chicken in the crock pot from Sam, and I figured now we have chicken to do whatever we what with. Put it on sandwiches or do a salad.
I feel like I’m finally doing something extra special for my family since they’ll be getting two not usually made dishes in a row.
Monday night I made black bean enchiladas, red peppers were on sale, and tonight we’ll have chicken sandwiches from homemade roasted chicken. This is a lot of cooking for me in two days. We have rice and soup like once a week, or rice and pot pies, or pizza. I cook the same things over and over again, so these dishes are nice changes.

Jon’s diet changes have kinda put me in a funk. I don’t know what to do to spice things up, though I have been making different stir fry’s which we find delicious but Eden does not like. Oh well.
Since the chicken was cooked with the skin it’s slightly fattier than what Jon should eat, but he can still have small amounts and the breast meat is still really good for him.
I’m just happy to do something extra for us.
The chicken was also hormone free and farmed raised so that’s one extra thing I also did. Now I just have to start buying those kind of chicken breast. The frozen ones I get are huge and obviously hormone injected!

Also with trying to save money I also took our coupons. We’ve been getting a condensed version of the coupons you would get in the Sunday paper, so I’ve been cutting the ones I’d use. I’m also keeping the good store coupons that are relevant to what I buy. Like if I buy this brand of soup I will probably buy it again. So I’d rather get a coupon for that brand of soup and not some random thing that’s associated with it. Like you often get store coupons for formula if you buy diapers, or a different brand of diapers.
Anyways. I love to look for the bargains and I’m liking getting the coupons each week in the mail.

Also here’s the recipe for Black Bean enchilada’s, it’s from the Pillsbury cook book. Enjoy, it’s delicious!

Black Bean Enchiladas
prep 20 minutes (ready in 40 minutes)- really it takes an hour

2 (10oz.) cans enchilada sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced separated into rings
1 small red bell pepper, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained , rinsed
8 (6 inch) soft corn tortillas, heated
8 oz. (2 cups) shredded colbymonterey jack cheese

1. Heat oven to 425 degreed. Spoon 2/3 cup of the enchilada sauce in bottom of ungreased 12×8 inch (2 quart) baking dish.
2. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until onion is tender.
3. In medium bowl combine onion mixture and beans; mix well. Spoon about 2 tablespoons beans mixture down center of each tortilla. Top each with 2 tablespoons cheese; roll up. Place, seam side down, over enchilada sauce in baking dish.
4. Spoon remaining enchilada sauce over filled enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.
5. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

my way- I use regular flour, or whole wheat, tortillas.(If you use larger tortillas use a 13×9 pan.) I also use an added 1/2 green bell pepper and a large red bell pepper so I can have more filling. I also end up using more cheese than the recipe calls for because I love cheese and it balances out the extra filling.