The Heart of the Home

Baking 101 037

My friend Beth Hill wrote a blog post on a Baking 101 workshop we took together at our church this past Monday night (led by Lynn Dyck of pineapple upside down cake acclaim).

I got some great tips about baking the perfect muffins. Beth got the essence of the lesson.

Please read her post on the heart of the home.

First Successful Solo Bake

I stared at the recipe Christa put up on the Operation: Recipe Swap Facebook Page for banana muffins.  There were less than 10 ingredients and no words I couldn’t understand. Newly empowered with knowledge from Lynn – muffin batter should be lumpy – I could do this. Continue reading

Back to the Future with Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Dear Betty,

I am a neophyte when it comes to baking.  I shouldn’t have volunteered to bring a cake for Friday night’s event and then showed up with nothing! I realized after the fact that it must have increased your stress level.  I am SO sorry.  If that ever happens again, I will at least go to the store and get something to replace it.  I honestly didn’t even think about it till afterward… and then I was horrified.

In your debt,

And so I learned the hard way that, when baking, to leave enough time to either make or purchase a replacement if it doesn’t turn out. Continue reading

Critical Update on Turtles

It would seem that my instructions for the turtles weren’t as easy as the 23 words would suggest.

Lisa posted this message on my Facebook wall that you should all be privy to:

** Critical Update on the Rolo Pretzel Turtles! We had used a no name Rolo from Walmart first time=yummy! (though some thought they looked like worms, with the ridges ;P). Legit Rolos only seem to come in Minis, unless i find a single strip pkg somewhere? Yesterday I made them with PC version of Rolos- no good! WELL- they were yummy! But the chocolate layer is thinner, so the Carmel goozed out everywhere :/

I’d attempted them on my own this weekend as well, with real Rolos, and had a similar problem: the chocolate cracked, instead of smooshed and the caramel spilled out.  I went to that dark place where I thought I was no good – why am I kidding myself thinking I can bake??  Lisa’s “spidey sense” kicked in and I received her critical update in time to realize it wasn’t just me.

The other critical danger is that when baking is still yummy, but not aesthetically pleasing, it becomes a PERSONAL SNACK.  The delight you feel when you realize SOMEONE has to eat these turtles, and that someone is you… is not worth the guilt and despair 10 turtles later. Trust me.

If I’ve learned anything from Lisa, it’s that baking is meant to be given.  Save yourselves a boat-load of turtle guilt and avoid the mistake of ugly baking!

I have a personal conviction not to shop at Wal-Mart, so I’ll have to look for a good Rolo substitute and PC has been eliminated.  I’ll keep you posted. If you have had any success with making these pretty enough to give away, let me know.

Pickier than she thought – Part II

Who is this woman?

I have never met anyone like Lisa, with multi-tasking super powers.  She can think of a million things at once and doesn’t get stressed out. In fact, she seems to thrive in the middle of lots of different activities going on all around her.  I don’t even see her keep lists.  If she does, I don’t want to know.  She has energy to rival my tween, whom I might even say resembles Lisa more than she resembles me, strangely enough.  Maybe it’s all the enthusiasm they emit when they’re being creative.  Maybe it’s that they’re both ectomorphs and look really great in skinny jeans. Continue reading