Evolution of a Muffin

Posted by C. A. - Categoriezed under: Quick Breads, Recipes

I recently came across a recipe for peanut butter chocolate banana muffins that sounded like they were right up my alley.  Loads of chocolate and creamy peanut butter and calling them muffins meant I could eat them for breakfast!  It doesn’t get much better than that so I printed the recipe and gave them a try.

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Toffee Coconut Chocolate Chippers

Posted by C. A. - Categoriezed under: Cookies, Recipes

Prince Charming and I both love coconut and chocolate so the moment I came across this recipe on  Two Peas & Their Pod I knew it belonged on my must bake list (that makes me sound much more organized than I am; mostly I just keep multiple browser tabs open on my computer for online recipes and I tuck scraps of paper in my cook books).  This also happens to be one of those recipes that inspired me to make a few changes and develop my own version.

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“Perfect” Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted by C. A. - Categoriezed under: Cookies, Recipes

I have seen any number of posts around the blogosphere recently touting the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  While some of them are repeats of recipes that I’ve seen before, many of them are subtle variations made in an effort to achieve perfection.  Which, of course, leads to the question: How does one define the perfect chocolate chip cookie?

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Cake Pops

Posted by C. A. - Categoriezed under: Birthday Cakes

Every time I make a cake, even a relatively small one, there are always leftovers.  There are the trimmings from leveling the layers, there is extra frosting and then there is just plain leftover cake.  No matter how delicious, moist and wonderful a cake is after a while it gets old. Maybe you’re just getting tired of having the same thing or maybe it is actually getting a bit stale.  Either way, it is the perfect excuse to reincarnate your cake in the form of cake pops.

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Happy 2nd Birthday to the Little Prince

Posted by C. A. - Categoriezed under: Birthday Cakes

I think I am still recovering from the Little Prince’s birthday celebration – or more accurately, from the preparations for the celebration – but I wanted to share a few shots of the completed cake. (If you’d like more detail on the recipes used and early preparation take a peek at the test run from last week)

There were several times during the baking, trimming, shaping, building, frosting and decorating of this cake that I felt overwhelmed and certain that I had bitten off so much more than I could chew.  The Little Prince’s excitement and Prince Charming’s support ensured that I persevered and completed the cake. Read more…

Second Birthday – Test Run

Posted by C. A. - Categoriezed under: Birthday Cakes

We are celebrating the Little Prince’s second birthday this week (or as he so charmingly states “‘Appy birfy-day now peez!”) which means a busy time of gift buying and wrapping, party planning and prepping and, of course, cake baking.

Last year I took the plunge and created my very first solo birthday cake.  As I mentioned at the time, it was a whole lot of (very rewarding) work so I approached this year’s cake with a mixture of excitement, trepidation and determination.  The Little Prince and I talked it over and we settled on a “bump-truck” cake.  I could have chosen to go with a simple sheet cake with a picture of a dump truck on it, but I decided to get a little more ambitious…(here’s where that determination, and some of the trepidation come in).

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Disappearing Act

Posted by C. A. - Categoriezed under: Chit Chat Info

Well, it appears I have this disappearing act down pat; I don’t even need to practice, I simply need to be too busy (or lazy) to sit in front of my computer and write up new posts to share with you. The truly sad thing is that I have so very much to share!

Anyone that has been checking in on this site might think that I haven’t been baking at all in the past…um…several…months when, in fact, the exact opposite is true. You may have noticed that although I didn’t find time to do full posts on them I did post 9 new recipes to my recipe index (5 in March and 4 just a couple weeks ago). But those recipes represent only the tiniest fraction of my baking experiments and adventures.

I find myself spending a prodigious amount of time on TasteSpotting and FoodGawker each week (some might say a bit too much time). By the time my weekend rolls around I’ve managed to collect an impressive stack of recipes that I simply must try.  Sometimes they sound perfect just as they are written but more often than not the recipes I find inspire me to create new versions of my very own.  On average I’ve been testing four new recipes a week which involves running through the recipes once as written and then testing the variations I’ve dreamed up, both small and large.  On more ambitious weekends I’ve been known to try as many as 8 new recipes because I just couldn’t narrow it down any further than that.  Let me tell you, my co-workers (and Prince Charming’s as well) have definitely enjoyed this flurry of baking but I’ve decided that I need to cut back a bit so that I can take the time to share these baking adventures with you…so, let’s give this another go, shall we?

Zucchini Bread

Posted by C. A. - Categoriezed under: Quick Breads, Recipes

I remember growing up there were three quick breads my mother made quite regularly; banana bread, pumpkin bread and zucchini bread.  Of the three, zucchini bread was far and away my favorite, I loved the moist slightly dense texture, the flavor with its hint of spice, but most of all I loved the crisp melt in your mouth top crust.  I would eat each slice from the bottom up saving the top crust for last then eating it in tiny nibbles to make it last as long as possible.

Later, probably late middle school through high school years, I was baking as frequently as my mother would allow and I loved to make the zucchini bread almost as much as I enjoyed eating it.  In fact, I made it so frequently I actually had my mother’s recipe memorized.  Then I moved from where zucchini grows the size of a hefty club to where zucchini is not only pathetically stunted but frighteningly expensive.  Starting out on my own, first as a college student, then at my first real job and in my own apartment, I couldn’t afford the luxury of zucchini to be turned into bread and so the details of the recipe blurred and faded from memory.

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A long winter’s nap

Posted by C. A. - Categoriezed under: Chit Chat Info

I must apologize for my unexplained and much extended absence; I feel like I’m just waking up from a chaotic whirl of a dream. It has just now come to my attention that my most recent post is from about 3 months ago! Completely inexcusable, so I won’t attempt to make any excuses (they would be feeble and boring anyway, I assure you).

Let me just say that I am back with recipes and pictures from the holidays to share and new recipes and ideas for the new year. Look for new posts beginning this week with will include additions to my recipe index (another thing I’ve neglected for far too long).   I’ll be seeing you soon!

TWD: Caramel Pumpkin Pie

Posted by C. A. - Categoriezed under: TWD

This week Janell of Mortensen Family Memoirs picked Caramel Pumpkin Pie on pages 322 and 323.  This is certainly a great fall recipe pick but I quite the internal debate about whether or not to make it.  You see, I always make pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, sometimes even multiple pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving; I really wasn’t sure I wanted to make one now.  On the other hand, “Prince Charming” is big into pumpkin pie and I was pretty sure he would love this one.

Ultimately I decided I would make this pie for “Prince Charming” with one tiny little change…

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