Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!!!

          

               I wanted to take a brief moment to wish all of my readers..my friends really, a very Merry Christmas! It's dark and stormy over here..We've got wind gusts and rain..but it doesn't matter. I'm with the ones I love the most and tomorrow we'll be waking up to a present filled christmas tree. We'll be enjoying a breakfast of eggs that were provided by still only one hen..but I've been saving them up for us to enjoy. There will be a variety of different things to eat and gifts to enjoy..but I want to thank you all for taking the time to stop by and say Hello and look forward to another year with you.

Merry Christmas!!!! 



Friday, December 20, 2013

The Cake Slice Bakers December Cake: Streusel Squares















                 

                     Here we are again..the 20th of each month I will be showing you the latest cake that we, at The Cake Slice Bakers, have whipped up.
                 

         This cake..The streusel square is basically a coffee cake. I love coffee cake. I did not love this one though. I liked it but didn't love it and because of that, I won't be sharing this recipe. It was moist and the streusel topping was the best bit. So why didn't I love it? Well to be honest, I found it a bit boring..and this is coming from a girl who loves plain vanilla cake and cookies. I guess I want more in my coffee cake. The flavor was helped along by adding in some almond extract and there are loads of things I could do to make it more to our liking, but at the end of the day, I wouldn't make it again. Check out what everyone else thought about it!

 








Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Take A Peek Wednesday: Hens and A Christmas Market

             

                     We are so close to Christmas now and I still only have one hen laying..just one! I had a chat with Mabel about it all and just like always, she gave me her classic look of just not caring. 
                 
 
         Belle is also doing a very good job of pretending like she has no clue as to what needs to be happening..Lay an egg? what? more treats,please!
                 
 
        They did all come over to wish you a very good morning though..how super nice of them :)
                   
   
           We went to our yearly,German Christmas Market and headed over to Osnabruck :) I just love that you can buy a drink with an annual mug they put out each year. I see lots of coffee and cocoa drinking in this cup. I was a bit surprised how commercial it's become and was a little sad to see this. It was my first year coming home without an ornament. The beautiful painted ones I love so much were no where to be found but the price of everything else seemed to really climb since last year.

What have the rest of you been up to over the course of a week?
 

                       

                               













Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Braided Pesto Wreath

                 

                As much as I wish it were otherwise, I can not craft to save my life. I can not knit,crochet,sew, or glue anything together without managing to glue my own fingers together. I can not draw,paint,sculpt or build anything with wood. I can however, bake bread. I sometimes get envious when I see everyone posting pictures of their holiday wreathes they made...especially since I can't join in along with them. So I had enough and decided to bake a holiday wreath! Not just anything wreath..but a red and green pesto wreath.
              
 

           Can you see the red and the green? I sure hope so because in person it looked so neat! lets look a little closer...
             


           There..that's a bit better. I needed to make two batches in order to combine the colors into a wreath..so if you go this route you will end up with two..one to eat now, one to either share or eat later.
                 


               The best advice I can give you, is to go slow and not worry about the mess you are making..because you will make a mess when you braid the dough. The process is really easy..you roll the dough up cinnamon roll style, split down the middle to expose the inside, and then braid it with the inside split side facing up..I mean, you WANT to show off the pretty inside so make sure you turn the dough over. I used the first wreath as a learning curve and found some things out; stretch the dough slightly when you go to braid it. It's going to get smaller as you braid and then curl it so make sure you give yourself enough dough to work with.

This is almost a two person job. My husband stood in as the official "Don't freak out,it's going to turn out beautiful" person. Because we worked together I wasn't able to get step by step photos..if anyone should ever need something like that then please let me know. I will make anything you need help with and post a photo tutorial. I'm just not one of those fancy food bloggers that has steps of everything. However, Confessions of A Foodie Bride has a bunch of photos,so head over there if you need some extra help.

Braided Pesto Wreath

1 cup Warm Water
2 tsp. Yeast 
2-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 TBS Olive Oil
1 tsp. Salt

For the Pesto middle:

1/2 cup Pesto..any flavor
2 TBS or more of Grated Parmesan Cheese

Pour the warm water into a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top; stir and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients for the bread and mix until combined..if the dough is sticky,add more flour,a tablespoon at a time, and if the dough is to dry, add water a tablespoon at a time, until it all comes together.

Pour dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic..5-10 minutes. Place dough ball into a lightly greased bowl,turn to coat, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into an 18x12 rectangle. Spread pesto all over the top but making sure to leave a clean 1/2 inch border around the edges.
           


             Roll the long side of the dough up and pinch the seam closed.

Cut the dough in half down the middle using a pizza cutter and then transfer the two pieces either onto a parchment lined or cornmeal dusted cookie sheet, pinch top ends together. Working in a very confident manner ( you can do this!),braid the two pieces,trying to keep the pieces twisted so that the cut ends remain on top..you wanna show that pretty design :) When you get to the bottom pinch the ends together and wrap into a wreath.
                   


          Once you have made the wreath shape, pinch and tuck the combined ends the best you can. Turn to your partner and shake hands on a job well done! Cover the wreath with a tea towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven while it rises to 400 or 200 celsius ( the original recipe says to go higher but my oven is slightly on the hotter side and bakes things up way quicker than stated so I always adjust both temp and bake time). Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. 

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and delicious. Cool slightly and then dig in!

** If you want to make a red and green pesto wreath like I did then you need to make up two doughs..one with green pesto and one with red. Once you split the rolled up dough in half,patch a red with a green and start the braiding process and then do the same with the remaining two pieces. Again, you will end up with two if you do the multiple colored one.**

Yield: One beautiful braid
Source: Confessions of A Foodie Bride



    






Friday, December 13, 2013

Gingerbread Cookie Cake

             
         Happy Friday! Another week has come to an end and we are one step closer to Christmas :) Guess what I'm doing as I type this blog entry up? I'm sitting here eating a Reese's Peanut Butter Tree that a friend sent to me from back home. I know this doesn't really mean anything to alot of you..some of you may not even like them or will say, I can get those anytime I want! Well, I can't so eating one of these sends me straight back home. Sure I could make a home version of it..but it's not the same. I can't help it. I want the prepackaged peanut butter tree goodness. It's salty and almost tastes like a Butterfinger! good golly, I can't remember the last time I had one of those. I also can't believe I just said, good golly! 
   
           
             It's the simple things in life that bring me the most amount of joy. It makes me happy knowing someone out there thought enough of me to send the family and I peanut butter trees. You know what else I love? this cookie cake. It fills every single need I have in a dessert; It's big,thick,soft,cakey,full of flavor, and can double as a present for someone...Just imagine this wrapped up in cellophane on  a pretty plate? no one will be sad to receive this as a gift.

I had to use blackstrap molasses because I have yet to find anything other than this and even that takes some detective work. I'm officially out and I won't lie..I am panicking. I want to make this again along with other molasses based cookies and unless I find more that won't break the bank cost wise, I'm going to have to go on a molasses detox program. I have to say that the more I use the blackstrap, the more I love it. I can't use it in large quantities because of how strong it is, but in small amounts,it's kinda delicious.

This cookie cake lasted all of one hour. I sent my husband an e-mail showing him what I made and wouldn't you know it, the man showed up 20 minutes later to eat some of it. You have to love a man who leaves work early because of how excited he is to sample something you made. The boys came home shortly after that..and well,it was gone after that. We loved it. Go make it.

Gingerbread Cookie Cake

1/2 cup Butter,softened
3/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Molasses
2 Eggs..freshly laid by your hens if possible :)
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp. Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp. Cloves
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Salt..my addition
2-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour

For The Drizzle:

1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 tsp. Vanilla..I bet lemon would also be nice
1 TBS Milk
Sprinkles,for decorating;optional

Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celsius. Line a 9 inch round cake pan ( I used a springform pan) with foil and spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl,cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in molasses and mix until it's smooth and completely combined. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Mix in the baking soda,cinnamon,ginger,cloves,nutmeg,salt, and flour ( you can also mix those items together and then pour into the wet mixture..which is what I did).

Form the dough into a ball with your hands and then gently press it into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Bake it no more than 19-22 minutes. You want the top to be barely golden brown and is no longer shiny looking. I go nuts over a super soft,slightly raw middle cookie cake but if that't not your thing, then bake it a little longer..BUT not by much. You really want this to be soft and delicious.

Allow it to completely cool in the pan (it's really soft) and then take it out,peel the foil off and put it on something you can drizzle the topping all over ( I put it on a wire rack and then onto a cake platter after the drizzle had set).

In a small bowl,whisk together the drizzle ingredients. Pour into a plastic sandwich bag and snip one of the ends off. Drizzle your desired pattern onto the cookie cake and decorate in anyway that your heart desires. My heart desired a hot pink and greenish drizzle :)

Yield: 9 inch cookie cake
Source: Crazy for Crust








Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Take A Peak Wednesday: It's Kinda Cold

        I know it's not polite to complain about the cold weather when there are so many other people who are dealing with some severe conditions right now. So I won't complain. I will just say that it's getting kinda cold around here.
                                
 
        It's going to get colder at some point so I know this is nothing compared to what will be..but again, it's getting kinda cold around here. What is it like where you are? I am so thankful for our wood burning stove..We have it going as often as possible and it makes such a huge difference. 

P.S. I can't believe how quickly Christmas is coming. I have bought exactly one gift so far..just one! Sadly,the rest won't be taken care of until around the 23rd..but we always manage to pull it off. How is Christmas coming along at your house?




Monday, December 9, 2013

Giant Chocolate Snickerdoodles

           

                   A few weeks ago I decided to bake something big for the guy who took Hyacinth,the rooster. It was important to me to say thanks for giving him a forever home and the best way I knew how to do that, was to bake something really big..like realllly big...because sometimes you just need to give a big ol' thanks. I've noticed we have become way to slack on thanking people in general. I notice it more and more each day. People are getting to busy to stop and help someone, to say thank you, to smile, to really look into someone's eyes and just say, I appreciate you. It's considered old fashioned to hold the door open for someone, to drop a hand written card in the mail to someone you thought of today and wishing them well, or dropping flowers off to someone, just because.

Being decent towards one another should be an everyday occurrence in my humble opinion..even when you don't feel like it. I hope you will inspired to bake something for someone..because I know by doing it, you will also get a selfish high from it. It will make you feel good when you see a smile on their face. Everyone wants to feel special once and awhile. So go bake something.

These giant chocolate snickerdoodles pretty much rock..and are a complete meal in itself. The funny thing is, I didn't even make them as big as they could have been. I stopped just shy of 5 ounces but could have gone all the way up to 6. They are soft and chewy and they aren't all that sweet considering how much sugar is in there. You can make these smaller if you want..but why would you want to??

On a side note, these cookies come with a large quantity of cinnamon and sugar to roll them into. You will have a lot left over. You can use the leftovers in anything you want..maybe a swirl quick bread, or sprinkled over muffins,pancakes or waffles. You can also skip the recipe and just use a simple cinnamon-sugar mixture to roll your cookies into. It will be delicious no matter which road you take.

Chocolate Snickerdoodles

2-1/4 cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. Cream of Tartar
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter,softened
1-1/2 cups Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla

Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture

1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 375 or 190 celsius ( the original recipe states a 400 degree or 200 celsius oven, but I found that to be way to hot). Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl,combine the cinnamon-sugar mixture together and set aside.

In a medium bowl,whisk together the flour,cocoa,cream of tartar,baking soda, and salt.

In a large mixing bowl,cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for around 1 minute, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs,one at a time, and beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute,until everything is combined. On low speed,slowly add the dry ingredients and continue mixing only until the flour disappears.

With a large ice cream scoop or spoon,divide the dough into balls weighing around 5-6 ounces. Roll the dough balls into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place onto prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart. With damp fingers, flatten the dough balls slightly until they are 1 inch thick.

Bake the cookies 12-15 minutes, until golden brown at the edges and set in the middle. They will appear to be slightly undone in the middle..but that is ok..you want this! Allow them to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheets before removing to a wire rack.

** Store remaining cinnamon-mixture in an airtight container. It will keep indefinitely.**

Yield: 8 Ginormous Cookies,24 small or make a combination of both sizes
Source: Piece of Cake: Home Baking Made Simple           





Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Birthday,Christmas Tree,Eggs,Oh My!

     

             Dec 1st was my birthday. I turned 39! I'm really not sure how I feel about this. It feels odd to say that I am now very very close to turning 40..which if you can hear the voice in my head,you'd think I was telling you all I was about to take my final walk out to pasture and would be calling it a day after that. I find I have a hard time dealing with the whole number factor because I never see myself as being 39 or 40 or 50. I'm just me..and so far, I'm doing alright. Last year I posted about my BIG weight loss..So this year, I have another big announcement: Daisy my delightful hen,laid her very first egg..on the morning of my birthday. Does it get any dang cooler then that?
                                 
 
            Isn't it cute?? It was tiny and perfect..and she has laid one every day since. She is one of those proud hens..which means she squawks at the top of her lungs..and let me tell you, that is one of the most unladylike sounds you could ever possibly make. It's going to get really loud when all 7 decide to lay at the same time.
                   
           

                          As part of my birthday we always decorate the christmas tree. I've been doing that for so long that I can't imagine not having that tradition. We put the christmas music on and take a trip down memory lane with each bulb and personalized ornament we unwrap.
                      


              I was also able to finally buy LED colored lights. I can't begin to tell you how happy that made me. I've only been able to buy white lights here and dearly missed the colored lights. I actually jumped up and down in the store when I saw them. I wake up early each morning and come downstairs and turn them on right away. I drink my coffee while sitting in front of the tree and listening to christmas music. I can't think of a better way to start the morning..











Monday, December 2, 2013

Stuffing Bread

      

          I love leftovers from Thanksgiving..if I'm totally honest, I prefer it over the actual day of eating it while it's all hot and fresh. There is something about thick pieces of cold turkey layered in a sandwich with some salt and may..love,love, love it! What made this years turkey taste even better was this bread. I baked it about a week before we had our meal and tucked it away all nicely wrapped in the freezer. I just knew it was going to go great with the turkey..And I was right.

We loved this bread..kind of hard not to when it tastes just like stuffing. We enjoyed it as a hot turkey sandwich,ate it with fried eggs, and as a regular sandwich. The bread is moist and is a real keeper..even when it isn't Thanksgiving. So make it no matter what time of the year it is!

Stuffing Bread

3 cups (12-3/4 ounces) All-purpose Flour
1-1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Sugar
3 TBS Vegetable Oil
1/4 cup (1-3/4 ounces) Yellow Cornmeal
1/3 cup (3/4ounc) Potato Flakes
2 TBS Nonfat Dry Milk
2 tsp. Instant Yeast
1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/4 cup Toasted Sesame Seeds
2 tsp. Poultry Seasoning,or 2 tsp. Ground Sage
1-1/4 cups (10 ounces) Water

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and knead by hand or electric mixer until the dough is smooth and supple,adding any additional liquid or flour as needed ( I didn't need extras of anything)..this will take about 5 minutes by mixer or 8 minutes by hand. Grease a bowl with some oil and place the dough into the bowl,turning once to coat. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pick your shape. I went with a single round loaf but it can also be shaped into a log and placed in a greased 8x4 inch loaf pan. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for about 45 minutes,or until it's crowned about 1 inch over the rim of the pan is using. If making just a round loaf, rise for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 or 180 celsius. Bake the bread for 35 minutes, until it's golden brown and sounds hollow when taped on the bottom. Cool out of the pan on a wire rack.

Yield: 1 Loaf
Source: King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion 

                                                               











Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Take A Peek Wednesday: Around The House

           
 Winter is on the way. I've been busy with The Ladies and getting their home ready for the colder months that lie ahead.
           

     
      We made sure to pick out a hearty breed that doesn't mind the cold winters here. It doesn't get brutal but it can and will snow and combined with the Noah's Ark worthy amounts of rain..well we didn't want any wimpy hens. These girls are really enjoying the cooler temps and happily run around all day. Still no eggs yet..but you know I'm checkin..a whole lot if I'm honest.
                  


        Speaking of keeping warm..we finally have our wood burning stove all set up! We've been enjoying a warm fire nightly for about 3 weeks now. I have wanted one of these since forever and can't tell you the joy it brings to me when I get to sit down for the evening in front of it. It's perfect for our living room and heats it up to a perfect temp. I actually look forward to when everyone is home on a day when it snows. I see hot chocolate and a christmas movie while enjoying the fire when it does happen!
            


    I have so many crafts pinned that I finally decided to actually do one of them! I went out into my yard and picked out some branches,came inside and hot glued them together to look like a tree! Well..I needed some help from my husband because I am not to be trusted with hot glue unsupervised. I think it came out cute and can't wait to hang it on our tree!
                


          Here is a pic from my living room window that faces the back of the house. You can tell how long our area is. If you look all the way back and to the left, you can just make out the lighter wood that is the chicken run. Every morning I will stand on my toes to see if I can see the white one,Belle ( she is the only one that stands out with her color in the early morning), and when I see her then I know it's time to run out to feed and water them. The window you see on the left is my kitchen window and the door next to that is our backdoor. 

P.S. My neighbor to the right of me is moving. If you are considering a move to The Netherlands and fancy being neighbors with one happy bread baking,hen raising,veggie growing American,send me an e-mail and I will share the link of the realtor :)








Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

        

Living abroad can be tricky around the holiday season..especially if the country you live in doesn't celebrate the same things as you do. Like, the 4th of July,Halloween, and Thanksgiving. It becomes even more strange when they do celebrate the same holiday as you..but in a different way. You start sinking into a big depression sometimes that can take years to climb out of. It took me awhile to source out what I needed and what I couldn't find I needed another version of. It's taken me a few years but we celebrate Thanksgiving just like home now!

The only difference for us now, is when we eat our meal. We decided to always have it on the weekend since no one has the thursday off and it was more relaxed that way. So we decided on Saturday to have it since next weekend is my birthday ( I'm looking at 39 this year and not sure if I will embrace 40 by 2014!). 

We had the best time. It was our first Thanksgiving in our own home and that alone was something to be really thankful for. I had many many blessings to count this year and it really made me aware of how long I had been waiting for this moment. I was living in my own home. My very own home. We had a fire going in our wood stove and as I glanced out the living room window I could see the Hens running around. Everything at that very moment all came together for me. I am living the dream I never thought would come true.

 Now some people will see my place and laugh at me. Sure it's in a neighborhood and of course the yard isn't huge and yes I talk like I live on a 5 acre plot when in reality it's a very small but long yard..But it doesn't matter because it's mine and I love it. To me I do live on that plot of land that will allow me to grow what I want and raise chickens. I've already got the chickens and this summer, I'll have the homegrown veggies! I am thankful for every blessing I have right now. I'm even thankful for the painful lessons I have learned along the way. They make me love this house and all the hard work that went into it that much more.

I'm thankful for every one of you that takes the time out of your day to stop by and say,Hi. I love the e-mails you send to me and all of the wonderful comments you leave me. So thank you.

You know what I'm also thankful for? buttered covered turkey. Seriously this was my best turkey to date. It was crazy moist, not one least bit dry, and it's a method I will use both on turkey as well as chicken! I simply took softened butter and mixed it with various seasonings. I smeared a small amount underneath the skin and the rest I covered the entire turkey with. After one hour is was a beautiful golden brown so I tented it. I never basted it once. The turkey under the skin was covered in seasonings and tasted incredible. Butter really does make everything better!

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving this thursday!!! 











Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Cake Slice November's Cake: Applesauce Spice Cake


 Have you heard of The Cake Slice? I've been keeping my eye on them for some time. I have always loved the idea of joining in on a group that all bakes from the same cookbook and the recipe once a month. I then love chatting with them about it and then getting all excited about the next item we are going to bake. Well..I can officially say that I am now a member of the group! As soon as I noticed they were taking new members I leaped at the chance. 

My oldest son laughed at me when  I said I joined an online baking group. So..yeah, I can sorta see what he means..but he stopped laughing and got excited when he realized he would be eating some sort of cake once a month..for a whole year. He got behind the idea real quick after that. For me it makes perfect sense to join an online group..living in The Netherlands and not being surrounded by any sort of bakers makes me lonely for like minded people. I am now surrounded by like minded people :)

Anyway..lets get started. We are baking from a book called,Great Cakes by Carole Walter. The book doesn't have very many photographs..which totally shouldn't stop you from buying it. Some of my favorite cookbooks have little to none when it comes to photographs. I will be posting each recipe on the 20th of each month and our first cake is the applesauce spice cake. It's kind of left up to us in regards to posting the recipe. Some will,some won't. Although I enjoyed the cake I won't be posting the recipe. The simple reason is..we loved the brown sugar glaze the best!
       
 

             If you have a favorite spice cake recipe that has a mixture of apples,nuts,cinnamon,and nutmeg..I would say please use this glaze to go along with it. We loved it. Like alot. I have serious visions of me making just the glaze and then taking the whole bowl into the pantry to eat alone with a spoon. I'm not saying I will. But I totally could. If you really want the recipe of the cake, click on one of the member links below and I'm sure you will find several who have included it.

Brown Sugar Glaze

3 TBS Butter
3 TBS Light Brown Sugar
3 TBS Heavy Cream
3/4 cup Sifted Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla

In a small saucepan,melt the butter with the brown sugar over low heat. Then,stir in the heavy cream and cook slowly until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Take the pan off the heat and gradually add the powdered sugar in three additions,whisking until smooth. Add in the vanilla and whisk to combine. If the icing is to thick,add a few extra drops of the cream. You want is pourable but not runny. It sets quick so get it on the cake as quickly as possible.

Yield: 1/2 cup,enough to glaze a 9-inch bundt cake
Source: Great Cakes












Monday, November 18, 2013

Scotch Pancakes

             

           Happy Freezing Cold Monday! It's really cold,you guys. The hens might have to come and live inside with us for the winter because I don't know if I can keep making myself go out there every morning. I imagine I look rather comical to anyone else who might be up at the crack of dawn and looking out their bedroom window. You'll see me trucking towards the hens with fresh food,talking to them about the importance of laying their eggs already, and then tossing the food around as fast as I can so that I can make a mad dash back inside to fill their water container back up only to have to then run back out to give it to them. I'm in trouble when it starts pouring down with rain or snow.

I see alot of homemade soups and breads in our future..infact for Sunday dinner we had Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup with thick slices of Cider Loaf. For dessert we had leftover Cowboy Coffeecake. We were happy campers!

These pancakes are also making us happy these days. I had never heard of a scotch pancake until I purchased a new bread book called, Brilliant Bread by James Morton. He's from the U.K. and I'm loving his book. I've baked 3 of his breads so far and we've loved all of them. Then I spotted this recipe in the back of the book. He mentioned eating them with butter and jam..not maple syrup like American pancakes. I went hunting for other recipes of it online and sure enough, they all ate theirs with jam..almost like toast. I'm gonna be honest and say that we did infact eat ours with maple syrup and peanut butter instead of butter. They were crazy good. I've made these about 4 times now and we love them a little bit more each time. They are fat,thick,perfect little fluffy pancakes. Eat them with jam and butter or with maple syrup or however you like. I know you will love these.

And yes, the recipe is in grams..

Scotch Pancakes

200 g Flour
1 TBS Baking Powder
1/2 tsp/ Salt
2 Eggs
100 g Milk..I needed more**

** The recipe makes a very thick batter..to thick in my opinion to drop by tablespoons full. I added enough milk to form a very thick batter that almost starts to run off of the spoon**

In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until nice and smooth.

Preheat a frying pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of butter to grease the bottom of the pan. Drop batter by heaping tablespoons full onto prepared pan and slightly spread the batter out..it won't spread out on its own so spread it out just a little. Cook for 1-2 minutes,until bubbles start to form on the outside and the bottom is golden brown. Flip and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.

Serve warm

Yield: 14-16 wee fat scotch pancakes
Source: Brilliant Bread  
            











Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Take A Peek Wednesday: Christmas Cactus and Music

       

               Do you own a Christmas Cactus? I love these guys. I've got two..one that has white blooms and the other has a pinkish red bloom. 
                         
 

           Something pretty amazing happened when we moved into our new house. I placed them in our one of our living room windows and watched in amazement as they began to grow and grow. I had them in a window in our other place but there is something about the amount of light they get here that I guess they didn't get in the other one. Then the blooms started popping up a few weeks ago. I would get maybe 4 or so blooms when we lived in the other house..but in this place? they are covered on both plants! I've never seen so many blooms before and I'm so excited to watch them all open up. It's the simple things I tell ya.

Have you started playing Christmas music yet? I started this morning. I know some people wait until after Thanksgiving to get into Christmas..but life is to short to wait sometimes and I decided to enjoy it as much as possible this year. There is a radio station online called, AccuRadio and they have an entire section for Christmas music and I'm so happy I can barely stand it :)

Still no eggs yet..I check every morning when I feed the hens but so far they haven't blessed us with any.








Monday, November 11, 2013

Mint Chocolate Chip Muffins

     

      I slacked off with my blogging last week..it was just,one of those weeks. I wasn't feeling 100% myself and just decided to take a quick step and regroup a little. I go through that every so often...well I was already waiting for it. I get a little down when the holidays start coming on. I miss home and everything that means when it comes to celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is what it is and I'm really good about kicking my own ass and pushing myself forward,but I also know that a few days of down time does wonders for me in regrouping and pushing forward. I am planning our meals and can't wait to buy our first Christmas tree and get it set up in our new home :) We're still getting everything situated..4 months on and I still have some boxes to unpack and a few walls to paint!

So lets move on,shall we? Muffins are a staple in this house and as soon as I spotted this recipe I ran into the kitchen to make them. I love,love,love, mint chocolate so I prayed that no one else in the house would like these so that I could have them all to myself. No such luck because everyone else loved them too.

Mine came out darker than I would have liked and will keep a better eye on them next time. My oven has a special cake/muffin mode and it tends to bake everything up a lot quicker and I keep forgetting that. If you are a fan of mint chocolate,give these a try! And yes..the recipe is in grams..buy a weight scale already :)

Mint Chocolate Chip Muffins

280 g Flour
1 TBS Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
115 g Sugar
150 g Chocolate Chips..I used mini's
2 Eggs
250 ml Milk..I used low fat
85 g Butter,melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp. Mint Extract
Green Food Coloring,optional

Pre heat oven to 370 or 190 celcius. Line a muffin tin with wrappers and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour,baking powder,salt,sugar, and chocolate chips.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs,milk,melted butter,mint extract and food coloring ( I think I used maybe 4 drops). Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.

Fill your muffin cups 3/4 full. 

Bake for 20 minutes of until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on wire rack and enjoy warm or room temp.

Yield: 12-14 muffins
Source: Not Only Muffins