Tag Archives: baking

To Pin or Not to Pin

Yes oh yes I’m talking about the wonderful and yet so evil Pinterest. I’ve seen it sweeping the blog world, sweeping facebook as it now posts to there as well. Talk at lunch tables at work and in the halls and it is EVERYWHERE. I’ve been asked a few times if I have joined this world. And well the truth is no, I haven’t. I feel compelled to tell the reason why.

I’m going to start by saying that originally I thought it was Pine terest not Pin terest. I possibly think that my original definition of pining was correct, it is creating a deep longing for. About a year ago I was obsessed with blogging and reading other blogs. Reading blog from homemakers, moms, working wifes, design blogs, cooking blogs and about everything in between. I found recipes, crafts, projects, ideas and so much more! I constantly was planning the next remodel, the next project I could save up for. I was following over 100 blogs and seemed to find new links every day. And then one day it hit me like a 2×4, think Tommy Boy.

I had become completely discontent with my life. I had no reason to be discontent I had everything I needed and blessed with so much more. Yet because of the new found pining of projects and abilities, crafts and the time to do them I had become miserable. I wanted to have the funds to go buy old furniture refinish everything and make a totally awesome room. Sad thing is, that as beautiful as I think that makes the room it honestly isn’t me but I WANTED IT! I wanted to do projects that weren’t even me, but felt compelled to do them?!?!?!?! Why, because they were awesome and homemakery???

So as Pinterest comes out and the wave starts and is taking over people everywhere at least for now I will bow out. I will still choose to do projects, but I will do this on my time in my terms and only for something I actually have interest in. If I want a recipe I will search for options on that one concept, not become obsessed with the next 100 recipes I feel the need that I have to try to be the best housewife. I don’t want to feel like a failing housewife seeing 1000’s of ideas that are awesome and great, but not for me and then feel guilty about it. I know that a majority of it is my own issues, but seriously why do it to yourself?

Anyways there is my rant for the day. What do you think about Pinterest?

Things I Learned from Mother’s Day: Part 3

Yesterday I mentioned attempting my strawberry hazelnut Torte. I’ve made this 4 or 5 times and has usually turned out amazing, possibly even “O” worthy. This weekend, as I wanted a special lighter treat, I added it to the menu for Mother’s day.

I made the meringue for the top and bottom layers and started preparing the chocolate and whipped cream. The meringue was supposed to cook for 30 + minutes and get lightly browned and puffy. Well in 10 minutes it was flat and burnt. Not exactly sure what happened, still getting fully accustomed to using a gas oven. Either way I wasn’t about ready to try again Saturday night. On one of my amazingly calm moments (seriously, this even amazed Hubs at how calm I stayed), I decided I wouldn’t let the situation get the best of me and used my melted chocolates to make chocolate dipped strawberries. Then used my whipped cream to make little frozen decorations for the plate the next day. Turned out amazing and delicious. Pretty sure I ate way to many, but I forgot how scrumptious chocolate dipped strawberries are!

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries...Simple and DELICIOUS!

Anyways, Here is the recipe for the Torte and some of the pictures of the process. Not sure what happened this last weekend, generally it bakes up amazingly and will have everyone praising your fabulous kitchen skills. Hope your oven likes you better than mine did! 🙂

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. ground hazelnuts
  • 6 oz. semi sweet chocolate squares
  • 1 tsp shortening
  • 1 1/2 c. whipping cream
  • 1/3. cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 1/2 c. sliced strawberries

Directions

  1. Place egg whites in large mixing bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30  minutes.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, trace 2 8 inch circles and set aside.
  3. Add vinegar, 1/2 tsp vanilla and salt to egg whites; beat until soft peaks form.
  4. Add sugar, 1 tbsp at a time; beating until stiff peaks form.
  5. Spread the mixture over the paper circles.

    The meringue....BEFORE it went into the oven...wasn't it pretty?

  1. Sprinkle with hazelnuts, cut through with knife to swirl.
  2. Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned (watch carefully should be thick and fluffy!)
  3. Cool and store in an airtight container.
  4. In pan over low heat melt chocolate and shortening until smooth; cool to room temperature.

    Ooohhhh chocolate!!!!

  1. To assemble, place one meringue flat side down on serving plate.
  2. Spread with half of the chocolate.
  3. In mixing bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken.
  4. Add confectioners sugar and remaining vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form.
  5. Spread half over the chocolate layer.
  6. Arrange strawberries.
  7. Spread the flat side of the second meringue with melted chocolate.
  8. Place chocolate side down over the strawberries.
  9. Spread with remaining whipped cream.
  10. Refrigerate for up to 4 hours before serving.
  11. Garnish with halved strawberries.

Even though I don’t have a final picture I think you get the idea. So a great recipe if you feel up for conquering the meringue. And just remember if your meringue falls flat you can always make chocoate covered strawberries. I don’t think anyone will mind to much!

We’re halfway through the week! Keep pulling for Friday!

Did you ever have a recipe that bombed? Were you able to turn it into something else amazing? What are your “back up” recipes?

Linking up to Rhoda’s Recipe Party!

Recipe Friday: Maple Oatmeal Bread

Fresh baked bread, nothing beats the fragrance as it fills the house. (Except for Scentsy!) Back in apartment days I spent the 2009/2010 winter making fresh bread almost every week. Now that we are in the house I haven’t had as much time, but wanted to make some this last weekend. Discovered that I need to find a good spot to have it raise as a fireplace doesn’t quite work like the heater vents. Oh well live and learn. Either way the bread has great flavor, and is one of my favorite bread recipes.

Ingredients

  1. 1 c. hot brewed coffee
  2. 3/4 c. boiling water
  3. 1/2 c. maple syrup (the real stuff here folks, not Ms B’s)
  4. 1/3 c. vegetable oil
  5. 1 c. oats
  6. 1/2 c. sugar
  7. 2 tsp salt
  8. 2 pkgs active dry yeast
  9. 1/4 c warm water (for yeast)
  10. 2 eggs
  11. 5-1/2 to 6 c. bread flour

Directions

  • In a bowl combine the first seven ingredients.
  • Cool to 110-115 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
  • Add the oat mixture, eggs and 2 c. flour; mix well.
  • Stir in enough remaining flour t form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface.
  • Knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top.
  • Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled.
  • Punch dough down.
  • Turn onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Divide dough in half.
  • Shape into loaves.
  • Place into 2 greased 9x5x3 loaf pans.
  • Cover and let rise until doubled.
  • Bake @ 350 for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Then you wait 10-20 minutes slice, butter and go AAAAhhhhhhhhhhh.

A delicious slice of warm bread with butter. Nothing like it!

Do you have a favorite bread recipe that you like to use? I’d love to have some new ideas or an easy way to make a sourdough! That type kind of scares me at the moment!

Linking to Party at A Bowl Full of Lemons

A bowl full of lemons.