An Adventure in food, DIY, and More

Tag Archives: baking

I’ve loved delicious treats (especially breakfast ones!) for as far back as I can remember. Sunday mornings, we would always have waffles, sometimes even bacon waffles, where the bacon was cooked inside the waffle. Then they were topped with delicious maple syrup. Um, yum! On the other hand, I just love fresh fruit. When summer comes, I do as much fruit harvesting as I can. We grow strawberries here, raspberries, and grapes. If we don’t grow it, we go pick it at local U-Pick farms, which always makes for a fun family day out. Usually by the time summer is over, I’ve got jars of jams and jellies, and plenty of fresh fruit tucked away into the freezer to use all winter long. While it doesn’t taste quite as good as fresh off the vine, it still tastes better than store bought, out of season fruit. The photo below is my husband and son enjoying an afternoon picking strawberries at a local farm. A bonus in this, is supporting local farmers! We picked 7 1/2 lbs of strawberries for about $10!

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Today, I want to share with you my favorite recipe for delicious fruit crepes. They come together quickly and easily. I’ve combined a few different recipes to create the perfect crepe. You start with a basic crepe, filled with a delicious ricotta/cream cheese blintz filling, topped with fresh fruit mixed with a tiny bit of sugar and a bit of maple syrup. If you’re daring, you can add a bit of homemade whipped cream on the top too. Hey, I didn’t say it’s the healthiest thing on the planet, but it sure is a nice treat now and again.

I typically use a strawberry topping for my crepes, but you could also do a mixed berry topping, or realistically any topping that you’d like! Last summer, I tried making a Blueberry Lemon Honey syrup that turned out delicious, and I’m sure if you used that on top of a fluffy pile of crepes, you wouldn’t regret it! Throw in some fresh blueberries and it’d be delish! Here’s the link to the Blueberry Lemon Honey Syrup!

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And now, let’s get on with it! I suggest making your filling and topping first, so that your crepes are hot and ready to be filled, topped, and served. We will start with the filling. It’s quite simple, and I do recommend a hand mixer or even a stand mixer to help make it smooth.

Blintz Filling Ingredients

  • 1 cup lowfat ricotta cheese (or nonfat if you are watching fat intake)
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese (or Neufchatel cheese)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

Blend all of the above ingredients together until smooth. Some people like it a bit lumpy, and I’ll leave that up to you. Blend to your desired consistency. I personally prefer it smooth. Set aside for now.

Next up, we will make our topping!
Strawberry Topping Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (or you could use agave nectar, or even a sugar substitute)
  • Β 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions:

Place your strawberries into a medium sized bowl, and then add your sugar and maple syrup. Next, use a potato masher, or a large spoon to squish them and mix until desired consistency. If you want a syrup with no chunks of fruit, you can process this in a blender. I usually like to have fruit chunks in my topping. Set aside.

Now, it’s time to make the crepes! If you have a crepe griddle, that makes a huge difference, but any non stick pan works fine. You’ll want a reasonably sized one so you have room to flip the crepes. Make sure your spatula is handy! This recipe can easily be halved to make less crepes if you don’t want as many. In fact, you can halve the topping and filling recipes as well if you only need a small amount.

Basic Crepe Recipe

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients (eggs, milk, water, butter and vanilla) and blend well. Sift the salt and flour in another bowl, and then slowly add to the wet ingredients, blending to combine. You want your batter to be very smooth, with no lumps.
  2. Heat your crepe griddle or pan to medium high heat. Lightly oil it (not a lot or the edges of the crepes don’t quite set, and as long as your pan is a true non stick pan, you only need to oil it once at the beginning), and then pour or scoop about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle or pan. I use a ladle to do this, and then I use the bottom of the ladle to swirl the batter around to cover the pan. You can also tilt the pan with a circular motion to coat the pan as well.
  3. You’ll want to cook the crepe for about 2 minutes or so until the bottom is a light golden brown. Loosen it with your spatula or shake your pan very gently to loosen it, and then turn and cook the other side of the crepe. I set my finished crepes on a plate nearby and cover with foil to keep them hot.

To Assemble Your Crepes:

Now it’s time to put them together! Take a warm crepe and put a tablespoon full of filling on it, and spread it around to cover the crepe. Roll it up, and then do the same with the remainder. Fill each plate with desired number of crepes, and then place desired amount of topping over the crepes. Lastly, add a dollop of whipped cream if you so desire! Tada! Your crepes are complete! Here is an image of mine when they are filled and topped. YUM! Enjoy!

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Ah, we all love the occasional sweet treat, don’t we? Especially a sweet breakfast treat. OK, maybe lunch too. Or after dinner. Heck, a snack between meals! And there is definitely nothing better than making that sweet treat yourself, in your own kitchen with minimal effort. I have many a good memory of getting a Saturday morning donut with my family at the local donut shop. Guess what I always picked? If you guessed Apple Fritter, you guessed correct! Nothing like the yummy goodness of the sweet taste of apples and cinnamon with a sweet glaze to top it all off.

Now I know in today’s hurried world, it can be tough to find the time to put together a complex recipe. With that in mind, I have some good news for you! I stumbled across an excellent AND quick apple fritter recipe that you can make in the comfort of your own home, and you don’t even have to have a deep fryer to make it happen. Just a relatively large, high walled pot works just fine. That’s what I used and my fritters turned out excellent. So good that I’m sneaking off to the store to buy more apples to make more tomorrow! Shh, don’t tell my husband. πŸ˜›

For those of you who have apple trees in your backyards, I’m a bit jealous of you right now. What I wouldn’t give to walk out on a crisp early fall morning, grab a couple of apples straight off my tree and come back inside to prep them for fritters. Or even an apple pie…but that’s a whole different story. Just the thought of that makes me smile. I’m telling you right now, this is a recipe to tuck away into your most prized recipe book, you’ll thank yourself later. Even my picky 2 year old enjoyed these, although, honestly, what’s not to like?!

Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients

Fritters:

  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (for batter)
  • 3 cups apples, peeled, cored and chopped small
  • 1 cup cinnamon sugar for tossing

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions (20 minutes Prep Time, 15 Minutes Cook Time)

  1. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or deep pan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Pour in the milk, eggs and oil and stir until well blended. Mix in apples until they are evenly distributed.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil and fry until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes depending on the size. Fry in smaller batches so they are not crowded. Remove from the hot oil using a slotted spoon or tongs (I found that tongs were easiest, I just let the fritter drip over the hot oil for a couple of seconds before removing) and drain briefly on paper towels. Toss with cinnamon sugar while the fritters are still warm.
  4. While your fritters are cooling, prepare your glaze. Put your powdered sugar in a small measuring cup, and add the milk and vanilla. Whisk until no sugar lumps remain. If your glaze is too thick, add more milk. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar until it is the consistency of a thin syrup.
  5. Once your fritters have cooled for about 10 minutes, dip one side of each fritter into the glaze and then place glaze side up on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. If you have remaining glaze, you can drizzle it over the fritters.

 

Recipe adapted from http://www.allrecipes.com.


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So I recently stumbled across a recipe I thought I would stick away for another time; I bookmarked it and went on with my day. Next on my list was grocery shopping, and ironically, the main ingredient, blueberries, was on a crazy sale that day. 2lbs of blueberries for $1.99. Can’t beat that! The recipe is a delicious, multipurpose Blueberry Lemon Honey syrup. I had fresh lemons at home already, as well as a jar of fresh honey from a local beekeeper. Needless to say, my plans changed and I decided to give this syrup a whirl.

The nice thing about the syrup is that it can be used in pretty much anything you can think of. It’s delicious in teas like chamomile, regular lipton, green tea, etc…and it gives a great antioxidant boost! I also tried it out on belgian waffles with a little butter, and it was absolutely tasty. My husband was drooling over my shoulder hoping I wouldn’t finish it all. I did. Sorry hubs, maybe next time. I also thought that it might make a good ice cream topping, or an addition to a mixed drink for adults. The possibilities could be endless with a little imagination! Maybe a topping for a fresh angel food cake, versus the classic strawberry? If anyone comes up with anything interesting, definitely share it here in the comments, I’m always open for new ideas and love learning new things!

Anyway, by now I’m sure you’re drooling and want me to just get down to business and share the recipe with you, huh?

Blueberry Syrup with Lemon and Honey
Recipe From Rachel @ Grow a Good Life

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh is ideal, as you will need the zest from a lemon as well)

Directions

  1. Using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, peel five 1-inch strips of zest from the lemon then juice the lemon reserving 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. Extract the blueberry juice by combining blueberries and water in a saucepan over low heat. Gently mash the blueberries with a potato masher and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain the juice into a heatproof bowl, pressing hard on the solids. Discard the solids. **Tip from A Recipe to Life: Another way you can do this, especially if you’d like to leave a little of the blueberry solids in there for either decoration or flavor is to use an immersion blender and break down the berries to consistency that you want them. I did this before I heated them, but you could do either.
  3. Return the blueberry juice to the saucepan and add the lemon zest and honey. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of your spoon or registers 225Β° on a candy thermometer. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Continue stirring and boil over high heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat, discard lemon zest, and allow the blueberry syrup to cool. Pour into just-cleaned bottles. Seal and refrigerate for up to 3 months.

Enjoy!


Hi friends!

I’m not sure why I do this, I tend to disappear off the map for a while and then pop back in and post a whole bunch. My goal is to keep this blog active with all sorts of neat information, DIY, recipes, and more! I love to write so I may as well put that love to use! Expect much more to come, especially now that I have a laptop.

This summer has been abnormally hot here in the Seattle area, we have been breaking temperature and heat streak records left and right, and we also haven’t had any significant rainfall in over 45 days. Yes, you heard right. Seattle hasn’t had rain in almost 2 months. Crazy, I know. We have been dealing with hotter than normal temperatures for us, between 85-90 most days, which most Seattleites aren’t used to. I’m sure some of you are shaking your heads, thinking, wow, they are wusses. Just remember what we are used to…grey, cloudy, and rainy. With that in mind, we have been doing everything we can to stay cool, which means finding alternative ways to cook or recipes that don’t require cooking. I’ve also been trying my hand at canning on the cooler days, as well as a number of DIY projects. I have also been gardening this year, and it’s wonderful.Β  Since I last blogged, we have purchased our first house and have a decent sized yard with beautifully established trees and plants, and I tore out a weedy patch next to the house to turn it into a container garden area, which turned out decently successful despite not having full sun. My dream would be to have my own homestead, so I’m attempting to do that on a smaller scale. We have two Silkie chickens who lay us adorable and tasty little eggs frequently which helps combat the rising price of store bought eggs due to the avian flu. The photo below is of our new yard, in late Spring.

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I have also been doing survival prep and emergency prep, just in case. All this talk of earthquakes here on the west coast makes one a bit uneasy, so I’d rather be ready than not ready. I’ll touch more on that later, and explain what we have been doing little by little to prepare.

For now, I have to get ready to head out to my job, in which I am a line cook, so I have plenty of recipe ideas and whatnot to share. Give me a follow,Β  leave a comment, etc! πŸ™‚


We all love those classics like chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, and brownies, right? Yep. Don’t deny it, you do. πŸ˜‰ I won’t deny it, because chocolate is delicious! This combines cookies and brownies all into one delectable little cookie. The kids will love it, the husband will love it, the neighbors will love it, the coworkers will love it…heck, even the dog will love it. But please, don’t give it to the dog. Cocoa can be deadly to dogs. Stick to sugar cookies for the family pooch if you’re going to share. Anyway, back on track.

Did I mention chocolate? And brownies? And cookies? All rolled into one? Yes I certainly did. Revel in that for a moment here. A cookie that’s a brownie. A brownie that’s a cookie. Exactly. No matter how you look at it, it tastes fantastic. It’s also a very simple recipe to piece together too. Just think of how you’d go about making classic chocolate chips, and basically that’s what you do for this recipe with a few differences. Takes an hour or so. πŸ™‚
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Add the butter and semi-sweet chocolate chips to a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow to rest until cool for 10 – 15 minutes. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. In the bowl of a mixer, whip together the light-brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula stir in melted chocolate mixture. Working in 3 separate batches, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and fold just until combined. Chill dough about 45 minutes. Preheating oven to 325 degrees during the last 10 minutes of chilling. Scoop a tablespoon of the dough out and shape into balls. Place onto Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven 12 – 13 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Quick thanks to one of my favorite blog hosts, MidgetMomma, for this one. πŸ™‚ She has fantastic recipes, and the best part, she also shares stuff about FREE stuff, and coupons, and much much more. Frugal living at it’s finest! Check out my blog-shares section on the right of this post for the button that takes you to her site!


Ok, so we all love banana bread, right? At least I sure do. This is a fun little recipe that adds a crumb topping and it just tastes fantastic. And who doesn’t love a muffin in the morning? Or afternoon. Or evening. Or even 3am. Whenever, really! This recipe is quick and easy as well, and can make use of those overripe bananas in your kitchen that you or your kiddos forgot to eat. A big thanks to Lisa Kreft for this recipe. πŸ™‚

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Ingredients

Original recipe makes 10 muffins
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 bananas, mashed

  • 3/4 cup white sugar

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

 

Quick and easy! And they’re yummy!


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This is a fantastic little treat for the family! It’s not as hard as it probably sounds like, and I’m sure that you’ll be drooling a bit by the time the nuts make it into the oven. The best part of this whole recipe, besides eating them, of course, is the amazingly delicious smell that fills the house when they are baking! Definitely make sure that when you make these, that you follow the directions and stir the nuts every 15 minutes while they’re baking, if not even more frequently! This way they don’t burn and they get crispy all the way around! My favorite part is to snack on them when they’re still a little warm from the oven.

Don’t be shy with the cinnamon either. If you’re a cinnamon fan, the more the better. You could probably get away with 3 teaspoons if you are a die-hard cinnamon lover, or only 2 if you aren’t. You also can substitute other nuts into this recipe as well. My husband and I made this recipe with walnuts and almonds instead of pecans, since those were the nuts that we had handy at the time. I can imagine that it would be good with peanuts, macadamias, hazelnuts, anything really! The best thing about these types of recipes are that they’re easily “tweaked” to fit every taste!

Ingredients:

    • 5 cups whole pecans, unsalted
    • 1 cup whole almonds, unsalted
    • 2 egg whites
    • 2 Tablespoons water
    • 2 cups granulated sugar
    • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoons salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Toss the pecans and almonds in a large bowl and then set those aside as well.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and water on high speed until stiff peaks form, which usually takes about 4-5 minutes on average. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and mix on medium speed until well combined.

Pour the nuts into the sugar mixture and stir to coat completely. Spread the nuts as evenly as possible over the baking sheets and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15, or more often if your oven runs especially hot. Allow to cool completely and enjoy.Β Store nuts at room temperature for a few weeks, covered.

*Recipe can easily be halved to keep around the house or doubled to feed a large crowd. Recipe courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction.