Monday, November 30, 2009

Monkey Monday

This is what Aiden looks like when he tries to say “cheese” for the camera!!

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Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Getting back here….

I am upset with myself…..I shouldn’t have signed up for NaBloPoMo this month.  I knew going into it that I wouldn’t have the time or the material to keep up with it.  And with Jason gone and all the emotions that go along with that made it difficult to find the motivation to blog…

But I had such high hopes!

I have been baking, but not taking the time to get the good shots and actually blogging the recipes.  That’s not good.  I really want to make this blog into something that people really want to come and read all the time…to have it in their reader so they don’t miss anything.  And so far I am failing myself on that.

It’s going to change.  I have some product reviews, some giveaways, and some awesome recipes to share with you all.  Bear with me….don’t give up on me yet.  I am getting on the blogging train and promise great, information rich posts. 

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. 

Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Ok…I am so cheating….here are my pics of the Molasses Cookies for Tuesdays with Dorie.  Sorry!

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These are AMAZING…I will be making these frequently!  Aiden really loves them.

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

At a loss of words

I am sorry friends, I truly have nothing to say today. I have been living in my head the past couple days and am trying to dig my way out. I will be back with bells on tomorrow....and hope to post a Wednesday with Dorie....if I can remember to take some pics in the morning as it is WAY to dark when I get home at night!

Take Care,
Love Big Bake Often

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monkey Monday

While paring through some pictures I stumbled across this video of my three “men” from last November.  I cannot believe this was a year ago. 


Take Care,

Love Big, Bake Often

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lavender Sugar Cookies

Let me just start off by apologizing for the lack of pictures with this post.  I had the camera out at the book fair yesterday and the batteries ran out.  And of course today while out shopping I knew that there was one thing that I was forgetting, and for the life of me couldn’t remember and of course those were it.  And once home and remembered right away, I refused to go back out as Sunday’s are a very lazy day for me these days.

So I have a recipe for you…and they turned out really great.  But no pretty pictures of cookies surrounded by lovely purple lavender. You will just have to picture them.  Perfect circles of yummy goodness, coated in sugar with bits of fragrant lavender peeking through the dough.  Can you see it?

Here is the recipe, I kind of adapted from Susan, at She’s Becoming Doughmesstic’s, Sugar Cookie Recipe.

Lavender Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies


1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup cream cheese, softened

1 cups white sugar

2 eggs

3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoons baking powder

1 tsp Lavender

In mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add in eggs and vanilla, beating until smooth. Mix in the flour, baking powder, and lavender until incorporated. Cover and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).  Then roll tbsps of dough into balls, coat in sugar, and flatten balls with the bottom of a glass.  Bake at 390F for about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool….pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy!

They are fantastic.  And soon I will show you a picture of them….I promise!

Take Care,


Love Big, Bake Often


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Eggnog French Toast

Last week I was on an Eggnog high….the scones I made were stellar, so I continued with the Eggnog and made some Eggnog French Toast. And we LOVED it…the boys both asked for seconds and Jakob asked for some later in the day (sadly it was all gone!).

Look at this….who wouldn’t want to eat it?!?

DSCF3325Ok, so it’s not easy to take a “good” picture of baked French Toast.  But it does look yummy, right?

It is easy to make, I use this recipe from Aimee, at Under the High Chair, as a basis for all the French Toasts I have been making.

This is what I did for this one:

Eggnog Baked French Toast

4 – 5 cups stale or day old French Bread (or Baguette)

4 Eggs

200 mls Eggnog

50 mls Skim Milk

1 tsp Vanilla

1 tbsp Cinnamon


Cut up French Bread and spread out in a buttered casserole dish.  Mix together all other ingredients and pour over bread.  Push the bread into the liquid to ensure even soaking up of all the eggnog goodness.

Cover the casserole dish with Saran wrap and put in fridge overnight.  In the morning pull out the dish, preheat the oven to 350F.  Bake at 350F for 35 – 45 minutes until it is brown and toasty and the eggs are set. If it starts to brown too soon cover with foil and continue until eggs are set.

Then pull out this….

DSCF3326 And enjoy!

Take Care,


Love Big, Bake Often


Friday, November 13, 2009

I have two words for you….

Chocolate Bread!

That’s it.  Stay tuned!

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Whining…..It Doesn’t change Anything!


I absolutely HATE whining.  It is really one of the biggest button pushers for me. It can send me into parenting “fit” in seconds flat….it wears on my nerves.  You get what I mean!

Jakob is the King of whiners…..he should have a crown! Seriously.  Those of you who have spent time with him and/or heard stories about him know what I am talking about.  He whines about anything and sometimes everything.  And the one thing that I continuously tell him is this…..”whining doesn’t change anything!”  Whining will not make me suddenly say “Yes” to eating candy with breakfast.  Whining will not make me agree to watching more TV after I have told you that was it.  Whining will not make me clean up your mess for you.  It doesn’t change anything!  It makes it WORSE!  It makes me want to pull out my hair and rock in a corner!  

I don’t understand where whining comes from, is it genetic?  Is there a switch that is flipped when children hit a certain age that programs them to whine?  Is there some older child that pulls yours aside at the playground and teaches them the technique?  I certainly didn’t teach him.  And now I am worried that he is whispering in Aiden’s ear about whining. 

Whining is hopefully a habit that he will soon outgrow, and I know I am probably dreaming, but I hope everyday to get through it without just one whining session.

But on to me……and my attempt to get through a year without Jason and without whining.  I hear from people how brave I am going through this and how tough it must be, and it makes me think.  Should I be complaining more?  Will that change anything?  No…as I said before….whining doesn’t change anything.  It goes for adults too. I am not only being strong for me, I am trying to be strong for my husband, for my boys.  It’s important to keep it in perspective. It’s not forever, the happier we are going through it - the easier it will be.  Now don’t get me wrong….I miss Jason every day and would be super happy if they called me and told me he was coming home tomorrow, but that probably wont happen so I wont sit around holding my breath, whining about the situation.  As my friend, Susan, use to tell me….I will “pull on my big girl panties and drive on!”

And that is my opinion on whining….for everyone.

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Playing in and under the banana trees….

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Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

TWD – Seriously Slacking


I am *this* close to being kicked out of Tuesdays with Dorie…..I have not posted a TWD blog post/recipe in forever.  I am so sorry.  I am hoping to have some time to catch up and post some of the past recipes and catch up with what is coming up.   I figure with the holidays coming up there will be the need for LOTS of baking…and you can’t go wrong with a Dorie recipe.

So forgive me and be sure to check out all the other non-slacking bakers who have posted their recipes in a timely manner.

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monkey Monday

The bakery that I have been working at, Back In The Day Bakery, hosts a Cupcake Happy Hour the first Friday of the month.  Last month I took Jakob and my Mother there after dinner.  This month I brought both boys by myself after picking Jakob up from school.  The concept is great…buy one get one half off….and then they play bingo for free cupcakes.  Lots of fun. Draws in a huge crowd.  We had a blast.  It is nights and events like this that are going to make the time away from Daddy a little easier….having something to look forward to weekly or monthly.

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Jakob chose a brownie instead of a cupcake, Aiden got an Old Fashioned cupcake and I chose a chocolate chip cookie….absolutely yum!  We had a blast….we didn’t win at Bingo….but at least this time Jakob didn’t have a meltdown about not winning! 

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Scones….yummy yummy Scones

I never use to like scones….at least the ones I had had from bakeries or Starbucks.  They always tasted dry and needed something to drink to swallow them down.  So I didn’t have high hopes months ago when I made my first batch.  But now I can’t stop making them.  They are just the perfect breakfast treat and mid-afternoon snack with that cup of coffee that you just have to have to get through the rest of the day!

These are special scones….I tweaked a recipe and added some of this seasons first Egg Nog purchase.  So, I give you Cinnamon and White Chocolate Chip Egg Nog Scones!


Recipe Adapted from Sur La Table

Cinnamon and White Chocolate Chip Egg Nog Scones


2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 cup Cinnamon Chips

1/2 cup White Chocolate Chips

2 large eggs

2 tbsp Egg Nog

1 tbsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and position an oven rack in the center. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a thin silicone mat. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of the food processor and process for 10 seconds to blend well. Add the cold butter pieces and pulse 5 times a 1 second intervals, or until the butter is cut into medium pieces. Add the cinnamon chips and white chocolate chips but do not blend them in. In the small bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg nog, and vanilla until well blended. Pour the egg mixture into the processor and pulse another 25 times, or until the dough holds together in large thick clumps.

2. Use a spatula to scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently squeeze or kneed the clumps together until they form a cohesive dough - it may seem a bit dry at first, but will come together with a few kneads. Pat the dough into a circle 7 inches in diameter and about 1 inch thick. Use a chef's knife to cut the dough into 8 equal wedges and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

3. I then brushed the tops with egg nog and sprinkled some turbinado sugar on top. Bake for 14 - 17 minutes, until fully risen and golden brown, especially around the bottom edges. Transfer to a rack and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve the scones warm or at room temperature.

These are light, buttery, and fluffy.  Hard to eat just one.  Serve them with a yummy coffee or chai tea….you wont be disappointed. Look at how light and fluffy they look inside…


Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Putting on my “daddy” shoes


Being a “single” Mom for a year means that there will be times that I will have to put “Daddy” shoes on and fill in for him.  Today was one of those days.  Jakob and Jason spend some quality boy-time on the first Saturday of every month.  Home Depot puts on a Kids Workshop for free and they go every month.  It is just too much fun – they give the kids an orange apron and buttons for each project they complete. And then the boys go for lunch.  So today being the first of the month it was time for Mama to take him.  We had a blast.  He told me he missed Daddy, and going with just Daddy, but then he told me that it was fun to go with me.  Love that Kid!

Today he made a trivet….he made the frame for it and then we went and purchased a tile for the middle of it.  (so today’s was not entirely free!) He got to chose his own tile and he picked a great one.  I only wish we could have made more than one, as they would make great Christmas gifts!

Here’s Jakob hammering his little heart out…


FYI…..Aiden was with us….we think he is still a little too young to be hammering and using tools, but in the new year we hope to start him on his own projects.  Just think….when Jason comes home I will be getting one Saturday morning to myself!  SWEET!

So if you have little ones and haven’t tried this out – get yourself to Home Depot on the first Saturday of every month!!

Daddy, you were definitely missed!  But it made me feel good that Jakob thought I filled your shoes well!

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Friday, November 6, 2009

fixation Friday….

I have not baked anything with chocolate in FOREVER!  I haven’t had the time to do much baking these days….but that is going to change really soon.  But I have had the time to peruse my friend’s blogs and have found some recipes that I MUST make… here is a list and some links for you of recipes that are on my baking list for the next little while. 

Peanut Butter S’Mores Turnovers…..these look evil!

This looks like the best Chocolate Cake I have ever seen!

Pumpkin Coconut Chocolate Chip Bars…..these look so rich and chewy!

I cannot believe Holly makes her own Nutella like Chocolate Hazelnut Spread!  This is a must make!

My friend, Nikki, makes this and says it is to die for….New Orleans Double Chocolate Praline Fudge Cake!

Those are my top five chocolate recipes that I need to try out….what is on your chocolate list of must makes?  Leave me a comment and let me know….I’d love to bake it some time!

Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pumpkin scones….

I made these awhile ago after seeing them on Maria’s blog “Two Peas and Their Pod”….I knew that we would love them for breakfast.  I made them for breaky the Saturday before Jason left….and he wished I had made them sooner so that I could have made them again before he left!  LOL

I tweaked them a little bit…. I didn’t have any white chocolate in the house, and decided on a maple glaze instead…oh!  and I forgot to add the sugar!!  But we still loved them!  I can only imagine how much tastier they would be if I remembered the sugar and had white chocolate chips in them!

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Here is the recipe….which I borrowed from Maria’s blog.

Pumpkin White Chocolate Scones

Adapted from Del’s Sisters Kitchen

Scone Dough:

2 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup) light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/3 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon cream

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling the tops of the scones

Spice Glaze:

1c. powdered sugar

1/2t. cinnamon

1/8t. cloves

Sprinkle of nutmeg


Add as much milk until desired consistency. Drizzle or spread over scones.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in middle of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. I use my hands! The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Stir in the white chocolate.

In a separate bowl mix together the buttermilk, pumpkin puree and vanilla and then add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 11/2 inches (3.75 cm) thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into 3 pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with the cream and sprinkle a little Turbinado sugar on top.

Place the baking sheet inside another baking sheet to prevent the bottoms of the scones from over browning. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and drizzle scones with the glaze.

Make them….love them….make them properly!  LOL

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Almost wordless Wednesday


Hi there….I am sorry for the short post.  Been two very busy days at the bakery and I am quite tired…..will do better tomorrow hopefully.

But for now… is a pic of us the morning we said goodbye to Jason….keep in mind it is 5:30 in the morning and we had been there for over an hour!

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And yes….the boys are in their pajamas!

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


It’s so hard to explain a year to a four year old….much less a two year old. Actually…I am having a tough time grasping a year apart. Jakob has been questioning me about just how long Jason will be gone.  Time doesn’t mean much to the boys….each day is a new day and counting them down, or realizing how long has passed is beyond them.  Jakob understands weeks, but months or a year? He’s not quite there.

So when learning that Daddy was going to be gone for a year, I reached out to my friends with small children and asked them how they were going to help their little ones understand this, or if they had already done it, what they had done in the past.  A good friend suggested I get a jar, fill it with 365 pieces of candy, and each day the boys get to pick out one piece and eat it. Eventually the level will go down and they will realize that Daddy should be home soon. 

I chose M&M’s for my boys.  Jakob’s favourite!  Unfortunately, I misjudged how much room 365 M&M’s would take and got jars that are WAY to big! I need to get back to Walmart and get smaller ones…but in the meantime these will do.  Jakob and Aiden get very excited when they get up in the morning to head to those jars and chose their one M&M.  Jakob declared this morning after eating his “One more day closer to Daddy coming home!”  He misses him so much. 

I have also been told to find something to look forward to…something in the near future, something in the not so near future, and something in the far future….like Jason coming home for R&R.  So for this week it is Cupcake Happy Hour at the bakery, then next week is the Children’s Book Fair, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and then Jason possibly coming home in March for Jakob’s birthday. 

It’s all working well right now….I also think it is a matter of consistency and keeping things as normal as possible.  Wish me luck.

Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monkey monday


(These posts are the easy ones!)

My Boys this Halloween….so cute.

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Daddy was missed this holiday, as were our good friends the Lizotte’s.  Jakob asked if we were going to Trick or Treat at Natalie’s house again (we have for the past two years) and was awfully bummed when I told him that Connecticut was just too far away.  Maybe next year.

Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween filled with candy and chocolate.

Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Sunday, November 1, 2009



Here we go again folks…..I am participating in National Blog Posting Month….I must be CRAZY!  But a few of my Twitter friends and I decided that we would be a good support for one another to make it through this month.  Be sure to check out, I Heart Food 4 Thought, EZRAPOUNDCAKE, The Way The Cookie Crumbles, and Emerging the Bombshell Within to see how they do this month.

For today’s post I want to write a list of all the things I want to blog about so that when I am having writer’s block I can look back and be inspired.

30 days….here I come!

  • raising boys
  • bread pudding
  • gingerbread houses
  • changing parenting techniques 4 years in
  • charity/volunteering
  • brownies
  • peanut butter
  • m&m’s
  • Jason being gone
  • thanksgiving
  • quilting
  • soup – lots of soup
  • chocolate chip cookies
  • biscotti – lots of biscotti
  • scones
  • TWD – of course
  • You Want Pies With That
  • starting my own business
  • temper tantrums
  • speech therapy
  • priorities – giving up my job
  • celebrating holidays without Jason here
  • cinnamon chips
  • lavender
  • chai….it’s almost cold enough to drink it daily
  • pioneer woman – her cookbook, and my plans to cook my way through it
  • Paula Deen
  • my hatred for the military health care system
  • single motherhood
  • patience
  • FRG
  • Pie – lots of little pies

That looks like a good start!  Hope you enjoy my month of daily blogs! I am hoping that the nights of blogging make the nights alone go faster. 

Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often


Monday, October 12, 2009

Monkey Monday

A wonderful afternoon at the beach!


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Who knew you could have such a great afternoon at the beach in October!!  LOL

Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monkey Monday

Jakob doing interpretive dance to Linkin Park!

Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often

ps - I hate it when Blogger doesn't let me edit my text!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

military Monday

I belong to the FRG – otherwise known as the Family Readiness Group. We do all kinds of good things for the families, the soldiers, and are a really good support system for each other.  We deal with all kinds of issues and I am usually ready to jump in with both feet to help out.  But last week I was a little distracted.  There was a fundraiser last week – a Cake Auction – right up my alley right??  Well I felt like I had no time to bake the things I wanted to.  But what I did make turned out pretty darn good!  Just look at these Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream and topped with shredded Coconut!  

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I made 16 of them, thinking they would sell them all together – but Nikki decided to split them up to make some more money!  8 cupcakes went for $30.00!!  And my Chocolate Cake (sorry no pics) went for $45.00!  Also attached to the bottoms of these cakes were rewards for the soldiers that bought them, like a 3 day pass, lunch with the Commander (I would like that one!), a pass from having to do Physical Training at 6 am!, etc.  So the guys were not only bidding on the yummy treats, but also the chance to win some good prizes underneath.

And I am happy to say that we raised over $700.00 for our company.

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Saturday, September 19, 2009

it’s a TWD saturday!!

What a week.  It has been a busy one at home and work.  My MIL, Karen, was here this past week….and while I was able to bake the Flaky Apple Turnovers, I was unable to squeeze in the time and energy to post them.  Karen flew home to Saratoga Springs yesterday morning (and now I have a sulky dog and two sad little boys) and so today it is a quiet house and I now have to get these posted.

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I am so in love with this recipe.  It is great.  The flaky crust made me a little nervous.  It was a little rough and lumpy when I made it, but then after tweeting about it with some friends I realized that mine was not the only one like that so maybe it was suppose to be that way!  And it was.  The dough came together wonderfully, rolled beautifully, and flaked up perfectly!  These were super yummy.  I used a Granny Smith apple for my filling and it was perfect, still a little crisp after baking, and just the right apple flavour.  I had decided that I was only going to make a half batch of these and I wish I had made a full batch.  But I did save some of the dough and filling for this weekend and Jason and I ate hot from the over turnovers for breakfast this morning!  Divine.  At the beginning of the week when I made the first batch of these I ate mine with some Honey Tart Frozen Yogurt.  The perfect combo.  apple turnovers 003 I apologize to Julie, from Someone’s In the Kitchen, for my late post!  Be sure to check out her blog for the recipe and the other TWD bloggers for their creations and takes on this classic treat!

Hope you all had a great week and are enjoying the end of summer!

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monkey monday

I LOVE going to feed the ducks and geese…’s something we can all do together, doesn’t cost a thing (except some sad bread crusts that have been in the fridge for months building up to this day!), and it’s fun!

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Aiden hasn’t done it many times, and we kept him in his stroller so he wouldn’t run off the bridge, but he had a blast.

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Then it was off to the play ground to burn off some energy…..a great way to spend a Sunday morning with Nana visiting.

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Take Care,

Love Big, Bake Often

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

TWD - My First Souffle

Things have been a little off here at the Love Big household. Lots of changes going on, Daddy is home, and the we all started to get sick. Jakob started the ball rolling with croup, then Aiden brought home an upper respiratory infection, and I ended up with a cold. I am not sure how Jason has managed to stay healthy, but I am knocking wood that he doesn’t get sick. He isn’t the best patient when sick and when you have actual kids under the weather nothing is more frustrating than a sick hubby!

I was positive that I would find the time to make this week’s Chocolate Souffle. Susan, from She’s Becoming Doughmesstic, chose this weeks recipe and since she is such a good blog buddy and twitter friend, I knew that I could not bail this week. Susan will be posting the recipe over on her blog, but be sure to also check out the Tuesdays with Dorie blogroll and check out some of the other wonderful baker’s creations!

Here is what my FIRST souffle’s looked like…..perfection.

I hope you all are doing well and staying healthy! And I am hoping to get back into the swing of things now that we are all on the mend and under one roof!

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Monday, August 24, 2009

Taste and Create August

 I am late, yet again, with my Taste and Create post….

I apologize.  I really don’t know where this month went…there was so much going on.  School starting, daycare starting, new routines, Daddy being gone, Daddy coming home and not sure when…the list goes on.

But I had looked at my partner, Lysy, at Munchkin Mail’s blog weeks ago and already decided what I would make.  So I knew I could knock it out super quick and it seemed easy enough….but just kept putting it off.  I realized the date today as I was getting things all together for my first day of work tomorrow and that I had to get it done today.  I managed to whip it up in between cleaning house and making dinner.  And the boys ate a couple of slices each for dessert. 

I give you….my first attempt (and kind of failure) at a Jelly Roll!  And of course I filled it with Nutella – no wimpy strawberry jam here – we wanted the good stuff.  And everyone knows Nutella is THE good stuff!

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I think I might have baked it a minute or two too long as it wasn’t as flexible as I thought it should be…or maybe I waited too long to roll it.  But appearance doesn’t matter with this one!  It tastes great.  The cake is nice and spongy, and the chocolate in it is perfect.  Jakob was in love! He wanted more than two slices but I really wanted to save some for tomorrow too!

Here is the recipe:

Jammy Swiss roll (from Martha Day's Complete Baking)

Serves 6-8

3 eggs

115g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

75g plain flour, sifted

1 tbsp boiling water

6 tbsps jam or HALF a jar of Nutella!

Icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to Gas 6/200 C. Grease a 12x8 Swiss roll tin and line with non stick baking paper. Combine the eggs and sugar in a bowl. Beat with an electric whisk until thick and mousse like (when the whisk is lifted, a trail should remain on the surface of the mixture for 15 seconds.)

Carefully fold in the flour with a large metal spoon, then add the boiling water in the same way.

Spoon into the prepared tin, spread evenly to the edges and bake for about 10-12 mins until the cake springs back when lightly pressed.

Spread a sheet of greaseproof paper on a flat surface, sprinkle it with caster sugar, then invert the cake on top. Peel off the paper.

Neatly trim the edges of the cake. Make a cut two-third of the way through the cake, about 1cm from the short edge nearest you [presumably this makes it easier to start rolling]

Spread the cake with the jam and roll up quickly from the partially cut edge. Hold in position for a minute, making sure the join is underneath. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar before serving. – we didn’t quite get a chance to dust it – they wanted to eat it right away! 

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I will be making this again and experimenting with fillings and hopefully be able to make it and roll it without cracks!

Check out Lysy’s blog – she has a ton of amazing stuff on there that I can’t wait to make!

Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chocolate Sundae Sunday

I cannot believe how amazing this ice cream is!  It is better than any chocolate ice cream I have ever had.  And I can’t believe that I made it by myself, and without a maker!  HA!  Freaking Awesome!

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I used David Lebovitz’s recipe for chocolate ice cream….which you can find here in Google Books…..

But what I think really made this ice cream as stellar as it is, is the Askinosie Chocolate and Cocoa that I used in it.  Months ago I mentioned Askinosie in my blog and was contacted by them and they sent me some of their awesome chocolate.  I had been hoarding it….using a little bit here, a little bit there….But I decided it was time to have the full on Askinosie experience, so I used up the last of my solid chocolate from them and more of the cocoa.  The last full bar I had was their “San Jose Del Tambo, Nibble Bar + Crunchy Cocoa Nibs”.  It added a little texture to the ice cream, and I have to say I really enjoyed it.  I hadn’t really had cocoa nibs before, so this was a wonderful first experience for me.  But I am now sad to say that I only have about 1/3 cup of cocoa left and NO chocolate bars.  Very sad. 

Back to the ice cream….for a minute….did I mention that I added some coconut extract in to the ice cream?  Just enough that there is a hint of it, but not overpowering that awesome Askinosie chocolate taste.   I am really trying to save some for Jason (who will be home some time this week) but I don’t quite see it happening!  LOL  I thought about topping this ice cream with something to make it a “true” Sundae, but I just couldn’t bring myself to put anything on top of it.  It is truly perfect just the way it is!

I urge you to check out D.L.’s Perfect Scoop – the recipes in there are so easy to make (with or without a maker) and the flavours are great.  I see myself making more and more ice cream and becoming more and more adventurous with my flavs….kinda like Anna is with hers….check out her blog Very Small Anna and her awesome creations – she is inspiring!

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Remembering snickerdoodle

My friend CB recently lost her dear pet rabbit.  I am so sad for her….she loved that rabbit.  Her rabbit was named Snickerdoodle……I’m not sure why, but I loved the name.  CB hadn’t been around online recently and that is when Nancy told me to go and check her blog.  Snickerdoodle passed away several days ago, and since I have no way to give her a hug, I decided to do some baking in her honour.  So it seemed only proper to make some Snickerdoodle cookies. 

So Miss Clara, these are for you!

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And here is the recipe….they are awesome.  I am hoping to make some more (this batch is going to school with Jakob) and turn them into Ice Cream Sandwiches!!  YUM


Makes 3 dozen cookies

For the dough:

½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 ½ cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons cream of tarter

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For the cinnamon sugar:

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ cup sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until smooth, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tarter, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until combined. The dough will be soft and too sticky to roll. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Position a rack in the top and bottom thirds of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350f. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

For the cinnamon sugar: Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.

Using a 1 ounce cookie scoop or a tablespoon, shape the dough into balls and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar.

Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Flatten them slightly with your fingertips so they stay put. Bake for about 12-13 minutes, or until the bottoms are slightly golden in color. These cookies are supposed to be chewy, so do not overbake. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Snickerdoodles keep in an airtight container at room temp for up to 4 days. For longer storage, freeze well wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil for up to 3 weeks. Do not uncover before defrosting.

I grabbed the recipe from Spike over at Spike Bakes.

Clara, I really wish I could be there to give you a hug.  And a cookie! Take care and hope to hear from you soon.

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monkey monday - aiden

pancakes, Aiden and spiders 022 The past few weeks have been about Jakob and all his new adventures with school….so I thought maybe today would be an Aiden day.  pancakes, Aiden and spiders 019

This kid is going to eat me out of house and home…..strawberries and pancakes – the perfect lazy dinner.

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

A Lemon Meringue Pie Retraction


Ok folks…..apparently my memories are distorted (and my Mother will say this isn’t the first time)…..I miss “spoke” when I said that my Mother used a mix for her lemon meringue pies.  I woke up to an email from her correcting me and telling me how she made her pies.

So….I’m sorry Mom. 

Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy national lemon meringue pie day!


So apparently….today is National Lemon Meringue Pie Day! So to honour this day I made this…..

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Pretty, Eh?

I can remember my mother making lemon meringue pie for us growing up, but I am pretty sure that hers were the ones that came out of a box.  I will say that she did always make her own pie crusts though…and it was good crust!  We use to eat them often up at the cottage – and when it was the six of us there was no cutting the pie into eighths….it was sixths baby!  A nice, oversized slice of lemon meringue pie!  Can you say comfort food?

Today I decided to do something a little different – a Lemon Meringue Tart. 

I started with a simple graham crust recipe – shrunk by thirds – to fit into two small 4 inch tart pans. My fav for making small desserts.  Then I made this Lemon Curd to fill the tart shells…..

Dorie's Lemon Curd
1 egg
6 egg yolks
1 1/4 c sugar
6 TBSP of unsalted butter - cut into 6 pieces
Juice of 4 lemons

Put all the ingredients in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, and stir with a heatproof spatula to moisten the sugar. Put the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring without stopping, until the butter melts and the mixture thickens like custard, 4 to 6 minutes. Keep your eyes on the pan, because the curd can curdle quickly. It is cooked enough when you can run your finger along the spatula and the curd doesn't run into the track you've created. Don't worry if the curd looks thin at this point - it will thicken more as it cools. Remove the pan from the heat and scrape the curd into a heatproof jar or a bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the curd to create an airtight seal and cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge.

Then I made a meringue to top them….I used Dorie’s recipe and halved it to make a rich thick meringue for my tarts!

Meringue Topping

2 egg whites – at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat your broiler!

Working in a clean, dry mixer bowl with the clean whisk attachment whip the egg whites at medium speed until opaque.  With the mixer running, add the sugar in a slow stream and continue to beat until the whites are glossy and form firm peaks.

Spread the meringue over the lemon filling. Make sure the meringue covers all the way to the edges, because it will shrink when it bakes.

Run the pie under the broiler until the meringue is golden and the tips are dark brown.  Remove the tarts from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

And then you end up with this……

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I hope you all had a very happy National Lemon Meringue Pie Day.

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fixation Friday

I have been converted.  Now before you wonder to what religion, let me tell you that I am not a religious person.  Wasn’t raised in a church, never attended church services.  I am a more of a karma girl – a firm believer of what goes around, comes around; be nice to others and they will be nice to you.  You know what I mean?

Back to my point…I have always been a regular chocolate chip cookie kind of gal.  Never really digging the “double chocolate chip cookie”. But this cookie has made me a believer.  It is a rich, chocolately cookie that is reminiscent of a brownie….with all the crispy, chewy edges a true brownie lover looks for!  They are fantastic.  I never new it was possible to have a cookie be just like those edges that I covet.

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Maria, of Two Peas and their Pod, had tweeted about these cookies a little while back.  And I waited for the recipe (not so patiently!!), and she posted them over two weeks ago….I can’t believe I waited so long to make them after bugging her for the recipe for so long!  But today was the day.  I needed something rich and chocolately, these were the perfect choice.

Maria found the recipe in the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion….a book I guess I need to get if these are an indication of the kinds of cookies in there!

Chocolate Toffee Rounds

Recipe from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 TBS unsalted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup toffee bits
1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease (or line with parchment paper) two baking sheets.

In the microwave or in a saucepan over very low heat melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring until smooth. Set the mixture aside to cool to lukewarm.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Beat in the melted chocolate, then stir in the flour, toffee bits, and chocolate chips.

Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes or until the tops are cracked and dry, but the cookies are still soft to the touch. Don’t overbake these; they’ll become firm as they cool.

Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

They are gorgeous to look at too.!

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Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often 

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

TWD – Brownie Button Letdown

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Thank you to Jayma of Two Scientists Experimenting in the Kitchen for selecting this weeks recipe, even though I found them to be dry, was disappointed that they were so short, and fought with white chocolate in order to dip them (but I think they look really cute!).

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Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monkey Monday

The boys are really missing Jason these days… I thought I would post some pictures of him and the boys and we can look at them together later today.

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Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Sunday, August 9, 2009

It’s an oreo sundae sunday


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So while twittering the other day the lovely Tracy tweeted about her Cheesecake Ice Cream…and that peaked my interest! After checking the recipe she posted here, and the fridge for ingredients, I realized I had just enough to make a half batch of the ice cream.  I am really happy that I didn’t have enough to make a full batch – it is so yummy I almost can’t stop eating it!  I decided to add some crushed Oreos and make it Oreo Cheesecake Ice Cream.

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But it didn’t end there….I was also doing some searching for brownies thinking I would make it a brownie sundae kind of Sunday….and found these.  Laurie posted these a long time ago….but I had never seen them, which is probably a good thing!  Go check out her post for the recipe….I only did a half a recipe and baked it in a 9x13 pan….can’t imagine what a whole recipe would make! They are super rich (just like Laurie says) and you totally need a HUGE glass of milk with these.  Or a couple of big scoops of Oreo Cheesecake Ice Cream!! Yum, Yum!

Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often