Posts Tagged ‘cooking’


Bonus baking blog – Afghan Biscuits

June 26, 2020

We are on vacation so posting has been light, but I did want to share this recipe.  I read about Afghan Biscuits  – on Gastro Obscura – and I looked up the recipe.  These biscuits (cookies) are apparently a New Zealand specialty.  I had never heard of them.  Now that I have made them (twice) they have become one of our favorites, too.


This is a public service announcement

April 3, 2020

I understand (from reading the news) that people are attempting to bake their own bread and failing at it.

I have posted this recipe before, but will do it again because you cannot fail with this recipe (unless your yeast is dead.)

Focaccia Rolls

In your stand mixer ( I’ll bet you can use a hand mixer or a bowl and spoon for this) add:

4 cups of flour (bread flour, all purpose, gluten-free – does not matter)

2 tsp table salt

1 tsp active dry yeast

Mix that up a little

Then add 2 cups of water – just from the tap

Mix some more until the dry ingredients are all incorporated – a couple of minutes

I use the mixer paddle for all of this

Remove the paddle and cover the mixer bowl with plastic wrap.

Walk away from the dough.

The focaccia dough will rise in 8-12 hours or overnight.

When risen, remove the dough from the bowl turning it onto a floured board.

The dough is very sticky, so dust it with some flour before removing from the bowl and keep your hands floured as you form the rolls.

Cut the dough in half (2 pieces) and in half again (4 pieces).  Cut each of the 4 pieces into 3 pieces (this is the only hard part) .

Form each roll into a ball and place on a parchment/silpat lined baking sheet.  I have some big baking sheets, so I can get all 12 on at once – but I’ll bet if you crowd them a little, it will still work.

I make sure the tops are smooth and pinch the bottoms of the rolls in my hand so they are as tall as possible.  This is just a cosmetic step.  Then brush tops of the rolls with olive oil.  Let rise 1 hour while heating the oven to 375 degrees F.

After an hour, pop the rolls in the oven – you can turn the baking sheet around half way through the baking, or not.

Bake for 35 minutes.  When they are done, brush again with olive oil.

I promise you, they will be wonderful.  Eat them right away or heat or toast them again later.  They will be (almost)  as good as fresh baked.



What’s my new recipe?

February 17, 2020


What am I noting today?

November 15, 2019

Today is National Bundt Cake Day – as you can see, I made a poppy seed bundt cake and it is going fast.  This may be my all time favorite cake.  The recipe is on the Solo poppy seed filling can. I have also made it with their chestnut filling, but I am afraid they do not make that flavor anymore.

It is really good.


Why am I looking forward to Saturday?

September 12, 2019

The second Saturday of September is Pie Day in Pie Town, New Mexico.  This small community (population 186) has earned a reputation for offering excellent pies for sale.  It started as a crossroads community – a stop for people traveling west – and is now popular with tourists. This Saturday is Pie Day.  I would like to stop by the Pie-O-Neer cafe where they serve pie, “that’s it.” It sounds like my kind of place.  Here is a story about the town at Cowboys & Indians magazine.


What am I bakery blogging?

June 17, 2019

I have a new favorite bakery – it is at my house.  This is a puff-pastry, mixed berry galette I made yesterday.  I defrosted too much puff pastry so I had to make cherry turnovers, too.


What am I up to?

October 3, 2018

Or, to what am I up?

Today is my birthday – many of my friends also have birthdays this week.  To help us all celebrate, I baked up, with the help of my lovely assistant, HMS Defiant, The Best Cookies in the World – or, Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, cherry, oatmeal cookies.  And they really are TBCITW

Here is the recipe:
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
3 cups regular, long-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup chocolate chunks – chopped up Easter bunnies or candy bars work well
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup dried cherries

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the shortening and sugars. When well blended, add the egg. Mix in the egg, then add the water and vanilla. Add the salt, soda and flour all together and mix. Add one cup of oats – mix. Add the chocolate chunks – mix. Add the second cup of oats – mix. Add the white chocolate chips – mix. Add the third cup of oats – mix. Add the dried cherries and mix them in.

I bake them on heavy baking pans lined with parchment paper.

I roll the cookies into big balls with my hands. The unbaked cookies are probably bigger than a golf ball, but smaller than a tennis ball.

Place them a couple of inches apart on the baking pan and bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Cool on the pan for a few minutes then place on a cooling rack.

I don’t have a problem giving out the recipe. It is based on the original Quaker Oats recipe that they have now changed.



Why am I saying, “crank up the jam!”

August 14, 2018

I really don’t think anyone says that anymore.

But . . . I was recently the recipient of some marvelous, creatively-named jams.

Traffic Jam has all the red fruits in it; Bear Jam is based on blackberries; and who knew frogs could taste so good?

Many thanks to Robb.

It’s Tuesday . . .


What am I baking?

March 14, 2018

It’s Pi Day!

“Lauren Ko brings mathematical precision to her baking, using elaborate intertwined patterns to form transfixing patterns to the top of her homemade pies and tarts. The Seattle-based amateur baker has been piecrafting for just a couple of years, she tells Mic, and if you’re wondering, this is her favorite pie crust recipe. Ko combines classic crusts with colorful fillings like blueberries, kumquats, purple sweet potatoes, and pluots to create her visually striking sweets. You can follow her on Instagram.”


reblogged from Colossal


What am I cooking?

January 18, 2018

I thought this was interesting, because I never thought about different grades of butter – or even knew that they existed.  But, my mother had this booklet from the US Department of Agriculture (1968) that explains everything.