Friday, October 29, 2010

Proving Ground

"All the so-called 'secrets of success' will not work unless you do." ~Author Unknown

Validation that its not my baking skills that are faulty, but the recipes I'm using, came this month. October became a baking marathon between Monkey's birthday and the Halloween class parties at their school. Here are the photos submitted for evidence;

Class party birthday cupcakes:
Recipe used from Cybele Pascal's Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook

Result: WIN!
I even got a round of applause from her class just for showing up with a bakery box in the morning. What an ego boost! ;-)

Family party princess cake:
Recipe used from an adapted old butter cake recipe that I loved

Result: FAIL!

Miss Birthday Princess' skirt didn't rise enough, so I had to stake her torso in a paper cup and wedge it into the cake middle so she'd stand up straight. (And then camoflauge everything with icing!!)
Monkey didn't mind, though ;-)

Birthday party Dora cupcakes:
Recipe used from Cybele Pascal's Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook and

Result: WIN!
Unless you count the epic fail that were the directions on NickJr's website for decorating these suckers. Just a note for anyone who wants to attempt them - do not believe it when they say "70 minute prep time." Took me 3 hours! :-P

Halloween class party mini cupcakes with spiced pumpkin cream cheese frosting:
Recipe used from Cybele Pascal's Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook (and I just made up the icing)

Result: WIN!

And some of the best parts about having so many baking successes is Scootch's eyes lighting up when he sees a tray of cupcakes cooling on the counter and asks, "Mine cupcakes?"
Absolutely, kiddo. All of it for you.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Foodie Post

So I've had a few successes to bolster my baking self esteem. I made the Blueberry Boy Bait coffee cake courtesy of Cybele Pascal's The Allergen-Free Bakers Handbook, and then I dabbled with a recipe my MIL found on Oprah (of all places) by Alicia Silverstone for Oatmeal, Walnut, and Dried Plum Cookies, (of which we, of course, omitted a few nut ingredients).
The blueberry coffee cake was met with rave reviews, and I only had the slight problem of the cinnamon/sugar dusting not carmelizing on the top. (And no, I don't own a creme brulee torch to recitfy the problem easily). Needless to say, the fact that the topping wasn't as pictured in the book did little to dissuade anyone from eating it. It was gone in 4 days!


Now onto the cookies. I just want to apologize in advance to my mother, since her oatmeal cookies have been my favorite since I was old enough to eat one. (Sorry Mom. You just got booted by Alicia Silverstone.) And of course, the fact that Scootch can enjoy them because they are a vegan recipe adds triple bonus points. Although, to be truthful to any vegans reading my blog, I did cheat and put butter in this since I don't own the prescribed safflower oil and would have no idea where to procure any if I wanted to. And that was only one of the tweaks this recipe underwent. (So if anyone wants the recipe as modified, feel free to email me!)

Anyways, just so you're fore-warned, these cookies should come with a warning label. I think the cookie dough was just as good (if not better) than the baked product. When I snuck some of the mixed wet ingredients off my finger I swear it was like eating liquid butterscotch, and the addition of the dry ingredients didn't diminish that particular deliciousness any. And what I love about them is that they don't suffer from preservative free-syndrome. You know where you bake all those cookies and they turn crispy and rock hard after a day no matter how you store them? Yeah, I hate that. Especially in oatmeal cookies. They shouldn't be something you'd give your kid to cut their baby teeth on. Although you could, because since they have oatmeal in them, they're healthy cookies, right? (I hope so since I ate them for breakfast) ;-)

So my next projects are cakes and cupcakes, since the Monkey's birthday is in a week. I need to make a cake for our home party that we have with family, and then cupcakes for her kiddie party at what my kids affectionately refer to as "Old McDonalds." I'll try to make sure to keep you posted with the successes of those! :-)

Saturday, October 2, 2010


This might seem like a cop-out, but I think this guy's post is so perfect I don't even need to do anything but send you people over to read it yourselves.

In light of the tragedy surrounding Tyler Clementi, the desperation of Phoebe Prince, and all the others we've heard of in the past year or two that have felt such desperation that death seemed the only good option, I really think we need to stop putting the blame on the bullying, and the drugs, and the nature vs. nurture debate, and admit that there is something going on underneath that is creating the need for these scapegoats in the first place. This disease that has put responsibility and accountability to the back of the line instead of the forefront or our lives and ways of living.
Kudos to you, Dan, for calling us all out on it.