Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Anyway, I'm LOVING my new kitchen. I have so much more space now than I did at the old house, and I've got crazy amounts of countertops. If you're interested in seeing the new kitchen, take a look at this post.
I decided to make my "comeback" with the Tuesdays with Dorie assignment for the week: Cocoa-Nana Bread, chosen by Steph at Obsessed with Baking. It was a great assignment for my first TWD in my new kitchen: simple ingredients that I could find easily, as I'm still finding my way around the new house. I even had a couple of past-their-prime bananas begging to be used. I felt a little bad for Steph as I looked at the P & Q for this week's pick...it seems lots of people are uneasy about the combo of bananas and chocolate. And that's something I just don't get (kind of like how I don't understand how so many people have an aversion to raisins in baked goods), because they seem to be perfect companions to me. In fact, one of my favorite snacks is a banana drizzled with Hershey's syrup (or covered in Nutella). Anyway, this recipe is a keeper. It's a quick bread, so it's not rocket science. Dorie's description was right on: the first bite is chocolate-chocolate, then you get the banana taste. It was a perfect dessert after dinner tonight...still warm from the oven! Yum!
Thanks, Steph, for choosing this delicious bread! I love the chocolate and banana combo! If you want to try the recipe, visit Obsessed with Baking.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
The recipe makes about 10 cups of mix, which can keep for awhile (2 weeks or so) at room temperature. Or you can keep it on the fridge indefinitely, although I'm pretty sure Dad will need a refill before long. The remaining ingredients for the pancakes (besides the dry mix) are pretty typical things you'd have in your kitchen. I'm sure they'll be perfect for you if you're "breakfast people".
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The first time I had cracker candy was when I worked at the prison. One of my coworkers brought us homemade candy for Christmas, and when I had my first bite, I said, "Jessie, what is this?! It's delicious!" She grinned from ear to ear and said, "It's cracker candy!" I had to have the recipe, so she sat down at her desk and wrote it out for me. Can you believe that the sweet, crunchy toffee layer is made from regular ol' unsalted saltines? Me neither. It just gets better from there.
Monday, January 11, 2010
My brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and stepmom Theresa were recipients of some of this yummy mix for Christmas. To make it, you simply dump 1/3 of a cup of the mix in a cup, then fill with boiling water. No need to heat milk, because it's made with dry milk powder. And it's oh so creamy because of the addition of some chocolate fudge pudding mix. A cup of this, two giant marshmallows on top, and a good book are the perfect things to settle in with on a nice wintery night!
Saturday, January 9, 2010
I was so close to having a bite this year, but it just didn't happen. As I was counting my mini-loaves of all kinds of bread, I realized that I would have just enough, so I didn't get to snack on any of this one. I know I would love it, though. I am a sucker for all things cranberry, and that's a recent development. For the longest time I was scared of cranberries, for some reasons. To get over my fear, I started putting dried cranberries on my salad (which I now cannot live without) and I've gradually worked up to using whole cranberries in recipes. I don't know why I was ever scared of the tartness of cranberries. I was the kid who ate unripe gooseberries off of my grandmother's gooseberry bush, for crying out loud!
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Here's one side of the kitchen. To the left of the sink is the double oven, but it kind of got cut out.
Here's the other side of the kitchen. I'm really pleased with how the cabinets, wall color, and countertops look together. I was intimidated by picking everything out, but it works great!
There you go. You've had a tour of Erin's Dream Kitchen 2010! We still need to get the door handles and pulls on there, but it's pretty much complete. I'm so excited about baking and cooking in there. What should I make first?
Monday, January 4, 2010
Anyway, I made lots of mini loaves of bread this Christmas to give away as gifts. I like the idea of giving mini loaves for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, I assume most people I'm giving food to are in the same predicament as me. I figure they probably love food, but that they've got way too much of it at Christmastime. The mini loaf is just a perfect little snack. It can be consumed in one sitting either alone (Hogatha!) or with a friend. There are no leftovers to feel obligated to eat. I also like mini loaves because I can give a kind of "variety pack" to people with several different flavors. That seems to be much appreciated, at least by my family and friends!
So here's one of my favorite quick bread recipes. Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bread. When I first read the name of the recipe, I was a little uneasy about it. I'd never eaten peanut butter and pumpkin together. But I thought about it, and decided that peanut butter makes anything better, so I took the plunge. And it is delicious! It's a very moist bread, and the peanut butter stands out, but not too much. The pumkin is a perfect accent flavor. This recipe makes two loaves, and they freeze really well. If the pumpkin shortage hasn't hit your area, give this recipe a try!
Friday, January 1, 2010
While it's not necessarily a close second to the Homemade Boursin Cheese, it's the closest of the bunch. Searches for this recipe come up on my Feedjit Traffic Tracker about once a week. It's no wonder! This cake is delicious! This cake comes from Sue, one of my mom's very good friends. It's her signature dessert, and she's pretty much expected to bring it to her work potlucks, where everyone asks for the recipe. Everyone loves this cake...even folks who say they don't like coconut. Make it for your next social event, but be sure that you have copies of the recipe to hand out!
So there you have it. Those are the recipes that have brought new readers to The Sweet Life over the course of the past eight months I've been blogging. This blogging thing started on a whim, but I've come to enjoy it. Of course, there are days that I wonder why I spend time doing this, but I keep coming back to it. I'm thinking that in 2010, I might expand the scope of my blog some, instead of focusing strictly on cooking. I think cooking will be the bulk of the posts, but after moving into the new house, I know David and I will have lots of home projects to work on, so I might include those. You'll just have to keep reading to find out! I wish you all a very happy 2010! Thanks for reading, and please keep on coming back!