Fully-Baked Session #3

Today January 9, 2013

Hello all! I have to admit that I haven’t been the world’s best blog owner, as I have looked forward to writing a Happy Anniversary segment; I got all ready with my cup of hot earl grey tea in my comfy pj’s and FINALLY sit down and sweep aside everything else I HAVE OR WANT to do, I realize that in the happenings of Christmas and my sudden change of holiday plans I never posted our third baking club session and ALL the lovely photos…so first things first!!!:) lol

I will be honest, I started on December 12th writing and then I stop mid sentence and I am not sure what all I wanted to say (thankfully it went to draft & here I am now!) …so I’m going to give it my best try to conger up all from that lovely day (a lot has gone on in my life in less than a month and I will tell more about that in my next blog (promise! promise!)!!). I’m not going to change anything from this point but just add to it:

December 12, 2012

I try and try to get on here more and write more…I defiantly take a lot of pictures (so that’s a plus). But the reality is: when I feel like writing and when it pops in my mind and I have the extra time all happen at once, well that’s a real treat. Like now…I’m up a little early (4:30am), and I don’t really need to show my face till 7am… This as a general rule doesn’t happen THAT often:)

What’s on my mind is that last Saturday, I packed up my baking supplies (YES-even my beloved KitchenAid mixer!) and I put them in a tote in my car. It really felt like I was on the show “Cake Wars”….it was a great feeling. Actually packing up all my stuff was a great thing in two ways, 1st off, I got to see everything I have all together and get to realize I’m missing or low on some pretty important items. LIKE cinnamon…I’m ALL OUT!!! But luckily I was traveling across town to my lovely friends, Anthony and Dana Haskett’s!!! They are baker extraordinaires and they had everything and MORE:) 2nd….I got to clean my baking shelf (which is always a PLUS)!

On my way to the Haskett’s I was thinking how great it would be to just enjoy my friends and bake something simple…. well that’s a good thought and I realize I have such good intentions! But alas that is not how it went down…I had so many recipes on my mind, good old faithful holiday originals and some new ones I had been scoping out!! What was special about this day of baking is that I was joining together with some friends that are a part of The Friends House Ministry where I live. The very next evening we had planned to all have soup together (about 20-30 people) and then go caroling to a nearby nursing home and also to our surrounding neighbors. We call this gathering Soup & Sing and have it at The Friends House every month for fellowship and fun (and open to for anyone to attend). The Haskett’s were also making goodies for the teachers at the Elementary School where Anthony is doing an internship at as the Principle. So I had huge expectations on some major baking going down. I was excited to say the least!!

Baking Club Travels!

Baking Club Travels!

My most devoted member Melissa had invited her mom to come join us and I was so looking forward to that! I wanted her baking wisdom and to get to know her better. I think what better way to get to know people than the intimacy of creating together in a nice clean and warm kitchen!!! Also, I had not spent much time with Anthony and his wife Dana much either and that is whose house we were going too!! Joy joy joy!! And boy was it delightful, a beautiful home with a giant tree full of colors galore!!! They have an amazing kitchen and they are FOODIES for sure:)

(Left to Right- Melissa, Karri, Anthony, Dana,and missing Tami) Fully-Baked Club

(Left to Right- Melissa, Karri, Anthony, Dana,and missing Tami) Fully-Baked Club

So much fun! A general rule in our club is to come with a few ideas and then sit down with a hot cup of COFFEE (or any other beverage) and make a decision. Decision making isn’t my strongest suit and you know I have come accustomed to this, it grows on you…I don’t give myself too many options to make it a tad bit easier on myself. And I will add that spontaneous is difficult for me in this process. I second guess myself and well then I feel I may have made the wrong choice. Anyways this day was no different from any other for me….I had some easy and some challenging recipes as did the others. So I did relax a bit and decided to just go with the flow. I had a recipe for a Jewish pastry called Rugelach and I had chosen this because I had tried one at Whole Foods recently, it was divine! It really just melted in my mouth…the combo of soft but flaky, walnutty, cinnamon sugar, and raisins bursting was the BEST!! My brother had recently gave me a HUGE gunny sack full of black walnuts in the shell and I had made it a goal to find recipes containing walnuts…and I also gave them away as much as I could. They actually made great gifts over the holiday season. Really who doesn’t like to get a bag of nuts??? So thanks Bubbie!! He’s my only brother and he is younger but bigger than me.. when he teases me he sometimes reminds me by saying “I’m your little brother, I’m suppose to tease you like no one else can!” And that is the absolute truth…some nicknames are ONLY reserved for him!!! I took some picture of the process and end result…

My prep for Rugelach!

My prep for Rugelach!

My brother’s lady Alexis calls them pinwheels because it’s easier to say!

Rugelach baking!

Rugelach baking!

This recipe is time-consuming and it does need to be refrigerated a few different times…but it is soooo worth it. To get the recipe I used, go here. I can’t recall what else I made, but I know I made something else:) Anthony made all sorts of cookies that were delicious, and some amazing lemon shortbread that I could have eaten everyone had they not been reserved for his teachers! Dana was our awesome house mom and fed ME (everyone else seemed to not be hungry but I not ate much beforehand) and made a tasty ham and bean soup that I begged her to bring to soup and sing the next night!! I am recalling that Anthony tried a recipe that we all thought would be great and then it didn’t turn out like he wanted…you know how that is when you can’t figure out what went wrong and why a recipe is bad that should have been good. He probably remembers the name of those cookies but I don’t.

Melissa made delicious pecan sandies and chocolate covered pretzels. We all learned not to dip the whole pretzel or it’s just a waste of melted chocolate and a MESS:) Thanks for that lesson although it caused you to only have the virtue to dip 12 or so pretzels. In my book you get an A+! Melissa is the type of girl who is okay with making mistakes and learning from them… she doesn’t get to upset. Me on the other hand, it just kills me to error in the kitchen! It could be because everyone in my family is super awesome in the kitchen and I want to have talent like them! I want to say that someone made sugar cookies and I made it home with them unfrosted and frosted them the next day before our caroling event….I think we served them to our caroling crew! We bagged up all our goodies to hand out to our neighbors, which I loved doing. I enjoy giving people things:) You can see some of the beginnings of our bags of goodies. I obsessed over making labels to go with them, and they turned out okay!

Here is the full extent of our combined baking!

Goodies galore!

Goodies galore!

And lucky for me I found some other pictures too, I recently got a new phone and didn’t have my photos backed up to iCloud so I’m thankful that I had loaded some up to WordPress when I was prepping this blog post!! So there you have it! It was a success and I have been thinking of when the 4th session will be and my goal is still to have the baking club once a month, especially while I’m in the masters program. While at the soup and song the following night I met two young ladies that were interested in joining us in our baking club and I got to talking about doing a crafting club and to my surprise that very next week I had three gals come over and we made Christmas cards before I left for my holiday travels. It was grand…so I’m considering that as well. These are all things that I consider a joy and delight to facilitate and be involved in, so it is a great stress relief and self-care for me, AS LONG AS I DON’T GET ALL STRESSED OUT OVER THE DETAILS:) than I consider this to be something AWESOME that I want to continue doing:) Please feel free to comment and share with me any ideas you have!!

chocolate dipped pretzels the conservative way

chocolate dipped pretzels the conservative way

sugar cookies

sugar cookies

CHOCOLATE covered pretzels (ok there is more than 12..)

CHOCOLATE covered pretzels (ok there is more than 12..)

Love, Tami xo

p.s.  Be on the look out for my upcoming Happy Anniversary/Birthday post.  I will post it before the end of the weekend:)  I will be celebrating by giving the first FIVE commenters of that post a surprise gift in the mail!!!  I’m so excited….why??? you ask…well I love giving to people and blessing them!  It’s one of my LOVE languages.  What’s yours??  If you don’t know or haven’t heard of this before, than go here to see what I’m talking about and take the quiz for yourself.  Ta Ta!!

‘Fully Baked’ news!

Melissa's cherry pie

Melissa’s cherry pie

This is the pie that Melissa made at our last baking club! I was a wee bit distracted that evening and I can’t even remember what I settled on making.  Wait!!! I am the queen of photo documentation:)

my pumpkin cake

my pumpkin cake

I can barely remember it (i bake alot), but I made a pumpkin cake or bread rather, I saved the glaze from the scones and defrosted it and squirted it all over the large dish and then 2 small ramikins that I used. By the way, the ramikins were an awesome idea, the bread just popped right out! 

Well anyways, our next club is going to be Saturday, December 8th around 2pm, and I think it might be at Dana’s house.  I would do it here at The Friends House but I think we will have more participants….BECAUSE we are having a session on JUST COOKIES!!!  We are going caroling on Sunday evening and we want to pass out cookies to our neighbors!! How fun!!  If you have any fun and easy cookie recipes…please send them my way:)  Blessings- Tam

Upcoming club details:

Ramekin Pumpkin Bread

Wow, I can’t believe how time can fly  by….actually that’s not true.  I know time flies by way tooooooooooo fast.  I had meant to blog a few things before my 2nd actual baking club.  But it didn’t happen and I’m not going to be too hard on myself (something he is teaching me!).

So tomorrow I’m hosting my 2nd baking club and I have a few more interested bakers!  How fun!  Tomorrows theme is fall…..which I’m so excited about.  Instead of watching some TV for down time last night, I decided to bake a pumpkin cake, what I realized is I am sooooo low on baking dishes.  I used some ramekins hoping they would pop right out once golden brown.  The house smelled so good and the activity did recharge me.  I know that sorta sounds strange, that expending all that energy and feeling like it did something good for me.  My theory is that because I enjoy this so much that when I do it (and even the cleanup involved) I feel like some emptiness inside myself gets filled!!  I’ll post a photo of my delicious ramekin pumpkin cake and vow to be a better blogger.

Reminder:  I still have a few spots left if your local and you want to participate in the club tomorrow.  Let me know and I will give you the details:)  

 

It’s been AWHILE!

Best birthday gift EVER.

Yes. Readers, it has been awhile.  I have not blogged since last October.  So what better time to start back up again!  I have missed writing and sharing with you all.  xo

What has kept me so busy the last year?  Well I would have to say the biggest thing would be graduating with my Bachelors degree last May and then starting my Masters program this September.  Over the summer I did some traveling to see family and friends and just try to recoup from all my hard work:)  It was sooooo worth it!  I am glad to have my BA and I look forward to getting licenced in Social Work soon so that I can work in the field while I finish my schooling.  It’s honestly been a HUGE adjustment from undergrad to grad school.  I also changed churches and that has been a transition, let. me. tell. you!  I have moved to a few different locations trying to find the BEST fit for me.  So now I’m living in a community setting across the street from my University, in an old restored bed and breakfast called the Friends House.  It’s very peaceful and conducive for me to do homework, rest, and to cultivate a good life!

Having said that, I decided to start a baking club.  If you know me or have read previous blogs, than you might see that I get so much fulfilment out of baking!  I get so excited at how beautiful something turns out after mixing all kinds of different gooey and dry ingredients together.  How amazing the whole house will smell and create such an environment of “home sweet home”.  It warms my heart!  The best thing of ALL is that for my birthday this year my fabulously generous sister and her family gave me my very own KitchenAid electric stand mixer in GREEN APPLE!!!  It blessed my socks right off my feet.  And the funny thing is that I didn’t mean to, but, I guessed what the gift was beforehand…I think I was really trying to hint that I would love to have my own (which is really no big secret, I covet each one I see!)  Anyhow, it has been such a delight and joy to have in my life.  I know that may sound silly to say about a kitchen appliance, but it is just so true.  I see it and it instantly makes me soooo HAPPY (or happier, cause I am a pretty happy person- by nature) it inspires me to bake and cook!  So a big THANK YOU goes out to Hobart’s Troy Metals which was later renamed KitchenAid Manufactury Company.  This mixer was invented and designed in the 1920’s and has been the most popular “kitchen aid” in homes across America for almost a century.  I’m sooooo GLAD!!

So you may be wondering, why a baking club?  Well the fact is, I have noticed that when I bring a baked good somewhere that people rave about wanting to bake more or learn different recipes.  So I saw a need in my sphere of influence and I wanted to meet that need.  I have a wonderful decent sized kitchen and this new living arrangement welcomes visitors:)  The way I see it is, if you can do something well and you enjoy doing it- well why not share the wealth!! I’d bake anything for him too, because he makes me happy:).  I have already had my first club and it was so fun.  Since then I thought it would be nice to name the club:) I fancy naming things!  My first thought was: Baked, however just like with my soooo original idea of naming my arts and crafts designs company (not entirely official, I need to go get a license so that no one takes the name I have carefully chosen now!) I found out someone else already owns rights to not only the name but also there is already a blog called Baked with a web domain purchased (boooo).  So I quickly and without any anticipation moved on to what next.  Fully Baked or Baked Fully.  I would love to hear your opinions or any other ideas!!!  Just comment below and I promise to deeply consider it!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones

A club just needs more than one person right?  So my new friend Melissa was eager to join me in my endeavours.  We met on a Sunday afternoon, she brought some generic baking items and I unloaded my plethora of supplies.  It really felt good to use up some of my stuff and consolidate!  I enjoy that sort of thing all over the span of my everyday life!  So anyhow, I brought out all my sweet cookbooks and we poured a delicious cup of coffee and we sat down to each pick out a recipe that we wanted to try.

I chose one of my all time favorite recipes from Karina over at her blog Gluten-Free Goddess.  Click that link to get the recipe and let’s get sconed!  hehe  Her blog has been the inspiration for my many attempts to eat healthier.  She has such a great eye for improvising and it impressed me from the first time I layed eyes on her blog.  And I want to add that she does amazing food photography!  I want to be like her when I grow up:)  So thank you Karina, xo!!

Oh, so I should add that I have really moved from using actual cookbooks to printing recipes that I adore from the http://www.  After all its the 21st century, the electronic age!  How can I not help it?  The opportunities are endless!! I do love paper, books, and the act of turning page after page, I really do!  So last Christmas a dear friend of mine knowing this about me,  Jacque Fries,  gave me all the supplies to make my own savory and sweet binder like cookbooks….and I’m not joking one bit when I say she provided EVERYTHING that would pertain to creating these.  And I had a bin of loose recipes galore!!!  So when I finally set out to make these groovy additions to my life it was a recipe party on my floor, FOR SURE!

So back to thumbing through cookbooks for ideas….(don’t let me get toooo off track!)  I looked through a few but really didn’t find anything till I opened my SWEET TREATS homemade cookbook and there they were, those scones calling out my name to make them!  So pretty in color, the shape, the texture, the density of them AND oh the maple nutmeg icing….Yes this is by all means my favorite!  And as you may notice above, Melissa piped my name on a scone just for fun! But what a great idea! Personalizing a scone for someone…come on, ya I’ve personalized cupcakes for people but a scone.  A new and fresh idea for me.  Thanks Melissa, you really are a such a creative and artsy gal AND you are so open to learning new things and not afraid to say “hey Tami, how do you turn on your amazing mixer” :).  Also I would like to add that she taught me how to make faux maple syrup out of molasses, sugar, vanilla, and water.  Ingenuous!!!!

Melissa being the dear girl she is, picked traditional peanut butter cookies from my Limited Edition Breast Cancer Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  Click the link above to retrieve the recipe for yourself!

Miss Melissa Clarkston- baker extraordinaire!

Scones and Peanut Butter Cookies!

Seriously, these were so delicious and it was so fun baking with someone else.  Which is something I’m not entirely use to or comfortable with.  So that is really another reason for me to facilitate this club.  So that I will learn to play well with others:)  I look forward to our next meeting and I have a few other ladies and one man that is interested in joining us.  What FUN!!  I love baking for others and bringing delight to the mouths of others through culinary art!  My new motto is “Art saves lives”!  Thanks for reading and let me know what you think or what you would like to hear about:)  I’m on a roll, early mornings of blogging, cause I really have so much to say and so little time to say it, plus everyone I know is busy.  God already knows all this about me, so I feel silly telling him about it all the time:) so I blog.

Yours truly, Tami xo