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