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Current Reads > A Homemade Life Week 4

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message 1: by Leti, Former President (last edited Oct 18, 2010 08:16AM) (new)

Leti Elizabeth (thebrandstylist) | 49 comments Mod
Alas, its our last week together. Well, no need for dramatics. Hopefully we'll be together for a long time coming, but time spent over Molly's lovely book is ending. But not without going out with a bang!

Molly has two chapters I found especially memorable. One, simply for its choice of title, the other for its pure principle, mantra, or ideal..whatever you want to call it. In 'A Personal Chronology in Christmas Cookies' Molly speaks more about how she finally subccombs to fruit in her cookies, more so than her overall sequence of life as told by food. But this intrigued me. What would you briefly say is your personal chronology as told by food? Do a bullet point list starting as early as you can remember, from raspberry cotton candy when you were 6 on top of dad's shoulders at the fair, to duck terrine at your first ever French bistro.

Then, in her chapter called Whatever You Love, You Are, Molly recounts the days before and after Burg's death. This is one of the most beautiful chapters, and would have made a great ending (if not for finding love!). But what did you feel while reading this? Do you agree with Molly? Tell us a little about all the things you are...because you love them.

Homework: For this week, our final week, I hope you all take the time from now until November 1 to write out stories from your chronology list above. You can break it down however you like. Infant, toddler, teen, young adult. Or you can do themes like baked goods, full suppers, beverages and then just mention the age you were. However you choose, aim for at least 6 stories with their accompanying recipes. This will be our BIG BANG ending, which I'll use for the bulk of the cookbook I mentioned we will produce :)

message 2: by Deandra (new)

Deandra (deandraayu) | 14 comments I kinda agree with Molly on the chapter of Whatever you love, you are.. i always feel that things we surround ourselves with will shape us into the way we are now eventually.

I am a book, i guess, i love listening to stories and telling stories, sharing all the little things in life. much like a book, I'm loud but to be enjoyed privately. lol. what i meant by that is I'm only loud to my closest friends. i can be that annoying girl in starbucks that laugh or talk too loud, surrounded by a friend or 3 max. my ideal hang-out session is talking, gossiping or just catching up with daily life over a cup of coffee in the afternoon.

before i even realize it, i have fallen in love with food since i was a kid. i watched cooking shows all the time. i played as if I'm a waitress asking my mom what would she ordered. i played with erasers and tissue and other stuff as if I'm making a dough or stir-frying. first thing i ever cooked is corned beef with mushroom fried rice. i actually wrote it down, the recipe in a small notebook, dreaming that it will be my own cookbook. That was 2nd grade.

in 3rd grade first time i cook a chicken broth soup for my grandpa ( with adults help, of course).

In 5th grade, I have a great memory of cooking spaghetti with my friends. we laughed a lot till my hair got caught in the butter and one of my friend spilled tomato sauce to my other friend. that was hilarious. at 5th grade also i have my first ever melt down because our team cooked this what we thought was super delicious steak, but it turned out to be under cooked and unacceptable. i think i cried after my teacher said that. i remember being so mad that i couldn't summon anything but a squeak.

here in Indonesia elementary school ends at 6th grade, junior high ends at 9th grade and high school ends at 12th grade. in 7 grade, i joined this cooking club. i actually had a fight with the club-counselor, lol. but cooking with your friends is the best feeling of all times! we cooked once a week, eat together and sharing our goods with other clubs.

after 9th grade i graduate from junior high school and moved to high school, which have no cooking club. i realized i missed cooking so much that i enrolled to local cooking school, that have course for kids. well i was 15 and the oldest in class,but still i'm glad i enrolled. that was the first time i actually realize that i love cooking. then after the kids course i cannot stop and enroll to the next course, semi professional. i keep enrolling until advanced course of professional, finished the short course before i hit 17.

I remember eating a fancy cannelloni filled with pesto and tomato, beef topped with bernaise (did i spell that rite?) sauce that taste like heaven. i remember struggling so hard making a batch of dimsum, i felt like kicking and crying afterward. i remember being so proud that i can actually cook peking duck and chilly crab.

enrolling to those fancy courses doesn't mean i know what i'm doing, lol. i was the stupidest and smallest in class. the class consist of men age 18 - 32, while I'm the only girl, 15 and only 150 cm tall. they bump into me all the time(because their eye level r a great deal taller than mine, they said they cannot even see the top of my head. ck. jerks. lol) but they treat me like their little personal doll, teasing me but protective at the same time. it's like i have an instant 5 big bro! (I'm an only child, I'm thrilled and freak out at the same time) they used to tickle me so hard (I'm ticklish) till i cry or till i wet my pants (ISN'T THAT EMBARRASSING? they are SO MEAN) they used to hide my shoes and threaten to burn it in the stove because it was such an ugly pair of sneakers that i refused to throw away and put an pretty flat shoes instead (hey our class kitchen was slippery! i cannot use flat shoes!!) they also love to tied my hands and feet and than fed me sugars. (i really have no idea why they did that) they are mean and crazy like that. but they also there when i had my first break up ever. stood silent awkwardly when i cry my eyes out, they were listening to my nonstop complain when i had a fight with my parents,telling me to grow up, mess with my hair,and tickle me all over again. sigh.

truthfully, now i realized that i love baking more. i have this little dream of becoming a pastry chef. the only reason why i cannot stop enrolling to the course because i love cooking together. as i mentioned, cooking and sharing at the same time is really wonderful.

well as you guys already know at 8th grade to 10th grade i cook for my first boyfriend, the carrot pottage he loves and the cupcake that changed my life.

i love cupcakes so much that me and my friend started selling them in school. i became famous for ardna and the cupcake. even after i graduate high school, i keep on spreading my love for cupcakes in university. if homework ain't so bad, i held one day cupcake bazaar with a couple of friends.

I already had a blog since 7th grade. a specific blog about food, but did not post in routine. only after i baked a strawberry icebox tart that i thought, isn't wonderful if i bake and post it once a week, like other food bloggers? so, here i am. baking and finding my way to Leti's wonderful blog, and the breakfast club :)

OMG that was such a long post!!. I hope i don't bore you guys. i will post the fried rice recipe, vanilla cupcake, strawberry icebox tart, chilly crab, carrot pottage, and that wonderful cannelloni soon. gotta go right now. xx!

message 3: by Leti, Former President (new)

Leti Elizabeth (thebrandstylist) | 49 comments Mod
That was such an awesome post!! I love long posts. me=loner dork. Dont mind me. I sooo cant wait to post mine now. But even more so, I cant wait for those recipes Deardna!! :)

message 4: by Mandy (new)

Mandy | 37 comments Mod
Okay, here we go! I'm going to try to do all desserts! :D

The first food I remember from my childhood is when my Mom would make christmas cookies and pies! to this day she makes almost the exact same thing every year. My favorite thing is her sugar cookies. We make them every year and decorate them. So much fun!

Another one of my favorites is pumpkin pie. I've always loved pumpkin pie. I remember going to my great granny's house when I was little for Thanksgiving and Christmas and she always had pumpkin pie. It was the best! I never got her recipe and I'm very sad about that. Now that I'm writing about this I think I'll get my great aunt's address and write her a letter and ask for my granny's recipes! I can't believe I didn't think of that sooner! For now I'll just post the recipe I've been using the past few years.

Another thing that has to do with pumpkin is my now famous pumpkin roll that everyone asks for for Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner. My family and Fletcher's family both ask for them. It's crazy.

About 5 or 6 years ago my mom and I decided one day to make chocolate chip cookies but with white chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate or semi-sweet. They are my favorite kind of chocolate chip cookies now. White chocolate is the best!

Peanut brittle is another staple at our family's holiday gatherings. My mom has a great recipe. I remember over the years her not letting me be in the kitchen when she was making it because she was afraid I would get burnt. Now I'm scared to try it on my own for fear of burning myself! haha!!

OH FUDGE!! hehe!! Again, my Mom makes this every year for Christmas. She always has to make 2 batches because I don't like nuts in mine. It is seriously the best fudge I've ever had and I love fudge. :)

The last thing I want to talk about is the ginger cinnamon cupcake recipe I came up with for the Whipped challenge our dear Leti held back in August. My husband told me they were his absolute favorite cupcakes he has ever had. That's a pretty big accomplishment because he is the biggest sweet tooth I've ever met and his mom is one pretty amazing baker. Makes me feel pretty awesome, not gonna lie :)

So, like Deardna I'll be back later this week with the recipes for each of the things I posted about. :)

message 5: by Basht (new)

Basht I will write my homework up tomorrow (aka monday sometime)this last week was crazy busy... 2 photoshoots (1 family, 1 wedding!!) lots of editing, selling my car and buying a new one, getting ready for halloween, ect.

message 6: by Basht (new)

Basht Sorry, i meant to do this monday but this week has run away from me... i think i'm pmsing again as anything remotely stressful has me crying on the floor and freaking out.

My family was always weird with food, I just never really realized it. I can remember as a very young child that my grandpa loved the grossest things and was always trying to feed them to me. Ketchup soup was his favorite which was basically ketchup and vinegar boiled together in a pot. I believe that this was what led me to love ketchup sandwiches (smear bread with ketchup, fold together, eat), I wanted to be like my grandpa so badly, but the soup was a bit too much.

I wasn't allowed to cook or bake much growing up. My mom had it covered with her chocolate chip cookies. I would beg her to let me help, but I always got stuck with what I think is the worse job imaginable... creaming the butter and sugar with a spoon.

Allow me to say that my mom is someone who collects cookbooks but rarely used them or even looks at them. She doesn't even know she half of them, but they are there incase she decides she needs some obscure recipe out of the blue. She also has my grandmothers and great grandmothers recipes and books. I don't really remember much of my grandmothers cooking and I don't remember my great grandmothers at all but somehow looking through their recipes I feel closer to them. Every time I visit my mom now I take time to look through her books and find treasures. I could spend hours sitting with those books and paper scraps.

But back to my youth. My mom got a cookbook for kids one year and I would look through it all the time telling her, "see it says here i can make it!". This only worked for 1 recipe though, Ginger Crinkles cookies. Basically, ginger molasses cookies coated in sugar. I guess I made them a lot (though i don't really remember it that way haha) and sometimes will get an email from an old friend or family member (whom i haven't spoken to in years), asking for the recipe.

Then things were quiet on the cooking/baking front for a long time. When I was 16 my parents decided that my brother and I would have to make dinner every saturday. We were picky, and our tastes were radically different from my stepdad's. But he was the dad so he made the decisions.

On a side note, this often resulted in my mom making several different meals each night. Well, one meal, 4 versions. I can best describe this with spaghetti. My mom would have one loaded with veggies, dad's had to be super spicy, mine was plain (just smooth sauce) and my brother didn't like noodles or tomato sauce so he had hamburger and rice.

I don't remember much from what we made, it only lasted a couple of months. I do remember that I loved the planning and searching through cookbooks. It was during this time that I found the beginnings of my brownie recipe i posted before. That thing has been through so many revisions. But they made a wonderful gift for family or friends. There were no real staples in my parents house. I do have my mom's dill dip recipe, aka the best dip in the world. but she skipped one of the key ingredients when she told me. And she still refuses to let me know what it is or how much to use. haha! The only complete recipe i have from her is for her brown sugar carrots.

When I moved out on my own and went to college was where my love really started, and it's where my main issues with food came into play. I was sick... all the time. Think an allergic reaction to everything you eat and drink, even water. I would go 5-9 days without eating, only drinking milk. When I did eat it would be 1 bowl of chicken & wild rice soup or a pink grapefruit. This went on for 6 months straight and then on and off again for over a year after... but it hurt more to eat then it did to skip. During this time though i did a lot of baking, because I was good at it and my brother and his stoner friends always had the munchies. The favorite was my oatmeal cookies. I like to think that this is where I really developed my baking skills.

Now things are good, I became a vegetarian after having my daughter and no longer have issues with eating. I bake a lot because I don't like not knowing what's going into the food I am giving her. I don't want her to have a sugar addiction either. I cook approx. 350 nights a year, including the first night home after having her (which was the night before).

I think the recipes which best describe me to the world now would be vegetarian meatballs, lavash crackers served with Vincent Price's guacamole recipe, my chocolate chip cookies (which i have lovingly named Vintage Appeal), my vegan sugar free shortbread cookies (which i call Hybrid), and herb bread (but that recipe comes from Vincent Price) which is best served with my stew. In other words, classic and inventive :)

I will also mention that while i was pregnant the only real craving i had was for caramel corn and it took 3 months and a lot of wasted popcorn to find the perfect recipe. I don't like it hard, i like soft and gooey. I'm going to include this recipe because it's pretty much heaven. And it's the best time of year for it, seasonally anyway :)

Ok so here are the recipes. I don't have my oatmeal cookies recipe which i'm really mad about (i can't find it anywhere!) so i'm skipping that.

Ginger Crinkles:
1 cup butter or margarine, 1.5 cups sugar, 1 egg, 2 tbsp dark corn syrup, 1/2 cup molasses, 3 cups flour, 2tsp baking soda, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves, and 1/4 cup sugar for coating.
Oven: 375.
mix everything together. roll into small balls (half inch) bake for 12-14 mins on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Dill Dip:
1/2 cup mayo, 1 cup sour cream, 1tbsp parsley flakes, 1 tbsp steak spice, 1 tbsp dill weed, 1 tsp chives, lemon pepper to taste.
mix mayo & sour cream in a bowl. add in spices. chill 2 hours then devour with veggies cut into sticks. :)

Brown Sugar Carrots:
1/4-1/2 cup brown sugar, 3tbsp butter, 1/4 cup water, and as many carrots as you want (the more the better) sliced.
put carrots into a baking dish. sprinkle sugar over them evenly. dot with butter and pout over the water. Bake in a 350 oven until the carrots are soft. This is somewhere between 20 and 40 mins.

Vintage Appeal:
3/4 cup butter/margarine, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 egg, 2 tsp vanilla, 2cups flour, 2 tsp corn starch, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 cup choco chips.
oven: 350.
cream butter and sugars, fold in egg and vanilla. mix in all remaining ingredients. drop[ by spoonfuls onto a parchment covered cookie sheet. bake for 8-12 mins.

Caramel Corn:
1 cup popcorn kernels, 2 1/4 cups brown sugar, 1 cup corn syrup, 1 cup margarine or butter, 1 5oz can sweetened condensed milk.
Pop porcorn in a tbsp of oil. put in a huge bowl or a few smaller ones. Over med-high heat bring sugar, syrup and butter to a boil stirring constantly. heat to approx 270-290. I just do a drop in water test (to a soft ball stage) as a batch of caramels broke my candy thermometer a few years ago. haha. remove from heat and stir in milk. pour over popcorn and wait a few mins before eating as it's really really hot. It makes a lot so i make it before an occasion, like thanksgiving last month. i was able to give away all the extra :)

Vegetarian Meatballs
4 eggs, 1 envelope lipton onion soup mix, 2 cups grated marble cheese, 3/4 cups chopped walnuts, 1 cup breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp of powdered veggie broth.
mix everything together. chill for 30 mins. form into balls or spoon scoops and place on a baking sheet covered in parchment. bake at 400 for 20 mins. try not to each all of them in one sitting.

Lavash Crackers
1.5 cups flour, 1tsp course salt, 1/2 tsp instant yeast, 1 tbsp oil, 1/2 cup water.
mix everything into a nice soft sticky dough. put in an oiled bowl, cover and let sit for 90 mins. then roll out really really thin, as thin as you can get it. bake for 20 mins.

And cause i like you guys I'm including my hyrbid recipe, which well i've never shown anyone. I created these when a diabetic friend said you couldn't make a sugar free or vegan version of shortbread cookies. i shipped her a batch after i made them. she ate the whole batch in one night and requested more. :)I am really proud of this one.

1/2 cup vegan margarine, 1/3 cup oil, 1/2 cup plus 2tbsp sugar free icing sugar, 1/4 cup rice flour, 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 tbsp almond milk.
mix everything together, roll into balls and flatten in your hand. place on a parchment covered sheet, bake for about 20 mins at 350.

Sugar free icing sugar
you can just use your normal sub for this or use this one i made up :) it adds a nice coconut background to the shortbread and makes AWESOME icing.

1 cup powdered coconut milk, 1 cup cornstarch, 1/2 cup granulated sugar sub (spenda or the stevia one are good options). Blend everything together. store in jars.

Ok, the kiddlet is awake (first nap in a week!! whoohoo!) so i have to go. Basically she's gonna watch dora and i'm gonna look for a great cupcake recipe cause i have to make them for her birthday this sunday. Sorry it took so long to get this up! hugs and happy thoughts to all of you.

message 7: by Mandy (new)

Mandy | 37 comments Mod
Here are my recipes!!!

Pumpkin Roll:
3/4 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
6 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup golden brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup canned pumpkin, packed
1/8 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar

8 ounces Cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons Butter or margarine, softened
1 cup Powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

For the cake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a 15 by 10 by 1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the parchment with nonstick cooking spray.

Sift the flour, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice into a small bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until very thick. Add the pumpkin to the egg mixture and combine at a low speed until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and beat at a low speed until mixed. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff but not dry. Fold into the cake batter, stirring with a spatula, until most of the white streaks are gone.

Spread the batter onto a baking sheet and smooth out. Transfer baking sheet to the oven and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 15 to 18 minutes. While the cake is hot, dust generously with powdered sugar. Loosen the edges and turn the cake out onto a kitchen towel. Fold the towel over the edge of the cake and roll up. Cool completely, edge down, for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

For the filling: Beat all ingredients together until completely combined. Add powdered sugar a little at a time if too thin.

To assemble, unroll the cake and spread the filling over the cake. Start at 1 long side of the cake roll and, using the towel as an aid, roll up the cake to encase the filling. Place the cake, seam-side down, on a platter.

Trim the ends of the cake at a slight diagonal. Dust the cake with powdered sugar. To serve, use a serrated knife to cut the cake crosswise into 1-inch thick slices.

Sugar cookies:
adapted from
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

In a bowl, cream together the sugar and butter, then mix in the egg and vanilla and almond extracts. In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and cream of tarter; mix the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, then cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Divide the chilled dough in half and roll it out on a lightly floured pastry cloth to a 1/4-inch thickness. Lightly grease some baking sheets. Cut the dough with a floured cookie cutter; sprinkle with sugar. Transfer the cookies to the prepared sheets and bake for 9 minutes.

Royal Icing:
3 egg whites
1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Food coloring, optional

In a medium bowl, combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tarter. Beat at low speed with an electric mixer until blended. Increase mixer speed to high, and beat 8 to 10 minutes, or until mixture holds a peak. Cover with a damp cloth when not in use. Separate into bowls and add food coloring, if desired.

Pumpkin Pie:
from back of pumpkin can:

1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
1 (15 ounce) can LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 (12 fluid ounce) can NESTLE® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.
Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F.; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. (Do not freeze as this will cause the crust to separate from the filling.)

Peanut Brittle
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. Karo light corn syrup
1 c. raw peanuts

Mix in casserole dish and place in microwave for 4 1/2 minutes on high. Stir. Cook 4 more minutes on high in microwave.

Add 1 tsp. margarine, 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. baking soda. Pour onto buttered cookie sheet. When cool break into pieces and serve.

1 stick margarine
5 oz. evaporated milk
3 1/2 c. sugar
Bring these to full boil on medium heat. Boil 5 minutes stirring constantly. Turn off heat.
Add 1-12 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1-7 oz. jar of marshmallow creme, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 c. nuts (optional), stir until melted, pour into cookie sheet. Let cool then cut and serve.

Ginger Cinnamon Cupcakes with Strawberry filling and Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting
cake recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger, optional
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

Prepare cupcake pan with liners
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, ginger, baking powder and salt. Stir in candied ginger, if using.
In a large bowl or mixer, beat together sugar and butter until combined and smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then, add flour mix and milk, alternating between the two.
Spoon batter into prepared liners. Bake for 23 to 28 minutes or until golden brown and tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool completely then chill for about 30-45 minutes. Once chilled, cut holes out of the middle of the cupcakes only about halfway through each cake. Fill each cake with the strawberry filling (recipe below) and then pipe the frosting (recipe below) over the top of each cupcake then use the rest of the strawberries as garnish.

Strawberry Filling
8-10 strawberries
2 tbsp. sugar

Cut strawberries into very small pieces and stir in sugar.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Combine all ingredients and mix well until smooth. Makes a lot of frosting, so you'll definitely have enough for all the cupcakes.

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