Arora bakes with Grandma Kathy

Arora and Grandma Kathy are baking together. Arora gets the little step stool. They carefully measure the sugar, flour and other ingredients. They are making a special birthday cake for my 28th birthday. Later that evening grandma has to frost and decorate the cake alone because Arora went to bed early as she was adjusting to the time difference.

Happy Birthday to me! The cake was wonderfully dense and chewy.  I included the next few photos so you can see how quickly Ender goes after the cake.Here is the recipe Kathy used:

It come from the Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book (Circa 1981)

Yellow Cake                   heat oven to 375

2 3/4 cups flour

2 1/ tsp baking powder

1/2  cup butter

1 3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

1 1/4 cup milk

1 tsp salt

Beat butter and sugar add eggs  one at a time, then and vanilla.

Mix dry and ingredients and then mix with wet ingredients .

cook 30-35 minutes .

Butter frosting

6 table spoons butter

4 1/2 sifted powdered sugar

1/4 cups milk

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat butter then slowly add  1/2 of sugar and  add milk and vanilla, Then slowly beat in rest of sugar.


Mr Cookie Baker

Last week we went to the public library twice. I forgot how much fun it is to find new books. One of the ones we checked out is called Mr Cookie Baker. The words are simple enough for Arora to read the the pictures are well done. My favorite part of the book is that it includes four of Mr Cookie Baker’s recipes.

So far we have tried two of them, Sugar and Oatmeal. The sugar cookies were good Arora and her cousins had a good time frosting and decorating them.

The oatmeal cookies were the best oatmeal cookies I had ever made. Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup butter

1 C brown sugar

1 egg

1 TBS milk

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup flour (we used whole wheat)

1 cup oats

1/2 cup raisins ( we used 1 cup chocolate covered raisins. yum!)

heat oven to 350

cream butter and sugar. Mix in egg and milk. then mix in spices and flour. Add oatmeal and then raisins. Drop on cookie sheet and bake 8-10 minutes.

I found these to be super soft, almost crumbly soft, which is the way I like my cookies. The chocolate covered raisins were a great addition because the chocolate melted into the cookie dough.

pumpkin bread

This was my first attempt to cook using our home grown organic pumpkins.  I followed the directions found here for how to cook the pumpkin down to a puree. It was fairly easy and Arora enjoyed scooping out the pumpkin guts. We did this in 3 parts.

Step one: Harvest, wash, clean out and cook pumpkin. Let cool.

Step two: Scoop pumpkin from rind and put in blender with a bit of water. Puree.

Step three: Follow this recipe for the best pumpkin bread ever. It does make 3 medium sized loaves. We made it three ways, plain, with chocolate chips, and one with cream cheese swirled on top.

I feel very domestic when cooking with food from our garden. This year we have enjoyed carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, pumpkins, spinach, broccoli, radishes, beans, onions, peas, strawberries, arugula, lettuce, and kale.

The Gingerbread Man

We have copy of “The Gingerbread Man” that Arora has been quite enamored with lately. So I decided to have us make some gingerbread cookies. The recipe we used was not great, really dry and crisp. Arora didn’t mind and has been snaking on them for a few days. She also is very insistent on everything having two eyes, a nose and a mouth. So this was a good activity for her.

pumpkin bars

We planted our first garden this year. In it we have about 10 pumpkins, I have never cooked with fresh pumpkin before. My sister in law Heather said to just cut it up, clean it out and bake it until it gets nice and soft.

Here is an amazing pumpkin bar recipe.

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

4 eggs

blend these together. Then add:

2 cups flour

2 tsps baking soda

pinch  of salt

1 TBS cinnamon

1/2 teas nutmeg

2 cups or 1 small can of pureed pumpkin.

Mix well and pour into a greased cookie pan with an edge. Bake at 350 for about 20-23 minutes. Let cool then frost with cream cheese frosting.

8oz  cream cheese, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup powdered sugar

whip well, and spread over the cooled bars.

As you can see I had 2 before typing this up, they are that good!** Edit: My sister in law Stephanie found this link about making your own pumpkin puree. It looks really strait forward.

blueberry muffins

My in -laws have an abundance of blueberries this year. David took Arora over a few days ago to pick to their hearts content.  We munched on them for a few day and still had around 1 cup left. Today we decided to make some homemade muffins with them. I found this recipe here.  I made a few changes that I will (highlight) in the recipe. I already have our camera in the hospital bag, and so there are no pictures.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 cup oat flour)
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 egg white (Whole egg)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (applesauce)
1/2 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons margarine, melted (Butter)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Use vegetable oil spray to grease 12-cup muffin tin. Set aside.
2. Mix 1/4 cup of the flour with the blueberries. Set aside. Beat egg white and 1 tablespoon oil lightly in bowl. Stir in milk and melted margarine or oil.
3. In separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Sift dry ingredient mixture over egg white mixture. Stir just long enough to moisten flour. The batter will look lumpy. DO NOT OVERMIX. Fold in blueberries. Fill each tin two-thirds full with batter. Bake in preheated oven 20-25 (18 minutes was plenty) minutes or until golden brown.

“ice cream” cake

There is a blog that I love for scrumptious treat ideas. They are most often simple and soooo yummy.  I found this recipe the other day and had to try it.

Take one cake mix, two cups of soft ice cream, 3 eggs and 1 cup of water. Mix together really well and pour into paper lined cupcake molds. Bake 350 for about 15-17 minutes.

I used strawberry ice cream and a strawberry cake mix (that had been in my pantry for way to long). Then after I portioned out the cupcake batter  Arora helped me put a few fresh raspberries in each one. Try to put the raspberry hole down or they stay at the top of the cupcake instead of going to the middle.

just before baking

Just before serving, we topped each one with some freshly whipped cream and a dollop of the rasp-strawberry jam we made. They were so good,  a huge hit. I am even going to make these next month for my sister’s baby shower.