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day fourteen: lemon poppyseed cookies

In 30 days of beauty, baking, recipes on 03/04/2010 at 8:55 pm

These dairy-free lemon poppyseed drop cookies have become a family favorite. They freeze wonderfully and I actually prefer them cold instead of straight out of the oven. Try them. You won’t be disappointed.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup margerine (I use Earth Balance)
1 cup applesauce
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon zest
2-1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup poppy seeds

Cream together both sugars, margerine, and applesauce.
Add remaining ingredients.
Mix well.
Drop SMALL spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
Makes about 3-1/2 dozen

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a sweet read

In books, recipes on 01/20/2010 at 10:52 am



“Amish baking is by its very definition simple, self-sufficient, and often sweet and sticky. The worn hands of an Amish homemaker kneading loaves of bread carry the lessons of generations past. There’s a calming comfort in watching hands shape the dough, of watching bread balloon into a billowy golden pillow in a wood-fired oven. Throughout centuries of religious persecution in Europe and sometimes harsh settlement conditions in the United States and Canada, the Amish have turned their hands to feed themselves: men to plant and harvest, women to bake and cook. This insular self-sufficiency has elevated the Amish into legendary creators of cakes, pies, rolls, and doughnuts out of the building blocks of baking: flour, eggs, butter, vanilla, oatmeal, seasonal fruits, cinnamon and molasses.”

Lovina Eicher, Kevin Williams, The Amish Cook’s Baking Book (Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, 2009), xvii.

Even if you never bake a single recipe, this book is a feast in itself. Colorful imagery and simple storytelling are scattered among recipes for Bumbleberry Pie, Rhubarb Squares, and Blueberry Streusel Coffeecake. You can read a little about Lovina, mother of eight, here and here.

 

p.s. I added some new names to “the regulars” this morning so drop by and say “hello”!

a slow return

In recipes on 01/07/2010 at 12:23 pm

french baguette

The “undecking” of our halls has begun, and with it, a slow sliding into the familiar quiet rhythm of winter.  Having finally cleared our cupboards of the last of the holiday sugar stash, I’ve been pining for a plump, honey-colored, “I-know-what’s-in-it” loaf  of  bread from our oven. But once I was mixing and flouring, kneading and pounding, I realized that’s what I was really missing. There’s something about plunging my winter-worn fists into that supple warmth that’s quieting. I can’t quite explain it. But then perhaps, you already know…

one tsp active dry yeast
one tsp granulated sugar
one and one half cups of lukewarm water
four to four and one half cups unbleached all purpose flour
two tsps salt

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast and sugar over the lukewarm water. Let sit about 5 minutes until foamy. Stir in 2 cups flour until combined. Then add salt and two more cups of flour. Stir until dough is stiff.

On a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and stretchy (8 to 10 minutes), gradually adding additional half cup of flour as needed if it’s too sticky.

Lightly grease a large bowl, add dough, cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Allow dough to rise in a warm draft-free spot approx 90 minutes, until doubled.

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Remove dough, punch down, and shape into a long baguette. Place loaf diagonally on parchment paper covered baking sheet. Let rise an additional half hour in a warm, draft-free spot.

With a sharp knife, make a few diagonal slashes in the top of the loaf. Rub top of loaf with a small amount of water to moisten.

Bake on center rack 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with everything.

Rumor has it that Winter is making plans to visit us in all her glory later today. Should I disappear from this space tomorrow, rest assured we are without electricity, in our pajamas, with noses pressed to the windows.

p.s. The Poppies start today! Head on over to Poppytalk and nominate your favorites. Categories include:
favorite handmade housewares
favorite handmade recyclable, reusable, repurposed goods,
favorite crafter,
favorite photographer
favorite handmade jewelry,
and more.
Nominations end Tuesday, January 12th.

| days of doing one thing = 10 |

candy turns to cotton

In handmade, recipes, things pondered on 01/02/2010 at 2:16 pm

It caught my eye here, and then again there, but there was no time.
Still, it stayed with me, not offended by my inattention, patiently tucked away in a colorful corner of my imagination.

Now the rush has passed, all the doing is done, and the time has come to simply BE. And I remember.

And what would have been, way back then, gives way to something new.

This blustery morning, in my hands, candy turns to cotton.

Inspiration is everywhere.

1. onetomatotwo, 2. spork or foon, 3. craftapalooza, 4. the red deer

 

| days of doing one thing = 5 |

a shameless plea for help

In recipes, thrifting + vintage on 12/21/2009 at 8:47 pm

I’ve never really been one for New Year’s resolutions, however this year, I do have just one: to add more hearty, healthy dinners to my repertoire. I’m in such a rut! I have a long and sordid history with my cookbook collection. Consorting them always feels a bit like a game of roulette. One in particular, has a recipe for “stinky chicken surprise”, filed under some other innocuous title.  I’m typically not feeling that adventurous at 5:00 in the afternoon with a cranky toddler hanging onto my leg. I need field-tested, family-approved fare for my table.

As I’ve pondered this, it occurred to me that you probably have at least one “go-to” recipe that your brood applauds, so consider this my shameless cry for help. I also figured I’m probably not the only one with this dilemma, so if you’re feeling generous, feel free to share your favorite dinner recipe in the comments or put it in your own post and leave a link for me to check it out. (A plug for your favorite cookbook or recipe site is equally welcomed.) After today, I’ll add a link to this post in the sidebar so we can continue to share  favorites throughout the new year. Feel free to add as many as you like and rest assured, I’ll be consulting the list often.

In the spirit of reciprocity, I’m passing along one of our new favorites.

Open-Faced Crab Cake Sandwiches
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp canola oil
12 oz. lump crab meat
1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup of low-fat mayo or fat-free Nasoya
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350. Gently, but thoroughly, fold all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup or an ice cream scoop, form small mounds of the mixture on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking oil or lined with parchment paper. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve open-faced on toasted sourdough or french bread with your favorite clam chowder and a bowl of fresh fruit.

p.s. The recipe box is my new favorite piece of vintage. In case you were wondering, yes, it’s still empty!

she whispers

In recipes, things pondered on 12/03/2009 at 8:00 am

As Autumn’s flush fades to grey Winter, we relish each hour of her company. 

Breath swirls and cheeks blush against the brisk air. 

Each day, we play at the feet of our gallant oak as he discards his finery, unfurling a brittle blanket that we harvest in piles and pails for weeks on end. 

And as I reflect on finding love, wedding, and giving birth against the brilliant canvas of Autumns past, I am warmed.

She is my favorite season.

She whispers grace to me.

 
Apple Pumpkin Spice Muffins
1 cup egg whites
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups canned unsweetened pumpkin
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves 

Preheat oven to 375.
In large bowl whisk together egg whites, applesauce, granulated sugar, brown sugar and pumpkin. Sift or stir together  flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Gently fold dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture; do not overwork. Spoon into muffin cups or greased muffin pan. Bake until firm to the touch and lightly browned (20 to 25 minutes). Makes 20.

 

 

 “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. “
Albert Camus

 

good morning, december

In recipes, things pondered on 12/01/2009 at 7:00 am





 

I heard a bird sing
in the dark of December
A magical thing
and sweet to remember.
”We are nearer to Spring
than we were in September,”
I heard a bird sing
in the dark of December.
Oliver Herford, I Heard a Bird Sing