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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fancy a Scone?

I can not recollect having ever eaten a scone before.

I've seen them on the racks of places such as Starbucks, Panera, and Dunkin' Donuts (oh, how I miss thee); but never really felt inclined to try them. I'll be honest, when it comes to baked goods I'm a little wary of BREAKFAST items. This is because they tend to lack flavor. And by flavor I mean sugar. By their very nature they should be less is breakfast after all, but lack of sugar in a baked good is not necessarily a good thing in my book. Thus, I have heretofore never even tried a scone. 

You're probably asking, why now? What would even possess you to bake one this late in the game?

I'll tell you. I was bored. Hence the name of the blog. Get it?? Bah!!

I also had a bunch of blueberries in my fridge that I didn't want to go bad. Ev and I could only eat so many at a time.

As usual, I went online and looked for recipes that included blueberries. Sadly, I don't own a muffin pan, so muffins were out of the question. I was thinking of a coffee cake or maybe even muffin tops, but the scone recipe sounded super quick, easy and, even better, I had all of the ingredients! 

The bebe refused to take an afternoon nap today, so the fact that the recipe was easy to follow really helped. She hates to watch me bake. *sigh*

I'll have you know that I started off using the countertop as most people would do, but then Ev started to fuss right as I was supposed to create the 6" rounds and cut them (to create the triangle shape). So, I did what any good mother would do... I put everything on the floor in front of her so that she could watch. See?

Notice the pizza slicer. I thought it was a great idea to use that to cut up the circle into triangles, like a pizza... but I really should have floured it first (or something). It ended up sticking to the dough and it made it difficult to make the pieces look like triangles.

Aren't some of them funny looking? Especially that wormy one in the middle. Gah!

To make them sweeter, I added a half of a cup of white sugar and also sprinkled some sugar on the top of the scones :)

This is the prettiest one! 

I cautiously nibbled on the wormy looking scone (best to not show off my ugly ones) and turns out that I LIKE scones!! They're WAY lighter than I had anticipated. They always looked like they'd be dense/heavy, but they're light and fluffy! The sugar on top was definitely a nice bonus.

I found the recipe here (at allrecipes):

I highly recommend this recipe! I plan on enjoying one tomorrow morning with my coffee.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Laziness Leads to Deliciousness

Friends! I have some great news! I found out yesterday that a lurker (read: one who reads this blog but does not follow) of Boredom and Baking was inspired by one of my entries! He was OBVIOUSLY impressed by the Magic Middles. I mean, who wouldn't be, right?

Anyhow, he baked up a batch and brought them into work for my sister and their other co-workers to enjoy! How fun is that!?!?

My little blog is bringing joy to others :)

Alrighty, back to business.

Yesterday I was feelin' like eating massive amounts of chocolate. Like, I wanted to shovel copious amounts of brownies into my face until I found myself in a chocolate induced coma. I didn't have the time nor the motivation to make something from scratch; so, I poked around the pantry and found a box of brownies that I did not recall purchasing. I typically buy Duncan Hines and this was Betty Crocker. Not that I'm picky, but there is a certain consistency that I prefer when consuming a brownie and I'm pretty familiar with how long I need to cook a Duncan Hines batch in order to obtain said perfect consistency. Get it?

The baby was sitting happily in her new baby jail (a caged off section of the living room, she just learned how to crawl and manages to get herself into trouble if I look away for even a millisecond) and so just then was as good of a time as any to whip up the brownie mix and shove it into the oven.

I opened the fridge to grab the eggs that were needed for the mix and....what is this I see?? An unopened package of cream cheese?? Say it isn't so!!


You better believe that I went onto the Interweb and found a recipe for those bad boys.

As it so happened, when I searched for the recipe on Google, the Betty Crocker website was one of the top results. I figured that if I was making Betty Crocker brownies, it might be best to use one of her recipes.
[I was once told that companies who publish recipes on their websites/packaging have thoroughly tested the recipes for taste...why risk their product on a craptastic recipe, right?]

WELL, I followed the instructions. It clearly stated to pour 3/4 of the brownie batter into the baking pan, then spoon the cream cheese mixture on, and then pour the remaining 1/4 of the batter.

Um, wrong.

Look what happens when you do that:

It looks kind of gross. I was kind of upset because I even tried to make the pretty swirls that you would typically see in cream cheese brownies, but it just wasn't going to happen. Ugh, what a hot mess of brownie batter and cream cheese mix.

I tried to be optimistic about it...maybe they'd look a bit better after baking?


I'm pretty sure that if you're going to make this recipe that you should do half of the brownie batter, cream cheese mix, then the other half. Or maybe even 2/3 batter, cream cheese mix, then 1/3 brownie batter. Something other than what the recipe called for...or your brownies will look gross too.

Despite the fact that they are not aesthetically pleasing, the taste, good Lord, the TASTE is absolutely fabulous. Sinfully fabulous. The consistency was PERFECT. I baked mine for a total of 46min at 325 degrees.

Oh, and the brownie mix that I used was Ultimate Fudge (it came with a Hershey's packet and melt-away chocolate chips in the batter).

Here's the recipe:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Summer Staple

Alright, so it's not exactly summer yet, but down here in the desert it certainly FEELS like summer. The forecast for the next week includes triple digit temperatures every day. Yikes.

Anyhow, last week some time (I don't really recall the exact day, they all kind of seem the same, lol) the kid and I made what should have been a quick run to Wal-Mart. I needed some household items along with a few grocery items.

OF COURSE, I had to start meandering around looking in sections that I had no business being in, which consequently resulted in me spending more than I should have (once again). I'm pathetic. I even put Evie in her stroller  to help curb my incessant shopping because there's less room to put stuff... *sigh*

One of the items that I purchased was this enormous container of strawberries. First of all, they smelled DIVINE--like they were fresh off of the farm. Second, this large container (which is the size of two of those rectangular ones that I usually see strawberries in) was on sale for $2.48.

It would have been a crime for me to pass it up!

So, with the strawberries purchased, brought home, cleaned and cut up, I was left to decide what to do with my tasty purchase. Then, it came to me...

Strawberry shortcakes!!

I scoured the internet for a recipe that was
A. Tasty (meaning that there were good reviews)
B. Only contained ingredients that I already had on hand because after the shopping trip to Wal-Mart, I in no way needed to add even MORE items to my pantry

And I stumbled across this bad boy:

(I only used the recipe for the cakes, not the fruit topping)

What was really interesting was that the recipe called for freezing a stick of butter and then grating it into the cake mixture. I think this helped to keep the mixture from getting too liquid-y (if it was room temp). Anyhow, it was an interesting way of adding butter and it was far easier to do than grating baby carrots (like in my attempt to make carrot cake: Who Eats Carrot Cake? )

The mixture came out WICKED sticky and although the recipe didn't call for flouring your hands or your work space, I would suggest doing so.

I popped the cakes into the oven and cooked them for ten and half minutes.

Which turned out to be a tad too long (I'm inclined to believe that gas ovens cook 'hotter' than electric). The bottoms were a smidgen TOO golden brown.


Not burned, per se. And still edible. I think that I may use some parchment paper next time and cut down on the baking time by a minute or so.

As you may have surmised, a little golden brown color on the bottom wasn't going to stop me from eating a delicious strawberry shortcake! I plopped a cake into a bowl, added the fresh strawberries and a few spoonfuls of cool-whip (yes, I eat partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and I think it's freakin' delish).



Monday, May 16, 2011

National Chocolate Chip Day!

In case you all were unaware, May 15th is National Chocolate Chip Day.

I was in the dark about this auspicious day until the Base Housing office dropped of a newsletter indicating that they would be giving away free chocolate chip cookies today (the 16th) to celebrate NCCD. While I still plan on going down to the housing office to go and get myself a free cookie, my mouth was watering at the thought of scarfing down a few dozen cookies, so I made some for myself yesterday.

The recipe that I used is my go-to recipe. It is aptly named the Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe (that my twin sister found on It's freaking delicious!! The cookies are the perfect consistency and remain soft for at least two days after you bake them.

Despite the fact that it was chocolate CHIP cookie day, I decided to switch it up and use not only chocolate chips (dark chocolate, at that!) but also semi-sweet chocolate chunks.

Remember how in the last post I wrote about how much of a mess I make while baking? Here is an example of my messiness:

Forgive the bumbo on the counter. The kid can actually no longer sit on the counter in the bumbo because she will bend and twist dangerously in that thing and can't be trusted to keep herself safe. Instead, she sits eating puffs in her high chair. Not for this baking venture, though...she napped instead! Also, how 'bout our sweet cabinetry? Gotta love that lowest bidder!

Anyhow, just so you all know, I follow this recipe to the T. Definitely no need to deviate. They truly come out perfectly.

However, I do recommend using a scoop of some sort or at least rolling the balls of dough when placing them onto the cookie sheet. I use the medium sized scoop from Pampered Chef.

When they bake, they don't rise or spread out too much, so feel free to put them fairly close together.

I baked mine for 10.5 minutes and let them sit on the tray for 2-3min before moving them to a cooling rack (or in my case, paper towels because I have no idea what happened to my cooling rack during my move down here).


Warning! This recipe makes about 72 cookies, so if you aren't looking to eat cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a few days I suggest halving the recipe :)

Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Monday, May 9, 2011

Magic in the Middle

It seems like eons ago, but once, maybe a few years ago at this point, my twin sister made these delicious cookies. They weren't your typical run of the mill cookie. They were magic and housed a tasty surprise. I've been thinking about them for quite some time and finally got the gumption to get my rear in gear and make some.

I'll be honest, I actually made these cookies last night and didn't take any pictures. BUT, there was a good reason behind it. You see, I made The Biggest Mess you ever saw while trying to make the darn things. SO MUCH work was involved, but I was hell bent on having some as a Mother's Day treat to myself.

The cookies are called Magic Middles. They are a cocoa cookie with a peanut butter middle. Hence the mess. Thank the good Lord that the baby was napping; otherwise, it would have been a nightmare to bake, clean up, and keep her entertained.

I started off making the peanut butter filling first. I made certain to read though a bunch of reviews of the recipe to see if there were any suggested alterations and I learned a few tips. The first of which was to freeze the middles. So, I whipped up the peanut butter (all I had was extra chunky) and confectioner sugar and then formed them into 30 balls (my hands STILL smell like peanut butter). The balls were sealed into a container and then placed in the freezer while I made the outside portion of the cookie.

In the midst of trying to make the cocoa portion, I managed to get cocoa, sugar, flour, and baking soda EVERYWHERE. It was sad. I think I try SO HARD to NOT make a mess, that it backfires somehow. *sigh*  It was at this point that I decided to keep my camera out of the kitchen.

I pretty much followed the recipe, however I did add about a tablespoon of sour cream to make the cocoa mixture a bit more moist (it was some advice that reviewers had mentioned) so that it wouldn't break while encasing the peanut butter balls.

Luckily, I ended up with a lot of extra cocoa mixture (and therefore not enough peanut butter balls) and I was able to recreate some pictures for you all this morning when I whipped up yet another batch of peanut butter middles to use the rest of the extra cocoa mixture!

Here are the hand rolled peanut butter balls!

An example of how I rolled the balls up into the cocoa mixture:

All rolled up!  And then flattened out (with a sprinkle of sugar on top)!

Aaaaaannnnnnnnnnd...... the finished product!!

Clearly I took a bite out of it for you to see the delicious and magical peanut butter middle.

You can find the recipe here:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Most Inconsiderate Pie Eater

My mother-in-law and I were in the commissary (that's military talk for grocery store) this weekend and my keen eyesight spotted a rare find---rhubarb! For those of you unfamiliar with rhubarb, it's a stalk-y plant that resembles a thick magenta colored stalk of celery. Like this:

I never had the opportunity to ever taste rhubarb until I was about 20 years old. That was when my husband's grandmother, Nani, made her famous strawberry rhubarb pie when we were visiting her down in Florida.

Oh. Mah. Gawd.

It was like heaven on a plate. I loved it SO much, that I ate the last slice for breakfast--much to the chagrin of Eric's brother, Tim, who for the rest of the vacation referred to me as the Most Inconsiderate Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Eater. I didn't care. That slice of pie was worth it!

Anyhow, it took YEARS, but Nani finally relinquished her sacred recipe to my MIL so that I could try baking it on my own. Since receiving the recipe, the results have been hit or miss. The misses being a disgusting soupy mess. Ick.

Well, when I saw the rhubarb in the grocery store I decided it was time for another try (practice makes perfect, right?). So, I packed up the kid, picked up some strawberries, rhubarb, and pie crusts (the pre-made kind because I'm not THAT dedicated to a 'homemade' pie).

We returned home with the goods and I plopped her in her high chair with some rice puffs to entertain her whilst I chopped up the rhubarb and strawberries. I chopped the strawberries and rhubarb into bit-sized pieces:

Here's the kid! See, she's happy while momma bakes!

After you cut up the strawberries and rhubarb you mix them with the other ingredients: tapioca, sugar, and flour to make the filling and let it set for 30min.  While the filling is setting you break out the pie crusts and put one into the bottom of the pie tin/plate/whatever.  After the thirty minutes is up you can definitely see a difference.
            Before                                                                          After

The tapioca is key in making sure that the filling is gelatinous instead of a soupy mess.

Once the filling has been spooned into the pie, place the second pie crust on the top and edge the pie with milk and press the crusts together with a fork. Then put some butter on top and sprinkle some sugar. Don't forget to cut some vent holes on the top!

It's best to put a cookie sheet under the pie...just in case the filling bubbles out (I lined my cookie sheet with tin foil for an easy clean up).

Bake for 50min and you're done!!

I bet you're asking yourselves, was this pie a hit or a miss?

The answer is, it was a DIRECT HIT!! Right on the bullseye!

Here it is ladies and gents! The most fabulous pie you will EVER eat in your ENTIRE lives!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe
1lb rhubarb (about 3.5 - 4 cups)
2 pints of strawberries (about 3.5 - 4 cups)
1 1/4 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of flour
3 tbsp of tapioca
1/4 tsp of salt
1 tbsp of butter
1 tbsp of milk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix together sugar, flour, tapioca, and salt. Then mix strawberries and rhubarb with mixture. Let stand for 30 minutes. Get pie crusts ready (9"). Spoon filling into crust. Place pieces of butter on top of filling. Put top crust on. Edge with milk. Drop butter and sugar on top of crust.

*I personally enjoy this pie cold, so once you've had a slice, put the rest into the fridge and enjoy a piece for breakfast!

**Also, I left out the most secret husband insisted, it is HIS Nani's special recipe. If you'd like to make this recipe, email me and I'll tell you after I've sworn you to secrecy!**