Sunday, February 3, 2019

Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want...

I want to do this thing.  There is so much to say, for so many reasons.

So what should we talk about?  Yes, there will be crafts and cooking and baking and activities.  There will also be discussion, and real talk, and maybe even some fun stuff, too!

I am excited to get into this again.

Unprepared, buy excited!

I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Let's try this again...


It sure has been a long time.

So much has changed.

And yet...  I seem to be drawn back here.

So here I am,  Back to trying this experiment called mommy-crafts.  And I want to see what I can do with it.  With you.  You see, being a mom (or dad.  or human...) is a kind of crazy ride.  Do I think I know anything now that I didn't before?  Absolutely!  Do I think I know better than anyone else?  NO!!  But.  I think my experienced might, just might, help others out there.  My thoughts, ideas, creations, successes, failures, all of it.  They just might help someone out there spark their own ideas.
Being a mom (parent. human) can be scary, intimidating, isolating, exhilarating, you name it.  I know I look to others for help, guidance, amusement, and more.

So maybe, just maybe, I can use my voice to help someone out there.

So here goes.

Take three...

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Change is in the air...

Ok, after a VERY long time away, I am thinking it is time to come back to the blog. 

Life is different, and the blog will be, too.  I still cook, I still bake, I still craft, and I definitely do it all with my girls!  But I also work, and I deal with this little thing called "life," so the blog is going to change to reflect that. 

I think and hope...!

 I am going to look at a redesign, and a new style. 

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Let me know what you think, and we'll see where things go from here!

But I am coming back, so stay tuned...!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Daring to do it: Arancine

January’s Daring Cooks’ challenge was a ball! The lovely Manu from Manu’s Menu brought our taste buds to the streets of Sicily and taught us her family tradition of making arancine – filled and fried balls of risotto. Delizioso!

My first challenge as a member of the Daring Kitchen was the risotto challenge.  I loved it, and I was hooked.  Back then, a few of the Cooks mentioned making arancini/arancine from the leftover risotto.  This sounded really cool.  Well, here we are a few years later with Manu hosting an arancine challenge!  Yay!
While arancine, filled and fried balls of risotto, are usually a savory dish, anyone who has met me, either in person or through the blog, knows that I will take any opportunity to make dessert versions of things.  So that is what I did.
I started by toasting my rice in margarine, with a touch of brown sugar:

 Then I made my "stock," vanilla soy milk, water to thin it, a bit of sugar, a bit of cinnamon:
Then cook the risotto to creamy yumminess:
Once the risotto has cooled (in my case, I made it a day in advance), form balls and make a well:
 Fill the well.  With chocolate chips if you are me...!
Coat the stuffed and sealed balls in egg whites and crushed graham crackers:
Shallow fry until warm and crispy:
Enjoy the amazingness!
These were so good.
I promise, a "real," savory version was planned, and will be made at some point.  But I loved making these, and while they take a bit of work (one of my few Yiddish words - these are a "patchke" to make!), they will be made again!
Check out what my fellow Daring Cooks created this month!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Daring to do it: Whoopie Pies

This month's challenge was a lot of fun.  While it wasn't necessarily complicated, it was something I never really thought I would make on my own...

  The December Daring Bakers' Challenge had us all cheering - the lovely and talented Bourbonnatrix of Bourbonnatrix Bakes was our hostess and challenged us to make fun, delicious and creative whoopie pies! Delicious little cake-like cookies sandwiching luscious filling in any flavors we chose... What else is there to say but "Whoopie!"

Whoopie pies, I thought, were kind of a Pennsylvania Dutch kind of treat.  To that end, I never thought about getting them, since I thought the chances of there being lard in them was high.  I am so glad the lovely Bourbonatrix hosted this challenge...!  It gave me the chance to play and to experience the joys of saying "whoopee!" with every treat!  (And, yes, the four year old insisted that we all say whoopie as we at!)
I made Snickerdoodle Whoopie Pies.  Vanilla cakes sprinkled with cinnamon sugar filled with brown sugar buttercream.

Scooping out the batter for the cakes:
The baked cakes:
The brown sugar buttercream:
Filled morsel of goodness:
These were SO good.  I was worried they would be too sweet, but they were really rather well balanced.  I filled them one at a time - the buttercream was a little runnier than I had hoped it would be.  But these were a total win.  Hubby's coworkers were very happy to eat the leftovers!!  And I have some more flavor combinations I can't wait to try!

Thank you, Bourbonatrix, for this amazing challenge!!
Take a look here to see what my fellow Daring Bakers created this month!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Daring to do it: Cabbage Rolls

Sorry for the long silence.  I am finally back to the challenges - making them, not just editing them!!
I am also sorry that I am having a hard time getting the pictures in here.  I used my phone instead of my camera, and I guess I don't really know the right way to transfer the files..!  I will keep trying!

December’s Daring Cooks’ Challenge had us on a roll! Olga from challenged us to make stuffed cabbage rolls using her Ukrainian heritage to inspire us. Filled with meat, fish or vegetables, flexibility and creativity were the name of the game to get us rolling!

Olga's recipes looked amazing.  And the pictures she took were out of this world.  I don't think I have ever had stuffed cabbage before and I was almost drooling wanting to make these!  But with time being what it is, and with now working full time, I wasn't sure when I was going to get this done.  Then came the brain - I have a slow cooker!  I found this recipe for slow cooker stuffed cabbage and knew I had it set.  (Bonus - I also had a snow day on Tuesday, so extra time to work with!  Yay!) I did make a few changes, as usual...  I used beans instead of mushrooms, and I used yellow squash in the filling.  I also omitted the cheese...
I don't have pictures of the process, but while I was separating out the cabbage leaves I had the thought that I must have been a Daring Cook for too long if I think pealing off cabbage leaves is fun...!  It was really neat to see the leaves come apart so smoothly!
Thanks to Olga's great explanation and pictures, rolling the cabbage was not nearly as hard as I feared it might be.  And, by using the slow cooker, I could do all of my prep work the day before, then just set the crock pot in the morning.  It was great!!

Hubby and I really liked the rolls.  Big Girl wasn't a fan, but she has become quite a picky eater these days, so she says she doesn't like dinner about three nights each week.  Little Girl liked it, which was nice.  I brought leftovers into work the next day, and my teaching cohort and I inhaled them.  These are better the next day...!  And the day after, if there is anything left!

Thank you, Olga, for such a wonderful challenge, and for all of your patience and support!!
Take a look here to see what my fellow Cooks created this month!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tribute to the Queen of All Daring Bakers, Lis

I am very sorry to be writing this post.  It is going to be kind of rambling, stream of conscience, bumbling along...

One of the reasons  I started this blog was so that I could join the Daring Kitchen.  I remember sending in my request to join and waiting for a response.  Would I be accepted into this community of talented cooks, bakers and bloggers?  After what felt like forever I called my sister and asked her how long it should take to get a response.  She told me to e-mail Lis, the co-creator of the forum, to make sure my request went through.  A day or so later I got an e-mail back welcoming me warmly to the Kitchen.  For the past three and a half years I have been cooking and baking with an amazing group of people from around the world.  I am even lucky enough to have become friends with some of these people in the "real" world.
I always looked forward to my dealings with Lis.  Her personality came shining through, and she always made me feel special.  We have teased for the last two years about finally getting together to meet - and eat!!
On Tuesday of this week, Lis died suddenly.  I never got to meet her.  I never knew how much it could hurt to lose someone I didn't even really know.  She and I had just been e-mailing over the weekend.  She was getting ready for back surgery, and was looking forward to the improvement in her quality of life.  She had asked my sister and me to help with some of the Daring Kitchen responsibilities while she recovered.  This was a daunting task, and one I was honored to be asked to help with.  But I knew Lis would be there to guide me, and laugh at and with me...
I keep thinking that I will wake up and this will be some sort of twisted dream.  Lis inspired so many people.  She helped create more than an on-line forum, but a real community.  We have shared joys and sorrows together with other members.  But this one hits in a different way.
I have started and deleted so many sentences while writing this post.  What words are there?  I know, I never met Lis. Heck, I only really learned her last name this week in learning of her passing.  But I still consider her a friend.  A woman full of life, love, energy, creativity and humor.  Any time a person is taken too soon is a tragedy.  But this one feels so wrong. 
To say that Lis will be missed would be like saying that there are a couple of stars in the sky.  Lis's presence was felt every day around the world.   
I wish so much that this post, and the many like it being posted today, were never needed.  I wish Lis's heart had been as strong as it was big and loving.  I wish a lot of things.
I wish love, comfort and peace for Lis's family.
Lis - wherever you are - you are loved.  You truly are the most Daring of us all.

#tributetolis #daringbakers