Tag Archive: kitchen bitchen

Fresh baked bread is the best potpourri

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I have a confession to make: sometimes I like to bake bread merely for the way it makes the house smell.  Shameful, I know.  Sure, we all eat the bread and it’s delicious and worth it.  I don’t tell anyone I’m making it for the smell alone.  It’s our secret, don’t tell, okay?

I thought I’d share a few pictures of the mega adorable Jen in the Lemon Sorbet Dress that is available in the shop now, plus a bread recipe!  It’s a double whammy post.

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How ADORABLE is she in that dress?  Jen was sweet enough to come over and teach me how to bake bread a few weeks ago.  She ran the kitchen for many years at one of the most popular baked goods and coffee stops in our area, and you better believe I pounced on the opportunity to learn to bake from her!

She taught me a pretty easy No Knead Beer Bread Recipe that was delicious!!  This is not that recipe because I misplaced it.  This one isn’t bad either, though.  I like how easy it was to make.

No Knead Beer Bread Recipe

Ingredients
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup warm water (100 degrees F or 38 degrees C)
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer

1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
all-purpose flour for dusting
1 tablespoon cornmeal

Directions
1.  Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup flour and warm water in a large bowl. Cover and let sit in a warm spot for about 30 minutes.
2.  Stir beer, remaining flour and salt into the bowl. Mix until all the flour is incorporated and forms a thick sticky dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 2 hours, until doubled in size.
3.  Scrape all the dough from the bowl with a rubber spatula, and place on a well-floured surface. Generously flour the top of the dough and form into a loaf shape.
4.  Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal. Transfer loaf to the baking sheet and sprinkle the top with flour. Cover loosely with a towel and let rise for 30-40 minutes.
5.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
6.  Place a small loaf pan of warm water on a lower rack to humidify the oven.
7.  Slash a long slit in the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or razor. Place the baking sheet on the rack above the pan of warm water in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown.
8.  Transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

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Enjoy!!

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Recipe: Jam-filled Muffins

One of my favorite cold weather breakfast or snack items is a muffin.  Easy for grab and go in the morning or perfect with a cup of tea and a chat with friends in the afternoon.  I try to keep fresh baked muffins on hand and bake a batch once a week or so.

I LOVE jam or jelly on my muffins.  It’s even better when it’s in them!  A few years ago I came up with the brilliant idea of adding jam before baking them.

You can use any ole muffin recipe to achieve this.

I used a recipe from AllRecipes that I modified just a bit.

Blueberry Muffin Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil – I substitute for 1/3 cup of coconut oil.  To substitute coconut oil, heat it until barely warmed in the microwave and liquid
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries – I did a triple berry muffin, because more is always better! 1/3 cup of blueberries, 1/3 cup of raspberries, 1/3 cup of blackberries
  • blackberry or strawberry jam

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in berries.
  3. Fill muffin cups about half-way with batter.  Add a big dollop of jam.  I like LOTS of jam.  You can’t go wrong with too much, really.  If you put too much the muffins might fall apart, that’s the only thing to keep in mind.
  4. Fill the rest of the muffin cup with batter.  Go ahead and fill all of the way to the top of the cup.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.  It may take a little bit longer with the jam in it.

These are great reheated in the morning!  Definitely want to eat them warm.

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Nom Nom! Enjoy!

Quiche Me Quick!

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Bacon, Sausage, and Spinach Quiche Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 uncooked pie crust
  • 8+ slices of bacon.  I like tons of bacon, so I added extra.  eek!
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup sausage crumbles, cooked
  • 6–9 eggs.  *This depends on how large a pan you are using.  See recipe notes for more about this.
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • pinch of basil
  • 2 cups of cheese of your choice.  Cheddar is good with it, but I’ve also used monterey jack and provolone cheese as well as gouda.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook the bacon.  *See recipe notes about cooking bacon.
  3. While bacon is cooking, melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the onion.  Allow the onion to cook until it is a dark golden brown, stirring occasionally.  You DON’T want it to get burnt at all.  Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool.
  4. Whisk eggs, cream, and milk together until fluffy.  And I mean, really whip that sucker.  I actually use a fork instead of a whisk at first and then switch to a whisk after it gets frothy.  You want it to be a little frothy and light looking.  *See notes about milk and cream.
  5. Add in salt, pepper, mustard powder, and thyme.  Stir to mix in well.
  6. Add the onion from the pan.  If you like a little extra buttery flavor, just pour it in there.  Most of the butter should have evaporated from cooking anyway.  If not, just use a slotted spoon and take out the onion.
  7. Add the bacon by tearing into small chunks.  Again, however big you like your bacon pieces is how big you want the chunks to be.
  8. Add the sausage and cheese.  Mix well.
  9. Press the pie crust into the pan that you will be using. Fold edges or crimp with a fork. *See notes about pans.
  10. Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust.  Loosely cover with foil and place it in the oven.
  11. Bake for 40-60 minutes.  I always set my timer for 40 minutes and start checking with a toothpick every ten minutes from then on.  If it is still wobbly in the middle, it’s definitely not done.  You want a toothpick to come out clean but you do not want to overbake it.  I repeat DO NOT overbake.  It will result in dry, cardboard like quiche.
  12. When a toothpick comes out clean, but just barely, remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the pie crust is golden and the top of the quiche is a little golden as well.  You can add a bit more cheese on the top if you’d like at this point as well.
  13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  14. Enjoy those noms!

Recipe Notes

*I’ve read several recipes that recommended baking your pie crust for a little while BEFORE adding the ingredients to it, to make sure it cooks thoroughly.  I tried it both ways, pre-baking the crust and baking the crust with the other ingredients.  Pre-baking it DOES make the crust bottom a little more crispy, however I think I prefer it slightly soggy.  I know, that sounds gross but it really isn’t.  It’s a personal preference I guess!

*The two recipes that I combined to create this dish said to cook the bacon until just before it’s crispy.  Some people like crispier bacon.  I like mine barely cooked.  I cooked my bacon for just a few minutes, way before it was close to being crispy.  This part is all up to you and how you like your bacon.  If you like it crispier (ya gross!) then go for it!

*You can add more or less milk or cream.  I’ve actually amended the recipe to reflect the extra tablespoons that I added.  The more milk and cream you add, the fluffier it will be.  You don’t want to add TOO much because it will get soggy.  Soggy is no good for quiche.

*You can use a regular pie pan for this or a tart pan.  I tried a longer more shallow dish as well as a smaller, deeper dish.  For quiche purposes, to keep it fluffy and not thin and dried out, a deeper dish is better for sure.  I used an 8-inch casserole dish for mine.

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P.S. the Quiche Me Quick Vintage Day Dress and Sheering and Caring Apron will be available to purchase in the shop on Friday, November 20th!

Making Stuff and Things with Geek-Betty

I, like pretty much everyone else on the Internet, LOVEEEEE those carefully put together blogs that show a person’s life in perfect HD clarity, never a hair out of place, always neat, happy, and expensively curated.  I’m not kidding.  I do love those blogs.

Let’s be honest, how realistic is it?  I don’t know about you, but my life is nowhere near as picture perfect as all that.  And yet, I still make great food, craft my little heart out, read great books, and sometimes throw together a good looking outfit.  I’d say I fall in with 80% of women out there when I say that my life is messy, amiright?!

Okay, maybe I’m not your average garden variety mom.  Who is??  What is average in this day and age?  Sure, I have tattoos but apparently one in five people have tattoos now.  And yes, I’m a divorced single mama.  Let’s not go into the stats on that *cough*.  We’re a new generation of shakers, bakers, and homemakers, and we’re pretty damned rad if I do say so myself.

I’m here to tell you how it really is.  I’ll try things so you don’t have to.  I too am underfunded (hell, really broke at times), out of time, too impatient, just plain bad at following instructions, and I think it’s easier to cook with a beer in hand.  Don’t be scared, this will be fun!!

Let’s get shit done together!