Sunday, December 20, 2009

Notes from a baking frenzy

Ah, not really a frenzy...actually I'm quite chilled about the whole thing. Enjoying myself, taking it a step at a time...even looking ahead. Made the snickerdoodle dough today to get it out of the way, because while I'm not baking cookies until Monday and Tuesday evening, a huge chunk of Tuesday evening will be spent celebrating with my side of the fam (eeeee!), so that evening will be kind of a scramble. We leave for SC Wednesday night after work and will be gone until Monday. I could throw together the 2nd batch of cookies in SC, but I'd rather not add to the chaos while we're there. I'm also doing all our laundry here, not bringing any with us. The house really ain't big enough for the amount (or ages) of people that live in it now, so having us there pushes it just over the edge.

I'm rolling with the ideas as they come to me...had my selections picked out, but spotted a recipe that I thought would modify nicely to about half-diabetic, so threw it together for my mom...hey, it ain't the holidays if you can't experiment on your family members :)

Dad's with me today as I work.....I'm putting the eggs into individual small Pyrex dishes before adding them to recipes, ensuring everything's sans shells (which naturally means I'm cracking eggs with the precision of a master chef and haven't seen a shell all afternoon), and I'm cleaning as I go. Really, it would be virtually impossible to pull this off unless I clean as I go, as my kitchen is galley and quite limited in counterspace, but still...the useless ark of a former microwave still sits on our counter, but I'm thinking Husby will be prodded awake later to send that sucker to its final reward, so I can enjoy that pinch of counter while I have it.

The good news: the inlaws have a microwave we can probably take. The bad news: it belonged to the fam members with issues, so I can't help feeling like they'll be expecting decent gifts now. Ah, Christmas...

Stuff that's coming to me as I work:

1. The Kitchenaid stand mixer is about the greatest frickin' invention for the kitchen. I'm so in love with mine. It's a hand-me-down from my MIL, black with paddle attachment, whisk, dough hook, and easy pour rim. The woman has two daughters of her own, but gave it to me when she upgraded because she knew I'd use it. Man, do I! The stand gets cleaned between recipes, and I've been known to talk to it. And I'm finally remembering to grate cheese and veggies with the attachment I got for xmas last year.....Dear Santa, when you win Lotto, I wouldn't mind the pasta attachment, the grain mill, the juicer, the...

2. Reminder: 1/4 c of butter is half a stick...not 1 stick. But on the upside, I now have extra streusel topping to try on one on the pound cakes.

3. It's not a hardship to soften butter without a microwave, so long as you remember which burner on the stove acts as a vent for the oven. I've had no problem today getting butter to cooperate.

4. Imitation vanilla extract is NOT an acceptable substitute. Tries way too frickin' hard and doesn't taste right. I have too much respect for my baking to continue using it...luckily I have a half bottle of the real thing, that I think is going to stretch perfectly for my needs.

5. If Ina Garten's pound cake tastes half as good baked as the batter does....I'm making extra for us!

Edit: pound cake recipe bakes 2...yeah, right! The first 2 kind of 'sploded all over themselves, so I'm trying 3 this time around. Good news: extra!

Also, godspeed, Brittany Murphy...some of her stuff annoyed the crap out of me, but from the Torkelsons, to Girl, Interrupted, to Luanne on King of the Hill, the girl had talent to burn. Such a shame.

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