Dec 152011

Tasty Tuesday is a day late this week, so I guess technically this is technically Tasty Wednesday.  I think that no matter what the day is, you’ll find these are pretty tasty.
Every year I do an assortment of Christmas baking for our family and friends.  I try to bake different things each year to mix it up a little.  This year Pinterest was a great source for inspiration.  I’m still elbow-deep in melted chocolate, so this will be Part One; next week I’ll share the rest of my confections and creations.
So far I have made…
Christmas Tree Brownies

Toffee-Pretzel Bark (from the Brown Eyed Baker)

Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Rods

…and Chex Mix.

Are you doing any baking this year?  If so, what are you making?

Sep 222011

(I do realize it’s Wednesday and not Tuesday; I apologize for getting this up a day late.)

I think my love of bread was born in my grandmother’s kitchen.
My grandmother is an amazing baker and one of her specialties is bread (her others include peanut butter fudge and frosted chocolate brownies).  I grew up spending weekends in the kitchen with her learning how to make bread from scratch.  She would make her bread and rolls in her “grownup” pans, and I would get to make my bread and rolls in little kid-size pans.

We made everything from white bread, oatmeal bread, dinner rolls and sweet, orange-glazed rolls.  It would take the better part of a Saturday, even though we started at the crack of dawn (pre-dawn, when she was baking without me underfoot; I don’t think my grandmother has slept much past 5 a.m. ever in her life).  But the payout was always worth it – the scent of bread baking is a gift from heaven.  We’d chat and bake and when they were all done, we would of course enjoy a slice or roll, fresh and hot – so hot they’d be dripping from the pat of butter that instantly evaporated on contact.  Once everything was cooled, she would portion every thing up, and then make her deliveries.  Family, friends, neighbors – everyone was a beneficiary of my grandmother’s kitchen.  We still are to this day.
Over the past few years “free time” has been one of those elusive things you know exists, but can’t quite find.  I don’t have entire Saturdays (or even an entire hour, some days) to bake.  There aren’t many short cuts with baking – or so I thought until a year or two ago I came across the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  If you love bread but just don’t have the time for the kneading and rising and rolling and rising – you’ll want to get this book.  You can mix bread in literally 5 minutes, toss the dough in the fridge and then pull enough out to make a loaf of bread any day that week.  It’s really quite awesome.

You’ll be the hero of your household, I promise! 

Do you have a recipe or food-related post you’d like to share?  Link it up below!