February 26, 2012

So many colors, so little time

I don't do well with lots of choices.  The fewer the better, otherwise it's too overwhelming for me.  So when you drop me in a fabric store, it's overload.  All the pretty fabrics, the colors, the texture and jeepers, by the end, I've left with a lot of fabric and two patterns for an apron.  I bake, (which you knew, since you are reading my blog), therefore, I need an apron.  Or 5.  Not counting the one I already have.  And love.  Not only did I sew my butt off this weekend, but also discovered "iron on" glittery things.

First up, what really got the nonsense started was when I saw some Hello Kitty fabric.  Realistically, there are not many things I can wear, other than a cute shirt or sweatshirt that have Hello Kitty on it, without looking like a tween.  So, it hits me....an apron!

Not only is it Hello Kitty, but it's pink.  
Sigh, I've got no choice.   

Turns out when you pay $1.99 for a pattern, you get a $1.99 pattern.  Hated it.  Several key things left out, so I winged it.  I didn't want to pay $12.99 for a pattern since I didn't "need" any aprons.

But....I did buy one "just in case".  Cutest pattern ever.  I made this for one of my girly peeps.  Darn near kills me to not keep it. 

Who doesn't love dogs???  and purple fuzzy balls???  

More pink and some crazy bright happy lime green and hot pink flowers.  Just makes me happy.

I also discovered aprons, essentially, like a blank slate, to be blinged up as desired.

Thankfully Easter is coming up and I am planner, so let's plan ahead and have an apron ready to go.  (Here is the iron glitter nonsense that I am in love with).  Super easy bling.  and more lime green.  Just so bright and springy.

and finally, the last one...hearts, who doesn't love hearts?  Hearts are year round.  

Now, to hang some hooks so I can display them in the kitchen next to the older lonely (soon not be be lonely) apron.

And yes, even though this is a baking blog, I added these aprons since I wear them while I bake....see the tie in?  But as you know from this entry, it's not always about baking, but mainly it is.  

Want one for your very one?  Email me and I bet we can work something out!  

February 25, 2012

Hub's Comfort Food

Let me start by saying, cooking dinner is not my thing.  There won't be alot of non-baked items on here.  I have no interest in owning a Bed and Dinner.  Honestly, I skip dinner more than I eat dinner and I rarely cook dinner.  I can whip up a nice grilled salmon or chicken, no probs.

Hub had foot surgery a couple of days ago, so my nurturing gene came out....how can I make his miserable pain feel better?  Definitely bake.  These beauties are in the fridge rising for Sunday's breakfast, triple the caramel ingredients.  But he can't eat sweets for dinner (I married him anyway).  So, instead of another frozen pizza for dinner, I branched way the heck out of my comfort zone, only to make him some comfort food.  He's told me for YEARS that he LOVES meatloaf.  1)  Blech  2) I can't stand the feel of raw meat.  Love meat, just not the feel of raw meat, so meatloaf was never an option for me to cook for him. 

However, he is in pain, so I strapped on my funky, oh so cute, big girl apron and got this party started.

I used this recipe, very very loosely.  Made some topping, that by God, I added brown sugar to fulfill my sweet portion to the meal. 

While I'm branching out, I might as well use fresh green beans instead of canned.  Right, I know, branch freakin' out.  Darn it though, I totally forgot a box of my favorite Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese.  So, while I'm branching out, I thought I'd attempt to make some Mac and Cheese from scratch. 

I must say, I impress myself.  Still not gonna open a Bed and Dinner, but I can at least surprise my husband and take his mind off his throbbing foot.  At least for a few minutes.  Next time, remind me not to use a chipped plate for photos. 

February 21, 2012

Rich Peanut Butter Cookies

So since I blogged last about my Hubby's Favorite Peanut Butter Cookie, Connie Lewis, the lovely lady who gave me the Cool Rise Cinnamon Roll recipe, gifted me with these Rich Peanut Butter Cookies.  But me being me and knowing that chocolate makes everything better, instead of adding peanut butter chips, I added chocolate chips.  Sweet Mother of God, these are good, heavenly.

The sugar smothering the dough prior to baking Makes. The. Cookies.  Now these are my Hubby's New Favorite Peanut Butter Cookie.  And mine, too.

Perfectly baked, on my Pampered Chef Round Stone.  If you bake, you need one (only if you always want perfectly baking goodies)

Warm, fresh cookies and a nice mug of milk = love.  Especially when served in a Love mug  :-)

February 20, 2012

Hubby's Favorite Peanut Butter Cookie

My husband is easily pleased.  That is a good thing for so many reasons.  I get my way most of the time, because of this.  He's a good egg.  Why do I tell you that?  Something as simple as Peanut Butter Cookies can keep him happy for days.  Days, I say, days.  I love him, so I keep him smothered in Peanut Butter Cookies.  Not literally, of course.  How could he get to the fridge for milk if he was smothered in cookies?

 I don't remember where I got the recipe from, and heaven forbid, I re-type it.  However, just send me an email at bakingbypreciousblog@gmail.com and I can email it to you.


February 19, 2012

Chocolate and White Pound Cake

Everything is better when chocolate is added.  So I'm told.  I'm more a fruity girl, but not Hub.  Or the neighbors.  Or my work peeps.  So when I saw this beautiful Pound Cake, I thought, why not melt some chocolate and make it a Chocolate Pound Cake....but why just do dark chocolate when you could do white chocolate. 

Sooooooooooo, I added White Chocolate to the bottom layer and Dark Chocolate to the top layer and viola.....Chocolate and White Pound Cake. 

Hub's comments, with his mouth stuffed with this gorgeous cake, were....this is amazing....really good.  So yea!!!  Oh and his son, said it would be really good with chocolate sauce on top.  I didn't have any, so he added a mound of whipped cream.  So tasty.

February 16, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Cake = Heaven

Here's the thing.  I would be more enticed to bake something, that not only could possibly taste crazy good AND be pretty, but I would be doubly enticed to bake something, if it makes our house smell like a bakery.

Over the Christmas holiday, I discovered Pinterest, and the rest is history.  If it's pretty, it must be baked.  If it's gooey and good smelling, it must be baked right away.

It's called Cinnamon Roll Cake...seriously?  A cake that is really a Cinnamon Roll or it is a Cinnamon Roll that is really a cake?  It's both.  Trust me. 

I loved every bite...warm and delicious and gooey...just like a cinnamon roll!  

Excellent at room temperature, but DELICIOUS right out of the oven and warmed up in the microwave for the rest of the week, for the day or two it lasts before it's eaten completely. 

February 14, 2012

Nothing Says Happy Valentine's Day like a Hot Milk Cake

I am not the person that instantly says:  "I Love Challenges".  I don't.  I like taking the easy way and gliding along in life.  I'm not a completely lazy person, but I know there are people that LOVE challenges.  So when Carole Ross, Hub's godmother, sent me an old family recipe, I was excited.  Until I read the first paragraph: 

Editor’s Note: Apparently this cake is not as easy one – several sources have said that it is not unusual for your first few attempts at this cake fail to rise before and that beating the eggs very well is important.

My first instinct was to just completely disregard the recipe, as the whole cake seems like it could be *challenging*  and I mentioned above how I don't do *challenges*.  However, letting people down kills me.  So when Hub's Godmother sends me an old family recipe, I want to make it, I don't want to let her down.  I also know that she emailed Hub today and said something to the effect of...celebrate with one of those lovely desserts your bride has been baking.

Great, double let down....if I don't bake.  Not necessarily her cake, but just bake something for Valentine's Day.  

So here we go, I smell failure, but I'm going for it.

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract or other flavoring
1 cup milk
1/4 pound (1 stick or 8 tablespoons) butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch cake pans.

Beat eggs well -- until light (5-10 minutes). 

Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. 

In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. 

Add to creamed mixture and fold together. 

Heat milk and butter in a saucepan until hot.  

Add hot milk mixture and vanilla to cake batter and stir until combined, then pour into cake pans. 

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or just until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack. 

Frost with favorite icing.

So, it *seems* easy.  I can follow directions.  Can't I?  (Don't ask my Hub that question).  

So beat, creamed, heated and folded....and baked.  Then I got stumped..."Frost with favorite icing".  Well, a)  who can pick a favorite? b) back to the first paragraph, I like the easy way...canned icing.  I don't have canned icing unless I know in advance that I am baking a cake.  Plus now I'm on a "I don't want to use a pre-made mix unless I have to"....so I pulled out my Better Homes and Gardens New Baking Book and found a recipe for Creamy White Frosting and got my frosting on.

Ding, goes the timer, I panic and say a prayer, shout at Hub to brace himself, and viola....this is what I have:

See how pretty the cakes are? They aren't sticking to the sides.  

 See how pretty the cake is?  Nice, spongy, fluffy cake.  So far so good.  And just for the record, our house now smells like what I hope heaven smells like.  

Pretty, very Valentiney.  What can't red sugar sprinkles dress up?

 Something that is a must for me is clean slices.  LOOK at how clean that slice is.

 Happy Valentine's Day!!!!  This cake is perfection.  Take that "Editor"  (from "Editor's Note above)  Apparently I do do *challenges* and I do them well.

Thank you dear Carole, for being such a loving person, to Hub as a teen and throughout his life and thank you for making me feel loved.  

February 13, 2012

The Best Chocolate Cake Ever

Yep, you read correctly.  This is billed as The Best Chocolate Cake Ever.  Well, you don't toss that around with out expecting me to try it.  Seriously, how could it be better than Ghirdelli Chocolate Cake Box Mix?  I had my doubts, but followed the recipe to the tee.  or is it T?  Anyway, I baked, cooled and waited patiently to cut into it.  I grabbed my glass of milk and braced myself.  Drum roll please.....Good Lord, this is The Best Chocolate Cake Ever.  Trust me.  

End of story. 

Cool Rise Cinnamon Rolls

Aside from Chocolate Chip Cookies, Hub's first love is Caramel Rolls.  Sad face for Hub because I have yet to conquer my fears of cooking with yeast.  I have tried a few times, once and I failed.  That was years ago.  After many years of dropping hints "How about you make some Caramel Rolls" or mmmmmm, look at those Caramel Rolls.  Okay, okay, I get it.  Caramel Rolls.  So I didn't want to just make "any" Caramel Rolls....so I put a shout out on Facebook and the most ideal person sent me their recipe.  Connie L.  Who is she?  Well, she has known Hub since he was a teen and has been a dear friend to him throughout his life.  When she sent me the recipe, she wrote this:  "I used it in the 1970's when I taught home economics, and I continue to use the recipe. It's great when you want to have fresh caramel or cinnamon rolls in the morning and don't want to get up several hours before breakfast".

Yeast is rising, much to my shock.

 Comes out of the pan nice and clean and caramelly?  Yes, I made this word up.

 Soft, fluffy, cinnamon filled and caramelly.  So tasty. 

It has now become a staple for our weekend breakfast treats.  Smother with butter and next time, I am doubling the caramel ingredients, so I've been told.  Connie said she is happy to share with my blog visitors (this means you), so here you go!

Cool Rise Cinnamon Rolls

5 – 6 cups flour
2/3 cup warm water
1/2  cup sugar
1/4 cup cooking oil
2 packages yeast
1 cup warm milk
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add warm milk, sugar, salt, oil, and eggs. Stir in 3 cups flour and mix with electric mixer. Gradually stir in the remaining 2-3 cups flour. Continue adding enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead 5 – 10 minutes on a floured board, or if you are using a mixer with a dough hook, continue beating for 5 minutes.

Form the dough into a smooth ball and put it in an oiled bowl. Put the dough in with the smooth top down; swirl the dough in the bowl to oil the top, and then flip the dough ball over so the smooth surface is on the top. Cover with plastic wrap and then a towel. Let rest for 20 minutes in a warm area; avoid cold drafts.

On a greased or oiled surface roll the dough into a rectangle 1/2 inch thick. Spread with softened butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Roll up like a jellyroll. Cut in 1-inch pieces. I use dental floss to cut the dough. Slide the floss under the roll; cross the end pieces and continue to pull the ends across to cut the dough.

I use two 9-inch round pans.

To make cinnamon rolls, place the pieces in pans that have been sprayed with Pam.

To make caramel rolls, prepare the pans by making a mixture of 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoon water. Spread the mixture on the bottom of the pans.

Cover the pans loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 – 48 hours. Remove from refrigerator when you are preheating the oven.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. If you think the rolls are browning too much on the top but are not quite done, cover the rolls with aluminum foil. Invert on cooling racks.

If you are making cinnamon rolls you may want to frost the rolls while they are warm. Mix powdered sugar with whipping cream until it is a spreading consistency. Spread on the warm rolls.

******So there you have it dear Baking by Precious blog visitors...and I read the recipe now, I see I failed to do the last step (which I bolded)....I am guessing the bestest part.  Now I can't wait to make them again.  


Chocolate Raspberry Pancakes

I can do sweets treats all day long.  I should need to learn more about how to make savory breakfasts.  Realistically, I can make savory breakfasts, but why, when I can make sweet ones.  I can't serve sweet breakfasts at the bed and breakfast every single day can I?  I can, but not everyone LOVES sweets.  I was ready to find a savory recipe to try out...but when I received an email update from one of my favorite cooking websites, Joy the Baker, that all went out the window.  Look at this GORGEOUS Smashed Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Pancake.  The savory plan went straight down the drain, at least for that day. 

They tasted A. Mazing.  Fluffy, chocolatey and the perfect taste of raspberry.  And of course, the whip cream adds a nice creamy touch.  Thank you Joy. 

February 12, 2012

Homemade Snickers Bars

Yes, you read this correctly  Homemade Snickers Bars. My newest obsession, although a little late to jump on the band wagon, is Pinterest.  If it looks pretty and tasty I want to try it.  When I saw the recipe, it overwhelmed me....caramel, chocolate and nougat in a 9 x 13 pan....jeepers, that's awesome.

It was a favorite by everyone who "taste tested" it for me.  I know, I have the best friends, that try my food, knowing it could possibly not be the best thing ever.  But this time, it turns out it was the best thing they ever tasted.  Leave in the fridge and it's amazing.  Leave on the counter, it's nice and sticky gooey.  The pieces in the picture are "bite-sized"....you can eat five or six through out the day.  Well, I can and I did.

My dilemma for the day - Cookie or Brownie?

I love to bake.  Sometimes, I can't decide what to bake.  I often refer to my Hub to see what he might like.  How about Chocolate Chip Cookies he said.  Yawn.  I wanted something new to bake, something more exciting then pulling out a tub in the fridge and spooning out some dough (yes, I have that in my fridge).  I remembered a box mix that my friend sent a picture of to me...it was a mixture of brownie and chocolate chip cookies.  Interesting and pretty.  A quick Google search led me to these beauties - Brooksters [Brownie + Cookie]  Nice. 

Since I diddled around too much that day, I was pressed for time and since the chocolate cookie mix takes 3 hours to chill, I cheated and used Ghirardelli Chocolate Supreme Brownie Mix for the base of the cookie?/brownie?...what is it really?  

It is amazing chocolatey, not too gooey, and perfect with a glass of milk.  Unlike the Berries and Cream Muffins, I don't think these can be dolled up and made into a breakfast. Unless you are me, and then yes, I would eat this for breakfast.  It was, after all, baked in a muffin tin. And as my Hub says "I get the best of both worlds, a brownie and a chocolate chip cookie, all in one.  Two of my favorite things." 

Berries and Cream Muffins

I love anything in the red family, therefore, I love strawberries.  January is not always the best time to find sweet, red and gorgeous strawberries, but I saw a recipe for Strawberries and Cream Muffins and haven't seen anything so colorful in a muffin.

So I grabbed some strawberries, tossed them in my pink colander for a quick rinsing, added some blueberries and viola....

beautiful Berries and Cream Muffins.  Who wouldn't love a couple of these muffins with a nice cup of hot chocolate?

But really, who doesn't love a food that can, with some chocolate added, become a dessert?  So if you were at our Bed and Breakfast, would you want this in the morning, or as a nighttime treat?

I'm also super excited because my Berries and Cream Muffins got third place over at Foodie's Friends Linky Party!

Now I am going to be part of Hungry Little Girl's Wednesday Extravaganza  HungryLittleGirl

Welcome to my Baking Blog!

So after months and months of reading so many baking blogs, I'm diving in right in the thick of things and doing my own.  Why?  Why not really.  I always post on Facebook my creations, or really re-creations of other recipes and it's just fun.  Plus, surely, it's got to be good marketing..what am I marketing you ask?  Well.....in 2016 I (WE) WILL. own a Bed and Breakfast.  We, being my cuter than a bug, husband, also known as the best recipe tester ever.  My forever dream has become, our forever dream, with the main emphasis on mine.  

Now, I know it's not going to be a Bed and Baking Inn....but surely, baking will be a big part....homemade treats available throughout the day, special night time treats on your pillow....and yes, breakfast to get your day going will be lovely as well.  So look for tempting breakfast goodies on here, too. 

Recently we stayed at Villa Calma, a Bed and Breakfast on Lake Bemidji in Minnesoooooooooota.  Yep, I used an accent there.  Harold and Kim, the innkeepers,  are an amazing, loving, kind, and generous couple.  The minute we walked in the front door we were smiling and giggling (really, just I was giggling, but whatev).  The decor, the thought that went into every detail and oh....the food.  Scrumptious.  I am using Harold and Kim as examples of how I want to be, if not better...right, who am I kidding.  I tasted their Mango Soup and good heavens, it was good, not sure I can top that, but we all need goals, right? 

Mango Soup

Anyway, I digress.  

So, I hope you enjoy the ride, and it's gonna be fun.  Not an everyday ride, but definitely consistent.  Oh and don't be too shocked if there is a picture or two of one of our pets.  There are many.