Monthly Archives: December 2008

Baking Hiatus?

Not so!  I have been baking, my camera has been MIA lately, but fear not; I have pictures of the Banana Bread that I made last week.  And, as of right now, I am making Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.  It smells really good right about now.
Besides all that, what’s new?  Well, I did send in my resume and cover letter into the UPF and I am still waiting.  Or, perhaps, I have been in denial still thinking I have a chance.  I figured they won’t be having interviews during final exams, so I am still hoping that the when January comes around; I’ll be getting an email or phone call.
I currently have tickets to the BCS National Championship because my beloved Gators are playing against the Oklahoma Sooners.  The SO got me the ticket and I threatened to break up with him if he gave it to someone else.  However, I am now compelled to get him an amazing birthday/Christmas gift since the dates are only 1 day apart.  Any ideas?  He knows I am getting him new running shoes because he needs them and he said he wants to do some race next year.  But, what about another?  I am thinking I should get him a new, bigger, prettier dutch oven.  I haven’t decided though.  We’ll see, I have plenty of time.

I am disappointed with my Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.  They aren’t as white as other bakers’ pictures.  They smell AMAZING though.  I’m kind of sad.  I wondered what I did wrong.  Perhaps, any of you can tell me what I did wrong.  I followed the recipe exactly, except I started on these cookies too late and didn’t see that they had to chill in the refrigerator for two hours.  I let them sit all night.  Perhaps, that was it.  That’s the only thing I can think of.  Or, I just didn’t put enough confectioner’s sugar on it.  That is probably the case.  Oh well, better luck next time.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

adapted from “Field Guide to Cookies”

6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbs cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
confectioners sugar for rolling

Melt chocolate and butter over a double boiler. Remove from heat and set aside.

In the meantime, whip the eggs with the sugar until thick. Add the vanilla extract and the melted chocolate and mix.

Sift flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder into a bowl and add this to the chocolate mixture. Mix until combined.

Place this bowl in the refrigerator for about 2 hours until the dough hardens enough to scoop out.

Preheat oven to 325F. Scoop one inch balls. Roll these in powdered sugar and place them on sheetpans lined with parchment paper. Flatten the tops of the cookies a bit with your fingers and bake until set for about 12 minutes.

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Now onto my more successful Banana Bread.  I made a couple weeks ago for the SO’s mom because we were staying at her house for a day.  We went to Atlanta to see the Gators play and it was amazing.  I left my camera at home so no pictures of the game, but it was CRAZY.  Anywho, the SO’s mom loved it and the second time I made it, everyone else loved it too.  Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of of the bread outside the loaf pan.  The SO really wanted to eat it.

Banana Bread (adapted from Kitchen Confit)

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup mashed bananas

2 eggs beaten

1 t. vanilla

2 cups flour

1 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

1/2 cup milk

pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon (optional)

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degree.  Butter and flour a loaf pan.

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in one bowl and set aside.  Cream butter and sugar together.  Add in the mashed bananas, eggs and vanilla.  Add in the flour mixture.  Add in the milk as well as the nutmeg, cinnamon and nuts it needed.

Pour mixture into the prepared loaf pan.  Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Remove from oven and let rest in the pan for 15 minutes.  Then remove from pan and let fully cool on a rack.

To freeze – double wrap the loaf in aluminum foil and place in a zip lock plastic bag.

The only difference I made to the recipe was that I added more banana.  I had a lot of bananas so I used like 3 instead of the 1.5 like Kitchen Confit did on the website.  And, I used less nuts because the SO doesn’t like too much nuts.  Overall, the banana bread was a smashing success.

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UF CRC

I am a bit irritated.  The cover letter and resume is due this week for the UPF internship and I want to get it over with.  I went to UF’s CRC (Career Resource Center) because I am now an alumni and they can look over my resume and cover letter to make sure it’s up to par.  I check online and it says that the CRC is open until five, and I am excited.  I have an hour for them to rip to shreds what I have written and can come home and fix and send it in tomorrow at the latest.  I want to it get done now because I will be working all day tomorrow and thursday and I will be leaving for Atlanta for the SEC tournament on Friday.  I know I shouldn’t have waited until the last minute, but I honestly though it wouldn’t be that hard to write a cover letter.  Surprise Surprise.

However, no where on the site did it say that they stopped reviewing resumes and cover letters an hour before it was closed.  If I had known, I would have a gone in tomorrow instead of waste time and gas to see them today.  And, when I went to the front desk to ask, the girl seemed SO SURPRISED that so many people were coming in today to have their letters and resumes checked.  Hmm… Well, since fall graduation is a couple weeks away people would want to get that kind of stuff done before they move away and don’t have access to the CRC’s services.  DUH.  People are so stupid and as the days go by, I have little patience for them.  I cannot wait to see an actual supervisor tomorrow so I can voice this complaint.

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Thanksgiving and being sick

Thanksgiving was bittersweet for me.  On one hand, I very much wanted to spend it with the SO because it’s our first Thanksgiving together.  On the other hand, I know I missed out on some good food back at home.  All’s well that ends well.  The food that the SO and I made was very delicious.  My pie crust was a bit hard though; that frustrates me very much.  When my apple pie debacle happened my crust was perfect.  When I made the pumpkin pie, the pie filling was yummy, but crust was a bit lacking.  I’m a little aggravated.  I bread baby’s pie crust recipe every time.  But, the second time it was bit crumblier than the first batch.  I should mix it better before I freeze them.  AH HA!  I think I have it.  I didn’t freeze the first batch immediately.  I let it chill and then froze it.  Maybe that was it.

Anyway, after a few baking disasters, I decided to go back to cookies.  Cookies were safe and I never messed up on those.  So, I made these:

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They look yummy and they were.  Sorry for the bad picture quality.  I was in a rush and this was the best looking cookie.  The other cookies, however, spread out WAAAYYY too much.  I watched the Alton Brown’s chocolate chip cookie episode and I though it was because of the brown sugar to white sugar ratio.  Then, I saw a Food Network challenge and one of the chef’s cookie spread a lot and he said he over mixed the batter.  And, another AH HA hit me.  Maybe I over mix the batter and it comes out way too thin.  Oh well.  I’ll just try again later.

Here’s the recipe from Everybody Like’s Sandwiches:

crispy salted oatmeal white chocolate cookies
(recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
1 c all-purpose flour
3/4 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t kosher salt
14 T unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 c sugar
1/4 c packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 t vanilla extract
2 1/2 c old-fashioned rolled oats
6 oz good-quality white chocolate
1/2 t fleur du sel (or Maldon or kosher)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and the 1st salt measurement in a medium bowl.

2. In another bowl, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla until combined. Slowly add in flour mixture and mix until just blended. Add in oats and chocolate until incorporated.

3. Spoon up a large tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball, repeat for remaining dough. Press down on each ball to slightly flatten and sprinkle a flake or two of fancy salt on each cookie. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Makes 24 – 30 cookies.

The next day after Thanksgiving, the cold that I thought was coming came.  So, I had a craving for some congee.  It was so good!  Congee is one of those things I think of to eat when I’m sick.  I grew up eating this when I had a stomach thing or the cold.  My mom would make it and my sisters and I would eat all of it.  There are many ways to eat it; I like to eat mine plain with soy sauce and a bit of pepper.  My mom likes hers with all kind of stuff: blood chunks, ginger, salmon, you name it.  I called her before I made it to get the recipe.  I feel so much better already.

Congee

4 cups of chicken (give or take depending on how you like the consistency of yours; I like mine mushy)

1 cup of rice

Anything else you like!

Take the chicken stock to a boil

add the the rice and stir

stir of the next hour or so

It’s pretty easy and I’m sure you can make any other different way.  That’s my best way.  I added a few slivers of green onions.  The SO wants to try it with the left over turkey.  Hmm…He may be on to something.

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