Tag Archives: baking

Peanut Butter Bread

I made almond milk again yesterday. My process is improving; not so much mess. And I have a much better system for straining the almond meal. So simple and easy to manage. It’s a real treat to make almond milk now.

And how did making almond milk lead to peanut butter bread you may ask?

Well, they are both Blendtec recipes. I went to my recipe book to get the quantities for my almond milk and when I opened the book it opened to the Peanut Butter Bread recipe.

Peanut Butter Bread

It looked so simple and straightforward (and I was having one of those days where I really couldn’t get out of my own way, so simple and straightforward was definitely right up my ally). I thought I might try my hand at it later on in the day. (Well, it never happened. Call it the blahs, depression, laziness, tiredness; whatever it was, it was standing in my way and I didn’t have the strength to move it.)

So, I set my mind to it this morning, gathered the ingredients, and leaned in to make a peanut butter bread.

So simple.

I love my Blendtec for this very reason. It takes the hard work out of so many things, and leaves me feeling like I’ve accomplished something in a very short period of time.

In all it’s simplicity…

Start by greasing the loaf pan. I use coconut oil for this because it is by far the best oil to use if you don’t want your baking to stick to the pan. (It’s also pretty great for a lot of other things.) Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peanut Butter Bread

Add the first four ingredients to the WildSide Jar and blend using the batter setting.

Peanut Butter Bread

Add the last three ingredients and pulse 4-6 times. I had my doubts that blending the flour into the batter was going to work with only 4-6 pulse hits, but it did, and it worked magically.

Then I scraped the batter into the greased loaf pan and put it in the oven for 50 minutes.

Peanut Butter Bread

Peanut Butter Bread

When the timer beeped, I tested it with a toothpick and it came out a bit wet, so I put it back in for another 10 minutes and I lowered the temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

And here it is…

Peanut Butter Bread

Mmm, mmm, good.

The only trouble is, the Blendtec doesn’t do dishes…

PeanutButterBread6

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When Everything is Going Wrong

That’s a big title. It’s a scary way to start a post. To reassure you, everything can go wrong and all of the everything can still be small things. Everything doesn’t have to mean a catastrophe. it’s often all those little things just coming together to make for a bad day.

Big Sister’s birthday was this week. She was sick on her birthday and the day after her birthday. She missed celebrating with her friends at school. (Thank goodness her party was on the weekend, just before she got sick.)

We made the best of it. I did what I could to be present for her given that I was sick, too. I think we both ended up sleeping almost all day.

Anyway, we mostly got over the colds and we starting to get back to normal. The kids have bible club and Big Sister wants to take cookies to her group. Which means I have to bake cookies…and I’m still not feeling 100%.

Now, cold virus aside, I know I’m better in the morning. My ankle is all rested up and I can stand to be on my feet for a bit. As the day wears on, I get tired and the pain returns. By the end of the day, I’m mostly forcing myself to keep going. If it weren’t for my kids, I’d give in and go to bed at like 6pm everyday. But evenings are family time. The kids are in school all day and evenings are the only time we get to spend together (assuming they aren’t going out to one of their activities).

So, I started off really well in the morning, with great intentions to get those cookies baked and ready to go for when Big Sister comes home from school.

Best.laid.plans.

I forgot to take the butter out of the freezer, so I had to defrost the block in the microwave, but that was taking too long and I was working with quickly dwindling time, so I tried heating the butter. That worked a bit, but not enough so I hacked off the amount that I needed, put it in a bowl and put it back in the microwave, but I forgot to pay attention (very important when heating butter that you don’t want to actually melt). Guess what? It mostly melted.

So the butter’s in the bowl in the freezer getting hard again. (Must remember to pay attention so that the butter doesn’t freeze again, because frozen brings me back full circle.)

Then I boiled the kettle for tea because, well, I have a cold and tea is good for me.

But I got distracted with warming up some roasted leeks for a quickie lunch and by the time I poured the water for my tea, it was cold, which is very disappointing to a sick person.

Onto the cookies. The not quite frozen butter can now be creamed with the sugars to create the beginnings of a cookie dough.

Just looking at it I know it’s not going to turn out as delicious as the recipe claims. I know better than to bake when I’m in a bad mood.

Ah, there it is. The admission.

A bad mood. But I didn’t think I was. My day was going along swimmingly. Where did this bad mood come from? Maybe the incredibly dreary sky that is glaring at me through every window? Maybe I’m trying to distract myself with busy-ness to get out of the bad mood that I didn’t know that I was in? I’ve done a lot today. I was feeling accomplished. Guess I was fooling myself.

But then the mindfulness.

You can’t bake or cook or craft or create or do or enjoy anything when you can’t get out of your head and into the moment.

And getting out of your head means being mindful of you, mindful of the moment, mindful of your surroundings and feelings and self.

So there I was, in the middle of my kitchen, chewing on a piece of roasted leek with my eyes closed and my focus on the soft, crunchy sound the leek made each time my teeth came together on it, breathing deeply (as deeply as one can with a stuffed up nose and a mouth full of food). My focus drifted to all the other things I had to get done: the unbaked cookies, the dinner prep, the tidying up, the crochet project for my daughter. I brought my mind back to the moment, to the soft but crunchy leek, to the feel of standing without crutches, to the silence in the house, to the sound of the rain on windows. Two more deep breaths and I open my eyes.

I am calmer. Ready. More centered. I think I can bake those cookies now without ruining them.

Bread in a bag and other things I can get my kids to do

I’m off my feet for a while. Which means I get to boss people around and tell them what to cook and bake while I sit back and wait for the results of their labour. (JK. I would never boss anyone around. I’m more into firmly encouraging.)

Recently, this translated into cupcakes and bread courtesy of my kids.

To start, we made cupcakes. I thought we had a cake mix on hand. Turned out I was wrong, and so we had to bake from scratch. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Mind you, I wasn’t doing the work. I was just giving instructions.

Grab the recipe here.

Here’s the result:

Homemade chocolate cupcakes

Then we made a loaf of bread. Easy for the kids. Most of the work was done in a Ziploc bag, so not too much mess. Didn’t take very long either. We’ll be making it again, but we’ll reduce the salt. That was our only complaint…too salty.

And this recipe is from Your Homebased Mom.

Here’s the fun part:

girl kneading dough in a bag

As she squished the dough in the bag, she exclaimed, “We just made dough out of the ingredients we had at home. We didn’t have to go out and buy anything!”

Unfortunately, we ate the bread before I thought to take a picture of it.

And after all the baking and fun, she even washed up the dishes. Life is good.

girl washing dishes

À la prochaine!

Determined Kid in the Kitchen

My daughter has always been independent (for the most part). Recently, she has unleashed that independence in the kitchen timed with a new-found desire to bake.

Normally, I might not encourage this desire of hers to bake and do it all herself, but I’ve been busy at work lately and it turns out that setting up some ingredients and letting her have at it can keep her busy for a couple of hours while I get some work done.

I’m blogging about our recent baking adventure over at This Mom Loves today. Pop on over and read all about it.

Banana Muffins – a morning well-spent

I needed a quick activity the other morning to keep my daughter engaged while I got some work done.

I had exhausted the usual distractions like TV, movies, computer games, toys that she hadn’t seen in a while, etc., but I had some things that I had to do for work and there was no putting them off.

Then I remembered her request for banana bread not too long ago, and I remembered this recipe that I had that was super easy because it required very little in the way of preparation (Disclaimer: everything requires prep. I hate it when I read a recipe that boasts that it doesn’t take any effort to prepare and then I spend 45 minutes preparing said recipe. It really irks me. So, what I’m saying is that, although there are limited steps involved in this recipe, it is not without its own level of preparation.)

Here’s the recipe: Continue reading

Yummy Pumpkin Muffins

This little dessert number took me next to no time to make and the end result was gobbled up so fast by family and friends that I didn’t have time to take any taste bud tempting pictures of my own, so without further ado, I reblog for your reading enjoyment this delicious 2-ingredient pumpkin muffin recipe blog post from The Midwest Maven…

Christmas Baking with Gay Lea

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Besides my weakness for chocolate, I really could do without all other sweets.

Except at Christmas. At Christmas, there is Egg Nog and shortbread. Together or separately; I love them both.

And this year, thanks to Gay Lea, I have a couple new shortbread recipes to try: Mulled Cider Shortbread Bars and Sweet and Salty Shortbread Mounds.

Unfortunately, time has not been kind to me on the cusp of this holiday season, which has left me with no opportunity to prepare and sample these delectable new desserts. Continue reading