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Friday Favorite: Easy Bake Ovens

June 28th, 2013

When I was a little, the Easy Bake Oven was one of my favorite toys.  I’m sure that doesn’t come as a surprise since you know I love to cook.
Easy Bake 1
Yesterday, we got out my mom’s Easy Bake and baked up a storm with my two older nieces. It was my sister’s (their mom) birthday, so they wanted to make her a cake.  Happy Birthday WENDY!
Easy Bake 2
My parents had to choke down many an easy bake cake, piled high with frosting. It’s nice that the tradition remains alive. Even my mom’s neighbor received her own individual cake.

Did you have an Easy Bake Oven when you were a kid?

Quote of the Day: Rainy Days

June 9th, 2013

“God made rainy days so gardeners could get housework done.” – author unkown

So very true, yesterday morning I swept and cleaned and polished and mopped but that wasn’t enough.
freshly baked bread
spring grass butter
I also baked eight sourdough boules and make a few pounds of butter. But then the sun came out again and back out into the garden I went and the dishes remained unwashed…

Do you ever put off inside chores until a rainy day so you can spend all the nice days in the garden?

Cooking up a Storm

July 28th, 2012

There’s not much I enjoy more than spending a day in the kitchen cooking up all kinds of goodness. Since there are only 2 of us in the house and we don’t eat lots of sweets or grain items, it doesn’t take much time to prepare the food we eat. I’m always happy when there’s a party invite or some other event that allows me to spend the day baking/cooking.

Today my good friend and neighbor is heading over to Washington D.C. for the Stop the Frack Attack Rally. She invited me to go, but as an introvert and highly sensitive person, a trip like this on a bus would nearly kill me. I offered to bake up a bunch of snacks instead.

Yesterday morning was spent baking both sweet and savory goodies. I made one of my specialties, molasses caramel corn. Head on over to Eat Outside the Bag for my recipe.

A big batch of maple walnut granola was also whipped up, along with a batch of cheddar cheese straws. The cheddar cheese straw recipe is from Smitten Kitchen. Of course I tweaked it a bit by using local raw milk cheddar cheese and freshly ground sprouted spelt flour.

When it comes to snacks, I’m not much for sweets or grains, give me olives, cheese, jerky, hard boiled eggs, yogurt or custard. I must admit though, the cheese straws are FANTASTIC, I’ll definitely be baking up a few batches to snack on during our long drive up to Maine mid-September.

What’s your favorite traveling snack?

Something Sweet from the Oven

February 10th, 2012

I’m not much of a sweet eater, preferring something salty instead. Mr Chiots on the other hand, loves sweets and loves to see something sweet from the oven. Winter is the perfect time for baking since it’s cold outside and you feel like you’re warming the house a bit.

Before our trip to Maine last week I remembered that I had two pastry crusts in the fridge left over from the how-to video I made for Ethel. Regular pies are not good for traveling, but hand pies are perfect. I pulled out a jar of Caramelized Apple Marmalade with Thyme (recipe from Preserving the Taste) and made up a little something sweet for Mr Chiots. If you’d like the recipes, head on over to Eat Outside the Bag.

These are so easy to make and oh so tasty, I also like that they’re not too sweet since there’s only a small amount of jam in each one! These were perfect snacks for our trip, easy to eat while we were on the go.

Do you prefer sweet or salty?

Holiday Baking Party

December 12th, 2011

Being an introvert, social occasions are not high on my list of things to do, especially if they will be attended by a large group of people that I don’t know. You see as a introvert social activities, especially those with lots of people and folks I don’t know really wear me out; I’m exhausted the entire next day. So when my friend Sofie, aka The German Foodie, invited me to a baking party I had to think about it before agreeing to go. I decided that I was going to suck it up, bake some cookies, and head over to meet some interesting new people. I baked up a batch of my Super Spicy Gingerbread Men and was ready to go.

There were tons of people there, both kids and adults. The kids had a great time decorating cookies with a variety of colors of icing and sprinkles of all colors, shapes and sizes – what kid wouldn’t want to be able to decorate each and every cookie differently?

Lots of people brought cookies already made, some brought dough, and other mixed up cookies while we were there. The oven was on for the entire 5 hours I was there, churning out cookies all afternoon and some delicious homemade pizza later in the evening.

I’m glad I went and had a wonderful time. Was I tired the next day, absolutely. But I met lots of new interesting people and had a lot of great conversations. You see, Sofie’s friends are very varied and interesting. I think I counted 3 or 4 different languages being spoken throughout the event, and conversation topics from Argentinian political history and what kind of King Arthur flour works best for artisan bread to a long conversation about growing edibles in a cold frame all winter long. As a Colombian with a very eclectic life experience I fit right in. I even got to teach Sofie how to throw pizza dough to make a nice thin crust.

Have you baked any holiday cookies yet? Any holiday parties?

If you’d like to see more photos from the event head on over to my Facebook page and look through the album.

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.