Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Busy as a baking bee

My oven is smoking.

Well, not really. That would be bad. And require remembering how to use our fire extinguisher.

But in the last three days, I've made two new dinner recipes (both home runs), two loaves of bread, pickled beets and French toast sticks for my bottomless pits to try out for breakfast.

What I lack for in execution I more than make up for with sheer determination. Or I'm a slow learner. However you want to look at it.

Every once in a while I get a wild hair (not to be confused with a wild hare) and start making our own sandwich bread. I have a breadmaker, why not? We go through a crazy amount since two rugrats I know have a conniption if I even suggest anything but "butter jelly" for lunch. Every.single. freakin'. day.

Baking is all about precise measuring, but it never fails, no two loaves ever look the same. I haven't changed ingredients and they are all still well before expiration dates, so I have learned from the Monster cookie incident.

But apparently only I can make mushroom bread. 

Toad? Is that you?
 Of course the mushroom rose and baked over the flimsy little handle that I need to pull the bread out of the breadmaker, so I had to call Hubby in to rescue my bread. He laughed. But that's normal.

When he pulled it out of the pan, the paddle actually came out for once. He left it like this. And then it fell over. Don't worry, the cooling rack of deliciousness behind it kept it from falling onto the floor, where my bread-a-holic dog would have devoured it before I would even had a chance to grab it.

And what, you ask, is the cooling rack of deliciousness?

This. French. Toast. Sticks.

My other loaf of homemade bread was cinnamon raisin, which was decidedly not mushroom-like and also camera shy. I had been itching to make it anyway, so two birds, one stone... YUM!

But then there was the rest of the batch...

They got a little, uh, crunchier than I like.

I had to flip the sticks halfway through baking and when I did, I noticed the top rack was was a lot lighter than the bottom, so I swapped pans too. Man, I'm kinda glad I did, because only eight got charred to a crisp. And that was before the timer went off. Hubby asked what I was burning; I hadn't noticed anything. I think my nostrils were full up with beet juice.

Can you guess which side was pan-down halfway through? Ugh.
I'm not sure how long 12 FS sticks will last us, especially with my Starving Marvins, so I imagine I may re-purpose the remainder of the raisin bread sooner rather than later.

If I don't eat it all first. It's pretty darn good.

The pickled beets are doing their pickling thing in the fridge right now for Easter. Who knew they were that easy to make? It's half of my contribution. My admission to dinner is dependent on bringing baked pineapple, which I'll throw together at the in-laws Sunday morning.

Now I've used every bowl, measuring cup and spoon that I own, I have packed the dishwasher AGAIN and have settled down with the best creation of the evening.

Night y'all.

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