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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Much More than Sweets

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If I state how much I love to bake the first thing that people think is cookies, cakes, cupcakes, or pies. Yup, it’s true, I do love to bake those but there is so much more to baking. Sweets are an awesome thing to bake because very few people don’t like to eat sweets. Aside from cakes and cookies though are many other baked goods. In fact, my favorite thing to bake is bread. There are so many different kinds of bread that you can bake and it’s really not as hard as it might be made out to be. Once I learned how to work with yeast I found there was so much more I could bake. From simple pizza dough to slightly harder Easter bread, baking bread is a lot of fun.

While I might find the kitchen to be my home I’m not the best cook. I consider myself an experimental cook because for the most part what I make is tasty but not on purpose. My cooking usually only works out by chance. However, if there is one thing I can make for dinner it’s pizza. Making pizza dough takes only a few minutes and about 30 minutes for the dough to rise. After that the dough can be made into a pretty great pizza. The only trick to making a successful dough is keeping the yeast alive and even that can be fool proof: just use lukewarm water. Tonight I made pizza for dinner to treat my parents after a long day at work and they enjoyed it. Even if you have left over veggies or three different kinds of cheeses a pizza is simple to make and can be a lot of fun.

Here is the recipe I use for making pizza dough:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (or one package)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup lukewarm water

Mix all of the dry ingredients together, add olive oil and slowly add lukewarm water while mixing. The dough will be sticky but kneed it while adding small amounts of flour until you have a firm dough. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray or olive oil (preferably a ceramic bowl) and roll the dough around in the oil. Let the dough sit in the middle of the bowl and cover the bowl with two dish towels. Put the bowl in a warm, not drafty, part of a room and let it sit for about 30 minutes. The dough can rise for more time, this will make the dough rise more in the oven. After 30 minutes or so kneed the dough, adding flour if necessary, and begin to shape into pizza form. Any size pan can be used for making the pizza. After the dough is stretched on the pan put it in a preheated 400 degree oven for two minutes to start the baking process. Take out after two minutes and build your pizza. Bake the pizza for about 10 minutes or until it looks good to you! Enjoy!

Try making pizza for dinner one night and you might be surprised at how simple it is to make your own dough.

 

One more note: I have been watching the Olympics and trying to think of something I can bake with an Olympic theme. It could be cookies, cupcakes, or a cake of any kind but I want it to represent the Olympics. Leave a comment if you have any ideas! When I make whatever it might be there will definitely be a post but I need some help with ideas. Thanks!

van Gogh

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I’m not quite sure where to begin on this post because I’m still so happy that my last baking endeavor was successful! Let me explain the back story to this work of art before I show a picture. Of all the days in the year my favorite days are birthdays. Luckily enough for me everyone has a birthday and I get to help celebrate them with what I love to do. At work I try to make some sort of baked good for everyone’s birthday and add a personal touch. Sometimes people have a favorite flavor or type of baked good and I love to accommodate! However, the best part about baking for someone’s birthday is adding a surprise that I’m sure they’ll love.

This week held no birthdays at work but one unexpected belated celebration. Back in June there was a birthday at work but I did not get the chance to bake anything. I needed to make up for this lost baking opportunity and make it up to my friend. Since I was celebrating a month late I needed to do something big and make this gift extra special. I put some thought into what I should make and an idea popped into my head: my friend is an awesome artist, she would love something art related. I decided to make an artist’s palatte and a painting to go with it made out of cookies, cupcakes, and icing…a lot of icing.

I took a few pictures during the process of making this birthday present and will share them here. The second to last picture is the final product which I am very proud of! My friend also loved it which made the hard work all worth while.

Two large sugar cookies, one to be the painting and one the palatte.

A single coating of neutral colored icing for the base of the picture.

Painting the picture! I layered the icing so that a few more details could be put into the painting and the icing would dry at the same time.

All done! Painting complete.

Here is the final display of painting, palate, and cupcakes. They are mocha cupcakes with vanilla icing.

Apparently the cookie tasted good! Everyone enjoyed eating the painting!

All in all this was a great project that I loved working on! I’m certainly no van Gogh but I do hope I did his work justice. Making all of this was so much fun and I’m so happy that everyone enjoyed it, especially the birthday girl!

 

 

 

 

 

To Grandfather’s House We Go

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If I were to have a single reason why I love baking so much it would be that I love watching people enjoy what I make. I can bake for the reason that it makes me happy but making others happy is a much better reason. Then of all the people I love to bake for my favorite person is my grandpa. Not only is he a great taste tester but a great friend. Even if something tastes awful Grandpa will say otherwise. While it might not be the most helpful response to fixing what I made, it at least puts a smile on my face.

Since my grandmother and great grandmother were very avid bakers Grandpa has eaten just about every baked good I have ever heard of. But even with not being picky his favorite baked good is crumb cake. He’ll tell you that Entenmann’s makes a great crumb cake and for a better one you should try their Ultimate Crumb Cake. Nonetheless he would do anything for my grandmother’s apple crumb cake. I’ve made the cake once and it was delicious and recently my mother made it for Grandpa for Father’s day, he was thrilled.

Today I called Grandpa and told him that I would go over to his house tomorrow. He has been asking me for a few weeks now to teach him how to use a digital camera and since that task could take some time I decided we might need a snack. What better thing to bake for Grandpa besides a crumb cake? For tomorrow’s mid day snack I made a blueberry crumb cake. The cake is a simple white cake with blueberries inside. After it baked for a little while I added more blueberries on top and a crumb topping. Once it cooled I drizzled a simple powdered sugar icing on top and there you have it!

I can’t wait to give this to Grandpa tomorrow and see his face. He is going to put his hand on his stomach saying, “Oh boy! For me?” He’ll then follow that with, “Grandma would be proud….you know she really wanted you to go to culinary school.” Then we will talk again about why I somehow wanted to pursue science instead. But no matter how predictable the conversation may be I am still looking forward to it.

Maybe if the camera lessons are successful I’ll have him take his own picture of the cake to share with everyone.

Ins”PIE”red

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When I decided to make a baking blog I didn’t have a name in mind. After whipping up a batch of creativity with my family and friends the name “Dropping like Pies” was decided upon. As of yet I don’t think the name has any true meaning to me except for it relating to baking. But maybe the name is growing on me since a day after this blog was created I did indeed bake a pie. Two of my friends were coming over for the weekend and I wanted to bake something for them. It’s not uncommon for me to find any reason to bake but especially when friends come or I go to see them I want to bring some goodies. However, most of what I bake are cupcakes and cookies. This time when baking for my friends I made a pumpkin pie. I know it’s not common to eat a pumpkin pie when it’s not Thanksgiving season but it’s a crowd favorite.

Pumpkin pie is not only my favorite pie but also one of my friends. During our two years of eating college cafeteria food my favorite dinners were those followed by a delicious slice of pumpkin pie. It wasn’t every day the school had great desserts, actually they were few and far between, but a pumpkin pie was always well accepted! There were even times we would steal an extra slice to bring home with us, because who knows when another one would be served. Yup, pumpkin pies are delicious and make us pretty happy.

Since I was inspired by my blog to make a pie I needed to step up my game. I couldn’t just make an ordinary pumpkin pie and post the picture. Nope, I made my pumpkin pie and added a twist, well, more like a braid. On this pumpkin pie I braided the crust to make it look that much better. So there you have it, inspired by my own blog and spending a little extra time to make it special. I have to tell you, inspiration is delicious!

From Baking to Blogging

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To the blogging world and all it has to offer,

There are two very certain things I can tell you right now in my life: 1. I love baking with all of my heart and 2. I’m awful at using technology. I am telling you these things because in a way I hope this blog helps me develop not only my baking skills but technology skills as well. Perhaps a blog will help me learn to share what I love through the use of this unfamiliar form of communication. My goal is to share with the world what I love to do, which is without a doubt: baking. I can’t say I remember baking from a very early age as I feel most people tend to say about their favorite hobby but whenever it began it was amazing. Baking gives me an outlet to be creative, a method of sharing with others, and plenty of stories to share. It is unfortunately true that my baking/cooking hobby as a kid helped me realize Santa Claus wasn’t real (story for a later date) but at the same time I wouldn’t want that silly story to be any other way. Even ten years later I can have some pretty good stories all stemming from a pumpkin pie. I look forward to sharing my baking passion and stories that come with it on this blog.

Thanks for reading!