I love when reality TV makes me feel better about my life. That’s prety much the main objective of it, isn’t it? With this season of Great British Bake Off, I’m feeling like maybe I’m a better baker than I thought. Some of the bakes actually seem easy to me, but not as much if they have an emphasis on style and presentation.
In episode 4, which focused on chocolate, the bakers were tasked with making brownies and most of them didn’t do very well. Brownies can be tricky at times, and it’s possible they didn’t have much experience with brownies, as it is an American dessert. I would have liked to see at least one of the bakers win over the judges with a classic brownie recipe.
Last week, my mom asked me to make brownies for her birthday dinner. I had offered to make an ice cream pie, like the one at Islands restaurants, but she said a brownie sundae bar might be better. My sister Mary shared a favorite brownie recipe recently that I thought about using. But it seemed slightly complicated, so I went with a recipe for cocoa brownies. Halfway through, I worried it would be a fail. The batter was thicker than I expected. It looked different than the photos in the recipe, but I had made some slight changes. I seriously considered running to the store for a back up dessert. I went ahead and baked them any way, thinking I could still rush to the store before the dinner. The brownies actually came turned out great. Good thing I didn’t give up on them! You’re going to want to try them too.
Today marks my three year wedding anniversary. It’s crazy that it’s already been three years. Time has passed by pretty quickly. Although Paul and I have been married three years, we’ve been together for eight and a half years now. That’s a long time! We graduated college, got internships, moved in together, went through many job changes together, got married, and had a baby who is now almost two. Did I say time flies already?
I have been thinking about some of our past vacations, which have mostly all been California road trips. I’m not complaining about that. I love a good California road trip and I’m looking forward to the next one, whenever it may be.
Many moons ago, my sister Mary made these pumpkin cookies with brown sugar frosting. They became one of her specialties for a few years. Mary is a great baker. She got into baking before me, and now that she lives up north, I miss her baking.
These stuck in my memory and I was inspired to make them, as I have been wanting to share more seasonal recipes on my blog and just to make more seasonal recipes for fun myself. I’m not one to go out and buy all the pumpkin things in the fall, but these cookies are certainly an exception. They’re making me rethink my aversion to all things pumpkin spice.
I love homemade smoothies and popsicles in the summer time. They are such a special treat. I like that with homemade popsicles I can be sure that they are relatively low in added sugar, free of additives and full of fruits or veggies.
These mango coconut popsicles check all the boxes. Refreshing? Yes, definitely! But also full of fresh fruit and relatively low in added sugar. They are dairy-free and vegan too, if that matters to you.
How was your weekend? On Sunday, my mom came over and we went to a nearby park. Then we came back to my apartment to have lunch. We had barbecue chicken sandwiches (simple recipe coming soon!) on the patio. After Maggie went down for her nap, we had the plum and mixed berry pie shown here. I shared some with Maggie too, after she woke up.
This week has been tough. I’m not going to lie. It’s hard for me to write about because I’m not used to talking about systemic racism with friends or family, let alone writing about it for the world to see. (Not like this blog gets many views at all, but still.) I know that I don’t often have to talk about race because I’m not negatively affected by the color of my skin. Which I see as even more of a reason to speak up now.
I don’t want to say the wrong thing. But I don’t want to not say anything. So, I made lemon shortbread cookies with Sesame Street stamps that I got for Christmas as a conversation starter.
Jump to recipe What is a stamp cookie?
When I got the idea to make stamp cookies, it made me wonder: Are stamp cookies always shortbread cookies? Or can stamp cookies be made with sugar cookie recipes? I think the answer is that stamp cookies can be made with sugar cookie dough or shortbread dough. I didn’t get a clear cut answer. Isn’t that life?
There are days when I have restless energy and really want to bake. If I could bake every day, I would but there’s the problem of having to wash dishes after, as well as having other responsibilities and things to do in the day.
Soon after I woke up, I was thinking about trying to make shortbread cookies with Maggie. It’s not easy baking with a 1-year-old who also has a lot of restless energy. I have tried it. She tries to open all the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen, most of which I have yet to baby proof. Well, I tried that too but the baby proofing products I bought didn’t work for our drawers.
I want to make sense of the world. I want to create order out of this unnatural state we’re in with Covid-19. I think that’s what I’m looking for in baking these days. Does that sound super weird? Well, my desire to make sense of the world has led to research.
What’s the difference between a Maria’s Cookie and a British digestive cookie? Are those more similar to Nilla wafers, shortbread, or graham crackers? Can you make a stamp cookie out of shortbread or do you need to use a sugar cookie dough? These are the questions that have been on my mind lately, besides “what new development will unfold in this pandemic” and “how do I keep my 1-year-old occupied.”