Posts Tagged ‘shelter’

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these are a few of our favorite things

October 24, 2010

Time to bake for the shelter again.  I was trying to focus on maple, but my brain kept getting distracted by the pile of pumpkins that was slowly growing on the dining room table, waiting to be put up for the winter.  Maple.  Pumpkin.  Maple.  Pumpkin.  Hmm.  Determined to ignore the gourds, I pulled out the maple syrup cookbook.  Yes, she has one.  We’ve discussed her addiction before.   Anyway.

We first spotted the Maple Syrup Cookbook by Ken Haedrich last year while we were poking around a bookstore in Vermont.  It contains many delightful recipes for everything from maple butter to maple coffee cake to crispy maple spare ribs.  Yum.  Not wanting to make yet another impulse cookbook purchase, mrslovey took a picture of it and kept browsing.  We figured we’d put it on a wish list when we got home, and decide at a later date if we really wanted it.  Fast forward a year or so, and we’re in a different bookstore, different town, in Vermont.  Suddenly from halfway across the store I hear “This is the one!”  Confused, I hurry over to mrslovey, to see her with cookbook in hand.  She’s convinced that it’s the same one she wanted a year earlier, but to be honest, I’m skeptical.  You’re going to remember this glanced at and passed by item for that long?  Eager to prove me wrong, she pulls out her phone, skims through the photos, and I’ll be damned, it’s the same book.  Since we’ve now encountered and been interested in it twice, we decided it was a safe buy. Read the rest of this entry ?

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the first step is to admit that you have a problem

April 18, 2010


Mrslovey has an addiction issue that not everyone may be aware of.  She is addicted to maple.  You might think I’m kidding, or that’s it’s funny, but it’s completely true.  A recent trip to Vermont had us returning with maple of every imaginable variety: two different grades of maple syrup, maple cream, granulated maple sugar, maple pepper, maple barbeque sauce, maple candy, maple mustard, chocolates filled with maple, and cheddar cheese rubbed with maple and sage (I feel a little like Forrest Gump after sharing that list).  She’s also a fan of maple cotton candy and maple ice cream, and on days that she’s gotten overly enthusiastic with the maple and consumed far more than any normal human needs, she enters a state we which we call simply ‘maple coma’.

Knowing how much she loves maple, I knew I’d have to come up with a maple cookie this month.  Looking around at all of the mapleness in our cupboards, I started to formulate a plan.  Hmmmm.  I myself was thinking of snickerdoodles, so how could I incorporate both of these things together?  Then it occurred to me – maple snickerdoodles!  I took a regular sugar cookie dough and added some grade B maple syrup (grade B has a stronger flavor, so is excellent for baking.  If you don’t have B, A is fine).  Then instead of rolling in the traditional cinnamon-sugar blend, I rolled them in granulated maple sugar.  The result is a chewy cookie with a strong maple flavor, crusted with crunchy maple goodness that melts on your tongue.  I must admit I tortured her a bit.  I only gave her three of the finished cookies, then I packed the rest of them off to the monthly shelter dinner.  I think I’m doing the right thing, though – I don’t want her to resent me too much for contributing to her addiction.

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Not pretty, but oh so tasty

February 21, 2010

Snickerdoodles have always been one of my favorite cookies, so when I was pondering ideas for brownies and bars, these naturally came to mind.  They’ve got all the deliciousness of the original, but you don’t have to roll all of the little balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  So hard, I know.

I’ve actually made these twice this month.  The first time was at the beginning of the month, for a shelter dinner.  I forgot, however, to take pictures before I handed them over, so knew I was destined to make them again.  Yesterday while running errands, I realized that I was getting into a rut of baking mostly on Sundays, so the same people (two sets of coworkers) were always getting the results on Mondays.  Basically, the midweek and weekend crews were getting shafted.

By the time we got home (from the restaurant supply store, woohoo!!), I had less than two hours to figure out what to make before I’d be leaving the house again.  Snickerdoodle bars!  Seriously, they are so easy it’s almost embarrassing.  So I whipped up a batch, let them cool briefly before cutting, and then ran out the door.  The Saturday tasters were delighted to be remembered, and all enjoyed the bars.  They actually taste best when you let them sit for a day or two, so the flavors can really meld together, but they rarely last long enough for people to discover that. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Everybody deserves chocolate

January 16, 2010

I just realized that the virtual oven has been quiet this week, as the real oven has been in overdrive.  Lots of baking has been going on, and most of it wasn’t quick bread or muffin related, so will have to wait for another month.  In the midst of it all, however, I took an evening to make three dozen Chocolate Breakfast Muffins from one of my favorite recipe sources, mail order catalogs, and retail stores – King Arthur Flour.   These muffins are incredible.  Little handfuls of amazingly chocolately goodness, so compelling that you want to open up the oven and lick the piping-hot batter while they bake, because you can’t possibly wait another minute to taste them.  Seriously, they’re THAT good. Read the rest of this entry ?