Thursday, May 31, 2012

OMG an update? oh and some oatmeal squares too!

Oh my goodness has it been a long time since I posted something.  Life has been super busy lately, My husband and I finally moved into our own place.  We have called it our lil' gnome home, it's tiny, perfect size for just the two of us.  There is one downside however, we have a VERY small kitchen, maybe when I get it a little more clean I'll post pictures of it too.

But anyway, I have a recipe to share with you today.  It's a peanut butter oatmeal bar, I found a recipe on another site (gingerbreadbagels) but it called for bananas and at the moment I have no bananas, and I just had to try to make them!  So I fiddled with the recipe a little and came up with this yummy concoction.   It is a wonderful breakfast treat that goes really well with a dab of jam (my favorite is strawberry or orange marmalade)

1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (I recommend Skippy's honey peanut butter)

Mix together the quick cooking oats, light brown sugar, baking powder, salt, ground cloves, and ground cinnamon.

Add in the vanilla extract, milk and egg. Mix the ingredients together.

Then add in the applesauce and peanut butter. Combine all of the ingredients.
Pour the mixture into a lightly greased 8 by 8 inch metal baking pan. Bake at 350 F degrees for 25 minutes.  (Cooking time varies depending on your oven.) 

another addition that would be good in this is walnuts or pecans I would say put about 1/4 - 1/2 cup depending on how nutty you like your squares.

And I apologize fore the poor picture quality... it was taken from a phone... our camera is dead at the moment.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Easy Cheesey

The hubby and I discovered a wonderful thing this week at our local Winco's bulk bins.  They have a pretty tasty pizza mix (all the dry ingredients sans the yeast).  He's been making pizza left and right, but last night I decided to try something different with the mix, it's pretty easy but mighty tasty.

So first thing you need is the ingredients for one recipe of pizza crust.  **Below is an alternative recipe if you either don't have the ability to access a dry mix like this.  So go ahead and follow the recipe for the crust.  I always add about 1T of honey per single recipe mix. 

While the dough rises prep the rest of the ingredients.  You will need about 16-20 thin slices of cheese about 2''x2''  in size (I used cheddar but any cheese works really).  1/4 cup melted unsalted butter mixed with 1 teaspoon of garlic salt.  1/2 cup shredded or powder Parmesan 

Instead of rolling out the dough flat like a pizza crust roll the dough out like a log or a loaf about three inches wide, I usually cut the dough in half so I have two rolls.  Baste with the garlic butter.  Cut cross wise with a knife (serrated knife is easiest)  about two inches deep into the rolls, make each cut about 3/4 to 1 inch apart.  Stick you sliced cheese in to the cuts you just made and sprinkle with the parmesan.  If you have any left over garlic butter save it to drizzle over the bread after it's done cooking.

Before you cook it this is what it will look like:

Put the rolls in the oven and cook at the recommended temperature for a thick crust pizza (about 20 min for mine) remove and enjoy with or without the extra garlic butter!  (I would have taken a picture of both finished loafs if we hadn't eaten one as soon as they came out of the oven)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Oh Rats!

So for the very few people who don't know I'll just get this out of the way right now.  I'm a nerd.  Ok now that I have said that, here is the first real post of the new year!

Today I made a swarm of rats for our good ol' D&D meeting tomorrow.  Normally these little bugs would be a Hallowe'en only treat, not for me!  so here is a picture of the final product: 

Monday, January 2, 2012


The title says it all, I have a small announcement/update.  I have decided to do a little R&D for a small business idea that I've been kicking around for a while.  To make this a long story short, I am going to be having a cake tasting club/group.  I bake, and those of you who are my local friends get to eat.  There are still details to come and I will be posting invites soon.  Anyway it's just another project idea I've been kicking around.  I feel like I need to update more, so maybe this will insure at least a monthly post from this little baking hermit =D 

Until next time.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holidays are exhausting!

So things have been super busy the last month or so.  I've been making candy and cooking holiday meals and quilting.  Yes quilting.  I have been holed up in my 5th Wheel/sewing room making blankets an stockings and table runners.  So if you're wondering where I have run off to that is where.  After the holidays are over (After the New Year) and I'll have a real blog up with a some goodies to share with all of you.  So until then Happy Holidays, I hope you all enjoy your time with your loved ones.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Birthday Cake

What is this?  Another post in the same month you say?  Why yes indeed it is.  This is kind of a  follow up to all the cupcakes I made.  Today is my Mommy-in-law's actual birthday and last night I made her a cake for today.  It all comes down to one little detail, I am having way too much fun with gum paste.  Or at least that is what my husband tells me.

The picture isn't the best.  It was 2:30 in the morning and I was exhausted.  But you can see the roses I made from this angle =)  The cake is a pumpkin cake with a cream cheese frosting and filling.  It's so yummy and moist it's hard not to break into it early. Anyway I just wanted to share this with you.  I worked hard and had fun.  I also learned I need to get better at frosting my cakes... I didn't make enough for a crumb coat and a finishing layer of icing.  But I don't think anyone really noticed but me. Well, until next time, this is Crafty Leo signing off!  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gum Paste and Carrot Cake!

Long time no see!  A lot has been going on the last couple months since I posted in August.  My husband and I went to San Jose on a Business trip that ended up being nearly a whole month long excursion.  Living out of a Hotel, even a nice one, is still for the birds.  So a whole month without a kitchen to work with was kind of sad and boring.  But while we were there I discovered these amazing cookies at a little deli called "Specialties"  They were just chocolate chip cookies but they were the best thing I ever tasted! So I have been on a quest to duplicate that recipe.  But that whole story is for another post.  Today I wanted to talk about my new little obsession;  Gum paste.

If you don't know what it is, gum paste is made of powder sugar, glucose, gum tax, and water.  when you combine these ingredients you get gum paste, the clay of the sugar world!  With it you can do fun little things like this:

  I didn't just make these for fun (ok so maybe I did just a little bit), it was my Mommy-in-law's birthday.  She wanted a Karaoke party, and cupcakes, so I made enough for everybody.  A whole whopping 6 dozen (that's 72) cupcakes in three flavors, chocolate, carrot cake, and lemon.  I also made a flower to top each one.  It was a decent sized task, I have never worked with gum paste before, let alone ever molded flowers.  Now I am addicted.  my Mommy-in-law's actual birthday isn't until the 15th so I still have to make her a cake, and yes I am making flowers for that too Bwahahaha!!!

I took some pictures to show off my work >D  and below them is the recipe for my carrot cake cupcakes.

So a little back story on this recipe, the first time I made them with this recipe was when I was still working with Bethany from A fish Who Likes Flowers and the recipe just kind of stuck after that.  They are nice and moist and go really well with cream cheese frosting.

Preheat your oven to 350 F
This recipe yields about 24 cupcakes or two round cake pans if you wish to make it a cake instead

4 eggs beaten and at room temperature
2 C cake flour (you can use all-purpose too)
1 C white sugar
1 C brown sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t baking soda
3 C shredded carrots (lightly packed)
3/4 C oil
1 t vanilla
1/2 C nuts (optional) (walnut or pecan works best)
1/2 C raisins (optional)

Step 1. Let's prep everything!  Let your beaten eggs come to room temp (approx 30 min) I recommend doing this in a medium sized mixing bowl, you are going to add stuff to them later.  If you are making a cake then this would be the perfect time to butter and flour your 9X1 1/2-inch rounds.  If you are making cupcakes then go ahead and put your liners in their respective tins.     In a large mixing bowl stir together your flour, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda.

Step 2.  After your eggs are at room temperature add your carrots, vanilla, and oil to them and mix them together until they are just combined. Add your egg mixture to your flour mixture and combine,  after the two mixtures are all nice and mixed together go ahead and stir in your nuts and raisins if you are adding those.

 Step 3. Put your batter into your cupcake tins (about 2-3 Tbsp per cup depending on the size).  or separate your batter in half and put into your cake pans.  For cupcakes they will bake in the oven for about 18-22 min. depending on the oven.  The cakes will bake for about 30-35 min.  Test both with a toothpick and if it comes out  clean they are done.

The last thing to do is frost them with your favorite icing.  I recommend Cream Cheese or Butter Cream.  Below is a quick Cream Cheese recipe.

1 package of Cream Cheese
4 C Powder Sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
4 T butter
1-2 t milk

combine everything except for the milk and mix on medium until smooth, add milk to soften the mixture up as it mixes. I find depending on the day I may need even more than 2 t of milk, but it's really to taste and preferred consistency.  That is all there is to it.