Crochet Edged Blankets

June 8th, 2016

Blankets

Taught a fun class in how to make a Crochet Edged Fleece Blanket in June. There were about a dozen people in the class and everyone caught on really quickly – there was even one person that had never crocheted. I did all the prep work on the blankets (cutting, hemming, poking stitching holes) prior to the class, so we were all set to start crocheting at the class. The completed blankets will be donated to an organization (Casa de Los Angeles - Kaiser Permanente - www.casadelosangelitos.org) that helps mothers/babies.

For instructions on how to make these blankets, click here

Bridgeport Fishing Trip

June 3rd, 2016

Trout Campfire
http://keetna.com/blog/tn_2016TroutFilets.jpg
tn_TroutBones.jpg

Jam….

June 1st, 2016

Jam

Apricot jam is the lighter, nectarine the darker with some visible fruit chunks.

On a recent trip to visit Mom, the summer fruit was ripe. Picked up apricots, strawberries, and nectarines. We share some of the fruit with friends and snacked on a bunch too. Even with all of that, there were enough apricots and nectarines to make home-made jam. Yum.
Here is Grandma’s tried and true peach jam recipe, which also works well for apricot and peach. The nectarine jam is made as written. For the apricot jam it can be made as written, or add about 1/2 C of crushed pineapple.

Peach Jam (makes ~6-7 pints)

Ingredients:
4 C chopped, slightly crushed peaches (or nectarines, or apricots)
3 T frozen orange juice concentrate
4 C sugar - divided
(if apricot jam, optionally add 1/2 C crushed pineapple)

Place chopped/crushed fruit, orange juice concentrate, and 1 C sugar in a large pot (optionally also add pineapple if making apricot jam). Place pot over medium heat and bring to full rolling boil while stirring with a wooden spoon (metal can get too hot). For a full rolling boil, the bubbles should not stop when the jam is stirred.
Boil 3 minutes.

Add 1 C sugar, boil 3 minutes
Add 1 C sugar, boil 3 minutes
Add 1 C sugar, boil 10 minutes

Ladle the hot jam into sterilized jars and top with lids, screw lids on finger tight. Allow jars to cool on counter. Jar lids should self-seal as the jars cool - you’ll hear them popping as they get sucked down onto the jars. After jars are cool, your jam is ready to enjoy! Store sealed jars in cool dark cupboard. If any jar lids don’t seal, place those jars in fridge to use first. (Seal test - press down on the jar lid. If you can press it down, your jar isn’t sealed)

El Segundo Hometown Fair

May 7th, 2016

Made two entries for the 2016 El Segundo Hometown Fair Bake-Off.

CD

Raspberry Cheese Danish Braid was a mashup of two recipes from
the Sally’s Baking Addiction website - used the raspberry filling
and pastry from her Raspberry Danish, and the cream cheese filling
from her Blueberries and Cream Danish. The dough wasn’t difficult, but
it was a multi-day effort as it’s yeasted, egg-enriched, and then
butter-laminated. The braiding makes it look fancy, but it’s really
easy to do - she has a photo tutorial on her site.

Hummingbird Cake

Paul saw a Hummingbird Cake recipe and thought it looked good - and he was right!
Used a recipe from Saveur - can’t go wrong with Saveur recipes.
Bananas, pineapple, coconut, and pecans make for a rich and moist cake.
It’s also flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. Cream cheese icing tops
it off. For the fair entry I did a two-layer cake. The recipe makes
three layers, but I didn’t want to push my luck by adding that third
layer - I had enough trouble with trying to get two layers lined up
and iced.

Prizes

Both recipes were a success! The Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish Braid won first place in the Breads/Pastries category, and the Hummingbird Cake won the Sweepstakes!
In addition to the coveted ribbons, the prizes included gift cards and a fun assortment of baking themed goodies

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/10/30/raspberry-danish-braid/

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/homemade-danish-pastry-dough/

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/02/16/blueberries-n-cream-danish-braid/

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Hummingbird-Cake

Happy Hallowe’en!

October 31st, 2015

Spider eggs for a Hallowe’en potluck…

SpiderEggs2015

National Candy Corn Day!

October 30th, 2015

We celebrated National Candy Corn Day with Candy Corn Cupcakes…

CandyCornDay2015_1

Colored the batter with candy corn colors, and used the Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Ganache recipe for the cupcake frosting…

CandyCornDay2015_2

- here’s the recipe for the ganache:

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/life-by-chocolate/

Blue Moon Spider

July 31st, 2015

Blue Moon Spider

Laura took this late night shot of a spider feasting during the 2015 Blue Moon….

Flower Basket 2015

July 11th, 2015

flower Basket

Did a crochet pattern test recently.
The pattern (”Sweet Little Old Fashioned Flower Basket”) will be available on Ravelry (www.ravelry.com) soon. It was fun to crochet, and the finished basket is only about 3 inches across.

El Segundo Slipt Stitchers

June 29th, 2015

ESSS

Ice Cream Soda Day 2015

June 20th, 2015

ICSD

We celebrated Ice Cream Soda Day on Saturday. How did all this time go by with neither of us ever enjoying this fabulous concoction before??? They seem to be a cousin of the ice cream float, and I can assure you we’ll be making these again.
Ice Cream Sodas are super simple to make - we did chocolate this time, but the possibilities are endless. You only need 4 ingredients and you’re set to make any day an Ice Cream Soda day!

Milk
Syrup or flavoring of your choice
Club Soda
Ice Cream

Fill a glass about 1/4 full of milk. Add your flavoring - we used chocolate syrup to make chocolate milk. Fill the glass to about 3/4 full with the club soda. Add ice cream - we went with chocolate.
That’s it! Add a straw and a long spoon, sip, and enjoy

Suit the flavors to your liking: Change out the chocolate syrup for other flavors - vanilla syrup or extract, caramel or butterscotch syrup, pureed fruit, strong brewed coffee. Add malt if you’d like. Make an adults only version by adding Irish Cream, Grand Marnier, or other liqueur. Use whatever flavor ice cream you’d like. Yum!

Eat Your Vegetables Day 2015

June 17th, 2015

EYVD

Wednesday was Eat Your Vegetables Day, and we celebrated with a dinner featuring 7 great veggies. Sugar snap peas, carrots, cabbage (cole slaw), beets, corn-off-the-cob, asparagus, and tomato. Yes, I know tomatoes are botanically a fruit, but often culinarily - and more importantly today - they’re a veggie. Did you eat your vegetables today?

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

June 15th, 2015

LBC1
LBC2

We tried out a new recipe - Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake bars. It was easy to do, and the bars are nicely tangy sweet. I like how the berries give a burst of blueberry goodness when you bite into them. Only had an 8″x8″ pan (recipe calls for 9″x9″) but it still worked just fine - total baking time was about 40min.

And of course I can’t just leave a perfectly good recipe alone. After reading a few other blog posts about this recipe, I doubled the cinnamon in the crust to 1/2 tsp, and also increased the butter in the crust to 3/4 stick (6T). Also, since the recipe has some rather vague instructions (juice of two lemons - just how much is that?), here are some of the actual measurements I used: 1 and 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 C lemon juice, about 1T lemon zest.

Try them out - I think you’ll like them! Here’s the recipe link:

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

Ava’s 2 Year Anniversary

June 8th, 2015

Ava 2

Escape From Russia…

May 27th, 2015

Laura’s Mom gave a presentation up in Kingsburg, CA about her family and their escape from Russia….
Escape From Russia Part 1
Escape From Russia Part 2

Laura Wins Again!!!

May 2nd, 2015

Laura pulls in a Blue Ribbon and the Grand Prize yet again at this years Hometown Fair Bake Off!

Apple Cake

Cakes/Pies Blue Ribbon Winner: Apple Cake

Used the recipe in the link below, using 5 really large Granny Smith apples which gave me about 6-1/2 Cups of apple slices. My co-workers and Paul - also known as taste testers - made some suggestions so based on that I did make a few small tweaks - Doubled the sugar/spice mixture on the apples and added about 1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg, and added one tsp of cinnamon to the cake batter. Super easy recipe, and it travels really well (I’m thinking get-togethers, potlucks, etc).

http://www.jocooks.com/bakery/cakes/apple-pie-cake/

Strawberry Lemon Cake

Overall Sweepstakes Winner: Strawberry Lemon Cake

I had success last year with a Momofuku Milk Bar recipe, so decided to try their Strawberry Lemon Cake recipe that I’ve been eyeing. This is definitely a PROJECT - there are 5 distinct components to be made and then assembled into the final 3-layer cake. Jam, cheesecake, lemon curd, crunchies, and cake. Whew. None are too difficult, but they do take time - luckily they can be made a few days ahead and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the cake. The first link below (milkbarstore…) is to the actual recipe, and the second link (seriouseats…) has a helpful slideshow of the cake assembly

http://milkbarstore.com/main/press/recipes-and-how-tos/#strawberry

http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2014/02/behind-the-scenes-in-momofuku-milk-bars-kitchen-strawberry-lemon-layer-cake.html

Prize Basket

In addition to the coveted ribbons, the Sweepstakes gift basket included some great kitchen prizes - utensils, mini-loaf pans, decorating tools, cute cupcake liners, a dessert stand, and a local supermarket gift card. Oh, and the “basket” itself is a cake caddy!

Easter Dinner 2015

April 5th, 2015

Easter Dinner 2015
Easter Dinner with Green Onions from our friend Eric.

Easter Egg Cozy 2015

April 4th, 2015

Easter Egg Cozy 2015

St. Patty’s Day 2015

March 17th, 2015

Beef
Laura once again outdid herself with her famous (and under appreciated) Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes, Carrots and Slaw….. Really Awesome!!

Our Superbowl XLIX Fare

February 1st, 2015

Superbowl XLIX

National Peanut Butter Day!

January 24th, 2015

National Peanut Butter Day 1National Peanut Butter Day 2
Celebrating National Peanut Butter Day (yes, there is such a thing) with homemade peanut butter.

Enjoy it in a sandwich, in a sauce, on top of ice cream, or my personal favorite - right off the spoon.

The “recipe” doesn’t get any easier… Just put roasted peanuts into a food processor and let the processor do all the work. Process until you get the desired consistency - smooth or chunky! If your peanuts aren’t already salted you may want to add some - taste your batch and add to taste.

You may have to add a little bit of vegetable oil (or better yet, peanut oil if you have it handy) to get a nice spreadable consistency - I did.

A 1 pound bag of peanuts yielded about 1-3/4 C of peanut butter. Enjoy!