Recipes, memories and random thoughts from my kitchen
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Baking up a storm
What was I thinking? I wasn't thinking, obviously, when I decided to spend Saturday afternoon baking. Two commitments for Sunday, one after the morning service and one after the evening service, necessitated some kitchen activity on my part.
We're having friends from another state over for lunch after church in the morning. They'll be visiting at our church for the morning service and want to head home right after lunch, but we want them to have some sustenance for their journey. I'm planning to make meatball stew in the crockpot and had planned for herbed dinner rolls to accompany the stew. Right after the grandkids left this afternoon, I planned to put the roll dough ingredients in the bread machine. Suddenly I was just too tired to think about it. I decided to take a loaf of homemade whole wheat bread out of the freezer instead. For dessert we'll have cranberry apple crisp, which is in the oven at this very moment.
After the evening service, we've been invited to our pastor's home for some fellowship with visiting missionaries and the family who's providing their overnight accommodations. I asked if I could bring something and was assigned dessert. Since it's to be a very informal meal -- sandwiches, etc. -- my hostess suggested finger desserts, and cookies seemed an appropriate choice.
But of course, I couldn't simply bring one kind of cookies. I had found a really yummy-looking brownie recipe (which included a cheesecake layer containing milk chocolate toffee bits) in a Gooseberry Patch "Cookie Swap" booklet -- but some people don't like chocolate. I decided also to try a recipe for Eggnog Snickerdoodles from a Country Woman Christmas magazine. This is essentially like a regular snickerdoodle except for 2 things: 1) It contains 1/4 tsp. to 1/2 tsp. rum extract in the dough; and 2) The tops are dipped in a nutmeg-sugar mix rather than cinnamon sugar. Now, I do not even own a bottle of rum extract, not caring for boozy flavors. So instead of that ingredient, I put 2 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. nutmeg in the dough. This is what I use in my Eggnog Logs that I make every Christmas, and they come out with a nice eggnog flavor. These did, too. I made the snickerdoodles yesterday, and they came out great. Today I decided some Cranberry Oat Cookies would be nice for the cookie platter too. I've had this recipe -- from the Cook & Tell newsletter -- for awhile and have made them quite a few times.
So, after the grandkids left and I'd had a few minutes to unwind and relax, I put on my apron and started in baking up a storm. By the time my hubby got home, I was getting weary. So, being the sweet guy that he is, he cheerfully suggested panini sandwiches from the local supermarket deli, and scooted off to get them. He also picked up our Thanksgiving turkey while he was there.
Now, the kitchen is closed. The dishes are done, the cookies in plastic boxes, the brownies covered and refrigerated, the crisp finished and waiting in the fridge to be reheated after lunch tomorrow. The baking storm is over -- for today!
I live in scenic northern New England with my handsome husband. We're empty-nesters with a bunch of adorable grandchildren. We love (tent) camping and traveling, but don't get away as often as we'd like to.