November 29, 2007

gingerbread army

i don't know how people know it, but apparently i scream, "i can bake wicked cookies!"

last weekend i was approached by another parent at ella's ballet school, asking for donations of baked goods... "you look like a mum that knows how to bake!" is what she said. i was totally caught off guard, and once my name was down on the volunteer list, it was, "oh! you're the artist!" i had no idea the other parents referred to me as that. nice though.

so as prep for the bake sale i made some gingerbread men (thank you meagan for making the dough for me)... an army in fact... i can fit 15 cookies on each of my cookie sheets, and i think there was at least 6 trays. i also made an equal amount of sugar cookie stars and snowflakes. once i ice all of them i'll post more pics.


gingerbread cookies
(adapted from a martha stewart recipe)

6 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
1 cup unsulfured molasses

  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Add flour mixture; combine on low speed. Divide dough in thirds, and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour.
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats (a French nonstick baking mat). Set aside. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough 1/8-inch thick. Cut into gingerbread people shapes. Transfer to prepared baking sheets.
  4. Cut out desired decorations and place on cookies. Press currants into dough to create eyes and buttons. To create hair, roll a piece of dough into a ball and pass through a clean garlic press. Attach hair to heads. Bake until crisp, but not darkened for about 20 minutes. Let cookies cool on wire racks.
  5. Decorate with royal icing.



November 26, 2007

potato bread

i joined the daring bakers. i know, like i'm not busy enough i needed something else to occupy myself with.

the daring bakers is an online communtiy that makes one recipe each month and then compare notes. this month's challenge: potato bread. my first thought... ick. i don't have the patience to make bread and the recipe states to knead by hand. are you serious? not my most favourite thing to do, but because one of the rules of being a daring baker is to follow the recipe as written, i did as it said. next time i make this (and i only will because the kids and my better half loved it) i'm using my mixer. i hated the feeling of the wet, sticky dough on my fingers, and it didn't feel any nicer while shaping it. ick.






my dough after resting for 2 hours. now, here's where the recipe said i can do what i wanted (yay) and i really didn't want to make rolls, focaccia, or loaf pan...


i decided to make a braided bread (took 2 attempts to shape it to where i was satisfied with it)...



...brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with sea salt.



i made my famous roasted butternut squash soup to go with the bread.



the kids loved it.

November 15, 2007

happy birthday!


happy birthday buddy!!!

November 12, 2007

papertoys



i love papertoys!

November 11, 2007

undies!

i've been searching for robot stuff for seth's birthday party. he's turning four this week and is "automatic". we have know idea what he means exactly, but you know, he's four and loves robots and "is lego inside".

there should be about a dozen kids of various ages and we all know kids love crafts! the best ones i found were papercraft toys from loulou illustration, speakerdog, and toypaper. i love the ones from toypaper, but they're way too complicated for a four year old. ah well, i guess they'll have to settle for covering their loot bags with stickers and glitter. hopefully at least one kid will make a robot.

the reason i bring this up is to not go on about our son's extravagent ideas, no, it's all about me! muahhhahaha! while looking for robots i came across... flying undies! lmao!



i'll post a pic after i make it. tee hee.