Archive for September, 2012

Bake 52 Week 39: Spiced Pumpkin Bread

September 26, 2012

What better way to kick off autumn than spiced pumpkin bread? Mmmmm!! I could smell it baking as soon as this week’s host make her pick. This recipe was a snap to whip up, and I was especially excited because it was a bit of a gloomy day…perfect for a bread like this. It smelled soooo yummy while it baked, and the toothpick came out practically clean when the timer went off. I left the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then turned it out on a cooling rack. I had followed the recipe to a tee. So, imagine my nervousness when, as I turned it out onto the cooling rack, the center of the bread wiggled a bit like jello and then started to sag. I left it a few minutes more to cool, and then, as I attempted to flip the bread over, my worst fears were confirmed. The edges of the bread pulled away to reveal that entire middle had not baked fully. My heart sunk. Utter diasppointment filled my soul. My beautiful, delicious-smelling bread was nothing short of a disaster. Nothing like having your day ruined by 10 am.

I’m not sure why my toothpick came out clean, because the middle of my bread was clearly unbaked.  I’ve never had that happen before.  I was able to eat around the edges of the bread, where it had  baked fully, and it was yummy, but a little less spicy than I would have liked.  I think when I try this one again, I’ll up the spice content a bit.

Thanks Talesha for such a fun fall recipe….I can’t believe I ruined it!  Can’t wait to try it again!



Bake 52 Week 38: Make Ahead French Toast

September 19, 2012

On paper, this recipe looked pretty good, especially since I love French toast.  But like our host, Valerie, I anticipated a more traditional French toast as the end product.  As soon as I started scooping it out to put on plates, I knew there was no way on this green earth that I would be putting any of this casserole in my mouth.  It smelled good, but the soggy texture made my stomach turn.  Joseph grew up eating bread and milk and the kids love it too.  The thought of eating soggy bread makes me want to gag.  I had hoped that the kids’ affinity for bread and milk would influence their response to this casserole, but unfortunately, it didn’t.  None of them liked it, and I was just glad that the school serves breakfast in the classroom each morning, so I knew that they wouldn’t starve.  I tried to bribe them to finish eating by saying that they could ride their scooters to school–which is a big deal for my kids–and they still didn’t finish.

I had high hopes for this recipe, and I’m sad that it didn’t meet my expectations.  If it sounds like something you’d like to try, head on over to Valerie’s blog for the recipe.


Bake 52 Week 37: Take Two

September 15, 2012

Well, I won’t say that my pizza was an epic fail, but it will need a do-over.  Even though I still haven’t been to the store for flour, I was feeling much better today, so I decided I’d attempt the pizza using whole wheat flour.  That part went well.  I’ll definitely continue to use it, or at least do half and half on the flour.  It didn’t rise quite as much as I would have liked, so maybe adding some white flour in will help that.

There was one main problem though.  I don’t have any 9-inch cake pans.  However, I did have a 12-inch cake pan, so I decided to just make one pizza using that.  And I think it would have worked fine if it had been a pan with dark, non-stick finish, but this one did not.  Which meant that my crust didn’t darken and crispen up like I would have liked.  It was still good….I could taste a hint of Pizza Hut in there….it just didn’t have that crisp outer crust that really makes a deep dish pizza.

There was also a secondary problem, one I didn’t anticipate, given the amount of oil on the pan….one small section of my crust stuck to the pan, so when I tried to slide it out, it tore and folded over on itself.  Oh well….no pretty, but still tasty.

I’ll definitely be purchasing some good, 9-inch cake pans before trying this recipe again, which will be soon for sure!

Bake 52 Week 37: Deep Dish Pizza

September 12, 2012

I committed a serious crime this week. Several, actually. I have been eyeing this pizza recipe since the day I first opened our recipe book. It looked soooo yummy, and given that pizza is at the top of my list of favorite foods, I knew I’d be trying this recipe whether it was chosen during Bake 52 or not. I was excited when Amanda chose it for this week.

Which leads me to crime #1….procrastination. I rarely wait until posting day to do my baking, but the week got away from me this time around and before I knew it, posting day is here. And I feel like garbage due to a kidney infection. And we ate Little Caesar’s at 9:00 last night because we were late getting home from pack meeting and I didn’t feel good enough to make dinner. I would have sent my kids to bed without dinner had they not brought it to my attention that I had failed to feed them. But, never fear, I was going to bake through my misery anyway and we’d have pizza for dinner two nights in a row (not that there’s ANYTHING wrong with that!).

Enter crime #2. I baked cookies on Saturday and used up every last speck of my flour. And then promptly forgot about it. So, as I prepared to make pizza for dinner tonight, I discovered that I was going to have to go to the store. But, I feel like garbage, and the last thing I wanted to do was load four kids up in the car and go to the store, where I’d have to exert my already pained back lifting a 25 lb. bag of flour into the cart.

The end result is crime #3….missing the posting deadline for this week’s recipe. I feel so much shame…not just the missed baking, but the food that I’m missing. If it were just the lack of flour, I’d grind up some wheat and attempt whole wheat deep dish pizza. But, combined with not feeling well, I didn’t want to start experimenting only to have it not turn out and have to come up with something else for dinner.

So, my apologies to the rest of the group for being a failure this week. I WILL make this recipe as soon as I’m feeling better and will report back when it’s done! In the meantime, head on over to Amanda’s blog to get the recipe!

Bake 52 Week 36: Tunnel of Fudge Cake

September 5, 2012

I nearly skipped this week.  I felt about as much excitement to make this cake as I did the Chocolate Blackout Cake back in week 15.  I can’t help it…I just don’t like chocolate that much.  Plus, when I looked at the picture included with this recipe, I was sure that it was going to be a pretty involved process.  Thankfully, I was wrong on that point.  It was not much more involved than baking a regular cake….the amazing thing is that somehow, the middle stays all fudgy after it bakes (which I didn’t take a picture of…you’ll have to bake it to see it!).  And isn’t it pretty??

I was glad to have procrastinated this time around because Janet mentioned in her post that she used semisweet chocolate for the glaze and was happy with how that worked out.  When I got to the store to buy my ingredients, I discovered that semisweet chocolate was 1/3 the price of bittersweet.  Since I’m all for saving a buck, I bought the bittersweet for the cake and the semisweet for the glaze.  She also mentioned that she would leave the nuts out next time….and you all know I would have left them out regardless!

In spite of my dislike for chocolate, I did have a couple of bites of the finished product and it was actually pretty good.  Joseph loved it (and he’s not huge on chocolate either).  If you are a chocolate lover, this is the recipe for you!  Thanks Janet for such a fun pick….check out her blog for the recipe!