Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oh the Controversy!

There are many arguments in this corrupt world of ours. One off the top of my head? Donut or doughnut? Well Google says both are correct...but that just can't be! How can one word have two spellings? Is one American and one Canadian? Apparently both are used in the states, with "donut" being a variation of a "doughnut." But right now my spell-checker is telling me that donut isn't a word..well what the garbage? This makes no sense. My whole post will be confusing now. From this sentence on, I will use the word donut...feel free to mentally replace it with doughnut if you so prefer.

October 17.

Hmm what happened on October 17th?

Well, October 17th is the 290th day of the year.

Rick Mercer was born on October 17th.

Aaaaand, my Grandpa was born on October 17th.

Now my Grandpa is just wonderful...let me tell you! Since I wasn't able to make it to Winnipeg to see him on his birthday, this is my version of a birthday hug. So Happy (late) Birthday, to the best Grandpa ever! :)
Now for years my mom has followed tradition and made my grandpa donuts for his birthday. This year, I had the privilege of helping in the process!

Let me give you fair warning to ensure you don't get to excited here: I am no donut expert...but for a first attempt I'd say I succeeded.

Cake Donuts/Doughnuts (take your pick)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon melted margarine
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
*Heat oil in an electric skillet...or however ya wanna do it
*Combine all ingredients
*flour surface (with lots of flour!) and roll out dough approximately 1/4 inch thick
*cut out with your handy-dandy donut cutter..or a regular circle cutter with a hole in the middle
*slowly drop a few donuts, one at a time, into the hot oil
*Once you can see the one side  browning, flip them over and brown the other side
*remove the donuts from the oil and place on paper towel to cool
*This can also be done with the donut holes to make "timbits"

These donuts are delicious as is or coated in some extra goodness. Such as icing sugar, or cinnamon and sugar.

This recipe, like many of my favourites, is from my great-grandma...she must have been one heck of a baker!

Well, thanks for tuning in again.

Drop in again shortly to see my Halloween cupcakes!

Toodles, Happy Halloween,

Ps. Donut or Doughnut?!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Would you be so Kind as to be my Cherry on Top?

"So we grew together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
But yet an union in partition.”
-William Shakespeare
Lately I've found myself in a trance of Shakespeare's quotes. There's something about the wording of his writing that just works; it successfully portrays an idea yet at the same time is a piece of art. And who knew that he Shakespeare had a quote about cherries...well not exactly about cherries but in regards to cherries.
Anywho...how's life been treating y'all? I've been pretty busy lately with a bunch of different stuff, ranging from essay writing to scholarship applications to university applications to school essays...okay so I've been doing a lot of writing lately. But I do enjoy writing, so writing I shall do.
And surprisingly I've been baking a fair amount too...one always manages to incorporate their favorite activities into their busy schedule. Weird..."Ya I'm too busy to do anything...oh wait, my cookies are done!" Hmm, and such is my life.
A few weeks ago one of my dearest friends had a birthday, so in response I baked up some cupcakes for her surprise party. Surprise would be putting it mildly...surprised she was!
All too often I feel like when I bake I just use other people's recipes without altering them enough to call them mine...yet over the last few weeks I've been tweaking every recipe I use.

...for example, are supposed to be Orange Cupcakes. Yet somehow they turned into Lemon Cherry...I don't even know how! Okay, I lied. I do know how. The only store within walking distance had no oranges so I was forced to find a way around it. And somehow I ended up buying lemons and cherries.

And since said friend loves cream cheese frosting, that is just what these cupcakes got.

Lemon Cherry Cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 3  eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
*pre-heat your oven to 350*
*Blend sugar and lemon zest until moist
*Beat in butter and eggs, one at a time
*Add vanilla and lemon extracts
*In a seperate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt
*On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the previous mixture
*Fill cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes

Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
*Mix first 4 ingredients
*Slowly add the icing sugar until you reach the consistency you're looking for, more or less than stated
*Pipe or spread over cooled cupcakes

Can we please just take a moment to notice how nice the yellow sprinkles look...so yellow, only yellow. Okay now lets journey back to the hour before I decorated these guys

OCD...maybe. But hey, I really wanted only yellow sprinkles and this was the only way I could achieve that goal. Mission accomplished.

Well, my darlings, that's all I've got for you tonight. Thanks for tuning in and feel free to drop me a comment anytime you feel like it,

Have a good one,
Sydney :)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Do you ever wish you could rewind time and live a part of life over again? Or maybe have the pleasure of experiencing something you weren't around for? If such a magical event really did exist...I would love to go back a few hundred years and see life in the 1800's. Just to get a sense of life before technology picked its way into our world and captivated everyones minds. Not that I'm bashing technology..I do enjoy it and see its value. However, I do wonder what life would be like without it.

Now anyone who's been reading my writing for a while will be aware of my laziness when it comes to baking. Who cares if the recipe says to mix one thing in one bowl and another thing in another bowl and then add them together and so on and so forth. Really? I have neglected to do that in almost every recipe I use...and has a disaster every occurred? No, not one that wasn't fixable! My point, you may be asking? Everything used to be so much easier! None of this complicated garbage that wastes your time and energy. Plop everything in a bowl and throw it in the oven and walk away until it's done.

And anywhoooo...now to the point of this post.

Whenever I think of old school baking...my mind always wanders to cinnamon. Why? I have no idea. Don't question my wandering mind. Now according to my googled sources...waaay back in the day,cinnamon had a value of approximately five times that of silver! Man, that's just crazy! But nonetheless...cinnamon is a grand thing.
And since I do enjoy baking grand things, I created some cinnamon cupcakes.
Now would usually be the time when I switch to purple font and share the recipe with you. Buuut well..I kinda, maybe, sorta, perhaps might have forgotten to use a recipe.
But I can guesstimate how I made these beauts.
So if you refer yourselves to "my" vanilla cake recipe you'll find the basis for my random baking session. And from there..I added some cinnamon until it tasted good. I think I added about a teaspoon to the batter and then using just a basic buttercream I added some cinnamon to that also.
After piping the cinnamon buttercream I sprinkled them with a cinnamon and sugar mixture and topped them with glazed cinnamon sticks and some of those nasty little silver ball things...those were kinda more for looks than taste...because lets face it, they taste gross.

What is that antique looking book in the background, you ask? Well it's just that. I tried looking for a publication date but failed to find one. However, I can tell you that it's extremely old and falling apart that the seams. It's from a local antique store, I believe. And I haven't tried any of these recipes but I sure do plan on it...and of course you will hear all about it!

And that about sums up this post. I have a major back-log of pictures that are awaiting a post to accompany them, but I'm slowly making progress. Yet I'm still baking and therefore...it's a never ending circle. But never fear...I'm getting there.

Well I guess it's time to go enjoy some tea and a good book. So toodles to you, my darlings.

Stay warm and have a splendid evening,