Anyone that knows me personally knows I have been on a major baking kick.
I got a BEAUTIFUL Kitchenaid Standing Mixer on Black Friday this year and have been obsessed with baking. For Christmas I made over 10 dozen cookies, a cheesecake and doggie treats for all my doggie parent friends.
Today I made some bread. I did not make it from scratch but got a premix for pumpkin bread. I decided to batch it as muffins instead of bread so it is more easily shareable with friends.
So I’m headed out to work for the day. Ate some pumpkin bread for breakfast to check off my breakfast for the day, walked Bella (who is getting even better at sitting) and even took some time to clean up the yard a bit this morning which will soon be a big task on my list to check off.
This year is moving quickly, just trying to keep up with something everyday!
I have gotten a little backed up on posting but it does not mean I have not been actively checking things off my list. I suppose one task I should add to the list is keep my blog up to date. So I suppose today I will aim to make that happen and back date my postings.
So Friday, January 11th seemed like the perfect day to make some homemade hot chocolate! We had six inches of snow in Denver! Although much of it did not stick because it was so warm out, it still felt like a great day for some cocoa!
I found this super simple recipe online: Best Hot Chocolate from Scratch and went for it!
Started by heating whole milk and sugar:
Melted down the chocolate in the microwave:
Mixed it in once the milk started to slightly simmer:
Added a touch of vanilla. And boom- Hot chocolate!
It was decadent. And so easy! Definitely a great thing to do on a cold, winter day!
This month I have really started to get into some more of the weekly/monthly tasks. Currently, I am working on spending only cash and not eating any pizza. Both are going well so far.
So today I am throwing in another one, and this one should help coincide with the other two. I plan to make dinner at home every night this week. Sometimes dinner will be from scratch but other times just making something at home, rather than eating out or eating from work (usually mostly pizza) will be beneficial.
My hardest nights will be the weekend because I work late but I just need to make sure I plan and make sure if I have to be at work at dinner time, I make dinner at home and bring it in for myself at work.
Tonight I just made some Mac & Cheese and chicken. Easy enough. Hoping to keep going all week!
What are you doing today? This week? This month?
This may not sound difficult to most people. Or maybe it sounds really hard. But making a plan and sticking to it can sometimes be had. I can attest to that with the failure of my 365 Things List in 2017. But let’s not talk about that right now, since today is day EIGHT and I am attempting to keep going strong!
So today, I researched some recipes I like, wrote down all the ingredients, thought about some other snacks I enjoy or typically eat, and made a grocery list! Then off to the store I went and wouldn’t you know… I just got what was on the list. Of course, I came across stuff every so often and thought, “well, I would like to have that”. But I stayed the course and made myself just get what was on the list.
Often with these tasks, I research the benefits and there are usually long lists or lengthy articles, like this one from the HuffPost: Grocery List, Supermarket discussing all aspects of the act. Pinterest even has a whole section of “Supermarket Lists” that you can download. So there are plenty of resources to help you long the way. All I have to say about this simple task is:
The benefits of making a grocery list and sticking to it:
Saves you time.
Saves you money.
Keeps you on track for dietary goals.
It is that simple. And simple it was. What an easy, but beneficial thing to do!
P.S. I found the featured image on Google and that was by far my favorite… all the essentials, FRUIT-BREAD-MILK-WINE-SUGAR-BUTTER!
What a fun thing to do! Hosting a BBQ is quite the endeavor but such a fun time.
Owning my own house has been such an adventure and has enabled me to do so many things.
I decided to have a house party this weekend. My friend, Jared, bought me a grill as a housewarming gift, so no better time than to host a BBQ.
So many great friends turned out and we had a fabulous time. I think there will be many more of these to come at this house.
We had cornhole, a keg, some tired pups and a great group of friends!
Next time I will step it up and make some great BBQ!
This really is not as hard as you may think, although quite time consuming. I had some grapes in my refrigerator for quite a while and just could not seem to get rid of them, so I figured no better time than now to make some jam.
Started with fresh grapes:
Put into a pot with a little water and boiled:
Covered and simmered for 7 minutes and then too the cover off and began to boil:
When boiling the water from the grapes really emerges, so you have to boil for quite a while before much of the water had evaporated.
Then I added sugar, 3/4 of a cup for every cup of grapes:
I read to do a taste for doneness you place a plate in the refrigerator. Take a spoon full of the jam and place it on the plate. Put it back to cool for a couple minutes. Push on the jam, if there are creases it is done
So then just take it off the stove and pour into mason jars. The recipe I found said to let cool for a couple of hours, then lid and place in refrigerator.
So now, I am just waiting for it to cool. I cannot wait to try it!
I found instructions at this site: Snap Guide.
Mmmmm. Pizza. Ok, ok… I work in a pizza place so it is not usually my first go to when making dinner. But I was at the grocery store and came across this dough:
And figured today was a good day to knock this thing off my list. I thought about what toppings I wanted but decided to start simple and just go with cheese:
So first I assembled the dough in a pan with a little thickness on the edges to get some crust:
Added some sauce:
Parmesan cheese and mozzarella:
And then bakes at 425* F for 20 minutes:
Quite a delicious dinner and it only cost me 6$!
Well, this was not too much of a success. I kind of burnt it. Crazy thing is I only cooked it for 1/2 the time it said… I’ll have to watch it more closely next time. If anyone has any tips I am happy to hear them…
Here was my process…
Mix oats, walnuts, cinnamon, clove and pumpkin seeds:
Simmer honey (I got to use that local honey I bought yesterday!) coconut oil and vanilla:
Mix together and lay out on parchment lined tray:
Bake for thirty minutes, take out, stir and cook for 20 more minutes:
I only did the first 30 because it was already burning…
Mix cranberries and bananas together:
Let granola cool and then mix with fruit:
And there it is. A little too crisp but not horrible.
I remember when I was little I used to make cookies from scratch all the time! I used to love it and often my moms friends would ask me to make them some too! I was the neighborhood baker.
It has been a while since I made cookies and I have to say it was quite reminiscful. Although I forgot that I used to make them in Florida and today (obviously) I made them in Denver… I forgot to change the recipe for altitude so they came out pretty flat, but they still taste delicious so that’s all that matters.
In the oven:
And out of the oven:
I ate one… so now I have lots to take to work with me!
Some things we do for ourselves are for our health. Others for our sanity. And others for our careers. Some for our families or friends. Or our pets.
But some days we just need to do hints for ourselves that is just because. Just for us. Just to make our day a little happier.
Today was one of those days. I found this cute little cupcake bakery, Happy Bakeshop, in the Highlands.
I had two delicious cupcakes… that is right TWO.
One was banana nut with peanut butter icing and the other carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Both yummy!
I am not particularly a baker, although I do enjoy cooking. But today’s thing I chose to check off my list of 365 things was bake a cake. Nothing from scratch… That might be a disaster. So I started with this:
The interesting thing is, I’ve never baked a cake in altitude so I had to consider the elevation and add some extra flour and subtract some of the vegetable oil out. That was a little terrifying. I thought “this cake is never going to rise correctly”. But low and behold… Out of the oven it came, pretty darn perfect.
Making the batter:
Out of the oven:
Adding the icing to first layer:
And the second layer:
To finish it off I figured I’d add a new year message so when I take it to work it means something. Turns out, writing on a cake with icing is MUCH harder than it looks.
It may not be pretty but hoping it’s delicious. I’m no Homemaker but trying and completing something that I don’t often do feels like an accomplishment.