The Stress Reliever

Baking Makes Me Happy…

 

Came across this article yesterday, Feeling Stressed?  Baking Can Make It Better., and I felt it was definitely worth a share.  I was already a firm believer that baking makes one happy (as evidenced by my photo with caption and tags from two years ago…) at least for me personally, so, it’s interesting to see that scientists in the UK did a study on the subject.  

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Chocolate Sugar Crystal Geodes

A friend of my tipped me off to this and it’s absolutely incredible!  Students, Abby Wilcox and Alex Yeatts, of the Culinary Institute of America created gigantic chocolate sugar geodes with coloured sugar crystals, or rock candy inside.

I definitely won’t be attempting this as it took them 5  – 6 months of diligent work for this to happen.  But it is really amazing that they wanted to attempt this, followed through with the experiment not sure how it would turn out, and the results are truly spectacular.

Happy Watching!

I know the video starts off by giving all of the credits to Yeatts, but in the comments here, one is informed that it was a project which was conceived of and executed equally by both Wilcox and Yeatts; just so you are aware of the apparent discrepancy between my little write-up and that of the video.

Chocolate Lace Sandwich Cookies

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Sometimes I get free subscriptions to various magazines; which while I do look at (some of) the content, I get them mainly for use in collages and to see the recipes.  I actually paid for a subscription to Sunset magazine as part of a school drive to help a friends son.  I may not be in the west, but it was nice to have recipes that aren’t the everyday of what’s shared by southern people or contained within the pages of magazines written for us.

I love chocolate lace cookies, so when I saw them in the December 2015 issue of Sunset Magazine, I promptly ripped it out and added it to my recipes binder, absolutely intending to make them.  It took a little over a year, but I did it.  They weren’t difficult, but they were a tiny bit tricky.

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A Well Stocked Kitchen: Baking

 

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Strawberry cupcakes with piped strawberry & vanilla frosting – “Sweet” in German and Norwegian.

To someone who is unfamiliar with cookery, the sheer amount of information can make ones head swim!  There’s always room for tweaking to personal preference, but when I started expanding my knowledge I was utterly befuddled by all the tools and gadgets and the myriad of spices the world has to offer.

There’s a lot of stuff out there; a lot of really cool things and a lot of things you really don’t need.  So, for basic cookery I’ve put together lists, divided by sections, on the handy items to have around.  If you decide to delve further into specific foods obviously you can expand your kitchen, but for now this’ll do ya just fine.

Since baking’s my big thing, as in, it’s what makes me happy and baked goods are what I make most often, we’ll start here with this post.

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Maple Cornbread Muffins

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This is a recipe that I found via Pinterest from Yesterfood, which I’d pinned awhile back.  When I was looking through my recipes a few days ago and found the one for Banana Nut Bread, I also found this one again, along with another recipe for fried chicken.  I thought I’d make these muffins with the friend chicken and make a whole dinner out of it, which I did yesterday.

Being a southerner, I’m no stranger to cornbread, and while I’ve eaten cornbread muffins, I had never made them before.  We just always make our typical cornbread here at the house.  Maple though is not a southern staple, since it comes from the far and cold north, but this is not a strange thing to me because my maternal aunt spent the better part of her life living in Montreal, Quebec and would always bring large cans of Canadian maple syrup on her jaunts down to see us.

So, of course I would want to make this, since it’s a marriage between different aspects of my own personal life.

 

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Humdingers

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I should probably write about the recipe for which this blog is named, yeah?  This was my paternal grandmothers recipe that she found so long ago she forgot where it came from.  She would make this confection for the end of year holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, which is now when I make them as well.

So, humdingers.  Is that not just the most adorable name?  Mainly people simply call these date balls, but my paternal grandmother’s recipe came with a really swell name.  Why call them anything but Humdingers?  It’s fitting too as they are extremely sweet and they make me want to exclaim, “HUMdinger!” after I’ve eaten one.

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Banana Nut Bread

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I have made banana nut bread before on many occasions.  Our go-to recipe was always located in our Fanny Farmer Cookbook.  Yesterday though, we had some bananas going bad and I stumbled upon this recipe via a Pinterest infographic and thought I’d give it a whirl.

There was a slight problem with this recipe, which I’ll discuss, but it’s the best banana nut bread my family and I have ever tasted.  Ever!  The Best!  I made two loaves to use up all of the bananas, and my parents tore into them like rodents or rabid monkeys… which are probably not good euphemisms to supply when one is speaking on the topic of food.

 

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