Tag Archive | Baking

“Cooking With Gas”

Whenever I was making quick progress on something, my mom would always comment, “now we’re cooking with gas!”  I guess that means we’re getting it done quickly and doing a good job while we’re at it.  And I thought that all applied in the case of list item No. 6.  Besides.  I did, in fact, cook it all with gas…….

Since my post on Rhubarb pie was already pretty lengthy with all the photos and the recipe itself, I didn’t feel like I got a change to properly celebrate the fact that it was my 8th new recipe and thus a list-item check-off!  I’ve loved getting to cook all these new foods the past 7 months and I thought that maybe you too would enjoy a little recipe remembrance of the 8 new recipes that got us here.  Warning: Don’t click through if you’re hungry…. Read More…


Two X’s for the Price of One Rubarb Pie

Last week I posted the results to my “tasting poll” and the winners were rhubarb pie and kale.  The tribe had spoken.  Keith and I have been on the road a good bit lately and we’re about to be gone a good bit more so I knew that my days of having time at home to try out new recipes were numbered.  So yesterday, when I realized I had an entire Saturday afternoon at home, I headed to the grocery store and purchased some rhubarb.  And I made a pie.  And I ate it.  And I loved it.

Lots of times when I’m looking for a new recipe I go to the internet to places like Epicurious.com or ThePioneerWoman.com or some other related site because it’s quick and easy and there are always large numbers of whatever you’re looking for with lots of variations and opinions and ratings and reviews.  But I also love a good, old-fashioned cookbook.  When we remodeled I actually had a cookbook shelf built into our kitchen cabinets.  I love turning the pages and even seeing the smudges of ingredients from cooking-days-past on the edges of the paper.  So when I decided to make a rhubarb pie, I pulled out a real, honest-to-goodness cookbook and thumbed through to find the recipe….and sure enough, they had one.  If you’re looking for a great wedding/engagement present for someone, or if you just want a good staple cookbook for yourself, I’d recommend the one below.  Not only are the recipes great, but it has diagrams on how to set a table, plan a party menu, essential kitchen tools, and lots of other helpful info for someone just learning their way around the kitchen….or for a seasoned cook who needs a quick reference.

My favorite cookbook, given to me by my friend Lisa, who waxes my eyebrows, as an engagement present.  Yes, I said who waxes my eyebrows.  She’s the best.

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Blueberries, Blueberries: a recipe and book recommendation all in one post

Mary-Hall is having a crazy week which I know she’ll tell you all about later, so I’m taking advantage of her busy-ness to post a few things I’ve had in the works.  Hope you don’t mind the extra dose of Bethany-Blogging.

Keith and I picking blueberries with his step-dad Rick (his mom was behind the camera!)

When we were in South Carolina last week we picked 21 pounds of blueberries.  That’s right.  21 POUNDS.  What are you going to do with all those berries you say?  Well, um…..eat them of course.  Keith and I brought all 21 pounds home in a cooler and began the process of drying them and freezing them so they would keep.  If you open our freezer, you’ll see 6, 1-gallon bags of blueberries all tasty and ready to be eaten.  Read More…

Blueberry Scones

Last Saturday, I volunteered to make 3 dozen scones for a women’s ministry tea at church..  I had never made blueberry scones before, but for some reason, I failed to see that as an important detail and volunteered anyway.  After some internet searching for blueberry scone recipes, I found this one, and except for human error on my part (like forgetting to add the butter to an entire batch), they were A-MAZING.  I can’t be certain its the actual Starbucks recipe since I just stumbled across it on some random website, but I will say they were super yummy and well worth trying.  As always, I’ve listed the recipe here including the small tweaks that I made….and I have some lovely photos of different phases of the baking process.  And to whet your appetite, here’s a spoiler photo of the finished product!

Yummy blueberry scones on a pretty platter…and headed to the tea!

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1. Make Cinnamon Rolls

WELL, another one scratched off my list. I have already tried my hand at baking cinnamon rolls a couple of times. On the first batch, I used the wrong kind of yeast (in ignorance) and they didn’t rise at all. Think hockey pucks. A couple of kind commenters helped me figure that one out. Round two turned out great, a quick and easy biscuit-style recipe that I’ve got in my back pocket now. Then I basically got a digital call out from an old friend Stacey Kersh Shields.  She reviewed a classic Pioneer Woman recipe, published in 2007.  Just reading her review made me kinda scared and therefore obviously it had to be my final attempt.

Cinnamon rolls aka pure heaven

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Cinnamon Rolls – Round 2!

Future patrons of my bed-and-breakfast: be excited!  My second round of cinnamon roll baking was much more successful.  (Here’s the first – whomp whomp whomp.)My baker-extraordinaire friend Caitie suggested I try this biscuit-based recipe. No yeast, so no kneading, rising, waiting, worrying, etc etc etc. I loved the way they turned out too – lovely and “homemade” tasting.  Very fast too. I woke up around 6:30 and they were on the table within an hour.


1 Tbsp melted butter, for greasing the pan (9 or 10 inch round cake pan)

Cinnamon-Sugar Filling
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter, melted

2 1/2 cups AP flour
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
6 Tbsp butter, melted

2 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar


Heat oven to 425.

Cinn-Sugar filling- combine sugars, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Add melted butter and stir until consistency of wet sand. Set aside.

Dough- Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk and 2 Tbsp of butter in small bowl. Add liquid to dry and stir until liquid is absorbed, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead until just smooth and no longer crumbly.

Pat the dough into a 12 by 9-inch rectangle. Brush with 2 Tbsp melted butter. Sprinkle filling evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges. Press the filling firmly into the dough. Starting at the far long side, roll the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam to seal. Turn seam side down and cut into 8 even pieces. Slightly flatten each piece to seal the open edges and keep the filling in place. Place one roll in the center of the pan and the other seven around the perimeter. Brush with the remaining 2 Tbsp butter.

Bake until the edges are golden brown, 23-25 min (check after 20). Run a knife around the outside to loosen the rolls, and invert onto a large plate. Then, invert again onto a greased cooling rack. Let cool about 5 min before icing.

While the rolls cool, place a baking sheet lined with wax/parchment paper underneath the rolls to catch drips. Whisk cream cheese and buttermilk in a bowl until smooth. Add powdered sugar and whisk until smooth, about 30 seconds. Spoon over buns and serve!

Tips from Caitie:

  • The recipe calls for 8 Tbsp melted butter total, so just melt it all at once and portion it out as needed.
  • Don’t knead too long, just until the dough comes together and is smooth.

Tips from me:

  • Alert! Even though the dough ingredients list 6T of butter, only 2 actually go in the dough.  The other 4 are for brushing on.
  • If you accidentally put all 6T into the dough, well, nothing bad happens.  Just go on about your business.  These are forgiving biscuits.

I definitely class these as a success but I’m going to try one more recipe before I scratch this one off the list.  Here’s a photo of my main taste-tester.  Looks like he enjoyed them too.

Baking from Scratch

1. Make cinnamon rolls

This Saturday I made my first attempt at homemade from-scratch cinnamon rolls.  This goal represents a few different things for me:

  • I’ve never really successfully gotten bread to rise.
  • I have an alternate life fantasy where I end up running a bed & breakfast.  Primarily so I can cook rich, fattening breakfasts every single day.
  • I love big breakfasts! (see previous)
  • I like the idea of being able to cook a thing or two really well.

I selected this recipe – Overnight Cinnamon Rolls – because most of the prep work could be done the night before.  After all, what b&b owner wants to get up at 3am everyday?  Not this one.  My cheery hostess smile would be all melted before the guests even made it to the table.

And they turned out… just OK.  I’d give ’em 3.5 stars.  Not awesome exactly but pretty good.  Kinda looked pretty:

#1 downside: Time intensive!  The Friday evening portion took from from 7pm to 11pm (with a big long break for the yeast to rise).  Then I got up at 6:30am Saturday morning, and they were on the table around 8am.  Is there some kind of Girl Scout badge I could get for this?  For all that work, uhm yeah, these better be literally the best cinnamon roll I ever put in my mouth.

#2 downside: They weren’t.  I mean, not the best cinnamon roll ever.  Likely culprit is that pesky yeast which did not, in fact, rise.  Even though I waited.  And at 10:30pm this mama was done waiting.  If someone who knows how to bake would like to weigh on why this might’ve happened, PLEASE do.


The recipe said the dough should rise to double its original size.  Guessing what I got there is not exactly “double”.

So in the end, I’m not scratching this one off my list.  yet.  Because what I really meant was more like:

1. Make the best cinnamon rolls you ever tasted.

Other updates:  Book checked out.  Really enjoying it.  Also, I’m really enjoying this blog/hobby/process.

Questions for our faithful followers:  Did I over-knead? Under-knead??  Any recipes I need to try?

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