How to Make Buttermilk (sour milk)

Picture this… you find a recipe you want to make… something that requires buttermilk… for example:

And you happen to be fresh out of buttermilk… or better yet, you have never bought buttermilk in your life. It happens to the best of us! But… what you may not know is making buttermilk (aka sour milk) is super simple and you probably have the ingredients for that!

What is Buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy drink. Traditionally, it was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cultured cream; (more…)

How to Make Simple Syrup

What is Simple Syrup? Easy answer… it is a sweetener.

Easier answer: how to make it…

How to Make Simple Syrup

Use equal parts granulated sugar to water. It is a 1:1 ratio.

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add 1 cup sugar. Once the water comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and allow the sugar to dissolve in the water. Place in a storage container in your refrigerator for up to 1 month, or use right away. (more…)

How to Freeze Okra

When I decided to start and plant my garden this spring, I asked my family what they would like to see planted. I mean, after all, they were going to be reaping the rewards too. At that point in the day, I think that we were eating lunch (or dinner… but we were definitely eating) and the oldest and my husband had fried okra. They both immediately chimed in and said, Okra.

Okra… um… okay. I know nothing about making fried okra, but okay, I’ll figure it out. Oh wait, you mean you can eat okra that isn’t fried. Okay, I’ll learn about that too while I’m at it. Because, why not. (more…)

How to Can Peaches

It is that time of the year… Peaches!! They are in full supply. I love peaches. They are so great to eat as is or you can can them for later. Like the dead of winter when you are wanting that zesty, sweet taste of summer. There are 2 ways to can, we’ll get to that.

I would like to start some of my own Peach trees, but until that happens, I know where there is a stand on the side of the road ready to sell! And that’s just where I went on Sunday. I also bought a watermelon and my mom a cantaloupe. I don’t like cantaloupe but she does.

A fun side note about the word syrup… Grandma had me reading in her Joy of Cooking Cookbook about freezing peaches. We were looking for sugar measurements. Anyway, they kept spelling syrup, sirup. That spelling was driving me nuts. I wish I was still in Grad School so that I had access to the Oxford English Dictionary to look up the spelling history.

Also, side note: if you are canning anything… canning lids and jars for that matter are difficult to find right now. Supposedly it isn’t a shortage, but more so everyone was home and raising a garden. All canning is happening RIGHT. NOW.

Peaches

Grandma told me that she read that 1 bushel of peaches should produce 15, 20, 30 jars of peaches. It’s so funny that 3 different things she read said 3 different things. Either way, we were well on our way to that. We had 3/4 of a bushel of peaches. We got 13-quart jars and 2 half-full gallon bags for freezing.

Not all the peaches were ready for canning, so grandma’s tip is to lay them out on plastic overnight. The next day most all of them were ready to go. (more…)

I made Homemade Pretzels… Coronavirus Day 18

I really think I should start calling it social distancing or homebound or something other than coronavirus. Ugh!

Earlier this year I went on the Keto Diet. Right now, I say screw that. We’re really supposed to stay home and out of stores, etc. So buying all the extra, special items to make Keto meals seems silly, plus I just want a little comfort. I love to bake and cook. And truthfully, while I tend to be a homebody, I’m sick of this staying home. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Frozen 2. Not as many as Frozen (the original), but pretty darn close. Although I have to say I think I like the original Frozen better. My little thinks that they are going to do a Frozen 3. I’m not sure. It’ll sure be interesting, that’s for sure.

Anyway, I think I totally digressed. That’s where my brain is these days. Half the time I really have to think about what day it is. The little’s dance classes have moved to online. Last week, we missed 2 of the 3. I just plum forgot. So my goal for this week is to make all 3. I made yesterday’s and today’s, so that’s 2 of 3. Now just 1 more to go. I’ll let you know how I do. It’s the little things in life. (more…)

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

Over the weekend I found myself in Gravette, Arkansas. We were at a BBQ Smoking contest called Smoke on the Border. I’ll delve into that more in another post, but… as Hubby and Jared were moving stuff down on Friday afternoon, I found myself in the kitchen. I had it in my head I wanted to make something on the sweeter side, simply because of all that savory food I knew we were going to be eating over the weekend. That’s when I decided on Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites. Still a little savory from the dough, but that sweet side from the sugar and the heat from the cinnamon. Just seemed like the perfect combination.

Handheld little bites of yumminess. Although as you can see on my hand above, being in a zip lock bag, I brought some of that topping out on my hand for a nice dose of stickiness too. Hey… you win some… you lose some… and in this case, I’m pretty sure I won because hello YUM! (more…)

Irish Soda Bread

Guys, yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. Did you wear green? I did. I had on a t-shirt that said “Lucky Charms.” I also had on a sweatshirt that had green on it. Speaking of said sweatshirt, when I took it off I don’t know what I did with it… plus I don’t remember taking it off. Oy!

So Last week I showed you my list of 100+ things to bake. I’m kind of thinking of it as a 101 in 1001, but there really is no deadline… it’s also kind of like a bucket List. Either way, a lot of things I’d like to make. It’ll be fun! Especially when my new kitchen gets done! (Of course, we’ll have to move into the house also…)

But, yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve always wanted to be that mom who celebrates all holidays. I fail miserably! But yesterday, Abug and I made Lucky Charms Cupcakes, I made Irish Soda Bread (on my list), and then we had Rubenish/Deli Style Nachos. I’d say between the shirt and the food I nailed this one!

Irish Soda Bread

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Baking/Cooking Bucket List

Everyone needs a good challenge in their life, am I right? I’ve gotten swept in watching all these baking and cooking shows. I swear, my favorite tends to be the Great American and Great British Baking shows. They have baked so many things I’ve never heard of, it’s kind of crazy. But that is what keeps us growing. So here is a modified version I snagged from Brown Eyed Baker.

I deleted a few things because, well… I don’t like baked beans and I’m not sure I want to make lamb… goes back to my years in FFA… But… I like the idea she had and there were even things on her list I’ve either a) never tried or b) never heard of, so I’m growing.

If I had the guts, I would take on Julia Child’s cookbook as Julie Powell did, but I just am not sure I could do that… some of those things we don’t get in rural America. If I lived in a bigger city, that might be a different story. So here goes nothing!

Yeast Goodies:
1. Focaccia bread 
2. Bagels 
3. English muffins 
4. Challah 
5. No-Knead bread
6. Ciabatta
7. Babka 
8. Kaiser rolls
9. Panettone 
10. Sourdough bread
11. Parker House Rolls
12. Olive oil bread
13. Baguettes
13. Croissants 
14. Doughnuts 
15. Yeasted Coffee Cake
16. Kouign Amann

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Triple Chocolate Cake

We’ve been working on our house, it feels like non-stop. Some days walking in there is so… almost depressing, but some days it feels like nothing is happening. It is… but it’s happening up in the attic where you just don’t see results other than more lights are popping up as well as electrical plugins. Oh… and an HVAC system. Heat… let there be heat!!

And I swear, our friends are the absolute BEST. We’ve had so much help from our dear, darling, beloved friends. There truly are NO WORDS to describe them! So, when I found out Shelby’s 21st birthday was yesterday, I knew I had to make her a cake!! (She’s newer to this bunch, this is why it was a new find of her birthday!)

Triple Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Homemade Strawberry Jam, and Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Chocolate Ganache

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Oreo Cheesecake Cake

Another birthday cake! Yey, I love birthday’s!! Although… the story about this cake…

  1. The person who I made this cake for apparently doesn’t celebrate birthdays anymore…
  2. I didn’t get to try any.
  3. I was told it was yummy.
  4. Life took over and I was afraid I wouldn’t get it to them on their birthday

I’ve been so consumed by the house remodel, I swear, that I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to deliver Dan’s birthday on time. I told him this the day before. That way he knew it was coming and I didn’t forget.

In the end, I got it there on Betty White’s 97th Birthday, aka Dan’s birthday. I did tell him it was a birthday cake to celebrate Betty White’s birthday since he apparently doesn’t celebrate birthday’s anymore….

Betty White’s 97th Birthday Cake (aka Dan’s Birthday cake)

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