A divine marriage, that of a croissant and chocolate; their child, the delicious pain au chocolat.
Easy to enjoy if you live near a great bakery or in France.
However, there’s a more-than-just-good alternative if you have a Trader Joe’s near you.
If so, with a bit of pre-planning, you can make your own pain au chocolat to go with tea, coffee, hot chocolate or the tipple of your choice.
Posts Tagged ‘baking’
Tags: baking, food, pain au chocolat, pastry, Trader Joe's
A divine marriage, that of a croissant and chocolate; their child, the delicious pain au chocolat.
Tags: apple cake, baking, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, German apple cake, recipe, The Joy of Vegan Baking, vegan baking, vegetarian baking, Versunkener Apfelkucken
Sunday as a day of rest is a great idea, but everyone still wants to eat and eating out can get expensive. If you don’t eat out, somebody has to fix a meal, so here’s a little something to help you out. It goes perfectly with a glass of milk, a cup of coffee or a cup of tea to start your day or for dessert later on. (more…)
Tags: Annalise G. Roberts, baking, Bionaturae, bread recipes, focaccia, food, Gluten-Free Baking Classics, gluten-free focaccia, gluten-free pasta, gluten-free recipes, in pursuit of more
Focaccia. Yum! (more…)
Tags: baking, bread, bread machines, Easter, faith, food
I just took a loaf of homemade bread out of the bread machine, my second after many, many months of not using the machine. How could I forget how amazing the smell of baking bread is and how much better than store-bought it tastes?? (more…)
Tags: Babycakes, Babycakes Covers the Classics, baking, cooking, dessert recipes, donuts, doughnuts, food, gluten-free recipes, healthy cooking, healthy recipes, Krispy Kreme, recipes
Do you like doughnuts (or donuts?) If so, you’re in luck and it doesn’t even matter if the Krispy Kreme near you went out of business, because the people from Babycakes gave me permission to share their recipe for chocolate cake donuts with you. Here’s the good news…besides tasting great, these doughnuts are baked, not deep-fried, gluten-free, vegan, and low in pretty much anything bad except they use some sugar. They’re easy to make and the cost won’t give you sticker shock the way many commercial baked goods do these days, even with the different flours. An aside on the flours, I’ve found these some places in bulk or Bob’s Red Mill carries all of them and many more products besides. You can keep the rest in the freezer and you’ll have plenty for lots more doughnuts. (more…)
Tags: Arabica Café, baking, cakes, Cupcake Wars, cupcakes, Food Network, The Cake Boss, vegan, wedding cakes
I see that on the Food Network there’s an upcoming vegan episode of “Cupcake Wars” which, in the interest of full disclosure, I must admit I’ve never watched. No matter. It reminded me that I just don’t get the cupcake craze. I don’t get paying $3 or more for a single something that I can make a dozen of at home for the same price and that generally are just little pieces of cake (maybe tasty, maybe not) covered with way too much, way too sweet frosting. I’ve never been the person who asks for the corner piece that also had part of the decorative frosting on top of the just-covering-the-cake frosting. I ask for the middle and probably take most, if not all, the frosting off as well. (I do, however, enjoy watching the creation of the masterpiece cakes on “The Cake Boss”, although I’m sure I couldn’t or wouldn’t afford them, so it’s not that I have an particular hatred of cakes in general.)
I’d always thought (when I thought about it at all, which I didn’t for most of my life prior to the event) that when I got married, I’d either have cheesecake or carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Most wedding cakes I’d ever had (or had avoided) were tasteless and not worth the calories. A cheesecake wedding cake would have had to be either flat or set on wooden tiers and it would have been a NY style cheesecake, dense and rich. However, when I was actually thinking about wedding cakes, my thoughts turned to Arabica, http://www.arabica-cafe.com/, an independent coffeehouse in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, with killer carrot cake. At the time, there was only one location, in the only-slightly-post-hippy area of Cleveland Heights called Coventry. I went in and asked if they did wedding cakes. The reply came that they never had, but that they would ask the baker. He said he would and did I want carrots on the sides. I did not. But the cake was so good that people at the reception were offering to take pieces home if there were any left. And it looked good, too.
I’ve made cheesecake that required 40 ounces of cream cheese and tasted like heaven, a made-from-scratch chocolate cake that was amazing and recently, a vegan chocolate cake with boiled chocolate frosting that was so good, not only would no one know it was vegan, they’d want to make it themselves for company. Even though I’m not a big cake person, I get all those. But I don’t get cupcakes and certainly don’t get cupcakes that cost half the price of an entire loaf of artisan break. Maybe it’s just me. But I’ll take the bread any day.
Tags: baking, biscotti, children’s clothing, clothing, homemade gifts, scones, shopping, size deflation, Thrift stores
I love thrift stores. It started when our girls were little and some wonderful person told me about a thrift store with children’s clothing. It was a bit of a drive, but I made it often. Why pay lots of money for children’s clothes? Babies and small children get clothes dirty but aren’t in the same size long enough to even begin to wear them out. So a children’s thrift store is filled with all the expensive clothes that families, friends and relatives get for children who barely even wear them. These are the same clothes that are often purchased to reflect well on the family, not because the child cares; clothes that before a baby starts crawling, never even touch the ground. Some families have lots of people to participate in a hand-me-down process. We didn’t. That made the thrift store a great source of inexpensive hand-me-downs, just from other families. And speaking of not touching the ground, before our girls walked, we didn’t even get shoes for them. While the neighbor’s baby wore fancy Stride-Rights, (while being held), ours sported cute socks.
My husband is fortunate enough to work in IT, where suits are definitely not de rigueur. He wears, and wears out, polo shirts almost exclusively. When I came home from the thrift store one day many years ago with a pile of like-new shirts, he loved them, but exhorted me not to tell anyone where they’d been obtained. He liked to call them dead men’s shirts but he wore them anyway and, I’m sure, didn’t spill the secret of where they came from even when he started getting compliments. Then one day, he totted up what I was saving and became a convert. Better some new PlayStation games than new shirts from “real” stores!
Besides the substantial monetary savings, I love the thrill of finding just the right sweater, dress or pair of pants, although I admit to not shopping at many thrift stores for pants. If a store doesn’t have the pants grouped by size, I don’t even bother. I won’t go through a fifty pairs of pants, pulling up each pair, and trying to figure out the size. And since there’s been size deflation (as in I now wear smaller sizes than as a high school or college student), size isn’t altogether useful anyway. I love getting compliments on things I wear, knowing I paid very little for the clothing and I certainly have other places to use the money!
Scones and biscotti are similar to thrift store clothing. No, I don’t purchase used baked goods, but if you make them at home, they’ll win you kudos, save you an enormous amount of money, and minister to your vanity, while you’ll never have to search for the perfect gift. Go to any store or coffee shop and look at the prices of biscotti. You might find one for under $2…for one. Scones are likely to run you more than that and they’ll be full of butter/fat. However, make them at home and you’ll be trying to smother your laughter (or your annoyance) when you see the retail price.
Biscotti are some of the easiest cookies to make. My introduction to them came unexpectedly one year in my post-Christmas clean up. While folding some papers for recycling from a package that my sister-in-law had sent, my eyes fell on two biscotti recipes—chocolate chip and almond. They looked pretty simple, so I tried them. Bit hit! I’ve regularly given our younger daughter’s Japanese teacher an entire batch for Christmas and even taught her to make them herself. She hasn’t figured out how to keep them away from her husband and children yet, but that’s not my problem. And I’ve added a black forest biscotti recipe to the mix, filled with dark chocolate chips and Montmorency dried cherries. Yum! And the easy part? Put wet and dry ingredients together, shape into a loaf, bake about half an hour, cool ten minutes, cut, and bake again. Do something else during the initial baking. Voila!
Scones are just as easy to make and even faster. Get the dry ingredients ready the night before and you can have a batch made and out of the oven in about 15-20 minutes, to rave reviews. Have to admit that I only use one recipe, from a Moosewood cookbook, because it’s made with whole wheat pastry flour and only 1/3 of a cup of oil for the entire batch of 12 scones. I added dark chocolate chips to the original tart, dried cherries (in honor of the biscotti—or maybe it was vice versa—who can remember?) No matter; they taste amazing, go perfectly with a cup of tea, and are pretty healthy, too. Tough combination to beat.
Gorgeous clothes at seriously low prices and delicious, healthy (or at the very least not unhealthy), easy treats also at seriously low prices. What’s not to like? And you can gloat the entire time! Just be humble when your friends compliment you. And enjoy your cuppa!