Category Archives: Baking

Candy & Cookies…

Not teaching this year gave me time to do something I have really missed: Making cookies and candies for gifting!

I made chocolate mints (aka frango), caramel, and chocolate truffles.

For cookies I made snickerdoodles, molasses, almond biscotti, and oatmeal/raisin/walnut.

A little thank you – baking style

With the new appliances installed and the kitchen freshly updated, it was time to say ‘Thank You’!

My sweetie really likes my homemade granola, granola Cookies, and pretzel rolls. My side-by-side freezer also has more room so I could freeze portions of larger batches.

So while he enjoyed a day in the mountains hiking, I made him some thank you gifts.

Our youngest son loves Molasses cookies. He and his roommates ask for some cookies around Christmas. My old oven’s thermostat was so bad I really couldn’t bake anymore. So they were also the recipients of a fresh batch of cookies!

Saturday..bread & sauce day

Today was all about making bread and marinara  sauce.  In between I worked to finish prepping all the masks I am making.   Have white bread, cinnamon swirl bread, hamburger buns, and hot dog buns.   With the quarantine, looks like I will be returning to Friday bread days.  (This makes my sweetie VERY happy!)

Have enough sauce for the freezer, so homemade pizzas will definitely be on the list!

Happy Thanksgiving….

May your day be filled with good friends, family, and those that you love. In our busy, ever out of control world, it is nice to remember what is important – those that we love. Today step off the carousel and remember it is not perfect food nor an over abundance of food we celebrate. Simple, clean food, and time to gather is the order of the day.

Woke up at 5:30 AM – to the ‘puppy alarm clock’. Let them outside, fed them breakfast, and made a cup of coffee. I pulled the turkey out of the fridge – all 18.5 pounds. It is roasting in the oven. Since it is only the three of us this year, our sides are garlic red mashed potatoes, and fresh green beans sautéed in bacon and onion. Simple and comforting food.

Time to bake some cookies!!

It is nice to be able to bake but it has been a really longtime since I made cookies. I love cooking and baking but for two empty nesters that are busy professionals it seems silly. It is not like the days when our youngest was in high school. We always had him and 7 of his friends literally at our house for dinner almost every evening and most weekends.

Making huge meals, several loaves of bread, cheese, cakes, ice cream, pasta, and pastries was the norm – all from scratch. I often made large gift boxes for all my sweeties friends and colleagues at work – filled with homemade candy, cookies, and jam.

Teaching has taken over my life and filled all those spaces!   Today I savored my time away from the classroom and actually baked.  I made two of our son’s favorites and a third my sweeties favorite. The house smells heavenly! Molasses, snickerdoodles, and almond biscotti.


Reward…..homemade pizza

After 15 years in the same house, going from 2 teenage boys to empty nesters, we have been looking to the final chapters in our lives.  We are looking forward to spending more time with our favorite charities, creating our special crafts, and a slower pace of life.   Do we stay and remodel or move to a place we yearn to be every time we leave?   What do we need to “finish” is the question of the day as we think about our timeline.

First step: seriously assessing what we have collected:  from project materials for ‘possible creations’ to gear when we went on family vacations, had family gatherings, to a house full of boys hanging out at our house almost every night and most weekends. Neither of us likes the idea of just dumping everything at the ‘dump’.  So we began with the question: What do we really want/need, what is something we can pass along for others to enjoy?  We made 2 trips to Second Use/Habitat for Humanity, 1 to Value Village, 3 to Goodwill, 1 to Play-it-again sports, and 1 to Finding Treasures for a cure Thrift Shop.  We also were able to recycle scrap metal and old fluorescent lights.

To wrap-up our busy weekend I made homemade pizza – dough and sauce – my husbands favorite!

TGIF! Good morning wine, cheese, and bread…

This morning checked on both batches of plum wine and baked more zucchini bread!

Batch 1, where the fruit has been removed, is still fermenting nicely.  This morning:

  • Brix at 18.5, PA 10%, S.G. 1.070
  • PH 3.2 and Acid at .875
  • Stirred well
  • Cleaned and filled airlock with fresh sanitizer

Batch 2, added the airlock with sanitizer to keep out fruit flies

  • Still has the fruit bag, which I will remove around day 5 after pitching yeast
  • Pushed down fruit bag, stirred well
  • Cleaned and filled airlock with fresh sanitzer

Colby Cheese:

  • Air drying nicely
  • Wipe a few spots with cheesecloth and small amount of vinegar
  • Should be able to begin chilling tomorrow prior to waxing then aging


  • Baked the last two loaves of zucchini bread from the one zucchini
  • That makes 6 total, 5 went into the freezer for this winter.