Let’s Celebrate The Month of May

sharon_kitchenMay is all about celebrating. It’s almost as if you have your own “what to bake” guide with the new Bake Up a Smile e-book. There’s something for your first back-yard picnic, the high school or college graduates, a wedding, Moms, or Memorial Day gatherings.


More than a few of those celebrations will include grilling. Add a great grilled Flat Bread to your bucket list of BBQ skills and never settle for less than Beautiful Burger Buns!

 Whether for Mom or a Just Dessert, never skip an American favorite like strawberry shortcake, serve a crowd with a Very Berry Crisp or cobbler or choose simplicity-dressed-to-impress, like Coconut Almond Biscuit Braid. When you’ve done-it-yourself, don’t skimp now. Whip up real whipped cream.

 This year in honor of both our Fathers, now passed, I hope to bake for another who’s served our country on Memorial Day. It will take a call to a local VFW, Veteran’s Hospital or Retirement Center and may take an extra effort to identify their guidelines, how many you might bake for and if you need to bake for diabetics or other special ingredient needs. Share what you’ve chosen to do with #bakeforgood and find another great resource at King Arthur Flour.

Last but never least, apply Home Baking Food Safety 101 as you go! Take those internal temperatures at the center of what you bake to be sure what you bake is done. You’ll be happy and so will all those you serve!

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April Baking News


Last week someone we know because of early morning exercise brought a fresh-baked loaf of bread to our door. To complete the image, the living room had been converted for rehab for two of the three household members! He made life lighter with his house call and favorite whole wheat bread and recipe’s story.

Julie. R Thomson, Senior Editor, Taste, The Huffington Post provides a great benefit summary in her March 31, 2017, Psychologists Explain the Benefits of Baking for Other People. In interviews with a professor of psychology and brain science and a medical social worker and culinary art therapist, baking for yourself and others infuses self-expression, communication, mindfulness, stress reduction, increased happiness, and altruism.   Add our gratitude to this list, and the power to tackle what’s next is there.

What’s next could be World Health Day, April 7 or National Volunteer Week, April 23-29.   Quoting Muhammad Ali, Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”

 What could you do?


Volunteer in a classroom or after school program to create a Portable Kitchen experience like Pumpkin Pancakes Book and Bake, Tortillas in a Bag or a Kids A Cooking recipe.


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Easiest Ever Easter Bunny Cake


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Country Crock® Spread
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Combine flour and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.
  2. Beat sugar with Country Crock® Spread in large bowl with electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended. Combine milk and vanilla. Alternately beat in milk and flour mixtures until blended. Spread evenly into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes on wire rack; remove from pans and cool completely.
  4. To assemble and decorate, leave 1 cake layer whole and place on large platter. Cut 2 opposite edges of the other layer into “ears”. Cake remaining will be “bow tie”. Arrange on platter. If desired, spread with frosting* and decorate with shredded coconut and/or candies.

*To make an easy and delicious frosting, beat 1 box (16 oz.) confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup Spread and 1 tsp. vanilla extract in large bowl with electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Provided by HBA Member Country Crock

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April Baking Calendar

Here are some handy dates to keep in mind as you are planning activities around baking during the month of April.

National Pretzel Month

Step-by-step pretzel baking


1: Sourdough Bread Day

Sourdough Bread

5: Caramel Day

Coconut Caramel Bar

7: World Health Day

Coffee Cake Day

11-18: Passover

11: Pet Day

How to make Pet Treats

13: Peach Cobbler Day


15: Easter breads

20: Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day

22: Meet the Farmer on Earth Day

23: Cherry Cheesecake Day

24: International Sculpture Day

25: Zucchini Bread Day

28: Blueberry Pie Day

30: Oatmeal Cookie Day

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Whole Grain Sampling Day


Given that March is National Nutrition Month, Whole Grain Sampling Day  March 29, 2017, is the perfect time to sample the nuttier, rich taste of whole grains, and to share recipes that showcase the unique baking characteristics of whole grains A to Z.

Help us meet our goal!  Get as many people as possible to give whole grains a try. You can channel Green Eggs and Ham, but there are lots of places to give them a try!  You can try them

  • On the bus and in a car on the way to school and work.  Gnosh a great homebaked item
  • In the classroom.  Surprise everyone with a “locally made” whole grain Carrot Cake Cupcake from the HBA Smart Snack Collection!
  • With your personal trainer, coach or gym mates.
  • At home, by making whole grain recipes likeWhole Grain Blueberry Muffins

Need a baking tip or two? Put Whole Grains Made Easy and Baking with Whole Wheat Flour 101 to work!


When planning a whole grain event, reach out to Kelly Toups, RD at the Whole Grains Council (Kelly@oldwayspt.org, or 617-896-4884). Kelly will help you brainstorm more great ideas and ways to support your whole grain promotion efforts.

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Win $1000 with Baking Lesson


March 2017 – Calling all baking educators! Classroom educators, community organization and afterschool program leaders are encouraged to enter. Submit a baking activity or lesson by March 31 to be eligible to win the $1,000 award and a trip for two to New Orleans!

The Home Baking Association (HBA) recognizes an educator annually. The non-profit association seeks to reward educators who have implemented outstanding programs that teach children to bake and share baking in their communities.

Family and consumer sciences (FCS) educators and youth organization leaders for FCCLA (Family Career Community Leaders of America), 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, Camp Fire USA and other after-school or community programs are encouraged to share successful community baking programs. Youth who have developed baking programs that teach other youth to bake are also invited to enter.

The outstanding educator selected will receive $1,000 and a trip to the HBA Annual Meeting to present the winning project. All entrants will receive a complimentary teaching resource.

Visit HomeBaking.org for ideas, teaching resources and previous award winning lessons. Congratulations to the 2016 Educator Award Winner, Delaine Stendahl, family and consumer sciences teacher, Whitehall, WI. Stendahl won the award with her entry The Power of Eggs.

For Information on the 2017 Educator Award Program visit HomeBaking.org. Entries must be received by March 31, 2017.

For more information, contact:

Charlene Patton HBA Executive Director: 785.478.3283, Email: hbapatton@aol.com


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Blueberry Lemon Muffins

blueberries from freezer

These whole-grain muffins are so delicious, kids will never suspect they are loaded with healthy ingredients! Each muffin contains a little over 5 grams of added sugar*, far less than you would get in a commercial variety.

*Added sugar does not include the naturally occurring sugar found in the berries and yogurt.

1 cup fresh, frozen or canned blueberries, rinsed and drained
1 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup quick cooking oats
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup Greek lemon yogurt
(if using the individual cartons, it will require about 1.5 containers)
¼ cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use a non-stick muffin pan or paper muffin liners. (I prefer to use the silicone mini-muffin pans). Mix flour, sugar and baking powder in large mixing bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs and mix in yogurt and vegetable oil. Stir into dry ingredients and mix lightly. Fold in blueberries. Bake 18-20 minutes or until muffin tops are browned. Loosen muffins and serve warm. They also freeze well.

Servings: 12 medium muffins or 24 mini-muffins

Nutrition Facts

Connie Evers, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD
Author, How to Teach Nutrition to Kids

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