Tag Archives: cooking

Give the Gift of How-to-Bake 

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After 35 years of baking everywhere and anyway I can with anyone 2 to 92 who’d join me, I love to find new ideas, recipes and resources to get the flour in the bowl and the heart and mind engaged.  It takes more than a cool app or web-site to get a baking buzz going in today’s kitchens.  There are at least three challenges to overcome:

  • Skill comfort to bake alone OR an available baking assistant
  • Available ingredients and tools
  • Time (inversely related to skill—the more baking skill, the less time you’ll need)

HomeBaking.org is ALWAYS a great place to start, so let me introduce our newest Writer’s Guild member, Deanna F. Cook. Deanna is a kids-cooking best-selling author, content director at Kidstir, as well as an acquisitions editor at Storey Publishing. She lives in western Massachusetts and is found online at deannafcook.com.

Her newest book, Baking Class, 2017, Storey Publishing, ISBN 978-1-61212-855-9, is perfect for building baking skills, baking for the family, and giving to someone you love.

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You can’t replace baking together as a gift that nourishes the whole person for a lifetime.  Contributing something you’ve baked for a meal or event builds self-sufficiency and true self-esteem. Deanna’s “baking companion” works great for kids ages 6–12 and features 50 easy-to-follow recipes.

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Deanna shares, “I invited more than 20 children over to my kitchen and we baked together and photographed the steps along the way. All the recipes are easy to follow, fun to look at, and can be made by kids with just a little help from a grown-up. “

Step-by-step photos teach bakers-in-training how to knead dough, make biscuits, popovers, decorate cookies, and make a perfect pie, along with essential skills like measuring flour and decorating a cake—perfect for meals or made-by-me-for-you gift giving!

You’ll start a new holiday meal “must-have” with Puffy Popovers, Just 5 ingredients—2 tablespoons butter, 2 eggs, 1cup milk, 1 cup all-purpose flour, and ½ teaspoon salt, a muffin cup pan and an oven! Popovers are “a science experiment you can eat” and MUST be locally made—yet another plus.

Teachers, get the total buy-in of students and parents by hosting an early childhood baking workshop using the Baking Class resources.

When you wrap a book to give, why not include a “time certificate,” for a date and place to bake some recipes side-by-side in 2018? It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Click here to get the recipe and instructions for Puffy Popovers

 

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Savory Galette: A to Z

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Who can resist seeing your own child bake and serve something amazing?  Whether they’re 5 and serving you their first muffin or twenty-five you’re savoring the moments. Granted, at five, somedays it’s hard to choose–“should I let them help and pay the “time and clean-up price” or do-it-myself?” Let me show you the pay-off.

Last weekend our 24-year old daughter served up an amazing Potato Leek Galette with Rosemary Sea Salt Crust for a shared Sunday supper.

We grew the Yukon Gold potatoes and onions in our Community Garden—she bought the leeks at the Farmer’s market and harvested her own fresh rosemary.

PotatoLeekRosemaryGalette

Katy’s recipe came from Cara Mangini, October/November 2017 Fine Cooking magazine.

From a teacher’s perspective, I love teaching people how to bake a Galette. Young bakers succeed and go home and can bake them on an oven-proof dinner plate–perfect for students who may not have a lot of baking pans yet.

For the Recipe Buzz” on galettes, sweet or savory, starting with “A” for Asparagus Galette and ending with a beautiful Zucchini Galette

For a ready-to-go lesson on baking a Rustic Fruit Pie (Galette), download Book and Bake Easy-as-Pie, filled with pie lore and apples galore.  See a How-to video, www.HomeBaking.org, the Baking Channel.

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Summer Bakers Going Strong

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July 2017 Summer is no time to stop baking! It’s the perfect month to celebrate Culinary Arts Month and polish baking creativity and skills by preparing for local, county and state fair competitions.

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Gain the competitive edge.

1. Start with tested recipes from HBA Test Kitchens.
2. Meet HBA members who sponsor fair baking awards. www.chsugar.com; www.dominosugar.com; www.kswheat.com; www.okwheat.org
3. Sculpt specialty rolls, braids and centerpiece entries

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Need help? Talk to a baker–
call OR log on

 

Need some Grilling Month goals? Add grilled pizza or flatbread to your skill set!

 Ice Cream Month could scoop a new recipe every day.  Kids and grandparents will love Chocolate Pudding Popsicles for starters!

 July Belongs to Blueberries Month bakers will love Blueberry Banana Bread and Blueberry Bread Pudding. Add a blueberry search at www.landolakes.com and you’ll find too many options to count. I’ll start with a blueberry flan!  Kids can Book and Bake with Blueberries for Sal!

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Russian Piroshki

Let Picnic Month begin with something new! Pack Focaccia Picnic Sandwiches or an ethnic hand-held meat pies, Russian Piroshkis or Bierocks.

Try a new method and dry griddle bake Soft Wrap Bread. Boiling water is mixed with the flour, “cooking” the starch and resulting in a soft, pliable product to cradle what comes off the grill.

Check out the latest summer Food Safety Guidelines.

Bake for Service Learning:  Early starts on cooking and baking skills matter! With summer learning a priority, baking is “STEAM” education. Bake with friends, sibs, and when you baby-sit to teach children baking basics.

Find starter resources (English and Spanish)

Ten Tips for Baking Success with Kids

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Age-appropriate Thrill of Skill

 

Food Skill Check List

Portable Kitchen videos/recipes

If you’d like to learn more about baking events and celebrations this quarter (July, August, September) download this handy calendar pdf

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Steps to Home Baking Food Safety

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The recent recall of 10 million pounds of home baking flour products is a wake-up call for us to do our part to “groove” essential home, community and classroom baking practices to insure food safety problems are not us. Food safety should ALWAYS be part of food, nutrition and STEM learning objectives.

Steps to home baking food safety include

FIRST: Review “Core Four” food safety practices and download teaching resources

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SECOND: Apply and teach home baking core food safety practices

 CLEAN: Replace kitchen cloths and towels daily; change baking mitts or hot pads after use.

BEFORE BAKING: (do in this order)

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  1. Tie back long hair, remove jewelry
  2. Wash hands with warm water and soap
  3. Wear a clean apron…clothes carry dirt and germs from where you’ve been
  4. Wash counters, assemble ingredients and tools needed for recipe
  5. Re-wash hands before beginning to measure, mix or portion products

AFTER BAKING:

  1. Wipe flour and batter from stand or hand-held mixers, counters
  2. Scrape mixing tools and bowl of excess batter, discard and load dishwasher
  3. Wash hands before packaging baked and cooled products in food-safe packaging

 SEPARATE: Follow storage and use rules for fresh eggs or egg substitutes and all perishable ingredients.

  • Shell eggs in a separate small bowl to avoid shell in batter
  • Separate the bowls and utensils used for eggs or other perishables from dry ingredients and dry measuring tools.
  • Cool baked goods on wire racks placed separately from mixing counter and tools

BAKE/COOK: It’s the facts…unbaked ingredients, dough or batter should not be consumed…Salmonella and E.Coli are NOT a treat…no “licking” spoons, beaters or bowl.

  • Use a toothpick to check center of pancakes, waffles, quick breads, and cakes for raw batter. Brown crust color does not mean the middle is done.
  • For oven-baked products, place food thermometer probe in center of product and pan Internal temperature guide:

Cheesecake – 150°F. (remove from oven—temperature will rise to 160 ° F.)

Meringue pies, quiche and bread pudding – 160 ° F.

Custard pies, flan, crème brulee – 170-175 ° F.

Yeast breads: Soft rolls -190 degrees F.; Crusty bread – 200-210° F.

Cakes, quick breads, scones: 200 to 205 ° F.

(Temps courtesy of Crafty Baking)

  • Mix egg wash and apply just before placing product in a heated oven; discard remaining egg wash.

CHILL: Keep refrigerator at 40 degrees F. or below

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  • Cool products on clean wire cooling racks, not counter tops
  • Refrigerate after two hours at room temperature: Unbaked batter or dough,

pies, cheese-filled breads or baked goods with perishable filling ingredients (eggs, custards, cheese, pizza, meats, casseroles, cream pies and puffs)

 THIRD: Download the newly revised Home Baking Food Safety 101 Fact Sheet

 

 

 

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Celebrate Literacy, Volunteerism and Baking!

sharon_kitchenJoin the Home Baking Association in celebrating literacy and volunteerism this spring! You can help spread enthusiasm for reading both books and recipes. “Read to a child today and start a lifetime of ambition.” Library of Congress, www.read.gov.

Volunteer and bring older generations and youth together to read & bake. 

Need good how-to measure visuals? Check out this resource

What about age-appropriate kitchen activities? We created this for you!

Need tips for reading to, or with, children? Be sure to visit the following websites:

National Association of Educators of Young Children 

Reading is Fundamental

Studies show books or cooking tools aren’t available in many homes! 

Conduct a “Book and Cook” drive to equip a local youth program, food pantry, or classroom. 

1. Match books and cooking tools using “Book and Cook” Literature Connections

Find great baking tools at www.chefsplanet.com 

2. Include Baking with Friends or a lesson guide:

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Bread Suggestions for Easter

sharon_kitchenBringing hot bread to the table should not be easier for those family Easter meals. Are you thinking “which will they eat…whole wheat or white?” “How can I get hot rolls baked plus the rest of the meal?” Here are two suggestions to get you started:

  • A perfect “America’s Breadbasket” recipe to spread out the baking steps are DIY Brown and Serve rolls. The recipe is a whole wheat roll that makes the best of whole white wheat. White wheat has a pale bran coat and sweeter flavor making it more quickly accepted by a wide range of family members! Check out the recipe here Learn more about what white wheat is and where it’s grown at www.farmerdirectfoods.com

  •  Maybe you’ve just enough time for Easter basket giving? Tuck a Rabbit Creek gourmet carrot cake muffin mix in this year’s baskets!

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Just A Little Baking Inspiration…

 

 

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