Tag Archives: cooking

Summer Bakers Going Strong

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.


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

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!



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


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


Leave a comment

Filed under Baking Events & Holidays, Baking Resources, Educator Resources, Recipes, Uncategorized

Steps to Home Baking Food Safety


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


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)


  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


  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


  • 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




Leave a comment

Filed under Baking Resources, Educator Resources, Health & Wellness, Home Baking Association, Uncategorized

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:

Leave a comment

Filed under Educator Resources

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Baking Events & Holidays

Just A Little Baking Inspiration…



Leave a comment

Filed under Tips and Ideas

Baking Activities and Resources for Educators

sharon_kitchenFebruary is crazy busy with Bake for Family Fun Month and other education related activities. Baking builds multiple STEM outcomes, cultural history, lends itself for Science Fair projects and good old fashioned opportunities for creating made-by-you foods.

  • STEM: Confirm students’ plant science knowledge with Teaching Kids about Wheat.
  • Buff nutrition science with Grains for the Brain at www.namamilliers.org
  • Prepare students for baking science and technology with Meet Me at the Mill video
  • Add a DIY grain-to-flour experience at  Gold Medal Flour
  • Prepare to bake using Flour 101 provided by The Wheat Foods Council
  •  Science Fairs: Last week a local sixth-grade science fair featured 35+ baking experiments!
  • KEY: Start with a good “control” recipe like: Bread 101
  • Get started baking your own bread… try Beginner’s Top Choice!
  • Follow with variables, one substitution at a time.  Check out Creative Breads for Educators Guide, p. 10—Bread Ingredient Substitutions

The Home Baking Association members provide many valuable lessons and resources to help make your life just a little easier. Check out our Educator Resources section for more information.

Leave a comment

Filed under Educator Resources, Uncategorized

Baking for Your Valentine!

Forget strolling the mall for the perfect Valentine. It’s not there. If research matters in things of the heart, ours shows the top reason people bake is to treat someone they love in a special way.  Hand-crafted, made-by-you, is the way to go. In the time you’d take to shop, create something one-of-a-kind instead.

1. Designer colored sugars for cookies and cakes.

Measure 1/3 cup sugar in several sealable plastic bags.  Add one to 10 drops of a food coloring per bag and gently squeeze to blend.  Combine two food colors to create designer colors such as peach (4 drops yellow/1 red), pink (1 drop red), aqua (3 drops blue/1 green), purple (3 drops red/2 blue), tangerine (3 drops yellow/3 red) and more!

Source: Baking with Friends, p.67. Order Baking with Friends here

2. Natural colored icing drizzle: Combine 2-4 Tbsp. thawed juice concentrate (cranberry, orange) with 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, 1 Tbsp. dried egg white, and ½ tsp. light corn syrup.  Stir; thicken with confectioner’s sugar or thin with water as needed.

3.   Sugar scrubs for the person who’s just NOT eating treats: Here’s a great one from C & H Sugar, and another from Domino Sugar. Add a hand-penned note for the priceless gifts–time and attention.

If you’d like to find out more information about Bake for Family Fun Month, or the Home Baking Association, go to www.HomeBaking.org.


Leave a comment

Filed under Baking Events & Holidays, Educator Resources, Uncategorized