Tag Archives: in the kitchen with sharon

Home-Baked Hygge

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My half-Norwegian mother is smiling at the swirl of interest in “hygge” (pronounced hoo-guh).  She was a master at home made simple pleasures that are the roots to kinship and comfort.  We could all use a few hygge tools in our kit right now.  I think my mom would endorse these five hygge hints to ease the holiday hectic:

 #5:  Prep a hot beverage mix, then use it. Choose something with warm milk, less caffeine, chocolate and herbs for a little calm. I love hot cocoa mix:  Whirl in your food processor until powdery:  ½ cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 3 oz. roughly chopped semi-or bittersweet chocolate, ½ cup baking cocoa (Dutched cocoa is a deeper flavor), ¼ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract, and a pinch of salt.   Store in an airtight jar and use 3 tablespoons mix per medium mug of heated milk or water.  Thank you @smittenkitchen!

Love your coffee too? Unwind with friends with a decaf version of C&H Sugar’s Toffee Coffee.

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#4: Employ lavender’s magic. After holding your breath all day working the lists, breathe in one of HBA’s Writer’s Guild pro Nancy Baggett’s Lavender Place recipes Culinary lavender’s comforts range from sweet honey-spice snickerdoodles, to savory herbed popcorn for starters.

#3: Break down prep time…try making dough and freezing ready-to-bake. Just thinking, you might have time to get the dough made…but no time to bake! HBA member test kitchens lead the way on how to freeze cookie, yeast and scone dough to pop in the oven at any time.  Try this Freeze and Bake Scones example

 #2:  Drop, don’t roll.  For some of us, rolling out dough of ANY kind is challenging. Go with a drop or “scoopable” version —there are many sweet and savory options!  Butternut Softies are a great holiday fruit and nut drop cookie and Drop Biscuits are naturally comfort food.

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 #1:  Often, eat simply.  Try a whole grain batter yeast bread served with a favorite veggie, lentil or bean soup and soak in the comfort of home.

Even these Top Five cannot guarantee coziness, simple pleasures and kinship when you focus on them alone. Include someone in one of these gifts, and hygge will come quickly to your heart and hearth!

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Join the “Dine-In” Dec. 3 for Family Health and Wealth

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Whether it’s a simple one-dish meal, casseroles, creative variations or three courses and dessert, carry forward the “dine-in” benefits with over 300,000 others on December 3rd!
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Whatever time of day or night you need to make that shared meal happen, nothing benefits relationships, school success, and even your family’s hard-earned savings like eating together at home as a family.
Leading this drive to thrive is the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences along with their professionals and partners. Share what you’ll do, join the list of committed dine-at-home diners or find great resources here.
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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.

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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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Tweet Yourself to a Better Breakfast: Celebrate Better Breakfast Month

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If you’re on the run like most, consider tweeting the links below to yourself and friends. This wealth of great breakfast bootie is meant to be shared, partly because making your own breakfast will save you cash.

My top three picks this fall include:

1. DIY breakfasts have saved me at least $16,000 to-date. (Yes we do eat breakfast out too.) Biscuits, muffins and pancakes are just three options for home baking savings while serving breakfast at home.

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2. Leftover slices of pizza or quiche make great grab-and- go breakfast. Beginner breakfast pizzas can be made in 20 minutes. Keep on adding your savings. Indie servings like these at your favorite coffee stop cost about $5.

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3. The masters of overnight breakfasts have grasped the issues. Getting up to Peaches and Cream slow-cooked steel-cut oats or Chai Buckwheat Groats lets you sleep a little longer if you prep the night before.

Finally, you will never go wrong with a freezer that contains a good Pumpkin muffin. Add some great Energy Bars or Whole Grain Jam Bars, both packed with essential nutrients, flavor, and you too can save a grand or ten over time.

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A Month for Sandwiches, Family Fun and Peaches!

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August puts the “wrap” on summer and the soft-opening of fall. Is that why someone deemed it National Sandwich Month?  People are still planning summer Family Fun at the same time they’re back-to-school shopping!  In honor of both summer and fall, the sandwiches could be the ice cream variety or the lunch-box specials kids can look forward to in school.

montaguFor one of the most popular meal delivery systems in America, let’s take a minute for sandwich history. “The bread-enclosed convenience food known as the “sandwich” is attributed to John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792), a British statesman and notorious profligate and gambler, who is said to be the inventor of this type of food so that he would not have to leave his gaming table to take supper.”

Source, World Wide Web, 7/1/17 Foodtimeline.org

The best sandwiches begin with great bread. There are sandwich breads for everyone’s taste, including Gluten-Free Paleo! There’s the basics– Whole Wheat and White Buns and gourmet Asiago Herb Hoagies or choose from the winning bakers at nationalfestivalofbreads.com.

Get Peachy

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lazy_daisyPeaches are the perfect fruit to celebrate for a month.  It seems like there’s a new peach variety coming into our local market every couple weeks. Peaches are the longest running fruit of summer, taking us from June to Labor Day! Check out these remarkable peach recipes from HBA’s members:

 

 

 

By the 2nd week of August, peaches give the nod to Apple Week. Try recipes to enjoy for breakfast like the Apple Cinnamon Rolls or wrap a slice of Spiced Apple Bundt Cake to make the trek back-to-school a little sweeter for your kids.

Bake for Service Learning: Host a Home Room Parent Party,

complete with Baking Crafts and Activities to build relationships AND benefit the classroom.

  1. Bake Vanilla or Chocolate cupcakes and frost with plain icing.
  2. Create designer Rainbow Sugars for signature cupcake décor.
  3. Get stepping. Showcase and sell the cupcakes via a Cake Walk.
  4. Ask the teacher what she’s needing for the classroom and contribute cake walk funds.

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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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National Festival of Breads Was A Smashing Success!

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Ronna Farley of Rockville, Maryland, is the grand prize winner in the 2017 National Festival of Breads baking competition, sponsored by King Arthur Flour, Red Star Yeast and the Kansas Wheat Commission.

DIYWWWafflesSummer may not be everyone’s favorite season to bake. Statistics say a lot less flour is sold in the hot months.  But personally, I know thousands who never miss a baking beat in the heat. They’re the passionate, the competitive, the DIY fresh-is-best bakers and teachers of children, grand children and teens.

A few thousand of these summer bakers gathered at The National Festival of Breads June 17 in Manhattan, KS, our nation’s only amateurs-only bread-baking competition sponsored by King Arthur Flour, Red Star Yeast and the Kansas Wheat Commission. There they observed eight finalists bake to win.

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Ronna Farley of Rockville, Maryland, took the grand prize with her whole grain Seeded Corn and Onion Bubble Loaf.

You’ll love the creativity of these home bakers in the hall-of-fame archives from all five National Festivals

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Equally avid were the hundreds seated at the baking demos and stopping by our exhibit. Teachers were gathering baking science, math and literacy connections for their agriculture, English, speech, early childhood, culinary, elementary, middle school, family and consumer sciences, foods and nutrition classrooms.   Add the volunteer leaders teaching grand children, 4-H, youth library programs and afterschool groups and we should all re-double our efforts to share the wealth baking provides. Thanks is always due to those who teach.

Baking is the perfect way to keep children learning throughout the summer.  Explore yeast leavening science and learn the difference between baking powder and baking soda! Choose from history and cultural recipes.

Assign baking A-Z exploration in our Baking Glossary. Connect with baking help plus tips and techniques from our member’s test kitchen pros.

Catch the passion to go from virtual to actual and get the flour, butter, and leavening in the bowl!  You can “bake for good,” bake while you camp, take the baking math challenge of measuring and mixing to savor summer success.

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