Tag Archives: sharon davis

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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Easy Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

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Rolled sugar cookies ready for decorating. With a new method for mixing there’s no need to soften the butter or chill the dough before cutting out cookies!

This great recipe was provided by Land O’Lakes. Go to http://www.Landolakes.com for more holiday recipes.

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1 cup cold butter cut into chunks

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

How to make

  1. STEP 1

    Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

  2. STEP 2

    Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in small bowl; set aside.

  3. STEP 3

    Place sugar and cold butter into bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat at medium speed until well combined. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract; beat until well mixed. Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed until just combined.

  4. STEP 4

    While removing dough from bowl, knead to incorporate crumbs and form a smooth dough. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness.

  5. STEP 5

    Cut into shapes with 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter. Place onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until just beginning to brown around edges. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

Tip #1

If planning to cut with intricate cutters, chill dough 30 minutes before rolling and cutting. This ensures your cookies will hold their detailed shape.

 

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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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Share the Whole Grain Wealth

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Pantries in the United States are blessed. We have so many types of whole grains and seeds to cook and bake. An excellent new resource includes the ingredient pages with images and descriptions of ancient and specialty wheats, corn, grains and seeds found at PanhandleMilling.com. Baking formulations are also being added by Chef Stephanie Petersen for a plethora of savory and sweet biscuits, tortillas and breads.

The health benefits of making at least half of the grain foods eaten every day “whole grain” are many.  The WholeGrainsCouncil.org offers teaching resources and infographics to illustrate what “whole grain” is and how to recognize whole grain foods using the foods label and with their Whole Grain Stamp.  The many benefits of eating cooked whole grains and baking with whole grain flours, rolled grains or meal are illustrated using their infographic.

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Another helpful guide to define what grains are “ancient,” and what are “pseudo” is Ancient Wheat and Pseudo Grain prepared by the Wheat Foods Council.

 Cooking and baking with whole grains, the flour and meal produced from them can be fun as well as challenging. In baking, if too much non-wheat grain is substituted, results may be disappointing.  Access Baking with Whole Wheat Flour 101,  and make a note:  Almost any recipe that is already great could be baked with a mixture of non-wheat whole grain flours or meal if it is no more the ¼ or 25% of the flour in the recipe.

  • Example: A pancake recipe calls for 2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour—you can use 1 ½ cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour plus ½ cup of a multi-grain mixture like cornmeal, flax meal, oatmeal, sorghum, spelt or other flours

The Home Baking Association members include many historic, regional mills. Stone-Buhr Flour buys regionally and mills soft Pacific Northwest Wheat, ideal for flat breads, crackers, Asian noodles and pastries. Bake your own whole grain cracker to celebrate whole grain month.

Bake your grand finale to September by choosing another historic flour to bake whole wheat biscuit whole grain, biscuit and breakfast celebrations.

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Biscuit Bonanza

“Biscuit Month” has come again and brings to mind a life-long challenge for me—to bake a really great biscuit.  Is it because I was born in northern Iowa that I am biscuit-challenged?  Lack of success is not for lack of trying.  For anyone else who’d love to improve their biscuit baking skills, I’m trying these remedial steps for improvements:

  1. Start with the right wheat flour from the six classes of Wheat and Flour 101 Flour used in biscuit baking should be “softer,” (lower in the flour proteins called gluten). Famously good biscuit bakers also bake with self-rising, all-purpose, and for whole grain biscuits, whole white wheat.
  2. Learn the difference in leavening commonly used in biscuit baking, baking powder and baking soda, and use the correct one. What’s the difference between Baking Soda and Baking Powder?
  3. Entrust your efforts to test kitchens that know biscuits, Crisco Baking Powder Biscuit.

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Include one of the longest sources of soft wheat flour milling for biscuits, Southern Biscuit flour.  If these brands are not available near you, find a self-rising flour for starters.

  1. Watch a pro–fifth generation milling CEO and biscuit baker–Robert Harper. Robert will share his best family biscuit favorites from Hopkinsville, Kentucky as he prepares Cinnamon Biscuits at www.sunflourflour.com
  2. Finally, the best way to groove what you know is to share it—teach it. A ready-to-go lesson, Explore Biscuit History and Traditions, available from those who’ve produced the baking powder to leaven biscuits for over 150 years. Buttery Breakfast Biscuit lesson.

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Keep in mind, the biscuit should be served with butter!  Explore a whole flight of deliciousness, sweet or savory here!

 

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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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