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Sunday, March 30, 2008


Daring Bakers March Challenge :: Dorie's Perfect Party Cake

I did it!
Just under the wire, but it's done. this is my second DB challenge and i have to say it was really fun!! this month it was Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake. the recipe comes from her book Baking From My Home To Yours. lots of peeps in the food blog world love Dorie. i'd never heard of her until recently and i have to say i'm a fan!

anyways, i was stressing out all month about the challenge because i hate to bake and not have a good occasion for the eating of it. i was thinking i'd bring the cake to my mom's for easter, but then we ended up staying at home for easter, so when to bake a cake? who would eat it?

then, i read the challenge directions again and saw that included instructions for freezing the fully frosted cake! so, that's what i did.

this little number's in the freezer now waiting for next saturday when she'll come out for a small family gathering we're having. i'll deck her out in fresh raspberries. maybe a little candied violet or 2 and she'll be feeling real sassy and ready to party. she is the perfect party cake, after all!

so, here's the cake looking a little un-dapper. but i'll post more pics after i decorate and slice in. i can't wait to taste it, too, of course!

thanks to morven for a great challenge--it was fun. the directions were easy to read and understand.

well, i'm off to check out everyone's cakes. . .


For the Cake:

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp pure lemon extract

For the Buttercream:

1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For Finishing:

2/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves stirred vigorously or warmed gently until spreadable
About 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2- minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature, right side up (the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to two months).

Put the sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl or another large heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a plan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream. Remove the bowl from the heat. Working with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 5 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment if you have one, and add the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth. Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes. During this time the buttercream may curdle or separate – just keep beating and it will come together again. On medium speed, gradually beat in the lemon juice, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding more, and then the vanilla.
You should have a shiny smooth, velvety, pristine white buttercream. Press a piece of plastic against the surface of the buttercream and set aside briefly.

Using a sharp serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, slice each layer horizontally in half. Put one layer cut side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. Spread it with one third of the preserves. Cover the jam evenly with about one quarter of the buttercream. Top with another layer, spread with preserves and buttercream and then do the same with a third layer (you’ll have used all the jam and have buttercream leftover). Place the last layer cut side down on top of the cake and use the remaining buttercream to frost the sides and top. Press the coconut into the frosting, patting it gently all over the sides and top.

The cake is ready to serve as soon as it is assembled, but I think it’s best to let it sit and set for a couple of hours in a cool room – not the refrigerator. Whether you wait or slice and enjoy it immediately, the cake should be served at room temperature; it loses all its subtlety when it’s cold. Depending on your audience you can serve the cake with just about anything from milk to sweet or bubbly wine.

The cake is best the day it is made, but you can refrigerate it, well covered, for up to two days. Bring it to room temperature before serving. If you want to freeze the cake, slide it into the freezer to set, then wrap it really well – it will keep for up to 2 months in the freezer; defrost it, still wrapped overnight in the refrigerator.

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Friday, March 28, 2008


asparagus :: the food of kings

hooray! spring is coming, people! (she says as it snows outside)

i don't know about you, but we New Englanders are pretty psyched to see the happy, sun-warm, weather coming on the horizon. but, then again, we're never happy. we'll be complaining about the heat soon enough.

right now, we're getting excited about Springtime produce and first on the list is a true harbinger of Spring--Asparagus! it took me a long time to learn to appreciate it. When I was a kid I thought it was just awful--right up there with cherry tomatoes--those red, squishy, slimy wanna-be grapes. but now that my tastes and I have matured, i'm all about this green, stalky friend. saute 'em, grill 'em, puree them in a soup and i'm there.

want a tiny bit of history? (it's actually interesting)

the word asparagus comes from Greek meaning, "sprout" or "shoot." it's a member of the Lily family. (who knew?) the cultivation of this stalky veg dates back more than 2,000 years in the eastern Mediterranean region. Greeks and Romans alike prized it not only for its texture and mature flavor, but also for its alleged medicinal properties. (it was believed to cure toothaches and bee stings). a friend told me recently that eating canned asparagus cured her of a urinary tract infection. so, there ya go. a multi-purpose vegetable. King Louis XIV of France dubbed it the "Food of Kings." he had special greenhouses built so that he could enjoy it year round.

that's devotion! I can respect that kind of food obsession. this is a vegetable that's so cool it's got it's own .org. seriously. go to to find out just about anything you would want to know.

here is my favorite spring/summer recipe. it's so easy, i sort of hesitate to call it a recipe. but it's wikkid yummy!

serves 4

1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt

:: heat grill to medium-high. in a shallow bowl drizzle asparagus with olive oil.

:: grill asparagus until tender and browning slightly. turn it frequently for about 5 minutes. transfer to platter. sprinkle with salt to taste. serve warm or at room temperature.

:: i prefer to lay the asparagus right on the grill, but there is the risk of losing some through the grates. that's a risk I'm willing to take. you can also thread them onto skewers or put them in a disposable pan.

now that's good grilling!

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cupcake love

my cupcake hero entry was mentioned over at All Things Cupcake in the Weekly Cupcake Collection!

that's pretty cool! i like gettin' some love. and ATC is such a fun blog.

: )


Thursday, March 27, 2008


a departure from the food

have you all been over to Mike Leonen's blog? it's called Something About Parenting. it's something you should check out. Mike writes really fun and thought-provoking posts on the ins and outs of parenting. he's also a phenomenal artist. this is one of his, called Banana Slide (i chose one with food in it to try and keep it on task with the food blog here). i love this illustration!

Mike did some work for me over Christmas last year. he altered 2 photos for me--one of each of my kids. and the came out just fabulous. i would love to show you, but the hubby doesn't want me to post photos of the kiddos faces. so i don't. the work mike did was really cool. he made a picture of my son in his baseball cap and baseball glove just POP with vibrant color. he drew baseball bats and baseballs around the edges and added some fun text. for my daughter who was only 3 months old, he made her close-up all soft and warm and golden. truly lovely. i highly recommend Mike. if want a special gift or a keepsake for yourself, send him some pictures of your kids. you won't be sorry you did!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


cookie carnival :: march round-up!

we have carnival'd! not as many people who signed on came through, but we still had a great month and we'll hopefully see them in april. i'm just so thrilled that folks wanted to do this with me at all!

so, on to this month's cookie. i have to say, they were kind of pain in patootie to make, but dang, they are TASTY little buggers. really tasty. worth the bit of frustration. . .

of course i h
ad my little kitchen helper on hand to help me thru it. he, as usual, had to make "my OWN cookies, mommy!" so, i had support. the trouble comes when rolling the log. the dough tends to crack and crumble a bit, so i had to sort of do repair work as i rolled, pinching the dough back together. i have no idea why this happened--i'm not a skilled enough baker. but, i wonder if it has to do with the temperature of the dough or the flour to fat ratio.

Bon Appetit | February 2004

Makes 2 dozen.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar and beat until blended. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture and beat until moist
clumps form. Gather dough into ball. Flatten and shape into rectangle. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated. Soften dough slightly before rolling out.)

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 13x10-inch rectangle (about 1/4 inch thick). Mix jam and coconut in small bowl to blend. Spread over dough, leaving 1/2-inch plain
border. Sprinkle nuts evenly over jam mixture. Starting at one long side, roll up dough jellyroll style into 13x2 1/2-inch log. Wrap in plastic and chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap cookie log; cut 1/2 inch off each end and discard. Cut remaining log crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Arrange rounds, cut side down, on prepared sheets, spacing 1 inch apart; reshape into neat rounds, if desired. Bake cookies until edges and bottom are golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool.

holly from pheMOMenon played along this month. here's her post. she and her son seemed to have no trouble making them. . .or eating them!

also joining this month was kitty from boring history girl. here's her post. she had a heap of trouble with the recipe, but she's got a good sense of humor about it. check out her post for the sorta sad pictures of her cookies! sorry, kitty! it'll be better next time, i'm sure!

and then there's cara from the picky apple. she had a hard time of it, too--due to sleep deprivation. believe me, cara, i've been there! many times. check out her funny post here.

lastly (but not leastly) we have mari at mevrouw cupcake who expertly thought to add vanilla bean to the dough. umm....YUM! check her post here.

if you'd like to join april's carnival, we would love to have you! drop me an email--kate AT thecleanplateclub DOT net.

thanks to everyone who participated!

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Sunday, March 23, 2008


cupcake hero :: march marshmallow!

could i be the next cupcake hero? is it possible? well, i'm not saying it's NOT possible, but given that it's my first try at this wikkid fun food blog event, i'm not holding my breath. i had a great time coming up with a good entry, though.

the theme for the month was MARSHMALLOW. so, of course i went down the s'mores path. but ultimately, i couldn't find a suitable way to get
the graham into the mix. a chocolate cupcake with marshmallow frosting would be excellent, but how do you get the graham in there? well, i also figured there'd be lots of s'mores-type entries, so i gave up on the quest and finally landed on a recipe i have had for years--raspberry cupcakes. i usually do a lemon glaze on them, but for the challenge, i made it a lemon marshmallow frosting which *totally* rocked. it was SO good.

so, here's how it's done:


1 egg
4 egg whites
2/3 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

4 teaspoons baking powder
1 2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup raspberry puree (approx. 1 pint of raspberries, sieved to remove seeds)

1/2 cup milk
2 1/4 cup flour

:: preheat oven to 350.

:: with an electric mixer, mix all ingredients on low speed to combine, and then on high speed for about a minute.

:: pour into 18 prepared cupcake tins, and bake for around 20-25 minutes.

2 large egg whites
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
9 standard-size marshmallows
3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

::In a large bowl with electric mixer on high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium high and boil until a thin syrup forms that drops in a thin thread from spoon -- about 15 minutes.

:: With mixer on medium speed, gradually pour half of the syrup into egg whites and beat until soft peaks form; keep remaining syrup at a simmer. Add marshmallows, one at a time, to syrup mixture until the marshmallows melt down. Gradually beat syrup into the frosting mixture until it reaches spreadable consistency. Beat lemon juice in.

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happy easter!


Thursday, March 20, 2008


comfort food :: beef stew

it's been rainy and COLD and overall kinda miserable here in my corner of new england. we're wishing for spring, and it comes way to slowly! so, i turn to comfort food.

for me and the husband, beef stew is good, cold weather comfort food. and of course i made martha's fab layered biscuits (again) because they are just too damm good.

have you seen the movie Big Night? it's about a pair of
brother's trying to keep their little, authentic italian restaurant alive when they are across the street from a much more american italian place that's kind of the neighborhood hot spot. there's a line in that movie about one of the dishes being "so good you have to kill yourself!" it's classic. the movie is a must-see for the many many classic lines. anyway, that's this meal--the biscuits are perfect and the beef stew is just so rich and warm and flavorful. it's good eats on a cold cold not-winter-but-not-yet-spring night.

i've tried many'a beef stew recipe and i've found this one from emeril (around here we just refer to him as "bam!"). it's simple and it's delicious. and here it is:

courtesy of
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 4 cups dark veal or meat stock
  • 1 large Idaho potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the vegetable oil. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Toss the beef with the flour. When the oil is hot, add the meat and cook until the meat is browned, about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the onions, celery and 1 tablespoon of garlic and continue to cook until the vegetables are wilted and golden about six minutes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
Deglaze the pan with the stock, scraping the browned particles away from the pan. Add the potatoes and
carrots. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is very tender. Stirring occasionally.
Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of minced garlic. Reseason the stew if necessary.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008


reminder :: williams-sonoma giveaway

hey folks, it's great how many people have visited and entered the giveaway. a quick reminder, though. . .

be sure to leave a link to your blog post mentioning the giveaway! i can't enter you without that. just wouldn't be fair to those who have done it.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008


breakfast :: muffins!

who doesn't love a good muffin and cuppa-somethin'-hot in the morning?

i, for one, am a big fan of the breakfast meal in general, but don't always have the appetite or the time to down eggs, toast and bacon. sometimes you need a grab & go brekkie option and muffins are the answer in my book.

fortunately, this also true for my son. his biggest joy in life is going out for a muffin. seriously. the kid thinks this is just the most fun. which is nice for me because, well, he's easy to please! whenever things start to go awry or we need an outing, we head to a cafe or bakery and get a muffin.

that being said, i do like to make them at home now and then, too. baking them myself means; they're fresh, i can put whatever i want in them and i can freeze some for later snacking. what could be better?

there are different ways to go when considering the muffins you want to bake. do you want something healthy--are you in a wheat and flax seed kind of mood? are you a fruit muffin purist like my son--gotta have blueberries or cranberries in there? or are you craving something sweet like a chocolate chipper or coffee cake style? It doesn't matter because there is something out there for each of these moods and needs.

today i offer you our favorite recipe--Oatmeal-Banana Muffins w/ Chocolate Chips. sorta desserty, sorta snacky, all yummy.

These muffins are not for the timid.

1 1/4 cups rolled oats
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Line muffin tin cups with paper liners.
3. Spread the oats onto a baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes or until a light golden. Set aside to cool.
4. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir in oats.
5. Whisk together the sugar, bugger, eggs, bananas, buttermilk and oil in a separate bowl until well blended.
6. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir just until moist and blended. (And no longer! Put that spatula down!)
7. Scoop the batter into the prepared tin with an ice cream scoop (fill to just about the top).
8. Bake 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
9. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before turning muffins out. Serve immediately!


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Sunday, March 16, 2008


taste&create :: pork and red curry stir fry

it's my first ever entry in the fun foodie blog event Taste&Create. it's hosted by nicole over at For The Love of Food. it's really fun!

the basic idea is that you sign up to play
, then nicole pairs you up with another foodie blogger. you then scan that person's blog for a recipe that you'd like to make, you make it, blog about it, then send the link to your post to nicole for the round-up on her blog. fun!

i had a great time sifting thru the wonderful recipes on gay's foodie blog A Scientist in the Kitchen. I chose Pork and Red Curry Stir Fry with Thai Basil. it was yummy! admittedly, our food tastes seem quite different, but i was happy to be paired with ASITK, because it was a good chance to branch out. and i DO like the kinds of food on the blog, i just don't tend to make it at home much. this is due, in part, to the fact that my husband can be a picky eater, so, i tend to lean toward his tastes. BUT he loved this dish! and so did i!

Here's the recipe:

300 grams thinly-sliced pork strips
2 tbsp red curry paste
1 tbsp sugar
5 clove garlic, finely chopped
50 grams green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
5 or more basil leaves

Heat oil in wok and add the red curry paste. Add the chopped garlic, mix for several seconds then the meat and sugar. Stir fry till meat is done. Add 1/4 cup water and scrape the paste that stuck to the pan. Adjust flavor for saltiness, sweetness or hotness (these flavors should be balanced). Add the beans and mix a few times till beans are half done. Add the basil last and mix 3-5 times. Serve with rice.

i had to change one thing. i used asparagus instead of green beans. i was sure i had bought some, then when i went to make the dish, i realized i hadn't! i hope it's okay to substitute like that.

it was yummy and i'll totally make it again. i'll also be particpating in Taste&Create again, it's a fun one!

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Friday, March 14, 2008


sick :: i'm not ignoring you

hey to all the fine folks who check in on my blog.

i've been a little out of the action. my son had a *nasty* tummy bug. he's still not over it. it's been 5 days. and lucky me, he's passed it on!

hope to be back posting again really really soon. . . .for now, bed.



Tuesday, March 11, 2008


bloggy giveaway :: a williams-sonoma gift card!

it's true.

i'm giving away a $50 gift card for williams-sonoma! w00t!

okay, all you foodies out there---what's on your wish list? have you been hankering for a new cake pan? or maybe your favorite skillet has seen better days? or maybe something fun like a decorating kit would just make your day? whatever your desire--you deserve it! enter the
giveaway--it's easy. i'll be picking a winner (randomly) on May 1st. the giveaway closes at 5pm EST on April 30th.

here's what you do to win:

:: mention this giveaway on your blog with a link to this post. (maybe mention what you would buy with the gift card if you won it?)

:: leave a comment on this post with a direct link to your blog post that mentions the giveaway

:: check back here on MAY 1st, noon EST to see if you won

easy-peasy. now getting browsing! and remember the giveaway closes April 30th, 5pm EST

: )

Sunday, March 9, 2008


good snacking :: potato pancakes!

this weekend i felt like trying something new, but not terribly complicated. as mentioned before, i love pancakes and i love potatoes, so i figured that potato pancakes (latkes) would be right up my alley. and they were. so much so that to my hubby i was all, "this is crazy! why have i never made these before?"

the best part is the ingredients needed to make them are things i usually have on
hand. including applesauce for serving on the side. easy. yummy.

adapted from fine cooking magazine

2 1
/2 lbs. russet potatoes (4 medium), peeled
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large egg
2 tbs. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
freshly ground pepper to taste

sour cream and/or applesauce for serving

1. heat oven to 250 degrees.

2. grate potatoes in food processor, transfer to a clean kitchen towel, wrap and squeeze as much water out of the potatoes as possible.

3. in the food processor, replace the grating disc with the chopping blade. add 1 tbs. of the oil and the onion, egg, flour, baking powder, pepper and the salt to the food processor bowl, then add the potatoes, process for 10 seconds. scrape down the sides and process again for 10-15 seconds more. transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

4. have ready a large plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels. in a 10" skillet, heat 1/8 inch of remaining oil over medium heat until it shimmers. with a soup spoon ladle four mounds o
f the potato mixture into the oil and spread slightly with the back of the spoon until they are about 3 1/2" in diameter.

5. cook until the pancakes are a deep golden color, 2-3 minutes. lift the with spatula and turn them over. cook second side 2-3 minutes more. transfer to paper towel-lined plate or baking sheet and blot well and sprinkle with salt. keep them warm in the oven while you cook
the rest. add oil as needed to maintain and 1/8" level of oil.

6. serve warm with sour cream and/or applesauce.

there's still time to join the cookie carnival for march!

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Thursday, March 6, 2008


cooking with kids :: rolly-polly pancakes

it's a crepe! it's a pancake! whatever it is--it's yummy!

breakfast is by far the easiest meal around here. in fact, some days i serve only breakfast foods all day because it's easier than fighting to get my 3.5 year old to eat a chicken nugget or godforbid a vegetable.

given that many of his favorite breakfast foods are sweet or have sweet syrup on top, I try to make healthy versions of things that go under the syrup like waffles, pancakes and french toast. whatever a mom can do to keep healthy and still edible, you know?

with that, I give you Rolly Polly Pancakes. part crepe, part pancake, all YUM. these are particularly fun for kids, because you can roll just about anything up inside them creating many different tastes in one snack-sitting. we like bananas, walnuts, raisins, jam, almond or peanut butter and sometimes even O's (Joe's Os or Cheerios). cold glass of soy milk and we're good to go!


definitely use a non-stick pan--don't bother with any other kind unless you are French or like a good cry.
recipe from the Kinderhof Cookbook.

3 eggs
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose is fine, too)

1 1/2 cup soy milk
(or cow)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt

1. beat all the ingredients with a whisk or in the blender until smooth. let the batter stand for about a half hour.

2. heat your pan on medium, add a bit of butter to the pan and ladle about 1/3 of a cup into the pan. tilt and swirl until evenly spread.

3. cook for about a minute, until the edges can be easily lifted. flip and cook lightly on the other side--20-30 seconds.

4. slide onto a plate, slather with the fillings of your choice, roll and eat!

got any fail-safe kid recipes you wanna share? i'm all ears!

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008


cookie carnival :: march

it's carnival time!
so, this month's cookies are RASPBERRY SWIRL! yum. the posting date for the round-up will be MARCH 24th. happy baking, everyone!

if you are looking to join up, we'd love to have you! here's how it works:

:: send an email to kate{AT}thecleanplateclub{DOT}net, please put "cookie carnival" in the subject line. and i'll email you the recipe of the month.

:: when you've made your batch of cookies and posted about it, email me the direct link to your post and i'll include you in the round-up on the specified day the end of the month. please include a picture if you can and i'll put that up as well.

:: i will send you an email every month with the recipe for that month. you are in no way obligated to participate every month, but this way you can if you want to. you can also email me to unsubscribe at any time.


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Monday, March 3, 2008


today :: crazy talk

i actually said this to my child today, "hey clambake! come here!"

no. not kidding. usually i am able to confine The Crazy to my head. sometimes it leaks out my mouth. today has been one of those times.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


weekend baking :: graham crackers

so far this weekend it has snowed about 8 inches, my husband broke a bone in his hand and the a baby's barfed on me twice. so, naturally we made graham crackers.

pure denial of the ugliness of the situation.

we got this recipe from my son's teacher. i think might have mentioned before that he goes to a Waldorf school. we love it. we also love these crackers. try 'em! they taste like the "real" thing and there's not a speck of graham flour in them. . . whatever that is.

we love these little buggers. (did i say that already? it's been a long day . . . or two.) we eat 'em with a multitude of toppings. jam, peanut butter, cream cheese, butter and honey. plain, but only if they are crispy. and with a glass of milk, of course. soy for me and the boy. dairy for the hubby. we're a multi-milk family.

as ever, my munchkin was in the kitchen with me. he loves to roll and cut the dough. although he likes the cutting part a lot, so he ends up with teeny tiny crackers. but, as usual, i try to just let him do his thing.



1/3 c. oil

1/3 c. honey

2 tbs. molasses

1/4 - 1/2 c. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 - 3 c. ww flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

oil or butter for greasing


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

2. Mix oil, honey, molasses, 1/4 cup of the milk and vanilla together in a small bowl.

3. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix. If mixture is too dry

add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk until it's wet enough to form a ball.

5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to about 1/4" thick. You can experiment with thickness--some people like a soft cracker, others like 'em thin and crisp.

6. Cut into squares and prick with a fork.

Bake for 10-12 min.

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