Braided Everything Loaf

After the tiny finger cut debacle of July 18, I quickly realized that the location of the cut would make it difficult to work in the kitchen. Even with the use of the bandaid doing things was an awkward experience.

So, I had to wait until the cut was mostly healed before I was able to dive into cooking and baking again, especially for blogging purposes.

But that doesn’t mean I stayed out of the kitchen! Over last weekend my friend and I made a braided loaf of bread. But we spiced it up a bit — literally! We added Everything Bagel Seasoning to the top of the bread and that added so much flavor.

I didn’t really take pictures of the process, but I do have a photo of what it looked like after it came out of the oven.

Doesn’t it just look divine!

Sometimes Things Don’t Go According To Plan

You may recall that two weekends ago I was planning to make 5 Barefoot Contessa recipes over the course of the weekend. These included two cookie recipe as well as a full meal, BC style.

Well, the cookies were baked without a hitch. They were well-received by my family, friends, and co-workers. You can read about those recipes here and here. But like many things in life, the goal of knocking out a total of five recipes over just two days proved to be a little more difficult than I originally thought.

When it came time for to begin cooking dinner at my friend’s house, things started off decently. I wasn’t able to follow the chicken recipe to the T since I couldn’t find boneless chicken breasts with the skin on. Instead, I just bought regular boneless, skinless chicken and butterflied them before stuffing them with the goat cheese and basil.

There was a lot of action going on in the kitchen. A few pots on the stove, the chicken in the oven, watching the pasta, talking to my friend, etc. And that’s when it happened! I sliced by finger.

Granted it wasn’t a major cut by any means. Probably slightly worse than a standard papercut. But still, it caused the flow of the evening to change. I wasn’t able to take photos of the completed recipes, and to be honest, I kind of ended up deviating from the recipes as written.

I decided I’m not going to count these three recipes as completed. At some point, I’ll make them for real.

So, I only made two recipes that weekend not five. *sigh*

Barefoot Contessa Recipe 52

This recipe comes from Parties! page 236.

The second baking recipe I made over the weekend comes from the early days of Ina. Her second cookbook, Barefoot Contessa Parties! takes on a menu-based theme. Recipes are organized not by type, but by party theme.

The recipe I chose to make from this book is one of three variations on the same base recipe. Combined, all three would make wonderful treats for friends or family. But the star recipe of the bake on Sunday was the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk cookies.

There were surprisingly so simple to make. At first I was hesitant because there isn’t a lot of peanut butter in the recipe and it makes a lot of cookies…like over three dozen! At least that’s how many I got out of it. However, upon biting into one, they tasted like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup! I was in heaven!

In the recipe, Ina states that these cookies should bake for 17 minutes. I did that for the first tray of 8 cookies. But when I removed them from the oven, I found them to be too browned and overdone. When tasted, they were much drier and didn’t really have a lot of flavor. They were overdone.

So, I adjusted for the remainder of the batch. I baked them for only 16 minutes and they were perfect! What a difference 60 seconds could make, huh? Who would have thought so much could happen in such a short amount of time?

These cookies are super simple but packed with flavor. Everyone loved them. I think they belong on the Favorites list!

Barefoot Contessa Recipe 51

This recipe can be found in Back to Basics, page 214.

This past weekend was filled with baking and cooking! After a long hiatus, I finally got the BC bug and dived head first back into the project. Over the course of three days I made a total of five Barefoot Contessa recipes. You can see the full list here, but the different review posts will be dropping over the next couple of weeks.

Continue reading “Barefoot Contessa Recipe 51”

Weekend Recipes 7/16/2021

After a much longer than anticipated hiatus from baking and cooking for the blog, I am excited that this weekend I am planning to make no less than 5 (yes, 5!!) recipes. All of which are Barefoot Contessa recipes.

Today I am going to make one of the two cookie recipes that I’ve been eyeing for sometime. I plan to use the duck eggs that I talked about in an earlier post. I’m really excited to work with them!

Continue reading “Weekend Recipes 7/16/2021”

A Quick Update

It’s been a while since the last time I’ve made anything food-wise. That’s obviously led to the blog being a bit quiet. However, this weekend I am excited to try something new! A coworker of mine raises ducks and she gave me a full dozen duck eggs to try. I’ve heard that duck eggs are wonderful to use in baking, so naturally, I have to test it out. The results will be coming soon!

Herbal Update 7/7/2021

Photo by Taryn Elliott on

June came and went with a flash!

In recipe news, I didn’t meet my goal of 6 recipes, but I did make a few. Mostly desserts. I did get to post another original recipe, you can check that out here if you missed it.

However, this isn’t a recipe update. It’s an herbal update!

During the month of June, I worked on the Mircobiology unit. This unit was interested and I enjoyed that the supplied supplementary “textbook” was current. It even had information on COVID-19! After completing that unit, I moved onto the Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy unit. This has a few different lessons in the module and many videos and resources, so I will be focusing on this one for the month of July.

I anticipate beginning the Master Herbalist Program sometime in September. This is where my speed will slow a bit and my focus will shift to including more time to study. Eventually, I will have to make remedies and experiment with different herbs, which will be exciting! This course is it’s own separate course that has a length list of requirements that must be met in order to complete the course. At last look, I think there was around 2 dozen different things that had to be completed in order to earn the certificate.

Once I begin this course of the program, I am planning to do an herbal update every two weeks. This will help me stay focused and make sure I am dedicating enough time to my herbal studies. But for now, back to Pharmacognosy.

By the way, if someone who reads this can tell me how to PRONOUCE “Pharmacognosy,” I’d appreciate it. Thanks!

Magnolia Bakery Handbook 6: Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Pudding

Over the weekend, I was finally able to see some friends for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Both of these friends were former co-workers who have moved onto bigger and better opportunities. It is so strange, sometimes. You go from seeing certain people almost every day for years then suddenly overnight it’s over. It’s the same thing with graduating high school and even college.

We still keep in touch and had plans to see each other regularly, but the pandemic kind of put those plans on hold. We are now hoping to restart our regular visits.

We decided that I would host the little get-together, so naturally, I made a couple things. I made a lovely dip as an appetizer. In fact, it was Ree Drummond’s (The Pioneer Woman) Eight-Layer Dip. But the star of the show was the dessert!

This dessert is featured in the Banana Pudding chapter of the Magnolia Bakery cookbook. Banana Pudding seems to be their signature treat at the bakery. The chapter contains variations on the basic BP recipe: salted caramel, java chip, peanut butter, etc.

All of them look delicious. So, I figured combining the deliciousness of banana pudding with Nutella would be a hit! And it was!

But, I will say, I think the recipe for Banana Pudding that I made from Ina’s Garten’s cookbook tasted better. Maybe next time I’ll try that recipe with the Nutella addition!