I've made so many bloopers in the kitchen. SO MANY. There are probably 3-5 bloopers for every pretty picture that I post. It's part of the process, but it does make for a lot of cleaning. It also can potentially be a lot of food waste, but I've learned common rescues that can save some baking fails. I wish I could tell you that I've saved them all but cookies charred to a smoky crisp are going to taste like cookies charred to a smoky crisp no matter how pretty I make them look.
That said, take a look at these baking rescues I've regularly used before tossing the tray in the trash.
Cake Stuck to the Pan
Oh I know this frustration. You've carefully greased your cake pans and confidently placed your batter in the oven. The cake looks beautiful as you pull it out. You wait for it to cool and it falls apart with part of it stuck to the pan when you try to take it out. It smells and tastes great but argh. Here's 3 common things I've done to rescue a botched cake.
Crumbling Cookies or Energy Bites
I have completely burned cookies before...as in, beyond repair burned cookies. I can't help anyone there. Most of my cookie fails; however, have been situations where the flavor is good or almost where I want it, but the texture is a problem and they crumble. I've also made this mistake with energy bites. My go-to rescue for this situation is to use the work in progress as a "granola" on Greek yogurt.
Bread Didn't Rise
Bread baking can truly be a science. A loaf of bread can rise beautifully one day and not so much the next. I feel puzzled by it but it's interesting to analyze. I've rescued my less than ideal loaves of bread two ways.
There you have it! A few tips to save some of the baking bloopers that happen on occasion. I would love to hear more ideas if you have them! Send me any questions and have a great week.
Here's my mom & I about a bazillion years ago. Aren't we cute? It turns out that we are rolling into Mother's Day really soon over here in the US (my family in Ireland celebrates Mother's Day in March and it always confuses me). If you're like me and kind of a last minute person with gifts, here's a few ideas in the areas of food, faith, fun and New England local businesses to get you started thinking.
Ok, this one is completely inspired by my nostalgia for Irish food, but take a look at something like Irishify if you want to send a treat hamper to an Irish momma or send something a little different to brighten someone's day. Take a look at this gift basket called "The Wee Hamper" with Irish chocolates and snacks....my cousins sent me a hamper similar to this right after I gave birth to our son almost a year ago and it was one of the happiest things I've ever seen on my doorstep.
For the chocoholic mom in your life, take a look at Priscilla's Candy Shop in Gardner and Concord, MA. Their candy and chocolate is handmade on the premises and it is ah-mazing. I like to shop online and send Easter bunnies from Priscilla's to my nieces and nephews. Their shipping and attention to detail with online ordering is incredible.
For the charcuterie platter loving mom, head over to Smith's Country Cheese. I'm so glad that I'm local to this place because their Sage Cheddar Cheese is the stuff cheese dreams are made of. Not local? No worries! They ship cheese in a box! Check out all of their gift boxes so your the mom you're celebrating can kick back with an insanely good little cheese & cracker spread.
For the Baking momma, how about a beautiful apron? I have eyeballed the aprons worn by Damaris Phillips on the Food Network for years and it turns out that some of them are from this company here, Heirloomed. Those oatmeal linen aprons with the sash....stunning!
There are two small Catholic jewelry companies from which I have purchased or received a gift and I absolutely love them. Check out The Little Catholic for a huge variety of silver and gold jewelry. Their pieces are incredibly pretty and I particularly love the "Fiat" necklace I received as a gift last year.
The other company is Pink Salt Riot, which has many beautifully and faith inspired items to choose from. A couple of years ago, I purchased the Stone Sword Miraculous Medal Stack and it's such a pretty and fun piece. You can wear it three different ways and it complements both casual and dressy clothes. Both of these companies blew me away with how lovely their packaging was when I received the jewelry.
Also, every mom needs to read a good book written by another mother who fights the good fight in the areas of faith and family. A few of my favorites that I have read lately include Jennifer Fulwiler's A Beautiful Dream and Mary Lenaburg's Be Bold in the Broken and Be Brave in the Scared.
One thing I've learned this past year of postpartum ups and downs is that I feel more put together with a little bit of makeup and skin care. I came across Beauty Counter in the past year and it's so fun. Pretty colors, silky smooth moisturizer on my eyes and clean ingredients. I'm confident that there's something for every mom on this page. Go shop with Mary, my consultant, for all the goodies here!
Next on my list of fun things are earrings. This year hasn't been full of sleep but I find that a little makeup, a lot of coffee and a pair of cute earrings perk me up. Two beautiful little businesses from where I've recently purchased some fun statement earrings are Brinley & Co. and Whimsy Clay Design. These earrings can spruce up any outfit!
I know Mother's Day has highs, lows and it isn't easy for everyone. No matter how you are celebrating this upcoming Mother's Day or struggling this upcoming Mother's Day, please know that I'm praying for you all. Happy Mother's Day!
Our 2 1/2 year old has a fascination with farms, particularly cows. He says the word "cows" many, many times each day. So, we headed out to a local'ish farm recently, which is where this recipe was inspired with a little bit of seasonal New England food.
While at the farm, I picked up some parsnips and spinach. The only way I've eaten parsnips growing up was boiled and mashed in potatoes. Many of the boiled type dinners I had consisted of a mashed potato and veg. Parsnips or turnips would often be part of that mash. I wasn't a fan. I might get messages from some cousins on this one. I can't help it- it just wasn't my thing. It turns out that parsnips are crisp, sweet and delicious roasted with a little bit of olive oil and sea salt. Super simple. Then I paired them with this tangy, blender made dressing that has orange, ginger and it gets its creamy texture from a couple of tablespoons of tahini. The flavor combination works well. So let's get cooking this together.
-3-5 parsnips peeled and chopped
-olive oil drizzle
-spinach or other spring greens
For the dressing:
-1/2 cup sesame oil
-3 oranges juiced
-zest of 1 orange
-approx. 2 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped (you can use more or less depending upon how much ginger zing you would like)
-2 TBS tahini
-salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking tray with cooking spray. Peel and chop the parsnips and arrange in a single layer on the tray. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle sea salt. Roast at 400 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. Give them a little stir about 15-20 minutes into the roasting time.
While the parsnips cook, add the sesame oil, orange juice, orange zest, ginger, tahini and salt/pepper to a high speed blender or food processor. Blend until all combined.
Once the parsnips are finished roasting, serve them on a plate of spring salad greens, drizzle on the dressing and enjoy!
New England wife, mom & home baker. Faith, food, fitness, baking, cooking and constantly cleaning my kitchen.