Archive for July, 2009

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Friday Baking with NotQuiteJuneCleaver Recipes for July 3- July 10

Welcome to this week’s challenge recipes!  All the same rules apply. You have until 8a.m. CST to get your recipes from the last challenge posted.  I am a little early with these but we have a slightly busy weekend ahead!  As I am sure you do too.  Have a LOVELY 4th of July.  Be safe.  Eat too much.  Take a nap.

If you have a sec click on the Madsen Cycles link in my right side bar and help me enter to win that VERY cool bike! You can read all about the contest when you get to their website.  Heck, you may want to throw your name in the hat as well.

Oh…and one more thing.  BIG Vintage GiveAway will be announced Monday…so stay tuned! This giveaway has nothing to do with the Friday Baking – its a just because giveaway!

First up the savory recipe.  Thanks to Rachel I can tell you these are some fine pretzels. Why don’t you mosey over and take a look at her blog while you are at it?  Great photos and some awesome recipes.


Soft Pretzels

Makes 12

* 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast (1/4 ounce)
* 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 1 cup warm water
* 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
* Vegetable oil, for baking sheets
* 3 tablespoons baking soda
* 1 tablespoon pretzel salt
* Assorted mustards, for serving


1. Mix yeast, coarse salt, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl, whisking until sugar dissolves. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Mix flour and cayenne in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Slowly pour yeast mixture over flour mixture, stirring to combine. Using your hands, gather dough together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it is no longer sticky, about 5 minutes. Cover with plastic, and let rise for 30 minutes.
4. Cut dough into 12 pieces, and roll each into an 18-inch rope. Form a U shape with 1 rope, and twist ends together twice. Fold twisted portion backward along center of U shape to form a circle, then gently press ends of rope onto dough to seal. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet, and repeat. Let rise for 20 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add baking soda. Boil pretzels in batches until puffed and slightly shiny, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to wire racks to drain. Return to baking sheet, sprinkle with pretzel salt, and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Pretzels will keep, uncovered, at room temperature for up to 12 hours. Rewarm in a 250-degree oven if desired, and serve with mustards.

Now for your yummy sweet recipe…German Chocolate Cake.  I picked this because I am constantly amazed at the peeps who only ever use cake mixes.  Don’t get me wrong…cake mixes are GREAT and I do use them.  I have about 3001 Bundt cake recipes that use cake mix.  Plus cookie recipes and cake pops.  But you really should have a repertoire of good from scratch cake recipes for special occasions.


This is usually the cake we make for Husband’s birthday. It just maybe his favorite.

* 4 ounces Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate, melted and cooled
* 2 1/3 cup cake flour
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2/3 cup butter, room temperature
* 1 cup buttermilk, divided
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2 eggs
* Coconut pecan frosting and filling, below

Grease two 9-inch layer cake pans and line bottoms with waxed paper. Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cream butter; add flour mixture, 3/4 cup buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened; beat at medium speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes, scraping bowl from time to time. Add melted chocolate, eggs, and remaining 1/4 cup buttermilk. Beat 1 minute longer. Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 35 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on rack for 15 minutes. Remove and cool completely on racks. Frost with coconut pecan frosting, below.

Coconut Pecan Frosting and Filling

* 3/4 cup evaporated milk
*1 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup butter
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
* 1 1/3 cups Baker’s Angel Flake coconut (3-ounce can)
* 1 cup chopped pecans

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, sugars, butter, and vanilla. Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat (mixture might appear a bit curdled). Quickly stir a small amount of the hot liquid into the beaten egg yolks; return egg yolk mixture to the hot mixture in saucepan and blend well. Return to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in coconut and pecans. Cool to spreading consistency, beating occasionally.

NOTE: The original recipe called for 1/2 cup light brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar for the frosting.  HOWEVER, Rachel found the frosting gets too hard if you use brown sugar.


Thoughtful Thursday (and an apron giveaway plug)

I am deep in thought this morning.  Thinking of potatoes.  Yep potatoes.  And wondering if I will EVER learn to make consistently good (nevermind great) potato salad.  It seems that and baked beans are the only two things I am responsible for at our Fourth of July shindig.  I would be happy for any of you to leave me your recipe in the comments or better yet email it to me.

Yes, I realize I said a couple of weeks ago that I would be discussing our plans for our Independence Day gathering in detail.  I didn’t intend to NOT do it.  But good grief the last week has been less like a whirlwind and more like a storm!  Husband came home Thursday night (YAY) and in seemingly good health until he woke up Friday morning with some sort of eye “explosion”.  It was red and the eyeball membrane (I don’t know what else to call it) was swollen with fluid underneath it (makes me a bit queasy to type this).  Husband remembered something flying in his face on the bus ride from Sfax to Tunis the day before but thought whatever had hit him in the eye (seemingly dust particles or sand) had been rubbed out since his eye didn’t bother him on Thursday.  But Friday morning…different story.  The day rocked on and finally he asked me to get a flashlight and my reading glasses and see what I could find.  I saw what I thought was a speck of black something or other and a very fluid filled place on his eyeball.  He has me get a q-tip ’cause he thinks I can fix pretty much anything, and yeah, I did get the speck but the fluid…still there.  At this point I convince him that a doctor visit is just about mandatory.  I start calling.  Friday afternoon is no time to try and find a doctor.  Seriously.  My final call was to a friend who is an RN at our usual hospital and though she was off work, she made a call for us and out the door we went to the ER.   We were quickly ushered in to an exam room where we were not quickly seen.  But at least we didn’t catch something waiting in the outer waiting room. The doctor was pretty concerned about the laceration (YIKES – I think that means CUT) on Husband’s eyeball.  He didn’t really want to do anything but call an ophthalmologist and get us out of the ER.  So he gave him two prescriptions per the ophthalmologist’s orders (by phone) with instructions to see the ophthalmologist on Saturday and we headed to the pharmacy.  And then the next pharmacy.  And the next.  And the next.  And the next.  I finally got one of the drops filled, the other…not to be had.  Thankfully the one I could get was the antibiotic.  The other was for pain and I had already decided I thought I had enough Lortab at home left over from his last kidney stone to knock him out if necessary.  Now the fun began.  Directions for the antibiotic drops: One drop in affected eye every thirty minutes for the next 4 hours and then every hour thereafter until seen by opthomologist on Saturday afternoon.  HUH? Say what?  That sounds a bit much don’t you think?  The kicker: Husband really and truly cannot put drops in his own eye.  Never has been able to.  So we get home, he goes to bed because he is absolutely spent.  Between the jet lag and the eye problem, he’s got to get some rest.  The “every 30 minutes” thing was to be over at 11pm and then the “every hour” thing started.  So I stayed up, and woke him up every 30 minutes and put a drop in his eye.  I looked up the ophthalmologist’s number on the Internet and called his answering service.  I explained to them the reason for my call.  I couldn’t get one of the prescriptions filled.  The answering service said they would have Dr. Lewis call me right back.  I almost didn’t get the phone hung up before it rang.  It was Dr. Lewis.  WOW.  So we talk about the fact that the drop I couldn’t get wasn’t crucial, but would have been nice for pain.  I told him Husband was sleeping well.  He says “Well, you have my cell phone now on your caller ID so call me if you need me.  But for sure call me in the morning and we will set a time for me to meet you at my office and see him.”  WOW again.  I explained to him that we already had an appt on Saturday morning to get Ben’s brace off  (remember the fracture when I was supposed to be helping with my brother?) and he said to just call when we were through.  Then I set my cell phone alarm for 12 am, 1 am, 2 am, 3 am, 4 am.  WHAT? I am only allowed 5 alarms???? Crap.  Okay.  Fine.  I set the alarm clock on his bedside shelf for 5 am.  Like a good girl, I woke up with each alarm (sometimes I didnt really sleep between them) and nudged him and put a drop in his eye.  I just stayed up after the 5 am drop.  This was now Saturday morning. About 7 I started waking people up and getting ready to head to Ben’s appt and then to the eye dr.  Dr. Lewis met us and was pleased that the cut seemed to be healing and he wanted to see Husband on Monday.  GREAT! We will already be in The City for two other appts on Monday!  VERY convenient.  So Sunday…I didn’t do a thing except vegetate! Monday rolled around and off we go.  Husband and I both had physicals that morning – you know, cholesterol and all that stuff, eye dr, then my yearly “woman” appt.  LOVED the new dr we saw for the physicals.  He was great.  He’s my brother’s dr.  And yeah, that’s what prompted all this…when your younger (much younger) brother has triple by-pass, you think maybe you might want to check on things.  I have to go back for another EKG in 5 weeks.  I am anxious to get all the blood work results for both of us.  Then on Monday night our oldest brought his little man Sam to spend the week with us.  To say we have been busy is such an understatement!  Now the 4th is upon us!  But we will be ready!

OH and don’t forget tomorrow new recipes will be up for Friday Baking with NotQuiteJuneCleaver!

NOW for the apron giveaway! Check out The Secret Stitch Club’s ALL THINGS LIME recipe and giveaway! Here’s a sneak peek:

limebowNow get over there and enter to win!!!

I guess this is all for today.  See you tomorrow with new recipes!

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