Daring Bakers: Irish Soda Bread

Irish soda bread

Blog-checking lines: For the month of September Meredith from the Poco Loco Olsons challenged us to experiment with soda bread.DSC03779

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Happy adoption day!

In honor of which, this small rescue got some banana/pb/yogurt “icecream.” Definitely dog approved! I like it too: the recipe works for humans as well as dogs and I’ve been needing a frozen treat fix since Bluebell went AWOL all summer. I stir it every hour or so and eat it before it finishes freezing since it gets spoon-repelling hard once it’s been in the freezer overnight.

Can you believe she's making me wait?!

Can you believe she’s making me wait?!


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Daring Bakers: Yafawi Sfeeha

How happy was I to see this month’s challenge? SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HAPPY! I love baking, but lately I’ve found Daring Bakers a little frustrating in the proportion of sweet to non-sweet challenges. Not that I don’t love sweets, but here’s the problem: DB challenges tend to make generous quantities and recipes for baked goods generally shouldn’t be dramatically scaled down. There is only one of me. I do not need two trays/pans/ whatever full of something sweet to eat, all by myself, within the 2 days or so before it goes stale. No thank you. So thank you, Manal, for picking a savory recipe that I can eat all by myself in good conscience! Better yet, it’s a Middle Eastern family recipe!

These were delicious and surprisingly filling. I was surprised but delighted that despite using all the substitutions in the recipe, they still came out tasting distinctly Middle Eastern.

Yafawi SfeehaBlog-checking lines: The July Daring Bakers’ Challenge was brought to us by Manal from Manal’s Bites. She introduced us to an authentic Palestinian dish from Java that is served as a main meal along with a bowl of soup or a salad. The “Yafawi Sfeeha” or also known as “Milwayeh” which means twisted, is crispy yet tender and full of flavor.

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Daring Bakers: Focaccia

Who doesn’t love bread? And focaccia is a great thing to know how to make. Unfortunately, I am yet again behind on pictures so you will have to be patient.
Blog checking lines: For the month of April Rachael of pizzarossa and Sawsan of Chef in Disguise took us on a trip to Italy. They challenged us to try our hands at making focaccia from scratch.

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Daring Bakers: Tarte Tatin

SWEET!!!!!!!!!!!!! Really, it was. I loved the rough pastry, it poofed nicely for me but the overall effect was still too much sugar for me. Classy-looking though, if I ever need a nice dessert for some one with a serious sweet tooth 🙂

All the parts
Caramelizing apples

Tarte ready to bake

Baked Tarte

Final Tarte
One slice




Blog-checking lines:  For the March Daring bakers’ challenge, Korena from Korena in the Kitchen taught us that some treats are best enjoyed upside down. She  challenged us to make a tarte tatin from scratch.



I should also mention this was not accomplished without its share of mess. Not that the dog minded 😉

Caramelized kitchen

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Daring Bakers: Siopao

I love bread anything, and I love flexible challenges, so this was a good month! Stuffed bread is one of my favorites, although I usually tend toward Italian versions rather than this month’s Filipino inspired recipe. I chose to do the squash version of the filling, using acorn squash, pecans, and parmesan. Yummy!
Pictures to follow when I get around to uploading.
Blog-checking lines: The February Daring Bakers’ challenge is hosted by Julie of One-Wall Kitchen. She challenged us to an easy, simple filled bun using no-knead dough.
Julie’s recipe(s) can be found here.


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Daring Bakers: Beautiful Breads

February was DEFINITELY a winner! I love baking anyway (umm, duh, I’m a DB member) but it’s especially fun when things are as beautiful as they are delicious… AND easy to make. These were really no more trouble than regular cinnamon rolls, but had significantly more visual impact. Highly recommend them for your next brunch!

DSC03487DSC03498I actually had so much fun with this cinnamon breakfast beauty I decided to try a savory option and made a garlic bread (with the garlic butter baked in) in a slightly different pattern. Also delicious and beautiful!
Blog-checking lines: Beauty surrounded the Daring Bakers this month as our host, Sawsan, of chef in disguise, challenged us to make beautiful, filled breads. Who knew breads could look as great as they taste?

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Daring Bakers: Schichtorte

I wasn’t familiar with this month’s challenge recipe, and the method was certainly new: bake/broil a cake miniscule layer by miniscule layer, one on top of the next. Weird, yeah? As soon as a I read the recipe, I wondered how the result avoided complete dryout. In fact, it doesn’t and the resulting cake is dry and solid. According to my parents, it’s very popular in Indonesia where a slice might be brought along as a little gift when visiting a friend. I guess a little dryness is appreciated in a tropical climate?! Anyway, it’s the sort of thing that was worth trying once but I don’t expect to ever do again. I prefer my deserts soft and melty 😉
For a recipe, I used elements of two, although I 2/7th the recipe (yes, I’m crazy): http://blog.webicurean.com/easyrecipe-print/1572-0/ and http://www.larecetadelafelicidad.com/en/2012/05/baumkuchen.html#


Blog-checking lines: The January 2014 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Francijn of “Koken in de Brouwerij”. She challenged us all to bake layered cakes in the tradition of Baumkuchen (tree cake) and Schichttorte (layered cake).

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Daring Bakers: Pot Pie

For my pot pie, I went pretty simple from necessity–I didn’t have ingredients for anything fancy! In the end, it was a simple veggie pot pie (potatoes, onions, greens with a thick chicken broth sauce) in a double crust. Yummy, and I’d been wanting pie crust!
Blog-checking lines: Hannah of Rise and Shine was our October 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she challenged us to bake our own double crusted savory pot pies. Using any from-scratch crust and filling we choose, we were allowed to get completely creative with our recipe, showing off the savory flavors and fillings from our own home or region.

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Daring Bakers: Mawa “cake”

I didn’t want to make a full cake, so I made a 1/3 recipe and portioned it out as cupcakes/muffins with a sprinkle of ground hazelnuts on top. Very yummy!
DSC02325Blog-checking lines: Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen was our August 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she challenged us to make some amazing regional Indian desserts. The Mawa Cake, the Bolinhas de Coco cookies and the Masala cookies – beautifully spiced and delicious!


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