Sunday, September 21, 2014

Crusty Flat-bread

Looking for a flat-bread recipe was interesting and challenging mainly because most of the results on Pinterest that came up didn't look like flat-bread. They looked more like tortillas and pitas, which I suppose, are flat-breads. But not what I was looking for. And then my Mom found this recipe. It turns out that I should have searched for "Crusty Flat-bread"

For this recipe you will need:
  • 11/2 cups warm water
  • 11/2 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 packed cup of cooked mashed potato
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 41/2 cups flour 
Topping (If desired)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
The first thing you need to do is activate the yeast. Add the yeast to the water in a bowl, be sure to let it stand for 2 minutes. 

In a separate bowl, combine the mashed potatoes and olive oil together. Then add the flour and salt. Next, you add the water/yeast mixture and combine it all together until its just starting to come off of the sides of the bowl.

The next step is to turn the dough onto a floured counter, and knead it about 30 times with lightly oiled hands. Once you've done that, place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl to let it rise. You want to let it rise is a safe place, a cool oven is a good place - just make sure that you advise everyone that your dough is in there so they don't accidentally turn on the oven and bake your dough. This dough needs to rise for 3-4 hours.

After it has risen, you want to divide it in half.

The next step is to shape each half into a ball.

Once that is done, the next step is to flatten out the dough on a cookie sheet, press dimples into it and lightly oil it.

After that, you sprinkle the rosemary and salt. You could experiment with other herbs on it, as well.

This bakes at 425° Fahrenheit, for 25 minutes or until golden. When the flat-bread is done, it should sound hollow when you tap on it.

This flat-bread was delicious! It was good by itself and it was good as the bread for a sandwich. I am going to try this recipe again sometime, but I am not going to flatten it out so much because cutting the flat-bread in half, proved to be difficult, since it was so thin.

5 out of 5 cat whiskers.
Mom found the recipe here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Maggie Moo and Rosemary

Not a month has passed since Jack found his forever home and we are already back to full capacity... We are back to having 5 dogs in the house. 
Maggie Moo (left) and Rosemary (right)
We are fostering Maggie Moo and Rosemary for S.O.A.R. Doggy Rescue.

Maggie Moo

They are sisters. They were dumped at a local kill shelter. They are absolutely adorable!


If you have any guesses as to what breed they are, PLEASE comment!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Rosemary French Bread!

 I have no problem admitting that this is my favorite recipe. I just find it amusing because I thought for sure that it would be a desert recipe for my sweet tooth!

So, what do you do to your favorite recipe? Why, you try to make it better, of course! I put fresh rosemary in it. And boy, oh, boy was it good. 

To make this, you follow the instructions for the French Bread. The only difference is the rosemary. You add the finely chopped rosemary (2 sprigs) with the dry ingredients, and then you proceed as normal. (I used fresh rosemary from my garden.)

I rubbed some olive oil on the loaves before they went in the oven. But I would recommend rubbing olive oil on them after they have baked, that way you can taste the olive oil more.

5 out of 5 cat whiskers!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dog Painiting Part 2

As promised... Here are Apple, Charlie and Luna's works of art!
I might be a little biased because the three are our dogs, but these are my favorite paintings :-)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Gentleman Jack

Gentleman Jack finally found his forever home!

He now has people he can call his own and lives with a fellow canine and a cat.

It is bitter sweet, but I am really happy for him! His human sisters have hooked up with me on Instagram so that I can follow his new adventures... that makes me feel even better about picking them as his family!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dog Paintings Part 1

It turns out Jack and Willow are little artists :-)
A couple of weeks before Willow got adopted, she and Jack went outside and we had them create some works of art. Here are the results!

Jack's masterpiece
Willow's masterpiece
Now, before I show you the back I would like to take a moment to talk about these. Each of these captures their personalities so well. For example, Jack's looks spazzy, yet organized. Whereas Willow's looks like it's flowing and shy.

The back of Jack's
The back of Willow's
On the back, Mom glued a loop to hang the paintings and pictures of the dog who made the painting.

If you are wondering why this post is titled "Dog Paintings Part 1" well, this is why: Our dogs are yet to make their own masterpieces! So when they do, you know I'm going to share them here :-)

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Apple Pie Experiment

What would happen if you combined apple pie and an apple turnover together? My mom and I did an apple pie experiment with those two things in mind. And it is the very definition of delicious!

For the crust we used ready made pastry crust. We used two packages of the pastry sheets you can find in the freezer section. One box for the bottom and one for the top.

I recommend that you bake the bottom crust for 10 to 15 minutes before you put the filling in it and then the top crust. The reason I recommend this is because we didn't and the bottom didn't quite get cooked all of the way.

The filling was your standard apple pie filling... some Granny Smith apples, sugar, a pinch of cinnamon, etc.:-) What I'm saying is that you can use the filling from your apple pie recipe, because I know that everyone has their own special recipe, if you don't, there are plenty available online. The one my mom uses isn't written down anywhere... one day she will measure the ingredients out, write it down, and give it to my brother and I.

Once you put the apple filling in the pie dish with the crust, it's time to open the second package of pastry sheets. You'll want to roll them together on a piece of wax paper, or else it will be harder to get it on top of the pie. You will want to press the two sheets together to form one gigantic piece!

When you get the top crust on, make sure you cut slits and make sure to press the edges together well. We folded the edges under, for an extra thick crust.

This next part is optional. We wet the top slightly with water and then dusted it with coarse sugar. You could use an egg wash instead of water or you can skip this part.

We baked this at 400°F for about 45 minutes.

An up-close look at the rise of the crust!
It just looks gorgeous, doesn't it? Nice and golden and flaky! I just can't help but give this 5 out of 5 cat whiskers even though we should have cooked the bottom crust separately! I can't wait to try this again when the local apples start arriving at the farmer's market :-).

Monday, June 30, 2014

News And Miscellaneous Things

I know... It has been a little while since I've sat down and wrote a blog post. Maybe I was just waiting to do a blog post until I could tell you this really, really good piece of news.

Willow received another application. Better yet, it was approved. And best of all, today she meets her adopters!

See? I told you it was really good news! 


Willow left our house on Thursday, to go on transport to Pennsylvania. Bailey's Arms is having a huge adoption event up in Pennsylvania. People that live around there are going to the event to meet the dogs they fell in love with and adopted online and others are hoping to meet a furry companion to take home.


We have no idea how the trip up there went - the lady who heads the rescue hasn't given any updates, so we are waiting on pins and needles. But, the father and son that adopted Willow have already sent us a very nice, day by day email. They also sent some pictures and a video. It sounds like Willow is doing great!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Fondant Fun

I have had some fondant for a while, I've been meaning to try and decorate some cupcakes with it and I finally did the other day. I had a blast!

For the cupcakes, I did boxed cake mix (Butter Pecan flavor). And for the frosting I did my butter cream frosting, although next time I'm going to do a shortening based frosting because mom says that it will be smoother and hold up better in the heat. The trick with fondant is that you need to put a light layer of frosting down first, before applying the fondant. I used Wilton's Fondant that comes in a box in the baking section.

The best symbols of hope... Captain America's shield, the Mocking Jay pin and the Dauntless Faction symbol. These are my favorites!

So, here are a couple of things that I learned...
* The more you play with it, the softer and stickier the fondant gets. After I added color, I left the fondant to sit a little minute, that way it would lose some of it's stickiness. Upon the advice of a professional baker, I will try other brands of fondant because there are some that are better than others. 
* After the cupcakes have been decorated, they need to be stored in a container that let's the cupcakes breathe (like a cardboard box) because moisture and fondant don't go well together. The fondant starts to 'melt' when it can't breathe... dry air is better than moist air.   
* Playing with fondant is a lot like playing with polymer clay. So before you start decorating your cupcakes, you might want to look at polymer clay tutorials or how-to's, instead of just fondant tutorials. Also, fondant and polymer clay tools are very similar... so if you don't find what you want in the baking section, go to the polymer clay section of the craft store. Just to be safe, make sure not to use the same tools for both mediums... keep the tools you use for fondant separate from the polymer clay tools. I believe my mom has some very useful craft books about polymer clay that I need to borrow ;-). Your creative side is your best friend for this.
* Something to keep in mind is that you don't want to overload the cupcake with fondant. That will just detract from the taste of the cupcake. I think the role of fondant is to draw a person in so that they want to try the cupcake. Plus, not everyone likes fondant, it is rather sweet.  

* I used wax paper as the surface of rolling the fondant out, that way it was easier to remove. Or you can use cornstarch or powdered sugar on the counter top.


Roses can be green!

Here is a link for an easy way to make roses!

The part that was probably my favorite was photographing. I put the plate with the cupcake in the hallway and called the cats.

 At first, only Buffy came.

Buffy and Dixie
 But then Dixie decided to stick her head out and see what the fuss was about.

Buffy, Dixie and Einstein.
And then Einstein said "Hey! That has butter-cream, I want a taste."

So, in conclusion, playing with fondant is a lot of fun! I think for practice I will get my polymer clay out and spend a while playing without worrying about melting or sticking fondant. Also, I received some Gum Paste Mixture for my birthday and I cannot wait to try that!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Woof Gang Bakery Adoption Event

Over the weekend Jack and Willow went to another adoption event with Bailey's Arms. It was apart of the Woof Gang Bakery national adopt-a-thon.

To be very honest, not many people showed up, which can be attributed to a couple factors: 
  • The bakery was at the very back of a strip mall, so despite the signs saying 'Bailey's Arms adoption event this way -> ', no one really saw the event.
  • Most of the dog lovers were at a local event called Dog-A-Roo, which is a 4k walk/run with your dog. So next time, maybe the adoption event should be moved so that it isn't at the same time as a big event like that, or maybe have the adoption event at Dog-A-Roo.
I know that it's good for the dogs to have the exposure that comes with going to these adoption events, but when no one really shows up, you can't help but feel like it's pointless. But we will not give up!

On a brighter note: Willow did fabulous at her first adoption event! And most importantly, this was a nice low-key event to test her at... she is a bit of a chicken and sometimes new situations scare her and stress her out. She was a little shy at first, but then surprising us, she seemed to be quite content and in her element.

You might be wondering why she went to the event if she already has an application... The reason is that her application is still being reviewed, they need to make sure the people who submitted the application have a fenced yard. So we shall cross our paws and wish on a star that they do have a fence!

Gentleman Jack did as awesome as he did at his first event, two weeks ago. I find it so weird that someone hasn't seen how awesome he is and said "I want to be that guy's best friend" and actually submitted an application.

We have another adoption event planned for the end of May. Please send up a little prayer that these two find their forever homes so that we can help another dog get off of the streets or out of the shelter!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Oatmeal Cookies

I like oatmeal cookies. They're probably the only cookie that can be considered healthy, or at least, a little healthy :-). 

This recipe is kind of like a choose your own adventure, because oatmeal goes with just about anything... so you can put whatever you want in them. We've done them with dried cranberries, chocolate chips, pecans and butterscotch chips. They are ALL great. The batch we made most recently had chocolate and butterscotch chips, which is a pretty good combo!

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 11/2 cup flour 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 2 tbsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1-2 cups of whatever you want in it, like chocolate chips, dried cranberries, nuts, etc. I used 1/4 cup butterscotch chips (because that is all that we had in the pantry) and 1 cup chocolate chips.
The first thing you want to do is to cream the butter and sugars together. Once they're creamed together, add the eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Then you add the dry ingredients, mixing well. After that you add 1-2 cups of chips.

Before you start scooping cookie dough onto a cookie sheet, preheat your oven to 350°F.

For your cookie sheets you can use non-stick, or you can lightly grease regular cookie sheets with shortening or oil. Or, you can use parchment paper. I used non-stick cookie sheets.

I used a tablespoon to scoop them onto the sheet, but you can use an ice-cream scoop, or form them with your hands. It's all personal preference. They bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the oven.

My thoughts:  

The amount of butterscotch I put in this batch was the perfect amount. Because we've done it once with just butterscotch and no chocolate chips, and it seemed to be a little over-whelming. I'm not saying that just because I love chocolate, but because I think that butterscotch is a strong flavor.  

4 out of 5 cat whiskers!