Posted on April 21, 2017
I’ve got a great recipe for homemade hot cross buns. Also, I have a ton of exciting news!
First: If you don’t feel like making 30 hot cross buns with this recipe I’m bringing to Fiesta Friday today, after a long and regretted absence on my part, you can make two giant hot cross buns and just bake them a little bit longer than for individual buns.
This Easter I had 15 hot cross buns and 1 hot cross loaf and both iterations of the recipe turned out delicious. Since I nearly always use whatever flour I have on hand for baking, I’ve used half spelt flour which gave an added earthiness and detracted from the usually very sweet taste of hot cross buns, at least for my palate.
Next: As many of you know, we moved to Vancouver, WA in August last year!
More pics at end of post . . . .
The weeks leading up to the move really socked it to my emotional equanimity but once we arrived, all turned out well. Vancouver is just across the bridge, literally, from Portland, OR, where I work and where I’ve been eating my way through town. My husband took a job in Amboy, WA, which is kind of in the middle of nowhere but wow is it beautiful country out there. Stay tuned in the coming months as I share with you all about our move, how strange and fabulous Portland is, and what I’ve been up to in my kitchen and out at restaurants. For now, I’ve got these awesome hot cross buns, some winter and fun Portland and Washington pics, and a giant hug to all my old friends who are a part of the Fiesta Friday community.
Finally: I’ve also begun writing restaurant reviews with the amazing ladies over at Female Foodie. Another double-F for the win! I’m beyond excited, and honored to be a part of this community that not only has the most delicious restaurant recommendation resources for anybody who loves to travel, but also some invaluable information and tools including photography and wordpress blogging tutorials for aspiring food blogger/photographer entrepreneurs. I have truly learned a ton about photography, monetization, and social media as it relates to food blogging via these gals. I especially want to mention that for the Female Foodie elite members, there is an upcoming (next Tuesday) webinar with Si Foster from A Bountiful Kitchen who has been a very successful food blogger since 2008. She will talk to us about her experience growing a food blog/business dedicated to tried and true recipes for the at home cook trying to make practical and delicious food, and will be available for questions. Since I am trying myself to navigate whether I want to put some more intention and business mindedness into my blog, I for sure will be attending. Join me!!
Very finally, definitely hop on over there to read my bittersweet burger goodbye song review of one of my favorite places in Los Angeles: The Apple Pan.
Now, for the homemade hot cross buns recipe:
For the Buns:
For the Cross:
For the Glaze:
Now for some fun pics:
Posted on December 28, 2015
“This is the worst pie I’ve ever tasted.” -my Dad.
How’s that for an enticement? Do keep in mind that my Dad said this after eating a bite of my mother’s pumpkin pie which is always sublime, and keep in mind that my Dad is a little bit set in his ways. I’m thinking if he sees a white pie, he’s thinking cheesecake, and that’s not what he got here.
My husband, however, ate his whole piece and proclaimed it delicious. He is the best Santa’s elf ever! Always such a good sport, will try any crazy thing I cook up.
This pie is an heirloom Pennsylvania Dutch recipe, with German, Quaker and Mennonite roots. It is a very simple recipe and, I think, makes for a very delicious pie. It sort of reminds me of a ricotta cheesecake but with more texture and without the graham crust. You have to be prepared to taste a little bit of savory/sour, along with the sweet, and I think it’s best eaten on its own and not after a bite of pumpkin pie.
I made this pie for Christmas Eve dinner, and also to bring to Fiesta Friday #100. Stay tuned because I’ll be bringing more! Happy Anniversary to everybody who’s been a part of Fiesta Friday and as always I send my gratitude and thanks to Angie for making this all possible.
Posted on December 21, 2015
Posted on December 5, 2015
If you were wondering what I have been doing the past few months, the title of this post covers a lot of ground towards the answer. In addition to visiting a slew of mostly newly-opened, but also older, donut shops in Los Angeles, I’ve also moved jobs twice which has compromised my commitment to blogging.
Donuts have a special place in my heart, even though I am not a true sweet tooth, but more of a savory tooth. When I was a child, on Saturdays my mom used to drive a mile or so down Montana Avenue in Santa Monica to Carl’s Bakery, a small bakery that carried very basic donuts. My donut of choice was the glazed twist. Occasionally I would get a chocolate glazed, raised donut instead. We were not cake donut eaters, we stuck with the yeasted, raised donuts. So donuts signaled a departure from the normal daily breakfast which usually, at our house, involved either pancakes, french toast, waffles, date bread, biscuits, sometimes some bacon, and occasionally cold cereal with milk. Fruit may have been offered, but I don’t remember much beyond orange juice. Clearly, not bad, but still donuts were better!
As I got older I developed a fondness for Trader Joe’s bran muffins and into my later teens I was drinking smoothies and shakes for breakfast, with some fruit. I spent one summer trying very hard to slim down before college by drinking Herbalife shakes (my mom tried them too) until my father, after watching a late night exposé on the company that revealed in his opinion some nefarious practices and possibly quackery, purged our cupboards of all the shakes and supplements and that was the end of that adventure. But back to donuts.
These days our donut tradition is on Christmas Day. Nearly everything is closed, but Stan’s Donuts in Westwood, CA, home to the UCLA campus, is not. And so we go. Some years my beautiful (and . . . vegan!) neice Katy is in town and she accompanies us. Stan has been making donuts for forever, and he’s 86 and still shows up to work every day. What’s neat about Stan’s is he’s named various donuts after local icons, for example, the late Huell Howser donut is a VERY thickly peanut butter stuffed chocolate bar and the Bruin is glazed cake donut covered in blue and yellow sprinkles.
First let’s take a look at Stan’s and some other classic, iconic Los Angeles donut shops and their creations:
Now on to some newer donut emporiums:
The best new donut shop in LA in my opinion is Blue Star Donuts. They use brioche dough and fry in rice bran oil. Yum.
We met the “Duke of Donuts” on opening day at Sidecar Donuts in Santa Monica. He explained that his mission in life is to eat and report on donuts. I said, “what about biscuits,” and he said, ” . . . eh, peasant food.”
I’d love to hear from you and your donut opinions. Are you a cake donut gal? Raised? Apple fritter? What are some of your favorite donut shops where you live? Have you ever made donuts at home? Any tips or cautions?
Have a very happy holiday season, y’all!!
Posted on February 10, 2015
It’s been a while since I inventoried what was In My Kitchen, but my recent awesome success with the progeny of Celia@figjamandlimecordial’s sourdough starter Priscilla (Celia is the wonderwoman with a blog that’s a trove of cooking information, recipes and fun and who hosts In My Kitchen monthly), reminded me to pitch in. Read More