december baking tally

29 12 2009

*yikes*  For someone who was planning on making two Christmas treats only this year… there seemed to be a lot of activity around my kitchen during the past few weeks.  I was honoured and thrilled a few weeks ago when a friend asked me to assist her with baking desserts for a Christmas Banquet for a community which our church supports by hosting weekend breakfasts, sewing classes, family hair day… and numerous other activities and practical giftings – located in a lower income area of the city, consisting of many single-parent families… it was truly a treat, so to speak, to participate and serve this community through the yumminess of goodies.  And, so….. the baking began!  After that — well, I was kind of on a roll and there were a few other Christmas events on deck.  Not all baking successes, mind you — there were a fair number of mishaps, crispy bottoms, and complete failures.  So, for my records, here is a tally of Christmas Baking 2009:

4 batches Cranberry Bliss Bars = ~128 bars

2 batches Pecan Cranberry Squares = ~60 bars

6 Pumpkin Pies

2 Cranberry Cherry Buckle cakes

1 Best Banana Bread loaf

1 dozen Raspberry Bran muffins

2 pans Red & Green Rice Krispie Squares (cut into star and candy cane shapes)

6 1/2 dozen Oatmeal Chocolate Chew cookies from the Nutfree Gourmet cookie dough

2 dozen Oatmeal Raisin cookies

2 dozen Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk cookies

2 batches Christmas Granola

3 batches Parmesan Biscotti

2 batches Honey Spiced Nuts

a LOT of Chocolate-dipped pretzels

Skiers French Toast for Christmas Day breakfast

No wonder I’m exhausted!

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out of the box

22 10 2009

Krusteaz Apple Crisp mixNormally I would cringe at using a mix for baking … (NOTE: I don’t judge anyone who uses mixes or pre-packaged food.)  But, for me – I have total joy when I bake something delicious from scratch, including my Gramma’s Apple Pie, complete with flaky, pastry crust.

Ahhhh… when planning Thanksgiving dinner this year, the task was monstrous, so (as the hostess supreme) I elected to short-cut a couple of dishes – well, namely one – dessert!

I had a solid review from my cafe latte about Krusteaz‘ Blueberry Pancake Mix.  So, when I spotted the Apple Crisp in the baking aisle at Costco…. I walked past – initially.  It took me a few weeks to actually get up the nerve to cave and buy pre-packaged Apple Crisp (especially since P’s mom was coming for dinner and her apple crisp is the best).

Well – am I ever GLAD that I did!!  Krusteaz Apple Crisp is so unbelievably easy to make – just add butter to the crumble topping package, empty the apple filling package into the pan, and sprinkle crumble topping on top.  Bake for 45 minutes!  It is unmistakably the best Apple Crisp (from a box) you will ever lay your taste buds on!  Kind of has this nice, sticky caramel-ly texture.apple crisp

And – you know what else is great?  With the same mix you can bake a Caramel Apple Cheesecake, a Dutch Apple Pie, and Spiced Apple Bread Pudding.  I love a mix with such versatility!

Check out Krusteaz’ other great mixes for muffins, pancakes, cookies, scones, and even for your bread machine.  I am officially a “mix” convert!