One of my ongoing goals this year is to cut as many processed foods out of my diet as I can. I'm looking into ways to consistently make my own bread (I've done some work with a bread machine and a friend lent me a copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which I hope to try as soon as I have some room in the fridge to try it.) and I've been figuring out ways to make my favorite microwave and takeout foods from scratch (check back in about a week for my chicken pot pie recipe!). Come farmer's market season I'd like to look into some preserving.
Along these same lines, I've had a recurring thought about only eating sweets that I've made myself. Now I have the second-biggest sweet tooth I know and what with my schedule, I though that to only eat home-made sweets meant pretty much giving them up. I'm sure doctors and dentists would think that's plenty fine, but I like a good cookie, or piece of cake, brownie or slice of pie... you get the idea.
In any case, I'm thinking it's much more feasible than I originally thought.
I'm currently working full-time and rehearsing a play about 4 nights and one weekend day a week. I'm pretty busy. But for the past month I've found the time to bake every Sunday.
I don't own a mixer (I find mixing by hand both bicep-building and relaxing) and my kitchen is ill-designed for any kind of food-making, but I'm getting the job done. And I love putting on an apron from my collection and baking.
A few weeks back it started with "le gateau piege" from Chocolate and Zucchini, a Cleaver house-hold favorite.
Then it was the titular Chocolate & Zucchini cake from the C&Z cookbook, which was dense and moist.
Having good luck with Clotilde, I made the Honey-Spice Loaf from the same cookbook. We like it warm with butter.
Around Wednesday this week I asked Mr. Cleaver what he wanted. He didn't have any suggestion, so I decided to troll the recipe index on my other favorite food site, Smitten Kitchen, where I came across these:
These are just like the ones in the store, but way better, especially slightly warm. As noted in the recipe, I used the lesser amount of sugar in the cookies, and if Mr. Cleaver had his way, I wouldn't have frosted any. As it was I only needed half the frosting called for, but I highly recommend them. And some soothing Sunday afternoon baking.
Do you have a favorite baking recipe? Send along recipes and links and I'll be happy to give them a go!