Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What I've been up to: a mishmash

Oh, my, has it really been that long?! One post in October, zero in November, a few in December, and one in the first six weeks of the new year.

The funny reason that I've been so absent (besides the normal full-time-working-mother with a partner with a broken kneecap complaints of being busy) is actually technology. My work computer (my only computer) was ancient in technological terms: seven years old, too old to run our grading program, too old to accept any updates, too old to find the internet. I stopped bringing it home, instead relying on my iPad and iPhone, both of which I love and am addicted to, but neither of which is great for typing. And thus, no blogging.

Happily, when our building tech committee reviewed the applications for new computers, they chose me! And last Friday, my new computer was delivered. It is amazing: it not only finds the internet, but even jumps from site to site in seconds. Beautiful. So I'm hoping to get back into the swing of blogging...while it sometimes feels like a chore, I've missed writing about cooking and recording my baking adventures...and mostly, talking to like-minded food bloggers about food. :)

A couple of weekends ago, I tried these cinnamon roll muffins from Tracey's site. I liked the idea of cinnamon rolls that could be made on a moment's notice, as they are frequently requested here, and the kids are not always happy to hear that cinnamon roll dough takes a while. These muffins were incredibly quick. The kiddos weren't sure about them at first, but the dozen disappeared in a weekend, so I guess they were a hit. Even knowing ahead of time that they would be biscuit-like, I still missed the cinnamon roll texture, so I'll probably stick to the real thing in the future.

Although I haven't been blogging, I've still been talking to my Twitter pals, and I jumped on board when several people were baking these Asiago bagels from KAF a few weeks ago. I made them for bookclub, and they were a hit, although (no big surprise) the kiddos didn't like them. I am not a big cheesy bread person, so they weren't my favorite either, but it's always fun to try a new bagel recipe.

My friend Rebecca tweeted about these pretzel rolls a while ago; they are a favorite at her house. She talked about how easy they were to make, and how delicious they were. I asked for the recipe, but it took forever for me to try them. This Monday, the kiddos and I had the day off from school. We had some big plans, but ended up spending the entire day playing in our pjs, and I finally had a chance to try the pretzel rolls. As promised, they were easy, and had a delightful pretzely flavor and light, fluffy texture. Hubby and I loved them. We weren't able to finish them, so he brought them to school this morning, and I heard they were an absolute hit with his first block students.

I also made these scones for breakfast, subbing in strawberries for the raspberries, and adding a handful of white chocolate chips. I really think these are the best scones I've ever had, so incredibly moist. I baked one tray the first morning and froze the rest. They have provided us with a delightful breakfast treat on two other mornings, and I already have plans to bake another batch.

Finally, we've been reading a lot of Harry Potter around here, and after reading about the delicious butterbeer, I decided we had to try it. I found a bunch of recipes online, but eventually settled on this one, which is apparently served at Disney, and which (apparently) JK Rowling says tastes the way she imagines butterbeer tastes. I used the not-so-simple recipe at the bottom of the article, subbing in vanilla extract for the rum extract. Fun to make and fun to sip, but holy moly was it ever sweet! No one could have more than a sip or two at a time.

And that's the start of what I've been up to! I'm hoping to get up some other posts over the next few days...and hoping that will get me back into the swing of things. We shall see!


  1. Yay! I'm always so happy to see a new post from you. I don't have the excuse of ancient technology to explain my sparse blogging of late. Hopefully things will improve soon. I was debating whether to take my laptop on my trip to Seattle this weekend or just use my iPad or iPhone. But I know that I only really post from my laptop, and I'll actually have the time to post, so I think it will be worth carrying it along. Anyway, yay! All your baked goodies look delicious. I need to try the pretzel rolls.

  2. I understand why you couldn't post, but I miss reading what you have been up to in the kitchen! Those cinnamon roll muffins look great. I definitely want to give them a try.

  3. Well congrats on the new computer. We missed you when you were missing in action around the bloggie world. Time for me to catch up on blog reading as I was busy this past bit and I have missed good stuff over here that I am marking to try. I did do the Asiago Bagels with you, so that was fun, but I missed the pretzel rolls and the cinnamon roll muffins, so I better get on those right away. And I need to blog stuff...lots of photos sitting around without a home to call their own.