This past Sunday was cold and overcast, which is a perfect day to spend baking in the kitchen! Outside of a short run, I spent most of the day in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of my creations. I'll have to remember for next time!
I started by making my grandma's Special K Bars. I've heard a lot of other people refer to these a Scotch-A-Roos or Special Cereal Bars. However, in our family we prefer to use Special K as the base cereal for these bar cookies because it turns out better than using any other kind. The recipe is online here. I do make a few changes to make these come out just perfect! I use butterscotch chips instead of peanut butter ones. I also use 1-1/4 cup of chocolate chips and 1-1/4 cup butterscotch chips to coat the top so there is enough (or a little extra) for coverage. Finally, I increase the amount of cereal used to 8 cups so the bars are firmer! It it best to let these stand and set-up for an hour or so before cutting into them.
Then, I moved on to making homemade bread with yeast and actual kneading. We have a bread maker, but I have been wanting to use my new Kitchenaid stand mixer to make some real dough. I found a great recipe for Earl's Home Made Bread online. The bread turned out great, although it took a lot of time to make. I kept letting it rise and kneading over and over. I was also a little nervous letting my mixer run for several minutes at a time, but it seemed to work just fine - no mixer engine overheating. The loaves tasted best the day of and got a little less soft each day. Oh well, it was a good experiment and a bread I will definitely make again! I'll probably half the recipe in the future because we can't really eat two loaves in one week.
After running with my friend Mandy, I helped her make an apply crisp to take to a dinner party. She was in a crunch for time and I had spare time to help cut up apples. I always get nervous recommending recipes I have never tried but she needed one with no corn-based ingredients, eggs, or milk. I found this apple crisp that seemed to fit the bill and she decided to make it! Although I did not get to taste this, she did get rave reviews for the dessert! This is now next on my list to make!
I finished up the day making a vegetarian pasta bake. I sauteed fresh veggies - mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, zucchini - and some minced garlic in olive oil. Then, I added spaghetti sauce (just the jar kind from the store) and stirred in some basil, oregano, and parmesan to give it some flavor. I let that cook up for a few minutes before I mixed in cooked pasta. I put it in a 9x11 pan, topped with shredded cheese, and baked for about 25 mins at 350 degrees. It turned out awesome! I make a lot of different pasta bakes (usually with whatever we have around) and this one takes the prize! Not only was it great tasting, it was meatless! I think my new trick will be to add some parmesan to the the sauce before baking. It really gave it some flavor.
It was definitely a relaxing Sunday in the kitchen. I love being in the kitchen when I have time. I just wish I had more time to be there more often!