baking · cooking · Recipes · Uncategorized

Homemade Grape Nut Cereal and some baking

Hi everyone:

A few weeks ago I had the idea to make some homemade cereal. I got the idea from Atlanta from Home At Winshaw to make grape nuts. I googled and perused Pinterest for some recipes and finally found one that I wanted to try.  It turned out so well I wanted to share it with you all.

Grape Nut Cereal Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I used sprouted whole wheat)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk (or soured milk – milk with 1 tsp vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Method

  • Preheat oven at 375F.
  • Mix all ingredients save raisin and walnuts and pour into a lined cookie sheet or baking dish.
  • If you are cooking the mixture on a cookie sheet, it will only take approximately 15 minutes. I decided to bake the mixture in a dish and it took approximately 35 minutes.
  • Once baked, allow to cool completely on wire rack.  I broke the bread up into pieces so that it would cool faster.
  • Once cooled, pulse the mixture in a food processor in batches and place on baking sheets – you will likely need two baking sheets if you make the entire breads worth.
  • Bake at 250F for approximately one hour, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes and let cool
  • Toast the walnuts if using and pulse the cereal and the walnuts together again.
  • Add raisins if you’d like. Let cool completely and store in a jar for 2-3 weeks.
  • I decided to only make half the batch and freeze the rest of the bread so that I need only blitz it up later to make more cereal.

Also, here are some of the other things I baked today.

I wanted some biscuits so I made half plain, half cinnamon bun style. They turned out a bit different than usual since the butter I had was already soft but they taste very nice nonetheless and of course, hubby likes them.

It has been a very busy day at Fenton house for me. Filled with laundry, baking, cleaning and making a nice dinner – and also some school work. But despite it all, it was a nice day and I am grateful I get to spent Sundays at home doing the things I love the most.

I hope you all had a great day, too.

Thanks for reading.

Jacqueline

baking · comfort food · cooking · Recipes · Uncategorized

Just a Sunday

Today was the first restful day I’ve had in weeks so I thought I would do some baking. It gets awful quiet here on Sundays as Mark tends to work on that day almost every week. I watched Northanger Abbey whilst I did my housework so at least I had some company, even if from fictional characters.

I decided on making a cobbler but all I had in the freezer was a mix of fruits (peaches, strawberries, mango and pineapple) and decided to use those – I suppose it makes a sort of tropical cobbler. I also made a quick batch of custard (using Bird’s custard powder) for serving.

I also made a big quiche for our dinner tonight and lunches for the week. I often use a “press-in pan” pastry for quiches as it is quick and always turns out flaky and rich.

This quiche was a caramelized onion, double smoked bacon, and cheddar quiche. I used one onion, one thick rasher of bacon, and a few grates of cheese before pouring over the egg mixture. It is kept simple but I find it cooks best that way. And always turns out nice.

I also finished the tea cosy I was making today. I am very proud of myself for getting the hang of knitting and the tea cosy itself didn’t turn out too bad. It is a nice skill to have and to build on.

Other than knitting, I have been doing some free hand embroidery as practice before starting on bigger projects. I am not very good yet but better than I thought I would be. It is just nice to be creative and is better than surfing the internet aimlessly as I had started to do. Mark’s mom also lent me puzzles to do and Mark and I have been making them together. I am basically an 80 year old in a 27 year old’s body, but alas – it could be much worse!

I hope you all had a great Sunday. We are now just finishing up our dinner and my husband is happy with a full belly. Thank you for reading.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline

baking · Chocolate · comfort food · Recipes · Uncategorized

Baking up a storm – Nigella’s chocolate chip cookies

Good afternoon everyone:

It has been a stormy day in Nova Scotia, with school closures and delays. Rather than making my way through half snow plowed streets I decided to stay home, get school work done and do a spot of baking.

We didn’t have much in the way of baking supplies in the house but we did have all the ingredients for Nigella’s lovely (and quite large) chocolate chip cookies and I thought I would share them with you.

Nigella’s chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients

  • 150g butter, softened
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 100g white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk (cold from the fridge)
  • 300g flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 326g chocolate chips

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350F and lime a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Melt butter and beat together with both sugars (I just used very soft butter instead of melting it)
  • Beat in the vanilla and eggs until creamy.
  • Mix together the flour and baking soda and gradually mix the flour with the wet mixture
  • Fold in the chocolate chips
  • Scoop out the cookie dough using a large ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measure and press the dough a bit. This will make approximately two batches of 8 cookies (unless a Cookie Monster lives at your house…)
  • Bake for 15-17 minutes, let cool on baking dish for a few minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack.
  • Eat!

I hope you all have a lovely Tuesday.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline

baking · Recipes · Retro Recipes · Uncategorized

Retro Recipes: Old Fashioned Peach Cobbler

I am a sucker for all things retro and that includes recipes.  Recently I have been fascinated by the 1950s era, and nothing speaks quintessential housewife like an old fashioned peach cobbler*.

21106772_10159153675610177_8159572068003208125_nIngredients

1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 cups sliced peaches, peeled and sliced (I used a dozen small-ish peaches)
1 tsp lemon juice

1 cup flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, peaches, and lemon juice.

Cook over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils.  Boil for one minute and pour into ungreased casserole dish.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Cut in butter using a pastry blender until mixture looks like fine crumbs.  Stir in milk and drop dough into spoonfuls over the peach mixture.  Sprinkle remaining sugar on top.  The mixture will look sparse, but it grows whilst cooking.

Bake 25-30 minutes and serve on its own, with whipped cream, or with some vanilla ice cream.

Please let me know if you try the recipe.  🙂

Buon Appetito!

Jacqueline

*Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker

Uncategorized

Getting an education

become

I have some exciting news – I am going to university.

This September I turn 27 years old and for some reason it is quite frightening to me, those numbers.  2.7.  I feel I should have done more with my life – travelled more, read more, lived more.  But we can’t turn back time.

This decision to go back to school has been a giant step for me.  I have been struggling a lot in my current job.  I have been struggling a lot with my mental health, too.  But going to University, it feels like a dream.

About three years ago, I really started feeling the wanting to go to school.  I have spent most of my life feeling inadequate, uneducated, and not worthy of education.  And clearly, for a time, I gave up.  I went to college to get a “real” job.  I became a legal secretary.  During the past three years, I have poured over different university websites trying to decide what I would take, what would interest me.  I kept going back and telling myself I couldn’t do it.  I wasn’t capable of getting an education.  Switching back and forth and back and forth between the ideals of who and what I should be.  Who and what I am.

It has been incredibly difficult.  But turning the chapter on your life always is.  It made me think about how we are just the choices we make.  We can remain, complain, and muddle through – live the same years over and over again.  Or we can start again.  Growth.  That’s what life is about.

I look forward to writing about my classes, my books, my essays, and all the things that will make up the next four years.  I have been thinking on what will come after the undergraduate and feel I have a pretty solid plan.  However, I feel that the after is all most people want to know about.  You are going to school for an undergraduate – why?  What are you going to do after?  To me this means when are you going to graduate, get a real job, and live your life like a real adult?

The thing we need to realize is that this, right now, is our life.  There may never be an after. As morbid as it sounds, we are not immortal! Or the “after” plan could fail or falter.  The next four years of my life are dedicated to books and learning and growth.  And the “after” bit will come.  It always does – well, usually.

The inherent disappointment I have felt has hit hard, and from the people I thought would be my cheerleaders through it all.  But again the lesson always is to have no expectations from anyone.  I suppose it is much better to feel disappointment from others than disappointment from yourself.  And I do not want to wake up 20 years from now saying “I wish I had gone to school” and never have done it, never taken the step out of my comfort zone.

There is a quote I will leave you with which has sat with me for the past week:

We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.

Thanks for reading.

Jacqueline

history · lifestyle · religion · Uncategorized

Living our calling

This may come out as word vomit, but I have been pondering a topic ever since I found the documentaries on nuns I spoke about last time.  It has taken me this long to write, so bear with me.

Something annoyed me when watching these documentaries – the comments.

Now I know that we live in a world where everyone is spewing out their thoughts and feelings all over the place.  We now know how all our neighbours feel about Trump, gay rights, and we all know what we ate for dinner.  So it shouldn’t have annoyed me as much as it did, but I have been annoyed for weeks.

Most of the comments went something like this:  “their beliefs are stupid”, “they should be doing more with their lives instead of sitting inside praying all day”, or “they are wasting their lives”.

You catch the drift.

But the thing is – does it really matter what these nuns are doing?  The solitude, the prayer and communion with their god?  People have been doing this for thousands of years or more.  Many some people may have thought it was stupid even then, thousands of years ago, but I suppose we didn’t have the internet to tell us so.

We as a society, especially in the Western world, have been taught a set of beliefs that we are to live our lives by.  We all know them.  But these ladies aren’t getting married, aren’t having children.  They are praying.  They are taking care of each other.  They are learning about themselves and about the god they took vows to serve.

But we need to look at the bigger picture – this isn’t just about the nuns.  It’s about conforming to the standard mould we have been given.  Why are we as a culture so concerned about the lives of others?  I am not saying I am blameless.  I have definitely shared my opinions on things others were doing that I believed to be stupid or useless.  But is anything useless?  If you receive a calling in life, why not take it?  Why not use every bit of your energy to work on that thing?

Most of the humans I know are unhappy because they believe they need to be doing the opposite of what brings them joy.  And they then point out all the things wrong with the people doing things they love.  Lack of money, specifically.

In my opinion, these women – these nuns, they are brave.  They have stripped themselves from all possessions, from all pacifiers.  They sit in prayer and contemplation for hours every day.  They probably have seen the darkest places of their souls.  They can be who they are.  No makeup, no frills, no outside rules of conformity.

Perhaps we are to take a lesson from them.  Let’s strip away the superfluous in our lives and decide to live the life we want.  To play by our own rules.  To stop letting these invisible guidelines dictate who we are.  No one is you, no one can live your life for you.

And to those who leave silly comments on nun documentaries, maybe you could be doing better things with your time. 😉

Thanks for reading.

Jacqueline

books · history · Uncategorized

Recently Purchased Books – 1

Here are some books I’ve purchased recently.  I have been quite picky about the things I have been bringing into my life and was supposed to be on a “consumables only” shopping diet, however, these books slid through (how could I resist?).  And one could say that you do in fact consume books.

all bookshow to be a victorian

lunch in paris
I read this book before going to Paris for the first time and I own it on my e-reader, but since it has recipes I thought I should pick up the hard copy one day.  I found it on sale for only $6.  This book made me see Paris differently, I think. If you love food (and France), this is a lovely book.

suffragettes

The witches
I have started reading this book and the writing is beautiful and descriptive.  I already recommend it if you are interested in history and witches, of course.

What have you been reading recently?  What are your recently purchased books?  I’d love to know.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jacqueline