Guest Blogger: Danielle’s Vacation Baking

by byn on September 7, 2010

in Guest Bloggers

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You should know by now that Danielle is my West CoastEast Coast BFF who introduced me to food blogs. A year ago, she left her KitchenAid Mixer behind in Calgary and moved to St. John’s for Nursing School, which doesn’t leave too much time for baking. However, she just got back from a visit back home, and took advantage of the space and time to bake in her parents’ kitchen. I asked for a full report of everything she made, and I loved hearing about it, so I asked for a Guest Blog post. Take it away Danielle:

Why I love my mother: she bought six pounds of butter when I arrived and didn’t ask questions when three days later, four of those were gone.

I love my mother for other reasons; she also has a great kitchen. I took for granted all the space my parents’ kitchen had until I moved into a small apartment which I now share with three girls. I had two weeks off from classes and spent most of my time in the parents’ kitchen, baking for no reason other than I needed an excuse to use my mixer. I did take a few requests from my Mom, it was her butter after all!

First up was a Banana Cream Pie. I love pie; it is the ultimate dessert for me, but I have never been good at pie crust. I haven’t had Banana Cream Pie since a visit to see Robyn two years ago, so I thought it was time for me to conquer my fear of pie crust and make myself a pie. This was the first time I used butter in a crust, as my Mom has always used shortening, but I thought I would give this a try. It was worth it, I thought the pie was delicious.  The brown sugar in the filling really made for a richer flavour and I loved the crust (despite the edges that were burned because I got lost for a few minutes on YouTube, it happens, a lot). My parents and I managed to eat the entire pie in two days. I won’t say how much of it was consumed by me!

Next up was Smitten Kitchen’s Cinnamon Rolls which I had been saving to make until I had more space and could really spread out my baking mess! My Mom had initially asked me to make these as a thank you for a friend of hers for watching our dog but the first batch were so delicious that we ended up eating them before I had a chance to package them and get them out of the house. So, I made another batch the second day.  These ones managed to make it to their destination. We had some leftover which we re-heated the next morning for breakfast and they still tasted fresh. Of all the cinnamon bun recipes I’ve tried, this is the only one that I would make again. I guess it doesn’t help that they were smothered with cream cheese icing!

Besides  two batches of cookies (Robyn’s Pretzel M&M Cookies and a batch of ‘clean out the cupboard’ cookies) I also made Nanaimo Bars which have long been a family favorite and the one dessert that I can count on making any time I am home for a visit.  This recipe has been passed down from my Grandma and rumour has it that when my parents were first married, my Dad asked my Mom to make Nanaimo Squares only for him to complain that they didn’t taste like his Mom’s.  That was the end of that dessert until I turned 16 and decided to give them a try for myself. I have been making them ever since.  There was no real reason for making these other than to freeze for the next time my brother visited. Not sure what happened, but the entire container ended up at my sister’s house and my brother just got a picture of the full pan of squares. I guess he’ll have to wait until Christmas! 

So what have I learned after spending my two weeks of holidays baking: weight that is lost is never really lost, it’s just hidden in cream cheese icing, banana cream pie and old family recipes! My tight jeans are evidence enough!!



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