Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Wonders of Bread Dough- My Kids In the Kitchen

   My youngest son wakes up, comes in the kitchen and asks to help make baguettes with me. The kitchen is toasty with a fire burning, aromatic flavors are filling the air and with his cheery little face looking at me for an answer.  How can I deny his request.  It is truly a welcomed and marvelous gift he is giving me

The early morning hours are a fantastic time to be together and bond. Chatting about the day's activities, his siblings, and solving all the problems in the world that are important to him seem to be our early morning topics.  I think the simple, repetitive movements of kneading are almost hypnotic to him  and his mind begins to wander and the questions begin to form..

I find baking with my children to be such a gratifying and productive activity.  Working together to produce a product from beginning to end, is such a rewarding process.  Using these opportunities to have difficult, funny, or everyday discussions is allows us to stay in touch with each other's worlds.  Kneading bread, or rolling it into shape is so fun for them that they lose themselves in the activity.  I also have found that using bread dough  helps calm them at times too.  All their frustration in taken out on the dough. and in the end we have something delicious to eat.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Whoopie Pies: A Family Activity

 Chocolate and Lemon Whoopie Pies
 The more times we make whoopie pies for customers, or for our local farmers' markets, or for large family gatherings the more ideas we get for trying new flavor ideas.  It seems as though we sell more of the traditional kind (chocolate cake with vanilla filling) however many people come up to us looking for new flavors to try;  Vanilla cake with vanilla filling and a teaspoon of our homemade strawberry jam, chocolate cake with coconut filling and rolled in toasted coconut, chocolate cake with peanut butter filling, vanilla cake with a maple filling, pumpkin cake with a spice filling and the list goes on.

 My children age 13, 11 and 7 are always a part of the cooking and idea giving process.  When the whoopie pie idea session begins they come out with some very interesting combinations like peanut butter cake and strawberry jam filling, strawberry cake and cream cheese filling,  red velvet cake with lemon filling, chocolate cake with lavender filling etc.  I think they try to out do each other with the most interesting combination.  As we begin to experiment,  my children are always there to taste test, add their comments on how to make it better or just to give their final O.K.

Try our recipe for our traditional  whoopie pies and enjoy baking with your family.

Chocolate Whoopie Pie Recipe
2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar in a standing mixer.  Add egg and vanilla. Sift all dry ingredients into medium sized bowl.  Alternate dry ingredients with milk until all is mixed well.  Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon full onto greased baking sheet. Bake for 14 minutes. Remove from baking sheet until completely cooled.
Vanilla Filling
Put equal parts Fluff, crisco, and powdered sugar in standing mixer with a whisk attachment.  Mix until well blended add a teaspoon of vanilla.  Fill whoopie pies.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Life Is Sweet

Historically, Vermont sweetness substituted much of the sugar production banned during the Civil War. Cane, beet, and other sugars produced in the South were not available, so all Northern states began using maple syrup as their sweetener. Therefore, Vermonters know how to use maple syrup in a variety of ways. 

Even with such a rich history in sugaring, it is still no easy task to sugar in Vermont. With winter temperatures changing frequently, one gambles on the exact time to tap our Maple trees. Once a tap or hole is made in the tree one has about 1 month to retrieve as much sap as possible from a single tap. After that the tap, due to wind and weather will dry up. Temperatures of 35-40 degrees in the day and 20's at night are perfect for the sap to run or drip from a maple tree. There is only a 6 - 8 hour period of time when the sap runs. The trees release this sweet liquid that is then collected and boiled until sweet and delicious maple syrup is made. 40 gallons of sap makes 1 gallon of syrup, so you can imagine the time it takes to boil sap to syrup. Once the syrup is made, My Kids' Kitchen experiments with the product by making "Maple Walnut Scones", "Maple Oat Bread", "Maple Pumpkin Butter", "Maple Walnut Granola", "Maple Cream Frosting", "Maple Donuts" and "Maple Vinaigrette Dressing" just to name a few. 

 We use maple syrup as a substitute for sugar, this adds another element to any dish we make. Try making one of our favorite maple recipe:

1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette
3/4 cup of Maple Syrup
 A pinch of Pepper
  1 cup of salad oil
 2 cups of Olive Oil
 Mix balsamic vinaigrette, pepper and maple syrup into blender. Slowly add salad oil then olive oil until they are well blended. Toss green salad with vinaigrette and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Conversational Valentine Cookies

Valentine's Day can be a day of love, fun and bringing smiles to loved ones, friends, and coworkers' faces. These cookies are such fun!!! We use our easy to work with sugar cookie recipe, bake the cookies into an array of heart sizes, add a colorful glaze and then hand write witty messages. As you may imagine the children from My Kids' Kitchen sometimes get carried away with the little sayings they would like to add to the cookies. For their friends the sky is the limit. For our customers we stay a little more conservative unless asked. So have fun baking!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My Kids' Kitchen Cupcake Wars

After sledding today, the children decided on having a cupcake war. This of course happened because the children are now aware of the show "D.C Cupcakes". With images of flavors dancing in their heads, the preparation begins. Each thinking of their flavors and rummaging for their ingredients in the kitchen, they begin. Connor starts with baking a cinnamon swirl cupcake and frosts it wih a maple icing. Sophie then mixes strawberries and bananas with other ingredients, begins to bake them as she realizes she forgot the flour. Round 2 with Sophie and she creates a chocolate chip cupcake with a vanilla filling and a rich chocolate frosting. Brogan who is now exhausted from watching his brother and sister. Idly awaits his turn. He changes flavors about two or three times before deciding on a green mint cupcake with a ganache topping and a mint chocolate candy to top it off. The oven is off now but the judging will begin later on. Each tremendously happy with their creations and each will be extremely satisfied as they test all these delicious desserts.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Spider Web Cookie Pops

Using the sugar cookie recipe from our last blog entry, we made these wonderful Spider Web Cookie Pops. Using them for Halloween parties or giving them away on Halloween to children you know would be great fun. Easy to make, delicious to eat, fun to look at; so what more could you ask for. We placed our cookies in a clear bag and tied a ribbon around it for easy distribution.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


The leaves are at their peak in Grand Isle. Beautiful yellow colors on our maple trees, not much red but beautiful just the same. Most of our garden has been harvested except beets and carrots. They can remain in the ground until it snows. At that point, if you place straw or leaves on the plants to protect them from the cold temperatures, they can be harvested until the ground begins to freeze. Today was cookie baking day. The children and I made dazzling sugar cookies and frosted them with a colorful glaze. We chose to cut our cookies in maple leaf shapes and paint them with brilliant fall colors.(Pictures of the sugar cookie leaves can be found on our website The children enjoyed rolling out the dough and painting each cook as though it were a master piece. As their mom, I agree each cookie is a work of art and they were spectacular. The best recipe we have found for our sugar cookies is as follows: Sugar Cookie Recipe 1 cup butter 1 cup sugar 1 egg 2 3/4 cup flour 2 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon vanilla Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together in a standing mixer. Add the egg, until mixer is blended. Add vanilla, and flour until mixer forms into a ball. Turn mixer out onto a floured surface. Roll out dough and cut shapes accordingly. Place on a non-greased cookie sheet and bake for 12 -15 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.