Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Felicity's Sugar Cakes

The recipe that inspired A Peek Into the Pantry!

We're quickly coming up on the one year anniversary of this blog - can you believe it? I sure can't. I've already got some fun plans in the works for the anniversary, but when my grandma got the idea to get all the ladies on that side of the family (minus my sister, plus my brother, because she had plans and he never says no to a good time if there's going to be food there) for a tea last Sunday, I decided to break out the recipe that actually inspired me to start this blog in the first place: Sugar Cakes!

Remember, cakes are colonial cookies, and these are basically a nice, crunchy shortbread that are perfectly at home at just about any function. These definitely would have been on the table at a fancy tea or even at a wedding while Felicity was alive, and they're definitely something I'd like to keep in our usual rotation, too! They're incredibly easy to make, and they're special to me because again, without them? I might never have thought to make this blog!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cooking with Sour Milk: Kit's Spice Cake and Biscuits

Don't just pour it all down the drain!

A few weekends ago, my parents and brother were out of town, leaving my sister and I in charge of the homestead. My sister vastly overestimated how much milk two people (or three, including her boyfriend) would be drinking while they were gone, so we wound up with about a gallon of expired milk. I was pretty mad until I remembered hey, sour milk actually works pretty well in baking, and quickly ran off to find things to make with it.

When I mentioned this to some friends, they were very surprised and more than a little dubious about how well this would work. Wouldn't expired milk make me sick, even if it was something I was baking with?

Fear not! While I wouldn't recommend drinking it straight out of the jug or leaving it to sit around for weeks and weeks (seriously, please don't do that), sour milk has been used in baking long before I wound up in this jam, so today, we're going to talk about three ways you can stretch any expired milk you might have in the house.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Pancakes with Bucky Bear

Sometimes, you really just need a stack of pancakes.

I'm about to make a pretty dorky confession, although considering this is a cooking blog taking inspiration from historical dolls? I figure most of you won't judge me too harshly. I participate in text based roleplay, and have been doing so on and off since I was in middle school. What this means is basically, me and a bunch of friends and acquaintances write stories together, but from the perspective of one specific character per player rather than simply writing a collaborative novel or something. It's a lot of fun, and it's a good outlet for my creative energies when I'm not feeling up to writing my own epic trilogy or penciling a comic series, which is basically all the time. I've never been good at finishing my own original fiction projects.

Since April, I've dragged out one of my favorite characters out of retirement, and he likes pancakes. A lot. To the point of where my RP gmail inbox is now trying to advertise IHOP and Denny's to me because they're having specials on pancakes. Needless to say, I've been doing a lot of thinking about pancakes lately, and after admitting this to some of my friends, they then admitted they've either been craving pancakes or have gone out and made them because of me and my character!

So, who is this character and what's that bear doing here?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Rebecca's Pretzels

Bringing one of my personal favorite snacks off the streets and into your kitchen!

While street food is definitely something that can be enjoyed year round, I don't think I'm alone in thinking it's during the summer and spring when wandering around outside cramming food in your face is a lot easier than say, in the middle of a snowstorm, or just bitterly cold weather in general. That being said, pretzels are kind of a year round treat in my book, and I'll eat them pretty much wherever they're available. It's hard not to think of them as sporting event or theme park food though, and so when I was trying to think of a good recipe for Rebecca to do in the summer time, this was kind of a no brainer.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about and research into Coney Island lately (Marvel Cinematic Universe enthusiasts can probably guess why) and fantasizing about being able to head down to a theme park like I usually manage at least once during the summer, and where I'd be eating at least one soft pretzel during my visit, so that pretty much sealed the deal that this was something I definitely wanted to make before summer ended.

(I'm having a really hard time wrapping my mind around that. It seems like it just got here, and now we're almost done!)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Kailey's Piña Coladas

Yes, we like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain, or so the song goes.

My younger brother has a certain fondness for all things tropical, and has since he was a kid. His dream job when he was maybe six years old was being a professional soccer player by day, who also moonlighted as a tiki carver in Hawaii during the off season. Needless to say, when he found out I wanted to try my hand at making piña coladas while he was away at camp, he pretty much insisted I swap my schedule around so he could try one for himself.

I am actually not a huge fan of piña coladas, so I'm not entirely sure why I decided I really wanted to make one. This is especially odd to me because I actually really like coconut and pineapple, so you'd think a drink that's basically a combination of the two would be right up my alley. In any case, I decided to make them, and all things considered, I think it worked out pretty well.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Nellie's Matter of Fact Peas

Ultimately not my favorite thing I've ever made, but if you like peas, you might want to give this a try?

I've said it before and I'll probably say it again: I have a hard time getting excited about eating vegetables. It's not that I don't like them, I just don't gravitate towards them when I'm deciding what I want to eat at any given moment, unless it's out of guilt. You know, the "I've only eaten junk food today, I should probably eat something with vitamins in it" sort of guilt, which I'm especially susceptible to when I'm left to my own devices even after starting this blog, which was supposed to help me learn to cook. Oops?

Anyway, unfortunate this is not the recipe that's going to get me excited about eating peas. I actually like peas just fine right out of the freezer bag! And there's always those Jeffersonian peas I made a couple months ago if you're looking for something a little more fancy. Matter of Fact Peas? Didn't really do it for me, so I'm putting that out there right now.

However, several of my taste testers did like this quite a bit apparently (I hope they weren't just trying to spare my feelings, because I definitely would not be offended if they said they were gross!) and it's not like I've never shied away from posting a failed recipe before, so here it is. Matter of Fact Peas.