Polvoron Activity

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A couple of months ago, I bought a polvoron mold.  We all love polvoron and I decided to give it a try since I know it’s fairly easy to make and cheap to boot. I looked for a recipe online and there were a lot to choose from. They’re all very similar but I chose this since I like Goldilocks polvoron, too.

But of course, life happens and I never did get to make polvoron. Until a couple of weeks ago when the kids kept on asking me to buy polovoron. I finally said we’ll make polovoron and they can help.  They ended up doing the bulk of the work.  I only toasted the flour and they did everything else.

Please forgive the messy table.  Cousin Aliana was there to help. We doubled the recipe and in a couple of days, they were all gone.

This is definitely a successful activity and it may be something that we’ll do again real soon.  Give it a try!

Honey Oatmeal Bread

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I decided to try a different bread recipe today, something that might appeal more to the kids.  I decided on Honey Oatmeal Bread.  We did this once, maybe more than 5 years.  We just found the recipe in the Kitchen Aide manual and I remember it was good so I tried it again today.

This time though, I did manual kneading.  I’m actually enjoying kneading but it’s more messy than using the mixer.  I find kneading relaxing and I feel more connected to what I’m doing.

 

 

 

I made two loaves, as usual.  One I topped with rolled oats and the other I just left plain.  As you might notice, one loaf is bigger than the other.  I don’t know why but I always have trouble dividing the dough in half. 

Anyway, the bread was great!  It was slightly sweet and can be eaten plain.  Have a slice!

Lemon Squares

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Tomorrow is Yumi’s first day in school.  I asked her what she wanted to bring to school for recess and she asked for lemon squares.  We used to buy individually packed snacks but I’m really concerned with the volume of trash generated so I thought, since I’m home anyway, I’ll make the snacks that they can bring to school.

I was supposed to make the lemon squares today so they’ll be really fresh for tomorrow but since I had to do some bread rolls yesterday (we bought some burger patties that we’re trying out), I decided to bake them yesterday as well.  I try to maximize the use of my oven to conserve gas and heat.

This is probably the fourth or fifth time I’ve made these.  The first time was a disaster, looks-wise since it stuck to the pan and it was really difficult to remove.  The next two or three times, I used parchment paper and that was good but wasteful in terms of parchment paper.  Yesterday, I decided to use Pyrex and it was the best decision ever.  It didn’t stick at all and no waste!

Of course we had to give it a taste.  I ate some, Yumi ate some, and Jon ate some.  By today, there were only 5 squares left and of course, I had to have one with my coffee and Yumi and Jon had to eat some too.  I actually wanted more but it’s all gone.

So, tomorrow, Yumi will have the same packed snack for school.

 

Maybe next week, she can bring an honest to goodness homemade snack to school.  🙂

Lemon Squares (recipe sent by my sister)

Ingredients:

For the crust:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar (plus extra for dusting)

 

For the top layer:

1 cup sugar

2 T flour

1/2 t baking powder

2 eggs

1/2 t salt

3 T lemon juice

2 t lemon zest

(I’m very lazy so I actually just used the juice of one lemon)

 

Procedure:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C

2.  Cream the butter and sugar for the crust.

3.  Add the flour and mix well.

4.  Press the mixture on the pan and bake for 15 min.

5.  While the crust is baking, mix all the ingredients for the top layer together.

6.  Pour over the cooked crust.

7.  Bake for 25 min.

8.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar while still warm.

9.  Cool, cut, then serve. 🙂

 

 

Country Loaf

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I made some brownies yesterday but it was too sweet and rich for me so I needed to make something else.  Since I was getting tired of French bread, I decided to make Country bread instead but this time I made use of my loaf pan.

Actually, my kids have been begging me to stop making bread unless it’s monkey bread , so I gave one loaf to my mom.  Unfortunately for them, I like eating bread so I will continue making them, maybe just once a week.  At least as a loaf, it looks like the bread we used to buy and I feel like making real sandwiches like grilled cheese or tuna.

Would you like a slice?

Chocolate Chip Monkey Bread

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Last Friday, some former colleagues and I decided to have a get together at my place.  I think it’s been 2 years or more since we last had a party so it was a welcome affair.

One of them requested for oil and garlic pasta and we made that, or rather Jon made it.  We usually serve it with hungarian sausage but unfortunately we didn’t have any and I didn’t have time (aka am too lazy) to go out and buy some.  We did have some sardines so we used that instead.

Of course, since I’m on a bread baking mission, I had to bake some bread.  I just didn’t know what to make.  Jon suggested Chocolate Chip Monkey Bread.  I’ve never eaten monkey bread although I have seen some pictures online.  I searched for recipes but I only saw some with cinnamon and usually prepared/frozen dough.  So he searched for the recipe and found it in a really old issue of Chocolatier magazine.

Monkey Bread is usually prepared in a tube pan which we don’t have so I just used 2 loaf pans instead.

And this was the table before my friends arrived:

Anyway, I wanted to take a picture of pieces of the loaf to show how it looked inside but our kids brought the left-over bread to the neighbors when they went there to play last night.  So, no more bread to take pictures off.

My kids really like the bread, eating it for breakfast and snacks yesterday.  I liked this bread too since it was soft, tasty and a treat.  Next time though, I’ll mix some chocolate chips in the dough itself.  The original recipe just had me roll the balls of dough into melted butter then into the chocolate chips.  So there wasn’t much excitement eating the inside of the loaf, everybody wanted to eat the outside parts, hahaha.

I’ll definitely make this again and next time, it would be better. =)

Brownie Fail

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Summer’s back with a vengeance.  It’s hot again and the sun woke me up at around 7 am.  I know, that’s late already but I slept late and I would have wanted to wake up at 8 am or 9 am.

Anyway, since I’m up already, I decided to be productive.  I haven’t baked for several days so I decided to make French bread and another attempt at brownies, this time adding some chocolate chips.

For the French bread, I decided to use an egg wash since one recipe I read used it.  It made the bread brown beautifully.  However, the crust wasn’t crisp anymore but I think it helped in keeping the bread soft.  Overall, it was still good but I haven’t decided yet if I like a crisp crust better.

About the brownies, I had such high hopes.  I mixed the batter, buttered the pan, then baked it, just like before.  It smelled really good so the kids and I were looking forward to trying the adjusted recipe.

The bad news was, when I removed the brownie from the pan, it stuck!!!  It was really disappointing and my brownies were wrecked.  I mean, it still tasted good but it looked really bad.  =(

The last time I made brownies, I lined the pan with foil so it was easy to remove and cut.  I could, of course, do that but I really don’t like using parchment paper or foil.  I find it such a waste of resource.  I hate buying stuff that I will use once then throw out.  I’m thinking of investing in silicon pans but it’s just so expensive.

So there I was, feeling sad and depressed when Jari says something to make it worth the trouble.  “By the way Mom, I love your brownies.”  =)

Crunchy Granola

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In my search for healthy snacks, I came upon a recipe for Crunchy Granola.  I’ve been wanting to try making granola bars but the recipes had so many ingredients which I don’t have on hand and I’m not particularly fond of like dried fruits.  What we do have are walnuts and rolled oats and these are the main ingredients of crunchy granola, so I decided to give it a try with a few minor changes.

These are the only things you’ll need to make your own:

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup cheerios (actually, the recipe called only for rolled oats but we have a pack of cheerios that nobody’s eating so I decided to substitute some of the rolled oats with it)

1 cup chopped walnuts

The procedure is pretty straightforward.

Combine the water and brown sugar in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar is melted.  Mix in the vanilla and salt.  In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients with the sugar mixture.  Spread the granola onto a cookie sheet and bake for around 45 min in a preheated 140 degree C oven.  Cool completely then store in an airtight container.

I’m thinking it would be good mixed in yogurt or milk for breakfast but I enjoyed eating it as is.  I’m guessing you can mix whatever nuts you prefer or maybe sunflower seeds and dried fruits if you like.  Today was the first time I made it and I really liked it.  I’ll probably make it again mixed with other kinds of nuts and seeds but at least now, I have a snack that I can enjoy guilt-free.  I just have to ensure that I don’t eat too much. 🙂