Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Tonight I wanted to post an update on the Willow Bird Baking Challenges. We made braids, stuffed cookies and cupcakes and I never got around to posting pics of what I made a link to what others made. Tonight as I prepped the final challenge, I made a mental note to get this post done.

But then, I got word that a friend was brutally murdered. I am in shock. I am angry. I am in pain.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I feel sick today so I'm taking a 2 hour break and making a kitchen bucket list. What? You thought I was going to the doctor? 
What's on your bucket list? Kitchen or otherwise?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sunday Stream of Consciousness: No Prompt

There's no prompt for today's stream of consciousness so I get to write what's on my mind for the next 5 minutes.

Today I was working on cookies for the 3rd Willow Bird Baking Challenge. Have you read about that yet? Pretend that I added a hyperlink here but just go to my previous post (and most likely the next) to read more. Working on these challenges has taught me me of something about myself. I am EXTREMELY indecisive. I simply cannot make up my mind and when I do make a choice, I immediately regret it. Sometimes, I have to ask friends to make the choice for me before I drive myself crazy. I literally spent almost every moment since the Google Hangout ended at about 8:10 on Friday night until ..well just about now deciding what to make. I made an instant decision 2 minutes after the Hangout and was proud of myself. And then it changed, evolved. Now I'm not doing anything close to what I had first decided. That makes me kinda sad. The first idea was a great one.

But these are just cookies. They're not really life decisions. But my behaviour mirrors how I make other decisions in my life. Should I make a call? Go for a walk? I simply cannot make up my mind. I know a lot of it..well, all of it, is related to my anxiety disorder. It may be time to go back to therapy. I think I have forgotten all the tools that I picked up. Having an anxiety disorder can be....oops...there goes the timer.

Want to join in on Sunday Stream of Consciousness? Visit Jana's Thinking Place for more info.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Comfy Cozy

Today’s (totally optional) prompt: What makes you feel cozy and safe?

A blanket wrapped tightly around me? A hug from a special person? This is a hard one for me. Maybe it's food. Do I find comfort and safety in food? Maybe I feel that way in the kitchen. It's weird to think that what makes me feel cozy and safe does not immediately come to mind. Perhaps it's the difference in meaning of the to words to me. I may feel cozy all wrapped up in my blanket on a chilly night. But I may not necessarily feel safe. A warm bowl of may favourite soup or meal may evoke feelings of comfort and coziness too but they don't make me feel safe. 

What makes you feel cozy and safe? Perhaps, you'll do better than me. My 5 minutes have ended. Yours begin now.

Visit Jana's Thinking Place for more about SOC Sunday.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Willow Bird Baking Challenge #1: Guava & White Chocolate Cream Cheese Rolls and Plantain & Bacon Rolls.

I mentioned before that I absolutely love Willow Bird Baking. I read a lot of food blogs and bookmark a lot of recipes. However, I never get around to making most of them. However, from the day I found Julie's blog, it has been hard to resist the urge to make every recipe she posts. So of course when she issued a challenge, I was all over it. You can learn more about the challenge here:

Over the next few weeks, Julie will issue a challenge to us. The first was given on September 28. She asked us to do a twist on cinnamon rolls. Now, while I was jumping out of my seat and happy to run to the kitchen to start baking, I was also scared. Cinnamon rolls are just always messy for me. My dough is too sticky. There's too much filling oozing. I can't slice the rolls neatly. It goes on and on. I wasn't going to let that stop me though. 

I decided to do two types - a guava and white chocolate cream cheese and plantain and bacon. It was hard to wait for the plantains to ripen enough for this. I couldn't wait anymore and just went ahead.  

I used the dough that Julie provided. As expected, it was extremely sticky. I think I needed to increase the flour amount just a bit to compensate for my humid climate. I used my baking mat to help me roll them. I had a lot of trouble slicing the plantain rolls that I made first. I decided to chill the guava rolls before slicing and that made it a lot easier. 

Guava & White Chocolate Cream Cheese Rolls

I used half of the Julie's dough for each set of rolls. I rolled out the first half to about 10" x 10". I didn't measure. I then spread about 4 ounces of softened Philadelphia Indulgence White Chocolate Cream Cheese over the dough. 
I did two letter folds and then rolled the dough out to approximately 12" x 16". I brushed the dough with about a tablespoon of melted butter. You could use more if you like, but I don't like dealing with butter oozing out of the rolls. I actually prefer to spread softened butter over the dough instead of melted butter. 
I then put thin strips of guava paste all over the dough. You can find guava paste in Latin markets. 
This is the one I used: 
It's just a block of lots and lots of sugar and guava. It's pretty pliable though and tastes oh so good. I sliced it as thinly as I could and placed it on my dough. You could also slightly soften it in the microwave and mix in some spices. Or you could simply sprinkle the spices over the thin slices. However, I love the taste as is so I left it alone. 

After that, I rolled up my dough starting with the long side. I placed it in the freezer for about 15 minutes so that it would be easier to slice. I sliced it into 12 rolls and proofed and baked per Julie's instructions. 
You can see from the picture that I didn't add a lot of icing to it. I mixed just a tiny bit of powdered sugar with Irish Cream coffee creamer (yup!) and sprinkled a bit on. The rolls are pretty sweet. You really don't need the additional sugar. I did it for aesthetics and to see if I was good at using the tines of a fork to put icing on. 

Plantain & Bacon Rolls

For the plantain and bacon rolls, I first cooked 12 slices bacon for just a couple minutes and left it to cool. I didn't want crisp bacon.

 I sliced my plantains and added them to a pot with just a little water to help them soften. They were still not as ripe as I'd have liked. I added a little sugar and spices and then mashed them up. I made sure the liquid had evaporated and left it to cool. It was then the same thing as the other rolls. First I spread the plantain all over my rolled out dough (12" x 16")and then I lay the 12 strips of bacon perpendicular to the long side. I carefully rolled it up and then sliced, proofed and baked. 

I wanted to put something on top of these rolls but I didn't want it to be a sweet icing. I'll have to think about it over the next couple of days.

These are so good that I don't want to share. I had plans to send them to friends but now they're mine - all mine! I put most of them in the freezer and I will be eating them for days!

Here's Julie's post showcasing all the other delicious rolls her readers came up with.

I'm submitting this to Yeast Spotting.