Welcome to my blog! My name is Stephanie and I was born, raised, and still live just outside of Boston. I’m the mother of two children and I own a very small antique business, as well as a baking business. I love and appreciate all things old, whether antiques or architecture, and love to give items new life by repurposing.
I love food, too much, and I get immense joy from how my food can make others happy. One of the best compliments I have ever received was my daughter telling me that my cooking has ruined everything else for her. I’ll take that!
I’m much more of a baker than I am a cook. Not that I don’t like cooking, I just wish I didn’t have to do it every day. I’d much rather cook when I feel like it. But, since I don’t have a personal chef and my family is picky about eating every day, here I am. Part of the motivation behind this blog is not only to give me someone to talk to during the day other than my dogs, but to be able to share some of the recipes I’ve tried and really enjoy.
I also love to take pictures of every day things that just make me smile. So this blog is just going to be about “my slice of life” and I hope you’ll enjoy some of it!
Strawberry and rhubarb are such a classic summertime combination. I had never had rhubarb until a number of years ago when we purchased a house that had a large rhubarb bush in the yard. At the time I baked a few things with the rhubarb, but after we moved I stopped. Out of sight, out of mind I guess.
This past Thanksgiving one of my daughter’s friends went to great lengths to track down rhubarb and make us a pie. It was delicious, and ever since my daughter has been mentioning that we should make a rhubarb pie. Yesterday we got some strawberries and rhubarb, and got baking. Wow am I glad we did! Sometimes I don’t realize how much I like something until I bake it myself, and that is why I share the recipes I love.
I pretty much flipped a coin on whether to use corn starch or flour to mix with sugar for this pie. I use corn starch in my blueberry pie and flour in my apple pie, and decided to go with flour for this pie. I kept it simple and wasn’t sure how it would taste. I’m not kidding when I say it is one of the best pies I’ve ever had. Lots of recipes on-line have some other ingredients which seem very unnecessary to me, sometimes simple is the best. You often see this type of pie with a lot of liquid, but as you can see this filling set beautifully.
2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
2 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup sugar, plus a little extra
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp water
Clean and slice the strawberries and rhubarb, set aside. I cut the strawberries into fourths, and did about 1/4″ – 1/2″ piece for the rhubarb. We started with 4 cups of fruit, but it didn’t seem like enough so we upped it to around 5 cups.
Snickerdoodles have never really been one of my favorite cookies because they are typically a crunchy cookie, and I prefer softer cookies. Recently my cousin made these cookies and I was surprised that they were soft, and very quickly became one of my new favorites. She was kind enough to share the recipe and today I gave them a try. So good!
If you like a crunchier Snickerdoodle, you can find another recipe in my blog that should satisfy your crunchy craving.
These are really easy to make, and a little too easy to eat multiple of in one sitting.
3 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, + 1 large egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Sift together the dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, or with a hand held mixer combine the softened butter and sugar on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until combined while scraping the bowl frequently.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until combined. Dough will be thick.
Combine the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon on a plate or in a bowl. Roll the dough into balls with your hands and roll the balls into the cinnamon sugar topping.
Place on the cookie sheets. You can top with a little more of the cinnamon sugar if you’d like, and honestly why wouldn’t you?
Bake for 10 minutes. The cookies may be puffy so you can flatten them a little with a spatula.
Let cool on the cookie sheets for 10 minutes before transferring to a cookie rack. Eat and repeat.
My son’s favorite kind of scone is mocha chip, and the best he has ever had comes from a local farm stand. Today I thought, let me give it a try and see how mine will compare. I took my plain scone recipe and gave it a little tweak, and they came out better than expected! I was skeptical using instant coffee, but it combined perfectly in the recipe.
My son was the taste test I needed, and when he got home he gobbled down 2 1/2 scones and said they were as good as the farm stand. Yes!
The key to making scones and biscuits is to use cold butter and to grate the butter with a cheese grater. Butter is quite slippery and will get warm from the heat of your hands, so keep it in the wrapper as best you can.
3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
5 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. instant coffee
3/4 cup cold butter
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk or half and half
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Grate the cold butter and cut it into the dry mixture with a pasty cutter or a fork and knife. As I states before, make sure the butter is cold.
Put the beaten egg in a measuring cup and then fill to the 1 cup mark with the milk or half and half. I used a combination of half and half and milk. Mix the two together and add a little at a time to the dry mixture.
The dough shouldn’t be too moist, just add enough so that the dough will stick together once kneaded. It won’t look like it will in the bowl, but you can tell by using your hands and squeezing some together.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and divide the dough in two, setting one half aside. Knead until it comes together. If it seems too sticky add more flour to the board. Roll the dough into a circle about a 1/2″ thick.
Use a pizza cutter or a knife to cut the dough into 6-8 pieces.
Place the scones on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until just brown.
In keeping with my goal to try as many vintage recipes as I can from my Mom’s old Betty Crocker cookbook (Steph and Betty), I decided to give this cake a try. I don’t believe I have ever tried this type of cake, and to be honest I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it. Well, I have been missing out! This cake is so delicious with a slight crunchy butter brown sugar edge. Wow!
What makes it even better is the cake recipe is a one bowl recipe. I was worrying the cake wouldn’t come out of the pan or it wouldn’t look good, but it surprised me and was actually quite easy to make.
Let’s get baking!
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
Pineapple slices, drained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cake batter by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl of a stand up mixer, or a large mixing bowl. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds scraping constantly. Beat 3 minutes on high speed scraping the bowl occasionally.
Set the batter aside.
Melt 1/4 butter over low heat in a 9″ round layer cake pan. Once melted I turned the pan to coat the sides with the melted butter as well.
Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly in the pan and pat it down.
Place a pineapple ring in the center, and more rings around the edge. You could also cut the slices in half and be more creative if you choose.
Insert a cherry into each pineapple slice.
Top with the batter.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Loosen the sides of the cake carefully with a butter knife. Place a plate over the pan and flip. Keep the pan on the plate for a few minutes before removing.
I usually just make pancakes for my children, but today I happened to see gingerbread pancakes listed on a brunch menu at a local restaurant and thought that was something I needed to make. I did share with my daughter though, and she loved them as much as I did. If you love gingerbread cake, muffins, or cookies, you will love these. One of my absolute favorite pancake recipes is my Pumpkin Pancakes, and this was very similar with its consistency and wonderful spice cake taste. So good!
They are very easy to make and you don’t even need any extra butter on top. We preferred to eat them with confectioners sugar instead of maple syrup, but you can do either. Here’s how to make them:
2 cups flour
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup molasses
3 tbsp butter, melted
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and allspice in a large mixing bowl. I suggest sifting the ingredients together because the spices and sugar tend to get clumpy. You can see how there are large lumps in my sifter. Press the lumps with a spoon or the back of a measuring cup to get them small enough to go through the sifter, this will allow all the ingredients to blend better and prevent a large clump of a spice.
In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the milk, molasses, butter, and eggs.
Whisk the wet mixture into the dry mixture until well combined and most of the lumps are gone.
Cook just like regular pancakes in a frying pan heated to medium heat. Spray the pan first to prevent sticking. Cook until bubbles start to form in the batter and then flip the pancake. These took a little longer to cook than regular pancakes, and I did have to flip them a few times to ensure they were cooked through.
Serve with a little sprinkled confectioners sugar. Delicious!
I was craving this salad that I usually order at a local restaurant and instead of getting take out, I decided to make it myself. This salad is packed full of healthy ingredients that work so well together. They serve this salad with a lemon tahini dressing and since I have been unable to find any in stores, I decided to make the dressing myself as well. It came out delicious and despite my children’s grumbling when they saw what we were having for dinner, they actually enjoyed it.
I looked up recipes for the dressing on-line and ended up combining a few different recipes to make the one I used. I must say while I doubted it would be as good as the one I loved from the restaurant, it was. Isn’t that the best feeling? Go me!
On a side note, I just learned that it is brussels sprouts and not brussel sprouts. Did you know this or am I the only one? Anyway, let’s make this healthy delicious salad.
This dressing is a perfect accompaniment for so many different kinds of salads. I had loved this type of dressing offered at a local restaurant, but was unable to find it at any stores so I made one myself. I was prepared to think it wasn’t as good, but I actually love it and I think you will too! The maple syrup gives it just the right sweetness needed.
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup tahini
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
In a small mixing bowl whisk together all of the ingredients except for the water. Using very cold water, add a little at a time until dressing reaches your desired consistency.