Daring Bakers Danish Braids

June 29, 2008 at 12:28 pm | Posted in breakfast, Daring Bakers, Dessert | 34 Comments
Tags: ,

I’m back home after a week long training in Sacramento and I just pulled my Danish Braids out of the oven, whew!

I’ll post prettier photos, the recipes and reviews later. For now, here’s what I’ve got sitting on my counter.

One Danish Braid filled with an apple filling:

One Danish Braid filled with a cream cheese filling and chocolate chips:

Be sure to check back later. And check out all of the other Daring Baker‘s Danish Braids…yum!


Okay, it’s later…first of all, my family loved these! What a way to start a Sunday morning! My thanks to Kelly of Sass & Veracity and Ben of What’s Cookin’? for hosting such a fun challenge.

After doing this recipe, I learned that you have to allow time for the dough to rise. For me, it was late and I was tired. I gave my dough just one hour to rise. As you can see by my photos I didn’t get the great rise that others did. That being said, when pressed for time, it can work. I will try these again. And am trying a cream cheese with blackberry topping next.

Also, next time I will make the dough a day ahead. Then do my fillings, braiding, and final proof on my baking day. It will be much easier and I won’t be rushed for time.

My daughter and I agree that the apple filling braid was the best. The filling was the perfect compliment to the dough. Oh and the dough, the orange and vanilla bean were perfect and made this a tasty treat. I saved my $10 and skipped the cardamon spice…didn’t miss it at all.

My hubby and son agreed that the cream cheese with chocolate chip filling was the best braid. For the cream cheese filling I consulted The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard (yes, the book the danish braid recipe hails) and found her recipe for Cream Cheese Filling.

Here’s a look at some of those chocolate chips sprinkled on the cream cheese filling, yes I could have used more…live and learn.

Cream Cheese Filling

The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard

  • 3/4 pound cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream together until smooth. Spoon onto the danish and bake.

The Daring Bakers recipes…

Continue Reading Daring Bakers Danish Braids…

cake and sprinkles

June 19, 2008 at 10:35 pm | Posted in Diet and Exercise | 9 Comments
Tags: ,

If yoga and pilates are the frosting on the exercise cake, then wii fit is the sprinkles. So today I guess I had some cake and sprinkles with no frosting.

My day started with a trip to the gym. I remembered Eating Bird Food‘s (how cute is that name by the way?) post about walking on the treadmill at 4.5 and thought I’d give it a try…so hard! I found it actually easier to run.

So I ran 2.5 miles and then walked another mile. After that I hit the weight room and worked my triceps, shoulders, back and did some leg presses. Then I grabbed a med ball and did some ab work.

This evening it was time for some sprinkles with the Wii Fit! This is a very fun game. My family is so cute! I love this opening screen. Oh, and my son is a huge Star Wars fan so that’s actually C3-P0 playing.

I started with some balance board games…

…ya, I can’t do this one…darn bubble on the river…

then some aerobics…

that’s right, “calorie incinerator”…

and I finished with some strength training…


I played for one hour and four minutes.

Better than sitting on my butt watching tv or playing on the computer!

stuck in a rut

June 18, 2008 at 12:50 pm | Posted in Diet and Exercise | 15 Comments
Tags: , ,

I’m stuck in a rut, and I think it’s good for me.

Without fail I’ll go two weeks eating Kashi Go Lean for Breakfast. It’s easy and simple. Tastes good. And I know it’s good for me.

Lunch this week has been a turkey sandwich with tomato, spinach, cream cheese and mustard on whole grain bread…every day.

This is my favorite mustard, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. It’s so good!

I think I read somewhere that it helps control your calories when you eat the same foods day after day. But I also read that a diet that lacks variety can be missing out on essential nutrients. What I do know is it works for me.

What I’m curious about is, do you get stuck-in-a-rut with your meals? And if so, do you think it helps control your appetite and cravings?

solutions week 30

June 16, 2008 at 10:38 pm | Posted in solutions | 6 Comments

Summer! Summer! Summer! My weekly diet and exercise solution goals are listed on the sidebar. Here’s me just keeping it real. Because I need some real accountability!

First off…New Running Shoes! These Asics are my favorite…GT-2130.

Monday: Gym day! I started with a 2 mile run and then a 1.5 mile walk. Then on to strength training for arms, walking lunges, one legged squats and a great set of abs! Tonight I finished eating at 6:30pm. No walk, but I played the Wii Fit for 2 hours with a friend.

Tuesday: Gym Day! This morning I ran 2.5 miles (in my new asics) and walked 1 mile. Then I grabbed some weights for arm circles. Plus I did assisted pull-ups, abs on the ball and squats on the ball.

Thursday:  Gym day!  I ran 2.5 miles and walked 1 mile. It was hard.  I felt like I had no energy.  But I felt so glad to have done it!  After that I went into the weight room for strength training.

Friday:  Gym Day!  I went on the elliptical for 35 minutes then did some abs on the ball.  My heart rate does not go up like on the treadmill.  The treadmill makes me go harder and faster than I probably would.  For me, it’s a better workout than the elliptical.  I should remember that.


June 15, 2008 at 8:00 am | Posted in essay | 4 Comments

I was so bummed when I saw this. But then I remembered reading this last night. And then I watched this.

So that’s why I’m posting this on my sidebar :

Infertility’s Common Thread

Because 10 years ago when I started infertility treatments there was nothing like this. And I wanted one. I needed one. And now there is one.

And even with 5 year old twins running around my house (IVF w/day 2 rescue ICSI),

it is still part of me.

Flag Cake

June 13, 2008 at 8:54 am | Posted in Dessert | 14 Comments
Tags: ,

Another Ina Garten recipe, another pound of butter.  And all of that butter goes to celebrate Flag Day!  Okay, really I just wanted an excuse to try this cake.  It was super good.  The flavors were fabulous.  The cream cheese frosting was delish.  And the berries were a fun addition.

This cake was fun to make.  I used a big star tip (1M) to create the white lines and outline the flag.  It came together pretty quickly.  I did make sure to wash and thoroughly dry my  berries before putting them on my cake.  I think this helped them to not “bleed” into the white frosting.  It looked good and tasted good 3 days after I had made it.  Plus, it makes a ton.  Perfect for a party!

My daughter is a big berry girl, so she added some extra berries to her slice.

Continue Reading Flag Cake…

Company Brownies

June 4, 2008 at 11:18 am | Posted in Dessert | 14 Comments
Tags: ,

I’ve always been a big fan of Ina Garten. Her coconut cupcakes are divine. I think beatty’s chocolate cake is the best chocolate cake recipe ever, and I love it so much that I made it into cupcakes.

So there was no doubt in my mind that her Outrageous Brownies would be, well, outrageous. These brownies, my friends, do not disappoint.

Outrageous Brownies (by Ina Garten)

1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (1 cup for batter and 1/4 cup in the chips and nuts)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups diced walnut pieces (I used 1 cup walnut pieces and 1 cup white chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

Melt together the butter, 1 pound chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.

Stir together 1 cup of the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts, white chocolate chips and 12 ounces of chocolate chips with 1/4 cup flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not over-bake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares.

These brownies are perfect for an event or company because they can be made the day before. Just wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. Then slice and plate, these will be the hit of the party!

solutions week 28

June 2, 2008 at 7:45 pm | Posted in Diet and Exercise, solutions | 8 Comments
Tags: , , ,

First things first…we have the Wii Fit and I LOVE IT! This game is seriously addicting.

My favorite game is Step Aerobics.

This is a far cry from Adam’s Advanced Step Class at Gold’s Gym in Santa Barbara (from 12 years ago), but it is fun. Picture guitar hero for your feet. You have to step up and down to the beat. The beginner level is combinations (and I use that term loosely) of basic step and over the top. And it’s slow, real slow. The advanced level is combinations of basic step, over the top, side step, and step kick.

…and now for some accountability…

Monday Solutions:

This morning I ran 2 miles and then walked 2 miles. We finished dinner at 6:45pm and then I went on a 30 minute walk. After the kids are in bed, it’s Wii Fit time…more photos and information at the end of this post. Wii fit for 1 hour 11 minutes including all strength training exercises, aerobic step and hula hoop, balance board and penguin. Fun Fun Fun!

Tuesday: Today I went to the gym and ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes (2.65 miles).

Wednesday: 2 mile walk this morning. Finished eating at 6pm. Went on a 25 minute walk with the dog and then played Wii Fit for 1 hour (all balance and aerobics games).

Thursday: Ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes (2.7 miles). Then went in to the weight room for walking lunges and arms. Finished eating dinner at 6:30pm and then went on a 25 minute walk. I would love to blog about the peach cobbler from the other night. But it requires a piece to be cut and heated up, so I’ll skip the food blogging tonight and opt for some more wii fit!

Friday:  2 mile run then a 2 mile walk this morning.  1 hour of wii fit this afternoon.

Continue Reading solutions week 28…

Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

June 1, 2008 at 7:45 am | Posted in Dessert | 16 Comments

My favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies for a favorite friend…Happy Birthday Gretchen!

She remembered back to when we were roommates…”I think we were lying on the kitchen floor, feet propped up against the cabinets. We were surely talking about everything and talking about nothing. Somehow in the midst of that conversation, a tradition was begun. We jumped up off the floor and began to bake.” Here is a photo of that fateful day:

The cookies we made were fabulous (or so we thought at the time). Since then we’ve refined our baking a bit. In honor of her birthday, here’s the recipe for my…

Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies (Thanks Stacey!)

  • 1 lb unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups wheat flour
  • 3 cups white flour
  • 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups chopped pecans (optional, not pictured)

Cream the butter and then add the ingredients as listed. Mix well. Scoop with cookie scoop. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes or until done. Makes about 6 dozen cookies (depending on your size cookie scoop and how much batter you eat). You can half the recipe too. This makes a ton!

Gretchen and I met 14 years ago. She took me to La Bou and we talked over coffee. She had a room for rent in her house. And I took it. She was warm and gracious. She introduced me to her friends at church, encouraged me to go to Mexico and even got me to go to the Ukraine! She made me want to be better. I was and continue to be in awe of her creativity, her passion for helping others, and her desire to be more Christ-like. Happy Birthday Gretchen! Love you!

I know you remember this night (circa 1995)…C, you and me getting ready for the sock-hop. Where did we get those skirts anyways? Oh to be young again!

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.