Home and Family

Baking in the time of..

April 5, 2020

Yeah, I’m tired of the coronavirus references too. But they’re so easy!

With no place to go on the weekends (and really no desire to ever leave my house again) I’ve taken to baking. To try and keep things under control, I only bake goodies on Sundays and we make them last the week. Many of these were featured on Instagram stories — give me a follow there if you want unscripted, imperfect stories with a Jersey accent.

The first weekend I baked chocolate chip cookie bars. These came from The Preppy Kitchen and I baked mine in a 9×9 pan. Your 8×8 ones would be even chunkier. WM rates them an A+.

chocolate chip cookie bars

Next up were Smitten Kitchen’s Peanut Butter Cookies – which could have been named Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies. Deb’s recipes have never ever failed me, and these were no exception. I used smooth peanut butter instead of chunky. WM gives them an A++.

Remy and Emile approve!

Not quite a pastry, but I’ve also been making pizza dough on Sundays to make pizza Mondays after work. I’m using the King Arthur pizza crust recipe and let it chill overnight. After weeks of trial and error, I found that taking the dough out of the refrigerator at 1pm gives the dough enough time to come to room temperature before I stretch it out to fit my half-sheet pan. Otherwise, the dough pulls and rips. We top the pizza with barbecue sauce, one large air-fried chicken breast rubbed in Penzey’s 33rd & Galena seasoning, and mozzarella cheese. The final product photographs disgustingly, but is SO GOOD. WM gives it an A+.

pre-baked pizza dough in a half-sheet pan
also, don’t forget to grease the pan in olive oil.

Because my oven’s heat source is at the bottom, to get a bit of crunch to the crust I don’t move the pizza to the top rack after putting the toppings on.

Last week’s pastry was the chocolate chip muffins from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I wanted more than 6 large muffins, so I used cupcake pans and ended up with 18 smaller ones. The only paper cups I had were Christmas themed and I rolled with it. I forgot to top them with sugar but they were fantastic anyway. WM gives them an A+.

muffins incomprehensibly photographed with Christmas decor because I'm losing my mind.
Christmas in Smarch.

And this isn’t baking, but yesterday I made chicken noodle soup in my slow cooker using the recipe from Delish and great googly moogly it was AMAZING.

soup artfully posed in a mug
soup porn

I altered the recipe just a bit, not because I’m a chef, but because I have preferences.

  • I cooked the chicken breasts on a skillet before putting them into the pot. I’m a little skeeved out by dumping raw chicken into a crockpot full of liquid and vegetables. I know it eventually is cooked, and I know I’m likely sacrificing a more flavorful broth. That’s okay.
  • I used 2 cloves of garlic instead of 3 (WM is not a garlic fan), minced onion instead of fresh (not going to the store for an onion), and 2 cups of vegetable broth along with the chicken broth instead of 8 cups of chicken broth. Again, not running to the store for special broth.
  • I cooked the egg noodles at the end, put them into the bowls, and poured the soup over it. When I’ve tried soup in the past, my noodles get pasty. Even if I put them in at the end.

This recipe was enough for dinner for both of us, lunch for both of us later today, and a few servings frozen for later. WM gives it an A++.

Non-baking thoughts:

This is day 23 of my quarantine, excepting 3 car rides and a quick trip to visit mom from 10 feet away. WM is the designated shopper. Once a week he’ll hit the grocery if needed (we’re skipping this week) and he’s gone to Home Depot a few times for home improvement supplies. This isn’t recommended but the stores are open … so? We will occasionally order takeout from local places to try and keep them afloat.

After weeks of dicking around, the CDC/federal government is finally saying maybe kind of sort of if you want to you could probably be wearing cloth masks when out in public. That’s as firm as they get, federally.

I stopped taking my daily medicine after 5 days, due to side effects including nausea, sleeplessness, and the feeling that I was going to jump out of my skin, like all of my muscles were TENSED AND READY TO FIRE. I may call my doc and see if I can be switched to something else. Or, if I feel the stress ramping up again, I may on-board with 1/4 pill instead of 1/2 pill, etc. We’ll see. I’ve been okay lately. As okay as okay can be, that is.

Today would have been my 23rd wedding anniversary to BvP. I texted him when this (handwaving) started happening. He’s doing well. He’s a hospital pharmacist up in NJ’s hotspot (we’re #2 in the country in cases), so keep him and all of our frontline healthcare providers in your thoughts/prayers/machinations.

Right now, it’s like this.

You Might Also Like