baking

Why is it called a Peach Cobbler?

One good thing that is coming from being safer at home is that many people are trying out new hobbies or improving their current hobbies. Two of my hobbies are sewing and baking. I noticed that both of those are in high gear right now. Some people are learning how to sew masks, which is inspiring them to learn how to sew their own clothes. Some people are learning how to bake bread for the first time or making a lot of banana bread. I know I’ve made a lot of banana bread in the last 4 months.

One of my goals during this lock-down is to bake something new and different to me. Things that I’ve never baked before. One of those things was carrot cake An Adapted Carrot Cake Recipe by Paula Deen- Quarantine Style. I also want to learn how to bake bread from scratch.

I found some canned peaches in my pantry and figured that this is as good a time as any to learn how to make a peach cobbler. Want to know a secret? I’ve never had peach cobbler ever in my life. I know, I can’t believe it either. And I’m not the type to choose vanilla for ice cream. I mean, my favorite ice cream is one with everything and anything in it! I am willing to try any dessert. So it’s hard to believe that I’ve never had peach cobbler.

Since I’ve never had this dessert before, I decided to start with an easy and simple recipe. One that included canned peaches. I watched a few videos on YouTube and found that they all had the same basic recipe for easy and simple peach cobbler. They all contained a stick of butter (or 1/2 cup of butter), a can of peaches, and one cup each of milk, flour and sugar. Also added were baking soda and salt if baking flour was not used. In each recipe, the first step is to melt the stick of butter in the oven. While doing that, you mix the milk, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Once the butter is melted, you pour the mixture on top of the melted butter. The most important part is not to stir or mix it. Just have the mixture spread out on it’s own. Then pour the can of peaches, syrup and all, on top of the mixture. Again, do not stir or mix. Bake for about 45 minutes (until the top is browned).

That was the most glorious 45 minutes I’ve had since this lockdown. You know why? Because the whole house smelled like BUTTER! O…M…G…

the final product

The middle seemed a little too mushy. Maybe too much syrup? The sides were browned enough so I didn’t want to put it back in the oven. Can I be honest? It tasted ok. It was actually kind of bland. Like, where are the spices? LOL… And really, it was way too butter-y. I wasn’t very impressed.

I watched a few more videos to see if there was something that I missed. All of them basically had the same ingredients until I found one person who shared her grandmother’s recipe. The only difference is that she added a teaspoon of vanilla in her mix and she sprinkled cinnamon on top.

It was too late to add vanilla. So I sprinkled some cinnamon on a new piece and whoa, that made a difference. There’s what was missing. If I ever make this dessert again, I will add the vanilla and cinnamon.

At least I get to check off another dessert off my lock-down bucket list. My next baking project will be the bread made from scratch.

Until then, Happy Baking and Happy 4th of July!

Oh, and the answer to that question. The question my son was asking each time I asked him if he wanted a piece of peach cobbler, Why is it called peach cobbler? Here’s a satisfying answer:

Cobblers originated in the British American coloniesEnglish settlers were unable to make traditional suet puddings due to lack of suitable ingredients and cooking equipment, so instead covered a stewed filling with a layer of uncooked plain biscuits or dumplings, fitted together.[citation needed] The origin of the name cobbler, recorded from 1859, is uncertain: it may be related to the archaic word cobeler, meaning “wooden bowl”.[2]

-Wikipedia.org

DIY

Easy DIY painted milk bottle vases

I had a couple of party favors left over from a baby shower that I threw for a friend. They were these cute glass milk bottles. As party favors, I put big baby blue gumballs in them and handed them out. Since I had a couple of them left over, I decided to do a fun DIY project.

I decided to paint them. An easy project. I took them outside ( a well ventilated area) and sprayed a light coating of glossy white spray paint. I sprayed it 2 more times, letting it dry for a bit in between each spray.

And here’s how they turned out:

I ended up giving them as teacher gifts for teacher appreciation week. I put pretty flowers in them and gave one to my son’s teacher and one to the teacher assistant.

Happy DIY!

baking

An Adapted Carrot Cake Recipe by Paula Deen- Quarantine Style

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This was my first try at making carrot cake and it was a hit. We had an abundance of  carrots since I’ve been making a lot of lentil soup during our self-quarantine. After about the 4th pot of lentil soup, I decided that I wanted to make something different (and sweet!). I decided carrot cake would fit the bill.

I wanted to make use of the carrots we already had in our refrigerator before they got  too old. If there is anything learned during this time, it is “waste not, want not”. It’s a good idea to be as resourceful as possible during these times because even though we can still go out to do our essential shopping, it’s better to avoid it as much as possible and use whatever you have on hand. Also, it’s a good idea to find different ways to use the same ingredients, such as carrots.

My favorite baker is Paula Deen. I use her recipes alot (The most delicious pumpkin bars EVER!, 2nd time baking contest winner with these Pumpkin Coconut Cupcakes!  and I usually adapt them. I used to love watching her shows on Food Network and now she has a YouTube channel. Lately, she’s been doing a lot of quarantine cooking herself.

So of course, while Google searching “carrot cake” and “carrot cake with oil”, I found her recipe. Why not butter you ask? I feel that oil makes and keeps the cake moist. The flavor of butter is better by far, but I noticed that the winning feature of any cake or cupcake is how moist it is.

Here is the list of ingredients needed for this carrot cake:

Butter, for pans

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

3 cups grated carrots

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, optional

And here is the list of  my “quarantine style” adaptations.

  • Because I didn’t want to use up all my eggs and flour (I’m a little traumatized because the last 2 times I went to the grocery store, they were all out) and because I felt that we don’t need a “whole” cake, I split the recipe in half.
  • I also don’t have a whole bag of pecans, so I picked all the pecans out of our Costco container of mixed nuts. How’s that for being resourceful. I didn’t have the full amount that I needed, but it was enough to give it a little pecan flavor.
  • I wanted the cake to have a little taste of nutmeg. The only spice in the recipe is cinnamon. However, since I don’t have any nutmeg in my pantry right now and a little trip to the store to get some nutmeg was out of the question, I used the next best thing- “Pumpkin Pie Spice”. I added one teaspoon of it.

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It has cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. 

  • I didn’t have cream cheese for the frosting, but I had some leftover store bought frosting from when I made my son’s birthday cake last month (I bought it ahead of time anticipating the quarantine). The flavor wasn’t cream cheese but it was vanilla and that’s close enough.
  • I also didn’t use butter to butter the pans, but instead used the oil that was leftover in the measuring cups.

To be honest, I probably would have made all of these adaptations on a regular day  because I don’t really like going to the grocery store just to buy one or two things. I’m usually too lazy for that. Either way, adaptations and all, this carrot cake came out terrific!

Here is a link to the full recipe (without the adaptations): Grandma Hiers’ Carrot Cake recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

If you make this carrot cake, I am sure you will love it too. Enjoy. Be safe, stay healthy  and take care!

Today I am grateful for homeschooling, working from home, video chatting with family, zooming with co-workers, texting with friends and staying safe and healthy at home.