The Perfect Comfort Food

Needing a little warmth and comfort? This Baked Oatmeal with Apples, Raisins, Walnuts, and Pecans is the perfect answer.

Taking a moment for yourself, your loved ones, your family can be easy and tasty with this recipe! Spending a little bit of time to create a comforting meal can bring a smile for sure.

My friends at The Kitchen Table in Sacramento gave me the inspiration for this recipe. What a great idea! When I’m in town I like to stop by her shop and check out her amazing household, baking, and kitchen items. You’ve probably seen some of the items I’ve found in her shop on my Instagram or Facebook posts! If you’re near East Sacramento, be sure to stop by her shop and be inspired! and follow them on Instagram, too: @kitchentablesac

Baked Oatmeal with Apples, Raisins, Walnuts and Pecans

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Category: Uncategorized

Cuisine: American

Servings: 8

Baked Oatmeal with Apples, Raisins, Walnuts and Pecans


  • 2 cups (145 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
  • 3/4 cup (145 grams) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (55 grams) broken walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup (55 grams) raisins
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (367 ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (116 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups (305 grams) peeled and cut tart and crisp apples (Honey Crisp and Granny Smith)
  • 1/2 cup (55 grams) broken pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C)
  2. Grease an 8″ baking dish with butter or spray
  3. In a large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, walnuts, raisins, baking powder, cinnamon and salt
  4. Mix well
  5. In a medium bowl, add all eggs and whisk until scrambled
  6. Add the milk, heavy cream and vanilla to the eggs, and whisk until combined
  7. Pour the milk mixture into the oat mixture
  8. Add the melted (not hot!) butter
  9. Stir until mixed and sugar is melted
  10. Scatter the apples in the prepared dish
  11. Carefully scoop and pour the oatmeal mixture over the apples and spread evenly
  12. Crumble the pecans over the top evenly
  13. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45 -50 minutes until the top is golden and the oats are set
  14. Serve warm or at room temperature


The video is a double batch! This recipe can be frozen after baking, in a tightly covered container, for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, defrost it in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then reheat it, covered in foil, in a 325°F (160°C) oven until hot.

Stay healthy, stay happy, and keep baking!

Povitica, anyone?

Povitica. Say it with me: Poh-vih-teetz-a.

This traditional Eastern European swirled walnut and chocolate bread is one of my favorite treats!

Not exactly the easiest bread to make, but the results are worth the effort.

I’m still on my quest to bake every recipe from the Great British Bake Off Big Book of Recipes, and this was a little intimidating…until I made it!

You’ll need a large worktop or kitchen table to carefully s-t-r-e-t-c-h the soft and delicate dough to the right size.

I tried this recipe twice: once by following the instructions as listed, and once by trying a cool trick for the filling. The trick is to use large strips of plastic wrap to press out the walnut mixture and spread it even and thin on the plastic wrap before flipping that onto the stretched out dough. Voila! Something that seemed impossible and was a little frustrating, became quite easy. I’ll be making it a third time, in a smaller loaf pan to get the roll to stack better and rise higher.

Give it a try! and say it with me again: Poh-vih-teetz-ah


Prep Time: 4 hours

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 5 hours

Category: Uncategorized

Cuisine: Croatian, Eastern European

Servings: 9×5 loaf pan, approximately 8 – 12 servings



  • For the Dough:
  • 1 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon fast-acting yeast
  • 1/8 cup butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, beaten to mix
  • 2/3 cup lukewarm whole milk (80 degrees F to 90 degrees F)
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, split open lengthwise
  • For the Filling:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 cups walnut halves or pieces
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, split open lengthwise
  • 1 egg yolk
  • To Assemble:
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 egg white, beaten to mix
  • Powdered sugar and water for a thin drizzle, if desired


  1. For the Dough: Add the flour and the sugar int to the bowl of a free-standing mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  2. Add the salt to one side of the bowl, and the yeast to the other.
  3. Make a well in the flour
  4. Add the butter, egg, and milk.
  5. Scrape the vanilla seeds out of the pod and add them to the bowl.
  6. Begin mixing at slow speed.
  7. When the dough starts to come together, turn up to medium speed and mix for a further 5 – 8 minutes to make a soft, smooth and stretchy dough.
  8. Place the dough into a large, lightly oiled mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  9. Leave to rise for about 1 hour until at least double in size. (Rising time will vary)
  10. Meanwhile, make the filling.
  11. Put the butter and milk in a small pan and heat until the butter has melted; remove from heat.
  12. Put the walnuts, sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl of a food processor and add the seeds scraped from the vanilla pod.
  13. Process until it reaches a sandy powder.
  14. Add the egg yolk, and the milk and butter mixture, and pulse to combine.
  15. Set aside at room temperature.
  16. Spread a clean bedsheet over your worktop and dust with flour.
  17. Butter a 9×5 loaf pan.
  18. Turn the risen dough out on to the sheet and, without knocking it back, roll out into a large rectangle about 20 in. x 8 in.
  19. Brush the surface with the 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
  20. Dust your hands with flour, then ease them, palms down, underneath the dough.
  21. Using the tops of your hands, stretch the dough out from the center until it is very thin and see-through. (you should be able to see the sheet faintly)
  22. The rectangle should be just over 3 feet x 2 feet (39 x 24)
  23. If the filling has been standing for a long time and seems too thick to spread easily, add a little warm milk to loosen it up a bit.
  24. Spread the filling gently over the dough – take care as the thin dough could tear – until evenly covered.
  25. Starting at one long edge of the dough, lift the sheet and gently roll the dough up tightly, like a Swiss Roll.
  26. Carefully lift the rolled dough and place one end in the bottom corner of the prepared loaf tin. Ease the roll around the base of the tin to form a U shape, then continue laying the roll over the first U shape to form a second U shape on top.
  27. Put the loaf tin inside a clean plastic bag, close and leave to prove for 1 hour. Towards the end of the proving time, heat your over to 350 degrees F.
  28. Remove the tin from the bag and brush the dough with the beaten egg white. (try and avoid it collecting where the bread meets the pan, to avoid sticking)
  29. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F and bake for another 45 minutes – if the top starts to burn, cover with foil.
  30. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
  31. When the loaf is cold, (if desired) mix some powdered sugar with a few drops of cold water to make a runny icing and drizzle it over the top.


This recipe is adapted from Paul Hollywood’s Povitica from the BBC

Mimi J Kent, Baking from Scratch; Irish Brack

Not your Grandmother’s Fruit Cake

Mimi J Kent, Baking from Scratch; Irish Brack

Fruit cake. When I hear those words, I immediately flash back to a horrible, store bought, holiday fruit cake that looked like it would be delicious…but instead made me barf. (literally)

I was sooooo excited to try that holiday sweet bread when I was young. From a kid’s perspective it looked like it would be sweet and filled with candy! But what looked like candy soon turned out to be gross hyper green and red fake cherries strewn about in a dense, dry bread-thing, full of other mysterious, dark fruit bits, and it was terribly disappointing and I’ve avoided all fruit cakes ever since. I assumed that all fruit cake, no matter who made it including my dear Grandmother, was disgusting.

That was over 48 years ago.

Irish Brack (traditional Irish Barmbrack)

Mimi J Kent, Baking from Scratch; Irish Brack

As most of you know, I’m baking my way through The Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking, and I’m baking things I would never even consider because it’s in the book. Some are new favorites, some are just an item to check off the list of ‘to do’. I figured the Irish Brack would be CHECK, done. But…instead…I love it.

I have no idea what that THING was that I ate when I was a kid…but, that thing they called a fruit cake ruined my perception of something that is really quite glorious.

The GBBO cookbook has some gems. This little Brack feels like it’s thrown in there amidst some pretty fancy raised/plaited loaves, so I didn’t think much of it, and I made it only because it was in the book.

My oh my, this little ‘quick’ (not so quick) bread is DELICIOUS! I didn’t think much about or shop specifically for the dried fruit I added, it was what I had in the cupboard. But, the combination of golden raisins (sultanas), dried sour cherries, blueberries and apricots is a winner.

Mimi J Kent, Baking from Scratch; Irish Brack

Try it, you might like it

If you’ve had really bad fruit cake experience, or if you hate fruit cake, I dare you to try this recipe. You could be sweetly surprised like I was!

I hope you try it, and if you do, let me know what you think!

Irish Brack (Barmbrack, Fruit Bread)

Prep Time: 9 hours

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 10 hours, 15 minutes

Category: Uncategorized

Cuisine: Traditional Irish

Servings: 8 – 12



  • 2 tea bags, English Breakfast (or other strong breakfast blend or Assam)
  • 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) boiling water
  • 1 ½ cups (350 grams) dried mixed fruit (Raisins/Sultanas, Cherries, Blueberries, Apricots or your favorites)
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup +1 tablespoon (75 grams) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 1 medium egg, beaten to mix


  1. Put the tea bags into a medium-sized heatproof bowl.
  2. Pour the boiling water over the tea bags.
  3. Add the brown sugar to the water, stir.
  4. Add the mixed fruit, stir well.
  5. Cover the bowl loosely with a clean, dry tea towel and leave on the counter at room temperature to soak (overnight, or for 8 hours)
  6. After the fruit has soaked long enough, heat your oven to 325°F (170°C).
  7. Prepare a 9×5 loaf pan, grease with butter, and line with a long strip of parchment paper (lengthwise, long enough to use as ‘handles’ to help pull the bread out when finished)
  8. Remove the tea bags (squeeze the bags to remove the liquid before discarding)
  9. Sift the flour, salt, mixed spice and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
  10. Add the pieces of butter to the bowl and rub in until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.
  11. Add the beaten egg and the fruit/sugar/tea mixture and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
  12. Transfer the heavy, sticky mass to the prepared tin and spread evenly.
  13. Bake in the heated oven for 1 – 1 ¼ hours until well risen and dark golden brown, and a wooden skewer or cocktail stick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  14. Leave to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then run a round bladed knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the loaf and carefully lift it out (using the ends of the paper strip) on to a wire rack.
  15. Wait until completely cold before slicing.
  16. The loaf will be even better if you wrap it in foil or store in a airtight container and leave it to mature for 1-2 days before slicing.

It’s Fall, Y’all! Time for Fall flavors: Pumpkin Spice, and everything nice.

I love everything about Fall. Since I was a little kid, the arrival of fall weather meant the holidays were almost here and that meant my favorite Pumpkin Pie was on the way!

Fast forward to present day Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING, it’s no longer just for holiday gatherings or family get-togethers. If you love it like I do, we can find something with the flavor of pumpkin spice all day, every day!

Make your own Pumpkin Spice mix

I’ve usually relied on store bought pumpkin spice mixes and flavorings, but it’s really easy to make your own. For this post I bought new McCormick spices, but you can use whatever you prefer. The key is making sure your spices are as fresh as they can be.

Pumpkin Spice Mix

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Category: Uncategorized

Pumpkin Spice Mix


  • 3 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Nutmeg
  • 1.5 teaspoons Ground Allspice
  • 1.5 teaspoons Ground Cloves


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves until well combined. Store in a small jar or container.

Some of my favorite ways to use Pumpkin Spice:

  • Pumpkin or Apple pies
  • Yeasted rolls, yeasted breads or quick breads
  • Cookies and bars
  • Cakes, cupcakes
  • Pancakes!
  • Syrup
  • American buttercream frosting
  • whipped cream
  • Coffee drinks, or add as a syrup in your Latte
  • Breakfast oats
  • roasted fall veggies

Thanks for following! I hope you find time to enjoy your own blend of pumpkin spice in a latte!

Making Fresh Bread for the First Time

I have to admit that I have been intimidated to try baking bread from scratch, but I finally decided to try it. And now, having accomplished it, I have no idea why I was so intimidated!

It might not be perfect, but it was a really simple recipe to follow, it has very simple ingredients, and it tastes really good! (for a simple white bread)

“Do. Or do not. There is no ‘try’.”

Bread seems to be one of those things that has a mind of its own, but if you put the right things together, in the right quantity, at the right time, at the right temperature, magic happens. The recipe is from the Great British Bake Off cookbook I’ve been cooking from start to finish, and Paul Hollywood seems to be the “King of Bread”, so I thought I’d learn from the best! And, it turned out ok! AND, I’m really looking forward to the next recipe. You can find the book here.

My favorite part of the process? Punching down the dough after the first rise! You’ll see the very satisfying moment in my video.

I hope this inspires you to test a new bake, a new bread, or something you’ve always been a little intimidated by. You just might discover it’s not as hard as you think!

Savory Biscuits…not my thing.

Savory…not my thing. Biscuits (aka crackers)…not my thing. Savory Biscuits…really not my thing, and definitely not my favorite.

But, I can officially say “MISSION COMPLETE” on the first section of the Great British Bake Off Cookbook! Up next: BREAD!!

I am super excited to try all of the GBBO cookbook’s bread recipes. After my year on the keto diet (that’s a whole other blog topic, don’t get me started) now bread in small doses is a glorious thing. But biscuits…not so much.

Baking From Scratch: Miette’s Tomboy Cake

Finding zen moments in the kitchen is how I deal with stress. This Tomboy Cake from Miette in San Francisco has been on my “to-bake list” since I was given their lovely cookbook as a birthday gift.

The Tomboy Cake is a delicious, close texture, and divinely moist chocolate cake, with a not-too-sweet fresh raspberry-flavored Italian meringue buttercream frosting. Not only does it taste delicious, but it’s cute as heck, too!

Miette’s signature cake, the recipes make 6×3 layer cakes, so they’re a perfect size!

I love this cookbook, and I love San Francisco’s Most Charming Pastry Shop! You can find their cookbook here

Here is the full video, just as an example, not directions! The book gives really detailed instructions, and if I can make it, you can too!


Welcome to the launch of my website for my baking!

I am a self-taught, home baker and use baking as a creative outlet and to find moments of peace and calmness in a busy life. My time in the kitchen is truly a time of deep concentration, and every bake is filled with love and the joy of discovering the perfect combination of flavors, textures, ingredients, baking techniques, timing, and above all TASTE. I’ve always loved baking. And, I love the little bit of SCIENCE mixed with creativity. My main motivation is the end result: sharing with friends and family and that moment of ‘WOW’ when they try my bakes.

I loved baking with my mom when I was little and fell in love with pumpkin pie and other holiday treats she would bake. I enjoyed my ‘home ec’ class in Jr. High where one of the first things I baked on my own was Zucchini bread, and ever since then I have been baking from scratch, and it’s now over 35 years later. Experimenting and trying many recipes over the years, sharing with friends and family whenever possible. Although I stopped eating sugar and flour for a bit all in the name of ‘being healthy’…but after a few years of trying a few different restrictive diets, I’ve taken on the motto of “Finding Balance”, and I’ve been able to incorporate my love of chocolate, sugar, flour, and butter into my diet in moderation, and brought delicious baked goods back into my life!

Recently having moved into a brand new kitchen, it’s inspired me to get baking again! This website will eventually include some of my newly tested and approved recipes. For now, I’m only posting the photo/video montages of my bakes. They’re not polished or edited professionally, but they are honest and I hope entertaining.

Be sure to become a subscriber to my blog, and make sure to join my VIP List! I’ll be adding new videos as I bake, and when the recipes are available, you’ll be the first to know.

Stay tuned! And thank you for following me!