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

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

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!

The Perfect Fall Dessert: Molasses Toffee Apple Upside Down Cake

Seriously delicious.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned how much I love fall, and how much I love all the flavors of fall. Apples, ginger, and molasses are some of my all-time favorites. Put them all together in a delicious and lovely way, and it’s the most perfect flavor combination!

Moist. Fluffy. Sweet. Gingery.

I found this recipe in the Bake From Scratch Magazine (which I highly highly recommend getting a subscription!) but this recipe is not listed on their site. Find the Fall 2019 Magazine, trust me. It’s worth it!

It’s a ginger bread cake, with a molasses and brown sugar toffee, and thin (but not too thin) granny smith apple slices, baked ‘upside down’ and then turned out right side up with the apples and toffee on top. Be careful with the topping, the edges can burn and the middle won’t melt if the topping isn’t spread evenly, just fyi!

Here’s a little video of making this cake, my new favorite and definitely a new staple for holiday gatherings, friend-get-togethers, and any other event I can find an excuse to make it and share it!

Delicious! Keep following…this recipe could very well show up on my blog after a few tries of creating my own version!

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.

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

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!