Welcome to Baker Barbs blog page. Here I hope to give you new recipes to try, links to recipes I’ve tried and changes I’ve made to any of the tried recipes. I generally always change a recipe. Remember, a recipe is only a guide, so don’t be intimidated by them. I didn’t realize how many folks are intimidated by recipes. Don’t worry, the recipe police aren’t coming after you if you tweak a recipe and make it your own.
This evening we had a family dinner. Our two sons and their families live close by, our daughter lives a couple states away, so she and her hubby don’t get here to much. Tonight was for the local families. Our oldest son, his wife and 2 boys ages 12 & almost 7. Our youngest son couldn’t make it, he ended up working late so his wife came, no children there yet.
So tonight I wanted simple, comfort food. For me, that means a roast of some sort, cooking all day in the crock pot…. yes, I do ‘cheat’ and use a crock pot from time to time, especially for roasts. I decided on a chuck roast, this brings back childhood memories for me, so that equals comfort food. Mashed potatoes are always a welcome vegetable, since I only make them when the family gets together. If you read my page God, Food and Health you’d already know that 2013 is a year of dieting changes for me, not mentioned in that page, but I’ll tell you now, potatoes, especially white potatoes are not going to be a staple in my new eating habits. So, tonight we allow some alternatives and tomorrow I’ll detox with smoothies and probably will eat raw….I don’t think we have too many leftovers that will call to me and haunt me.
Okay, got a little off track, so I made a chuck roast, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli. Had a huge salad. I did make dinner rolls out of the tube…. oh, I gave up bread (wheat products) I knew this was going to be a hard one, so bread I only eat when we have company or go out, thats my treat. I only had one little one tonight so that wasn’t too bad. I’ll drink an extra glass of lemon water tomorrow too, to help detox. For dessert, I made cream puffs, I will have photos and the recipe at the end of this page. Oh, for the appetizer, yeah, family dinner and I made an appetizer, well, I have so many recipes I want to try, that family gets to be Guinea pigs too! So for the appetizer I made Candied Bacon. That’s the recipe that I used, below I will have a photo and the changes I added. This got mixed reviews from the family, so, not sure I will make this particular one again, I’ll probably move on and try another.
Candied Bacon, great for an appetizer
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar (I ended up using 1 Cup Brown Sugar)
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar ( I ended up using 8 tablespoons Rice vinegar)
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup (I ended up using 8 tablespoons Maple Syrup, the real stuff)
Ground Black Pepper to taste (I used ground garlic pepper)
1 Pound Thick Cut Bacon (I ended up using only about 3/4 of a pound of thick cut bacon)
(I also used: Spiced Islands Chipolte Chili Rub and Cayenne Pepper , both to taste)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Mix brown sugar, rice vinegar, maple syrup, and black pepper in a small bowl. (I ended up making a total of 4 batches)
- Place bacon slices on cooling rack set over a baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, turn slices, and bake another 5 minutes.
- Remove bacon and brush both sides with brown sugar mixture. Return bacon to the oven and bake another 5 minutes. Repeat basting every 5 minutes until bacon is browned and crisp, about 35 minutes.
Now, when the bacon was done, they don’t tell you how to cool it, and it is candied, so I left it to cool on the racks, well, you need to watch that, let them cool just a bit and removed them, because they’ll harden on the racks and you want get them off looking nice. Also, use foil under the racks to protected you baking pans, that stuff is hard to clean off. You will have to soak them if you don’t.
Cream Puffs with Bavarian Cream Filling
1 Cup Water
1 Stick Margarine or Butter (I use butter)
1 Cup SIFTED all-purpose flour (that means you sift then measure)
3 Cups Half & Half
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
Powdered Sugar for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven 400 degrees
Combine half & half, sugar, salt and flour; cook slowly until thickens. Add 3 beaten eggs (temper them first by adding some of the hot mixture into the eggs and stirring to keep the eggs from cooking, then add into the hot mixture) Cook until mixture is even thicker. Remove from heat, cool slightly, add vanilla. Put pudding in a bowl, put plastic wrap over the pudding so no film forms and put in refrigerator.
Heat water and butter to boiling. Add flour and stir constantly until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool about 5 minutes. With electric hand mixer beat in 4 eggs, 1 egg at a time. Drop dough from tablespoon to form a mound onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until light brown. Do NOT open oven door until 30 minutes are over, they cook by steaming you don’t want to let the steam out, they’ll flop. Take a quick look if they’re not light brown give them another 5 minutes.
A special thanks to my daughter in law Val, who helped me with the pastry. Without her help I wouldn’t have found out where I generally go wrong. I tend to over cook the dough for some reason, and I didn’t think the 1 egg at a time was important but it is. I know now, not to open the oven door too soon.
My mom always made cream puffs for me and my dad when I was growing up. She passed away 7 years ago and took her cream puff recipe with her. So trying to find the recipe that best brings back the memories of my child hood was hard, but this one is very close. So, its a keeper