2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!. Continue reading

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almond crescent cookies

procrastinating: sending my christmas cards.

prep time: 15 minutes

bake time: 20 minutes

cleanup time: 10 minutes

time spent procrastibaking: 45 minutes.

happy holidays, procrastibakers!!

i know it’s been a little while since i’ve procrastibaked with you all, but it’s mostly because i haven’t been procrastibaking from scratch, and i want to keep this blog as legit as possible, with only home-made recipes.

that, and i’ve been procrastinating a new post. you know how it goes.

anyway, it’s the holiday season– aka, my favorite time of the year. i don’t believe in religion, but i certainly believe in the christmas spirit, commercialism undertones and all. i have all the christmas accoutrements anyone could ever hope for. a christmas countdown calender? check. tiny led lights inside and out? check. christmas tree salt and pepper shakers? you betcha.

i have my presents (mostly) wrapped and ready to be gifted, waiting under the tree (that may or may not have gone up immediately after thanskgiving). i have playlists of christmas music continuously looping in my ipod. and i have my christmas cards filled out, addressed, and sitting in the box on the shelf.

it never fails– last year i did the same thing, too. amassed everyone’s addresses (even if it meant harassing friends on facebook), filled them all out, sealed them and addressed them, and then they sat stuffed in my address book until this past october, when i realized it was officially too late to send them. if i didn’t write “happy new year 2010!” in them, i wouldn’t have had to buy new cards this year. oh well.

i could find my way to the post office and get some stamps and finish the job, or i could bake one of my favorite christmas cookies– the almond crescent. it’s a thick, shortbread-y cookie, made with a few really simple ingredients and dusted in confectioner’s sugar for a perfect holiday treat. my mom and aunt exchange christmas cookies every year, and i always search the plate for these ones first.

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quick tip!

thinking of making the famous bacon brownies? do it, i say! you won’t regret it!

but when you’re prepping the bacon, try caramelizing it first. caramelized bacon is delicious on it’s own… in these brownies, it’s culinary nirvana.

happy procrastibaking!

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cranberry pumpkin scookies

 

 

not quite a scone, not quite a cookie

procrastinating: a new recipe.

prep time: 20 minutes

bake time: 13 minutes a batch

cleanup time: 7 minutes

time spent procrastibaking: 40 minutes

hey there, procrastibakers. so, i made this recipe… days ago. i’m sorry. life gets crazy– which has been my standing excuse lately, i know– but it’s true. i’m itching to bake something new, but i can’t until i post last week’s (?) creation. sorry for the delay! hopefully the next one will be more prompt.

anyway, i was sort of shooting for this oatmeal-y, pumpkin-y, cranberry-…y (eh, go with it) scone, but they never really retained that dry, crumbly, fluffy shape– instead, they sort of melted down into cookies. so, ya know: half-scone, half-cookie… scookie (not to be confused with pickle-loving. ed-hardy-adorned, jersey shorite snooki— much less edible). this may have something to do with the fact that i totally eyeballed the ingredient quantities, because i made them at my boyfriend’s house, which is a wonderful place, but devoid of all my baking utensils.

anyway, these are a happy mistake, because they’re big, soft, thick cookies, but they’ve got the substance, thanks to oats and pumpkin taking the place of a ton of butter or sugar. and instead of chocolate chips, cranberries punctuate the cookies with a huge burst of flavor. let’s get baking!

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morsels for mammaries

baking is lots of fun, though you probably wouldn’t think of it as a body-friendly activity. but thanks to the bake for the cure at the topsfield fair in topsfield, ma, all that is about to change.

a baking contest in search of the best yeast and whole grain breads, sponsored in part by fleischmann’s yeast of ach food companies, bake for the cure gives individuals a new way to raise funds for and awareness about fighting breast cancer. bake for the cure events are held in state and county fairs across the nation, and with the bake for the cure entrance fee at the topsfield fair being donated to the susan g. koman foundation, topsfield alone raised $200 to contribute to the cause.

this year, diane monteiro of woburn, ma took home the top prize in both categories, taking home a total of $250 for her two first-prize recipes. but everyone agrees that the event is about more than the money, or even the joy of baking.

“it gets a lot more people thinking about the cause and it gets a lot of people involved,” said phyllis berrett of saugus, ma, co-chair of the food department at coolidge halI, in an interview with the hamilton-wenham chronicle. “it’s a good thing.”

events like this kind of defeat the purpose of procrastibaking– i bake to put off my responsibilities, whereas these bakers are baking for a very specific (and wonderful!) cause. but i think the story deserves merit on this blog, because though we might be baking with a different motivating factor, we all hope for the same end result: to create a delicious distraction, and ultimately, make people happy.

check out the bake for the cure link to see a baking event happening near you, and congrats to diane montiero for her wins!

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sugar cookie base

procrastinating: packing.

prep time: 15 minutes

cook time: 10 minutes (per batch)

cleanup time: 5 minutes

time spent procrastibaking: 30 minutes

it’s sort of funny that my welcome-back blog post is also one of the last blog posts in the original procrastibake kitchen. that’s right, i’m leaving my apartment here in the heart of boston and going… well, somewhere new. and you know how it is when it’s time to pack up and leave– lots of packing, and throwing things away, and finding new nail holes in the wall to patch up. blargh.

anyway, why bother with silly (depressing) things like that when we could be baking, instead?

today’s recipe is a new favorite, and it’s one of the most versatile. sure, sugar cookies are delicious, and these are no exception. sweet without being TOO sugary, a hint of vanilla– they almost melt in your mouth, and are especially perfect paired with pumpkin coffee. thank you, dunkin donuts. BUT– these cookies are also the perfect base cookie: chocolate chip? macadamia nut? blueberry? maple? butterscotch? pumpkin? yes! as scrumptious as it is on its own, this base goes perfectly with whatever you decide to add to it. and, this recipe yields lots of cookie dough, so freeze it plain and you’ll be able to add fresh ingredients to your cookies as you acquire them!

let’s begin!

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procrastibake 2.0

long time no see, procrastibakers! anyone still out there?

somehow, the month of september came and went, and the procrastibake oven stayed at a frosty zero degrees. it’s not that i’ve run out of recipes, or my grocery store no longer stocks flour, or that i’m on the atkins diet and have thrown out all the sugar (and brown sugar and powdered sugar) from my cupboards.

no, ya know, despite our best efforts, sometimes life just gets in the way of our plans. to be fair, i’ve been busy with highs like a wonderful new relationship and reunions with friends and family, and lows like a cancer scare (luckily, just a scare!), a leave of absence from grad  school, and looming on the horizon: moving out of the original procrastibake kitchen, new locale t.b.a.

the past few weeks have been a little crazy, as you can tell. but no matter how the days go, i fall asleep every night dreaming of chocolate mint truffles, of pumpkin pecan pies, of cheddar apple tarts and brown sugar cookies. i wake up with the scent of peanut butter brownies and maple walnut scones in my nose. this morning, i woke up cuddling my oven mitt.

it’s time.

tomorrow will officially kick off procrastibake 2.0– baking tips, news, recipes, photos, and more, updated daily, taking your requests and recommendations from facebook, twitter, and of course, comments right here on the blog. i’m excited to begin again, and i hope you are too.

let’s get back to baking! see you in the morning!

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