Category Archives: Bakedy-Bake Ideas

sweet, yummy baking= making, sharing and eating!
cositas dulces para hornear, comer y compartir!

A Spring Birdhouse out of gingerbread!

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A Spring Birdhouse out of gingerbread!

Anytime is a good time for gingerbread!!  That’s my philosophy.  I know it’s summertime weather in many parts of the world, but in my part of Canada, it’s still just spring, and a lovely spring I’m happy to admit!  No weather complaints from me.  I had fun making this brightly colored little birdhouse to celebrate the (finally!) coming of spring.  (see this gingerbread house for more details about the making of the house)
Gingerbread Birdhouse by dennasideas.com - Page 004I don’t mind giving out a lot of my recipes, but I’m afraid our gingerbread recipe is a family secret!  You know, just in case someday I start a fabulous gingerbread company…. 😉Gingerbread Birdhouse by dennasideas.com - Page 002

The ribbons on the roof aren’t my original idea, I saw some lovely houses here with that idea and just loved it!Gingerbread Birdhouse by dennasideas.com - Page 002

“Ain’t it just precious sickening?”   The sun on the back of the house turned out nicer I think….

Gingerbread Birdhouse by dennasideas.com - Page 001

 

And one more pic….

Gingerbread Birdhouse by dennasideas.com - Page 003Happy spring and remember, any day is a good day for gingerbread…..

 

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A Gingerbread House for Spring!

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A Gingerbread House for Spring!

Gingerbread in Spring?  Does that sound strange to you?  Oh, wait, it’s not even Spring yet.  For sure not around here, we are officially still in winter for awhile yet.  But it seems like February is when I usually do end up making gingerbread houses, for one reason or another.  This year I didn’t make one at Christmas time (happens more often than not).  So sometimes I think I need one for my birthday.  (oops, I just realized we’re in March, duh!!!)  This year I made and ate some Spring-like gingerbread in honor of my sister and nieces’ birthdays!!!  (and had a lot of fun doing it!)  But this house really looks like it would be cute for Easter (so that’s what I wrote the on the picture!)  Here’s what I did:

Made gingerbread dough.  Rolled out and cut out pattern.  For this house I quickly printed off a great free pattern to use by Tikkido.  Great for those times you don’t feel like coming up with a gingerbread house pattern of your own.  And it turns out really cute!Spring Gingerbread House by dennasideas.com - Page 004The kids did some gingerbread cutting and building of their own…Spring Gingerbread House by dennasideas.com - Page 003For a tiled roof, I pressed a pattern into the roof pieces before baking, and used a clean drinking straw to poke some holes in the roof.Spring Gingerbread House by dennasideas.com - Page 002Two color Royal icing decorating before assembling….Spring Gingerbread House by dennasideas.com - Page 001Assembled and then added fondant flowers, leaves and strawberries and a little girl out front in her garden.Spring Gingerbread House by dennasideas.com - Page 005The roof idea was something new I saw on Pinterest, so my little house was inspired in part by the beautiful house I saw here.Spring Gingerbread House by dennasideas.com - Page 006Just a tiny bit trickier than a regular roof, but I love how it turned out!Spring Gingerbread House by dennasideas.com - Page 009Spring Gingerbread House by dennasideas.com - Page 008And now this little house is gone!  Tasted just as yummy as it looked!!  Maybe I should make another one for Easter….Easter Gingerbread House by dennasideas.comEaster Gingerbread House by dennasideas.comEaster is a great time for gingerbread!!!  (I think that could be a European thing?! anyone??)

Thanksgiving Cranberry snack food ideas

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Thanksgiving Cranberry snack food ideas

I’m afraid that when I was planning my little Thanksgiving snack table this year, I forgot that not everyone loves cranberries as much as I do.  Cranberries are just so “in” at this time of the year!!  My eyes were enticed by all the lovely-looking cranberry recipes online…their beautiful shape and color….and especially the ones robed in cheese!!!  I didn’t even think about people in this world who do not favor the red little things.Cranberry cheese dip: Thanksgiving snack foods by dennasideas.comFresh cranberries were on my shopping list, and didn’t need no “checking twice!”  Cranberry cheese dip: Thanksgiving snack foods by dennasideas.comThis baked cheese and cranberry dip was very easy and quite tasty.  Great for filling one of those hollowed out sourdough breads….Thanksgiving snack foods by dennasideas.comI used this recipe called Gooey White Cheddar and Cranberry Dip with only four ingredients: cream cheese, white cheddar, fresh cranberries and olive oil.  Of course I added in a bunch of freshly ground black pepper because that’s what we do at our house.  It was quite a mild tasting dip, but I really enjoyed it; the tart, hot cranberries were delish.

Then there was this spicy sounding recipe for Cranberry Salsa that just looked so gorgeous and used all of my favorite ingredients.  It is pictured in the orange bowl in the middle of the table above.  Now this recipe was interesting…..so easy to make.  But it was not a favorite with my bunch.  In fact, no one really liked it much….except me.  I ate it for days afterwards!  On and in everything.  Sometimes I’d be eating it and it just tasted like a regular tomato salsa, the cranberries didn’t stand out super much.  But other times I really got the cranberry flavor.  And it was sweet.  So sweet and spicy!!  I think I will totally make it again and eat it all, by myself if necessary!  Such a healthy salsa!  The main ingredients are fresh cranberries, cilantro, green onions, honey, cumin, lime juice and a jalapeño (I didn’t have a fresh one, so used some pickled ones. Careful, don’t make it too hot!)  You can click on the link above for the how to.cranberry punch by dennasideas.com -

I also made some hot pink cranberry punch with more fresh cranberries and juices (smells wonderful).  With all the cranberry going on, it was a good thing there were also a few non-cranberry foods on the snack table, like some cheeses, grapes, chips, Texas Trash and Turkey Cheese-ball for those non-fans of the tart berry!!
Thanksgiving snack foods by dennasideas.com Thanksgiving snack foods by dennasideas.comIt was a fun Thanksgiving snack table to put together, though almost as much work as the main meal!  Oh well….. Thanksgiving snack table by dennasideas.com -Happy cranberries everyone!

Thanksgiving Turkey Cheese-ball and Texas Trash!

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Thanksgiving Turkey Cheese-ball and Texas Trash!

Gobble gobble!  That’s something you see written a lot at this time of year.  I would say “hear a lot this time of year” but honestly, it’s been years since I’ve heard a real turkey’s garbled yell.  Not something the next door neighbors keep in their yard.  Maybe your neighbors do…..?

I don’t love turkeys, but I do love cheese-balls!  And snacky foods.  And cheesy foods.  So I saw this baby on Pinterest and felt in my bones that I should copy it!  I followed the recipe from Homemade in the Heartland for this handsome gobbler, though I didn’t have all the decoration ingredients.  We ended up having a Thanksgiving snack table before the actual turkey dinner, and this gobbly guy fit right on it!Turkey cheeseball: Thanksgiving snack foods by dennasideas.comInstead of starting life out as an egg, he started out as this (cream cheesy, oniony, pinappley goodness):Thanksgiving snack foods by dennasideas.comAnd then rolled around in this (pecans):Thanksgiving snack foods by dennasideas.comI found that after sitting around a while, the pecans started to soften up (especially the next day).  I think I would try and roll him in pecans at the very last minute before the party!  I used white chocolate chips for his eyes, glued him together with black candy melts.  His neck is a pepperoni stick and candy corn for beak and feet!Turkey Cheeseball: Thanksgiving snack foods by dennasideas.comWith the extra red candy melt I made his “gobbler” and wrote….a little word….I was in a hurry, ok?!!  (and my brain has been turning to mush lately)Texas trash: Thanksgiving snack foods by dennasideas.comTo go along with Mr. Gooble, I was all excited to try this traditional Texas snack mix!  (Texans, tell me the truth in the comments below:)  A delicious recipe for Texas Trash!  I found it on Little Magnolia Kitchen and just changed her recipe a bit to fit with what I could easily find.  The only Chex cereal I could find was Honey Chex  (see photo above)!!  And the nacho flavored Bugles.  I made up half the recipe, and could barely squeeze it into my pan.  Little Magnolia’s recommendation to use a large aluminum foil roaster is a good one….next time!  I didn’t have steak spice, so just kinda made my own with what I had.  So things were kinda different, but kinda……AWESOME!Texas Trash: Thanksgiving snack foods by dennasideas.comIt turned out Y.U.M.M.Y!!  Definitely a hit!!!  I think it might go on our “traditional” list.  We thought of our Texan relatives while we ate it!! 😉  (Oops, should I have said that???)Thanksgiving snack foods by dennasideas.comThere were some other new recipes that I tried out this year…..let me get it together and I’ll do another post…..

Thanksgiving Pies

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Thanksgiving Pies

Canadian Thanksgiving has come and gone.  But we are thankful still!  This fall was fairly busy for me, hosting Thanksgiving, several birthdays and a surprise trip!  I haven’t posted any pics from our little Canadian Thanksgiving celebration and thought that now would be a good time, as our Southern Neighbors take their turn to celebrate.  So here’s a word of gratitude for our family and friends who are celebrating this week!  “Thankful for y’all!!”

And there were some pies that I made.  Of course the idea of a “typography pie” was something I found on Pinterest, but I switched it up a bit…Thanksgiving pies and cookies - denna's ideasand cut the letters right into the top pie crust, instead of laying the baked letters on the pie.  Last year I had made a cherry cheesecake pie, and liked it so much I figured we should make it a tradition.Thanksgiving pies and cookies - denna's ideasOf course there was a more traditional pumpkin pie, don’t they look yummy, just out of the oven??   But looks can be deceiving….Thanksgiving pies and cookies - denna's ideasSome little elves were helping me in the kitchen that day…..just sayin’…….

Cookies were baked, for our (also traditional) Linzer cookies (though I tried a new recipe, haven’t found one I love yet).  Little acorn cookie cutters from my sister and leaves for pie decorating!Thanksgiving pies and cookies - denna's ideas

{Linzer cookies are the ones with jam in the middle.  This year I tried baby squirrels inside of mommy squirrels and hearts in hearts.}Thanksgiving pies and cookies -denna's ideasThe pie crust “cuttings” baked up and dipped in cinnamon and sugar (another tradition!)  ❤ you!!Thanksgiving pies and cookies - denna's ideasSo the pumpkin pie made it to the Thanksgiving table, all dressed up in it’s Linzer cookie finery….Thanksgiving pies and cookies - denna's ideaswith dollops of maple whipped cream….and thank goodness for that whipped cream!!  After a few bites, I felt that something was wrong with the beautiful pie, the one I had so looked forward to eating.  My husband says, “Don’t take this wrong, but it’s kind of salty!”  And yes, yes it was.  Could it be the “extra twists” I gave to my traditional pie crust recipe this year?  Oh dear, and here everyone was bravely eating away…but I couldn’t stop commenting on it!  And could hardly eat it, even slathered in whipped cream.  Was it the crust or the filling that was so salty?  When I announced that I was going to throw the leftovers away, my husband said, “no offense, but go ahead!” (or words to that effect)  I begged everyone to stop eating and leave the rest.  What a disappointment (for those of us who love pumpkin pie, I don’t think the other people were super heart-broken).

What is happening to my baking? I thought. In the end, I like to think that it happened because of one of those “helpful elves” who helped me in the kitchen that morning….either adding or distracting me!!!

Good thing it was the filling and not the crust, so the really special pie tasted great!!Thanksgiving pies and cookies - denna's ideasThank You God for family and friends, cozy homes and food on our tables.  Love You, God!!

Fall Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

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Fall Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Do you ever find yourself with one cup of pumpkin puree just sitting there in your fridge, a day or two after baking something delicious?  And you think to yourself…what could I do with one cup of pumpkin?  That’s what I was doing yesterday (when I should have been doing something else).  After a few clicks around online, I found this yummy-sounding recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies, with ingredients mostly found in my house!!  I adapted the recipe from Family Fresh Meals and cut out the stuff I didn’t have.  I also made some modifications because my mixer is deceased and I had to mix everything the old fashioned way…by hand!  Thus the melted butter.  So the recipe is written as if you are going to whisk things by hand. Feel free to use a mixer 😉Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies by dennasideas.com

I’ve never had pumpkin spice in my spice rack, so I improvised.  (You could also pre-mix some for yourself, find it on this idea page).Pumpkin spice for Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies by dennasideas.com Are you excited about fall, and baking with pumpkin?  How about pumpkin+chocolate chips+oatmeal?  Doesn’t that sound good?  Ok, ok, here comes the recipe:

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

2 cups flour

2 cups oatmeal

1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, 1/4 tsp. ground allspice

                                            OR  1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 2 tsp. pumpkin spice instead

1 Tbsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup butter (salted or unsalted)

1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup pumpkin puree (I use canned)

1 egg

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In any old bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda,  spices and salt. Set aside.

2. Melt butter in a  large microwaveable bowl, add sugar and brown sugar and whisk or beat until mixed together.

3. Now add in pumpkin puree, egg and vanilla. Beat or whisk until well combined.

4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until incorporated.

5. Now stir in the oats. Mix well.

6. And lastly, stir in the  chocolate chips.  Cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for while. (or not. You could do that while you get a cookie pan+baking parchment paper ready)

7. Drop cookie dough by the rounded tablespoon on to the prepared baking sheet.  I tried pressing some of them down with a fork (for the photos) but ended leaving the rest mounded up because I liked the texture better that way, so they were smaller, thicker cookies.

8. Bake cookies for about 14  minutes (cookies are lightly browned). DO NOT OVER COOK. They will seem a little soft, but will firm up as they cool. You want to keep the nice, soft texture!  So here’s the recipe in photos, since I was having fun in the kitchen instead of doing other things…Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips, great cookies for fall by dennasideas.com Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies by dennasideas.com Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies by dennasideas.com

oooo I love this photo with the vanilla swirling around the island of pumpkin...

oooo I love this photo with the vanilla swirling around the island of pumpkin…

whisk up the yumminess!

whisk up the yumminess!

the dry ingredients

the dry ingredients

add that snow-like powder!

add that snow-like powder!

the chocolate chips weren't really purple....they were Costco, ethically sourced chocolate...

the chocolate chips weren’t really purple….they were Costco, ethically sourced chocolate…

oops, the oatmeal was mixed in before the chocochips actually

oops, the oatmeal was mixed in before the chocochips actually

I was going to include a few spoonfuls of molasses in this recipe, but then realized my cupboard was bare!  Anyways, everyone liked these cookies, they are very soft and are getting softer…though they are disappearing fast.  And here are the winning “after” photos:Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with chocolate chips, baked by dennasideas.com I found it hard to do the cookies justice in the photos.  They were nice and warm and just jumped off the plate into my hand and into my mouth….Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies by dennasideas.com The cookies could have been larger, maybe they would have looked more awesome.  Here they are on my favorite fall plate…and now they are… gone….

(so much for my facebook photo voting…I just didn’t want to disappoint anyone, so felt I should add all the cookie photos here. Thanks guys! Wish you could’ve stopped by and had some cookies and tea with me!  Maybe next time…)Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies by dennasideas.com - 🙂

How to make a Classic dessert: Pineapple Upside-down Cake!

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How to make a Classic dessert: Pineapple Upside-down Cake!

Now here’s a beautifully wonderful classic dessert that I haven’t tried for ages!!  Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever even tried making it before, but the last time I tried tasting it was ages ago for sure!  I saw a delicious photo of this cake made by Averie Sunshine over at Averie Cooks and I couldn’t stop staring at the photos, with mouth watering.  After that, I was just waiting for a special occasion…..

A very special occasion soon came to pass, the double birthday of my dear Father- and Sister-in-law!  So I tried out the cake…and well….it was…….everything I had hoped.

The recipe from Averie Cooks is super!  And quite easy.  Brown sugar and butter glaze, with sliced pineapple and maraschino cherries, covered in sour cream batter.  Bake, rest, flip, photograph, eat!  Here are a few how-to-assemble-the-cake photos that I took as I whipped together this baby:how to make pineapple upside-down cake by dennasideas.com - Page 012 how to make pineapple upside-down cake by dennasideas.com - Page 011 how to make pineapple upside-down cake by dennasideas.com - Page 010 how to make pineapple upside-down cake by dennasideas.com You can find the recipe here on Averie Cooks.  I added my photos so you can see how I layered the pineapple and cherries.  The only thing that I did differently from her recipe was to use a 10 inch round pan instead of a 9 inch one and to accidentally put the side pineapple pieces upside-down!  oh, and a few extra cherries!  It was so easy to flip it out of the pan after it had baked and rested awhile…123 flip!  I had to take a whole bunch of photos of the luscious beauty….classic pineapple upside-down cake by dennasideas.com

See the yummy sweet juiciness? classic pineapple upside-down cake how to by denna's ideas

Since I used a slightly larger pan, the batter wasn’t very deep, but that was fine.  The taste was……….so…………wonderful!!classic pineapple upside-down cake how to by denna's ideas

Here’s my little glass hen, coming to check it out…classic pineapple upside-down cake how to by denna's ideas

For some reason the flavor of this cake transported me to my childhood….(though my Mom says she didn’t make it very often)

classic pineapple upside-down cake how to by denna's ideas

The lovely cake was devoured quite quickly, though it was very very sweet.  Needs a cold glass of milk!  Even with all my photos of the cake, the ones on the blog with the recipe are even more amazing! 🙂classic pineapple upside-down cake how to by denna's ideashow to make pineapple upside-down cake by dennasideas.com Ahem, if you know me, you know that my in-laws live very far away….so they didn’t actually get to taste the cake….um, we gobbled it down while we thought of them.  It’s our way of celebrating….. 😉