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Pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING! …or just granola…

I love pumpkin. Yes, I know at this time of year this is not an earth-shatteringly original proclamation. Right now you can find pumpkin flavored just about anything. I get it. I’m totally following the crowd right now, but I wanted some damn pumpkin flavored granola. Sue me.

This recipe is beyond easy and makes a delicious breakfast when paired with some honey vanilla greek yogurt. mmmmm tastes like fall.

Gather your ingredients:

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Dries:
4 cup oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded coconut
½ cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup flaxseed <– this shit is seriously legit.  it’s an awesome addition to granola, loaded with omega-3 business, fiber & antioxidants
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice mix*
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmegImage

Wets:
¼ cup canola oil (don’t use olive oil)
¼ cup honey
1/3-1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1 or 2 squirts of vanilla

*Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
3 Tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp nutmeg
1 ½ allspice
1 ½ cloves

Mix up the dries in a large bowl. Make sure there are no brown sugar clumps and everything is fully integrated.

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Now mix up your wets in a small bowl (I just used my 4 cup pyrex for pouring ease).
Pour your wets into your dries and thoroughly mix until all the dries are coated evenly. Put the spoon or spatula down and get in there with your hands. It’ll be messy and sticky, but it works better. Trust me. It’s fun.

Divide up into two 9×13 pans or baking sheets.
I used the 9×13 pans because it doesn’t make as big of a mess when tossing. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you have a nice thin layer of granola on the pan so it gets nice and crispy.

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Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes, tossing every 5-7 minutes. The tossing is important because if you don’t, you’ll end up with granola bars.

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I’ve been learning Photoshop, can you tell? ha

Anyway, after 20 minutes, take your granola out of the oven. It might not feel super crispy, but as it sits it’ll crisp up. Wait til it cools to put it in a jar or bag or whatever you’re using to store it (I used an empty oats container). If you don’t, the remaining steam will make your granola soft and soggy.

The end!

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Taste the Rainbow….and Unicorns

Working on crossing things off my summer to do list, today I made Unicorn Poop!!

I first saw this done on Instructables and thought it was so frikkin cute! Nothing cutesier than rainbows, glitter and unicorns right?
So even though it’s 95 degrees outside today, and there’s no A/C in my apartment, and I’m sweating my ass off, and the oven heats the whole place…I made cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c shortening
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla …again, measure schmeasure. I poked a hole in the safety seal of my vanilla so I can just give it a squirt or two
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Cream together the shortening, butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Use a handheld mixer or a Kitchenaid if you’re lucky enough to have one. You don’t want any butter chunkys in there and I don’t want you to get tennis elbow or whatever the hell injury. Set that business aside. Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Now add the drys into the wets. When you have nice smooth, delicious looking sugar cookie dough; divide it into four separate bowls and add some food coloring.

ooh pretty

I used Duff brand icing coloring because it’s super bright, but the regular stuff works just as well. This website has some good color mixing recipes that should probably work for the amount of dough you’ll have.

Now cover with saran wrap and chill in the fridge for an hour.
Plenty of time for dishes and a coupla beers 😀

Okay, so this is the hard part.
Roll your different colors out into snakes. I found that it was easier to work with small chunks and roll it between my two flattened palms because the dough was so fragile it would break apart when I tried to roll it against the table.  Then connect all my pieces together to form one long snake. Repeat that until you have all your colors rolled out and set up next to one another.

Like dis:

For the next part, I once again broke off a small chunk and rolled it between my paws to make one big, colorful snake. Then I pooped it onto my *ungreased* cookie sheet. Repeat until your tray looks like a herd of unicorns ate at Chipotle and used your kitchen as their biff.

 

 

 

 

 

Remember, you’re making poopies so it doesn’t need to be perfect. Have you ever pooped a perfect spiral?

Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So while those bake, I’ll show you all the goodies I got to decorate these poops with:

ooooooh ahhhhhhh

K. So right after your poops come outta the oven, while they’re still soft and hot,  put your sugar pearls on em. (I got black cuz my unicorns are evil, but you can get whatever color you like) This gives them a nice dimension and detail. Like your unicorn was munching on some weird kind of shiny indian corn. Make sure to push them most of the way in though, so they don’t roll off later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then glaze them with the Sparkle Gel…I like this stuff because if you do a thin enough layer it’ll give the poop a nice glossy sheen and it doesn’t dry horribly sticky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top with star sprinkles and shimmer dust and you’re done!

So whimsical!

Before summer is over….

…I will bake these yummies:

Now to start crossing them off!! What’s on your to do list this summer?

Lavender Lavender LAVENDER!

I was locking up my bike yesterday outside of job #2 and saw that lavender had taken over our patio!

It was so lovely and smelled so fresh, I braved the bees and picked a bunch. I’ve been planning on making banana bread with some too ripe nanners and figured the lavender would be a tasty twist. Seems I’m not the only one who thought of lavender being a good addition: A Bowl Of Mush had a great recipe!

I started by prepping my lavender. I simply rinsed it off and pulled the flowers and buds off of the stems and let them air dry a bit.  Then following instructions on A Bowl Of Mush, I mixed 1/4 cup of the lavender with 1 cup of granulated sugar. My kitchen is smelling amazing at this point by the way.

K. Ingredient gathering time.

  • 3/4 cup Lavender Sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of nutmeg *I didn’t have any nutmeg so I substituted allspice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract *does anyone actually measure vanilla? I just pour until I’m content with the smell 🙂
  • 2 bananas mashed
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup milk

So get that shit together. I should mention at this point that if you don’t have fresh lavender to work with you should use about a tablespoon and a half of the dried stuff. Also, I know this sounds obvious, but make sure your lavender is for culinary use. Don’t just go thinking that the stuff in your bouquet from the florist is okay for your consumption. Cuz it’s probably not. And I wouldn’t get too over the top with the amount you chose to use. I’m one of those people who adjusts every recipe I find, but stick with the suggested amount of lavender, because if you use more and your muffins come out smelling and tasting like a bottle of perfume, that’ll be your bad.

Oh, how pretty!

So now get your oven all hot and bothered: preheat to 350F

In a large bowl cream together the butter and lavender sugar while wishing you had a KitchenAid Mixer…swoon.


*If you haven’t already figured out, lavender is edible, so you can just leave all that pretty purple stuff in there.

Add the eggs, vanilla extract and nutmeg (or allspice…or whatever else you feel like throwing in there), and beat it like it stole your purse.

Add the mashed bananas and milk, beat that too.

mmm gooeylicious.

For the next part, I like to combine all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then throw it into the wets. Put down your weapon (mixer) and grab a wooden spoon or whatever handheld mixing device you like to use. Fold in the flour mixture and mix just enough until well combined. Don’t beat the shit out of it cuz your bread will be tough. Just mix until there are no more flour bombs showing.

Now line your muffin tin (I also sprinkled the muffs with a bit more of the lavender sugar) and pop those bad boys in the oven! Bake for 16-20min. A toothpick should come out clean -you know the trick.

*If you’re baking a loaf, line the bottom with parchment paper, or lightly grease & flour (not the sides, you want that baby to rise). Mush says bake for 1 hr.

*Side note: I know they’re more expensive, but I just love cutesy muffin cups. It does nothing to make the insides taste better, but they just make me wanna eat em! I can’t help but to buy more every time I see a new design. I think it’d be cute to get a glass storage jar and stack all the different ones I have for a kind of countertop display. …Maybe when I have a little more counter space.

ANYWAY! Back to muffins!

I find that 16-20 minutes is the perfect amount of time to relax Snoop Dogg style with some gin & juice.

Okay, that’s probably not how the D-O-double G does it, but it’s how I roll so… yeah.
There’s a wonderful lavender lemonade recipe here that I will definitely be trying in the near future. But Simply is my favorite premade.

Needless to say by the time the timer went off my tumbler was empty…it was a hot day okay?! geeze

Aren’t they pretty?

Here’s a silly little muffin vid brought to you by Cunningham Muffins:

Dough Puncher?!

So I’m making new business cards and was looking for a catchy/witty job title…not that Baker is insufficient, I just think it’s a little lacking in the personality department. I looked it up on thesaurus.com and a synonym was “dough puncher”. How random a phrase is that?! I thought it was hilarious!

Rachael McKinney, Dough Puncher.

It comes from the process of punching dough down during the rising process of bread making, but I didn’t know it was a title! I would love to put it on my business cards, but fear that it would confuse people. I told the owner of the bakery I work at, and he said people might get the wrong idea, maybe take offense. I think that’s stretching it, but whatever. My boyfriend thinks it sounds dirty. Of course his mind would go there…but, both are valid points, especially because a business card can be a client’s first impression of you. Should I care? Should I go for it cuz it’s a little bit funny and slightly dirty and has character? We’ll see. I’ve got a couple other ideas floating around so we’ll see what I land on.

Well that’s what’s goin on in my brain today….here’s a little snack for your eyes

*ps I love my job

Wedding time!

My best friend just got engaged and it got me thinking about what an exciting time of year it is for so many couples in love! It also got me thinking about how many weddings are in my near future…and how I need to get my marketing ass in motion!

So after a long day at the bakery, I came home and you guessed it–baked some more. I need new business cards so I took some pics of my lovely creations….let me know what you think!

….and something kinda silly from instagram! 😛 follow me @rayray_m

Apple Cream Pie

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When I first came across this recipe, it was in some kind of Russian and I was sad because it was so beautiful. Then I got my lovely Ruska friend to help me translate and I was so so happy! Here it is in English for your baking pleasure.

Pie Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 chilled stick butter
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  1. mix salt and flour (start drinking wine)
  2. cut butter into flour mixture and stir into loose clumps
  3. add water until mixture forms a ball
  4. refrigerate for 4 hours
  5. roll out to fit 9” pie dish (use empty wine bottle to roll out dough ;))

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup white wine …i may skip this next time as the cream turned out a bit boozey…
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp grated orange peel
  • 1 lemon
  • 6 Tbsp sugar
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • a bit of cinnamon
  • 5-6 apples
  1. Mix flour with sugar, vanilla, almond and orange peel
  2. Add egg yolks and a little milk, stir until smooth
  3. Pour the remaining milk and wine
  4. Boil the mixture and let it cool
  5. Pour into crust
  6. Peel apples leaving skins on
  7. Arrange peels into rose shapes and place in the cooled cream until the pie is covered with lovely roses!
  8. Dust with cinnamon and squirt with fresh lemon
  9. Bake at 350 F until crust and apples are golden brown
  10. I know it looks too pretty to eat, but go stuff your face! enjoy!!

original link: http://yoli-www.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post_18.html **check out the pics! gorgeous!

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