Weekend Reading

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Sourdough for Starters (Recipe: Lazy Sourdough Apple Pancakes)

When we were growing up in rural Northern Canada, my sister Haidi worked at The Alpine Bakery, the town’s top bakery. Wednesday was the best day of the week because she invariably brought home my favorite loaf: the hefty Yukon Sourdough. It stood apart from the German Rye, the Ciabatta, and even the fluffy Potato bread; none of them came close to that crusty sourdough loaf with its soft interior, authentic taste and telltale holes.

The owner of the bakery always arrived earlier than everyone else to tend to his sourdough starter and get a few batches of bread mixed up and onto their first risings. No one knew the classified recipe, least of all my sister, and all attempts she and I made to duplicate the loaf at home were unsuccessful.

True sourdough is one of those things you can’t fake in the kitchen. You can substitute, as I do in this post, but the result pales in comparison to the real deal. The good news is, however, that anyone can learn to make a starter and, over time, produce genuine sourdough bread worthy of the bakery ’round the corner. [Read more…]

Wordless Wednesdays: Blast Off!

Getting organized, seriously organized.

It’s something I’ve wanted to do for ages.

I love lists, after all. I make them every day. And I love baking, especially holiday baking

So I finally swapped precious sleep for a few extra hours* on my laptop and am absolutely tickled to bring you…

The Ultimate Holiday Baking Pantry Checklist!

It’s an A-Z shopping checklist of everything you need to stock your pantry for holiday baking. The PDF can be downloaded and printed to help you organize your baking ingredients – and be sure nothing is forgotten.

From my post on Simple Bites:

I designed this list with efficiency and thoroughness in mind. Here’s how I’m going to keep track of ingredients I need for my holiday baking this fall:

• Print the free checklist.
• Sit down with cookbooks, magazines and bookmarked online recipes AND the list.
• Go through recipes that I know I will be making and check the boxes on the printable.
• Keep the checklist on the fridge or somewhere visible for a few days, and add items as they come to mind (or remove items as ideas change)
• Go through my pantry and take note of anything that is running low or has gone stale. Check those ingredients off on the list.
• Head out shopping WITH the Ultimate Holiday Baking Pantry Checklist in hand.
• Highlight any items I am unable to locate or are temporarily out of stock, so I know I need to keep looking for them.”

Trust me, you’ll want to print this up. With Canadian Thanksgiving less than three weeks away, it is not to early to start planning for holiday baking.

Head to Simple Bites and download the tidy Holiday Baking Pantry Checklist pdf today. You’re welcome!

*I have to say, Danny gave up sleep as well, as he made the pdf pretty for me. Thanks honey!

Stock This: The Ultimate Holiday Baking Pantry Checklist (Free printable!)

For many of us, holiday baking is about to start. Canadian Thanksgiving is just three weeks away and after that, well, it is time to start cracking nuts for the Christmas fruitcakes.

In the minds of many bakers, myself included, ideas are already being formed about shortbread flavorings, pie fillings and cookie shapes. It won’t be long before those ideas will evolve into solid plans, and sooner or later, a grocery list will be started for those items essential to holiday baking.

Every year I make the same, lengthy handwritten list of baking ingredients, and yes, while it is a small part of the fun (I love lists), I have to admit it does take a lot of time. Not to mention that something inevitably gets omitted by mistake, causing unnecessary stress and wasted time come baking day, or worse yet, on the holiday itself!

No one likes to be in the grocery store, frantically searching for that one elusive item when they should be at home, basting the turkey, so this year I decided to make a digital list, one that I can print, bring on my shopping rounds with me, and be sure to stay organized. Luckily for you, I’m sharing! [Read more…]