• The Lily Cafe Digest #8 - take a look at what I've posted and posts from other bloggers that I've enjoyed

    The Lily Cafe Digest #8

    Well, that was fast. My first blogging break of the year is here. I contemplated whether I should continue to take breaks every 6 or so weeks and decided that, yes, I should. Not only do they give me a bit of breathing space, but it gives me time to really turn my focus back to my family. Also, as an introvert, interacting with people, even if it’s over the Internet, is exhausting and I really need to recharge. The most important thing I learned I needed to do was to just take some time to pause, to stop, to come to a standstill so I can look back and…

  • A quick guide to ratio baking muffins (and quick breads)

    A Quick Guide to Ratio Baking Muffins

    I’m on a bit of a muffin kick these days. Not only are they easy and delicious, but I can literally walk into the kitchen, decide to bake something, and walk out 10 minutes or less later with a full muffin tin happily baking away (depending on whether or not my 2 year old wanted to “help”). The only problem I have is remembering the ratio and making sure I add everything. Baking ratios don’t come with anything beyond the basic ratio, so I thought I’d share a quick guide to explain the ratio, list the basic ingredients, tell you how to mix, and let you know how to bake…

  • Triple Berry Muffins - a recipe

    Triple Berry Muffins

    Now that Christmas has passed, our local markets seem to think it’s time for summer, and so they stock the produce section with berries. Considering I live in Southern California, warm weather in January is possible (70s and sunny all week!), so I suppose they’re not wrong about summer approaching. Alas, it isn’t quite berry season, which means I’m sorely tempted, but the quality is spotty and the taste is only perfect if you happen to enjoy tart. Yet, I still adore berries. Well, except blueberries. I think those are disgusting, but I’ll happily stock my fridge with all the others. Whenever I see them in the market, I must…

  • Adventures in ratio baking: pie ratio plus custard ratio equals chocolate pie - using only ratios to make a chocolate custard pie

    Adventures in Ratio Baking: Pie Ratio Plus Custard Ratio Equals Chocolate Pie

    About a year after starting ratio baking, I’m finally at a point where I can combine ratios. Quite frankly, I was kind of counting down to this day. How amazing would it be if I could made a dessert using just ratios? Well, it finally happened. Last year, I tried the ratios for making pie dough and custard with the goal of making a chocolate custard pie. Now, I’m not adverse to eating a whole pie, but, most of the time, I just want a slice. I’m not that much of a pie eater. At some point last year, I decided to pick up some mini cake tins, and then I kept…

  • Learn to Love Mini Cake Tins With Me - why I love using 4 inch cake tins when baking

    Adventures in Ratio Baking: Learn to Love Mini Cake Tins With Me

    A few months ago I found myself wandering around a craft store. I believe it was summer because my husband and kids were with me, though the three of them were wandering elsewhere. As for me? I was in the baking aisle. Of course I was in the baking aisle. I mean, I like yarn, but so do my cat and daughter. I like fake flowers, but have nowhere to put them. I like making pretty little things with vases, flowers, marbles, sand, etc., but it’s not always child-friendly. No, I can usually be found in the baking aisle. By the time summer had rolled around, I had been ratio…

  • The Lily Cafe Digest #7

    The Lily Cafe Digest #7

    It’s that time again! Time for a break. Since my son will be off from school for the next 3 weeks, I’ll be taking the time off as well. Once again, this Digest comes at the start of my break, so I hope you understand why I’m not allowing comments. I don’t plan to be anywhere near WordPress for the next 2 weeks, though I’ll be around to write my upcoming posts during the third week, so I may stop in and say hi. My last break came after 9 weeks of blogging, so I was a little caught off guard when the past 3 weeks just sped by. In…

  • A Year of Adventures in Ratio Baking

    A Year of Adventures in Ratio Baking

    About a year ago, I got it into my head that I’d like a kitchen scale and I’d like to figure out ratio baking. The Husband got me a kitchen scale for Christmas, probably because I wouldn’t shut up about it, and then my brain panicked because it meant I should actually use it. I spent the first few weeks of the year thinking about it, thinking of taking the scale out of the cabinet and making something. I wasn’t quite sure of what to make, and I froze again. Then I decided I wanted cake, and the cake ratio looked simple (1:1:1:1 flour to sugar to eggs to butter)…

  • Adventures in Ratio Baking: Let's Try Custard Again - making chocolate custard using ratio baking

    Adventures in Ratio Baking: Let’s Try Custard Again

    A few weeks ago, I tried making custard using it’s ratio of 2:1 dairy to eggs. Since it just says dairy, and since I just happened to have a can of sweetened condensed milk sitting around doing nothing, I thought, well, why not? Turns out there’s a reason why I’ve never seen a custard recipe use sweetened condensed milk. It’s thick! And super sweet. Last week I decided it was time to try again. The right way. With actual dairy. And I mean using milk. Just milk and eggs, and, of course, cocoa powder because chocolate. Everything is better with chocolate. Well, that’s a lie. I wouldn’t want chocolate on…

  • A Christmas Cookie Tradition

    Neither an adventure in ratio baking nor a recipe this week. Instead, since it’s December, I wanted to write about a Christmas tradition my mom started when I was very young. For as long as I can remember, my mom would spend an entire day baking cookies. The funniest thing about them was that all the recipes came from cook books, but everyone raved about how good they were and would ask for the recipe. My mom always refused to give them away, but they were in printed cook books and could have been found by anyone. Haha, just one of our many family secrets! But it was really a tradition…

  • Adventures in Ratio Baking: Apple Pie Time - using ratios to make pie dough

    Adventures in Ratio Baking: Apple Pie Time

    Pie scares me. I’ve only ever made one pie from scratch before. A chocolate pie using a recipe. It wasn’t bad. But I haven’t made a pie since. It’s probably been about 15 years. Now that I’ve been ratio baking, I’ve been trying to work my way through all the ratios. Of course there must be a ratio for pie dough. I wish there were one for pie fillings, too. Sadly, it does not look like there is. Fortunately, there are quite a few different kinds of filling. Or maybe that should be unfortunately. My favorite apple is the Pink Lady, but the rest of my family loves Granny Smith.…