• 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…

  • 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.…

  • Pumpkin Quick Bread: A Ratio Recipe that does not use eggs, unless you want it to

    Pumpkin Quick Bread

    I must thank Clever Girl Writes for this idea. I’m not a big fan of pumpkin. I enjoy one pumpkin pie a year, right around Thanksgiving, otherwise I couldn’t care less about it. But now I have some guinea pigs…excuse me, my husband’s colleagues, who just so happen to be scientists (who do not do research on guinea pigs), I thought, “why not?” Over the past few weeks, I’ve been playing around with making muffins using the muffin ratio of 2:2:1:1 flour to liquid to egg to fat. I’ve done mostly blueberry muffins as that’s what my husband likes, but I’ve been meaning to expand into doing quick breads since…

  • Adventures in Ratio Baking: Custard

    We’re kind of an accordion when it comes to eggs. Some weeks I have to fight my husband for just 2 eggs so I can bake something. Other weeks I feel like we’re drowning in eggs. Last Friday, my son had the day off from school. There were a bunch of fires in the general area, so, due to poor air quality, the school district closed all schools in the area. Now, I enjoy having my kids home with me, but my husband now has a very demanding job, meaning I have longer days with the kids and my son going to school really gives me the only chance I…

  • Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake: A Ratio Recipe

    Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

    My mom developed an autoimmune disorder called Myasthenia Gravis almost 20 years ago. It was difficult for her to manage for the first few years, but she eventually found out that a gluten-free diet helps her manage her symptoms almost as well as her medication. It was a little devastating at first as my mom and I are huge bakers. Gluten-free flour is different from regular flour. It changes the texture and the shelf-life. Baked products have a tendency to get hard within a day or so and can also become quite crumbly. We were so cautious about baking with it to the point where we never actually tried. Since…

  • Ratio Recipe: Black Forest Inspired Cake

    Black Forest Inspired Cake

    Ah, October. A fine fall month complete with Halloween. It’s a time for pumpkins and apples, for sweaters and golden leaves ripe for crunching underfoot. So, uh, why have I chosen to post a ratio recipe for a Black Forest Cake? October is also the month for Oktoberfest. Since I grew up in Southern California, crunchy leaves were rare and the sweater was ditched before nine in the morning. It was kind of hard to get into fall. Fall in Southern California means cold mornings and nights and sweltering in between. Pumpkins and apples were kind of meh to my family and me. But I took German in high school.…

  • Funfetti cake - a ratio recipe

    Funfetti Cake

    Why have a plain yellow cake if you can have a funfetti cake? That’s the question my family asks. I don’t know why, but sprinkles always make things better. Or maybe my kids just like dumping sprinkles into the cake batter. But I must admit, as a chocolate cake lover, even sprinkles will make me excited to eat a yellow cake. Though, if you prefer a plain yellow cake, just omit the sprinkles. Just like last week’s recipe, this one is a ratio recipe. Feel free to play around with the ingredients (as long as you still use some kind of flour, sugar, fat, and eggs) and how much of…