South of the Border Buns

As you know we are away from home with limited baking equipment, recipes and ingredients. This isn’t technically baking but it is baked. It is Heuvos Rancheros in a bun. I found it in a Taste of Home cookbook from 1996. 

Chop 2 hard boiled eggs. Add 1/3 cup of salsa, 1 cup grated cheese, 1 chopped green onion, 2 tbsp sliced olives and pinch of cumin if you like, and stir everything together. Cut 4 buns almost in half and divide the filling between them. Wrap in foil and bake at 350F/180C for 20 minutes. 


They were easy and delicious. A great idea for breakfast, brunch or lunch.  I’m thinking that the filling could also be a pizza topping. 

Canyon Lake, Arizona 


Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix 

A quick snapshot of some of the beautiful places we’ve been. 

Have a great week!

Cheryl and Becky 

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First Bake in Arizona 

We are limited with our baking in Arizona because we don’t have a lot of supplies, so this recipe jumped out because we had everything. We halved the recipe and used muffin tins because we don’t have a loaf tin. For Pepper Jack Bread you mix 6 cups all-purpose flour with 2 tbsp baking powder, 2 tsp salt, 2 cups grated pepper jack cheese and 1 cup cheddar cheese. Add 2 cups milk, 2 eggs beaten and 6 tbsp melted butter.  Stir it up and add 1 cup sour cream, 1 can drained diced green chiles and 1 can drained fire roasted tomatoes. 


Divide mixture into two 10″ loaf tins. Sprinkle with 1 cup cheddar cheese. 


Bake loaves at 350F for 50 mins, muffins for 22-25 mins. Check to see if a wooden pick comes out clean from the centre of the bread. Leave to cool in the tins for 30 minutes and then remove and cool completely, or dig them out while they’re still hot and eat them while they’re burning your mouth because they are so good! 



Happy Baking and Happy New Year!

Cheryl and Becky 

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Wide Open Spaces 

We made it to Arizona!

Sunrise in Illinois 

Gateway Arch, St. Louis

Big skies, Oklahoma 

Sunrise Oklahoma 

Sunrise Texas

New Mexico

My navigator taking a nap

Rainy and icy New Mexico 

Arizona!


After driving 32 hours in 3 days, we were wiped. We couldn’t take pictures of half the amazing things we have seen or the lovely people we have met. It’s hard to describe the panic when you pull off a highway and can’t get back on again because of construction or because the windshield is covered in ice or the visibility is down to 30-40 feet because of fog. Sometimes you just have to be a little brave, do something a little crazy, and maybe you will be rewarded with an incredible experience. 

Cheryl and Becky 

Posted in Car, Family, Photography, Travel, winter | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

On The Road Again…

We are driving from Mississauga, Ontario, across the USA to Arizona! It is about 3,600 kms through nine states. Tonight we are in Terre Haute, Indiana. 


We left at 6am this morning and arrived just before 5pm tonight. The weather was perfect, the border crossing a breeze, and the only issue was some road work in Toledo, Ohio. At least two more days to go. 

Becky has been snapping pictures along the way. We’ll have to wait till we reach our destination before sorting them out. 

We don’t tend to celebrate Christmas in a traditional way anymore, so we are looking forward to a some sun and a break. 

Cheryl and Becky 

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Winter Challenges

Dear Becky has had a challenging month. A trip to the dentist resulted in a tooth being pulled out. Gosh she was ill. It took her a week to eat normally again. The day after we made the gingerbread, she woke up with a fever, and she still isn’t well. We have basically lived on soup for two and a half weeks out of the last four. Not great for baking challenges. We were going to make shortbread and take it to her Grandma and we were going to make a fruitcake for her to take to her Dad’s. Wonderful Christmassy ideas that just…didn’t…happen!

And then winter arrived on Tuesday in a blanket of snow.

winter-night

Then the temperature sank to freezing cold temperatures on Thursday and the windows froze up. The ice patterns were beautiful, but Becky wasn’t interested.

frosty-morning

Then we had another snow storm last night.

winter

I am sore from shoveling already. Sore, sick, and frozen…what a week!

Cheryl and Becky

 

Posted in Canada, Christmas, Family, Photography, winter | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Jolly Gingerbread 

Another Bake Off challenge, but instead of building a structure with gingerbread, we decided to make cookies instead. We used the recipe from Rosie Daykin’s “Butter Celebrates” because it is easier for us to use a Canadian recipe, and her little guys looked super cute. 

Melt 1/2 molasses/treacle, 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp ground ginger in a double boiler/ bain marie. Add 1/2 tsp baking soda and stir. Remove the bowl from the heat when it bubbles. 


Put 3/4 cup room temperature butter in the bowl of a mixer and pour the molasses mixture over. Mix on medium until everything is blended and has cooled down a bit. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, and mix between each one. Slowly add 3 3/4 cups all purpose/plain flour. We had at least 1/4 cup flour left and the dough was very dry. I added some water to it. 

Roll out the dough to 1/4″ thick. Cut out whatever shapes you like. 


Bake at 350F for 10 minutes or more if you like them crunchy. Cool completely before icing.


 We used Royal icing. 


We waited until my friend came for a cup of tea before we tried them. Three thumbs up! They are really tasty, soft and not too sweet. Then I sent some to our neighbours and we still have lots. We made about 24 shapes. Apparently, they will keep for two weeks in an airtight container. 

If these don’t cheer you up with their bright colours and fun shapes, then I don’t know what would 🙂

Happy baking!

Cheryl and Becky 

Posted in Baking, Canada, Christmas, Food, Friends, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Focaccia 

If I remember correctly, only one person got this Technical Challenge right on the GBBO. This is Paul Hollywood’s Focaccia. It looks simple enough but the dough was tricky to work with. Take 500g bread flour, add 2 sachets of instant yeast and salt. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and 300ml cool water. Make a dough. Slowly add another 100ml water to the dough. This water made the dough, wet and lumpy. It really looked like a disaster. Anyway, we kept stretching and folding with a bit of oil on our hands until it looked a bit better. Then we kneaded as normal. Hey, presto! We had a smooth, light dough. We covered it and let it rise for about 2 hours. 


We cut it in half and put one half in a bag in the freezer. The other half was pressed into a 30cm x 20cm baking tin, which we don’t have here, so we used the next size up. 


The recipe said to leave it to rise uncovered. I don’t think that was a great idea as it formed a skin and didn’t rise very much in almost 2 hours. Sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt. Bake at 220C/425F for 25 minutes. I checked at 20 minutes and it was well done. It didn’t look that good but we cut it open anyway. 


Surprisingly, it looked pretty good inside. We grabbed some balsamic vinegar, olive oil and some cheese and dug in. It tasted really delicious! It was light and spongy. 


I think we would make this again because we really like these kinds of meals. It was way better than store bought focaccia even though we thought it hadn’t risen very much. I would maybe make it into a smaller shape and cover it for at least half of the second rise. 

Happy baking!

Cheryl and Becky 

Posted in Baking, Food, Photography | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments