Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wow, twice in one day!...ok so it's technically two days, but it's 3:45am and I have yet to go to sleep. Yup, you guessed it, I'm up baking. I'm slaving away in the kitchen trying to finish my Christmas baking in full swoop...fingers crossed, but I am ready to hit my head against my soft, feather pillow...ahhh. I feel much more accomplished, despite the time day. All my shopping is finished, all my baking is started, now just to finish baking and finish making a couple gifts....then wrapping! I'm really excited to share with you all the goodies I'm in the process of baking...if I'm counting right, I have 6 (that's right SIX) different goodies...and I quadrupled one of the really I have 9 (NINE!!!!) different things!! Stay tuned, I will be able to share them all on December 25th!

It's beginning to feel a lot more like Christmas: I'm finally at my relaxed holiday stage, I finally gave into listening to Christmas songs on the radio, I got my first Christmas card (that's sad) and I got to go see Avery's Christmas concert at school today. I think watching the little Kindergardeners sing all the traditional Christmas songs (like Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer) helped remind me what Christmas is all about. It's not about how expensive your gift is or how many presents are under the tree, but rather about the appreciating the little things in life. I'm so thankful for my family, and all their love and support. All I can hope for as we approach 2010 is a safe, happy, and healthy year!

I wish everyone the best of luck in their last minute Christmas doings! Merry Christmas to everyone...hopefully Santa is good to you =)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thinking Ahead

I just went and did my Christmas baking supply shopping at the grocery store, and as I sit here in my kitchen I had the strange urge to blog. I realized as I was checking out I just spent $19 of my last $35 on baking supplies...O the life of a college student with a baker's dream. It's tough trying to justify spending all this money on baking when you barely make any. But, then I sit back and think that I am only building my skills and resume, which in time will pay off.
So why the Christmas tree on the beach? No, I am not on some fantastic beach writing this...instead I am looking out the window at snow, quite the opposite. I am actually thinking about summer. Lately my brain keeps wanting to jump ahead to summer time instead of thinking about the current things. It's been hard, but I'm trying my best to keep my brain on track. Truthfully I keep thinking about what I want to do. Should I stay home and work all summer? Where should I work? Can I find a job in a bakery? Or is there something more out there for me? So in the Christmas season, I would like to give a little wisdom to myself and others: Live in the moment, and enjoy life!

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas (or whichever holiday you so choose to celebrate), and stay safe. Keep checking back in the next few days because there is LOTS of baking to be done!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Whoopie Pie Palooza and a Mini Vacation to My Favorite Spot in Maine

It's official, my whoopie pie palooza has begun. For those of you who do not know what this is, let me fill you in: I have taken on a personal challenge to find the "perfect" whoopie pie recipe. Mostly I want to find the "perfect" whoopie pie to sell when I open my bakery, but I really just love the excuse to eat tons of them =)

My first recipe came from my Maine momma. It is a top secret family recipe, which I only got because hopefully one day I will be part of thei
r family. So, unfortunately I can't share the recipe, but I am more than happy to make some for you.

I headed up to the Rockland, Maine area this past week for a mini vacation. I visited my Maine momma and the whole family. As part of my Christmas gifts to them, I included some home made whoopie pies. I was informed I did a very good job, so it looks like the palooza is off to a good start. I wanted to share a little fun info from my Rockland trip. So, below you will see a Christmas tree, but if you look close you'll see it's actually made out of lobster traps!! It is so cool! That's how Mainers do Christmas.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Let the Holidays begin....

And so it begins...MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! I went to my first Christmas party of the year, and it was a blast! I decided I would bring along some goodies, so I baked Chocolate Mint cupcakes with buttercream frosting. They were very yummy. I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season =)

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Hi Everyone!! I'm so sorry I haven't been more up to date with the blog. Life has been very busy lately, which hasn't left much time for baking. -very sad!- It's okay though, because each day I go through college without baking, I think about the fact that after school I will be able to bake everyday for the rest of my life. I spend a lot of time thinking about how I want to build my bakery, and what kind of goodies I want to sell. There's been a lot of dreaming and thinking going on up in my head lately.

But enough of my brain thoughts, I want to tell you all about my latest baking...PIZZA!! If you've been following the blog, you will know that over the past summer, my family took a liking to my pizza. It started out as just an adventure to see if I could make pizza dough on my own. I used the pizza dough recipe from Baking Illustrated, and like every other recipe I have tried from this book, it was a huge success. My family loved the pizza so much when I made it, that it became a weekly tradition at camp to make pizza for dinner. We tried many different toppings, sauces, and cheeses until we found our favorites. The reoccurring favorites were my infamous white pizza and the BBQ chicken pizza.

So, while I was home for Thanksgiving break last week, I made pizza. My mom went grocery shopping and I saw the blocks of mozzarella cheese in the bag...I knew she was going to ask me to make it!! I was very excited to get to bake, and surprisingly I had not lost any of my "pizza doing" touches. This time I made a white pizza, which is a sauce-less pizza with fresh mozzarella and garlic. And I also made a pepperoni pizza. I had forgotten how delicious it was, but obliviously my little brother didn't: He was working that night and didn't get to have any, but was begging me the rest of the time I was home to make more. Sorry, Andrew, maybe I can make it next time I come home. Take a look at the pictures above: it starts with the process of the dough rising to the final product.

Who knows...maybe The Messy Kitchen will have a Pizza Parlor attached to it?!?! I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season, and stay posted for more updates! =)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Apple Season

Not only did I have fun baking with pumpkin this past weekend, but I also tackled apples. I went apple picking with Deanna and the kiddos, and we got some great baking apples. I'm not sure exactly what type of apples they were. They're green, sweet, and HUGE (they're not Granny Smith)....but they're yummy!

So, I decided I would try making apple turnovers and tarts. They turned out delicious. These were also the first things that I have baked completely on my own without a recipe. I feel like I have accomplished a huge task in my baking career. =)

Everyone, stay posted because there is still more apply picking to come, and much more fall baking to be done!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bring on the Pumpkins!!!

As a lot of you know I have been away at college, and despite having a lot more down time than when I was working full time, I have not been able to bake as much. I am limited as to what I can bake at school because I do not have many ingredients, but fear not my friends, I was house sitting this weekend and had full access to all my baking "stuff"! So, I decided to kick off fall in true Messy Kitchen fashion....BAKING!!!!

I had stumbled upon a new baking site called Lovin' From the Oven, which is run by a young girl who also has a strong passion for baking. She had listed a recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies...DELISH! I made the whole recipe, and it is does make quite a bit. I had enough to bring some to a cook-out, some to my brother, some to a friend, some to my parents, and still have some for myself to enjoy. They were very yummy, soft, and pumpkin-y. They were so good, I had people that don't like pumpkin eating them, and I have requests for more already!

I hope everyone is enjoying fall as much as I am...Enjoy! =)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Maple Pecan Buttons

I was going through some stuff today, and I realized I never shared these delicious cookies with everyone! I made these a little while back, but they are definitely worth writing about. They are Maple Pecan Buttons, and I got the recipe from "In the Sweet Kitchen". They are tiny little cookies that are made with real maple syrup (who doesn't like real maple syrup!!) and real Pecans. After they are baked, you roll them in confectionery sugar....and then you roll them again! I know they are probably considered more of a holiday cookie than a summer cookie, but I at least know what I can make for my holiday gifts. They are really yummy, and if you own the cookbook, you should definitely make them!
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Catching Up

Yes, yes, I do know it has been over a month since my last update...I am VERY sorry!! As always, I have been very busy with family, work, life, and now school!!! I do want to update you on all the things I have been baking, so here we go:

These are pumpkin chocolate brownies. (I had a fall moment!) They were delicious. If you want to attempt them, you can find the recipe on the Smitten Kitchen website.

These are the shortbread cookies, cut out with a tropical fish cookie cutter, then frosted with lemon cream cheese frosting. I used the same shortbread recipe as the baby shower cookies (see earlier posts). The lemon cream cheese frosting was a very delicious addition to the cookies. Next time I frost the cookies, though, I would like to find a recipe that will harden, or crust over better. Nevertheless, they were very yummy!!

Thank You's....So remember the gigantic golf cake I made? Well, I was invited to a thank you cookout for the volunteers that helped at the golf tournament, and of course I brought dessert!!! Here are the cupcakes I made. I made chocolate, vanilla, and coconut cupcakes. All cupcakes were frosted with cream cheese frosting, except the coconut cupcakes had chocolate cream cheese frosting. I then made white chocolates that said "Thank You" on them, and placed them on top.

I hope everyone enjoys the baking!! I still have more to come...stay posted :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


You know when you go somewhere and have such a great time, but your pictures can barely show how wonderful it was, well...this is kinda how the pizza is. I found a recipe for pizza dough in Baking Illustrated, and really wanted to try it. We never order out for pizza when we are at our camp, so my mom suggested I try it there when we go up. The first time I made it, a friend of mine was complimenting how great it was, then we told her this was the first time I had made pizza, & the dough. Her face was priceless!!

Needless to say, pizza has become a camp ritual now. Everyone loves it! Our favorites include barbecue chicken made with Big Moe's Arkansawce (which can be bought by the bottle in and around the Portsmouth, NH area). And our other favorite is my famous white's amazing! Who knew making pizza would be so much fun and delicious!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

4th of July

Hello everyone!! Sorry for the delay in the posts. I've been super busy, but I have not forgotten about The Messy Kitchen!

For the 4th of July this year, my brother and sister decided to have a pig roast at our camp. Well, as always, I was asked to bring dessert.....This does happen to be my favorite thing :) So I made 288 cupcakes, put them all together, and made an American flag. (I said that way too casually...I made 288 cupcakes!!)They were chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, all with buttercream frosting. I used red and blue sprinkles, and made white chocolate stars to put on the blue cupcakes.

They turned out really great! I loved how it looked all put together, and had many compliments (which I always love!!) I'm still hearing stories about it: A friend of mine said every time she turned around, she saw her three year old by the table. I think she ate 6 cupcakes! I guess she didn't eat enough though, because we were still eating leftover cupcakes as of yesterday. I think I may have over estimated a little this time :)

I hope everyone enjoyed there 4th of July as much as we did! Happy Birthday America!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Anne!!

Today is my good friend Anne's birthday! So, my sister asked if I would make two cakes for her. The first one was a chocolate mint cake with a whipped buttercream frosting. The second was a white almond cake with fresh strawberries and a butter frosting. They both turned out fantastic! Happy Birthday Anne, I hope you have a wonderful birthday...Eat lots of cake!!


Well strawberries are in full bloom, so I decided to take the kiddos strawberry picking. After getting home, as usual the kids just wanted to eat the strawberries plain, but I personally opted for some strawberry shortcake!! It turned out YUMMY!!! I made the biscuits from scratch and put the strawberries with a little sugar, and layered them on. Then I topped it off with some whipped cream! Yum Yum!! Happy strawberry season everyone!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Whoopie Pies!

Whoopie Pies are known as a "New England Thing", but I don't care where you live, Try Them! Growing up in New England, I never realized the rest of America was being deprived of this delicious dessert. And, I never really realized it until I couldn't find a recipe for whoopie pies in a cookbook, but only from my family in friends who also live in New England.
These whoopie pies are delicious, but be warned they were made in true New England style. So, you're going to need a tall glass of milk and a friend to split the whoopie pie with...they are huge!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Baby Showers

Baby showers!! These cookies were for a friend of mine who was throwing a baby shower for a friend. She is having a little boy, so I was asked to make shortbread cookies frosted in blue and detailed in white. I thought the baby onsies cookies were absolutely adorable! Congrats Shelly!

1st Annual Krauss Family Golf Tournament 2009

Here is the cake from the 1st Annual Krauss Family Golf Tournament 2009. This was a full sheet cake, half vanilla and half chocolate. It was topped with a rich vanilla buttercream frosting, and decorated to look like the 18th hole. The tournament was for a very deserving family who has a 5 year old daughter named Sophie who was diagnosed with Mitochondrial. I was honored to be asked to donate a cake, and to help out during the tournament. I got to be the Hole-In-One Lady!! I had lots of fun meeting such wonderful people and learning so much about golf. And...from all the feedback, the cake was a hit.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Let me tell you, these are no ordinary cupcakes! Well this was quite the find, and a hit at the party I attended. They are made with multiple steps, but in the end are really delicious! They are a delicious chocolate cupcake made with Guinness, with a rich chocolate filling, and topped with a wonderful vanilla frosting.
I got the recipe from Squash Blossom Bakery who originally got the recipe from Smitten_Kitchen. I made my cupcakes with only the Guinness in the actually cupcake, and omitted the rest of the alcohol in the recipe, but I am sure they would be even better with all the alcohol included. They were fun to make, and I encourage all fellow bakers to give them a shot.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Raspberry Bars & Lemon Bars

Hello everyone!! The last couple of days have been a bit rainy, so I thought it would be a great time to do some baking. Yesterday I made Lemon Bars, which as always, were a hit. Even people who don't usually like lemony things enjoyed them! I also tackled a new recipe for Raspberry Breakfast Bars. They turned out delicious! I will definitely make these again. Hope everyone stays warm and dry today!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

And We're Off!

Well this comes in two forms...First: The Messy Kitchen has successfully completed it's first order!! Yeah! I feel like we are off to a wonderful start. I made a 9 inch Chocolate Flourless Cake accompanied by a raspberry sauce, and a 8 inch White Almond Cake, with Raspberry filling, and a whipped cream frosting. See below the delightful outcomes:

Secondly, I was off for a mini vacation this weekend. Off to Maine I headed!! I went to the Rockland area, which just happens to be one of my most favorite places. I went to visit some friends of mine, and of course I had to bring some goodies to share. I brought Coconut Macaroons dipped in Chocolate, Lemon Bars, and Plain Bagels. By the time I got there, I managed to arrive with all the Macaroons I left with, all the Lemon Bars I left with, and 11 of the dozen bagels I left with....what can I say, I'm a good baker and I got stuck in stopped traffic on 95 for half an hour....probably not the best combination during a long road trip. =) The goodies went over well, and my friend was very resentful to share with anyone! I had a wonderful time, and cannot wait to return.

Sorry it took so long to catch everyone up...I'm still trying to keep myself in vacation mode and function during my normal daily routine, ask anyone: Monday morning was not the best haha. As always: keep posted for more goodies, and have a wonderful day!!

....So, I know I posted this yesterday, but I completely forgot to tell you all about The Squash Blossom!!! ( While I was in Maine, I went to visit my friend Jessie (who just happens to be a spectacular baker.) She has started her own bakery, and runs it out of The Sea Store in Spruce Head, Maine. Of course I had to bring some of her baked goodies home with me, so I got some granola, Peanut Butter cookies with Chocolate Chips, Ginger Molasses Cookies, and Blondies. They were absolutely delicious!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monkey Bread

With my coffee in hand this morning, I started to work away at my Monkey Bread. It was a good breakfast item to make with little kids, because they had lots of fun helping when it came to rolling the dough in the cinnamon. After lots of somewhat patient waiting, my little baking buddies and I accomplished our first Monkey Bread and it is absolutely delicious. These two children are the pickiest of eaters, but since this is coated with some butter, cinnamon, and sugar...they LOVE it! I hope everyone enjoys their day.