Baking Buzz

Have you ever gotten a bee in your bonnet about something and just found it impossible to move on until you had gotten rid of it? That happened to me today. I had the urge to bake and cook and generally just make some of the stuff I’ve pinned on Pinterest.

I’ve been feeling like energy bars for ages, so that was first on the agenda. I couldn’t find a recipe I liked, but since I’m anything but a chef, I didn’t want to make up my own recipe. Instead I decided to take a basic recipe I found and tweak it a bit. The original recipe I used can be found here. Here is how I tweaked it:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup dried apricots and prunes
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

I basically just threw everything together in a mixing bowl and stirred it all together. Then I plopped it in the baking tray and put it in the oven and hoped for the best. About 2 minutes later baby woke up and I’m actually surprised I didn’t forget that the oven is on… I’ve done that more than is safe and that I haven’t burned the house down yet is a miracle.

Anyway, they didn’t come out too bad, although I think next time I won’t add the dried prunes and apricots. It doesn’t taste bad, I just don’t like the combo.

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Then I moved on to supper. I had promised hubby a chicken pie, so I was determined to fulfill that promise. I had forgotten to take out the pastry I had bought especially for this reason last night, so instead of going back to sleep this morning after LO fed, I got up to get the dough out to defrost. I had already had the bee in my bonnet at that time of the morning.

Anyway, I hit up pinterest again and found a couple of promising recipes, but again I decided to wing it on my own. So here’s what I did. I took a couple of chicken pieces (4 drumsticks and 4 thighs… I have no idea how many grams that is…) and pre-cooked them in about a liter of water, in which I had added a cup of sugar, a tablespoon of salt and a chicken stock cube. Don’t ask me why I decided on that combination… I just felt like it was right.

While I let that simmer, I peeled 2 carrots and a big potato and cut it into small cubes. I was going to add onion as well, but then I couldn’t find an onion anywhere… I wasn’t about to go to the shop just for that, so I just forgot about it. I plopped that in a pot of water and put it on the stove along with another pot of about 250g of lentils.

Understandably the sink was starting to resemble a mountain at this time, so I did some dishes while I waited for everything to get done. I have a thing about dishes, so by the way. It’s because of my hands. I hate when my hands are dry… like completely freak out can’t think of anything else hate. I also hate that over hydrated feeling you get when you’ve soaked your hands in water for an extended period of time, so mostly I get hubby to do dishes. He’s awesome about it and I compensate by sweeping and doing the general tidying, although he helps with that also… I know, I got really lucky…

Anyway, after everything was cooked, I let the chicken cool down a bit and then de-boned it, adding the pieces to the vegetables. Once that was done I did a little taste test, and it tasted quite nice, to my surprise. The mixture I had cooked the chicken in had given it a kind of sweet after taste that complimented the lentils.

Quick confession: I don’t have a rolling pin. You might be wondering how I got the dough rolled out then… well; I used one of those long cans of Mr. Min. I know, I’m terrible, but I never pretended like I was a real cook, and I washed the can, so I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. Plus, it worked like a bomb, so no harm, no foul.

So I put the filling in the pie dish and covered it with the dough. I know at this point you would normally brush some egg over the top to get that nice brown color, but I didn’t want to do that and substituted egg with olive oil. I don’t know if I’m wrong here, but in my mind it’s basically the same thing… it’s just to brown the crust, right?

Anyway, into the oven it went. And it looked pretty good if I do say so myself. Not professional at all, but pretty good for something just thrown together.

I forgot to check the time I put it in and didn’t set the timer on the oven, but I reckoned it was ready when the crust turned a gorgeous golden brown. I don’t know if I would have gotten the same result had I used egg, but I’m sure there’s nothing wrong in using olive oil (or any oil) instead.

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I had to wait for hubby to get home before I could dig into the pie. I had finished a little earlier than I thought I would, and as I could still feel that bee buzzing around, I remembered this little gem I had found on the internet ages ago:

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Now, when it comes to brownies, I don’t screw around, so for this one, I stuck to the recipe exactly, and the results were almost exactly what you are promised, which is amazing considering all the scams and lies out there. The only complaint I have is that the bottom wasn’t (cooked/baked?). Other than that, I think I may have used a little too much cocoa, but it was a perfectly delicious little snack to tide me over.

Okay, so when hubby got home, we ran a couple of errands and then came home to eat. At first I was tentative. I have always been a bit of an experimental cook and some of my previous experiments was quite disastrous… namely a horrendous seafood pasta I tried a couple of months ago! But this was quite good. So good in fact, that I would love me some seconds, but for the first time since giving birth, I was filled up by one serving. I think that was thanks to the lentils!

All in all I had a quite productive day. I got that pesky bee out of my bonnet for now, I have left-overs for lunch tomorrow, and I also have energy bars for snacks. Now I can go pass out… as long as baby plays along!