I wanted to tell you all about something I am doing over the next year.

I have this amazing cook book all about baking that I coveted for a long time but the $45 price tag got to me.

You see I collect cook books. Like some women have shoes. I have cook books. All different kinds and sizes. And my husband is often commenting how I don’t need more cookbooks. I can’t explain my love for them. I have been known to settle down under a blanket on the couch and read a cookbook.

Reading each recipe and thinking about the flavors and cooking methods. Which sound good to me. Which surprise me with their combinations. I came by it honestly. My maternal grandmother is the same. My mother as well.

I could list my favorites for different reasons. Best desserts. Best for kids recipes. Best French. Best Mexican. Etc. (you are seeing my inner Foodie coming out!)

Anyways, back to my challenge. This marvelous cookbook called “The Martha Stewart Baking Handbook.” It goes over anything you would want to bake. From cream puffs to all kinds of fancy cakes to baguettes and fancy yeast breads to Italian pastries.

Well I decided that I want to learn to make every thing in the book. No, I have no seen the show Julia and Julia (although I want to badly). No, I am not doing this because of or inspired by that movie. I think it will make me a better baker. And really it sounds incredibly fun 🙂 (and a bit fattening….) I told my SIL Lindsay about my plan a few weeks ago and she told me to blog about it. So I will. I have no idea if any of you actually even would want to read about that… but it’s my blog. hahahaha.

I’ll share what I learn and how I mess up and what I know for next time. Shortcuts or whatever. Forever more this little challenge will be called the MSBH Challenge.

So I started the year yesterday.
And we had a good friend Anna over for Sunday dinner (who I haven’t seen in a while. And who my children instantly liked! Anna has kids my age. But we just get along super good. (I think her girls are pretty awesome too!) Anna, who my kids wanted to give a tour of our house too, which included showing her the embarrassingly large pile of laundry in the laundry room – clean on the counter to fold and dirty on the floor to wash, and she just smiled a yeah-that’s-completely-normal kind of way and sweetly said there are a few kids around here to take care of…. which would be ONE of the many reasons why I just love her!) And I made recipe #1 (not number 1 in the book but the first one I made in the challenge)and #2 for the frosting.

Here it is.
Yellow Butter Cake with Chocolate Frosting.

I totally messed up the frosting. You see you beat room temperature margarine (or butter for better taste) with white sugar for 3-4 minutes and it makes it all fluffy and airy. Then you pour in your cooled to room temperature melted chocolate. The key is cooled to room temperature melted chocolate. Cause if you just pour in a bit cooled melted chocolate it makes the fluff and air of the previously beat margarine (or butter) and sugar completely leave.

See it melts the butter with it’s hot self. (You know like when you’re in a room feeling all pretty and cute and put together and then a real knockout girl walks in and you suddenly feel not quite as put together….) Then you are just a runny mess. Just like the chocolate. And it takes a whole lotta icing sugar and to make it back into a reasonable icing. Which is what I did. And just pretended that that was how it was supposed to be! I mean nobody else read the recipe. Just me. And my kids only ate the icing off their pieces of cake 🙂 So my mistake worked out!

(And just for fun the meat I made for dinner too.) My new favorite meat. New as in the last year new. But still new.) Pork. mmmm. I used this recipe here. And we all gave it a two thumbs up!


MSBH Challenge #1 & #2