Saturday, June 6, 2015

Two Small Announcements and One Really Big Announcement

So I've totally fallen off the face of the earth the past few months. I figured it was worth sharing why.

First small announcement - I have not forgotten about this blog. I have not forgotten how to cook or bake (though sometimes I feel a little rusty). I do plan on getting back into the swing of things as soon as possible, but it's all related to the second small announcement.

Second small announcement - Half the reason I haven't posted or even cooked much is because most of my gadgets and kitchen paraphernalia is packed in boxes. Because we moved (!) to North Carolina (!!) in April (!!!). While I have a decent kitchen in our rental, I have about half the counter space and, as I just mentioned, a lot of my stuff isn't even unpacked.

Plus, you know, increasingly mobile baby.

The Really Big Announcement, though, is probably the main reason I haven't done much with this blog.

Ready?

*ahem*

I'm going to be a published author.

What's that you say?

I'M GOING TO BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!

*happy dances and squees*

Of course, that comes with a lot of prep work and editing and stuff that takes up a lot of extra time, which (increasingly mobile baby who also sometimes doesn't like to nap still) I don't have much of.

You can catch the details and updates as I get them over on my author blog, J. Lynn Rowan: Acts of Literature.

The fun part for readers of "Teacher, Baker, Gourmet Meal Maker" is that the first book in my chick lit series (yeah, you read that right) is baking related. So I'm planning to do some cross-posting of featured recipes when the time comes.

In the meantime, keep cooking and baking!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Tenders

Time has flown, and it sort of feels like I completely missed the month of February. There are a lot of big but exciting changes going on around here, so I've been swamped with everything connected to that and haven't done a ton of cooking.

However, a few weeks ago I had a "we have a bunch of stuff that needs to be used up" day, and decided to play a bit with some bacon. 

Everybody loves bacon. Except vegetarians. And maybe even some of them love bacon, too, just secretly.


This looks a lot more complicated than it really is. Start to in the oven was about fifteen minutes total.

Here's how to make it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sour Cream Pound Cake

I recently needed a simple and quick dessert to serve to some family, and since it was going to be an afternoon (sort of a tea-time event) visit, this pound cake came to mind. I'd been wanting to try it out since seeing the recipe in The Savannah Cookbook a while back.


The beautiful thing about this pound cake is how delicious it is, despite having no frills or extra flavoring. If you really need to add something, some fresh fruit, particularly strawberries, would be an excellent accompaniment.

Unfortunately, I didn't think about taking any photographs of the process until after the fact, but here's the basic rundown:


  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together 2 sticks of soft butter and 3 cups of sugar until light and fluffy.
  • While that's happening, sift together 3 cups of all-purpose flour and 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
  • Once the butter and sugar are ready, mix in 6 eggs, one at a time, then add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • In several additions (I think I did three), carefully add the flour mixture and beat until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Add 1 cup of sour cream and  mix until the whole thing is nice and smooth.
  • Butter and flour a tube cake pan or bundt pan, or use a cake release spray like Wilton Bake Easy.
  • Evenly pour the batter into the prepared pan, run a butter knife through to release large air pockets, and give it a couple taps on the countertop.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool 10-15 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a cake plate and allow to continue cooling (though it's delicious served warm). If desired, invert the cake a second time so the crusty top is facing up.
That's it!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Three-Cheese Stuffed Shells

I can't believe it's been over two months since I last posted a recipe. All I can say is that Mommyhood and the holidays combined to steal most of my free time.

Anyway, I have a new dinner recipe for you today. It's easy as can be, with hands-on time hovering around the 30-minute mark. They look a lot harder than they are and will impress your guests.



Here's what to do.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Savory Beef and Root Vegetable Stew

The chilly weather is moving in here in the Northeast, and that means it's the season for soups and stews. Beef stew is a winter staple in our house, but I decided I wanted to play around a little bit to see if I could come up with something with some different flavors.



This stew is pretty versatile, as you can adjust the herbs and spices to your liking, as well as play with which root vegetables you include.

Read on to see what I did.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Fall is officially upon us, and around here the leaves are starting to change to some brilliant yellows and oranges. Root vegetables are a wonderful dinnertime staple in the fall. There's something sort of cozy about cooking with them.



I recently played around a bit with a recipe for roasted sweet potatoes that, originally, calls for honey and rosemary. I had no rosemary on hand, and my honey had crystallized. So I needed to be a little creative.

Enter maple syrup and Italian seasoning.

This recipe is so simple, you can prepare it in less than ten minutes.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Babycakes!

Despite this post's food-related title, I don't actually have a recipe to share tonight. Rather, an announcement!

A while back, you may remember I shared a recipe for Stuffed French Toast from the What to Expect: Eating Well When You're Expecting cookbook.  I didn't come right out and say it, but many of you may have figured out by my semi-cryptic answer to those who may have been asking themselves that I was expecting myself.

Babycakes arrived on last Thursday evening. All of us are doing well - but there's very little time for much besides our sweet baby girl. Hopefully in a few weeks when things start to settle down, I can share more yummy recipes!

Until then, keep cooking!