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Archive for the ‘cake’ Category

Yes, there is a difference.  Since Martha Stewart does a great job of describing it, I’m going to leave it to her…

“These two baking staples are both leavening agents, but they work at different speeds and in different environments, so they are not interchangeable. Baking soda, or pure sodium bicarbonate, is required in recipes that have an acidic ingredient, such as molasses, sour cream, or chocolate. Baking soda reacts with the acid and moisture, releasing carbon dioxide and causing the dough or batter to rise, yielding fluffy muffins or cake.

Baking powder consists of baking soda, cream of tartar, and cornstarch. It is used in recipes without an acidic ingredient because it already contains an acid (cream of tartar). There are three types of baking powder: fast-acting, slow-acting, and double-acting. Most baking powder is double-acting, which ensures that the dough rises twice: first when the moisture hits it and again when it reacts with heat inside the oven.”

A note from me – baking soda will last indefinitely in your pantry, while baking powder has a shelf life.

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Join the celebration this Saturday, November 27th, and support your locally owned, independent businesses as downtown Winslow celebrates SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY on Bainbridge Island.

Small businesses across the country are joining more than a dozen advocacy, public, and private organizations in declaring the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday recognizes the importance of small businesses to the overall economy and local communities, emphasizing  that small business is the heartbeat of local communities and the engine of the US economy and serving as a day to support the small, independently owned businesses that help preserve the unique character of our towns’ main streets across America.

Over the past two decades, small businesses created 65 percent of net new jobs. In addition, for every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.

Here are the top five reasons to support a small business on Small Business Saturday:

Pass these five reasons around your community —

1. Buying local creates jobs:

We all want more jobs, but no one seems to be able to create them.  Buying  local is YOUR chance to do something about it.

Did you know that half of all employees in the U.S. work for small business, and that small businesses create 60 percent of all new jobs? By participating in Small Business Saturday you foster job creation in a very real and tangible way.  Buy local, create a job.

2. Small business fosters community:

If you go downtown in your city, the community you will likely find is one of small business owners. When a downtown has a bustling small business district, it is usually said there is a strong community there. By buying local then, and supporting your neighborhood small businesses, you are fostering a strong community in your community.

3. Buying local keeps the dream alive:

A small business is someone’s dream.  Being an entrepreneur is a risky enterprise that usually happens when someone’s passion is so overpowering they cannot help but start their own business.

By supporting small business, you are allowing someone to live the dream another day.

4. Buying local boosts your local economy:

There is an economic ripple effect that occurs when you support a small business.  First of all, as indicated, it fosters jobs; the owner needs to hire people to service his customers.

But the economic ripple goes far beyond that. There are the employees with money in their pocket; they spend that money with other small businesses. Moreover, there is the business owner with profit in her pocket. She spends that on buying more goods to sell, on taking care of her family, and on growing her business. Then, there is the business. That business pays taxes, which helps build roads and fund schools and the police.

Buying local creates an economic cycle that helps everyone.

5. Buying local creates a ripple in society: Think about throwing a pebble into a still pond. It creates a concentric circle that starts small and then ripples out bigger and bigger, right? Well, that is exactly what happens when you support a local small business, and this ripple is different than the economic ripple. This is a spiritual/psychological ripple.

When a small business person succeeds, it is noticed. It may be a child who sees that dreams do come true. Or it may be the entrepreneur’s neighbor, who sees the successes and decides that he could do it too. The ripple grows.

One successful small business begets others. New entrepreneurs create more entrepreneurs. Enthusiasm breeds imitation. Suddenly, that blighted block downtown is bustling with energy.

And it all starts, literally, when you choose to spend some money at a local small business.

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There’s a nice piece in a local paper about our new retail location right in downtown Winslow on Bainbridge Island.    My Kids’ Cookies Takes the Retail Plunge.

We also are smiling over the fun art work on our walls.  Nationally known local artist Sally Prangley has bedecked our walls with her whimsical mirrors and clocks.  You can visit our shop and head home with treats for your belly and your walls.

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Everyone has their personal favorite cookie.  And that may change depending upon the season, your mood, your waistline, your lifestyle.  Take our poll and let us know what your favorite flavor (at least as of today) is.  See sidebar for poll.  Happy and sweet cookie polling to you.

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Some basic info about these fascinating flavors:

Chocolate – made from cocoa beans that grow in pods on the cacao tree. The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste, and must be fermented to develop the flavor. After fermentation, the beans are dried, cleaned, and roasted, and the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The nibs are then ground to cocoa mass, pure chocolate in rough form.  Because this cocoa mass is usually liquefied, then molded with or without other ingredients, it is called chocolate liquor. The liquor also may be processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter.

Unsweetened baking chocolate (bitter chocolate) contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, combining cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat, and sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids (and thus does not qualify to be considered true chocolate).

Vanilla – an edible seed pod harvested from orchids of the genus Vanilla.  The beans develop their flavor after months of drying and curing.  Vanilla extract is made by soaking chopped vanilla beans in water and alcohol.  Different beans produce different flavors.  Bourbon (aka Madagascar) is the most common variety giving the classic vanilla flavor.  Mexican vanilla is smooth and spicy with hints of run and caramel.  Tahitian vanilla is a sweeter, almost cherry licorice flavor.

Vanilla flavoring is a combination of real vanilla and synthetic flavorings.  Imitation vanilla is just that, an imitation made from synthetic flavorings.  Vanilla paste, made from ground vanilla beans in a and vanilla extract, is a concentrated flavor.

Both chocolate and vanilla provide the basis for many sweet treats.

source: Wikipedia

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This weekend, My Kids’ Cookies is participating in Bainbridge IslandIf You Give A Mouse A Cookie Public Library’s first annual Edible Book Festival.

We’re baking up our version of “If You Give A Mouse A My Kids’ Cookie“.  We had loads of fun trying out this cake and a friend’s 3 little boys were my taste testers.  Who got the ear, who got the foot, who got the head?  These were things they all had to negotiate.  Entrance fee donations will be given to Helpline House.

On the next rainy day weekend, pull out your children’s favorite story and bake up a version of it.  They can be creative and make dessert for the family at the same time.

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If you love both these sweets, try them together.  They’re easy:

1) Start with your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.

2) Fill each muffin tin with about a tablespoon of dough.

3) Bake for about half the recipe time and remove from the oven.

4) Push a Rolo candy into the center so the tops are even and finish the baking.

These taste unbelievably gooey and good when warm.  Once they’ve cooled, just microwave for about 10 seconds to warm up the caramel again.  Get out a spoon because it’s the only way to eat these treats!

And don’t be afraid to mix it up.  Instead of chocolate chips, try them with butterscotch chips then the Rolo.

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