Happy New Year!

7 Jan

Our new year started with banging pots and pans on the snow covered porch of my parents-in laws.  It was midnight, the moon was bright, the snow was beautiful and the kids were up and were in good spirits.  Two weeks in Vermont is really good for you.  I had big plans to make cakes and cookies (like usual) but those were  replaced with snow play.  We went sledding, skiing, snoeshoeing, cross country skiiing—we ate lots of cheese, bread, fudge, gingerbread, cake, chocolates.  It was great. 

There was some cake-baking in Vermont but it was mostly by my father-in-law.  He has religously been making the same cake, on the last Tuesday of each month, for the past two years.  The cake is great and I realized that I could learn a lot from him by watching his baking techniques.  He measures things exaclty.  He doesn’t just scoop things into the measuring cups–he carefully sifts, heaps and levels the dry ingredients.  Perfectly —with no messy evidence.  He mixes by the timer-before he starts the mixer-he starts the timer so that it mixes for the exact amount each time.  He carefully cuts out parchment paper (in perfect circles) to place at the bottom of the pan.  He lets the cake cool COMPLETLEY before frosting!  As you can plainly see, his cake baking technique is vastly different from mine.  I do not measure nicely, cut out parchment paper or let the cakes cool…..(I mean, who has the patience for that?)  But, as I humbly learned..those things matter and his cakes turned out beautiful and delicious and mine was only delicious.  So, one of my new year goals is to bake more slowly and more carefully.  (I have a ton more but I’ll bore you with those later.)

 In other news:  This is going to be the year of 40 Cakes!  

Since I don’t have a nice cake to share with you and I won’t be sharing my awesome granola recipe (my son and I are considering selling it), make these brownies.  They are simple, delicious, and like the recipe says, they taste even better the next day.

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