Archive for the ‘Administrative’ Category

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Bake With Jill is on Vacation

May 13, 2012

I’m still cooking and baking, but decided to take a break from blogging. All is well; I’m just trying to spend less time in front of the computer.

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Helpful information about yeast, and my commenting woes

February 10, 2012

Yeast!

If you are on the King Arthur Flour mailing list, you may have already seen this article about yeast. Yeast and I get along pretty well, but I learned a few things and got some good tips about how the different types of yeast behave and how to tweak rising time, so take a look!

Commenting Woes

I use WordPress, and off and on, have trouble commenting on some Blogger blogs. This is one of those times, and I wasn’t able to comment on some of the lovely loaves that were posted for the Tuesdays With Dorie/Baking with Julia group. I hope it resolves itself; if not, I will be reading your blogs but will not be able to comment. I’m really happy with WordPress, so no, I’m not going to switch teams. If anyone has a solution, please let me know; I did some searching and didn’t come up with anything that worked for me.

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Jill’s Blog is now Bake with Jill

January 13, 2012

There have been a few changes around here lately. A while ago, I changed my header from Jill’s Blog to Bake with Jill. And now, my blog has moved, in a virtual sense, to bakewithjill.com.

What does this mean to you?

Well, not that much. If everything works like I think it will, subscribers will still see my new posts in your Google Reader (or reader of choice) or in your inbox. If you have a bookmark to my blog, it will redirect you to my new URL. And any links to my posts will still work.

Before the switch, when I left comments on another WordPress blog, my name appeared as Jill, and I think I’ll still be Jill now (at least I hope I’m still Jill!). When I left comments using OpenId (which I use for most Blogger blogs), my name appeared as jillbert. Now it looks like my name has changed to bakewithjill.com. That one surprised me, and I wish I could just be Jill in OpenId, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Why the change?

First of all, my dear husband registered the bakewithjill domain for me forever-ago, and for no good reason, it’s taken me a while to do something with it. And, back when I started my blog I didn’t understand that my user name was going to be part of my blog URL, nor did I catch on that everyone had fun blog names. Sometimes it takes me a while to get with the program.

Welcome to bakewithjill.com; I’m now with the program, at least sort of!

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Winner of the Giveaway

July 3, 2010

The winner of the CSN Stores $60 gift card is…comment number 8…Eric F! Eric’s comment simply said “I love cotton candy…” Congratulations! Eric, I will email you to confirm your email address and when I hear back from you, I’ll pass the information on to CSN.

I am also happy to report that the majority of the people who entered like cotton candy. Here are the results.

Thanks everyone for entering and thanks to CSN Stores for providing the gift card!

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Giveaway!

June 28, 2010

The giveaway is now closed.

I was thrilled when CSN Stores contacted me to ask if I wanted to do another giveaway. I love entering giveaways, and it’s really fun to host them too. The really great part is that you can win a $60 gift certificate to use at any of CSN store’s 200+ websites. With that many websites to choose from, I have a feeling you’ll be able to find just the perfect thing to spend that gift certificate on. If you read my blog, you’re probably interested in cooking, but did you know that CSN also has a lighting store? Ceiling lights, wall lights, outdoor lights table lamps…it’s all there. If you have pets, check out AllModernPet.com for some really cute items. Are you like me, always eyeing up that cotton candy maker in the Sky Mall catalog? Well, maybe that’s just the thing to spend your gift certificate on!


Thank you to CSN Stores for sponsoring this giveaway!

Ready to enter? Just leave a comment on this post and tell me if you like cotton candy (yes, you’re still entered even if you say no!). Enter before midnight Central time on Friday July 2. I’ll pick a random winner and will announce the winner Saturday. Thanks for entering, and good luck!

The fine print:

  • One entry per person, please.
  • The winner receives a $60 one-time use gift certificate to be redeemed at any of CSN Store’s websites.
  • Make sure your email address is in the comment form. I’ll contact the winner to confirm your email address, which I’ll pass on to CSN Stores.
  • This is open to US and Canadian residents only.
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Tuesdays with Dorie: I have a really good excuse

April 13, 2010

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at the photo of Swedish Visiting Cake in Baking: From My Home to Yours. Any time I flip through the book, that page seems to pop up. So why didn’t I make this delicious-looking cake, selected by none other than Nancy from The Dogs Eat the Crumbs? Because our house was hit by lightning last week. Seriously. It’s been a heck of a week, and although our kitchen is up and running, I haven’t been in there a lot, except to pull out the blender and make some margaritas!

In summary, it was really, really scary, but everyone is fine. A few photos are below. If you’d rather hear about the recipe, see Nancy. She’ll have the recipe on her site and she won’t steer you wrong with her review!

This wall exploded and the firemen had to open it up

More wall chopping

This is where the fire was

This was our thermostat

It broke some windows and messed up the trim

It even dug a big trench in our front yard!

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Winner of the Giveaway!

April 5, 2010

I am happy to announce that the winner of the CSN giveaway is…

Kim of What the Whisk

In her comment, she said that she’s been wishing for a food scale. Wish no more! I will send you an email to get your mailing information and CSN Stores will send you a shiny new scale. Thank you to everyone who entered! It was fun to hear from people I know (well, “know” in a virtual sense) as well as to hear from some new people.

The Fine Print: To select the winner, I went to Random.org and generated a random number. The result was 9, and Kim left the 9th comment.

This looks kind of boring without a photo, so here’s a cute one for you.

Wake me up when the bowl is full!

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It’s a giveaway!

March 31, 2010

The giveaway is closed

I’m very excited to be hosting my first giveaway! I asked myself what would my readers like to win? I couldn’t decide, so I’m giving you a choice of two things that I find very handy in the kitchen.

What do you think about a hand blender? This comes in handy for puréeing soups – you can puree them right in the pot instead of transferring the soup to your blender or food processor. Summer is almost here, so maybe you’ll want to puree some fresh fruit for a margarita or daiquiri? A hand blender is a great addition to home bars as well as kitchens. But wait! It has a chopper attachment too! I have one similar to this and it comes in really handy for chopping a small amount of nuts or chocolate. I’m sure you’ll find lots of uses for this Oster Hand Blender with Chopper Attachment.


Do you have a kitchen scale? I love mine! I’m so happy when a recipe provides measurements in weight. It’s more precise and it’s easier: you can put a bowl on the scale, zero out the weight, and start adding ingredients. I also use my scale to weigh dry pasta before cooking so we get just the amount we need for dinner. This Cusinart Elite Digital Scale will come in handy for all kinds of things.


Thank you to CSN Stores for sponsoring this giveaway! I especially appreciate that they gave me the opportunity to give you a choice of two items.

Ready to enter? Just leave a comment and tell me which item you’d like to win. Enter before midnight Central time on Sunday April 4 (that’s Easter). I’ll pick a random winner and will announce the winner Monday evening. Thanks for entering, and good luck!

The fine print:

  • One entry per person, please.
  • Make sure your email address is in the comment form. I’ll contact the winner to get your mailing information, which I’ll pass on to CSN Stores so they can ship you your item.
  • This is open to US and Canadian residents only.
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Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers & My One Year Blogging Anniversary

August 8, 2009

I don’t want to ramble on about my “blogiversary,” but I’ll take a minute to say a couple of things (feel free to scroll down to the part about the turnovers). When I started my blog, I didn’t know what I was going to blog about (hence the generic name “Jill’s Blog”). One plan was to post photos and updates while I was traveling. And there have been several trips and no travel posts! Instead, this has become primarily a food blog. One of the first things I posted about was my experience at the Culinary Institute of America’s Pastry Boot Camp. Upon returning from that trip, I joined Tuesdays With Dorie. And if it wasn’t for TWD, I’m not sure where my blog would be today. Thanks to the group, I’ve kept up my baking momentum and I’ve found many wonderful blogs written by nice, helpful, funny, and creative people. I’ve been tempted to join other baking and cooking groups, but I want to leave some time to try all of the great looking recipes that have been posted on other blogs.

What’s next?

  • In addition to my weekly TWD post, I’ve been trying to post one additional recipe per week, so I hope to keep that up.
  • I’d like to post more savory recipes, but I have a hard time with the photography; desserts are so much prettier and easier to photograph!
  • I recently joined The Kitchen Reader, so you’ll be seeing monthly book reviews here.
  • I’d like to beef up my blog by adding some pages and moving to my own URL, but that process has been going slowly.
  • And who knows, maybe the next year will bring some of those travel posts!

Turnover Time!

This is a quick and easy recipe that won’t have you spending the day in the kitchen.

My husband and I were out to lunch one day and he spotted some apple turnovers in the pastry case. He asked me if I could make apple turnovers. Of course I said yes and then set out to finding the right recipe. I knew I was going to use the sheet of puff pastry I had in the freezer after making Parisian Apple Tartlets. I wanted a recipe where the apples are cooked before they are baked inside the turnover because I was concerned that a raw apple filling wouldn’t get soft enough in the 20 minutes of baking time. This recipe fit the bill and it turned out delicious!

Turnover

Notes:

  • Ingredient notes are below in red italics
  • I microwaved the filling. Instructions for cooking on the stove are in the original recipe.
  • Since my rolling didn’t produce a nice square of pastry, I ended up shaping these as rectangles instead of triangles. I’m sure that yours will be more attractive.
  • I made half of this recipe, for two turnovers. I’ll be back in another post to tell you what I did with the remaining half sheet of puff pastry. (Update: I made pesto elephant ears)

Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers

Adapted from this recipe

2 apples I used Granny Smith
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice I used bottled
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
Sugar, for sprinkling on top
1/2 package frozen puff pastry thawed according to package directions

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Peel and dice the apples. In a microwave-safe bowl, toss together the apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter. Cover the bowl and microwave on high for 8 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes. The apples should be soft and the filling should be thick. Cool to room temperature.

When the apple mixture has cooled, whisk together the egg and milk in a small bowl to make an egg wash.

Spread the sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Dust the pastry lightly with flour and use a rolling pin to roll the pastry into a 12-inch square. Using a sharp paring knife, trim the edges and cut the dough into four equal squares. Using a pastry brush, brush the edges of each square lightly with the egg wash.

Spoon one quarter of the apple mixture in the middle of each square, and fold the dough in half to form a triangle. Seal the edges by pressing them together with the tines of a fork. (Seal tightly or the filling will leak out.) Transfer to the baking sheet. Poke a few holes in the top of each turnover with the tip of a paring knife.

Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes to firm slightly. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.

Remove the turnovers from the refrigerator, and remove the plastic wrap. Brush the top of each turnover with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until golden brown and flaky, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm

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