Boston Brown Bread

By February 22, 2017 Baker Blog, Bread, Bread Recipes, Recipes, Whole Grains
steamed boston brown bread with raisins

With all the sweets we’ve been gobbling down (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Marmalade…. yep, it adds up!) we wanted to bring you (and ourselves) something a little more hearty and whole grain. Enter that age old comfort food – steamed Boston brown bread. Perfect as a breakfast treat smeared with cream cheese, or alongside a simple and satisfying pot of beans. There’s something so comforting in the combination of a hearty, slightly sweet bread and a savory bowl of beans or soup! 

For this recipe, you can use clean 16 oz cans with just the tops removed, or if you don’t have those sitting around you can use a few wide mouth pint size canning jars. Just be sure to only cover with buttered foil as instructed in the recipe, because this baby expands! We don’t recommend trying to make these in any jars smaller than 16 oz, in our test, the dough got a little too big for it’s britches and then fell over in our pot! But if you follow our instructions, this is a hearty, satisfying whole grain loaf that is perfect for eating along side some bean soup or Boston baked beans. 

steamed boston brown bread loaf sliced with raisins

Boston Brown Bread

yields 3 small loaves


1 cup stone ground cornmeal (5 oz)

1 cup rye flour (3 1/2 oz)

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (2 3/4 oz)

1/2 cup all purpose flour (2 1/2 oz)

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 cup raisins or currants

3/4 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)

2 cups buttermilk



Dutch oven or large pot

Small wire rack, canning rack or clean kitchen towel

3 – 16 oz clean cans, or 3 wide mouth pint canning jars


Butter for greasing the foil and cans or jars


Set up the steaming station: Get a large pot or Dutch oven and place on the stove. Put a round wire rack (canning rack works well) or put a towel in the bottom of it.

Butter three 16 oz clean cans, or 3 wide mouth pint canning jars. Cut three squares of foil, each on large enough to cover the top of a can/jar. Butter the foil and set the foil and jars aside.

Make the dough: Combine all of the dry ingredients and the raisins or currants in a large bowl, add the molasses and buttermilk to the bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Divide the batter between the buttered 16 oz cans or wide mouth pint canning jars, tightly cover the cans or jars with a piece of buttered foil and place in a Dutch oven or stock pot and fill the pot with enough hot water to come halfway up the can or jar. Cover the pot and simmer on low for about 2 hours. Check the water level now and again and maintain the water level halfway up the cans by adding additional boiling water. The bread is done when a skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Carefully take the cans out of the water bath and cool 15 minutes on a dry kitchen towel (do not set on a cold counter top, this could cause the canning jar to break). Remove loaves from cans or jars and serve warm or allow to cool completely. The bread will keep a day or two in the refrigerator tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.


Stone ground cornmeal is best as it’s coarse texture really stands out but regular cornmeal will work just fine.

If you do not have buttermilk you can make a substitute by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice per cup of milk and letting it stand for 5 minutes. The acid from the lemon will thicken the milk a bit and allow the baking soda to work it’s leavening magic.

I like to pour some hot water over my raisins and let them plump up for about 15 minutes, drain before using.

Spicy Chocolate Hearts

By February 13, 2017 Baker Blog, cookies, Desserts, Recipes
spicy heart cookies

It’s not too late to make somethings special for the sweeties in your life! These chocolate hearts have a little bit of spice from cinnamon and cayenne, and a little bit of sweet from the sprinkles and icing. 

heart cookies

This recipe comes together really easily and is perfect for baking up with the kids! The decorating is the funnest part. Making these during a Valentine’s themed party and having lots of sprinkles and icing in pre-mixed colors is a super fun way to celebrate this holiday. 

heart cookies

For the icing, mix up a batch of royal icing as in in the recipe, or follow this method with just powdered sugar and milk, using a thicker mixture to “outline” the heart, and thinner mixture to “paint” the inside. You can also keep things simple and sweet by just melting white chocolate and drizzling it on the cookie. 

If any cookies break, just have fun with it! Play off the concept of a broken heart. 🙂 

broken heart cookie

Spicy Valentine Chocolate Hearts
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  1. 3 c flour
  2. 1 1/2 c. cocoa powder (the darker, the better)
  3. 1/4 tsp. salt
  4. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  5. 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  6. 3 sticks or 12oz unsalted butter at room temperature
  7. 1 3/4 c. sugar
  8. 2 eggs
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix until well combined. The dough will be stiff. Divide the dough in half and wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about one hour.
  3. Roll out the dough on a floured counter or board to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out heart shapes in various sizes. You can gently knead the scraps and re-roll once. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes for large hearts, 7 minutes for medium hearts, and 4 minutes for very small hearts. Place on a wire rack and let cool completely while preparing the frosting or white chocolate if using.
  1. If you are using sprinkles, add those to the raw cut out hearts on the baking sheet just before baking.
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Royal Icing
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  1. 1 egg white (or 1 T. meringue powder and 2 T water)
  2. 1 c powdered sugar
  3. 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Combine until smooth, add more powdered sugar to desired consistency, pipe or spread on the cookies as you like. Allow to dry for 1 hour before wrapping.
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Super Bowl Snacks

By February 2, 2017 party, quick, Recipes, Snacks
hummus and vegetables

It’s Super Bowl time and that always comes with some delicious, indulgent snacks….which brings me to a little food memory. 

Super Bowl Then: 

When I was growing up Super Bowl Sunday meant spending the day at my grandparents house with the whole family and LOTS of snacks!  We had cheese and crackers and vegetables with ranch dip, and nuts and pretzels, but the family favorite by far was potato chips and “Clam Jam”.  While the name sounds kinda awful, the dip is yummy!

hummus and clam dip spread

The dip is a thick mixture of cream cheese and chopped canned clams seasoned with Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco.  The recipe is easy; take an 8 ounce block of cream cheese at room temperature and mix in one 6.5 ounce can of chopped clams, drained.  Reserve the clam juice and add to the cheese/clam mixture until the dip is a creamy scoop-able consistency of your liking then season to taste with Worcestershire and Tabasco.  Serve with sturdy potato chips and veggies.  The dip can be made ahead and kept refrigerated until the game starts.

Super Bowl Now:

Ok, fast forward 30 years and eating big bowls of cream cheese is kinda off my radar… new fave for game day is Hummus and veggies.  I am a big fan of cooking chickpeas in my pressure cooker.  I put dry beans in the cooker and cover with a generous amount of water, at least 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of beans.  Then pressure cook on high for 35 minutes.  The beans will be cooked to a lovely softness, ideal for whirring up into a silky hummus.

chickpeas being blended

blended hummus in a food processor

A little side note here……do not overfill your pressure cooker or add baking soda to the beans before you cook them.  Some popular recipes call for adding a pinch of baking soda to the beans to help the skins come off (this only works if NOT using a pressure cooker).  When I put the beans and baking soda in my cooker, bad things happened, learn from my mistake, I urge you!  The skins did indeed come off and one of them clogged the pressure cooker.  Before I realized that the little rocking noise my old school pressure cooker makes when it is cooking, gently keeping the pressure steady as it cooks, had stopped (big warning signal!) the pressure valve did what it is designed to do and blew off!  Suddenly 240 degree chickpeas were squirting violently out of the tiny hole in the lid of the cooker, spraying chickpea puree all over my stove and cupboards!  This went on for many minutes until the pressure was released and all the chickpeas were coating my kitchen, ugh.  If this happens to you (and I hope it never does) grab a kitchen towel and throw it over your pressure cooker to keep the beans from spewing out then carefully move to the sink and run cold water over the whole shebang until the drama is over.  Then enjoy the opportunity to give your kitchen a thorough cleaning!

But aside from all that, cooking beans in the pressure cooker really will make a smooth, creamy hummus. So here’s my recipe for a great super bowl snack: 

Serves 8
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
  1. 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained (you can use canned but freshly cooked are far better)
  2. 1/2 cup tahini
  3. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  5. 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  6. 1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin
  7. 2 tablespoons cold water
  1. Combine all the ingredients in the food processor and blend for 5 minutes. 5 minutes will seem like a long time but trust me, it will make a wonderful silky smooth dip. Taste the hummus and adjust the seasoning with more salt and/or lemon juice. Refrigerate for an hour or two before serving for a firmer dip. Serve with sliced cucumbers, carrot sticks, or pita chips. The hummus will keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.
The Slice of Life Show


Classic Lemon Bars

By January 12, 2017 Baker Blog, Baking, Desserts, easy, In Season Now, Recipes
lemon bars slice of life show

Citrus is in season right now and mouth-puckeringly delicious! There’s Cara Cara oranges, grapefruits, clementines and cuties (one of our favorite snacks). And, of course, our old favorite: the lemon. Lemons are available year round, unlike some of the other citrus that is available right now. My mom always made these in the rotation of cookies and bars that we had around as treats. 

This recipe makes a small pan, so it’s perfect if you don’t want (or need!) them hanging around too long or if there’s just a few of you at home. 

It starts with a simple crust that has powdered sugar in it instead of the regular granulated sugar. This makes the crust light and dissolve on your tongue, while still being incredibly rich. 

classic lemon bars slice of life

Since this is a small batch of lemon bars, you only need a couple of lemons. The recipe actually calls for one lemon, but you could add in more lemon juice if you like it extra lemony. 

This recipe comes together pretty quickly. First, make the crust. The crust is butter, sugar, flour and a pinch of salt that is best mixed together with your fingers. You want the texture of course cracker crumbs here, with a couple large pieces here and there. 

lemon bar crust mixture

Then you just press it evenly into your pan. Buttering the pan first is a good idea 🙂 

Bake it for 20 minutes, and meanwhile mix up your filling with a hand mixer. 

lemon bars slice of life show

Pour filling onto crust: 

lemon bar filling pre baking

And bake for 20 more minutes. Let cool then cut into 9 bars (or smaller, if you want these bite sized. My mom said to do 16 squares)

Dust with powdered sugar before serving. 

lemon bars the slice of life show

These are rich, classic and a sunny treat for this stormy time of year. 

Lemon Bars
Yields 9
Rich and tangy lemon bars.
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For the crust
  1. 1 cup flour
  2. 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  3. 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  4. pinch of salt
For the filling
  1. 2 eggs
  2. 1 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
  5. Juice of 1 lemon, or 2 if you like things extra tart
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, blend the flour, butter, powdered sugar and salt, working the butter with your fingers until it resembles course cracker crumbs.
  2. Butter an 8x8 baking pan. Press the crumbly crust mixture into the pan in an even layer. Poke it with a fork to allow steam to escape and prevent bubbles. Bake the crust for 20 minutes, until golden lightly brown on the edges.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl add the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, baking powder and salt. Beat with a hand mixer on medium-low until combined, about 3 minutes. Pour over the baked crust and bake for another 18-20 minutes, until lightly brown on top. Do not overtake.
  4. Let cool and slice into 9 (or 16) squares. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
The Slice of Life Show
 Here’s a couple other citrus recipes to get your dose of vitamin C!

Satsuma Marmalade

Lemon Ice Cream

Orange Sunshine Buns

Sourdough English Muffins

By January 5, 2017 Baker Blog, Baking, Breakfast, Recipes
sourdough english muffins slice of life

It’s cold out there, and we’re enjoying hanging out in the warm kitchen and baking up some delicious sourdough english muffins. The great thing about these is their crunchy cornmeal crust, the sourdough flavor, the high rise they get, the… oh who are we kidding, there’s nothing we don’t love about these! My favorite thing about them is that I made them after the holidays, so there’s no house guests to hog them all 🙂 

They are easy and fast too. Let’s get started! These came from one of those old Church cookbooks our mothers or grandmothers probably have on the cookbook shelf: 

sourdough english muffins

The night before you want to mix together some of your sourdough starter milk, and flour. Set this in your oven with the oven light on. Yep, that’s right. It’s a perfect place to keep your doughs and starters at an excellent temperature for fermenting and rising — especially when the house is a little chillier then usual. 

Then the next day (whenever you are ready to finish these, it doesn’t have to be first thing in the morning) add a little more flour, salt, sugar and baking soda to your sourdough mixture. 

sourdough english muffins that are so easy to make. Start them the night before. From The Slice of Life Show

Cutting these into rounds and shaping them is fun, just cut the dough into 8 pieces and roll into balls. Put them on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal, and then add an extra sprinkle of cornmeal all over the dough balls (that’s how they get the cornmeal CRUNCH!) After 30 minutes, they are ready to cook in a skillet.

And that’s it! Just in time for tea and marmalade

Sourdough English Muffins
Yields 8
Crispy and easy sourdough english muffin to wow your family with.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
  1. 1/2 cup sourdough starter (see our sourdough post if you don't have a starter yet)
  2. 1 cup milk
  3. 3 cups flour, divided
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 teaspoon sugar
  6. 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  7. Cornmeal for dusting
  8. Organic vegetable shortening or canola oil
  1. The night before, mix the sourdough starter in a medium bowl with 1 cup of milk and 2 cups of flour. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place or in the oven with the oven light on.
  2. The next morning, uncover and mix with 1 cup flour, salt, sugar and baking soda with a wooden spoon. It may seem a little dry, but kneading usually improves the texture.
  3. Knead the dough on the counter until smooth and elastic, adding a little flour if necessary to keep if from sticking too much. Cut the dough into 8 pieces and form into balls (flatten the balls slightly to make them more biscuit shaped.
  4. Generously sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal. Place the rounds on the baking sheet with about an inch and a half space between them. Sprinkle cornmeal on top of the rounds as well.
  5. Let rise for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat a skillet or cast iron pan to 300 degrees, or medium low. Put one tablespoon of shortening or butter in the pan to coat. Bake the rounds in the skillet with a lid slightly ajar for 8-15 minutes on each side, depending on how fast they brown.
  7. Serve immediately or let cool on a wire rack and store in the fridge for up to one month.
  1. These turn out taller and thicker then store bought english muffins, so in some cases the outsides may brown faster then the inside can cook. In that case, bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes on a baking sheet.
  2. Butter can make the cornmeal taste like buttered popcorn, which isn't ideal in this case. Shortening or a neutral tasting fat works best for cooking these.
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Yule love this cake

By December 22, 2016 Desserts, Holidays, Recipes, winter
yule log cake buche de noel dessert amazing and chocolate filled cake

Yule log cakes are symbolic of the winter nights as well as delicious and super fun to decorate. You can make a yule log cake out of any jelly roll or “swiss roll” cake recipe that you like. While yule logs can seem a bit daunting, this recipe can be split up over multiple days so all that’s left is to assemble and decorate (the fun part!) the day before you plan to serve it. 

yule log cake buche de noel

This cake has a few fun (but totally easy) decorations that make it special. The first one is the chocolate shards that make the “bark” of the log. All you do is melt some chocolate and spread it out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Chill it (or place it outside, if it’s cold where you live) until it’s hard. Slowly curl the parchment to create shards of “bark”. 

The sugared rosemary sprigs and cranberries are a festive, wintery addition and you can make those ahead too. Brush rosemary sprigs with a mixture of egg white and about a tablespoon of water. Shake off the excess over a garbage can or in the sink. Roll in a plate with regular white sugar. Next do the cranberries. It’s easiest to dip them in the bowl with the egg white mixture, then fish them out and let them drain with a slotted spoon. You can also dip and drain them all at once in a strainer. Then roll them in the sugar. Store in the fridge in open bowls or plastic containers until ready to place around the cake. 

Another fun decorating addition is a gnome, which you can find at a craft store or online

I recommend making the cake in this order: 

Day One: Make the chocolate bark, ganache, and mousse. 

Day Two: Make the cake, and the sugared decorations. Chill rolled cake with mousse, as instructed, then assemble the cake through frosting the cake. Refrigerate overnight. 

Day Three: Place the final decorations on the cake: the bark, the sugared decorations and the gnome if using. Serve. Don’t forget to take pictures! 

yule log cake buche de noel amazing decorated cake

Here’s all the recipe you’ll need to make this cake. We borrowed/adapted from Martha Stewart 🙂 

Chocolate Genoise
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  1. 2/3 cup sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
  2. 1/3 cup sifted cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
  3. Pinch of baking soda
  4. 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for parchment and pan
  5. 6 large eggs
  6. 3/4 cup sugar
  7. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10 1/2-by-15 1/2-by-1-inch jelly-roll pan. Line with parchment; butter and flour paper, tapping out the excess flour.
  2. Sift flour, cocoa, and baking soda together twice into a medium bowl. Set aside. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Skim off white foam, and pour clear yellow butter into a bowl, discarding white liquid at the bottom. Set aside in a warm place.
  3. In a medium-size heat-proof bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water; stir until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, and beat on high speed until mixture is thick and pale and has tripled in bulk. Reduce speed to medium, add vanilla, and beat 2 to 3 minutes more.
  4. In three additions, sift flour mixture over egg mixture, folding in gently with a spatula. While folding in last addition, dribble melted butter over batter and fold in.
  5. Spread batter evenly in pan, leaving behind any unincorporated butter in the bottom of the bowl. Tap pan on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake until cake springs back when touched in center, 15 to 20 minutes. Don't overbake or cake will crack. Let sit in pan on a wire rack until cool enough to handle.
  6. Let the cake cool 10 minutes. Invert onto a clean kitchen towel. Starting with the long end, roll gently into a log, rolling with the towel. Keep rolled up for 10 minutes, then unroll and let cool to room temperature.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
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Chocolate Mousse
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  1. 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
  2. 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  3. 4 large eggs, separated
  4. Pinch of cream tartar
  5. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  1. In a double boiler, melt together chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat, and transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in egg yolks, stirring well. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff. Whisk a third of the whites into chocolate mixture; gently fold in remainder of the egg whites.
  3. Whip cream until it holds soft peaks, and fold into chocolate mixture. Chill until set, about 1 hour.
  1. You can make this ahead of time and chill until you are ready to assemble the cake.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
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Chocolate Ganache
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  1. 9 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  2. 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  1. Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan until bubbles begin to appear around edges (scalding); pour over chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Set aside at room temperature until cool but pourable, stirring occasionally.
  1. Or use Katie's Ganache recipe at
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
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Yule log Decorations
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  1. 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  2. 1 egg white
  3. 1 tablespoon water
  4. 1/2 cup sugar
  5. 6-8 rosemary sprigs (or one package from the store)
  6. Whole fresh cranberries
To make the chocolate “bark”
  1. In the top of a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl set over simmering water, melt chocolate until smooth. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Spread melted chocolate 1/8 inch thick over parchment. Refrigerate until cold, 10 to 15 minutes. Roll paper back and forth until chocolate splinters; sprinkle over cake. Chill cake until ready to serve.
To make the sugared “branches and berries”
  1. Whisk together the egg white and the water in a small bowl. On a large plate, pour about 1/2 cup of sugar.
  2. Using a pastry brush, brush rosemary sprigs egg white mixture. Shake off the excess over a garbage can or in the sink. Roll in a plate with regular white sugar. Next do the cranberries. It's easiest to dip them in the bowl with the egg white mixture, then fish them out and let them drain with a slotted spoon. You can also dip and drain them all at once in a strainer. Then roll them in the sugar. Store in the fridge in open bowls or plastic containers until ready to place around the cake.
  1. These can be made at least 2 days ahead and kept in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the cake.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
The Slice of Life Show
Assembling the Yule Log Cake
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  1. Chocolate Genoise
  2. Chocolate Mousse
  3. Chocolate Ganache Icing
  4. Chocolate Bark
  5. Sugared Rosemary sprigs + fresh cranberries
  6. Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
  1. Take your cooled cake and spread chocolate mousse evenly on cake to within 1 to 2 inches of one long end. Reroll cake, starting from other long end, using towel to help you, but don’t roll up the towel this time. Cover the roll filled with mousse with plastic wrap; chill until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Place cake, seam side down, on a serving platter; tuck parchment around it to keep platter clean while decorating.
  3. Whip ganache at medium speed until it has the consistency of soft butter. Cut two wedges off ends of cake at a 45 degrees angle; set aside. Ice log with a thin layer of ganache. Attach wedges on diagonally opposite sides of log. Or do one on top and one on the side. Spread ganache all over log, using a small spatula to form barklike ridges. Chill until ganache is firm, about 30 minutes.
  4. When ready to serve, arrange sugared rosemary sprigs and cranberries around and on cake, and dust lightly with confectioners' sugar or place your gnome in his fairy land.
  1. Do this the day before you plan to serve, topping with the sugared decorations just before serving.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
The Slice of Life Show
Other great decorations: 

Finely chopped pistachos for “moss”. 

Marzipan rolled into mushroom stems and poked into the hull of a raspberry  for a top. 

Powdered sugar sifted all over the top to look like a dust of snow. 



By December 2, 2016 Baker Blog, Desserts, Holidays, Recipes
homemade mincemeat pies

Last year, a day or two before Christmas, a woman drove up just as April, our counter girl, was putting out the “open” sign in the parking area.  She asked if we had any Mincemeat Pie?  April told her no, we had run out.  I had made 5 gallons of mincemeat last season and was down to the last quart and in the middle of baking the last of the Mincemeat Tarts for a regular customer who wanted one for the holiday.  

When April came in and told me about the woman in the parking lot I asked if she thought she could catch her before she pulled away and April ran out and stopped her.  An hour later, the tarts were out of the oven and the happy woman was driving away with one.  It turned out that she had driven over from Corvallis after searching all of the bakeries in the Corvallis area for a Mincemeat Pie.  She had come to the coast in hopes of finding a bakery that had one, she didn’t know about Pacific Sourdough but happened to see our sign.  The tart was to be a gift for her 90 year old neighbor!

I thought about all the coincidences that brought that woman to our door; the drive to the coast, seeing our open sign, April being in the parking lot just then, me having the last of the mincemeat tarts for a special customer, and an extra one……it all came together. Could we say “holiday miracle”?

2015-12-02 14.12.32
Here’s how to make your own “holiday miracle” mincemeat pie: 

Mincemeat Pie or Tart Filling
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  1. 5 pounds tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  2. 1 pound raisins
  3. 1 pound golden raisins
  4. 1 pound dried currants
  5. 2 pounds brown sugar
  6. 1 quart apple cider
  7. 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  8. 1 tablespoon allspice
  9. 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  10. ½ teaspoon ginger
  11. 2 oranges
  12. 1 lemon
  1. Mix all the ingredients except lemon and oranges in a large enamel or stainless steel kettle. Finely grate orange and lemon rinds; discard the white pith and seeds and finely chop oranges and lemon. Add rind and fruit to kettle and simmer uncovered 1 hour, stirring occasionally at first, more often as the mixture thickens. Or you can put everything in a crockpot on high for about 6 hours or overnight on low, stirring once or twice. When the mixture is thick and well blended ladle into jars and seal, cool and label. You can process the jars in a water bath canner (be sure to consult a canning resource for exact time and directions), or just refrigerate.
  1. Feel free to improvise the fruit and seasonings, I have used green tomatoes in place of some of the apples. I have also made the recipe with pears. If you know you will can the filling, start by washing and sterilizing 6 pint jars or 2 quarts and 2 pints and their closures and keep hot on a baking sheet in a 250 degree oven until needed.
The Slice of Life Show

Sourdough Waffles

By November 30, 2016 Baker Blog, Breakfast, Recipes, Sourdough
sourdough waffles breakfast

We are loving our sourdough starter and using it in all kinds of delicious, tangy recipes. Here we have a perfect recipe for holiday guests: Sourdough Waffles! 

sourdough waffles slice of life

This recipe is great because you can get it going the night before and by morning you are already well on your way to breakfast. It also makes plenty of waffles, so feeding your hungry guests is no problem. Whew-glad to have one thing off the list. 

Speaking of great breakfast recipes to make for guests, check out these posts: 

Jam-Filled Whole Wheat Muffins: easy and with a dose of whole grains. Plus who doesn’t love jam? 

Sour Cream Streusel Coffee Cake: any excuse to make a coffee cake. This is great for breakfast or as an afternoon snack in between holiday festivities. 

Orange Sunshine Buns: these require a little more planning, but they add a special brightness to the grey skies this time of year. 

Okay, I hope that gave you some great ideas! Now back to the waffles:

This recipe requires a little mixing the night before, and then you add a couple more things in the morning. Simple, right?

sourdough waffles

Just make sure you’ve feed your sourdough starter lately. Check out our DIY Sourdough post for all the details! Happy hosting and breakfast cooking! 


Sourdough Waffles
Serves 10
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 1 cup sourdough starter
  2. 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  3. 2 cups ap flour
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. vegetable oil or butter for brushing on the waffle iron
  1. The night before you want to make these waffles, stir together in a medium bowl the starter, milk, and one cup of flour.
  2. In the morning, add the remaining cup of flour, eggs, oil, salt, and baking soda to the mixture with a whisk. Do not over mix. The batter will be thick and bubbly.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and put a rack on top of a cookie sheet in the oven.
  4. Heat a waffle iron to medium-high, or follow manufactures directions for preheating your waffle iron.
  5. Brush butter or oil on the grates. Without stirring the batter, pour about 1/4 cup of batter on to the grates (depending on the size of your waffle iron, you may use between 1/4 cup and a 1/2 cup per waffle batch).
  6. Close the lid and cook each waffle until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the iron with a fork and transfer to the oven to keep warm. Repeat until all your batter is cooked and you are ready to serve.
  1. If you end up with more waffles then you have eaters, let them cool completely and store in plastic zip top bags and freeze for up to 2 months. To eat waffles from the freezer, pop them in the toaster.
Adapted from The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger
Adapted from The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger
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 Perfect on their own or with eggs and bacon: 


DIY Sourdough Starter

By November 10, 2016 Baker Blog, Baking, bread, bread baking, Recipes, Sourdough, Starter

I am often asked if I will share my sourdough starter, my response is always “no”. Not because I am selfish but because I know that it is so fun to capture your own culture! I made my culture on a whim just to see if I could succeed and look what became of the experiment, Pacific Sourdough, our business! While I will not sell or give away our starter I am always happy to tell people how to start their own. So for all of you who would like to try your hand at capturing a starter culture, here is how.

To make your own sourdough starter:

First, go to your local Farmers Market and buy some grapes, or other fruit that will have wild yeast on the skin, such as plums or apples. Buy organic if you can, but above all, make sure the fruit is local (this means it will have the local wild yeasts that are unique to your area). Bring the grapes or fruit home but don’t wash them!


Make slurry of organic flour and water* in a ratio or about 1:1 to equal about 4 cups, you want a mixture that resembles pancake batter. Dump in a bunch of grapes about the size of your fist. Do this all in a non-reactive container, like a glass bowl or gallon jar.  *I used tap water, but make sure your water is non-chlorinated, as chlorine will kill wild yeasts and prevent proper fermentation. Check on your city’s water website to find out. If your tap water is chlorinated, use filtered water.


Place the container with the flour/water slurry and the grapes in a warm spot. The best place is an insulated box with a heater, don’t panic, you probably have one. If you don’t you’ll be in dire straights to bake a loaf anyway…..I am talking about your oven! Simply put the bowl or jar in your oven, turn on the light and close the door, voila! An insulated box with a heater, the light bulb produces just the right temperature. Now just wait. After day, 24 hours or so, check the container. You should see bubbles on the top of the mixture, if you do, then fish out the grapes and discard them.


Next pour out all but 2 cups of mixture and refresh with an equal mixture of flour and water, again to resemble pancake batter, this is called “feeding”. Return to the insulated box (oven with light) and leave overnight. You will need to do this for 7 days to “build” your starter before you can use it to bake. Once you have a strong starter you may use it for all sorts of sourdough baked goods from pancakes to biscuits to bread.


To feed your starter: 

Every time you remove some to bake with, you can also replace that with a mixture of equal parts water and flour. Mix up the feed in a separate bowl and then add it to the starter.


When baking:

Follow your recipe, and pay attention to if a room temperature starter is needed, one that is cold from the fridge can be used, or if the starter needs to be “active” meaning feed recently (not RIGHT before you use it, but probably a day or two before you use it).

When using your sourdough starter and you are wanting a more sour or stronger tasting final product, you have two options. You can start feeding your sourdough starter a little dryer feed.  If you like a more sour tasting sourdough, use a little more flour then water, like 1/4 cup water to 1/2 cup flour. For more information on adjusting the sourness of your starter, see this article. For instant results, you can add 1/2 teaspoon – 1 teaspoon citric acid (available at brew supply stores or online) to your recipe (not to the starter). 

So have fun baking with it, reserve some for the next time (about 2 cups) and keep it in the refrigerator where it will go dormant for longer storage (3 months or longer).

Stay tuned for a recipe for Sourdough Waffles!

Yeasted Corn Bread

By September 9, 2016 Baker Blog, Baking, Bread, bread baking, Bread Recipes, Fall, Food, Recipes, summer
yeasted corn bread

Corn is still going strong and the weather is finally cooling down a bit to make baking in the kitchen fun again. This yeasted corn bread takes advantage of all the pre-fall season has to offer. 

It starts with fresh corn! 

Here’s a trick for cutting corn off the cob and not ending up with kernels all over your kitchen.

Place a smaller bowl, like a ramekin or saucer, inside a larger bowl, upside down. Put the corn cob on the small bowl, and cut with a knife down the cob. The kernels will fall into the larger bowl and catch the excess corn “juice” too: 



Set that aside while you start the dough. Honey and corn kernels add a subtle sweetness that isn’t over powering. You could vary this recipe by adding shredded cheese or chopped peppers too! 


The dough will feel a little wet, but it should work it’s way up the paddle when it’s about done. By adding in the salt later in the mixing process, it helps the yeast have a bit of a jump start before being slowed down by the salt.

yeasted-corn-bread-sliceoflife-5 Ready to be transferred to a bowl for the first rise: 


The dough is up high on the paddle, come together, but still sticky. This is what you want!

Before the rising time: 


After the first rise: 


Shape into two loaves and let rise again: 


Now it’s time to bake! 

yeasted corn bread

This bread is so light and fluffy, yet it has a complex flavor from the yeast and the time it spends rising. The corn kernels get “smushed” up into the dough, but they are still in larger pieces for texture. This bread is so good as a start to a pulled pork sandwich, toasted with honey butter, or even shredded up and made into croutons

Yeasted Corn Bread
Yields 2
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
  1. 3 3/4 cup bread flour
  2. 1 cup cornmeal
  3. 3/4 cup fresh corn kernels at room temperature
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  5. 1 1/2 cups warm water
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 2 tablespoons honey
  8. 1 1/2 tablespoon oil
  9. 1 tablespoon salt
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, cornmeal, corn kernels and yeast for 30 seconds to combine. Add the water, eggs, honey and oil and mix for about 3 minutes. It will seem wet, but it should start to ball up around the beater. Scrape down the beater and add the salt and mix for another 2 minutes on medium.
  2. Oil a large mixing bowl and put the dough in, turning over once to coat lightly with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until double in size, about 1 hour or longer if your room is cool.
  3. Meanwhile, grease two 9” loaf pans.
  4. Divide in half and shape into two loaves. Place in greased loaf pans and rise again till risen well above the pan rim.
  5. Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown and hollow when tapped, loaves will brown before the bake time is up but be sure to bake the full 35 minutes. You can also check the temperature with an instant read thermometer—it should be 190 degrees in the center of the bread.
  6. Immediately remove the bread from pans and cool on wire rack.
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