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My First Daring Bakers Challenge: Traditional British Pudding April 27, 2010

Filed under: Daring Kitchen,Desserts,Puddings — livelovetobake @ 10:41 pm

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.  Additionally, Esther wanted us to make our puddings using the process of steaming.

Well to be honset this was not what I thought my first daring bakers challenge with the would be about.  Although it did not take me long to realize that this would indeed be quite a challenge for me.  Actually there were many challenges that I stumbled into along the way.  Overall, I am so glad that Esther chose this for my first Daring Baker Challenge because I probably would have never made a Traditional British Pudding on my own in addition to using suet for baking. 

1st challenge ( as many will surely agree)

What is suet and where can I buy it?

Definition of suet:  is raw beef or mutton fat, especially the hard fat found around the loins and kidneys (according to wikipedia)

Hmmm… okay so it is fat.

I learned that in the United States suet can be purchased at a butcher or a grocery store behind the meat counter.  The first time I purchased the suet I was quite relieved when they knew what I was talking about because I had no idea how I was going to try and explain it!  I had visited Whole Foods and it turns out that I was lucky they had it on hand and were able to give me some right then.  I learned by visiting two other times and aksing if they had any suet that it was something that I needed to call ahead about to make sure they put some aside.  Which definately made sense to me because who else would be wanting to buy suet….lesson learned.  The other place that I went to check for suet was our local Pennsylvania Dutch Market.  I went up to the butcher counter and asked if they had suet.  The lady said yes and when she asked how much I was so excited that I just said 3-5 lbs!  I know that it may sound like alot and when I was carrying my 5 lb bag of suet to the car it sure felt like alot.  You see the tricky thing about purchasing suet is that when you render it down to make tallow it does not yield the same amount you started with.   

2nd Challenge

How to render the suet and make tallow?

This is the part that I was really nervous about.  I think it had to do with the fact that I would be working with hot oil and could burn myself.  Although I was also unsure of what everything was supposed to look like during the process and how exactly the rendering was done.  Luckily, this link was posted in our Daring Bakers forum and boy was it a blessing!  I really liked that it had a step by step process with pictures showing how to render the suet into tallow.  After I had my suet and I also ended up purchasing a rice press, I was ready to begin rendering.

3rd Challenge 

 Oh I have made puddings before….but not this kind?! 

I have made two types of puddings in my life.  One being Jello pudding from the box mix.  The other is one of my favorites a chocolate malt pudding from scratch.  After both of those kinds are heated they get put into the refrigerator before you eat them.  So this type of Traditional British Pudding was a new thing to me altogether.  It did not require heating on the stove, never needed refrigeration, and depending on the kind you made was either like a sponge cake or had a crust with soup like contents inside.  Also, the pudding could either be sweet or savory.  I decided to lean towards the sweet side! 

4th Challenge

How should the pudding be covered and how long will it take?

I do own a steamer and I have bought the steamed vegetables in a microwaveable bag.  Love them!  Usually I steam vegetables with the steamer.  I had never used the steamer or the process of steaming to cook something that typically goes into the oven to get baked.   This pudding steaming process worried me quite a bit.  I read that if I did not have my pudding covered properly then water could get in and my pudding could be ruined!  I guess what I forgot to mention is that sometimes the steaming process can take up to 5 hours to cook.  Now maybe you understand my fear a little better……

  My two Traditional British Puddings that I made and the challenges I overcame when making them!



DC Food Blogger Bake Sale to Fight Child Hunger April 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — livelovetobake @ 6:24 pm

I was really glad that I was able to take part in the 1st DC Food Blogger Bake Sale for Share our Strength as part of the “Great American Bake Sale” campaign — where volunteers across the country host bake sales to raise funds for SOS’s efforts to end child hunger.  Nearly 1 in 4 children in the US do not have enough food to eat — that’s nearly 17 million kids.  So it was nice to raise money for such a worthy cause.

The DC bake sale was held this Saturday, April 17, from 9am-12noon at DC’s Historic Eastern Market.


Some of the local bloggers that participated were:

I enjoyed meeting everyone and baking for a good cause. 

For the bake sale I made

  • Triple Chocolate Cake Balls 
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
  • My favorite Coconut Banana Bread with a Lime Glaze
  • Double Chocolate Oat Energy Bars

I will post these recipes soon 🙂


My 1st Daring Cook Challenge: Brunswick Stew April 15, 2010

Filed under: Dinner — livelovetobake @ 11:30 am

I really enjoy spending time in the kitchen either cooking or baking.  For me it is a form of stress relief as well as an expression of myself.  Luckily, I stumbled upon the Daring Kitchen website and knew that I was destined to be a part of it!  I was so excited and applied to be both a Daring Baker and Daring Cook.  I could not wait until I was approved and was able to start working on my first challenges! 

Here I present to you my 1st Daring Cook Challenge: Brunswick Stew

The 2010 April Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den. She chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make Brunswick Stew. Wolf chose recipes for her challenge from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook by Matt Lee and Ted Lee, and from the Callaway, Virginia Ruritan Club.

I chose to make the shorter 2nd recipe for brunswick stew and instead halved the recipe for about 6 servings.

Recipe 2: The Shorter Version

Brunswick Stew recipe from the Callaway, Va Ruritan Club, served yearly at the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival in Ferrum, Va.

Serves about 6


2-(32oz.) containers of chicken broth                                                                                                                                                                                                 1 1/4 lb TOTAL of chicken thighs, turkey leg, and ham
2-medium diced red potatoes
1-(14.5oz.) can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1-medium diced onion
1 1/2 cups  frozen corn
3/4 cup frozen lima beans
2-3 strips crumbled turkey bacon                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Tablespoons of butter
1/2 Tablespoon of granulated sugar
1/2 Tablespoon of Poultry Seasoning
Dash of red pepper
1-diced carrot
1-(11.5oz) can of Tomato juice

Recipe 2:

1) Placed the chicken broth, poultry seasoning, and a total of 1 1/2 lbs. of raw turkey leg, chicken thighs, and ham into a large stock pot or Dutch Oven (8-10 quart).

2)  Heat the stock and meats to boiling over medium-high heat and then turn down to simmer for about 1-2 hours or until the meat is cooked.

3) Meanwhile cook the turkey bacon until crisp either on the stovetop or microwave.

4) Once the meat is cooked take out of the stock and dice into small pieces and then place the meat back into the stock.

5) To the stock pot or dutch oven, add the rest of the ingredients and heat until bubbly and hot.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cook the stew until the vegetables are tender. 

6) Enjoy hot and goes great with a slice of cornbread!

The end result of the Brunswick stew was amazing and I would definately make it again! Thank you Wolf for a great first Daring Cook challenge!


Green Velvet Irish Cream Cake Balls March 23, 2010

Filed under: Cakes,Cupcakes,Uncategorized — livelovetobake @ 10:56 pm

So Mike and I were invited to a St. Patrick’s Day party this week and I knew that I wanted to make an irish inspired treat to bring along!  I had seen various Irish dessert recipes online but knew that I wanted to try making these yummy looking cake balls from  Luckily, the recipe was very easy to follow and I decided to enhance it a little myself by adding Bailey’s Irish Cream :0)  I decided to make everything from scratch which included the green velvet cake recipe and the cream cheese frosting.  Before I post the from scratch recipe I used I wanted to post an easier cake ball recipe that can be used and probably tastes just as delicious.   (more…)


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake with Bittersweet Ganache March 15, 2010

Filed under: Cakes — livelovetobake @ 2:05 am


This weekend my sister Krystal and her dog Lila were in town visiting.  Luckily it also happens to be my sister’s birthday this upcoming week on March 17th!  So I decided that in honor of her I was going to bake her a birthday cake.  I was deciding between two types of cakes and this one got the majority of votes!  Truthfully I was looking forward to making it myself because I had never made a cake with ganache as well as tasting the combination of chocolate and peanut butter.  My oh my….  The cake turned out to be very good and had just the right amount of sweetness.  Warning though… it does require a glass of fresh milk 😉  Krystal it is time to “Get your Cake Face on :)”   Happy Birthday Krystal!  Thank you both for a wonderful visit!



Banana Coconut Bread with a Lemon Glaze :) March 10, 2010

Filed under: Breads,Breakfast — livelovetobake @ 2:39 am

Yummy Banana Bread

So I have decided to start a baking and cooking blog 🙂  It is a little intimidating but I am looking forward to trying new recipes and blogging about my favorite recipes that I make.  I realized that my bananas were looking quite brown and smelled very bananalicious.  So it seemed like a perfect time to make my favorite banana bread recipe!  I had been reading about people that were making banana recipes and roasting their bananas first to enhance the banana flavor.  So I decided to roast my bananas first prior to mashing them for the banana bread recipe.  Let me tell you…. it turned out even more delicious than I remembered!