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the urban baker

the urban baker: November 2008

the urban baker

The Urban Baker is deliciously photographed blog about nourishing your family's soul through life in the kitchen. The recipes for fabulous savories and sweets are easily replicated and will inspire you.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

We are Thankful for.....

...3 beautiful, healthy boys
...a loyal husband of 30 years (and he's cute)
...we are all healthy boys truly love each other boys have 3 grandparents
...our meyer lemons on our tree are almost ripe
...we have great friends
...we have food in our cupboards
...mitch and I try and have a sense of humor about the mundane
...we have nice neighbors
...I have reconnected with my high school girl friends
...I am doing yoga 2 x per week
...we are going away for Thanksgiving week.

What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 10, 2008


I try to avoid reading the ingredients labels on the granola bars, but sometimes I just can't avoid it.  I want to give my kids healthy snacks in their lunch boxes (they don't eat half of what I pack anyway) and for some reason, I view a "granola bar" as healthy.  NOT SO!

I am kind of at a loss as to what to give them.  I have tried nuts, fruit (I don't even bother anymore-they don't eat it and it ends up in the composter.  Instead, I have a fruit plate waiting for them when they get home-they seem to eat that just fine!), baked chips, the dreaded sandwich and sometimes, a granola bar.  Most of the time the lunch box comes home just as I had packed it in the a.m.

So, I went on line and perused some of my favorite sites and looked for granola-type bar recipes.  Much to my surprise, there were virtually none.  I found one, but this is really more like a chocolate bar, rather than a granola bar.  My search continues.


Chocolate Chip Apricot Bars

Packed up and ready to go

I bake to relax.  I am not a lover of the basic chocolate chip cookie (not challenging enough), however I finally found one that is really, really good.  This is a Jacque Torres recipe and it loaded with lots of chocolate chunks.  I like to buy my chocolate at Surfas(, actually, I like to buy EVERYTHING there!


This batter is like a fine red wine.  The more it sits, the better it is.  I like to let the batter rest in the fridge for at least 24 hours, but you could let it go for as long as 3 days.
I shape the dough into little balls and then flash freeze them (lay on cookie sheet and put in the freezer for 2-3 hours).  Then I put the little balls in freezer bags.  That way, the kids can have hot, fresh cookies when ever they have that little craving (which is often).

Friday, November 7, 2008

Making Challah!

Today, the kids and I made Challah (for the first time).
It was so easy and so fun. Bread appears to be so daunting to make, but it is really super easy. Especially if you have a Kitchen Aid mixer!

You mix up the stuff in steps, you throw it in the mixer and let the dough hook does all the work.  Fun stuff! I want to try other recipes.  This one was good, light, and browned really well.  However, now I need to experiment!!!  Isaiah, Eli's friend said it tasted like a pretzel(cuz I used rock salt on the top of it).

It was really, really good!

Before baking

Right out of the oven
(Baking with Julia)

Change is already here

Tuesday, November 4th was a great day.  Mitch and I went to the polls early in the morning and the energy, while waiting in line was electric.  Everybody felt really, really good with what they were about to do.

The next morning, Wednesday, I dropped Levi off at pre-school and on the way home, people were honking their horns, smiling, rolling down their windows to talk as one waited for the light to turn green.  It was quite remarkable.  I think everyone, for the past 8 years, has been walking around, existing with a dark cloud surrounding them.  The current administration has left us all feeling hopeless and now, the new president-elect re-energizes our future.

I have three young boys.  When I think about their future, I (in the past) had felt sad.  When I went to college, back in the day, there was so much opportunity waiting for us when we graduated.  We could do and be anything.  I worked for a while in the entertainment industry and upon leaving I turned my creative hobby into a somewhat successful little business.  September 11th changed a lot for us and I feel, due to what was in power, we lost our momentum.  

That is all about to change.  The energy all around me has changed and it feels really great!  I feel hopeful for my kids and my friends kids and all those kids out there that I don't even know.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


BARACK ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Everyone I know is nervous, hopeful, and anxious.  I want this day to be over and I want it to end with a positive result!