Tag Archives: baking

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tasty Chocolate Snack Mix

19 Dec

“You don’t have to settle for what life has mixed up for you. Make your own mix.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I’m not a huge fan of the pre-made Chex Mix Snacks. They’re kind of salty and make you thirsty. And the biggest drawback is… there’s no chocolate. What kind of snack has no chocolate? I think Chex makes one, but I’m sure it’s pretty pricey. So, I decided to just make a mix with the things I like, including lots of chocolate.

I bought a big box of chocolate Chex cereal. It wasn’t all chocolate, but also had some regular plain squares. Plus, the box said gluten free. I was excited to get free gluten in my box, but, as hard as I looked, I couldn’t find the free gluten as promised. I thought it would be like a little package of gluten, like the toy in Cracker Jacks. What is gluten, anyway? And why are they always giving it away for free! (OK! You know I’m just joking here, right?)

I melted some semi-sweet chocolate chips with about 1/2 tsp. Of oil in the microwave, stirred then drizzled over the Chex, mini pretzels, and peanuts. I was going to add some popcorn, but I ran out of room. I baked this in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes, not long.

I put the mixture in a big bowl and mixed it up. The warm chocolate coated well. It made a huge amount. Enough for sharing.

Then, I had a little left over melted chocolate. Well, we couldn’t have that. So, I dipped a few pretzel rods, just for fun. A tasty treat for watching “Murder She Wrote” re-runs or non stop Hallmark Christmas movies.

I had a pan of brownies baking at the same time, but that’s old hat and not worthy of mentioning. It was one of those chocolate kinda days.

So, if you can’t find exactly what you like in life, make it yourself.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni

15 Nov

“When the weather is cold and gloomy, warm up your home and spirits with fun baking and warm comfort food.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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It’s been sooooo cold these past few days, so I’ve been baking and cooking up a storm. Many a pan of brownies have been prepared and shared. Ah, and the house always smells divine.

The other day, I made a big pan of roasted vegetables. There was enough for a LOT of meals. I ate some just alone, and a couple of times I sprinkled with shredded cheddar cheese and put in the broiler till it got toasty and melty.. Yum. Then, I added some to a can of cream of chicken soup. More yum.

I also had a couple dozen eggs in the fridge, so I boiled about 15 eggs and made a big bowl of egg salad. My secret is, I use a package of softened cream cheese combined with mayo. The best part, I also sauté and caramelize a large onion and add to the mixture. Ooooh! So good.

Warm soup and egg salad on a tortilla with spinach and/or tomato and avocado.

Good food and a warm heart. Life is good.

Well, that’s going to be a long wait, even here in north Texas.

Tuesday:) Toni Taking Tasty Treats To My Terrific Friends

8 Aug

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”

Jane Austen

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I’m sure you all know by now that I love to bake, and I love to share with friends and neighbors. I usually try to give away all but one or two of my sweet concoctions to avoid personal temptation.

My last baking marathon Saturday was my mini cupcake baking frenzy. I can best describe it with visuals.

Chocolate cherry.

Lemon with lemon pudding filling.

Cream cheese frosting with my 43 year old harvest gold General Electric mixer.

All done and ready to share.

First stop, Fire Station 9. No one answered the hall phone, so I walked to the back bay doors. Captain Turner said they were trying. He said, “Thank you. That’s so nice. I’m going to give my trainee who’s back there rolling up hoses and extra cupcake.”

I stopped over at a couple of neighbors’ houses with small plates. No photo op.

Next stop…My good friend Karri over at Papa Murphy’s Pizza.

Saving the best for last…my dear friend Sherri Murphy and family. Not only did I share, but I was invited to stay for dinner and we had pizza and pasta. Win-win!

I love to bake. I love to share. I love my friends.

Saturday:) Somethin’s Bakin’ In the Oven…Again

22 Jul

“Baking is like washing–the results are equally temporary.”

― Patricia Briggs

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Well, there’s always something baking in my oven. If it isn’t a dozen hand-painted wine glasses, it’s a zillion cup cakes and brownies. That’s just how I roll. Oops! And that’s how I attained that big roll on my belly. Truth be told, I really don’t eat very many things that I bake. I mostly give it all away. I’m a lot smarter than I look.

Today was another one of those baking marathon days. Our CRHP 28 group from St. Gabriel’s was providing dinner for the women’s retreat today. I signed up for… you guessed it, brownies. We were expecting to serve around 50 ladies, including our group. I thought that maybe brownies alone might be a little boring, so I decided to also make some of my marvelous mini chocolate cupcakes with cherry in the middle.

Of course, since I was baking anyway, it’s just as easy to double the recipe and have some extra to take to my friends at the fire stations.

First, I have to tell you that I always have that warm nostalgic feeling when I take out my ancient harvest gold General Electric mixer. I smile, thinking how Mom gave that to me the summer of 1975. Man! It still works like new. They don’t build them like that anymore.

I made 2 batches of brownies and 72 mini cupcakes. Everybody loves the surprise cherry in the middle and the homemade frosting.

I packed up my containers, 3 to take to church and 1 for station 9 down the road, and 1 for my old friends at station 5. I decided to stop at the fire stations on the way to church. It is sooooo hot outside, the frosting would slip off and liquefy if they stayed in the car more than ten minutes. It was around 108 when I left the house at 5 pm.

Here are a couple of appreciative lads over at the 9.

Then, this young firefighter, Jeff, was so considerate. He asked my name, and where I was from. I said I live up by the Baylor Hospital. He thought maybe I was from an organization. I think he must be new. He doesn’t know Miss Toni, the crazy brownie lady yet. I just told him that I like to bake, and I like to share with the fire fighters. I really appreciate what they do for us all.

Then, off to church. Our CRHP 28 was providing and serving dinner for the retreat. Our theme was Mexican food. I told them my little joke. “Growing up, we just called it food.” Sometimes I get funny looks because no one realizes that I’m Mexican-American.

Oh my goodness! There was so much wonderful food. There were about 50 ladies all together, 14 from our group, 36 on the retreat, and then Father Don stopped by and joined the retreat ladies for dinner. We still had a ton of food left over. Everyone was taking doggie bags home, enjoying the home cooking and specialties of their friends. I didn’t take anything home. Have you seen the inside of my fridge? I ate a huge plate of rice and beans and beef, and nachos and taquitos and guacamole, and more. I was stuffed. Actually, it’s been so hot, this is the first solid food that I’ve eaten since Wednesday. I’ve been living on smoothies, ice water, cold drinks and a Black Russian on Friday.

Here are some of my beautiful CRHP 28 Sisters. We had such a good time cooking, preparing, and serving others. Isn’t that the purpose in life?

I am so blessed to be part of this gorgeous group of sisters.

Saturday:) Somethin’s Cookin’

27 Jan

“My idea of an all nighter is baking cupcakes and brownies till the wee hours of the morning.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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It’s officially Saturday morning. I just got done baking about ten dozen mini cupcakes and a couple dozen mini brownies. In just a few hours, three to be exact, my alarm will go off. It’s our CRHP retreat weekend. We spent all afternoon at church decorating, organizing and preparing for this amazing spiritual renewal.

Last year, I was a participant of CRHP 28. This weekend, our group will host the women of CRHP 29. We all volunteered to help,with different projects. My contribution was baking and painting the bases for he table decorations.

God gives us all gifts, but they don’t mean anything unless you share them.

We are not allowed to bring a cell phone, watch, or any form of communication. That’s why I’m writing now. It’s Saturday morning, and I won’t have my iPad back until Sunday. (I hope I don’t go through withdrawals.

So, here’s what I’ve been cookin’, or should we say bakin’. I didn’t take a photo of the brownies because I’m not going to cut them until 5am. We have to be at church by 6. Maybe I should just stay up. Hmmm?

Chocolate cupcakes with a cherry and lemon with a dab of lemon pudding.

Then, the vases for the centerpieces.

Well, I better get my show on the road. I guess three hours of sleep is better than none.

Friday {]:-) Firemen and Funny Face Brownies

13 Jan

“Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.”

Charlotte Brontë

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I have been so blessed, and never more so expressed than by all the gifts, cards, calls, and greetings from friends and family, and even many people here on WordPress that I’ve never met. Thank you.

Remember the old days when you would take cupcakes or treats into school when it was your birthday. I liked that concept of celebrating your birthday by bringing treats for others. On that note, Wednesday, I baked a batch of brownies for my local fire station. Of course, I made a funny face in the mix first.

On my way to my birthday dinner with Kathy across the street, we stopped at Station 5. I am not a stranger to the local fire stations. I’m very appreciative of all they do for the community, so I stop there and Station 2 with cookies or brownies often.

When I rang the phone outside in the hallway, I heard yelling and laughter. When I heard, “Station 5, how can I help you?” I said, “You guys are having too much fun. It’s Toni with some brownies for you guys.” Firefighter Hutson ran to the door. I asked what was so funny, and he explained that they were racing to see who could get to the phone first. They wrestled and shoved and pushed to get there first. He won.

He was very appreciative and wished me a happy birthday. He said the guys would really enjoy them and thanked me. I always feel that the little I do is just a drop in the bucket compared to what they do. Thanks Station 5.

Saturday:) Somethin’s Cookin’ at Grandma’s

23 Dec

“The only way I know how to cook is for an army. Bring on the troops!”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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When I come to visit Mom, I always try to do a little baking and cooking. Well, I take that back. I do a LOT of cooking and baking. This way I can freeze a bunch of containers for future dining pleasure, but also to share with my sister and Mom’s friends.

My sister and I went to the grocery store yesterday and got all the fixin’s for beef stew and mini pot pies. I started last night with COMMERCIAL COOKING. I call it that because I get up during commercials, do a little chopping, then back for the segment of Hallmark mushy movies. I love Hallmark, but I’ll be glad when all the mushy Christmas episodes are done with. They all have the same plot and premise. AND?..that ain’t how it happens in the real world…excuse me!

So, I was up well past 1am doing commercial cooking. Then, today I finished up the stew. I needed an extra big pot that my sister brought over, and a few other things I forgot, so I could have two big pots. It couldn’t all fit in one.

I made 18 mini pot pies using biscuits that I split in half to use for crust and top.

Here’s a tip…I found out the hard way. Cover loosely with foil while baking so the top crust doesn’t brown too quickly and lets the bottom crust bake.

Look how yummy! Oh, that one missing on the left…that was the mandatory test sampler. I had to check and see if they were good. Yep, they were pretty darn good.

The rest of the stew went into containers for freezing, a couple for eating, and Some for sharing.

Cupcake baking later tonight. Ho ho ho!!!

Happy Holidays, Happing Baking, Happy Everything,