February 25, 2016

5 Min or Less - Microwave Mug Cake No. 5

Good golly, I have FOUR OTHER RECIPES for mug cakes!

...though, not all of them are good.

Here's the best one yet -- I've never had molten lava ones, I don't think, but I hear they're really good. This one might be a molten lava one because it's really good!

I got the recipe from Pinterest, so if you're following me, then you've probably seen it in your feed.

It's really good. I had it ... two? days ago and I'm going to make it this Sunday for a snack because that's what I do on my weekdays. :P

Anyway, click here. I don't want to post the recipe on here because I feel bad about taking other people's pictures and this feels like the same thing only second degree.

But I do have to say it made me feel better to see that the Remodelaholic lady does the same thing.

However, it doesn't make me feel good when I see this lady do it.

But enjoy!

February 23, 2016

Kitchen Tip - Ripening Avocados Fast

This was a really helpful tip because sometimes you just can't find any ripe avocados! There are, like, none and you have to make guacamole tomorrow and that's not enough time to ripen the avocados enough, right?

So, how to ripen them really fast.

Well, we've all heard of one very successful tip -- to put the avocados in a bag and put it on the counter and they'll ripen -- but have you heard of this one...

February 20, 2016

5 Min or Less - The "Real Deal" Microwave Mug Cake No. II

This is, in fact, one of the best mug cakes I've tried. The original recipe was posted yesterday, and I've tried it before, but I didn't like it, so this is my changed version. 
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying mine's the best -- the way I had it (the way my sister made it), it was the best, but when I followed the recipe I just didn't like it, so I changed it a little bit to make it more moist and flavorful. 
Hopefully I changed it for the better, but give it a try, see how you like it.
Serves: 1
Time: 1 min, max
  • 1 T & 1/2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 T flour
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • ​1 T oil
  • ​1 T cream
  • ​1 T water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 T semi-sweet chocolate chips
mix in that order, excluding the chocolate chips. 

First put in the dark brown sugar, flour, and cocoa powder. Stir. For an additional zing, I put in 2-4 tsp instant coffee which adds a nice background flavor, cutting the richness in half a little bit. Then put in oil and cream, stir. After that, water to act as a sort of cleaner by washing out the oil and cream. Dump it into the mug. 

You can add the salt any time you want since you're just going to use your fingers for the pinch, but you should definitely do a hefty, generous pinch because it's delicious with a little bit of salt to give it some bite -- I don't normally like salt in sweet things, but this takes the cake! 

The great thing about this recipe is that it only takes one tablespoon measure if you add the ingredients in that order, according to my directions. But you do what you want. No skin off my nose. 

Then onto the decor. The decor has nothing to do with the taste, really, so don't bother about how it might taste or how it might mess up the flavor. It's fine. But for looks, if you want, you can add one dash of cream on the top, then with the tip of your spoon, gently stir it in. Then sprinkle on some light brown sugar to give it a sort of crunchy top layer. If you want that top layer, you're going to need to add a lot of brown sugar. Don't give it a light touch, give it a heavy punch. Sprinkle it on so that you can see the mix underneath, but there's a lot on top. Don't worry about it, some of it will sink in, some with get hard, some will get soft, melty, and dark. Don't worry, it doesn't matter. Just do what you want, play by ear.
Now, if you don't like that decor procedure, or you don't want to do anything with cream, don't. Just put on the brown sugar (or don't, it doesn't matter), and then get some chocolate chips and dump them on. But dump gently so that they don't sink into the mix below. They're going to in the microwave but don't dump because then they're really going to. Or, that's my theory. It probably doesn't really matter so go ahead and dump hard. But do it like the brown sugar -- play by ear, yes, but also put on a lot. You want a lot of chocolate because mmm, chocolate! Yummy in my tummy!
Or, you can just leave off the decorations. It doesn't matter what it looks like because it's all going to end up in your stomach anyway.

(but I do have to add that it gives some richness and flavor to the mug cake, just saying)

Also, I find that the cream doesn't really do anything to the looks when you put the chocolate chips on (the chocolate chips melt on top of the cream, covering it and the brown sugar, both) so if you want the crunchiness of the brown sugar and the decor of the cream, put them on after you put the chocolate chips on.
What I find helps is to put the chocolate chips on, microwave for 15 seconds, take out, put cream and brown sugar on, pop it back in for the remaining 15 seconds. Unless you do yours for a minute, and then 30 seconds, take out, 30 seconds again.
Or you can put the cream on before you melt the chocolate chips, and then the brown sugar, you know. Whatever tickles your sister.
Or you can just skip both entirely.
But I'd advise you do add chocolate chips to your mug cake because that makes it all the better!

​Anyway, back to your mug cake.
Your mixture should -- by now -- be pretty smooth and liquid-y. If it's doughy, you might want to add more cream. But if you don't want cream, water. If not water, not oil either. Just leave it and move on.

Put the mug in the microwave, microwave on high (it really doesn't matter, but I think mine is automatically set to high. If you don't know, it doesn't matter. Really, if you're that worried, why do you cook at all? Cooking is basically playing a game you don't really understand. You have to take some chances sometimes because if you don't, it's not fun. Besides, it's just a dumb mug cake, it's not like it's important or it's a meal but if it is, take a lot of precaution because meals are very important! Haha, just kidding). Since you probably forgot what I was saying before the parenthesis, I will go ahead and say it again.
Microwave on high for 30 seconds.
It should have some liquid-y dough around the edges That's perfectly fine. It's more of a syrup and the drier dough will taste better (if there is any dry dough) with the syrup-y stuff, as long as you eat them both together.

But, whatever floats your boat or boats your float!
This time, you should find that the cake is a much wetter, moist cake than the one that I posted earlier.

February 19, 2016

5 Min or Less - The "Real Deal" Microwave Mug Cake

A while ago my sister made a delicious mug cake.

She's also made this pretty kitty, which I find better than the one I'm posting now, so check it out and see how you like it. Tomorrow I'll give you the REAL "Real Deal" Mug Cake. (that's totally 100% my own name for it, that's not what it's called... but you call it what you like, I don't mind -- especially because it's not really my mug cake haha)

But for now, here's the "Real Deal" mug cake, mug cake recipe no. #3. No. #4 coming tomorrow (the revised edition)!

Serves: 1
Time: 1 min, max

  • 1 T dark brown sugar
  • 1 T flour
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • ​1 T oil
  • ​1 T water
  • 1 pinch salt
The directions are simple and straightforward. Follow them (or don't follow them) and you can't go wrong. Like, who could go wrong with a mug cake?

Ha. Ha.
  1.  Mix ingredients together in order of listing in a  7 oz. mug
  2. Microwave for 30 seconds
Scriptina Regular

February 11, 2016

Aussie Bite Comparison No. II

Yesterday we tried yet another recipe for Aussie Bites!

I'm going to just jump right into the comparison right before I start talking about anything else because I'm already starting to forget all that I liked and didn't like about just the recipe. Just the recipe, I've not yet started on the website.

Just wait.

It'll come later.

Sweep Tight's: 
let's see if I can remember everything.

Taste: it tasted almost exactly like Costco's - exception being the quinoa taste was a little bit too there. But you can hardly tell.

Look: it looked almost exactly like Costco's (not to be repetitive or anything), except that there was a lot more quinoa in the copycat ones, and they were darker.

Instead of canola oil, we used coconut oil for both the canola oil and the coconut oil. We didn't have any oat flour, so we ground up the oats in the food processor. Instead of coconut sugar (I don't even know what that is, but I'm sure Mom does), we just used plain ole light brown sugar, and we did use the sugar that was optional because we found that the other recipes weren't as sweet as Costco's and we wanted this recipe as close as Costco's as possible.

Result: it was almost identical to Costco's, but unfortunately, only in taste. These were much darker than Costco's, were much wetter and more crumbly, so next time I would grind my oats much more finely and I will also reduce the amount of quinoa, since the amount was noticeably much more than Costco's. Overall, they were very similar and I will definitely use this recipe next time I make Aussie Bites (which will probably be very soon).

And I know I didn't do pros and cons, because I feel like I end up repeating myself when I describe everything. But they were (con) wetter, and more crumbly. I could hardly get them out of the pan! It was not very nice.

Also, another thing is that the people who run the blog don't sound like very nice people.

You'll notice in the little "about me" paragraph at the bottom, Shelley talks about her accomplishments and her BS in science. Jennifer was married in a casino by a pirate pastor.

Just doesn't seem like the "Kate Middleton" sort of classy.

Seems more like -- I don't know -- Kim K?

Nothing against her, there's just not a whole lot of class going on.

Not to mention their blog's banner which spells "matress company" to me, not "food blog".

Is it just me, though? What do you think the banner looks like to you?

February 9, 2016

Major Changes Around the Corner!

So, after a very long while of thinking it over, I've decided to stick with this blog.

I know, revelation has occured!

Here are the few things I've been thinking about and what helped me change my mind -- maybe if there's someone out there who's considering doing the same thing I was going to do, maybe they'll read this over and come to a satisfactory conclusion.
  1. The Post Title Font
    the post title font was very important to me because I wanted the font to be Amatic SC (which is the font I have on this blog), as I was planning on it going with the header, which was going to look like this:
    The Baker's Apprentice blog header, with the Amatic SC font
    And yes, ladies and gentlemen, that was going to be the blog title. "The Baker's Apprentice" was going to be what the blog was called. Me, I think looking back, I prefer Salt Water Taffy, partially because the blog doesn't have anything to do with salt water taffy. I kind of like the randomness of it all.

    So, you're probably still wondering what the post title font has to do with my changing my mind. Sorry, I'm in the habit of wandering.

    I was thinking about using the Awesome Inc., Picture Window, Watermark, Ethereal templates, depending on what I could or could not change. Apparently, one of the things that you couldn't change (outside of Blogger, of course -- FIY, I used the Google Fonts website to change my post title to something not available on the list of Blogger fonts... I also used this handy dandy tutorial that really helped... I mean, helped on the Simple template. Coming to that!) as I was saying, one of the things you couldn't change was the font. I tried every. single. template. I tried the tutorial on every single template that I listed above and none of them worked. On some, it changed the date font to Amatic SC, on others it changed the content of the post to Amatic SC (content meaning not the title but the words in the post -- words, like, these words would be the content of the post), but not a single template changed the post title to Amatic SC. It was so frustrating! So apparently, the tutorial that I used that helped so well with this blog's template (the Simple template) doesn't help with any other template. Warning to those of you who want to change the post title and aren't using the Simple template.

    So that helped me decide that either I had to use a different font for my post title (an un-cute font that I didn't want, that didn't match with the header!) or I had to use a different font for my header which meant that I would have to make the header all over again which is way too much work for a blog I probably won't be keeping for very long! It was very frustrating. 
  2. The Number of Posts
    this was also another deal-breaker because I didn't have many posts so if I wanted to link back to a post that I had make on this blog, I would have to link back to this blog and I couldn't say "remember that post I made on the cocoa I didn't like? today I made a better version blah blah blah" because people wouldn't have read this blog, they would be reading that blog and who would read two blogs just so that they would know what you were talking about if you happened to talk about a post you'd made on the other blog?

    I know, super confusing.

    But I'm not done yet.
  3. The Pages
    you know how I have a lot of pages on this blog? I have trimmed it, but I still have quite a few on there and thinking of aaaalll the pages I'd have to rewrite (this blog would still be public so if I copied it onto TBA -- The Baker's Apprentice -- then everyone who'd been a previous reader of SWT would know that I copied it and I could only keep my dignity if I told you straight up, I copied this and I didn't want to have to do that but I really didn't want to make a new About Me page! or any other page) and so thinking of all the pages I'd rewrite made my enthusiasm for TBA kind of ebb. 
  4. SWT's Background
    and I'm not saying the literal background, I'm saying the history of the blog.

    this blog has been around for 9 years, starting when Blogger was brand new to present. This blog has been around very long, and it was part of everyone's making blogs just to see what Blogger (and blogging) was like and that's really cool, don't you think?

    It's almost like a historical relic!

    Just kidding.

    But I have a really big soft spot for this blog, just the same.
  5. Etc.
    then think about the picture on the side of this blog that says "hello" and takes you to the About Me page. I'd have to get one like that, I'd have to get all the other gadgets and things I have on the sides, I'd have to get the "You Might Also Like" (see below for some news on that!), I'd have to change the posts to make them look like these, I'd have to change the backgrounds...

    There's so much I'd have to change, that all my enthusiasm totally went down the drain and now I'm just wondering what it was that eventually pulled the plug. Was it all the things I'd have to do? Probably. I'm like that. Minimal work and I'm way willing to dive in, but a lot of work and I'm like forget it.

    You can tell when you look at my room, the dishes, or after I just made something and the dishes are everywhere and the counter's super floury or super-something else, depending on what I just made.
So, those were only some of the deal-breakers, but I thought about those sorts of things and decided the tabs aren't that big of a deal, and the grey line around the blog isn't that big of a deal, either.

Conclusion: I'm back!

...and hopefully for good this time.

But about the "You Might Also Like" at the bottom of my posts. I know, you thought I was done.

Well, you were wrong.

I'm going to remove the "You Might Also Like"s. Why? Once you know, you'll agree that my decision was the smart way to go about it.

I saw a bad piece of *ahem* something that is called a blog and decided this might be what my blog comes across as?

Where none of the recipes are the author's own recipes, they're just something the author thinks look good/are good/might be fun to try/might be something someone else might want. And where the author takes the person's picture and slaps her own URL on top of it, which is basically a copyright infringement.

And that's what I've been doing.

Except most of the recipes from 2013 and on are my own, with the exception of a few. Only a few, but still.

So, I've decided to go back, take all the pictures off of the posts, and take away the "You Might Also Like"s because that's the only reason I was taking other people's pictures -- because the "You Might Also Like"s looked horrible with the black square where the picture was supposed to go. It looked horrible.

And I'm going to change the YRT again. I think I'm just going to take it off and not do it, but just go through my recipes every year, but not slap a name on it. Just because it gives me a little bit of freedom to do what I want.

It's going to take a lot of time to take away all the photos from the numerous recipes I've posted, but hopefully it will be pretty quick.

In the meantime, I'll keep posting!

Thanks for reading! Glad to be back. :)

February 8, 2016

Aussie Bites Recipe Comparison

Recently I've been yearning for Aussie Bites from Costco.

They've got a de-lish recipe that I absolutely adore!

So, to quench my "thirst", I went online to find a suitable recipe, one that was just as good as Costco's, but easy to make at the same time. Also, not such a hassle. We don't live too close to Costco, so going there just for the Aussie Bites seems a little extreme. So I also wanted one that was easy so that I could just make Aussie Bites -- no big! -- at home.

I found and tried both the Aussie Bites from Bad Girl's Kitchen and the Aussie Bites from Stay-at-Home Chef.

Note: I put some words in boldface so that you could skim and just read the words in boldface and not the extra, fluffy words. If it's hard to read with some words in boldface, please tell me for future reference! Thank you!

First, the Aussies from Bad Girl's Kitchen.

Taste: these didn't taste the same as Costco's, and they were drier.

Look: they didn't look very much like Costco's, but they looked like Aussies! They also had the same size and shape, being cooked in a mini muffin pan, just like Stay-at-Home Chef's and Costco's.

Pros: they tasted really good. The coconut was a bit strong, but once you got eating, like really eating, you didn't really notice that much. I really really liked them. I have to say, I think I liked them more than the ones from SHC (Stay-at-Home Chef). But I'm not sure. I also liked the fruit taste. It was very there.

Cons: they were dry, and the Costco ones stick together more -- they're not sticky, but they stick together. These, when I ate them, I found that I was automatically holding my hand under them as I ate them. That wasn't a great feeling, but they stuck together pretty well. Also, they had bigger chunks of fruit and oats, and Costco's don't. They also had a stong coconut taste in them that I didn't like at the beginning. At the beginning of eating one, I mean. At the end I had a craving for another one which isn't bad in itself, but it's horrible when you want them to last as long as they can! They also don't have the same things as Costco's do.

Now onto the Aussies from The Stay-at-Home Chef.

Taste: they did taste pretty much like Costco's, and I found them to be a bit wetter than Costco's, but not that much.

Look: they did look a lot like Costco's, with more seeds and less fruit showing, and in the size and shape.

Pros: they looked like Costco's, they felt like Costco's, they tasted a little bit like Costco's. Overall, they were pretty similar to Costco's. They were also really good, but I'm not sure if I like them better than BGK's (Bad Girl's Kitchen) or not. The ingredients were very similar to Costco's.

Cons: they were a bit wet, wetter than Costco's, but they stuck together really well. The seed flavor and quinoa flavor was a bit strong, but like the coconut in the BGK ones, you didn't notice it after just a little while.

Which do I like better?

I have to say, the SHC Aussies were very close to Costco's, both in taste, texture, appearance, and ingredients, unlike BGK Aussies which had things that Costco's don't have.

They both had some strong flavors, the BGK ones being mainly coconut and SHC's being quinoa, but SHC's was less apparent than BGK's, which was really nice.

Overall, I think SHC's was more accurate, but they were both just as tasty.

If I had to choose between which one to make, I would probably go with BGK's because they tasted delicious, even if they weren't like Costco's (which they were - to a certain extent).

Which one was easier? I think they were both the same level of simplicity. I'd have to make them again to make sure.

February 3, 2016

Came For a Purpose, Left For a Reason

So I've been doing some thinking.

Yes, I know, very unusual, but I have been.

I might even make it a habit, but I'll have to think about that.

Anyway, I was thinking about this blog. Which isn't unusual, I think about this blog a lot, but I was thinking about the tabs and how much I really dislike those ugly tabs (if you don't know why I dislike the tabs so much, I don't mind but I'm not going to take time to explain it -- I don't even know if I could explain it, I just don't like how they look on my blog) and how I can't get the grey border line to go away because it's just part of the template I use... so I was thinking about that and I was also thinking about how I used to think about (I know... a lot of thinking going on... I'll try to minimize my use of the word "think" here as much as possible) changing the name from Salt Water Taffy to something else.

So, I was thinking of different names I could use and I hit upon a pretty good one, I think. That's my opinion. I'm not going to mention it here, but it has to do with baking, I can tell you that. But that's all. That's just a sneak peak of the name coming soon.

But when I was thinking of that, I was also thinking about how when you change a template on Blogger it wipes away all of your progress/look on the blog (not the posts, just the looks--like the headers, the background, the titles, the fonts, etc.) and how I hated that because that meant I couldn't just get a template that had better-looking tabs and not that grey borderline around the interior of the blog and how if I got a different template that satisfied me, I would have to go back and redo all the gadgets/templates/things I put into/onto this blog and how that would be such the pain!

So that got me onto the track that this whole post is about.

I'm sorry, it required a little back-pedaling first, so, sorry bout that.

Anyway, I've come to the conclusion (after the overwhelming amount of thinking I've been doing, you'd think I'd come to it sooner!) that I'm going to make a new blog, stop posting on here, leave this blog open to the public, just post on it when I have a new post on the other blog, and post about that other post. Not so much about, just oh here new post on new blog etc. and I'm either going to make a new blog on Blogger, Wordpress, or Wix. I haven't decided yet, so give me some time and I'll get back to you guys on that.

Anyway, it's been such fun posting on here, and even though nobody reads this anyway, it's still a lot of fun.

I have a couple recipes I will probably post as a parting present sort of thing, just as a final, like, see ya sort of thing (not to be sentimental or sappy or anything but I can't help it because I'm listening to this -- at 19:40 -- and it sort of pulls your heart strings especially when you're writing a goodbye post!) that I may or may not post. I'll have to decide.

So, sooner or later I'll get back to you guys on this subject but not right now.

See ya and thanks for reading! I'll probably finish the YRT though just because I've only done it one year all the way through so I'll finish and probably do it next year, too, because I won't ever delete this blog but I still want to finish the YRT this year just so that I can feel like I've done my duty and I can RIP.

Not really rest, though, because I'll still have that new blog. Sigh.

And also just so that you guys don't think the title is weird, it's from one of my (many) favorite books, called "Seven Daughters and Seven Sons" and when Nasir leaves, he leaves a message for Mahmud saying "I came for a purpose, and I left for a reason" which is one of my favorite lines from the book! :) And it's a little bit of a spoiler but it's not like you're going to read it. So, little insight on my book, there, but that's ok. Anyway, I just used it because it seemed fitting and proper that I should do so since I did come for a purpose and I am leaving for a reason and I just kind of like the melodramatic-ness of the title. :P I just like drama, I guess. Who knew, right.

Anyway, I have no idea how to end this post, so I'll just say bye and leave it at that...

...so, bye!

February 1, 2016

Decor Redo Update!

Sorry, I totally forgot what I was going to be doing to this blog!

So I'll be working on it tomorrow, meaning today it will be public, but tomorrow it will be private again. I'll be working on it Tuesday to Wednesday, so hopefully it will be back (new and improved!) on Thursday, but don't hold me to it.

And I found a delicious mug cake recipe that actually tastes good! so I'll be posting that as soon as I get back on.

Thank you!