Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hot Cross Buns!

Hot-cross Buns!
Hot-cross Buns!
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot-cross Buns!

If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons.

One a penny, two a penny,
Hot-cross Buns!

Here's a good vid followed by 2 recipes.
The first recipe is fairly quick, the second one requires more wait time.

Reasonably Quick Hot Cross Buns

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm 2% milk (110 to 115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 egg
4 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons dried currants
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 dash ground allspice
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon 2% milk

In a small mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in milk.
Stir in butter, egg, sugar and salt.
Combine 3/4 cup flour, raisins, currants, cinnamon and allspice; add to the yeast mixture and mix well.
Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 4-6 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down; shape into six 2-in. balls.
Place 2 in. apart on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray.
Using a sharp knife, cut a cross on top of each bun.
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Beat egg yolk and water; brush over buns.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on wire racks.

Combine icing ingredients; pipe over buns.

Patience Required Hot Cross Buns

1 cup milk
2 tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
4 eggs
5 cups flour
1 1/3 cups currants or raisins
1 egg white

1 1/3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest
1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
1- 2 tablespoons milk

In a small saucepan, heat milk to very warm, but not hot (110°F if using a candy thermometer).
Fit an electric mixer with a dough hook.
Pour warm milk in the bowl of mixer and sprinkle yeast over.
Mix to dissolve and let sit for 5 minutes.

With mixer running at low speed, add sugar, salt, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and eggs. Gradually add flour, dough will be wet and sticky, and continue kneading with dough hook until smooth, about 5 minutes.
Detach bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough "rest" for 30-45 minutes.

Return bowl to mixer and knead until smooth and elastic, for about 3 more minutes. Add currants or raisins and knead until well mixed.
At this point, dough will still be fairly wet and sticky.
Shape dough in a ball, place in a buttered dish, cover with plastic wrap and let rise overnight in the refrigerator.
Excess moisture will be absorbed by the morning.

(In the morning....)
Let dough sit at room temperature for about a half-hour.
Line a large baking pan (or pans) with parchment paper (you could also lightly grease a baking pan, but parchment works better).
Divide dough into 24 equal pieces (in half, half again, etc., etc.).
Shape each portion into a ball and place on baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 400°F.
When buns have risen, take a sharp or serrated knife and carefully slash buns with a cross.
Brush them with egg white and place in oven.
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F, then bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes more.
Transfer to a wire rack.
Whisk together glaze ingredients, and spoon over buns in a cross pattern.
Serve warm, if possible.

another fabulous recipe with pics here at

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bananas!!!.....Young Peoples Poetry Week

We're forty performing bananas,
in bright yellow slippery skins,
our features are rather appealing,
though we've neither shoulders nor chins,
we cha-cha, fandango, and tango,
we kick and we skip and we hop,
while half of us belt out a ballad,
the rest of us spin like a top.

We're forty performing bananas,
we mambo, we samba, we waltz,
we dangle and swing from the ceiling,
then turn very slick somersaults,
people drive here in bunches to see us,
our splits earn us worldly renown,
we're forty performing bananas,
come see us when you are in town.

by Jack Prelutsky


I thought I'd win the spelling bee
And get right to the top,
But I started to spell "banana",
And I didn't know when to stop.

by William Cole

both poems from Laughing Out Loud Poems to Tickle Your Funnybone


1 small frozen banana, cut into chunks
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup orange juice

Put all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.
The smoothies will be fairly thick.
Add more liquid if you want them thinner.
Makes 2 servings.
Make up your own variations using other fruits and juices.

Banana Muffins

1/2 cup of butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup sour cream
3 large bananas, mashed

1. Cream together butter and sugar.
2. When creamy, add the eggs, sour cream, mashed bananas, and vanilla.
3. Mix all dry ingredients and add to mixture.
3. Bake at 350 degrees in cup-cake pans for approximately 15 minutes or until lightly golden.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Silver Fish...a poem for Young Peoples Poetry Week

Young Peoples Poetry Week is the third week in April which is either the 12th through the 18th or the 19th through the 25th.
I've decided to make it two weeks 'cause I'm confused!

The Silver Fish

While fishing in the blue lagoon
I caught a lovely silver fish,

And he spoke to me,
"My boy," quoth he,
"Please set me free and I'll grant your wish...
A kingdom of wisdom? A palace of gold?
Or all the goodies your fancies can hold?"

So I said, "OK," and I threw him free,
And he swam away and he laughed at me
Whispering my foolish wish
Into a silent sea.

Today I caught that fish again,
That lovely silver prince of fishes,
And once again he offered me—
If I would only set him free—
Any one of a number of wonderful wishes...
He was delicious!

Shel Silverstein

Fish in a Bowl

1 package (3 oz) of blue gelatin (berry blue)
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
ice cubes
1 package gummy fish

you can use small jelly beans or fruit cocktail or other sliced fruit (strawberries) for rocks at the bottom of your fish tank/bowl

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water completely.
Combine cold water and ice cubes to make 1 1/4 cups ice and water.
Add to gelatin, stirring until slightly thickened.
Remove any unmelted ice.
If mixture is still thin, refrigerate until slightly thickened.

If using fruit or jelly beans place on the bottom of clear bowl.
Pour thickened gelatin over fruit/jelly beans.
Suspend gummy fish in gelatin.

Refrigerate until set, about 1 to 2 hours.
Garnish with additional gummy fish, if desired.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Herbert Glerbert.....a poem for National Poetry Month

Yes, April is National Poetry Month so go forth and recite!!!

Herbert Glerbert by Jack Prelutsky

Herbert Glerbert, rather round,
swallowed sherbert by the pound,
fifty pounds of lemon sherbert
went inside of Herbert Glerbert.

With that glob inside his lap
Herbert Glerbert took a nap,
and as he slept, the boy dissolved,
and from the mess a thing evolved—

a thing that is a ghastly green,
a thing the world had never seen,
a puddle thing, a gooey pile
of something strange that does not smile.

Now if you’re wise, and if you’re sly,
you’ll swiftly pass this creature by,
it is no longer Herbert Glerbert.
Whatever it is, do not disturb it.

Sherbert the Frog

Lime sherbet
Green decorators' gel
Junior Mints
Green gummy ring candy

1. Set a scoop of lime sherbet on a small green paper plate (trim the plate to resemble a lily pad first, if you like).

2. Cut one green gummy ring candy into quarters and place the four pieces under the sherbet scoop for feet.

3. Use a Junior Mint candy and half a gummy ring for each eye. Place on top of "frog" body.

4. Finally, add a green decorators' gel mouth and nostrils.

Recipe found at