Guest Blogger – Donna Cronk – White Cloud World Teas

I am so excited to announce that “Blaise the Baker” has joined “White Cloud World Teas” to bring you some of the most fabulous teas – and new and delicious recipes – that I know you will go crazy for! Check out http://whitecloudworldteas.com for more information, ordering information and more – and follow us along on social media for new and exciting things coming soon!

First up!? My very dear friend, Donna Cronk, as a special GUEST BLOGGER for Blaise the Baker, discussing her reactions to the fabulous tea presented by White Cloud World Teas! Shoutout and special thanks to Donna Cronk for being a part of this journey as well as providing excellent feedback and gorgeous photographs!

Take it away Donna…

“Flavorful scented sips on an early spring evening” By: Donna Cronk

If there is the slightest nip in the air, no matter the month of the year, you can expect to find me sipping a cup of hot tea on any given evening in my home. Or, when visiting someone else’s home overnight or even when staying in a motel. It’s a favorite ritual.

So when I got home from work one Tuesday recently, and I discovered that Blaise had sent me not one but two delicious teas to try from White Cloud World Teas, the timing was perfect; the agenda set.

It was a damp-and-chilly early April day here in Indiana so following supper, I headed to the bathtub for my other favorite evening ritual – a hot bath.

As soon as I warmed up in the soapy soak, I put on my most cozy animal-print jammies and headed for the kitchen. First up was the intoxicatingly scented Lavender Vanilla Earl Grey. This stuff smells so great that it would make a fine potpourri if it weren’t meant for sipping.

Oh, but a cuppa tea was in the plan. Nothing quite relaxes me or finishes my day like a delicious tea. For Christmas, my husband Brian bought me an electric kettle. It quickly boils my water and then into a ceramic teapot it went, along with a teabag filled with the aromatic blend.

I could hardly wait the couple of minutes required for a good steep to try the finished brew. The scent was lovely and the color a golden brown. The steaming cup of tea hit the spot! The flavor was subtle. Better have a second cup. I liked it even better after a few more minutes of steeping as I prefer a stout tea.

Like a kid on Christmas, I couldn’t wait to try my second offering of the evening. But I wasn’t about to waste the rest of my pot of tea. So I poured it off into a glass, covered it with plastic and tomorrow I’ll make an iced version of the brew.

Then I went through the quick and easy process of brewing a pot of my second featured flavor – Lavender Berry. This one had a fruity scent that reminded me of summer. The flavor echoed that thought as I sipped and let my mind wander to the spring and summer nights to come, and in particular, the ones where I’ll warm up from my husband’s over-zealous cooling of the house with an evening brew. This would be delicious iced as well!

I’ll be checking out http://www.whitecloudworldteas.com and seeing what other flavors and goodies are available. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the last sip from this evening’s samples of fine teas. Thanks for the taste, Blaise and White Cloud World Teas!

Donna Cronk is a community journalist and author of two inspirational novels. She and her husband are empty nesters who live in Indiana. Check her out on http://donnacronk.com

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Chew This! Macy’s Favorite Biscuits

Macy Chloe Doubman

Thank you to all of those who pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sunday’s of each month to check out my newest “CHEW THIS!” column features and recipes. Really means a lot to me. I appreciate your support and dedication. My newest column, last Sunday, was a recipe for “Macy’s Favorite Biscuits”!

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, April 15th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Dog Love, Biscuits and a Broken Heart…
Blaise Doubman

It has taken me countless attempts at this column and I am still writing through tears. Never did I imagine that I would be creating a column “in memory” of my little fur baby Macy. For the past 12 years Macy has been such a strong part of my family that I can hardly remember life before her. Of course, before Macy, came my first fur baby, Chloe. Both Shetland Sheepdogs and both have taught my family and I so much about life. Chloe was a huge part of my childhood, Macy a huge part of my young adulthood. Chloe seen so much life. She seen my brother Damon and I through Elementary School and even into High School. She was a huge part of my brother’s Senior photos and a huge part of my beginnings into real responsibility. So much life happened those 12 years we had Chloe and so much happened the 12 years after that we had Macy. Macy got to see my brother and I both graduate college with Bachelor’s Degrees, watch as my parents and grandparents grew, struggled, celebrated and learned new normals. There was so much life, so much living in those 24 years. 24 years! A lifetime of memories, both good and bad, but always with either Chloe or Macy right by my side. But now, neither.

I always told people that Macy was like my child. Why? Because she really was! She was my “fur baby”. I felt like she was a part of me just as much as I was a part of her. We went though everything together, the good and the bad. When “Blaise the Baker” first really took off I would get messages and comments about what a beautiful baby she was, so gorgeous, glamourous even. People from all over the Country would comment to me when I would post her picture online and talk about how she looked almost like a “living doll baby”. People would send her gifts for her Birthday and Christmas, but that was nothing unusual for her, because for 12 years I had thrown her a Birthday party, complete with cake and presents. She loved the attention. Chloe had more of my brother Damon’s personality. Macy had mine. She always wanted to be center of attention, laughed a lot, smiled, very rambunctious, barked a lot, never wanted to be left by herself and was full of nothing but love…and perhaps was a little bit of a troublemaker.

She was spoiled rotten to the very core. Around her 11th Birthday my family and I noticed the aging process starting to take its toll on her. She started having more and more trouble until on March 31st, 2018 she passed away. My heart will never be the same. I am heartbroken. I still look for her. Listen for her. Worry about her. My family and I are devastated. Things will never be the same I am sure and the only thing getting me though this is my family, friends and the good memories I will always carry with me of my sweet little Macy. So many friends have reached out to me, thank you. So many of my readers, followers and fans have reached out also, thank you. Thank you also to “Country Acre Animal Clinic” of New Castle and thank you to Veterinarians Rob and Nathan Rich who extended the life of Macy and helped her anyway that they could and were always there for us, day or night. As I type this the tears are flowing. I am not sure how my family and I will get through this, but we will. Together. If you are reading this and have a fur baby of your own, please stop right now and give them a hug from me – and from Macy. I love you Macy and I will never forget you. Thank you for everything.

Macy’s Favorite Biscuits

These biscuits can be made ahead and stored in an air tight container for up to two weeks. Feel free to use any type of cookie cutter design you would like, even using special ones for Holidays. If you do not own a cookie or biscuit cutter just use the bottom of a drinking glass. Be sure to flour the cutter, or glass, for easier cutting of biscuits. You can replace the vegetable oil with bacon grease for a richer biscuit. When adding in the broth feel free to use whatever style broth you wish – such as chicken broth or beef broth. The color of the dough will vary slightly.

1 ½ cups instant oatmeal
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup white all-purpose flour
½ cup broth

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine with clean hands, the instant oatmeal, vegetable oil, white all-purpose flour and broth. Once the dough comes together and forms a ball, transfer to a clean and slightly floured surface. Knead a couple of times and then allow to rest for about 5 minutes.

Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough carefully into about ½-inch thickness.

Cut out shapes, using desired cutters, and place carefully onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 30 minutes until firm and slightly dry.

Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature before removing.

Ask and Answer: I received a question about why I specify in my recipes, that my sticks of butter, salted and unsalted, are “4 oz”. The reason I specify this is because not all stick butter is 4 oz. Some European or Amish butters are slightly more or less ounces per stick.

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White Cloud World Teas

THE SECRET IS OUT!!! I am so excited to announce that Blaise the Baker has joined White Cloud World Teas to bring you some of the most fabulous teas – and new and delicious recipes – that I know you’ll go crazy for! Check out http://whitecloudworldteas.com for more information, ordering information and more – and follow us along on social media for new and exciting things coming soon!

(photos provided by White Cloud World Teas)

Blaise

Exclusive Recipe Featured in “The Everyday Cooks Cookbook”!

ANOTHER BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!! I have an exclusive recipe being featured in “The Everyday Cooks Cookbook” by my friend Angela Kudlets, who is the mastermind behind the wildly popular blog “Your Next Great Dish” which features recipes, restaurant reviews and more! I am so honored to be the featured guest in her “Featured Guest Spotlight and Recipe” section! What recipe of mine is being featured exclusively!?

My “Top Secret Peanut Butter Pie”!!!

The ONLY way for you to get this FABULOUS recipe is to buy Angela’s cookbook! I can not wait to see it in print! The homemade crust, smooth filling, perfect meringue and secret topping will have your taste buds singing! You can PREORDER your cookbook NOW at –

https://yournextgreatdish.com/cookbook/

So – do it! Ha! I also had the pleasure of recipe testing some recipes for Angela and I have a feeling her cookbook will be a HUGE – and delicious – success!

Blaise

Temptations

HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT!!! My debut cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” will now be featured and available to purchase at TEMPTATIONS in New Castle! Temptations is located at 535 N Memorial Drive and opened Monday through Friday 11-2! Check out their wide variety of home cooked food and help spread the word about this fabulous local business! Inga is well known for her delicious made from scratch food and successful catering business and I am so grateful and thankful for this opportunity!

Blaise

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!! I am SO EXCITED to finally be able to announce that for the past 18 months I have been working on my SECOND COOKBOOK!!! There are SO many more recipes and stories that I CAN NOT WAIT to share with all of you! I am talking with a publisher now and my cookbook will be released later this year! I AM BURSTING with excitement and have SO MANY new and fun ideas planned for this one but will keep the surprises secret – for now! Stay tuned HERE and to http://facebook.com/blaisethebaker for updates! I am so thankful for this opportunity and I am so thankful for all of YOU who have made this journey possible! ROUND TWO – here we goooooooo!!! AND yes – you will still be able to buy my first cookbook for those wondering – which is officially in a NEW PRINTING SEASON!!! So thankful and grateful. Love you all!

Blaise

Cookbook Corner – At My Table

I am thrilled to announce my newest “Cookbook Corner”…

Cover

“At My Table” By: Nigella Lawson

I LOVE anything Nigella Lawson and this book is no exception! It does not release in the United States until April but I go an advanced copy from “Flatiron Books” I could not be anymore excited or appreciative! Shoutout and special thanks to them for making one of my advanced copy dreams come true! I highly recommend you preorder this cookbook!

This cookbook is charmingly written and photographed, as with all of her fabulous previous other cookbooks, and is quickly becoming one of my Nigella favorites! I love Nigella’s way of writing, her use of words that evoke thoughts and food feelings like nobody else and like nobody else ever will. Even if you are not a cook, or a baker, buy this book and read it cover to cover like a novel. You will be glad that you did!

I was so excited to hear, when Nigella first announced this latest book, that she was going to focus on “a celebration of home cooking”! I too am a food writer and recipe developer – as well as a home cook! I have no interest in becoming a chef, or knowing the proper ways to hold a knife or lemon juicer. I do not have anything against chefs, professionals, but that field and way of thinking is just not for me. Props to those who do and props go out for those who know what they love to do and do it well!

Just some of the fabulous recipes that line this book are…

Egg Tortilla Pie, Golden Egg Curry, Chili Cheese Garlic Bread, Parmesan French Toast, Mussels with Pasta and Tomatoes, Meatballs with Orzo, Carrots with Fennel with Harissa, Potato Waffles, Smashed Chickpeas with Garlic Lemon and Chili, Sweet Potato Tacos, Chopped Salad, Red-Hot Roasted Salsa, Salt and Vinegar Potatoes, Coconut Shrimp, Lime and Cilantro Chicken, Roast Duck, Cumberland Gravy, Lamb Shanks, Apple Pork Chops, Roast Top Round with Caramelized Onions, Chocolate Olive Oil Mousse, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Butterscotch Pots, Passionfruit Ice-Cream Cake, Cumin Seed Cake, Chocolate Layer Cake with Coffee Buttercream, Vanilla Layer Cake with Ermine Icing, Scented Citrus Cake, Coconut Snowball Cake, Forgotten Cookies, Dirty Lemon Martini and Grapefruit Margarita. Plus so many more fabulous recipes!

Here are some of my favorites and some of the ones I tried…

Toast

Catalan Toasts (page 37) I LOVED this quick and simple snack of toasted bread, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and sea salt. I think it would also be good with some type of Italian ham, which I will try sooner rather than later. This recipe brought back memories of making something similar in my French class; where you rub tomatoes and garlic on toast. It is delicious and the perfect snack or appetizer. The crunch of the bread with the flavors of the tomato and garlic and paired perfectly with the sprinkle of salt.

Eggs

Deviled Eggs (page 24) I think this may be my favorite ways of making deviled eggs – and I have had my fair share of them believe me! The olive oil really makes all the difference and yes, mine are not the prettiest! I did not have the time, or the patience, for a piping bag that was suggested so I simply skipped that step. Let me tell you though, nobody seemed to mind as these were gobbled up fast! I did not have any chives on hand to sprinkle on top either so I placed a little black pepper on top. Delicious! I really like how Nigella walks you through the steps of boiling eggs too – something that I know from experience not a lot of people know how to do! Her technique works perfectly.

Cake

Warm Blondie Pudding Cake (page 214) I loved this cake and so did my taste testers! The almond flour that Nigella uses is really something that I may experiment with again in the near future. There is a certain taste, a texture, that is welcome here. This cake is delicious served with cold vanilla bean ice cream. Nigella recommends serving with cream and fresh raspberries, which would be equally as delicious as the ice cream! The taste of this cake evokes vanilla and white chocolate tastes and is fabulous!

Brownies

Emergency Brownies (page 233) My favorite recipe in the book! This recipe basically makes 4 (or 2) large brownies! I went out and bought a ton of 7x4x2-inch aluminum foil baking pans because I had a feeling I would be making this recipe a LOT and guess what? I have! It is so quick and easy to throw together and makes one of the best chocolate brownies I think I have ever had! The first few batches I left out the walnuts but lately I have been adding the recommended 1/2 cup and let me say – fabulously delicious! In the cookbook, Nigella also recommends to throw on some ice cream – just right on top – eat out of the container – and guess what? Done! Delicious and perfect for late night cravings. Also perfect for those times when you want to indulge, but carefully.

Cheesecake

White Chocolate Cheesecake (page 206) This recipe is a keeper! This cheesecake was very easy to put together and had wonderful flavor! I love white chocolate and I love gingersnaps and the combination of the white chocolate filling and the gingersnap crust was really a flavor to be remembered! This is the perfect recipe to make ahead, chill in the refrigerator and bring out and serve to your entertaining guests.

I am highly recommending this cookbook for those who love Nigella Lawson of course, but to those who are proud “home cooks” and for those who love and appreciate good food, good flavors and simple recipes. This is one of my favorite cookbooks!

To preorder “At My Table”, click here – https://www.nigella.com/books/at-my-table

The personal views and reviews of this blog are mine and mine alone. Any opinion or thought expressed are strictly my own. Shout out and special thanks to Flatiron Books and Nigella Lawson for this opportunity. More information can be found by emailing me your questions.

Blaise 

FOUR YEARS

FOUR YEARS TODAY I officially launched my website “Blaise the Baker”! Thousands and thousands of followers, hundreds of recipes, so many extraordinary opportunities, my “Chew This!” column, my cookbook “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” and all of your amazing feedback and dedication has made this one awesome journey!!! Through everything – new things, changes, difficult decisions, surveys, taste and recipe testers, and on and on – your dedication and unwavering support and feedback has meant everything to me! Thank you to my friends, my fans, my readers, my followers, my subscribers and my family. Thank you for everything. I am SO EXCITED for so many projects I have open and going at the moment – most I can’t really talk about yet – I think the best is still yet to come and without you – none of this would have been possible.

THANK YOU for everything – I truly love you all!

Blaise

My Cookbook – Refresher

COOKBOOK REMINDER: My cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Dessert First” is still available to purchase in a variety of ways! I’ve been getting lots of questions / emails about this so I’ll post a refresher –

You can also order my cookbook directly through me by sending $15 total ($12 for the cookbook / $3 shipping and handling) to Blaise Doubman / Box 47 / Kennard, IN 47351. You can also pay online through http://paypal.com Use the email blaisejdx@gmail.com when sending money. You can also send me your mailing address and I’ll send you a copy along with an invoice that would need to be paid 30 days after receiving your order. If ordering 4 or more cookbooks – shipping and handling is FREE!

My cookbook is available for purchase in a retail setting in the following shops –

“The Book Nook” in New Castle, Indiana. Located at 1325 G. Ave. Call ahead for hours – 765-521-2188

“Carousel Flowers and Gifts” in Shirley, Indiana. Located at 205 Main Street. Call ahead for hours – 765-738-1500

“Glen Oaks Health Campus” in New Castle, Indiana. Located at 601 W. CR 200 S. Visit Room 112 and buy your copy from my Grandma Deloris. She loves seeing everyone and selling them for me. She’s a good business woman! Ha! Stop in and chat awhile and taste test some of my fresh goodies while you’re there.

“Warm Glow Candle Outlet” in Centerville, Indiana. Located at 2131 North Centerville Road. Regular hours are daily 9am-7pm. Come and find me in their “Artisans and Java” storefront area.

“Temptations” in New Castle, Indiana. Temptations is located at 535 N Memorial Drive and open Monday through Friday 11-2.

All copies available to purchase outside of my personal address are already pre-autographed with my signature as well as Grandma Barbra’s and Grandma Deloris’. Copies can be personalized by request.

Message me, text me, call me, email me for any further questions. Thank you all again for the dedication and support!

Blaise

What kind of recipes are inside my cookbook?

Take a look below –

Parchment Roasted Chicken

I am so excited to share my “new” method of roasting chicken! My “old” method is detailed step by step in my cookbook and goes something like this –

“Take two large chicken breasts – bone in, skin on – and place on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in preheated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reads 170 degrees F. Allow to cool and then remove skin and discard the bones, carefully. Use meat accordingly.”

However, I heard from so many of you who said the process was just too difficult, too messy, etc. Several people wrote to me saying the combination of the olive oil and the heat from inside the oven created a lot of smoke, which would set off their smoke alarms – not to mention make a mess on the inside of their ovens.

So, I told myself I would find a better way and I really think I have! After a lot of research I found that you can actually use boneless, skinless chicken breasts – therefore not having the hassle of removing the skin and discarding the bones – and roast them underneath parchment paper – therefore not having the splatter mess of the olive oil!

I have tried this method several times and I have to say, it is easier than my previous method! I will include this note and recipe in an upcoming column piece as well as another project I have been working on for awhile. The chicken roasted this way is juicy and succulent and makes perfect chicken salad! Highly recommend that you try my “Parchment Roasted Chicken”! And – if you want, throw in some lemons and herbs to this recipe and take the flavors of your chicken up a notch! I have even made this chicken and served alongside fresh vegetables for a delicious and healthy meal.

Parchment Roasted Chicken

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Take a 9×13-inch baking pan and grease well with butter. Take out a large sheet of parchment paper and grease well with butter one side. Place two large boneless skinless chicken breasts into the prepared pan and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Place the buttered side of the parchment paper down on top of the chicken breasts and push down slightly to adhere contact with the chicken. Tuck the parchment around the chicken breasts lightly. Place in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reads 170 degrees F. Remove and allow to cool slightly. Use meat accordingly.

Can also sprinkle with chicken seasoning and place sliced lemons inside under the parchment before roasting.

Enjoy!

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