Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~

The little lake where I learned how to fly fish ~ a dream come true ~

Thursday, July 12, 2012

~ Curry peanut lime chicken ~ 
It finally happened!  Truly, it did!  I am amazed......and shocked.  I finally got a good grill on!  Whoohooo!  In the past I’ve burnt this and that, dried out that and the other.  Charcoal grilling has not been something I could do, which was mildly and shortly frustrating.  I try a couple times a summer. This year - being oh*so*much more centered, I gave it another go, sans expectations.  Funny how that all plays out well when letting go of such things….like self-controlled outcome.  Oh, give me a keyboard and the soapbox philosophical thoughts come whizzing from fingertips.  :)  Anywhoo.  Moving on.

Yay, charcoal…good ol’ mesquite charcoal to be exact.  That and a decent marinade.  Yellow chicken.  Meh.  Yellow chicken with a peanut sauce.  Yum.

Marinade found here, only double the amount of gingerroot.  I adjusted the peanut sauce, also found on the same link.  I ran out of limes.  I added more soy sauce by another teaspoon or two, a few dashes of toasted sesame oil, three garlic and a touch of dried lemongrass.  Chunky peanut butter, natural.  Smooth peanut butter on Norton Avenue?  Not often.  

The bok choy - so happy -- FLD liked it and ate two.  Score!  Miss Little One More ate one without complaint.  Middle child was spending the night at a friends, so not feedback on her opinion of grilled bok choy.  A nice little sprinkling mix of sesame seeds, sliced garlic, diced lemon grass and olive oil was all that was done to the halved bok choy before grilling.  I normally saute it this way and prefer it that way - it gets some steam on it with that method.  Grilled was less rich in olive oil, but just as fresh and crunchy as it gets, with char…num, num.  

Let summer grilling season begin.  I have a huge (!) bag of real charcoal.  Huge.  Big chunks.  

Wishing all a happy and loving summer, full of laughter....and SPF 45.  Remember, any more is a waste.  :)


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Simply a picture ~

Valentine's day 2012

....hoping your day was filled with the feeling of being fully loved. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Whole wheat cinnamon rolls ~

Best warm from the oven ~
Shared and linked with the wonderful Wild Yeast blog.  :)

Whole wheat cinnamon rolls ~

“These is the best sweet I’ve had all year!“, exclaimed my auburn haired girl after eating part of her cinnamon roll.  Note the date, people.  Then I reminded her of what I made the other day -- homemade puff pastry with a baked half pear with streusel, almonds and caramel sauce.  “Oh!!  The top two sweets I’ve had all year.“  “Annie?  Better than the pretzel-butterscotch-chocolate-walnut cookies??  Blank stare.  “You make us too much stuff in a year!  We’re spoiled!“  Laughter from us both.  I have so much fun with my kids.  “Better than the cocoa-nut brownies I made the other day?“  “Yes, they were better than those.  I don’t care for coconut.“  I have baked a few new things this year already.   I’m restless.  I‘m not baking for a living anymore.  I’m restless.  I‘m working on calming that restless nature.  Ooops.  Not a diary, not an emotional blog, just a place for my kidlets to find my recipes.  Moving on.

Not often, but sometimes - I get precedence without much (any) input from others before I get to that decision.  Between three children in this home, I teach sharing and taking turns, we‘re a unit.  Every once in a while I am screaming inside that I am tired of sharing.  Call it a quiet hissy fit, a rarity, ungrounded and yes, immature.  How did it show up this time?  I want raisins in my cinnamon rolls, darnit!!  I’m grateful that my internal hissy fits look so small….and that my selfishness does not hurt anyone I love - whether they find out or not.  *ahhh*

Raisins.  First whole wheat.  I could be doing a run around myself and my whole wheat or whole grain eating style by making whole wheat cinnamon rolls.  Afterall, I hardly need cinnamon rolls despite their starch content.  It felt odd to sprinkle sugar over the butter schmear that sat atop whole wheat yeast dough.  I’ll indulge in one with far less craving for a second helping after eating a warm sweet roll because of the whole wheat.  The children -- by far would prefer white flour - it does taste better - but they will be so happy anywhoo ~ it’s how they appreciate the unexpected and how they love me.  Lucky me.  Lucky me ~ even when I looked at their plates after they had eaten their cinnamon rolls…leaving behind *all* the raisins they picked out.  Kids are a blast!

Snowy day cinnamon rolls ~

4 ½ tsp. yeast
Pinch sugar
½ c. warm water - 105-115 degrees
3 eggs
1/3 c. honey
½ c. melted butter
14 oz. can evaporated milk
1 ½ tsp. salt

8 T. butter, softened
¾ c. sugar
¾ c. brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ - 1 tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated
1+ c. raisins, your choice for the amount
½ - 1 c. finely chopped nuts

2 T. butter
  • Proof yeast in water and pinch of sugar.  Let sit 5-10 minutes. 
  • Add eggs, honey, butter, milk, salt, mix thoroughly.
  • Add four cups of flour, mix well.  Let rest 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the remaining cup of flour, mix.  This dough is rather sticky, resist the urge to add more flour.   This might be easier to knead via a dough hook rather than by hand as by hand it will be sticky…and as mentioned…resist the urge to add more flour. Knead until cohesive.  Let rest 15 minutes.  Knead again for five minutes.Transfer to an oiled bowl and let rise until double.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Remove from bowl to a floured surface.  (Here I used white flour on the board for rolling.)  Roll out to approximately 24x15.  Schmear 2 T. of the butter in a 9x13 pan.  If the remaining 6 T. is not soft enough to spread, melt it to warm.
  • Mix sugars, spices. Brush or spread out the butter over the dough.  Sprinkle with all but ½ c. of the sugar mixture.  Sprinkle on the raisins and nuts.  
  • Roll up on the long side.  Cut into 12 pieces, they will be approximately 2” high before rising.
  • Place in the pan and let rise until almost double.  This took a while on a cold wintery day, plus it’s whole wheat despite the larger amount of yeast - almost an hour and a half.  Start checking at an hour.
  • Melt the 2 T. butter, brush the tops of the raised rolls with the melted butter.  Sprinkle on the remaining ½ c. sugar mixture.
  • Bake for 30-45 minutes.  Doneness is up to you.  Take a temp if you like - at least 200 and up to 220 degrees.  Or take a toothpick to a center to test that it’s clean upon removal.
  • No glaze ~ how nice is that?  Nice, I think.

These are not too sweet compared to a regular cinnamon roll, that I do believe is due to the whole wheat flour.  Annie said that was the reason she liked them…because they aren’t too sweet.  I’ll make these again someday.  To me that says enough.

A rather bland and ill-defined photo

Friday, January 6, 2012

Whole wheat breakfast bread ~

Bread link ~ yeast item ~ lovely bready-yeasty sharing found at the Wild Yeast blog.   

(It's challenging to find time to blog a post when I don't have internet at home any longer.  What a concept for me, no net access at my fingertips.  That's why I'm here even less often.)

I want to stop the feeling I have to apologize for this bread.  It’s all made up in my head too, the thought that it’s not what it should be.   In reality, in the truth, we really like the taste and texture of this bread.  My problem (again - totally made up and off center) is with the appearance.  When I make a bread in a loaf pan I want that pretty high risen result, preferably with a little lip.  Well, not on this bread.  Not even with multiplying the recipe at 1.5 of the original recipe as I did with these two loaves.  This is a dense bread and it is not going to get any higher without change and therefore lighter and there I am back to the fact that we like the texture and we really like the taste.  I take a while to come to peace with some things life throws at me, even in the form of bread.

This is a very moist, slightly sweet whole wheat bread.  We toast this in the mornings, Nic uses excessive jam, the girls will ask for butter if they think I’ll let them, if not - more jam.  Me, I prefer dry toast, no butter, no jam….maybe honey when I am in the mood and feeling indulgent.  Okay, okay….when I allow the desire to be indulgent, which isn’t too often.  Honey is great on this bread.  But this is about 100% whole wheat bread.  That’s this bread.  My current favorite breakfast bread.

One of these loaves was waiting for the children when they got back from Christmas vacation with their dad in Portland.  In Portland they have their own TV’s, separate bedrooms, watch a lot of cable TV, play computer games on a huge Mac, eat junk food and have a blast with their dad.  I like that for them.  At my house we don’t have cable or internet, one TV and this computer lost it’s fan a few weeks ago -- but we have whole grain homemade bread, baby!  *LOL*  We can’t have everything can we?  I am happy that my children love being in two different homes that are a contrast, where both contain parents that love them and are involved in showing that love to the best of their ability. 

Too much blathering, again.  Recipe.  Next.

Whole wheat bread ~

1 ½ T. yeast
1 ½ c. warm water
8 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. oats
1/3 c. cracked wheat
¾ c. sunflower seeds
1/3 c. millet
½ c. wheat bran
2 T. kosher salt
1 ¾ c. + 2 T. lukewarm water
1 c. unsulfured molasses
  • In a small bowl whisk the yeast into the warm water until dissolved.  Let stand for 5 minutes. 
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, cracked wheat, millet, seeds, bran, and salt.
  • Add the yeast mixture, lukewarm water, and molasses.  If using a mixer, mix on low speed until combined.  Switch to a dough hook and knead 10 minutes.  
  • Move the dough to an oiled bowl, cover and let double.
  • When double, remove, divide, pinch and roll and place each in an oiled 9x5 loaf.  Let rise until shy of double, approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours.
  • Thirty minutes prior to baking, preheat oven to 450.  
  • When ready to bake, brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with oats.  Make it pretty, pretty. :)
  • Bake at 450 for ten minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375.  I move the racks and bake these in the top third, but start them in the lower third.   Bake for 45+ minutes.  Here is the iffy part, my baking times -- I take the temperature of the loaf around 45 minutes in and it usually takes longer.  I pull it out when it hits at least 200 degrees.  If you want to go up to 215-220 degrees, so be it.  
So there it is - our breakfast bread for toast.  Whole grain, full of delicious molasses, seeds and grains.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fine turning, disco scones, and sweet Christmas times ~

Kids.  Imaginative minds, even if it is goofy, they are fun.  Playful with an honest heart ~ that is some of the best stuff in this life.  I'd say the two have to go hand in hand to be authentic.  

~Disco ball scones ~

Sofia said, "Look!  Disco ball scones!"  Maybe it was the sugar from the two scones she consumed.  It's an ornament I purchased for a kissing ball, to hang in the house.  Well folks, it's collecting dust going on eight years...maybe it wasn't a kissing ball after all, but what Sofia dubbed it - a disco ball.  So be it.  :)  She twirled, she laughed, I love...constantly.

This is not far from the previous recipe, it tastes better though - a bit drier, which I prefer in a scone.  And cream...cream is the yummiest, though I will make recipes with buttermilk if that is all I have on hand.

~ Sweet afternoon snack ~
 Cinnamon chip scones ~

3 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
12 T. butter, unsalted, chilled and cubed
1 egg
3/4 c. cream
1 tsp. vanilla 
1/3-1/2 c. cinnamon chips
Egg wash - optional

  • Scone routine, same ol', same ol'.  Mix dry ingredients.  Add in butter, cut/mix/process until fairly fine meal texture.
  • Beat egg, add cream.  Add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Dump mixture onto counter.
  • Add in the cinnamon chips to the mass, a handful of kneading and press it out to an inch high.  Cut out as desired.
  • Brush with egg wash or cream, sprinkle with sugar.   These had brown sugar.
  • Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven.   Start checking at 20 minutes.  Baking time will depend on how high you roll the dough and the size of scones you made.  These I baked over 25 minutes, less than 30.  But then I think my oven if off.  Know yours.  :)

Merry Christmas....truly.