Archives for category: The Kitchen

Warning: Picture heavy post….

My new obsession is reading craft and cooking blogs. I’m not sure how this came about, maybe it’s that I’m 32. My theory is that it’s because I’m 32, have a kitchen that I can move in, and I hear that little tick-tock in the back of my head.

So anyway, back to these food and craft blogs. My brother turned me onto Allrecipes.com. That was the catalyst. Then last winter, after I moved into my first grown-up apartment with a living room and bedroom separated by a wall, I got the itch to bake bread. It’s all down hill from there. I started reading all about bread. See, I had never made bread before and I steered clear of any recipe that involved yeast. Sometimes there is this little scaredy cat living deep down inside me and that cat keeps me from doing things that look complicated by telling me that it’s too hard and I might screw it up. Stupid cat. How am I going to learn if I don’t mess up once in a while, right?

Getting back to the topic at hand… I started making bread. I bought some yeast packages and set to work. I screwed up a couple of times. Once I forgot salt. I learned the art of an egg wash. And a little bit of extra flour won’t hurt a thing.

My newest favorite bread recipe comes from Alicia Paulson. I love her site. I want her life. Everything in her kitchen is pretty. She spends her days making pretty things…and her husband helps. (I need to get me one of those.) and they live in beautiful Portland. (I’m dying to visit there.) Anywho…This honey oat bread is AWESOME! It calls for proofing the yeast. To proof the yeast, you mix it in warm sugar water until it bubbles. It’s SO neat!

It goes from this…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To this….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To THIS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not sure you can see this, but there is about a half inch foam on top. After it proofs, I add a little bit at a time to my flour mixture. I mix it with a spatula until all the liquid has been added. Then I knead with my hands right in the bowl. I’m a little paranoid about rolling and kneading on my counters. I’m having a hard time keeping the cats off the counters and I don’t feel that they ever get clean enough sooo…I knead in the bowl. If the dough is still too sticky after I’ve finished kneading and mixing, I add a tablespoon of flour. I keep one of those big soup spoons in my flour jar for just this occasion. Usually, a tablespoon is the perfect amount.

Don’t you just love my measuring cup? It use to be my grandmothers! 🙂

When everything is mixed, I spray cooking spray in a bigger bowl and transfer the dough. It looks like this….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then cover….

With a wet towel. I set my on the stove because it’s warm. I have a gas range….Love it! The dough rises fast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soon it looks like THIS! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And after you bake it, it looks like this!

This is fresh out of the oven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it goes well with THIS! 🙂 

<—Beef stew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just got this dutch oven this week. I was so excited to make this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is ginger ale and was an experiment. Turned out that the BF liked it so much and was so intrigued that yeast could carbonate that he insists that we always have it in the house. This is where the yeast farts come in. When he found out what the carbonation was, he said, “so basically, yeast farts.”

This is our dinner tonight, what’s yours?

Live Long and Prosper!

P.S. I don’t have the perfect apartment nor the perfect life, so please excuse my meager surroundings. I make due with what I have…and I love it all! 🙂

This afternoon I just finished making lunch and brought it to the living room to eat with my honey. Nothing is better than a simple lunch and a good beer! YUM! He turned on PBS which was playing Nova. Nova was about space. It’s always about space.. it’s like The History Channel and WWII.

Maybe it was the beer, but my mind can’t comprehend the amount of space! They were describing light waves and how the other universes are moving away from us. So Crazy! I wish I could describe the feeling of trying to comprehend something so large.  The closest I can come is to say “heavy”. I get so interested in space and space travel and other galaxies, I wish I could understand it better. I would have liked to be an astronomer in another life, but all that math and discovering things….that’s just not me. I’m more of a cheerleader when it comes to that stuff. I’ll cheer on the people making the discoveries but that’s a lot of pressure.

Well, I wish there were more open dialog on this blog. I like to hear what your thoughts are on space or topics that completely blow your mind (in a good way, not crime or things like that).

I think it’s appropriate to sign off with this…

Live Long and Prosper. 🙂

I’m looking for a sewing machine. I’ve been doing all these crafty things lately and now I think I want to start sewing. Nothing like adding another skill to my arsenal. I’ve got the kitchen down, knitting is under control, I feel the need to start something new.

I’ve been reading Posey Gets Cozy and Little Cotton Rabbits and I miss my country living.  I miss going out in the middle of a storm to do chores and get wood for the stove. Money is tight right now and I figure that in the long run, a sewing machine will help take care of things around here like curtains and maybe some summer clothes for myself.

I’ve got a couple of exciting things happening in the next week. A family that I use to baby-sit for in college is coming to town for a day trip this week. I want to give them a little Easter gift. The only thing I can think of to do is make little Easter Egg pins from the Roving that I bought back in the fall. It’s not really Easter Egg colors, but I’m hoping that it will work for the girls. I’ll need something different for the boys.

My sister is turning 16 on Saturday. She’s coming down to visit for her spring break. I’m super excited. I have a bunch of stuff planned for us. I have to do a crap load of things before next Tuesday. Grocery shopping is a huge one. It’s tricky because I have signed up to bring dishes for our Easter Breakfast at church. Saturday will be a busy day for me. I’ll have to get up SUPER early on Sunday too. Ugh… Good thing I work at a great company and am able to take days off next week for my sister’s visit!

This economy thing sucks. So, I want a sewing machine and NOW the XBOX isn’t working. 😦 This is the downside to buying things on Craigslist. Now that the XBOX isn’t working… it doesn’t read discs…we can’t send it in to get fixed. So, now he is looking for a new XBOX and I’m looking at sewing machines.

…..

Live Long and Prosper

I have possibly made the most perfect loaves of bread I’ve ever seen in my family! They are beautiful! My apartment smells like grandma’s kitchen and I can’t wait for them to cool a bit so we can eat them!

I’ve also decided to start selling my knitting. I have a few things that I have designed myself and plan on putting them up for sale in the near future. I’ve been commissioned to make a couple of kid hats that resemble the Yo Gabba Gabba characters. I received the yarn yesterday and will cast on tomorrow! I’m super excited and I’m planning on making a bunch of them seeing as though I know a lot of people with kids. 🙂 Wish me luck!

Live Long and Prosper!

I completed a bunch of knitting projects yesterday. Like this….

Which is actually a lace scarf that looks like this….

Can you see the lace pattern? I’m so proud of this. This is my own design …. kinda. I took the stitch from a book but made it into the amazing cowl above. I’m thinking about making a slouch hat in a stitch from that book.

This is my own idea…

It’s actually needle felted! The cowl above and this pin will be shipped to my grandmother.

Today is bread making day! I found a bread recipe on this blog that I would like to try to make today. I’m hoping that my wheat flour will suffice when her recipe calls for wheat pastry flour. I’m not sure what the difference is. I’m still new to this bread making thing. My starter, “Carl”, is out and warming up to room temperature and should be ready to use by the time I get home. 🙂 So, by the end of the day I hope to have three loaves of bread made and my green lace scarf started…without mistakes. This is my lace….

Swift made by Dad, one of a kind Lorna's Laces lace

Please pay no attention to the cat toy mess in the background! This lace took me an HOUR to wind! My hand kept cramping and then I would drop the ball… LOL no pun intended. This is MINE! ALLLLLL MINE! 🙂 I’m excited to get started. I had a rough go of it yesterday so I frogged it and I’ll try fresh today!

Live Long and Prosper!