Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Failed photo attempt

Yesterday's church clothes ended up being matchy, so I attempted a photo with the kids. 
Not successful!

Friday, October 26, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Breakfast ~ Apple Challah

{Apple Challah}
{homemade strawberry jam from our time in Michigan}
Yesterday I was pondering what to make for our breakfast with Mark and I found a nice recipe for Apple and Honey Challah on Smitten Kitchen. I liked the idea of using up some of the apples I have sitting in the garage from our apple trees. I also thought the braided mound looked pretty cool. But, I wasn't so keen on using 100% bread flour, so I pulled out my Whole Wheat Challah recipe from Whole Grain Baking and added in the apples to that recipe. I let it rise last night, shaped it and then stuck in the fridge. At 3AM I took it out and let it rise until 6AM. Just about perfect, but I am a bit yawny... 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkins, pumpkins and pumpkins

I seem to have collected a few pumpkins. Every time we drive by the farm stand, Pieter and I think about those pumpkins and we keep bringing them home. I keep thinking about last winter and how quickly we ran out of the frozen pumpkin I had stored up. So, I am not holding back this year!
Here is part of my frozen stash of pumpkin puree. These five jars are from one big pie pumpkin that I cooked over the weekend. Pretty easy method - cut pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds, put face down on an oiled sheet, bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. After it is completely cooled, I puree it in my food processor and jar it up. I usually leave a few cups out to bake with or in this case make dinner with. Tonight I recalled a nice recipe in my Everyday Food cookbook, Enchiladas with pumpkin sauce. It was a hit with the locals! And I did have to add a bunch of veggies that also needed to be used up, like bright red peppers, eggplant and onions.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Country Currant Rye Bread

{country currant rye bread}

Another good bread from Whole Grain Breads by Machine or Hand (Beatrice Ojakangas). But, after trying a few of these recipes, I do have a couple complaints. The recipes only use volume measurements, and after using a scale for so long, I really like weight measurements for baking. My other problem is many of these recipes have very little whole grain, relying on bread flour to be the bulk of the flour. I think a little tweaking will be required to up the whole grain content. This recipe was 50% rye flour and 50% bread flour, which is better than some of the recipes I've found. Now, compliments? I love that Ojakangas lists three different sizes for each recipe - a sampler loaf, regular loaf and large loaf. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tea Time

As the weather turns chilly we are turning inside more often. It is now that I enjoy having tea time with my little family at the table on the weekend. A little treat, a little tea. My friend Lois sent me a wonderful cookbook last Christmas, Whole Grain Breads by Machine or Hand by Beatrice Ojakangas. I am starting to peruse it and get some recipes tested. Today I made Pulla, Finnish Cardamom Coffee Braid. This is a wonderful twist on Challah, having the flavor of cardamom. I think this is a nice addition to Whole Grain Baking on my bookshelf. We really enjoyed the mid-afternoon snack, especially as we are trying to recover from our second cold of the season.

{egg wash, silvered almonds and crystalized sugar}

{ready just 20 minutes later!}

Friday, October 19, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday Breakfast with Mark


At the beginning of the semester this fall, we began having a yummy day to look forward to. Every Wednesday, Ben and our friend Mark head out in the morning to inspect their field trip site for the course that they are co-teaching. Before leaving we have breakfast together, giving us a great excuse to catch up with each other and to have something yummy and unusual. Coffee cakes, cinnamon rolls, bacon and eggs, waffles... all those things that take a bit of time and is a big change from the usual bowl of cereal or granola. I think it might be fun to start inviting you to join us, so I will try to post our "Wednesday Breakfast" every week.

{Hazelnut-Espresso Coffee Cake}

Last week we had a yummy frittata with fresh red peppers from the farm stand. This morning we had a eggs from the farm, bacon and Hazelnut-Espresso Coffee Cake from Whole Grain Baking. King Arthur Flour doesn't have this recipe up on their website, but I was able to find it at this blog. I used Hazelnut Flour from Bob's Red Mill. I made it in an angel food cake pan since I don't have a bundt pan. It was great and sure to wake us up this morning! Mark brought over a large pancake, similar to a dutch baby, but not quite as puffy. It was great and Pieter ate it like pizza with his hands. A sure hit!

Here are my two dutch babies!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

1880 Train

On our way to camping in the Southern Hills, we stopped at the 1880 Train in Hill City. Pieter got to have a quick look at it on that snowy morning, but we had to keep on going without a ride. Well, a week later on this past Friday morning I was thinking about it and realized that they would be closing down for winter and we only had three days left to go for a ride, so I packed up the kids in the car and we had a Friday full of unexpected adventuring. 
As we headed out of Hill City toward Keystone, we were told that the train uses 1400 gallons of used motor oil for one round trip, a total of two hours. While it is great that used oil is consumed, it sure is not a very environmentally friendly way to travel! Pieter was surprised at how noisy the train was and at the occasional stinky smoke from the engine. It was a beautiful route, going through open fields and ponderosa pine forests. We saw lots of deer and turkeys on our trip.

{smoke from the breaks}

And a happy Friday it was!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Thoen Stone

As the weather cools and the leaves fall, we begin to feel an urgency to grasp the last few nice days for a bike ride and hike. Over the weekend, we visited the Thoen Stone and the horses in the surrounding fields. 

We brought some carrots and apples for the horses. They were so happy about it, they wouldn't leave us alone. We had to climb up the fence to keep our feet safe as our pockets were inspected for more treats!

Friday, October 12, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Restoring Cast Iron

Surprisingly, I don't run across cast iron very often at thrift stores. A couple weeks ago I found a set of three from the Martha Stewart Everyday collection. I recalled a post I had found via Pinterest on reconditioning and re-seasoning cast iron cookware. I scooped up the pans and bought some oven cleaner on our walk home. And the results were just as I had hoped for!
{as is from the thrift store}

{after one week of being wrapped in plastic bag with oven cleaner 
and a soak in vinegar to remove the rust}

{after being seasoned with homemade lard}
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