Thursday, July 10, 2014

Our New Favorite Place to Walk + Some Miscellaneous Photos

 A couple of months ago i was listening to the radio and there was a piece about an old abandoned road. The man that had put the piece together said that the pavement was still there all the way up to a water fall. There was surprisingly diverse flora, rock faces and it followed a river most of the way. Then at the end he said it was in the town that we live in! But the location was a carefully guarded secret by those that like to hike it.
After some sleuthing, and putting to use my husbands collected knowledge from living here his whole life, we found! So last week the kids and I packed a lunch in the wagon and found the falls. Here's some proof. You guardians of the secret beware...

Having Fun With Bowties 

And we went to Maine the last week of May. Note the heavy-weight attire. And if you plan on beaching it in Maine, probably go some other time than May.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Annual Southern Sojourn

Last week London and I drove to Pennsylvania, scooped up my Grandmother and drove to Virginia to see my family. Here are just a few of the things we did and saw. The good conversation can not be transmitted, and the meetings on Thursday and Sunday also cannot be captured. But here are some shots from the week. We went to the Breaks National Park and  saw some amazing views. London took in the full scope of the situation from a fence.(See above, and the situation below)

^^My oldest sister^^
 The view of the house from the hill behind
One of London's favorite things of the week was swinging out over the retaining wall and the severe drop below.
 She looks anxious, doesn't she?
^^My Mom built her very own pink A-frame chicken coop!^^

 Saturday night we had friends over for a cook-out and saw a full rainbow
 Mom, looking beautifully at the beautiful rainbow

 Sunday afternoon we took a stroll up the 45 degree angle of their backyard. 

 London and Poppi in matching vermilion

Thanks for such a great week, guys! Love you all!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Whole Wheat Sourdough English Muffins

 That's right, english muffins! If you are a bread customer visiting my blog for the first time, welcome! This is a forum for my creative adventures (mostly culinary the last few years), and starting this week I will be using it sometimes to share pictures of my weekly special.
  I also share recipes for most of the products that I sell. None of my recipes are secret, and I'm not afraid to share my knowledge. My baking service is just that, a service for busy people that enjoy homemade, healthy, preservative free baked goods. If you have the time to bake your own at home, power to you and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. If you want to leave it to me, wonderful! I love feeding people.
Whole Wheat Sourdough English Muffins (adapted from many recipes, all of which are easy to find)

Night Before:
 1 cup starter
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup whole milk
1 cup warm water
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups unbleached white flour
    Mix together until flour is moistened. It will be very wet and shaggy, but that's ok. Cover with a clean towel and leave out over night.

Next morning:
1 tsp baking soda
1-2 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp salt
cornmeal for dusting

Mix in the baking soda, salt. In a mixer with a dough hook (or a wooden spoon, changing over to hand kneading) add the flour half a cup at a time until you have an elastic moist dough that isn't tacky anymore. Then give it a good work out for about five minutes.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness, keeping it even through out. Use a 3 inch biscuit cutter or a drinking glass to cut your muffins. Gather the scraps and roll out again to get as many circles as you can. Place them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and sprinkled with the cornmeal. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warmish place for about an hour.

Warm your griddle on medium and lightly oil. Place as many muffins as you can comfortably fit in the pan and grill for 2-3 minutes, depending on how hot your pan gets on medium. you want them nicely browned but not too crispy. Flip over and cook for another 2 minutes. This will leave them ever so slightly under-baked in the middle, giving you a classic result when toasted. Repeat with the rest. Store in an air tight container in the fridge. YUM!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Yellow Coat/Red Tricycle

Greetings, I hope you're all enjoying some form of spring weather! We have started hitting 50 degrees pretty consistently and it feels like we've all been half-dead since December compared to how we feel now. Once we have green leaves and grass maybe we'll start taking our happiness for granted, but at the moment we revel in it and give our minds a tumble through the sunshine whenever possible.

With the relative warmth we have spent a good deal of time out on the little dead-end road next to our house where Spencer has a basket ball hoop and London can manage some speedy riding on the smooth pavement.

I think we'll be trying a garden again this year. I drove half an hour to a CSA last year, which was fun, but now London is old enough to keep herself busy while I work in the yard and Spencer really gets into helping with the vegetables. Ahh, just the thought of summer... How about you? Do you have sketches tucked into seed catalogs, does your mind wander through rows of tomatoes while you're stopped at red-lights?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

DIY Coconut/Pecan Milk/Flour

On the left, we have pecan milk/flour. On the right, coconut. Yes, made at home, in my kitchen. 
 First of all, it is good to be back with you. I lost a fight with the End of December and the Depths of January (those bullies, gangin' up on people like that) and have been climbing my way back to civilization since. There's still a lot of cold water down there, but the topper-most feet are feeling warmed by the sun. Here's hoping for a good March. 
So anyways! Yeah! Look at all that good fat separating to the top, like the real deal.

Here's how I did it.

DIY Coconut Milk

1 coconut, drained, baked for 20 minutes at 350 (or until the shell has cracked)
4 cups boiling water
food processor
 damp tea towel

After your coconut has cooled remove the flesh from the shell and grate about half of it. Roughly 2 cups of finely grated coconut was a pretty manageable amount. Place it in a glass or ceramic bowl.

Pour the boiling water over it and let it stand about 2 hours. 

Scoop out about half of the pulp and put it in your food processor. Add about 1 cup of the soaking water and whir on highest for a few minutes, yes three, or more. 

Pour this creaminess into your damp tea towel, which you should have lining a large bowl.

Wring as much liquid into the bowl and out of the coconut as you can. Put the nearly dry pulp in a small bowl (more about that later).

Scoop out as much of the pulp as you can and whir with just enough water to keep it creamy. Repeat the tea towel procedure, pouring any leftover soaking liquid through the towel and into the bowl. Really squeeze the stuff as dry as you can. 

There's your milk! It isn't as thick as the canned stuff but if you adjust the amount of the boiling water you can change that. 

DIY Coconut Flour

Pulp from one batch of milk
parchment paper
baking sheet

Line your sheet with parchment paper and set your oven to the lowest setting possible, usually around 170 degree Fahrenheit 

Place your pulp on the sheet and break up the clumps with your fingers. Spread it out as evenly as possible.

Dry in the oven until the moisture is gone. Every ten minutes take it out and give it a stir with your fingers. Rub it around and if it feels at all steamy give a few more minutes. Mine took around an hour, but if you squeeze it harder than I did it might take you less time. 

Let it cool and store it in an airtight container.

Pecan Version

This I did pretty much the same way except I used 2 cups of pecans to roughly 3 cups of boiling water. I let them soak over night and them went through the same process as the coconut. 

It took a lot longer to dry out the flour and the texture ended up being more like grapenuts than flakes. I had to repeatedly break up the clumps with the fingers, but it smelled amazing every time I took it out of the oven so I didn't mind. 

The milk is delicious warmed with a little honey. 

So there you go! I project to propel you through the last weeks of winter. 

See you around.