Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Homemade Bread

I have been trying to come up with a catchy title for this bread.
BFF Bread - Best, Fast, and Fabulous Bread
DHF  Bread - Dear Husbands Favorite Bread
FFE Bread - Fantastic Fast Easy Bread
...
But whatever you call it it's easy, fast and fabulously good bread (EFFG Bread)

3 cups bread flour*
3/4 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups water, tap water, lukewarm

In a large bowl stir together dry ingredients, add water and stir to mix.  You're just stirring to get all the flour incorporated into the water.  The dough will be sticky.

Cover with plastic wrap and let stand on the counter for 8 to 18 hours.
(this stood overnight - it is all bubbly and yeasty smelling - that's a good thing)

Use spatula and stir down. Remove from bowl to a floured parchment paper (you could use floured wax paper as well).  Shape with floured hands into a ball on the parchment and let stand for 30 minutes.





While that is resting heat your oven to 450 degrees.  Heat your baking dish right in the oven too.
(I normally use a cast iron pan it's a deep pan, but I have used a glass round casserole dish too.)


when the 30 minutes is up place your bread paper and all into your hot pan.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes, uncover and bake 5 to 15 minutes more depending on your oven.  I bake 8 minutes uncovered to get a beautiful golden brown loaf.



* You could use all-purpose flour as well.  If you do I would add  1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten.

This is a wonderful loaf of bread.  And so very fast and easy.  It takes a max of 5 minutes to stir the dough up.  I leave it over night to be baked in the morning or stir it up in the morning to be baked to go with supper.  My DH loves this bread and asks for it often.  My kids like it as do the grand-kids.  What an easy crowd pleasing recipe.
a little bird


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Homemade Croutons

Homemade Croutons

We went out to the garden this morning and picked some beautiful leaf lettuce, kale, and fresh dill.  Washed, spun, and mixed; smells so good.  But it needed a bit more to 'fancy it up'.  So homemade croutons were in order.



I have some buns that need to be used up so I cut them up into 1" cubes or there about.
Then sprinkled with with spices and drizzled with olive oil.

6 cups, approximately, day old bread, cubed
Sprinkle with:
Parmesan cheese, 3 to 4 tablespoons
Salt
Freshly ground Pepper
Dash of Garlic

Drizzle with olive oil - 1/4 cup or a bit more if needed.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes - watch them - you'll know by color when they're done.


They are wonderful!

a little bird

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Strawberries

Today DH and I ran to town for some groceries.  Our local strawberry farm shut down some years back.  The parents had run it for years and decided it was time for them to retire, but their children didn't want to take over... so there you go, no more local strawberry farm.  So now I watch for strawberries at Costco when they come in.  Today was the day.  $7.49 for a gallon.

I bought four gallons. Three gallons became Strawberry Jam.  I did the cook kind so I didn't have to have  pectin.

2 quarts crushed berries (trust me this took the whole gallon)
6 cups of sugar
mix and bring to a slow boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.  Once boiling, continue to boil fairly fast, for 40 minutes. Pour in to your clean jars and process. 15 minutes at sea level, 25 minutes at my altitude in a hot water bath canner.

The last gallon - some is for eating fresh but I also wanted to try this.  I'm storing it in the fridge so it's safe.




The berries are all preserved.  The kitchen is clean again and the dishes are washed and put away. It's late and time for bed.

Happy canning!
a little bid

Friday, June 3, 2016

Dehydrator is busy!

I have been harvesting herbs and drying them for use throughout the year.

I have picked the chamomile three times.  Clipped two bushel of mint, two jars of onions, and dried my oregano and cilantro as well.. 



Chamomile for tea.




Apple Mint also for tea.
Mix the dried mint and chamomile for a wonderfully relaxing tea. Both hot or poured over ice after brewing for a summer heat refresher.
I like 2 parts mint to 1 part chamomile. 


Walking Onions
I love these chopped in my freezer but they are also wonderful for the dehydrator.  Once completely dried to brittle, they store on the shelf in a glass jar.  Anytime I need some onion in soup, I just toss in a handful.  They are full of flavor and such a great addition.


Cilantro 
YUM - I love cilantro.  In salsa, taco soup, guacamole, and the list goes on and on...


Oregano 

Great spice for Italian cooking but I have also used this as a tea if I am feeling under the weather. 

The leaf lettuce is up and so are the radishes so our garden has begun to give us summer's bounty.

I hope you are all well and busy 'putting by' the harvest.
a little bird







Sunday, April 17, 2016

Spring


 
 
Spring is here! 
The trees are in full bloom and if we don't get a real cold spell we should have apples and peaches come fall.  The blueberries are getting ready to flower as well as the sand cherry.  DH has the gardens and all the beds tilled and has started to plant.  The daffodils have died back the tulips are in full bloom and the hollyhocks are a good foot tall.  The walking onions and the chives are ready for harvest.  The peppermint and cilantro are up and the chamomile is coming too.

Friday we moved the bees to their mountain home for the summer.  The hives are large and we need to get them split.  Hoping for a good honey year.

I love all the seasons; fall is my very favorite but each new season is a blessing and I am feeling blessed by spring.

Wishing you spring blessings as well.
a little bird

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Oranges

We are having our family gathering New Year's Eve.  It was the time that worked best for all of us.  So yesterday evening I decided it was time to start some of the fixing and doing.

I have made these in the past and they were wonderful!  I thought it was time to make them again.







I wasn't willing to just toss the ends.  I could have dried them for tea but it's Christmas so I thought something more festive was in order.

Candied Orange Peel




Peel your citrus and cut into strips.  I like about 1/4".
Put in a sauce pan and cover with water bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes.
(this removes any bitterness in the rind)
Drain
Make a simple syrup of 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar.  Place over med-high heat and stir to dissolve the sugar.  Add the citrus rind and cook until translucent (about 10 minutes).
Drain 
(reserving the syrup it's infused with the wonderful citrus flavor use it elsewhere)

Put the peel on a rack to drain and dry to tacky, roll in sugar and lay on parchment or a rack to dry completely.  When dry store in an air tight container.

This is absolutely wonderful!!!



Happy New Year!
a little bird



Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Canning Potatoes

Photo by Mick Telkamp


We were given a large bag of potatoes in early November.  We have eaten potatoes, we have shared potatoes and there was still a good amount of potatoes in the bag.

Reds don't store as well as russets so it was time to do something with them or loose them.  Today was the day.  Honestly I thought the job would be monumental - but in truth it wasn't.

I washed the potatoes, peeled them, chunked them into  ascorbic acid and water solution to prevent darkening, boiled them for 10 minutes and then packed them in my quart jars and pressured canned them for 40 minutes.  How to home can potatoes.

I have 2 canners  full, 14 quarts, and enough for supper tonight left over.  I think that worked out well.  Now we'll be able to continue to enjoy those beautiful potatoes gifted to us through the winter.



Sunday, December 27, 2015

Lemon Cream

This just looks wonderful. I think I need to try this today. It is very cold here -3 this morning and I think a high of 10 so this would be a good day.


 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thankful for Family


I am just back home from the airport.

My mom flew out two weeks ago to join us for Thanksgiving.  It had been 2 or 3 years since she had been here. (Neither of us could remember which)
Of course DH and I have gone back but mom hadn't been this way which meant she hadn't seen the little ones.

We had a lovely visit.
Our sons and their families were able to come and spend time here and we packed grandma up and took her out and about too.

I'm thankful for my dear sister that took her to the airport and today will be picking her up when her flight arrives and deliver her safely back home. 

Mom's flight was early this morning so she and I went up yesterday and got a room.  Went out to dinner and did some Christmas shopping for the little girls from her.  Now there will be no mailing.

I hope you all had a beautiful Thanksgiving and that you have much to be thankful for too.
a little bird


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving



Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.
Psalm 136: 1
 
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4

Wishing you and yours a beautiful day of giving thanks.

The harvest is in. 
We finished the grapes last weekend.
All the canning and the garden hustle and bustle is done for the season. 
It started snowing here yesterday and snowed all through the night.  We have a beautiful blanket of snow everywhere.  The earth has been set to rest for the winter.
God is so good - all the time.
May you be blessed fully this day and year.

We are having family and friends in for dinner.
I am doing the easy stuff.
Turkey
Ham
Dressing
and
Potatoes
The guests are bringing the 'sides' and desserts.

Blessings to you.
a little bird
 
 

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