Following other Blogs

It is pretty crazy how long I can sit and read from one blog to the next to the next and lose track of time. So many great things from recipes to homeschooling, I just don’t know where to stop and where to end! Then I get to the posts that just fascinate me and I can’t help but laugh because it is who I am, or wonder if it will be me. 

 

Right now I have given up on my sourdough starter but I also started apple cider vinegar. I have been getting my basket each week from Bountiful Baskets and this week I am getting 25lbs of tomatoes! I have to get some jars and learn how to preserve them now before they go bad once I pick up on Saturday. Yes I will post a picture because I am sure most of you don’t know what 25lbs of tomatoes looks like. Well, I don’t either for that matter. Yes we all see the huge mounds of tomatoes at the store but actually having them in my home will be a shock. 

 

Too many things I am encountering on my journeys between getting rid of chemicals and reading about homeschooling. One thing I do need to focus more on is to not buy junk/prepared food anymore. I have been getting better now that I get my lovely produce once a week but still give in to those gummy snacks that my kids adore (ok and so do I). I have found various recipes to make gummies and fruit leather but I just never do. Whether it is the sheer laziness since I cook nearly every meal at home or the fact it is easy to grab that box at the store and rip open a packet to give to the kids when they want a snack. Those gummies and chips. Chips are the bane of this home. The hubby refuses to give them up and of course he will finish a bag with the kids in the first night. Long way to go when it comes to food to say the least but I am getting there. Doing my best to shop the “outside” of the store and stick to my menu. Now I just need to get how much I spend down and still keep on the path to eating healthy!

 

Happy Thursday!

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Adventures in Bread Making

So I have been trying to make sourdough bread, complete with making my starter from just mixing flour and water. Well so far I have had no luck. I get OK bread but definitely nothing resembling sourdough and surely nothing resembling bread from the store. I have tried various bread recipes and nothing ever turns out quite right, doesn’t rise enough or is too crumbly or just is not working for some reason. Well all that changed the other day. I found a easy bread recipe and it worked! I mean actually worked. My hubby even asked for more which has so far been unheard of in my bread-making attempts. So now I will share the recipe with you:)

 

I found this recipe here at dailydishrecipes.com 

Only thing I did was cut the recipe in half to experiment and be sure it worked and boy did it!

This is all from the above website, all credited to Nicole Cook

You will need:

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. dry active yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 Tbs. butter, softened (we’ve used margarine, but you will have better results with pure unsalted butter)

Take the time to proof your yeast first. It works better.

In a bowl, pour the water and the sugar. Mix until dissolved. Add the yeast. Again, mix until dissolved.

Set it aside for 10 minutes. When you come back it should have bubbles formed all over the top of it. This is how you know it’s “alive” and ready to go.

Next, throw in the flour and the salt. Then, slice up the butter into smaller pieces and add it. This just makes it easier for it to blend when you’re mixing.

Now comes the fun part. Knead the ingredients together for about 10 minutes by hand, about 5 minutes with a mixer. You can usually tell it’s done when it feels slightly elastic, smooth and isn’t sticking to anything.

Knead the dough into a ball and place it in a clean bowl. Cover it with some plastic wrap that you have sprayed with cooking spray or rubbed with some oil. (believe you me, we have forgotten this step before, and it makes a difference. I have no idea why. It just does. So do it.)  Set the bowl in a warm place. I actually just cover mine with two kitchen towels and put it on the counter in the back out of the way.

Allow it to rise for one hour.

After an hour uncover the dough. It should be pretty big and poofy at this point. Take your hand and punch into it once or twice to get it to push all the air out of it.

Knead it again (you don’t have to take it out of the bowl, I do it right in the bowl) for about a minute or two, forming it into a ball.

Sprinkle flour onto your table or other wooden work surface.

Put the ball in the middle of the work surface.

Cut the ball into two equal pieces using a bencher, or I just use a kitchen knife.

Taking one half of the dough, knead it a little folding it over itself over and over. Create a sort of ovalish shape with it and then place it into your lightly greased loaf dish.

Now repeat everything with the second wedge of dough.

Put both pans back where you had the bowl for the first rise, but leave them uncovered. For one hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. When your dough has risen the second time and doubled in size, it’s time to put them in the oven.

Just put ‘em in there for 35-40 minutes. I’m pretty faithful with my 35 minute timing, but it could take more in your neck of the woods.

When they’re done, pull ‘em out of the oven and allow them to sit in the pans for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes, using a potholder or towel, turn the bread out onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool the rest of the way. Since you’re aiming for sandwich bread, it is better not to cut them until they are completely cooled, otherwise they get a little crumbly.

Once cooled, trim into slices and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (if it lasts that long, because we go through one loaf in 1 day!) lol

 

 

Veggie Shish Kabobs

 

Image

Don’t the look yummy? They really were! I should have taken more pictures but alas got too caught up in eating them! 

Veggie Shish-Kabobs

Crimini Mushrooms

1/2  medium/large White Onion

1 Red Bell Pepper

1 Green Bell Pepper

Cut up veggies into chunks about the size of the mushrooms and alternate on skewers. I did two mushrooms on each skewer and alternated onions and bell peppers and had 7 skewers made. Bake in an oven at 350f for 30 minutes or until the veggies look done. 

 

Marinade

This is just the ingredients, I didn’t measure when I dumped everything in the bowl so my measurements are a guess, but the hubby loved it! Feel free to adjust to your tastes! 

3/4 cup Vegetable Oil (as an after thought it was probably a little much)

2 TBSP Worcester sauce

2 TBSP Soy sauce

3 TBSP brown sugar

2 TSP garlic powder

2 TSP onion powder 

1 TBSP red wine vinegar

 

Whisk together in a bowl and pour over veggies before cooking, use leftover marinade as a dip when the shish-kabobs are done. No need to boil since there is no meat! 

 

 

Grilled Salmon and Asparagus

Last night for dinner we decided to change it up. I had some asparagus and we bought Salmon to eat this week. I had the dear hubby fire up the grill (yay charcoal!) and I followed this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. I have to say it was amazing! I even made the dressing recipe to go with it since I had the ingredients on hand. Only change I made was dill instead of thyme for the mayo part. Hubby wasn’t too much of a fan but he doesn’t like fish too much to begin with. Bubba loved the salmon though and Moco not so much, guess he takes after his daddy! Give this recipe a try though and I am sure you will love it too. 

 

http://www.bhg.com/recipe/grilled-salmon-and-asparagus-with-garden-mayonnaise/

Grilled Salmon and Asparagus with Garden Mayo

 

ingredients

  • 46 – 8 ounces fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillets, about 1 inch thick
  • 1pound asparagus spears
  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • Sea salt or salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2cup finely chopped celery (1 stalk)
  • 1/3cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4cup thinly sliced green onions (2)
  • 1tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2teaspoons snipped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed
  • Lemon wedges (optional)

directions

1.Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Snap off and discard woody bases from asparagus. Brush both sides of fish and asparagus lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle fish and asparagus with salt and pepper.

2.For a charcoal grill, place fish on the greased rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals. Place asparagus on grill rack next to salmon. Grill for 8 to 12 minutes or until fish begins to flake when tested with a fork and asparagus is tender, turning fish once halfway through grilling and turning asparagus occasionally. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place fish and asparagus on a greased grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.)

3.Meanwhile, for garden mayonnaise, in a small bowl combine celery, mayonnaise, green onions, lemon juice, and tarragon. Chill until serving time.

4.To serve, arrange fish and asparagus on four dinner plates. Top fish with garden mayonnaise. If desired, serve with lemon wedges.