Thursday, October 20, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
No pictures today, but I'll fix that over the weekend hopefully. We rented a garden plot and I've started planting our fall crop. So far we've planted kale, purple cabbage, green cabbage, savoy cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and romaine lettuce. I'm hoping the weather cooperates this weekend so we can put out mesclun, spinach, turnips and beets.
My youngest girl started Pre-K this year and it has been a blast to watch her go from being "that kid" (you know, the one that screams for an hour on the first day..) to absolutely loving school. I couldn't be prouder of my kiddos.
The weather has been a bit of a bully out here lately, going from ridiculously hot to a teasingly cool autumn feeling and back up to sticky, humid, nastiness. I'm ready for autumn...so beyond ready for autumn. I want to go apple picking, pumpkin patch hopping, jam making, and cider tasting, all while wearing cozy scarves and hats. Patience.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
When we got home from vacation I was greeted by my garden, who in a lush show of green beckoned me closer. That tiny plant above with a small yellow blossom would be Audrey's watermelon, the only one to survive might I add.
Left is our two corn stalks that weren't carried off by our greedy backyard squirrels. As you can see (since I'm a horrid blogger and never provided pictures) the corn is growing out of the Miracle Grow Garden Soil bag. Since we live on base we're very restricted on what/where we can plant so a raised bed was required. A raised bed would be too much of a hassle so we opted for this method to see how it turned out. So far so good.
Everything has seemed to adjust really well to this method, it all had a very slow start and we worried a few times that they just weren't going to make it. We lost a few plants along the way but that much we expected.
This is our first garden here, last year we tried a container tomato plant that we purchased at Wal-Mart, I think it gave us 2 tomatoes and quit. This little green bean plant here is tiny but oh so mighty. It's produced a lot more beans than I had ever expected at it's size.
The tomatoes are doing really well too, and those were the ones we were really concerned about. The heat our here has been outrageous and I was just waiting for the morning when I'd walk out there and the tomatoes would be kaput. Instead I was greeted one morning to 6 tomato plants that seemed to grow a foot overnight. I'm really excited about putting these up. I will definitely blog about that process, might even throw a little canning party. We chose Roma tomatoes and beefsteak tomatoes, next year I'll up the ante to some heirloom varieties and see how that goes.
They've got lovely blooms but we have something that keeps eating them, I'd guess it's little bunny foo foo. I'm open to how to keep them out if you have any suggestions!
The next few pictures are to show the set up so you get a better idea of what we did with the little space we have and the restrictions that we're under.
Two of the kiddie pools had different varieties of potatoes and the third is where our lone watermelon resides. We lined the rest of the bags up along the back fence where they get the best light and are out of the way of wild children. We pulled the potatoes today and are going to replant some more soon.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Immediately I recalled the half container of sliced mushrooms in the fridge that was going to go bad if they weren't used soon as well as the countless quart jars of homemade vegetable stock in the pantry as well as the giant bag of rice in there that gets very little use now that the husband has gone caveman on me. Or should I say Primal...Paleo...well no...primal as he still partakes in the occasional dairy treat and some sweeteners.
Anywho enough about that...onto the good stuff. I made a delicious pot full of mushroom risotto. Oh my word it was so delicious, I've never had risotto before and had never made it as it's always intimidated me. There were leftovers (I did eat 2 bowls though) and so the next night I made arancini di riso to go along with dinner which is lovely balls of risotto with mozzarella cheese in the middle, rolled in bread crumbs and fried.
So how can you make this at home? Let's get down to business..
Ingredients:(this recipe is adapted from a Giada de Laurentiis recipe)
One and a half quart jars of homemade Vegetable/Chicken Stock
3 tablespoons butter
one onion finely chopped
handful of mushrooms finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 1/2 cups medium grain rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
First things first get that stock warmed through, pour into a seperate pan and bring it to a simmer, then cover it until time to use it.
Melt 2 tbsp. of your butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add in your onions and mushrooms and saute until tender, do NOT brown the onions. After they are nice and soft toss in the garlic until it becomes super fragrant. Add in the rice and stir it around in the veggie mix to coat. Add in the wine and simmer until the wine is just about completely evaporated, about 3 minutes or so. Start ladling in your stock, (the recipe calls for 1/2 a cup at a time, I did a ladle full at a time) and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue this process, adding in the broth until the rice absorbs it all and then adding in another ladle full of stock. You'll do this until the rice is tender but with a little bite to it and the mixture has a delicious creamy consistency, it took about 25 minutes for me. Take your risotto off the heat and then add in the remaining tablespoon of butter, the cheese and the salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately!
I am NOT technically savvy, just the opposite in fact, so I have no idea how to post a picture taken with my iPhone. If any of you know and would like to let me in on that secret so I can give you a picture to look at of this deliciousness please TELL ME! hehehe
Tomorrow I'll do my best to post an update on the garden.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Anyhow, this post isn't really going in any certain direction but I know it's been awhile. I'm afraid I've caught the couponing bug. Yep, not TLC style but I've got a binder. I'm cheap...what can I say? If someone says I can get free products or reduce my grocery bill then hell yeah where do I sign up?!
I will try to be better with this though. I was contemplating waiting up to watch the Justified season finale but I'm exhausted. It's been a loooong day. I think tomorrow I'll do an update on the garden so I can show you it's progress so far...and the rest of the garden for that matter. Oh and how our compost pile has turned into a mini garden of it's own. Guess that means the soil was good right?!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Be patient with the kiddos too, it will take them longer to get it rolled out. Step in and help them by getting it started a good bit of the way so that you aren't baking pizzas at midnight.
With little man I let him roll out the dough until he was sidetracked by something flashy and noisy. Same with Ms. Cheesin, so it might not take all that long before they're on to something else.
Since you took the time to make some homemade crust, take a break and use a canned sauce. Even better, use a jar of sauce you canned yourself back in the summer. wink wink. Don't worry there will be tons of canning fun on this blog as well. Like I said..self sufficiency.
We decided on a red sauce (a white sauce would be great too) and our topping choices were crisp crumbled bacon, fresh broccoli florets, sliced mushrooms, sliced onions, sliced sweet peppers, roasted garlic cloves and baby spinach. Make a big space to let them top their own pizzas or you can always top them but let them tell you what they want on it. We set ours up on the dining room table so they could get to it easier.
They all had bacon (I knew that was coming) but they also had a ton of veggies! I mean they used all the broccoli! It was fantastic. I was so very very proud of them.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Before I forget, Happy Saint Patrick's Day! We celebrated with corned beef and cabbage for supper, gave the husband a Guinness float to wash it down with. No worries, the kids got Coke floats. We all had green of some sort on as well.
Today was decently productive. Added onto the compost, fixed the landscapers horrid mulch dumping, (yes...piles of mulch dumped...right on top of my strawberry plants don't ya know!) along with all the other fix ins of an average day in this household.
Ah. He's still awake...but barely, Daddy has rock-the-baby-to-sleep-duty tonight. That's normally a Mommy job. Hoping he nods off soon. I've been craving a slice of this citrus olive oil cake I made earlier in the week with some fresh strawberries..maybe mashed into some sort of goopy sauce.
Oooh speaking of baked goodies. I made the cinnamon-sugar craisin swirl bread that I talked about in the previous entry. See the delicious pictures...ah if only they smell-o-vision. Breakfast is sure to be an A+.
How can you make this? (yes...yes you can!...remember..the little engine that could? you can too.)
I adpated the recipe from a fantastic book titled How to Bake Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day. If you love to bake and want to bake bread you need to get this book. Mine is covered in flour marks and grease stains where dough was stuck between pages.
The dough recipe makes three 1 1/2 pound loaves. The batch of dough gave me 2 beautiful loaves of sandwich bread and one sexy loaf of breakfast deliciousness. So let's dive in.
For the Dough: (Note: this recipe is for 3 loaves, if you only want one loaf you'll need to reduce your measurements)
3 cups of warm water
2 packets of yeast (make sure you aren't using expired yeast..it isn't as reliable)
1 1/2 tablespoons of salt
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter melted (you'll additional melted butter to brush on top of the loaf)
7 cups of flour (I like to use KAF's Unbleached All Purpose Flour)
one beaten egg and one tbsp of water
1/3 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons Saigon cinnamon
3/4 cup craisins
1. Grab yourself a mixing bowl that holds at least 5 qts. (I use the my Kitchen Aid Mixer's bowl). Pour in your water, sprinkle the yeast on top then add the rest of the ingredients (yes flour goes in all at once).
2. Mix everything until all of the flour is incorporated. If you are using your stand mixer make sure to use the dough hook attachment.
3. Cover and let it calm down for about 2 hours.
4. Unless you plan on using your dough immediately, now is the time to refrigerate the dough (its easier to work with when it's cold)
5. We're going to pretend you're not refrigerating it. Take out a melon size ball of dough and sprinkle it with flour. Shape into a ball and smooth the top over to the bottom turning as you go, the bottom will look all bunched up and weird but trust me it all smooths out here in a second.
6. Grease a loaf pan with a neutral oil like canola or vegetable.
7. Sprinkle the countertop with flour and bust out the old school rolling pin, dust that baby with flour as well. Get to rolling. Roll your dough out into a rectangle (mine always looks like a circle who wants to be square). I do mine to about a 1/4 inch thickness.
8. Now it's time for some egg wash. Take a beaten egg and mix it with a tablespoon of water. Now brush the surface of your dough all over with it
9. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon and evenly distribute on top of your egg washed dough, now add the craisins again be sure to evenly distribute them.
10. Here's the fun part. Take one end and slowly roll your dough up like a jellyroll then pinch the seam and ends and fold the ends under.
11. Place your dough into a loaf pan to proof again(if using fresh dough let sit for 40 minutes if refrigerated give it an hour and 40 minutes)
12. 5 minutes before it's done preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then bake your loaf for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. When I pull mine out I like to rub a tablespoon of butter all over it and let it all melt beautifully.
13. Let it cool COMPLETELY!! I stress that because if you try to slice it while it's still warm you won't get very pretty slices.
and BAM. homemade delicious bread. Not to mention the bonus aroma your house is filled with! Hours later I picked up the oldest from school and as soon as she walked in the door "Mommy...what is that smell?? Did you make...CINNAMON ROLLS?!"
It's so worth it. And you know what's going into your bread, no worries about crazy preservatives.
Yes. He's finally asleep. It's cake and wine time. My apologies for the less than splendid picture quality. Microsoft Words publish feature was not being friendly last night. Any techies out there want to give a girl a hand?
What’s in store for tomorrow? Eh, I think I’ll introduce you to our little garden. See you tomorrow.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
What is Floured going to be about? A little bit of everything. If I had started this bad boy up a couple of hours ago I would be sharing with you the loaf of fresh sandwich bread that I just pulled from the oven and lathered in thick, rich, melted unsalted butter.
Don't fret. Tomorrow's going to be just as luscious, if not more. Tomorrow I'll be making cinnamon craisin bread, and yes...there will be sharing. Well...photo and recipe sharing. Maybe if you're in the neighborhood I'll toast you a slice.
"Ah, but I'm not a baker...what else do you got for me?"
Well, I have what I like to call crafting ADD. I see a project and instantly go for it, nevermind that I might not finish it for a few months or it might become a forgotton pile of fabric scraps stuffed into the box with the rest of my crafting supplies. However, when it comes to polymer clay..those are projects I normally have finished the same day.
Not only that but we just got our vegetable garden for the year started and I would be honored to share it's victories and defeats with all of you. Maybe you'll learn from my mistakes!! (know your zone. ugh I couldn't stress that more. See...a defeat already prior to the blog)
I would love to help other Stay at Home Moms and Dad's find their independence in a world of legos, Nick Jr., sippy cups, and soiled diapers. It is possible!!
Stay tuned =)