Tag Archives: baking

Hey!

Long time no post.  I keep telling myself I will make blogging a regular habit and it never happens.  I used to blog all the time on my previous blog, but not so much with this one.  Life is busy!  Let’s chunk this up into some sections to update!

Pregnancy!

On Friday, I will be 25 weeks pregnant.  Time sure is flying by, which I did not think was going to happen.  When I first found out I was pregnant in March, November seemed SO FAR AWAY, but no, it’s not.  It’s less than 4 months away, which is a little scary.  We still have SO much to do to get ready for our little nugget.  We are having our baby shower next month back home and I am so, so, so excited for that!  Until then, I will be enjoying the great parts of pregnancy (baby wiggles!) and trying to enjoy the uncomfortable parts.

Food!

I’ve had a friend staying with me most of the summer and she’s my eating partner.  I’ve been using her sourdough starter to make all sorts of tasty treats including waffles, bread, and pretzels.  We’ve also been eating out at really great restaurants.  We went to the No Frill Bar & Grill last night and got the largest order of nachos I’ve ever seen.  They were fairly epic, and certainly the best nachos I’ve had in Norfolk, top 3 overall anywhere.

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Military Life!

So Norfolk is still an adjustment.  Yesterday, the “feels like” temperature was 104 degrees.  No thank you.  I’m still adapting to the aspect of military life that my husband doesn’t come home every night.  Our last duty station was recruiting, so it was a Monday-Friday sort of job, but my husband’s “normal” job is not like that and requires deployments (both long and short) and duty every few days so he isn’t home.  It’s very weird for me, but I’m figuring it all out!

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Eeeep!

I moved to Virginia.  We moved for my husband’s job and even though I knew the move was coming, and I was excited before we left, I don’t love it (yet).  I’m sure I will eventually, but right now, I just want to be home.  As I tell my husband – I don’t have a job (yet), I don’t have any friends (yet), I have no life other than grocery shopping and hanging with our dogs, and I miss my “New England life”.  I love where I’m from and usually, I love moving around, but this time I find myself in a funk, bummed out, and with no real inclination to change that.  I know it will work out and sometime our in our 4-5 tenure here, I will find my niche and I will love it.  We’re going home next weekend for Memorial Day and I’m really excited about that, and my best friend is coming down for most of the summer so that’s good too!

In the meantime, I have been buying a lot of groceries (it’s sort of my happy place), cooking a lot (and eating out a lot), and exercising a little.  Right when I start to feel in my exercise groove here, something shifts and I take 4 days off.  It’s all good though!  So, what I have been cooking?

Yesterday, I made Gruyere Rolls & Raspberry Chia Squares.  They were both delicious.  I ate a roll for lunch and a roll for dinner with a homemade veggie burger.  And, I had a toasted roll for breakfast.  I like to make the rolls much smaller than the recipe suggests, so they are more like sandwich buns or dinner rolls.  The raspberry squares are nice because they’re a little lighter than the average dessert bar (and slightly less sweet), but they do taste delicious with a little ice cream on top!

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Other things I made since we arrived (a month ago, oh goodness!) were cinnamon rolls (for my husband’s 30th birthday), a Bavarian feast, an impossible amount of salads (to combat the heat), vegan stuffed shells, empanadas, foccacia and so many meals on the grills (kabobs, burgers, veggies, shrimp, pork tenderloin).

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We’ve also been making a fence a.k.a doggy prison for the pups.  My skills at using a level are basically unmatched.

unnamed (2) Anyway, I’m hoping now with my incredible amount of free time that I can use this space as a place to unwind and share all of the recipes and food that I always meant to.  I’ll try to keep my whining to a minimum. xo

Lists of 5.

I always have the best intentions to blog more often, but they never come to fruition.  Rather than dwell on that, I’ll just say hello, happy 2015!  I’m a sucker for fun surveys and I liked this one a lot.

5 recipes I’ve tried lately

1. Puffles.  Life changing.  We made sweet (Nutella) and savory (Ham & cheese, and chipotle cheddar) and they were all fantastic. puffle

2. Rosemary Sea Salt Soft Pretzels (I made these for the super bowl and they were a hit)

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3. Braised Pork Belly (I added kale at the end, and used cider instead of beer.  I would cut the spice in half, but it was deeelicious)

4. Chicken Tikka Masala (subbed coconut milk for the heavy cream)

5. Moroccan Spiced Quinoa with Broccoli & Chickpeas (I like this better with cous cous, but it’s quick and hearty either way!)

5 things I am looking forward to

1. Our move to Norfolk, VA in April.  The temperature when I woke up this morning was –19, so I’m ready for some warmer temps.

2. Completing my practicum for my M.Ed during the month of March.  I will be working at a large medical center in the employee wellness department leading smoking cessation classes, shadowing for health coaching and assisting with focus groups.

3.  Eating dinner (ok, I look forward to this every night) tonight because I made corn chowder and it smells delicious.

4. My “food tour” of home before we move to Virginia.  On the list – Thai food, Indian food, brunch, and King Arthur Flour so far.

5. D’s command awards banquet at the end of March.

5 of my favorite exercises

1. Running!  #1 love

2. Body Pump.  This is my new “thing” and I am obsessed.

3. Yoga

4. Push-Ups

5. Spin Class

5 things on my wish list

1. A fully furnished house in Virginia (we had an arson incident 2 years ago and everything needed to be replaced).

2. A tortilla press (Darren got me one for Christmas, but it was only a 6” so we returned it.  We like to go big or go home with tortillas.)

3. A female black & white Newfoundland puppy!  Summit needs a girlfriend.

4. An air popper for popcorn to feed my popcorn addiction (and make me feel a little better when I pour melted butter over everything).

5. A day at the spa (complete with a massage, manicure, pedicure, waxing, hot tub, etc).

5 photos from my instagram feed

valentine Valentine’s from my school kiddos

 weather The really awesome weather we’ve had this week.

compass My newest Alex & Ani from work friends.

flashback Flashback – my brother and I in first and second grade.

summit The man and (one of) the dog.

Lately.

Lately…I’ve been busy.  I have this crazy urge to write and blog and share my life, but at the same time, I picture these wonderfully photographed recipes and life events for blog posts, and I have no time for that.  That being sad, I started this blog over a year ago and I have posted in it exactly 15 times.  Depressing.  I recently started using HabitList though, and one of my goals is to write one blog post a week!  So, what’s been going on since April…

  • Our “puppy” is huge.  Summit is 10 months old and weighs 110 pounds! 
  • I spent the summer working as a 1:1 aide for a little guy with autism, and then started at a new school in September.  I really like my new school so far, even though my commute and hours are longer.
  • When we weren’t working, we spent the summer jet skiing and playing out on the boat, having campfires, enjoying nights out at trivia and
  • I’ve been cooking a TON – I even rendered my own lard from pig fat!
  • I finished my spring classes (4), took summer classes (2) and am almost done with my fall classes (2).  Only 2 more classes & a practicum left – so exciting!
  • My husband got orders for April to his new aircraft carrier.

And probably countless other things.  There’s too much to document between then & now to bother using photos in this post, really, but I promise I’ll be back soon, with something more exciting to share or a delicious recipe!

My St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Party

Hey!  Happy Saturday!  I’m feeling pretty happy because I was supposed to babysit tonight (after graduate school most of the day) and they ended up rescheduling so I get my evening back.  Dinner is in the oven, I have no homework, and my husband isn’t home yet, so I thought I’d share about my St. Patrick’s Day dinner party.  (And then my husband came home and now it’s Sunday morning and I am finishing this post)

One of my 26 by 26 goals was to have a dinner party and the other was to make corned beef and cabbage for St. Paddy’s day (because I do every year and I love it).  Two birds, one stone people.  We ended up only having my husband’s parents and grandparents over because other people canceled or couldn’t make it, but it was still fun.  Here’s what we had:

Bread:  I made Irish Oatmeal Soda Bread, which is one of my favorite easy quick breads, and I made it last year and Darren’s 82 year old grandfather was still talking about it in July.  In fact, there was nearly none left over, so I will probably make another batch soon – it’s so nice with breakfast too!

Main:  Obviously, corned beef and cabbage.  To make it, I put about 6 lbs of lean corned beef in a large stockpot covered with water.  I added peppercorns, bay leaves, salt and mustard powder (the corned beef I bought didn’t come with a spice packet, but if yours does, you can skip the additional seasoning).  Brought to a boil, then simmered about 2 1/2 hours.  I added about a pound of carrots, potatoes and onion and cooked for 30 minutes more.  Added chopped cabbage and cooked a few minutes more.  Scooped out veggies into a bowl, sliced the corned beef and feasted!

Dessert(s):  I made chocolate stout cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and they were a huge hit – my father in law ate 3.  Darren’s grandma brought this chocolate mint dessert (which I looooove), so that was exciting too,

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Overall, it was a successful endeavor, though sort of a copout as far as dinner parties go!  Smile

Do you like to have people over for dinner?

Blueberry Pecan Coffee Cake Muffins

I don’t know what it is lately, but I have been loving muffins.  I have made a batch a week lately, including snickerdoodle, blueberry, and crabapple.  They are just such a great, portable snack or breakfast and who can resist a warm muffin (often dripping with butter)?

This morning, is it overcast and freezing cold in my house.  If that doesn’t call for muffin making, I don’t know what does.  For this morning’s recipe, I went with a blast from the past.  When I was little, my dad would occasionally make me and my brother coffeecake on weekend mornings before skiing, topped with mixed berries and an awesome crunchy streusel topping.  A few weeks ago, when I stopped by my dad’s house, I tracked down his recipe and snapped an iPhone photo of it and this morning, I recreated it, in muffin form.  Instead of mixed berries though, I topped my muffins with frozen wild blueberries Darren & I picked on Squam Lake via jet ski in the beginning of August.  Yum.

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Blueberry Pecan Coffee Cake Muffins
makes 12 muffins

2 cups flour (I use unbleached all-purpose)
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1/2-3/4 cup frozen blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder.
3. In larger bowl, beat eggs and sugar together. (I used my kitchenaid)
4. Alternately, add milk and flour mixture to eggs until combined.
5. Add oil, combine.
6. Portion evenly into greased or lined muffin tin.
7. Sprinkle blueberries over each muffin (approximately a tbsp on each)
8. Sprinkle streusel evenly over blueberries.
9. Bake 20-25 minutes.  (Mine were 20 exactly)

Streusel Topping
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
2 tablespoons flour (I used whole wheat)
1 tablespoon  oil
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Combine all ingredients in small bowl. 

 

(Note: in the muffins pictured, I did not use pecans and I swirled the blueberries and streusel into the batter, but I liked them better with the blueberries and streusel on top.)

enjoy! xo

26 by 26.

Happy almost New Year!  I never really do resolutions, but this year, a friend of mine had posted a list of 30 restaurants/food experiences she wanted to try before turning 30.  That led me brainstorm my own list of things I’d like to accomplish before I turn 26 on June 25.  So, I have slightly less than 6 months to check off everything on my list, which is pretty exciting!

1. Practice yoga weekly.
2. Travel to 4 countries.
3. Make bagels from scratch.
4. Schedule a professional photography session.
5. Donate old clothes, time, and money.
6. Go wine tasting.
7. Take a Ben & Jerry’s factory tour.
8. Get a massage.
9. Order canvas print of Squam Lake from our wedding photos.
10. Take Mom, Dad, and Mimi out to dinner.
11. Visit the Veteran’s home with Darren.
12. Host a dinner party.
13. Send 10 letters/cards by mail.
14.  Make corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day.
15. Plan a 6 month anniversary surprise.
16. Go to a concert/show.
17. Make a craft.
18. Visit Hilary in Providence.
19. Go on a cupcake date.
20. Try homemade laundry detergent.
21. Make whoopie pies.
22. Complete a 30 day photography challenge.
23. Go to the Sandwich Creamery.
24. Have a technology free day.
25. Go for more walks and hikes with my husband.
26. Super secret surprise goal.

I think having goals is a healthy and fun way to accomplish things and also a way to try new things.  I’m looking forward to tackling these ones, and hope to check in monthly!IMG_2764