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Monthly Archives: February 2009

Quiet Snowy Day

I can’t believe it is blizzarding on my birthday. As I didn’t actually blow out a candle and wish for no snow, I have only myself to blame. ūüėČ

Here is Justin giving Storm a hug:


Here is Storm not liking her hug, and is moments away from becoming the embodiment of her name:

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Stuffed PAST the Gills!

Oh. My. Goodness. I think I will be full for the next week and a half. Justin surprised me with tickets to Christian’s Bistro’s Fat Tuesday celebration this evening, with friends Jim & Jenn. We had such a good time eating, laughing, eating, taking pictures, eating, being silly, and eating again. Servers continually were bringing out plates of New Orleans-inspired wonderfulness. Crab fish pocket pies, jambalaya, etouffee, hush puppies, crab boulettes, smoked sausage meatballs in a parmesan cream sauce, flatbread pizza, plus, my all-time favorite – Parmesan potato chips with truffle oil. Over the top, Off the hook Fantastic. Great food and great friends definitely equal a great birthday gift!

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Stereotyping Grocery Shoppers

Two college students were in front of me in the checkout line at the grocery store this evening.
A young Asian man with a single 1 lb bag of jasmine rice and
a young American man buying a single pound of bacon.

I had to stop myself from giggling in the store.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Blue Cornmeal Caramel Cake (and birthday wishes)

We¬†went up to Wausau this evening to celebrate my mom’s birthday with a quiet dinner and a yummy cake. ¬†I love my mom. ¬†And I have come to realize that she is pretty dang smart (I doubted this for a bit when I was in high school) and pretty dang funny (also didn’t notice that in high school). ¬†Don’t get me wrong, we never had any knock-down, drag-out screaming matches, but she was a pretty strict mom with high expectations and I was a know‚Äďit-all kid that thought I wasn’t having enough fun in life (I was). ¬†But there is something about growing up a bit that helps us appreciate our parents a bit more, and how much time, energy, love, and hope that they pour into us childish children. ¬†

So, here’s to you, Mom. ¬†You deserve so much more than just a yummy Blue Cornmeal Caramel Cake, but know that it was made with a whole lot of love!
 
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Posted by on February 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Buttery Jam Cookies

Alright, as you all have surmised, I have zero control over what Justin posts. ¬†I could revoke his editor status, but life wouldn’t be quite as interesting, now would it?
For your viewing and reading pleasure (and if you make them, your tasting pleasure), are a batch of tasty Buttery Jam Cookies, via Joy the Baker. ¬†These little darlings might not look like much, but there is a punch of ginger and sweet smack of Strawberry Rhubarb Butter turned into the dough that gives them a unique and flavorful twist. ¬†In fact, if you aren’t a ginger fan, I would recommend cutting back a little bit, as it is definitely the first thing you taste. ¬†I also threw a half bag of leftover peanut butter chips into the dough because, well, because that just seemed like the proper thing to do with them. ¬†And let me tell you, it was.¬†
 

Here is the link for the Strawberry Rhubarb Butter from Galena Canning Company.  If you get some, could you get another jar for us?
 
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Posted by on February 20, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

Even this is too much for me

I was perusing thisiswhyyourfat today and ran across this:

I am fine with bacon rolls and giant Oreos, but this is a little too much. I think I threw up in my mouth a little.

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

French Bread

This is one of my very favorite bread recipes. ¬†I picked it up while taking an artisan bread baking course in school. ¬†The only measurements I have are using a scale, rather than cups, but the recipe is well worth the cost of an inexpensive digital cook’s scale (mine was $20 at Target). ¬†I usually make mini baguettes with the dough, and can get about 12 small loaves from the recipe. ¬†You can go ahead and make larger ones if you like. ¬†We’ve affectionately termed this bread “guppy bread,” as my small loaves will often bulge or bust open. ¬†I’m getting better and this doesn’t happen as much as when I first started, but the name has stuck, even if the loaves no longer resemble the little fish!

French Bread
37 oz. Unbleached Flour
2 oz. Whole Wheat Flour
24.5 oz Warm Water
1/2 Tblsp. Dry Instant Yeast
.75 oz Kosher Salt
1. Place water in bowl.  Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to the water.  Mix until dough forms, adding additional water if needed to form a loose dough.
2. Knead dough by hand for 10-15 minutes, or with a stand mixer for 5-8 minutes, or until gluten has developed and a small ball of dough is at “windowpane” consistency (see photograph below).

3. Place dough in a clean, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow dough to rise for 3 hours, turning out dough and folding it in half after each hour.
4. After third fold, allow to rest, covered, for 20-30 minutes.
5. Cut dough into similar sized portions, and allow to rest for 5 minutes, covered.
6. Shape dough into baguettes, rounds, ovals, etc, as desired, and place in pans or on parchment lined sheet trays.  Score the loaves as desired.

  
7. Cover and allow to rise for an additional 45-60 minutes. 
8. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  If using, put baking stone in oven prior to turning the oven on.  Once preheated, place pans in oven, or slide parchment paper containing the loaves onto the baking stone.  Small loaves will take about 15 minutes, while larger loaves will take 20-25 minutes.  Loaves are done when a knock to the bottom will sound hollow, or internal temperature reaches 210 degrees.
9. Allow to cool before storing.  Loaves can be frozen after they have been baked and cooled.  To reheat: 320 degrees for 8-10 minutes in the oven.
 
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Posted by on February 18, 2009 in Uncategorized