Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yarn Along Wednesday-new on the needles

Joining in this week for Ginny's yarn along.  I have had a short attention span for reading lately on both the blog and books but I have been browsing and carrying around the house these two book I got for my birthday.

 Finally I have something new on the knitting needles. I have been dying to make something from this book but was quite frustrated with my lack of knitting skills.  My solution sign up for a knitting class on Saturdays.  I time and place just for me with other moms.
Don't know what I'll do after the knitting class is done but right now I'm hoping this sweater doesn't turn out wonky :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sweet Wheat Bread

I came across this recipe for wheat bread and have been wanting to give it a try for a couple of weeks and finally got to it this weekend.  I thought it was going to be a loaf of wheat bread to make sandwiches but it turns out it's too sweet and would be better for breakfast. 

Sweet Wheat Bread
2 cups soy milk mixed with 2 tablespoons apple cidar vinegar (or 2 cups of buttermilk)
2 tablespoons dairy free margarine (or butter) melted
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.  In bowl mix dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and pour in the liquids.  Stir till smooth. Spread the battter evenly into the loaf pan bake for 1 hour till golden brown. 
Enjoy for breakfast :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Baking is On

With all the vegetables frozen, apples are in full swing around here so let the baking begin. 

 This a first for me fruit in the crockpot.  We love to freeze apple sauce and fruit sauce for later on in the winter to go with our pancakes. I tried this recipe first and then made my own variation to make it a fruit sauce.
Fruit Sauce
10 apples peeled and sliced
a handful of strawberries and blueberries
1 peach peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons dairy free margarine (or butter)
3/4 cup water.
Put everything in the crockpot and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours.  Using a spoon mash the fruits and stir after 2 hours.

 There was tons of bread.
 The first pies of the season.
 Our favorite lemon bread that always crumbles.

This year I'm trying something new out.  As much as I like to bake and cook I usually get turned off from a recipe when it calls for a pre-made pie crust (which I never have on hand ).  Since I was on a roll for making pie crusts I made a few extra pie crusts to freeze.  After rolling them out I spread them into the pie plates and froze them.  Once they were frozen they slid right out of the pan and each one went into a bag.  (My intial thought was stack them with wax paper in between but they all wouldn't fit in the bag.)  Now a stack of pie crusts are already in the freezer for a new recipe or pies. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A busy birthday

Yesterday was a bit busy running extra errands and while I was gone there was cake being made and decorated, presents made and wrapped. then finally after a long day a quiet dinner to celebrate turning 36!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yarn Along-Completed Throw

Yes finally for this yarn along I finished a book and a crochet project.

I had been working on this throw all summer.  I used a cotton yarn in 3 different colors.  I began by knitting a white square for the middle and then crochetted a border and then just continued crochetting around the square alternating colors.  It' looks and feels much better on the sofa than it does in this picture. 
Also finished another book Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.  This is definitely a good read and a book I'm definitely going to keep because it's now one of my favorites.  I'm not reading anything right now but I just found out Alice Hoffman has a new book out.  Something to look forward to this fall :)

Freezing Food: Cauliflower & Carrots

Well this is the last of the Freezing Food Series.  With summer coming to an end the freezing of vegetables is also coming to an end.  The freezer is pretty full of vegetables with a little room for apple sauce and apple filling and I think that will hopefully keep us stocked for the rest of fall and most of winter.
For this post I combined both cauliflower and carrots.  I figured it was easier to blanch these two vegetables using the same pot of water. 

The cauliflower: 

1.  Bring a pot of water to a boil.  While you wait for the water wash and dice the cauliflower.
2.  Prepare a cold water bath (bowl of water and ice cubes), a cookie sheet and something to scoop the cauliflower.
3.  When the water comes to a boil drop the cauliflower in the hot water for 2 minutes.  Then scoop out and put in cold water bath.
3.  After a few minutes scoop out cooled cauliflower,  lay on a cookie sheet and freeze. 
Once they frozen put cauliflower pieces in bag.

The carrots:
1.  Peel and chop  carrots ahead of time.
2.  Then drop carrots in a pot of boiling hot water for 1 minute.
3.  Scoop carrots out and drop in cold water bath. 
4.  After carrots are cooled down lay on a cookie sheet and freeze.  After all the vegetables are frozen bag them and freeze till ready to use.

Shredded Carrots:  One thing I found handy in the freezer are bags of premeasured shredded carrots for carrot cake. 
1.  Wash, peel and chop carrots.
2. Measure 1 cup of carrots and put into the food processor.  Pulse till carrots are shredded.

3.  Scoop 1 cups of shredded carrots and drop in a labelled sandwich bag.  Later on this winter use for your baked goods. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

In the orchard

Finished off a turbulant week at the apple orchards eating and picking.  Then home for some apple crisp :)  Hoping for a more positive and productive week.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Freezing Food Series: Swiss Chard

There is something about the swisschard at the Farmer's Market lately that has been tempting.  For the past 2 weeks I have picked up a couple of bunches at a time brought it home and got it ready for freezing.  I'm already thinking how nice it will be later on in the fall/winter to grab a handful for sauteeing with a little garlic and oil,  minestrone or soup
 I came up with this method and chose to not fully cook the swiss chard because I'm not quite sure what I'll use it for later and I like having a bag of leafy greens handy.  (I apologize I lost the rest of the pictures for the step by step method.)

What's needed for this method

Boiling pot of hot water
cold water bath (bowl of cold water and ice cubes)
small stainer
colander in a bowl
cookie sheet
freezer bags

 1.  Bring a pot of water to a boil.  While wating for the water boil wash the swiss chard and cut with scissors into small leaves then set aside in a bowl.  Then prepare the cold water bath.

2.  When the pot is hot and boiling drop in the swiss chard for 2 minutes.  Then scoop out with a small strainer and immediately drop into the cold water bath for a few minutes to stop the cooking process.

3.  Next have a colander inside a bowl ready for this step.  Scoop the swiss chard out of the cold water bath and drop into the colander.  Let it sit in the colander for a little while till the water is drained.

4.  After the water is mostly drained spread out the swiss chard on a cookie sheet and freeze.

5.  When the swiss chard is frozen remove from cookie sheet and put into freezer bags.
You now have bag of leafy greens to enjoy later on. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Too Much at Once

You ever have those days where you have one hand in too many buckets at once?  That's what has been like for a  few days.
  • apple picking
  • pick up more vegetables to freeze
  • try new recipes:  whole wheat bread, salsa...
  • make some of our favorite recipes
  • clean kitchen and dining room for homeschooling
  • blog at 5 Good Reasons (so I much I want to share)
  • start ballet classes this week (and me too!)
  • basil is out of control must make pesto
  • Christmas shop and Christmas crafts ( I know call me crazy.)
  • respond to comments left on blog
  • clean fridge and freezers
  • clean my library/office
  • go to beach (really?)
  • and on and on and on...
A very big to do list that keeps growing  but at the same time some big  items on the list are slowly getting checked off along with everyday life.  I wanted to thank you for coming by and leaving comments but have been unable to respond because of timing  and slow blogger and internet (grrrrr). Forgive me friends old and new. I'm trying to wrap up my Freezer Food Series hopefully will have a few more posts later today and a completed crochet project tomorrow :)  As long as I don't get into another slow fight with blogger.
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