Sunday, May 29, 2011

I Survived a 3 Mile Hike

Luke: "My feet aren't even tired. Let's go again!"
Dad: "Maybe Mom will carry him down the mountain..."



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Climb time

Yeah mom.
I just climbed up the stairs with your locking carabiner.

When cam I take this kid climbing??

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pic of Luke - by Pablo

In Da Club

Last fall I really wanted to start a cooking club.  
At one point I even googled, "how to start a cooking club".  
I got really caught up on who to invite?  How big it should be? How often should we meet? Should we do whole dinners or just focus on one ingredient, etc.? 
So, it never happened.  

I recruited help. 
I started being referred to as a "bread expert".  
Word got around. 
Somebody told somebody and that somebody wanted to learn to make rolls. 
A "baking day", through the rumor mill, turned into a "baking club".  
And, then somebody, removed at least one degree from the above somebodies said they wanted to be part of the club.  

Who knew? 
We inadvertently started a baking club!  

Some of the cast of characters:
Erin.  Her resume includes art gallery curator, Peace Corp Volunteer, balloon artist, and chef.  

Aidan.  Who knows someone that my sister-in-law went to school with in South Carolina.  Small world!  

Jacob.  Grew up in Russia.  Lives in a chalet.  
Luke.  Crawling.  Spitting.  Class clown.  
 (Not pictured, yet...Nicole.  Baker extraodinnaire.  Hippie from Oregon!)

On this week's menu:
Sourdough Ciabatta  (very bottome left corner)
It's going to need some work...last time I checked ciabatta doesn't taste like plain white bread.

Cheesy Onion Focaccia   (pictured front and center)
I can't believe I'm going to say this...but we actually thought it needed LESS cheese.
But sometimes, less is more.  It was still absolutely delicious...even though it seemed more like a sauceless gourmet pizza.

Naan (back left)
This is REALLY great naan!  Melt.in.your.mouth.yum.  


And the stars of the day, Cinnamon-Sugar Pull Apart Bread and Monkey Bread.
They were so good!  We kept going back to them, armed with forks, and looking over our shoulders so we didn't get caught nibbling.  And then we collapsed onto the couch in a sugar - butter induced coma.
The pull apart bread was a relatively standard cinnamon roll recipe, with browned butter.  Browned butter is bursting with flavor.  It even smells caramelly and sweet.  (And, the "fan" presentation totally sold me - I'm already thinking personal pull aparts in muffin tins...but that means self-induced portion control...Idon'tknowifIcanhandlethat.)  




And, Jacob couldn't get enough of Luke.






 But, who can?





Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Growing Chair

Well today is a pretty special day for a few reasons.  
None of which include Auntie Emily turning 24.  

(don't tell anyone, but I think that's OLD!  and I think someone needs to tell her about her biological clock.  Really, what I'm trying to say is that I would like a cousin in the near future.  That sounds like a great idea, doesn't it?  That would be so much fun!  I'm getting to the age where I like to smile at other babies, and try to touch them if I can get to them.  And I like to play with their toys.  And, and, and...oh wait!  I was just supposed to wish her Happy Birthday???)  

It's been a pretty busy month around here for Mr. Luke.  
Reason #1:  He mastered crawling. 
Reason #2:  He mastered pulling up on things.
Reason #3:  He mastered the stairway. 
Reason #4:  He mastered "muhmuhmuhMUHmuhMuhMuhMMUUHHmmm!" 



4 weeks


8 weeks






















12 weeks


4 months





















5 months 



6 months


7 months 
























8 months 






The Outtakes:  






Wednesday, May 11, 2011

bread

*Remember 1992?
My sister graduated from high school that year and went on her merry way. 
What does this have to do with bread you ask?  

Well, my mom tells it best, but my perfectionistic sister (oh wait - she's not the only perfectionist I know), didn't share the kitchen very well.  My mom jokes now, "I'm not sure how you learned to cook or bake, since Ann would never let you in the kitchen."

All jokes aside, there are two reasons why I learned to cook and bake.  
1)  My mom set me loose, and didn't make me clean up the kitchen.  
2)  She handed me a taped together, $0.25 garage sale copy of "I Can Bake Bread Too!" and told me not to ask questions.**

The latest creations:

Sourdough Bread Bowls 



turned, Savory Party Bread.  



I shouldn't razz Ann too much.  She did give me directions on how to make the perfect pita.  
I used my basic pizza dough recipe;
1 tbs yeast
1 tbs sugar
1 1/3 c water
1 tsp salt
flour

Let rise one time. 
Cut into 8-12 sections.  
Roll into THIN circles. 
While the dough rises, place a baking stone on the BOTTOM rack of the oven and preheat to 450.  (you want the stone H-O-T HOT!  

Place 1 circle on the hot stone, 2-4 minutes.  In that time it should start to blister and puff up.  

 

Bake another 2-3 minutes on the other side.  
Place in between damp tea towels in a warm place.  (I used the warming drawer.)  


Perfect pitas!  


Now you ask, "What happens if they don't puff up and look like a U.F.O. in my oven?"  
Don't fret.  
Freeze them, and use them for single serving pizzas.  Or flatbread wraps.  Or pita chips
(Don't let the pictures fool you.  I've had personal pizzas for lunch a couple of days this week.)  


 *Ann, so sorry to divulge the fact that you graduated from high school almost 20 years ago!
**I may have taken liberty with the book title.  For the life of me I can't remember what it was actually called.  Or where it is.  I blame that last issue on moving cross country a couple of times.




busy busy

little boy.



This was last week.

Yesterday, he climbed the whole flight.

Oh boy!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday afternoon nap under the Magnolia tree

Swinging can be so tiring sometimes!