Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Just an Update

Christmas is right around the corner and I just. Can't. Believe it.

So here's a little update on our lives:

Lewis has been sick TWICE now since Thanksgiving. He's brought home some bugs from daycare and gotten everyone else sick. But he's still a sweet, goofy, little boy who loves his puppies.





Kyle is staying busy at Rydell and helping out at home. He has been baking bread and making me a shelf. What a guy.







And I've been busy with students, grading, bread baking, dessert making, and recently was accepted into grad school at VCSU! Classes start January 8. What have I done??







And because he's just too cute...here's a video (or two) for you.








Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

It's a party...that we're a few years late to.

A few years ago, I got Kyle The Bread Baker's Apprentice for Christmas...or his birthday, I can't really remember which. And we had the best intentions of baking bread from it. There were so many that looked SO good. Annnnddd....it never happened.

39910

Fast forward a year or two or three. My dad sent me a few "no fail" bread recipes and we've loved making them. Then I started getting an itch to make some sourdough bread. I can't justify spending $4-$6 on a tiny, mediocre loaf of sourdough at the grocery store that isn't even baked locally.

Soooo....I pulled out The Bread Baker's Apprentice again earlier this week. After reading through the introduction a few times and perusing the extensive list of breads found between the covers, we decided that we'd bake through the entire cookbook.

What an ingenious idea! How original! See here, here, here, and here. Oh...and here too.

Original. HAH. What I've come to find out, is that we're more than a day half decade late and a dollar short. BUT, power on we shall.

We started at the very beginning. Kyle had last Wednesday off and I prepped the starter on Tuesday night for two loaves of Anadama Bread. The first formula in the book. I even received a snap during the day of the dough raising.







Unfortunately, I don't have a snap of the final product, but let me tell you...it was mighty fine.

A short little interjection before I continue with our story... When we were first married and living in our first apartment together (think fall 2013 to spring 2014), we had a desire to become fabulous bread bakers. We tried a few recipes and they never turned out. So we set out to make scrumptious bagels...and those were successful...once.

With the re-introduction and the new resolve to work our way through Bread Baker's Apprentice has come a sigh of relief with each loaf that's been successful.

That being said, we had a half day of school yesterday due to Blizzard Axl (think Josh Duhamel's son) so I started making the next formula in the book!

Greek Celebration Bread.

First I had to make a poolish. Yeah, I had no idea what it was either. And while that sat for a few hours, I relaxed.

Here are a few low high quality pictures of the process.

 secondary rising

 ready to go in the oven

 fresh out of the oven at 190 deg. internal

ready to eat

I'm excited to taste it. With cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, almond, and lemon in it--this bread has all of the ingredients to cozy up with during a blizzard.

I'll be here all winter long with pictures of our loaves and hopefully those of you with experience will give some input!

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Five on Friday | 11.10

Happy Friday everyone! I hope those of you in the upper Midwest are staying nice and toasty today. We have the day off from school in observance of Veterans' Day tomorrow. So Lew and I went to the farm to spend time with some friends and get ready for hunting.

I'm linking up with Christina this week for another round of Five on Friday and this week's edition is featuring the last five books I've finished. Surprise!

one | Everything, Everything
18692431 
from goodreads
my review here 

 
two | Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 by J.K. Rowling
from goodreads
my review here


three | Level Up

9630403 
from goodreads
my review here
 
four | American Born Chinese

118944 
from goodreads
my review here 
 

five | Stitches

6407014 
from goodreads
my review here 


Apparently I've been on a graphic novel kick lately. Take a look at most of these books and I can't wait to hear what you think about them.

Happy Friday!

 
 







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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Mid Week Book Talks | 02

I'm coming at you this week with another Book Talk. For whatever reason, I've been flying through books. A little background before I dive into this week's book.

In years prior, I've set goals for myself to read two books a month. 24 books. That's not unmanageable. Yeah, right. So, this year I set my goal even lower. 12 books. 1 per month. I expect my students to read at least 1 every six weeks, so 1 every four weeks should work.

And then book recommendations started flying my direction.
And then we started focusing on reading in class.
And then I remembered advice from my Education classes--MODEL READING.
And then I started reading while my students were reading.
And then I finished a book.
And then another.

And before I knew it, I was 12 books into the year and going strong.

So, here's a short book talk on book number 20.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling (with John Tiffany & Jack Thorne)

Written in a screenplay format, this story was an astoundingly quick read. I picked it up because I love the original series.

29069989 
 photo from goodreads
buy book here 

While I'm a big HP fan, I was not a fan of the most recent installment. For nostalgia's sake, I loved seeing Harry, Hermione, and Ron back together after all this time. But, the story was greatly lacking. 

We see Albus on his first trip to Hogwarts and he becomes friends with Scorpius, the only son of Draco Malfoy. Albus gets sorted into Slytherin and from there the story derails for me.

Yes, there was the adventure and the mischief that a true HP installment should have. But where all of the other novels really dug into characters, development, their adventures, and lessons, this merely scratched the surface of Albus and Scorpius'  friendship and trials. It really fell flat.

I'm hopefully optimistic that had I watched the play instead of reading it, I would've been transported back to that magical world.

Even with that hope, I still only consider this a 2 or 3 star book as it was a huge letdown. 




What did you think? Yay? Nay? Or somewhere in between?

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Monday Meals | 02

It's Monday and I'm thinking about our meal prep for this week again. We just came back from a weekend at the farm and we don't have a long week at home again. So, it's going to be pretty sparse around here.

But that doesn't mean that I can't share some meals with you. The first is a family favorite. What's more "home cooking" than potatoes and gravy? If you said, "not much", then you are correct.

Potato Klub

Klub is a Norwegian dumpling with pork and gravy. Many people make it into balls and the meat is in the center. Then they fry it in butter.

We don't make it in balls. It's more of a log. Super appetizing I know.

Here's the recipe:
5 lbs potatoes shredded/chopped
2-3 c flour
salt & pepper to taste
chopped pork

Gravy:
1/4 c butter
1/2 c flour
2-3 c milk/cream
salt & pepper to taste
garlic (if desired)

Mix together and place into a steamers bag and boil until done (approx 15-20 min)

While the dumplings are boiling, make a roux with the butter and flour. Add milk all at once and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir continuously until thickened to desired consistency.

Serve dumplings hot with gravy or melted butter on top.

Baked Oatmeal
We love the baked oatmeal recipe from Joy the Baker. We usually double the recipe and cut the sugar in half. 

I also add raisins, craisins, coconut, and any other dried fruits/nuts we have on hand.

Bake and serve warm with milk.

Mac & Cheese (from the box*)
*because we're classy*

Tonight Lewis had generic mac and cheese, while Kyle and I had Cracker Barrel cheddar/Havarti. And it's one of our favorites.


Since this week is a short week, we didn't have to buy any groceries. I have parent/teacher conferences again tomorrow and it'll be a late night at work for me. So this is our exciting menu for the week. Hah.

Have you had any of these? Let me know!

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Five on Friday | 11.3

I'm back with another Five on Friday with April.

one | Halloween

Lewis was the cutest dragon ever!



two | snow

The snow is here to stay. And it was absolutely beautiful yesterday!




three | teething

Lew is teething and it's a pain. I feel so bad for him and there's not much that can be done for him. :( Send some prayers & good vibes our way if you remember.

four | conferences

Teachers, how do you manage parent/teacher conferences and missing your kiddos? We had conferences last night and I barely saw Lew. It made my heart so sad.

five | oven roasted veggies

I'm not usually a fan of beets, but this new recipe from Wednesday was a hit! Find it here. Also, we nixed the feta. As the cook, I get to make those decisions. :)


We're off to the farm for the weekend to spend time with family during Deer Hunting Opening weekend. Wish the guys luck! I'll be back with a new recipe next week.



Happy Friday!








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Friday, October 27, 2017

Five on Friday | 10.27

Linking up with April for another round of Five on Friday!

one | snow

We had our first snow yesterday. I saw a handful of my friends who were excited about it. I, on the other hand, was not excited. Fall is my time. I love it. And as nice as it is to layer up and not be sweaty all of the time (summer is the worst), it's SO nice to have a decent fall. Plus, Halloween with a toddler will be chilly. But, such is life when you live in the Upper Midwest.






two | macaroni tot dish

I was perusing my IG stories last night and I found a recipe for mac and cheese tater tot hotdish (WHAT?!). My sentiments exactly. I was stoked. PLUS it was a recipe that was adapted from Molly Yeh's recipe from #mollyontherange. I love this cookbook and you will too. Order it on Amazon here.

When I saw this recipe on IG, I did a Kimmy Schmidt and was all "What in the ham sandwich?!". For reals. How have I never thought to put tots on top of my baked mac & cheese?! That being said, it's on our menu for next week. Here's a screenshot from Sara at Cake over Steak that I took so I could remember the recipe. Hah. And now that I've found her, I plan to continue reading her blog. #love

http://cakeoversteak.com/mac-and-cheese-tot-dish/#more-4888 
I mean, c'mon. How cute is that?!

three | workouts

I've decided that on the nights where Kyle works until 8, I'm going to work out. Yeah, I know. So. Much. Fun. And last night I really wasn't feeling it. But I knew that I'd feel better if I did. So, off to the basement to get a short workout in.

I dug up this oldie from the annals of YouTube. Which reminded me of my freshman year of college. There were MANY nights where Alyssa, Mishawn, and Charissa would do these workouts in our room. I may have joined in a time or two. But, man. Look at the quality.

https://youtu.be/pNqrkGnkUWc


I was able to get in 8 min abs, 8 min arms, and half of 8 min buns. #workoutchamp #yeahright

four | Halloween

Halloween is coming up and Lewis is going to be a dragon. Kyle suggested that I not post any pics until Halloween and even though I have a SUPER cute/hilarious pic of him in his costume, we'll wait to show him off until next week. But let's just say, he's going to be a super cute dragon.

And I was able to score his costume at one of my favorite stores, TJ Maxx. And for only $20, it's a costume that will hold up for more than one kid! #momjoys

Here's our little Charlie Brown from last Halloween to tide you over until next week.



five | what fall means

October is almost over and that means that deer hunting is nearly upon us. My family has hunted for my entire life and I'm soooo excited that Kyle has joined in on the tradition. So for the next three weekends, we will be traveling home to hopefully score some deer to put in our freezer over the long, chilly winter. Send your happy vibes our way! And I can't wait to put Lewis in more blaze orange and Carhart. #hearteyesallday



And with that, it's Friday again and I can't wait to spend time with my sister tonight. I hope you all have a safe and fun weekend. See you next week!

Happy Friday!










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