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life without cable

30 Aug

We haven’t had cable for about six months now.

I know, totally insane, right? That’s so un-American!

But truth be told, I would have been completely ok without it from the first day we moved into our apartment. We did have it for several months and at least for me, there was so much time that was eaten up by HGTV or sitcom marathons. When deciding to rid ourselves, it was more of a monetary issue rather than a moral issue (they raised our monthly bill out the wazoo) but it turns out that this has been quite beneficial in so many ways. I used to think, “I wish I could read more but I have no time!” The real fact of the matter is that I’ve always had plenty of time but instead of using that time to read, I chose to drift away into the sweet sounds of Kevin James yelling at Jerry Stiller on King Of Queens. I love to read and now I feel like I have the freedom to delve into a book.

We’ve also taken advantage of the stock pile of movies we’ve accumulated over the years. With cable, we never watched them and they were just gathering dust in the corner. Now, if we get an itch to watch something, we pull out a dvd or are enlightened by Dr. Gregory House or chuckling at Kramer.

It has also given us a chance for Kyle and I to connect even more so. We take the dogs for walks, make dinner, go out to dinner, chat more than usual…that is when we actually have an evening together!

Finally, not being all “wired up” has freed my mind to be creative again, rather than staring at the boob tube. I’ve had the desire to start making crafty things again and coming up with exciting new recipes. Finally there’s space in there to conjure up bravery and foresight to make wonderful gems such as these…

Fudgy Brownies (gluten free, sugar free)

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 T butter, or Earth Balance
  • 4 T cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 c agave nectar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1 c gluten free flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill baking mix)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay parchment or foil down into a 8X8 baking dish. It’s best to cut a large piece in half (hot dog style) and then make a cross while laying it in the pan. This will create handles which will make it nice and easy to pull the brownies out of the pan.

Pour about a cup of water into a small to medium saucepan to start a double-boiler to melt the chocolate. Add chocolate and butter to a mixing bowl (preferably pyrex or glass, no plastic!). Place mixing bowl on top of the saucepan and bring the water to a gentle boil. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.

Whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in chocolate mixture until combined. Stir in flour until combined. Pour into prepared baking dish and wiggle around to get the batter even.

Bake for 36 minutes or until when pierced with a toothpick, small sticky crumbs stick to the toothpick. Cool on a wire rack… but it seems that the best textures coming on these bad boys are actually right out of the oven, or when they have set in a tupperware for about a day. They are nice and warm right out of the oven and if you wait, they get even more silky and delicious after a day or so.

It took Kyle a lot of convincing to purge the cable and if you ask him today how he feels about it, especially with the recent Tour, he probably would still have a twinge of bitterness about it. We may not have seen who scored the touch down or the wacky grandmas that perform on America’s Got Talent, but at least I have an extra $80 a month to make this chocolatey goodness to keep Kyle’s bitterness to a minimum.

Kaleigh

pushing the limits

15 Aug

Have you ever taken a Myer’s-Briggs personality test? I’ve taken the test twice. Once in a communication class in college and the second time was in premarital counseling. The second time I took it, my “type code” was “INFJ”. As far as how I view myself, I would agree completely with this result. These letters stand for Introversion, iNtuiting, Feeling and Judging. According to the report on my particular “judging” characteristic:

“To others, I seem to prefer a planned or orderly way of life, like to have things settled and organized, feel more comfortable when decisions are made, and like to bring life under control as much as possible.”

And for the majority of the time, I would completely agree with this statement about myself. I like things to be organized and for things to go as they were planned. This is not to say that I don’t like surprises, but I prefer that things work out as they should. I don’t like decisions to be hanging in limbo forever. I like to solve problems creatively but I get the task done as it should be. Unless I feel really passionate about a certain something, I usually keep my opinion to myself and try not to rock the boat. This may also be because I avoid confrontation like the plague, but I digress. This is all is true for about 90% of the time, but there are a select few things that “frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” For these particular things, I don’t even think twice about pushing the limits and hop-skip-jumping over the boundaries.

One of these being the suggested “expired” dates on food.  Suggested, being the key word. Having worked in a grocery store the dates are merely suggestions, believe me. I mean a probiotic won’t kill you one day after the date listed, I promise. And neither will milk. When I used to drink it, I would always drink it after the out of date code. I can think of maybe one time where I kind of wanted to throw up afterwards because it truly was soured. If there is a big piece of mold on some food like bread or cheese, I’ll cut around it. No problem there. When I open a semi-old jar of salsa, applesauce, etc. and find a furry little friend on the top… I’m not going to lie, I completely ignore it and dig in (by strategically pouring or scooping around the little furry guy of course). It doesn’t bother me at all, especially if I really  need that tablespoon of pumpkin to make some cupcakes. If a banana is too mushy to even be peeled, who gives?! Its’ going in my smoothie one way or another. My husband on the other hand…is probably going to have a heart attack when he reads this.

I also really push my car to the limits. I’ve given her a name, Honcha, but besides the doting “pet-name” I’m truly not a good car-owner. This is semi-alright because I rarely use it anymore. But when I do, I will wait until I start sweating from nervousness because I’ve gone 20 miles with the “check gauge” light on and my gas meter line is about to break off before I will pull off at a gas station. I do remember an occasion where I had a couple nails in my tire and it slowly would leak. I didn’t have the cash to buy a new tire, so I kept making stops at my local gas station to fill it up. I am also pretty sure I just went half a year without getting an oil change, let alone adding more engine oil (if my dad were to read this, he would be shaking his head in disgrace, as many of you are… I still remember the first time I ever ran out of gas and he had to bring some to me. He was so mad and lectured me on how I am going to ruin my engine if I continue to do this. Clearly I didn’t follow through with that one because I still wait to the last possible nano-second before I fill up. I’ve also ran out of gas on another occasion, on the way back home from buying my wedding dress; he wasn’t the one I called that time). I push her hard, and luckily this one hasn’t bitten me in the butt, yet.

I also love to push myself when I am working out. I am just like anyone else wherein it takes a lot of encouraging self-talk to actually get me out there and doing it, but when I finally do, I never want to stop. I love feeling the strain in my muscles and the burn in my lungs. I love the euphoria it creates and the extreme sense of accomplishment that comes afterwards. If I didn’t have to work full time or have any other passions in life, I feel as though I would hardly ever leave the gym and may be on the verge of body-building stature.

And occasionally I can borrow elements from a few different confections and push them to the limits to make something other-wordly…

Chocolate-Raspberry Chilled Pie– gluten free, vegan

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2/3 c gluten-free flour mix (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/3 c old-fashioned oats (gluten free)
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c almonds, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c Earth Balance (I use the soy-free kind)

Filling:

  • 2/3 c raw cashews
  • 2/3 c fresh raspberries
  • 1/3 c coconut oil
  • 1/3 c cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c agave
  • 1/8 tsp salt
Place the cashews in a small bowl or coffee mug. Add enough water to cover the nuts. Place in your refrigerator and let soak for four hours or up to over night.
To make the crust:
Because it has been so hot here lately, my earth balance starts melting immediately coming out of the fridge. It should be cool so I measure it out in a small bowl and put it in the freezer until I am ready to add it.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
I used a removable bottom tart pan, but you could also use a regular pie pan and you should not need to spray it with cooking oil.
In a large bowl or bowl of electric mixer, mix the flour, oats, sugars, baking soda, salt and nuts until well combined. Quickly chop the earth balance into 12 pieces and with the mixer on low speed, add them to the bowl. Let this go until the mixture looks like wet sand, about 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into baking pan and level out the bottom while pushing some of the mixture up the sides to make a crust, like so…

Bake crust for 20 minutes or until light golden brown. If the crust puffs up too much, while the it is still warm, carefully push down the bottom a little to make room for the filling. Let crust cool to room temperature.

For the filling:

Pull your cashews out of the fridge and drain. Place in a high speed blender along with the raspberries, coconut oil, cocoa powder, agave and salt. Blend until completely smooth. When the crust is completely cooled down, pour the filling into the crust. Shimmy and pick up and drop the pan onto the counter to smooth out the top. Place in the fridge until the filling is completely set.

When you’re there, get ready to indulge!

 

I may need to have many things planned, but I wasn’t planning on this being so good that to get every last drop of the filling out of the Vita-mix, I would be covered up to my elbows in chocolate!

So while you’re making your own pie, I’ll just be eating expired refried beans while trying to bring order to our credit card situation and dreaming about our completely gobbled up chocolate pie!

Kaleigh

 

 

 

day 8 and a treat

6 Apr

Today was stop and go. I got up with a lot of things on my to-do list and I got most of them knocked off. This morning I made my favorite smoothie. I’ve renamed it too. I used to call it ‘funky monkey’ but now it’s Dreamy Creamy. I’ve named it this because that is exactly what the texture is.

  • banana
  • heaping tablespoon homemade sunbutter
  • a couple shakes cinnamon
  • Barlean’s Total Omega 3-6-9 Orange Swirl
  • 1 c almond milk
  • a couple ice cubes
  • vanilla Clearvite

Yuuummm! My favorite!!

After breakfast, I got ready to go run some errands. Top of the list was to pick up my wedding band and engagement ring! I took them in for a cleaning and maintenance and I haven’t had them for a week. I felt naked!! I decided to cut my errands list a little short to head back home and get some lunch a brewin’. While I was cooking, I had a piece of socca with coconut butter. 

It was a rainy, gloomy day so I thought soup would be a good fit. I put together a pretty decent pot.

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients:

  • T olive oil
  • head cauliflower, about 2 lbs, cut into florets
  • small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1T curry powder
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 1/2 cayenne powder
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • 3 c water or more broth if you have it

How to:

Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add cauliflower and spices and cook for 5 more minutes. Add broth and water, stir to combine. Bring to a slow boil and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 12 minutes. Transfer contents of the pot to a blender, or use an immersion blender to make smooth. If the soup is too loose than what you dreamed up in your head, return to pot and simmer until it reaches the desired consistency.  Adjust seasonings as needed with salt and pepper, top with cilantro and enjoy!

I accompanied my soup with half a pear and a hard boiled egg as well. 

So it has been eight days since I’ve had any candy, treats, baked goods etc. so I decided it best that I give myself a little treat. What I have decided about myself is that I either swing really far to one side of healthy eating or I splurge way too much on the not-so-healthy side of things. I need some moderation and to me, that includes having a treat here or there. So today, I made another recipe out of my Babycakes cookbook. Blueberry muffins!!! Every ingredient falls within the parameters of my detox and there is no sugar in them, agave nectar is used instead.

I will not lie to you, I had two of these. One topped with coconut butter, and one without. I couldn’t resist. Therefore, muffins were my afternoon snack.

I had another little snack of a rice cake with smashed avocado and salsa before I headed out the door to go to youth group to rock a photograph scavenger hunt. My team got second place…cause they’re awesome!! 

When arriving home, I felt like I needed a little extra calories for the day (read: I was hungry) so I had some more leftovers of the chickpea dish with rice and another hard boiled egg. I really love eggs. They are so perfect and I just can’t get over the creaminess that a hard boiled version gives. It never disappoints. 

Well, another day down. I hope yours was a good one. Mine was. I got quite a few things done and I also was able to rest and bake. I also caught up on Biggest Loser and Parenthood, a couple of my favorite tv shows that I now watch all online. Having no cable is working out just fine for me! Don’t know if Kyle would say the same though….

Kaleigh

oh brother!/oh baby!

27 Jan

Yesterday was a rough day. I didn’t feel good. Again. I’m feeling more frustration than anything else. Needless to say, I decided that I didn’t want to lay around all day. I was refusing. I didn’t do a whole lot, but I did do something. I set out to make banana bread. Gluten free banana bread. With chocolate chips.

I decided to go off of Erin McKenna’s recipe in her book Babycakes.

Ever since I received this cookbook I have been eyeing the delicious pictures. I’ve been fading in and out of really going for it though, because I wasn’t having any “known” issues with gluten. But now that I am avoiding, I’m going to dive right in.

I was quite sure I had all the ingredients.

Until it came to the agave.

I tried to drip out as much as possible. Do you like my dripping contraption? I was pretty proud of it.

Unfortunately my ingenious contraption did not prove to be the solution. As much as I wanted there to be enough, there was only half of what the recipe called for. Oh brother.

I already had been laying on the couch in comatose for an hour by this point, if that gives you an idea of my motivation level. But for goodness sakes, this was my day off! I want a day to do what I want to do! And laying on the couch feeling like poo is NOT on my to do list. I decided to get up, walk to the store, get a little fresh air and a little kombucha. This is the first time I’ve tried this. I originally was going to go with the cocktail that Kyle made me last time, but at first glance, I couldn’t find the ginger juice. I wanted to get out of there ASAP, so instead I grabbed Synergy Trilogy Kombucha. I’ve heard from a couple people this flavor was the best and it did not disappoint. I loved it. Maybe I should be drinking one every day?

Anyways, I got home. And after much more convincing of myself and half a bottle of kombucha, I was off. At a turtles’ pace. The only changes I made to the recipe is that I used almond milk instead of rice milk.

 

Oh brother. This bowl is too small

This seems to be where things started to go awry. The recipe suggests adding 1 cup of chocolate chips.  In hindsight, I think this was way too many. I would say a little less than 3/4c would be ideal.

It also says that you will have left-over batter? That also seemed quite odd to me. So I filled up a normal loaf pan and a mini. Thankfully, I am so glad this happened…

She looks beautiful, doesn’t she. Perfectly golden brown. Slightly sunken in, which can be fixed with a little tweak of baking soda/powder. Minor detail. But doesn’t she look wonderful? Slightly crispy outside. Probably soft and sweet on the inside?

Wrong.

Oh. Brother.

With a flop on the board and a subsequent pile of mush, I thought I might cry. Pure devastation. To add insult to injury Kyle was lustfully looking over my shoulder (at the bread, not me) as all this happened.

What a wonderful husband. Despite the crash, he was still thinking, “Banana bread! Oh baby!”

What the heck happened!?

Well first off, the directions say bake @ 325 for 35 minutes. I SHOULD have realized that this was ridiculous.

In my sick haze, I didn’t. Instead, I followed the recipe to a T.

In my sick haze, I should have done the toothpick test, but I didn’t. I assumed Erin’s instructions were iron-clad. No need for further investigation.

Big mistake! It seems that Erin and I are just not speaking the same language. We clearly need to spend some more time together.

 

There was still some hope though…

The little engine that could.

The mini.

Redemption!

In hindsight, the normal loaf didn’t need any sort of baking powder/soda ratio tweaking. The poor thing just needed to be baked at least twice as long as it was!

But oh baby! This had to be THE BEST gluten free baked good I’ve EVER tasted. Even the mush was slightly addictive!

Thank goodness for the mini.

Only problem is, the “shelf-life” will be virtually non-existant with Kyle lusting over my shoulder 🙂

Oh brother.

Kaleigh

 

 

I felt like making muffins…

6 Jan

Cranberry Orange Walnut Muffins

I followed this recipe.

I was craving this specific type of muffin. At the cute little cafe that I used to work at, they were one of many that I would help make.

Unfortunately, my little batter monster was not around so I had to lick up the leftovers.

Here is a great tip that I learned from the previously mentioned cafe. If you leave muffins to cool in their tins, they will get soggy bottoms. Unless you enjoy this, wait a few minutes after pulling them out of the oven (probably 5 at the most) and use either a butter knife or a thin offset spatula (ideal) to move the muffins loose and gently lift them out. This process is even easier if when you are preparing your pan, you spray each cup individually very well with non-stick spray. After you have removed them from the pan, set them upside down to cool and you will have PERFECT muffins!

These turned out pretty close to the ones I was dreaming of. The taste was slightly off. I think this was because I used a bottle of single-serving orange juice.  Either a better brand of fresh juice would have been better. The crumb was slightly rougher than what I remembered, and they were as fluffy as they should have been. This is probably because of altitude. I highly doubt the recipe I used takes into account 5,000+ ft above sea level. This will have to be adjusted next time.

Still, they did meet my craving.

Now all I need is a little dollop of butter…

Kaleigh

Long Lost Me

25 Oct

It has been a while since I’ve got my butt in gear and written a post! I have definitely wanted to, but my new job is quite exhausting…in a good way though! Although I’ve been long-lost here on the blog, I feel quite at home at my new job. I really feel it is where I need to be and I am loving it!  While I was working as a nutritionist, I was sitting at a desk all day. Now I am running around like crazy. I feel as though I like this much better, but I forgot what it was like to have an active job! I feel like a VERY OLD woman. I’ve been sore and pooped. I really need some comfortable shoes! And I must say I was really excited to buy new socks!!! That will tell you how often I buy myself things (Kyle takes care of that!).

My old socks were like putting tissue paper on. Needless to say, I needed some new ones extremely bad! These guys feel so amazing, nice and fluffy.

The past couple of weeks, fall has really been taking hold of the weather. We’ve had rainy, dreary days and cool sunny days. I don’t know if this is really true, but I think the nights of fall are different than any others here in Colorado. They are very crisp, the clouds have a glowy, almost purple shadow to them, and the air smells like a bonfire. It really makes you feel cozy and alive. I love fall!!

Today we went to pick our own pumpkins!!

We got two for carving, two for roasting (yummm!) and one acorn squash. Despite it being extremely cold outside, it was a really cool place. We went to a pumpkin farm a few miles from our house. It was so amazing how many pumpkins they grew!! It was funny because as we were driving away, Kyle said “I feel sad for all the ones that didn’t get picked.”

I said, “I know, I want to eat them all.”

It was kind of like going to a puppy store and wanting to bring them all home!! But I certainly would never have the desire to eat puppy.

Yes, we’re weird.

Anyways, I’m writing to share my favorite pumpkin cookie recipe!!

It comes from the Everyday Food Magazine from 3 years ago.

Chocolate Glazed Pumpkin Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin-pie spice (but I use 1 tsp because I love the spice!)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin puree
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped or chips

Method:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, pie-spice and salt; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg; beat until smooth. With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour mixture in two parts and pumpkin puree in one, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined (do not overmix).

Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto two baking sheets, about 1.5 inches apart. Bake until puffed and edges are golden, 15-20 minutes, rotating once during baking. Immediately transfer cookies to wire racks, and cool completely.

When cookies have cooled, set them (still on rack) over a baking sheet or waxed paper. Place chocolate in a medium bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water; stir until almost melted. Remove from heat; stir until completely melted. Pour chocolate into a resealable plastic bag. Snip off a corner with scissors to make a 1/8-inch hole; pipe chocolate over cookies. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, about 20 minutes (I skipped this last step, because the hubs wanted one STAT, and me too).

These babies are cake-like, like the tops of cupcakes….oh yes do they rock!!!

Please try them!!!

In other news, Molly has developed a very interesting habit. One time I made some zucchini bread. She got very excited and acted like she wanted some of the batter, shaking her tail violently and looking up at me like she does when she is about to get a treat. I was licking the spatula at the time so I held it out and she went crazy with licks on it, trying to actually eat the spatula. So I then set the mixing bowl on the ground and let her have a go at that. Well turns out she is just like me and LOVES batter. Now any time I lick anything, she feels she is also entitled to some. Today was no different:

Awww! Makes me proud! And it helps with clean-up!!

Kaleigh

New Beginnings

27 Sep

This weekend I was not feeling great, but the weekend gave off a sense that things were a changin’.

Like these babies…

When we got them in our box, they were mostly green with hints of YELLOW. Mysteriously they started changing orange, and now they are mostly RED with some green?!

I know peppers come in different colors depending on when they are picked, but I can’t say I’ve ever had peppers change colors on my counter!

Like I mentioned, this whole weekend I feel like I have been fighting off some sort of bug. I did force myself to make some pumpkin bread though.

I must say, this was NOT my best batch. I think it is because my pumpkin was picked too early, it seems like it was rushed. You can kinda tell in the above picture, not super orange inside.  The flavor just did not have its regular depth. The bread was still decent and it was a new beginning because I never have put chocolate chips in the bread before.

The recipe calls for walnuts but my munchy husband hit those up and I didn’t have enough. The chocolate chips made up for the less-than-normal moistness of the bread.

I have been in a bit of a food slump this weekend. Nothing was sounding good to me.  Here is one of my ‘meals’.

Roasted potatoes with ketchup.

Until today. Kinda. This morning didn’t go well but this afternoon I made my first homemade pasta sauce, another new beginning. I pretty much followed Ashley’s 5 minute pasta sauce recipe except that I used fresh heirloom grape tomatoes from our box and cooked it for about 20 minutes to concentrate the flavor. I then put it in the blender to make it especially smooth.

Really yummy because I also tossed it with diced zucchini (we have a TON from our box) and half a carrot shredded. The mix turned out 1/2 veggies, half pasta.

And the sauce turned out ORANGE!!

Topped with some nutritional yeast to make it a little “cheesy” and it was delicious! I definitely prefer making my own sauce now.

Another new beginning this weekend included me making a decent batch of chili and cornbread! In the past, for some reason I can not produce a really great tasting chili or cornbread. Saturday I put our crock pot to good use. I followed a recipe from a 5 ingredient crock pot cookbook. There were only a few ingredients it called for. Beef, tomato sauce, chopped onion, and chili powder. I followed Bob’s Red Mill recipe for basic cornbread, subbing coconut milk and 2% milk for the buttermilk and corn flour for the cornmeal. It was awesome! This all went un-pictured as we ate really late on Saturday and the pictures would have been bad (and I was feeling really sick at this point too). The next day, the husband ate all the leftovers up before I could get my hands on them! I am excited that I finally made a decent batch of these two things though.

Does anyone have a chili or cornbread recipe that they really like? I’d love to try it! I think I still have plenty room to get better!

Nothing new happening with the dogs. They basically laid around all weekend with me. Although, Molly almost did a flip in the kitchen! Earlier in the day I accidentally spilled a sesame oil bottle. It was hard to clean up so some oil remained on our faux wood floors. As I was baking pumpkin bread, Molly was trying to sneak a taste. I startled her and she tried to scurry out of the kitchen. Instead she almost flipped over herself and landed right on her side! She just laid there for half a minute totally stunned. It was priceless!

Recovering...

The biggest new beginning that is going on here is that I was offered another job!! YAHHHH!

I was actually offered my new job only a week from when I was laid off at my previous job! I feel really blessed that this was such a short turn around. I start Wednesday morning and I am so happy! A totally new job! It is still some-what related to my degree in Nutrition, but in a completely different setting AND I can walk to work!! It’s amazing! No more 50 minute drives to work!! We are going to save a lot of money just from me not having to drive to work. Awesome!!

Enjoy the rest of your Monday aka MNF (Monday Night Football)!! For some weird reason I want to root for the Bears (Kyle’s going to kill me when he reads this). Maybe because it seems they are the underdog? If I don’t have a personal connection to the teams playing, I always root for the underdog. Nothing new there 🙂

A Laid Back Day

23 Sep

Molly.

Sam

Today went nice and easy.

The dogs were quite lazy themselves today as can be seen by the photographic evidence.

I am proud of myself because I added in weightlifting into my exercise routine. I haven’t done this for oh…umm… about 4 years, so it’s a big step. And I was REALLY sore today. In my heart, I really wanted to go for a run, but I was struggling just to get off the couch. I thought it might be best to take the day off.

Instead, I grabbed a snippet of inspiration from Ashley and made some homemade whole wheat bread. This recipe definitely takes some time. Two rises… but once you get it in the oven, it is only 30 minutes away to making your apartment (or home) smell absolutely intoxicating!!

I used this recipe from my Williams-Sonoma Baking book. I’ve made this several times before and I just love the buttery exterior that the loaves develop.

Mixin’ the flours:

Close enough!

Sloshin’ away by the Green Monster (aka my beloved stand mixer)

Dough pulled away from the sides:

Ready for the first rise:

Second rise:

I decided to add sunflower seeds to the top of one loaf. Although pretty, the seeds totally do not stay on the bread when you cut it. I think the recipe would be super good with the seeds added in the dough. That may be on tap next time!

And I just could not resist giving the fruits of my labor a taste-test with Nutella 🙂

Magnificent!

The rest of the day has been spent cleaning and reading. I am taking a long time to get through The Power of One. I don’t know why, because it’s been a great read. I guess I just have so many things I want to do with my spare time that I can’t focus. But today I enjoyed slowing down and reading a good chunk.

Did you have a good day too? I hope so!

Kaleigh