Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ti a Drink with Jam and Bread


Now sing it with me! I know you want to. What pairs well with jam? Bread of course! Now this bread is simple, very simple, and versatile! This recipe comes to you from Simplysogood which of course it is! But before we begin, a little bit of The Sound of Music.


Now wasn't that refreshing? I love this recipe because you can really make it your own by changing the "add-ins". Maybe try cinnamon and raisins, garlic and rosemary, or chopped apple.

Here is what you need:

3 cups of flour
teaspoon of yeast
teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup dried cranberries (I like Trader Joe's)
Zest from 1 orange


So here's whatcha gonna do! Take 3 cups of flour, 1 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of active yeast and put into a big bowl. Now take your spoon and swish it all together. Now get yourself a 1/2 cup of warm water and pour it into this mixture.

Now here is the fun part wash your grubby hands and then stick em into the mixture and smoosh. Smoosh it all together! You will end up with a shabby looking piece of dough but trust me it's okay. The shabbier the more rustic right?

Now tuck you little ball of dough in a bowl, cover, and kiss it goodnight.


Well, that escalated quickly. Now take your yummy dried cranberries and orange zest and mush it into the bread. Make sure the cranberries get inside the dough and are evenly distributed.

Now you are going to get out a large pot and put it in the oven at 450* for 20 minutes, just the pot, not the bread yet! Once your pot is all nice and hot then pull it out and plop your bread into it! Return to oven for for 30 minutes with the lid on top. Then for the last 15 minutes remove the lid so the crust can become a beautiful golden brown!

Ta-da! You now have yourself a delicious and sweet breakfast bread! It is dense, hearty, and a nice crust. I must say it does look beautiful as well. Now just whip out some apple butter, scramble a few eggs, you you got yourselves a feast!




Monday, November 18, 2013

Cranberry Orange Marmalade: For a Thanksgiving Feast!

Hi guys! So they holidays are right around the corner and I am sure so many of you are thinking about what yummy canned treats you can bring to family gatherings. So many delicious flavors like warm cinnamon, tart oranges, and zesty cranberries make their way into our homes and our tummies! Oh cranberries, how do I love thee, even when you slide out of a can while holding the form of a gelatinous cylinder. Absolutely delicious.

Now the thing I love about this recipe is that you can make it a week before Turkey Day and have something a little extra special to spread upon the glorious white meat OR you can save it for brunch!


So here I have Cranberry Orange the perfect thing to spoon onto your turkey OR enjoy the morning after on an English muffin. I do love English muffins!

The recipe came from Marisa over at Food and Jars and was originally a recipe for a Chutney. Chutneys are usually sweet and savory spreads that use onions and vinegar. This recipe, however, emits those and what is left is a deliciously sweet and tart marmalade.



Here is what you need:

3 cups of cranberries
1 cup of orange juice
1 orange chopped (including the rind but not the seeds)
12 dried apricots finely chopped
1 tart apple finely chopped
1 1/4 cups of honey

Combine the cranberries, orange juice, chopped orange into a large saucepan. Cook until the cranberries begin to burst. Then add the dried apricots, apple, and honey. Stir often to keep honey from burning, once it has reached the consistency you desired then fill canning jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace and popping any air bubbles you see forming in the jar. Boil in a water bath for a minimum of 10 minutes.



Tips:

1. Chop your orange/apple pieces the size you would want to eat if spread on toast. Some people like big chunks of fruit, some people don't.

2. Start sanitizing your jars before you start canning. I'll usually fill my canning pot with water an hour before I start.

3. Use bamboo skewers to get rid of those pesky air bubbles.

4. If you are unsure about how to process (waterbath) your jars then visit this page for a more in-depth analysis! It is a lot easier than you think!

Also, if you have any questions about this recipe, or any others just leave a comment and I'll get back to you within a day or two! Happy canning;-)



Monday, July 22, 2013

Balls,Skeins,and Hanks; What's the difference?!

Not so long ago I had it in my mind that all yarn comes in only one form, the ball. The ball of yarn reminiscent of that of which a kitty cat would play with. However, this is far from the truth. Yarn comes prepared in many different ways. Let's begin with Balls.

Balls of yarn are usually the most familiar to beginner knitters. Balls are ready to knit as-is. You can usually pull the yarn from the outside of the ball or from the inside.

Now a skein is also ready to knit as-is but it is more of an oblong-shape, kinda like an egg. The majority of yarns that are sold in the big-box craft stores come in the form of skeins (think Lion Brand and Patons).

Hanks of yarn are a bit more difficult as they are not ready as-is. A hank of yarn needs to be wound using a ball-winder before you can begin knitting. Specialty yarn stores (LYS) typically carry yarn in the form of hanks. They look very beautiful and showcase color variation nicely.

So there you have it! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

My Fair Isle Lady

Lately I have been greatly inspired by Fair Isle Knitting, partially because I am in love with this pattern by Cascade. The pattern itself is a simple stockinette but what makes this stocking incredible is the stranded color work.



As with other types of knitting, Fair Isle has an interesting history. The word Fair Isle comes from the island off the coast of Scotland where it became quite popular. Many patterns that you see that are knit in the Fair Isle style are done in a limited color palette.

To achieve the different colored patterns you knit with multiple stands of yarn that follow or float behind your work, therefore most Fair Isle pieces tend to be thicker and heavier.

Since I have a newborn to feed/change/play with/jiggle/sing too/cuddle every 2-3 hours knitting in the Fair Isle style has been the perfect. Seeing the patterns develop quickly is very rewarding and the only stitch you use is knit. I don't have to worry about purls, ssk's, k2tog's, psso as you have to with lace and more intricate patterns.


You can actually see the yarn itself puckering in some areas. This can happen if your floats (the yarn behind your work) are too tight. Since the puckering is very minimal I am hoping with a little bit of blocking it will straighten itself out like a good little stocking. Have I ever mentioned how much I love stockinette stitch? LOVE. IT.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Zigging and A Zagging Baby Blanket

This was the first blanket I had ever knitted and let's just say...blankets take patience.  I spent a long time searching for the perfect pattern.  Something light-weight, cause Southern Cali is pretty warm most of the year, and something "current". I decided to go with this pattern .


I used Caron Simply Soft because it is washable and nice and scrunchy! If you are looking for a good yarn for baby clothes, I recommend this one.  

Saturday, June 29, 2013

So I had to put the blog on hiatus for a little while because I was actually making a little pint....inside me.  My darling little pint arrived a few weeks ago.  I am in so my love with her.

While much of my time is consumed by her I will be revamping my blog to include 2 new sections, knitting and baby mama stuff.  By blogging it is a reminder to myself to put my words into action and make goals.  My posts will probably be a bit my photo heavy and light on the text.  Now don't ya worry, I'll still be jamming but I want to broaden this blog a bit.

Now, onto a very interesting kickstarter I can across! The gial of this kickstarter campagin is to create a lab for textile artsits. Check them out!

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Big update coming, till then a video!

I found this fantastic video about a family that has an urban homestead in Southern California! I think this is something we should all try to do, even if you start small!  I had a lovely herb garden going this summer and used the basil regularly in our food! Enjoy!


I am going to revamp the blog to include a few other topics other then just canning, but I will still can! I'll be canning quite a bit over the next couple weeks to have some yummy homemade preserves for friends and family:-)