Friday, February 19, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

My children are very particular about cookies. They don't like them from a box and toll house are not up to par. My personal recipe for "Surfer Cookies" meets their satisfaction though. "Surfer Cookies" are oatmeal chocolate chip and absolutely to die for. Whenever I try a new recipe they ask, "Why? Where are the surfer cookies?" Recently, my neighbor introduced me to an amazing blog called Whatever. She has a recipe for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. Why not, one more try... Well success! Here is the link to her blog and yummy kid friendly recipes:

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Valentine's Day Cafe

My husband and I were invited to our youngest child's school for a sweet valentine's day celebration. They set up a cafe with tables, candles, menus, the works. We were seated and served a yummy snack by our sweet boy and treated like very special guests.

Here are some pictures from our date at the Valentine's Cafe!

Our waiter ready to seat us with menu in hand

The table was set and decorated by the children, tie-dye hearts and all

A healthy muffin and sweet/salty snack mix

A recipe book and flower as a gift...

No-Knead Bread Recipe

After much buzz about the no-knead bread I will share the recipe with you all. My dear friend Jacqueline passed the recipe on to me and I am forever grateful. What a gift! Watching it rise, the smell of it baking, eating it fresh from the oven has really made my family appreciate the art of bread. Not only is it healthy and fresh, it also saves money that I used to spend on artisan bread. Jacqueline not only makes amazing bread, she prepares healthy meals made from local and organic foods. She shares her passion for healthy food with friends by preparing meals, sharing recipes, and meal ideas. Her email address is for more information about her mission.

So hear is the recipe passed from Jacqueline to you!

No-knead bread:

Mix together:
3 cups of organic bread flour (or for healthier bread 2 c white/1 c whole wheat bread flour)
1 packet dry yeast
1 ½ tsp kosher salt

Add to dry mixture:
1 ½ cup water

Rest 4 hours in bowl covered with towel in a warm spot

Flour surface place dough on surface and fold in half

Place bowl upside down over dough on surface for another 30 min.

Preheat oven to 450

Place dutch oven in oven to warm up

After 30 min is up place dough in dutch oven, cover

Set Timer for 30 min. Check to see if it is golden brown. Remove when done.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

D.I.Y Composter

My son Baylor recently decided to make a composter for a class project. The project was to do something that would have a positive impact on the earth. After doing some research online he gathered the materials and put it together. The process is shown below....

First he drilled holes into a large garbage can for ventilation (organic matter needs oxygen in order to break down)

Next he decided to paint the composter to give it a personal touch

He placed straw in the bottom of the can to promote drainage

In went the organic matter we had collected from the kitchen

I will keep you updated on our DIY composter, but as of today I think we need another can. It is amazing how little trash we have now once we have recycled and composted!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

No-Knead Bread

Here is the follow-up post to yesterdays post on the bread of France:

My second bread making experience turned out just as yummy as the first. I prepared the dough at around noon. Simply mixing bread flour, salt, yeast, and water together in a bowl.

Then I covered the bowl with a cloth towel for 4 hours in a warm spot.

After letting the dough rise for 4 hours I placed the dough on a floured surface and folded it in half once. 

I then covered the dough with a bowl and let it rise for another 30 min.

After 30 minutes I place the dough in a heavy enameled pot and baked it for 30 minutes covered. After 30 minutes I removed the top for 2 minutes to get a nice golden crust.

The family loved the bread and ate it along with yummy soup for dinner. The perfect meal for a winter evening.  Most of the bread (and butter) gone!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Bread of France

This past fall I was fortunate to visit the beautiful country of France. I have been lucky in my life to have travelled a great deal but I had never been to France. I was blown away by the beauty of the country, the  art, the wine, and especially the bread! After spending 10 glorious days in France and eating more baguettes then I would like to admit, I became a bit spoiled. Unlike in America, people are not afraid to eat bread. It is a part of their culture. In Paris, everyone on the metro has a beautiful golden baguette sticking out of their purse or half eaten in their hand. I returned from France in search of the perfect loaf of bread. After failing many times I decided to make my own. I made 2 loaves of no-knead bread last week and it was delicious! I am making another batch today and will share the results in tomorrows post, but in the meantime here are some pictures of bread in France....