Sourdough Bread and other things…

What a weekend!  Here where I live, Ohio, we experienced our first major snow storm this weekend.  Last year, we had snow all winter…more snow than we had in a long, long time.  We have been pretty fortunate this winter in that we were having a mild winter…until Sunday morning.  It started snowing at about 12 am Sunday morning and it snowed all day….and all night until about 10 am today.  All together I think we received about 12-14 inches.  Thankfully today, I was able to work from home! This is a picture from Sunday morning when I work up:

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So, I took myself to the grocery store (which I loathe) and got a few things.  One of them was a 4 pound beef chuck roast.  I came home and put it in the oven to make barbeque beef.  Three hours later on 350 degrees and it was falling apart.  Then Sunday morning I put some premade (store bought) meatballs in my crock pot with a jar of spaghetti sauce and a can of tomato soup for later in the week to have meatball subs.  Well–I didn’t think about what I would eat the bbq beef sandwiches or meatball subs on, so I ended up making these sourdough bread rounds/buns:

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They are glorious, so good…and if you wanted to make regular bread you can.  It’s a simple recipe and always turns out great.

Sourdough Bread Starter

1 package active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

2 cups warm water

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water.  Add flour, salt and sugar; stir in 2 cups of warm water.

Mix well.  Cover bowl, stir often for the next 72 hours.  After 72 hours, store in an mason

jar in the refrigerator and occasionally shake jar to mix.

Sourdough Bread

2 packages active dry yeast

1 1/4 cup warm water

1 cup sourdough starter

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon salt

2 eggs

1/4 cup oil

5 1/2 – 6 cups flour

Mix yeast, warm water and starter, let it get bubbly.  Add sugar, salt, eggs, and oil and mix well.  Add flour, knead until

smooth and elastic.  Put dough in a greased bowl and cover, letting rise in a warm place.  Punch down and make

bread as desired, letting rise again covered until double.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 – 35 minutes.

Add 1 cup flour and 1 cup water to starter mix to replace the starter you used for bread, mix well and put back

in refrigerator.

I also decided to try my blueberry muffin recipe in another way:

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I made it into a bundt cake instead of muffins, and it turned out way better, although I had to bake it a lot longer, almost an hour.  You can find the recipe here.

I have been in a cooking mood lately!  I also made crockpot lasagna for a coworkers birthday, and it turned out fabulous, even though I don’t have a picture.  Here’s how I made it:

Crockpot Lasagna

1 1/2 pounds ground beef, browned and drained

1 large container cottage cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 jars spaghetti sauce

1 can tomato soup

1 package lasagna noodles (regular kind)

Mix cooked beef, spaghetti sauce, and tomato soup together.  Mix cottage cheese and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese together with Italian seasonings (garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano etc).  Layer as follows: meat mixture, lasagna noodles (uncooked), cheese mixture (repeat 3 times) and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.  Cook on high for about 1 1/2 hours and turn down to low for 2 1/2 more hours or until done.

I have to admit that this recipe gave me anxiety, because you have to work and adjust the noodles to fit.  I didn’t like it.  But it tasted fabulous and it was a big hit!!!

Keep Simply Delighting!!!

 

 

 

 

Getting Started

Happy Sunday!

Last night I was looking over some of the posts on my blog from a couple of years ago.  What a great experience to see how life has truly changed so much.  My life is so different than it was 2 years ago!  Last year around this time I was meeting my great niece Jaidyn for the first time, and now she’s two!  And she looks like this:

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and let me just say this girl…she is full of life and energy and personality!!!!  I love her soo much!

Anyway, today I didn’t get to sorting my fabric, but I did spend some time cooking and baking.  Last year for Christmas, my parents gave me a chest freezer, and so for the last year, I have been obsessing about freezing things.  It’s changed how I grocery shop and cook!  A couple of weeks ago, I was cleaning out the freezer and was amazed at how much stuff was in there.  So…I have been trying to cook and eat out of the freezer.  Today, I made this winter stew that my Mom used to make when I was a kid.

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How I made it: I browned 1 pound of ground beef and added about 3/4 cup of beef broth, a diced onion, minced garlic, salt and pepper.  I had some whole frozen tomatoes from my Dad’s garden that I froze this summer, and I dipped them in simmering water to remove the skin.  I rough chopped the tomatoes and added them to the skillet.  Then I added 4 peeled, roughly chopped potatoes (also from my Dad’s garden), and about 2 cups of chopped green beans (I bought those at the end of the harvest season at a farmers market on sale…another added bonus of a freezer!).  I added a little bit more salt and pepper, stirred it up, and covered it.  I kept it at a low simmer and it was done in about 30 minutes.  It is a great one pot meal and is hearty and warm for a cold winter day!

Then, I thought I would make some blueberry muffins.  I had some blueberries that I bought (also on sale at the end of the season at the farmers market and froze).  This was not a complete success…in fact, it was kinda a flop.

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I didn’t use a real muffin tin, I wanted to be adventurous and try a couple different pans my Mom gave me.  As you can see, they kinda turned out, but not really.  They don’t look very pretty, but they taste incredible!!!  Here’s the recipe:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick butter, melted

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons milk

1  teaspoon lemon extract

2 cups blueberries, frozen or fresh

Mix the butter, sugar, sour cream, eggs, milk, lemon extract until well blended.  Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until just blended.  Try not to overmix.  Fold in the blueberries (lightly dust them with flour so they don’t sink to the bottom of the muffins).  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Keep Simply Delighting!

 

Yumminess Everywhere!

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Tonight for dinner, I made homemade barbeque chicken pizza.  It is Super Bowl Sunday, after all.  Believe me, it was incredible.  I dipped it it blue cheese dressing and it was just like I was eating some wings.  AMAZING.   Here’s how I made it:

1 package of pizza dough mix (prepared as the directions say)

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped (mine was the left over cornish hens from Christmas that I had in my freezer)

1 cup barbeque sauce (mine was homemade)

1 cup shredded cojack cheese

Homemade BBQ Sauce:

1 1/2 cups ketchup

3/4 – 1 cup brown sugar

1 cup water

1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and chili powder

Heat until comes to a boil and sugar is dissolved.  Let cool and thicken.

Put it all together and bake.  It was fabulous.

 

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I made more #scrappytripalong blocks today.

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These blocks come together so quick.  I love it.

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My favorite block so far.  I love those little porcupines.  Aren’t they cute?!!?

I started another quilt today as well, and made several blocks, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.  I had to stop sewing because I became engrossed in Downton Abbey that I had DVR’d….it’s my first season but I am hooked.

Keep Simply Delighting!

Beef Pot Pie

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I should have taken a picture of this when it came out of the oven, but I didn’t think about it until after.  But…this is my beef pot pie I made from scratch last night (mostly).  Here is the recipe:

Filling:

9 oz of steak (I used venison), cut into bit size pieces

1/2 of an onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables

2 potatoes, peeled and diced

12 cups of beef broth (I made my own)

4 gravy packets

In a soup pan, bring the broth to a boil.  Add mixed veggies and potatoes and bring back to a boil.  Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet, brown meat, onions and garlic.  When the broth mixture comes back to a boil, add cooked meat, garlic and onions, and gravy packets and mix.  Cook another 10-15 minutes.  I added some flour/water mixture to thicken it up more.  You want that mixture to be thick like a stew.  Also, just a warning, this always makes more than enough for one pie.  I actually only used a third of this mixture for my pie, and froze the rest in 2 separate containers.

Once the mixture is cooled down some, put it in a pie crust and bake.  You can make your own pie crust, or use a premade crust you purchase at the grocery.  For me, it’s just easier to purchase one.

Bake at 450 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Keep Simply Delighting!

Saturday Musings…

I realize that this post is going to be a bit off of what I normally blog.

I really, really love my life.  Are there things I wish I had and things I long for, yes.  But overall, I am very content with my life and all that it includes.  I have wonderful people (my family and friends) that surround me with great blessings in the forms of love, connection, support, and laughter.  I have a job that provides my needs and occasionally my wants.  I have intelligence and creativity that brings my passions to life and allows me to experience satisfaction when I see the things in my head come to life in multiple ways. 

The thing I love most about my life is that I have a Savior, and His name is Jesus.  And especially right now, this season, we celebrate His birth.  Tonight, after a day of productivity, I was sitting at my dining room table, eating dinner, and I was listening to some instrumental Christmas music, and the song Silent Night began to play.  And as I sat there, in the glow of the Christmas tree, my home spelling like freshly baked bread, I reflected on this season and how I had spent the day working on Christmas presents for my Mom.  And I thought to myself, thank you Lord, for this season, not only to celebrate with family and friends, not only for the pretty packages and twinkling lights, not only for the amazing goodies and wonderful family dinners and parties, but for Your Son.  So I say now, again, thank you Father, for Your Son.  Your Son that became flesh so He could become the Savior of the world, that He would bear on His body our sin, our inflictions, our wounds, our sickness, our selfishness, our everything, so we could be reconciled to You, Father, and for those who accept You as Lord and Savior, have the gift of eternal life.  To me, there is no better gift.  I just had to get that out and off my heart.  

So…on to what took place today!

P.S. I love that I made a decision when I moved into my new place that Friday nights were gonna be cleaning nights.  Now when I wake up on Saturday, I have the whole day to do whatever I want!  No pressure to clean.  Trust me, it’s so worth it to clean on Friday night.

Here’s what my Saturday looked like:

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  I baked some homemade bread.  From scratch.  Here’s the recipe:

6 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

3 cups lukewarm water

Stir all ingredients in a bowl until just combined.  Cover with a piece of foil or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  Let rest for 2-5 hours.  Divide dough into 3 pieces, cover with flour as you shape into a ball.  Place on baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray and let rest another 30 minutes.  Bake at 450 degrees for 30-35 minutes. 

I only baked one loaf and froze the other two.

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I made a sunglasses case for a Christmas present.  It was super easy to make and only took about an hour.  I was so impressed with myself. 

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And I made two 12 x 12 throw pillows for my Mom’s quilt/sham set.  The last picture is of the back…it should be very easy for her to slip in the pillows she already has on her bed to change them when she uses the quilt I made her.  I am happy about the way they turned out.  And it was a great way to use up some scrap stash. 

Keep Simply Delighting!

“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?”  Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Matthew 16: 15-16

 

Sundays, Sewing Machines, and Spaghetti

Happy Sunday!  I was having a very productive weekend until today…when my sewing machine, named Gladys, decided to have a temper tantrum and stopped working.  I am hoping to contact the manufacturer tomorrow to get it resolved.  I did get almost 3 quilts finished!  Today I was sewing the binding on the right side of my Mom’s Yuletide Christmas throw and that’s when my machine decided to stop.  But…I made some amazing spaghetti and meatballs for dinner which helped subdue my frustration (comfort food always does!).  I also made yellow cupcakes with chocolate butter frosting.  YUM!

Here are the weekend’s accomplishments:

I finally finished my niece Brianna’s quilt.  I had to baste, quilt and bind it.  I love the way it turned out.

It is on my August WIP list.

This is my Sweet Shoppe and Calico Candie throw.  I LOVE THIS QUILT! 

I had to baste, quilt and bind this quilt as well.  My goal was just to get the quilt top done, but now the whole

quilt is done!  It will be a gift for a dear friend of mine.

I know it’s hard to see (I forgot camera batteries so I have been using my phone’s camera), but the

back is a light green viney/floral print.  Perfect and delicate just like the quilt blocks.

Here’s Gladys.  I hope she gets better soon. 

Friday night, I did work on a new project for another friend.  I can’t talk about it much because I think she reads my blog, but she is an old friend of mine from my college days, and I am super excited to finish up the project and then send it to her.  Once I do, I will definitely post pics and an update.

Have a super great Sunday and make this week amazing. 

Keep Simply Delighting!

Catching Up–Chocolate Chip Cookies

Time to catch up!!!  I was away for a little bit visiting my parents, and did a lot when I was at their house.  My Mom, who is an amazing woman and mother, and I spend hours talking about recipes, crocheting, and many other things.  I was able to bake and cook whatever I wanted–working in my Mom’s kitchen is like having a grocery store at your fingertips and she has any kind of kitchen gadget, appliance, or dish/pan ever made.  However, of all the things I made, I think the most enjoyable thing I made was chocolate chip cookies. 

My Mom hates to make cookies.  She hates to put them on the pan and take them off…that is the only reason.  To make this worse, she is married to the original cookie monster, my Dad.  He couldn’t remember the last time she made him cookies (don’t worry, he still has some kind of dessert most nights!).  So…this post is for him.  Chocolate chip cookies…to my Dad with love.

Cream together 1 cup butter (using butter is the key to making these cookies), 3/4 cup brown sugar and 3/4 cup sugar.

Beat in 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla.

With a wooden spoon, slowly mix in 2 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  After the flour is incorporated, add a bag of milk chocolate chips (yes, use milk, not semisweet…it makes all the difference).

My mom swears by parchment paper, and after using it, I agree.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10-14 minutes.  Do not overbake…the cookies will become hard.

Cookies are done when they turn just a light golden brown.  Let them rest for 2-3 minutes on cookie sheet.

Remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.  Let cookie sheets cool completely before dropping more dough on sheets to bake.