I Heart Faces~Best Photo of 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bread Making

Those of you who are following my blog have seen that I started buying local eggs and free range chickens. I've also decided to start baking my own bread. It is so much cheaper to make it yourself than to buy it at the grocery store. I'm starting to turn into one of those 1950's stay at home moms, minus the submissiveness.

This recipe comes from Jason's mom and its pretty easy.

After the second rise. Placed into the dutch oven, floured, and sliced on top
It has to bake covered for 30 min
Fresh loaf out of the oven

Cut and ready to eat

Makes 1 large round loaf

3 cups (15 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour - plus extra for work surface
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water - room temp
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 oz) mild flavored lager - Budweiser works fine
1 tablespoon white vinegar

1. Whisk flour, dry yeast, and salt in large bowl. Add water, beer, and vinegar. Using a rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until a shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.

2. Lay 18 by 12 inch sheet of parchment paper inside a 10-inch skillet (or a large bowl) and spray the paper with non-stick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead lightly 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into a ball and put dough ball (seam side down) into the parchment lined skillet. Spray dough with cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with a finger - about 2 hours.

3. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place a 6-8 quart heavy bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on the rack and heat oven to 500 degrees. (The empty Dutch oven needs to get really hot!) Lightly flour the dough ball and cut a slit in the top. Carefully remove the Dutch oven from oven and remove lid. Pick up the dough ball by lifting the edges of the parchment paper and lower into the hot Dutch oven. Cover pot with lid and let any excess parchment paper hang over the pot edge. Return covered pot with dough to the hot oven. Reduce heat to 425 degrees.

4. Bake covered for 30 minutes at 425 degrees then take off the lid and continue to bake until the loaf is a deep golden brown - about 20-30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot. Let cool on a wire rack. Best eaten the day it is baked. Not as good a day later.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Floor Nanny

Emma's Floor Nanny has arrived and so far she loves it!
"I'm getting so big and strong"

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Today starts the season of Lent. In the past I have not been one to give something up every year, only if there is something significant that I need to sacrifice. This year, its my bathroom scale. Since having Emma I have spent too much time getting on the scale to see if I have lost weight. No one needs to check their weight every morning.

I thought about having Jason hide the scale where I can't find it, but then figured that's not much of a sacrifice. Might as well keep the temptation right in front of my face and say no to it everyday. So the goal is not to weigh myself till Easter and my hope is I'll be pleasantly surprised! Better yet, maybe I'll get used to not having one around and will get out of this habit.

Happy Lent!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chicken and eggs

Ever since watching Food, Inc. I have been really picky about what I eat. I've never been a picky eater, I'll pretty much try anything. But lately, I'm being a little more cautious with where my meat and produce come from. I have done a lot of research on local farmers and found a poultry farm in the next town. So I have ordered my free range eggs and two whole organic chickens. It turns out I'll be spending less buying locally and getting organic eggs and chickens. I can't wait for spring as I can start buying local produce again. I love Holly Springs, in one direction is the city and not too far in the other direction are local farms. My next adventure is to start baking bread...might as well since I just ordered 3 dozen eggs.

Valentines Day

So I have never really been big on Valentines day. Jason and I don't get gussied up or go out to a fancy dinner. Typically we get each other a card and call it a day. But the past couple of years Jason has started getting me flowers (which is so nice). I love flowers! This year he got me pink roses and they arrived on Friday, which meant I got to enjoy them early. Rather than getting Jason a mushy card I got him a gift card to Chick Fil A. I knew I made the right choice in gift because Jason responded with a big hug and said "Awww, Babe, your speaking my love language." That night we went out to our favorite Mexican restaurant and really splurged. Jason got sweet tea and cheese dip and I got a $2 glass of wine. I know we are big spenders when it comes to special occasions. But at the end of the day Jason and I love each other very much and are able to speak each others' love language weather its a hug or a Chick Fil A gift card.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming

So I might as well be honest, I gained 45 pounds when I was pregnant with Emma. I don't really feel like I overate or went crazy with food while I was pregnant, but some how 45 pounds was the end result. Emma is almost 15 weeks old, about 15 pounds and maybe 25 inches long. As for me, I have lost 30 pounds and have 15 more to go. For the first time, I am wearing jeans that button up (size 8). I feel pretty good and hope that as Spring gets closer I can walk more, lose those last pounds, and wear my old clothes again.

This picture is from a few years ago, but a good idea of what I looked like before I got pregnant. My goal is to look like this again.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow Day

Last Friday Emma had her second experience with snow. The first time was over Christmas when we went to visit Jason's parents in Winston Salem. Here are some pictures of her most recent snow.