for better

 

first of all i am overwhelmed by your kindness. sometimes when i write what is on my mind and it is something that goes deeper than the usual light-hearted banter i try to keep going here, i worry that maybe i have revealed too much. but then you gals go over the top with your super encouraging thoughts and words. and for that i thank you.

relationships. whether they be friendships or familial seem to follow the same cycle of  a marriage. you get the for better or for worse. if you are willing to stick around.

and since i have already shared the for worse part of my week i thought i would end it by sharing the for better part.

first of all it was a sun-shiny week. we are enjoying unusually warm-spring-like weather. blue. blue skies have made lots of time outside possible and enjoyable.

 it was a great food week. my girl picked out a few recipes she wanted me to make and we got all the ingredients together-thanks to a thorough list and one trip to the store. excepting the quick jaunt to a corner liquor store-wherein i thought we might get mugged- to buy a tiny bottle of rum for those yummy chocolate balthazars. so named for the dark-skinned wise man. they are really just semi-sweet chocolate. confectioners sugar. walnuts. grated orange peel and rum. we added the coconut because we can’t ever seem to leave a recipe alone without adding our own two (cents)sense. we even entertained the idea of adding nutmeg because, well, because so many things taste better with just a pinch of nutmeg!

we are trying our hands at some calligraphy, which can be rather addicting. especially when writing on beautiful hand-stamped cards given to me by jaimie for her pay-it-forward gift.

i never said this publicly but my gift from jaimie was on my doorstep when i came home after our looonnggg thanksgiving trip. that woman has a special place in my heart because she included some chocolate truffles in her package and i can’t say enough about what those truffles meant to me after spending a million hours on the road. in the same vehicle. as my husband and children. not to mention how empty the fridge and cupboards are when one has been gone on vacation. (also my husband is now a serious truffle connoisseur. i bought him some for Christmas. but somehow he only ended up “getting” 4. i won’t publicly say what happened to the rest of them!)

speaking of the pay-it-forward i need to complete my end of the deal before february so if you are interested in receiving a handmade gift from moi and doing a pay-it-forward yourself-say so in your comment and the first three people to do so will be “it”.

my zebra chair is getting a new outfit. that muslin is just a quick cover to make sure all the measurements are correct before cutting into the “real” fabric which is oh-so-pretty.

some daffodils and dandelions i saw during my walk yesterday for all my sweet snow-bird friends.

blue boy handwarmers that are causing me almost as much anguish as the boy himself. i have already taken them out twice. and i am hoping the third time will be the charm. i think it is because i keep starting and stopping. scatter-brained knitting i call it.

and that cheesy-garlic-oregano-basil bread i made with the beef bourguignon is scrumptiously yummy. soft. tasty and EASY. i have been cheating and using my bread maker lately because i cannot tell you how quickly my family devours homemade bread. the other day i made 3 loaves in one day-mostly because i was sending the boys with rations for their trip to rendezvous. if you’d like the recipe it goes something like this:

1 1/2 c. of warm water

3 Tbsp. light olive oil

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. basil

1 1/2 tsp. oregano

4 1/4 cups better bread flour

2 Tbsp. organic cane sugar

2 1/4 tsp.  (or 1 packet) of active dry yeast

add all ingredients (in exact order) to bread machine. and select the pizza dough/or dough only setting. once the dough is has finished its cycle i take it out and set it in a greased bowl. cover with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge while it doubles. or in some cases even triples! which is great if you have hungry kids like i do.

this particular recipe makes about 4 small foccacia type “crusts”. i rolled them out rather small to fit on my pizza stone. leaving a little bit of room for expansion. lightly brush the crust with olive oil. (if you are using a stone-it MUST be pre-heating in oven @ 350 degrees before you place the bread on it. bread only takes about 20 mins. when placed on the highest rack. you never remove the stone from the oven (this is something i learned the hard way). you should pull the rack out enough so you don’t burn yourself, dust the stone slightly with cornmeal, place the rolled dough onto the stone, add your cheese. and put it in to cook!

this makes the best pizza dough too. you can make it with a creamy white sauce or regular pizza sauce and top with your favorite toppings. if you have any problems whatsoever with this recipe please contact me. because it really should be easy. and it should make you feel like a chef.

we could talk variations. like adding milk to the water solution. or even half and half. or using butter instead of olive oil. but i don’t want to bore you with too much foodie talk…..i’ve already been so long-winded in this post.

and i’ve a long day ahead of me. off to the mountains i go. again. it seems that all these boys keep gravitating toward the hills and so we follow suit. i’ve got to pack some knitting. and can’t wait to get my hands on some julian pie…..

take care and have a wonderful weekend friends.

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4 thoughts on “for better

  1. i need to go make dinner as i’m simply drooling over the words “cheesy-garlic-oregano-basil bread i made with the beef bourguignon” and why is it that beef bourguignon sounds so much yummier than “stew”. not to say they aren’t both yummy, but one sounds so much better.

    so glad your better today. you know, i always just laugh at my kids when they say stuff. or mention to them that i still love them more than the mom who dropped them on my doorstep. i think my kids are going to need a psychologist.

  2. Glad you enjoyed the truffles!!

    I can just taste those chocolate coconut balls you pictured, yum!

    My hubby hates coconut and won’t allow it in the house…My son and I love it though!

    That bread sounds wonderful, but you know how I am with bread baking, and yes, my yeast is in the fridge! I did get some good recipes out of the post, I’ll have to try, when I have more energy and sleep!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. I took calligraphy in college for fine arts credit. I.loved.it! But I haven’t kept it up. I just saw a community ed. course in the spring catalog, and I’d love to take it, but I just can’t right now … But it’s good to know there are ways to brush up when I do have the time, and I know my oldest will appreciate it when the time is right, too. Your recipes look and sound fantastic. I want to cook more creatively, but again, I have to keep it simple these days. That’s OK. I still enjoy collecting recipes for “someday.” And lastly, I would love to partake in the “pay-it-forward.” Anything handcrafted by you would be a treat to receive. And I game for creating a pay-it-forward, too. Have a wonderful weekend in the mountains! God bless you.

  4. so funny, i thought those were meatballs with moz. cheese on top at first. as for the knitting, i have stopped using dpns. i now use the magic loop method but ONLY with addi knitting needles. LOVE. so much faster!
    r

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