For no other reason than I feel the need to write a post about all the ‘firsts’ I’ve done this week.
I scissor cut and clipper trimmed my husband’s hair. I’ve done the latter before but never the former. I watched several YouTube videos and my husband was gracious enough to say it was a better haircut than he normally gets from a salon or barbershop.
Made scrumptious hamburger buns for our grilled burgers Sunday dinner. Melt-in-your-mouth goodness!
Made oatmeal cinnamon raisin bread – an upgrade to my oatmeal sandwich bread recipe that I’ve made at least a half dozen times in the last three weeks.
Terry converted his previously scheduled doctor’s appointment to a telehealth remote link. So we had to get his camera and microphone working on his computer last night. His doctor is using Zoom unfortunately, which is not secure and has been in the headlines this past week. I chastised the scheduling person stating that I work for a law firm and we are not recommending Zoom to our clients and strongly prohibiting its use internally. We successfully tested Terry’s setup and he’s ready for his appointment Tuesday afternoon.
Low and slow – smoking a pork butt today on our pellet smoker (see photos below).
Terry successfully connected remotely with his doctor, who was late, but eventually the chatted via Zoom for about 30 minutes.
Enjoyed smoked pulled poke on homemade buns with smoked baked beans for dinner.
Have a wonderful evening and thanks for stopping by!
Terry asked me earlier this week to make some hamburger or slider buns for Sloppy Joes or grilled hamburgers since the weather is starting to warm up. My son had provided me a recipe he’d made a few weeks ago. I compared it to three or four recipes I found at the King Arthur Flour web site. The first one I leaned towards trying (and dividing in half) was the Hamburger or Hot Dog Bun recipe (and I do actually have the KAF hot dog bun pan). The second one I looked at was the Beautiful Burger Buns recipe, which required a quarter cup of sugar and no milk.
I chatted with Amanda at the King Arthur Flour live chat and asked if I could substitute honey for the sugar. She confirmed I could but I should halve the amount. So for the Beautiful Burger Buns recipe, I would use two tablespoons of local honey instead of a quarter cup of sugar. I also added milk to the water (a half cup of each).
When my daughter came to visit over the Christmas and New Year holidays, I made several trips to Trader Joe’s to purchase food she could eat without having an adverse reaction (she’s allergic to corn). While I was there I bought a box of peanut butter dog treats for Lexy. By the middle of January, we’d given Lexy all the treats from that box. I decided that since I’ve been making her dog food for a couple of months now, I might as well make her treats. That way, I control the ingredients and it’s also fun.
I searched for a peanut butter dog biscuit recipe and found several but one in particular caught my eye – a peanut butter pumpkin recipe. I was intrigued because our vet had us give Porthos pumpkin with his food whenever he had diarrhea. Apparently, pumpkin and chicken are easy for them to digest so that’s what Porthos ate for a couple of weeks last year until his tummy settled down.
Please be VERY CAREFUL which peanut butter you give your dog – it must NOT contain the artificial sweetener xylitol. Most Natural peanut butters are xylitol free but double-check the ingredients to be safe.
2020 started out strangely. Terry and I dozed off around nine o’clock New Year’s Eve but both of us woke back up after two o’clock New Year’s Morning. We both migrated back downstairs and dozed off again for another four or five hours. Ah the exciting life we lead!
I had promised Terry a breakfast of bacon and waffles. I put the bacon in the oven, and forgot to set a timer. Meanwhile, I continued drafting a newsletter for my local book club and lost track of time. I’m not sure how long I was editing, but I did eventually remember the baking bacon before it was reduced to charcoal.
Next I had to rearrange the kitchen counters a bit to make room to mix up a half batch of waffle dough from my King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook. In the process of shuffling items around I managed to drop and break a small measuring glass. This event foreshadowed how the rest of my morning evolved. Strike one!
Almost two weeks into the new year and we finally saw some snow. So, I spent the entire weekend doing indoor activities (except for that one time I went out and shoveled the heavy wet perfect-for-snowman-making white stuff off of my driveway). Oh, and I did have to make a trip to the grocery store Sunday morning to pickup some missing ingredient items for the calzones I planned to make that afternoon.
The dough part of the recipe is actually found on page 176 and is called “Hearth Bread Pizza.” I use half of that recipe every time I make home-made pizza crust. This time I did the whole recipe, all six cups of flour, and opted to use my Kitchen-aid mixer with a dough hook until I got beyond the five cup range. I also did a full rise, not the no-rise option, which I usually do for thin crust pizza dough. Continue reading “Recipe Review: Calzones (4 stars)”
On any given Sunday, you’ll find me awake before sunrise. Old, very old, habits die-hard. I embrace being a morning person. Only causes an issue when I want to toast in the new year since I generally turn into a pumpkin around nine o’clock. Today was no different from any other weekend.
Yesterday was Twelfth Night, the official end to the Christmas season. When Dickens was a youth, Twelfth Night was ‘THE’ biggest day of the winter holiday in England. Between his Christmas Carol and Prince Albert’s importation of German Christmas traditions (namely the Christmas tree), Twelfth Night began to fade out of fashion during Dickens and Queen Victoria’s lifetimes.
I did not stay up late celebrating or hosting a Twelfth Night party. I had servers to upgrade and test bright and early on January 6th, also known as Epiphany.
I woke up before my alarm (I almost always do this; my alarm only woke me up once in the last six months) and got logged in and ready to upgrade a server. It went much smoother than the last time I tried, right before Christmas, and I was done within 20 minutes (leaving an hour forty minutes of my maintenance window unused). Server patch testing took another fifteen minutes so I was done ‘working’ before seven o’clock, still before sunrise.
I’m thankful for many things this Thanksgiving. Oddly, I’m somewhat thankful even for my cold, dark oven.
I’m thankful that I won’t be on my feet for hours today prepping and baking for a family gathering. For the first time in I don’t know how many years, I will not be basting and roasting a turkey. I won’t be making more stuffing (I already succumbed last week and made a huge batch of stuffing because I couldn’t help myself). I might not escape baking entirely today, though, as I may break down and make Sticky Buns because it’s a TRADITION!
Since the temperature broke into the mid-60s yesterday under clear sunny skies, I decided to uncover the grill for dinner. I started this recipe in the bread machine in early afternoon so the buns would be done when the burgers came off the grill.
I did not butter the buns before baking nor after baking. Nor did I do an egg wash with sesame seeds. I went completely easy and simple and just shaped eight bun balls and baked them. Next time, I’ll probably divided the dough into ten or twelve pieces for smaller buns and perhaps add the sesame seed topping.
Both my husband and I loved the buns. They taste and smell like great hamburger buns from a bakery, only very fresh! I highly recommend this recipe.
For the first time in years, Terry and I were not hosting Thanksgiving nor were we dashing 500 plus miles south to North Texas to join our children for the holiday. Our daughter has moved to the northwest and is no longer within easy driving distance. Our son and daughter-in-law had hoped to drive up north from Texas to join us, but the weather was uncertain so they spent yesterday with close friends near them. I phoned my dad on Wednesday night and told him Terry and I were going to take it easy on Thanksgiving day and not have any set schedule. I did promise him one of the two pumpkin pies I planned to make (the recipe makes two pies and Terry and I will not need to eat both of them). The sticky buns, on the other hand, would not survive to be shared. I urged him to spend Thanksgiving with his step-daughter’s family.