Quality bakers and blogs – simple things that make my day

New bakers and blogs – you gotta love em y’all.  I once thought only paper cookbooks would satisfy me... oh but no more;
I have switched to the dark side of the internet!   – A good cooking blog and especially on baking - make my day. 

Just received my King Arthur Spring Baking catalog - leaf through looking quickly, as I know their products well, I see a new recipe  “Joy’s Triple Berry Cinnamon Swirl bread” – Oh my goodness golly I thought to myself as I read the recipe,,..heck, I don’t have fresh berries in the house -  not really in season in February in Virginia!  So I went to her blog “joy the baker” and did not see, to my dismay, any recommendation for using frozen berries.  I feel confident I can use frozen as long as they are drained properly - out of the freezer the berries came, but went to store and purchased some fresh too to play it safe,   I also stopped and purchased a new cast iron skillet - I only have one skillet and one Dutch oven, but I want to find one that has higher edges and use for the sweeter items I bake.

This weekend not only did I make the Triple Berry, I also made some healthy muffins as well, using oat bran, whole wheat flour, and date sugar... Yes, they were yummy and no fat was involved.

February in Hooterville

Hooterville has been a bit cold, Very cold – hardly makes it to 30 degrees!  Much like most of the Midwest and Eastern states.  The hardest part of living here on Blue Mountain are the roads – they are so ‘backwards’ so ‘prohibition era’ to bring you to a visual of the moonshiners running the back roads to hide their stash and keep away from the law – Yeah that is really what is like here..

Planning ahead is vital, and knowing how to live without running water, heat and a convenience store are a must.    Of course having front yard chickens is a plus.

I find that being home (stuck home) is a blessing, I get to clean, I have the time to bake that bread, make those muffins and enjoy homemade hot chocolate after working to clear the snow and tending to the hounds and hens.

My hooterville hint for the cold and having to be in doors for any age – make that hot cocoa, have those marshmallows on hand, read a family book together, do a puzzle (which is what we do) – even if it just the two of you, make that time to ‘do something’.  A note on the book, this really is fun, pick a fun classic or a new one – read together even if on an ipad.

Planning for spring garden 2015

February 8th, I heard the birds chirping this morning as I was having my morning coffee,  and felt a tingle of excitement and anticipation of spring and a big plus...it got to 57 degrees.  Finally cleaned  out the coop, worked in the yard and decided on the new area for a raised  'hay bale' garden along an inside fence away from hounds and hens, (there was a recent post on bale of hay gardening, I got real excited after reading this blog!)   
Bought some new seeds and planning my new yard landscape.  I did not cook or bake too much this weekend, living off last weeks preparation, for which I am thankful for planning ahead.  My new area of focus is working on food plans, baking mixes and and other preparations for 'just two'.  I like eating whole foods and going back to basics.  With just me and Hubby I can't cook in bulk and  don't want to throw out food, I also decided to remove my microwave from my home, I just have a bad feeling about it, so out it goes,  I will have to post how 'removing the microwave' will impact me if it does?

February 47 Days Until Spring

February started my valentine’s cookie bake day – I tried a new recipe, well not new, but I used salted butter and not unsalted – won’t do that again – what a difference and not in a good way.

It has been cold and icy for most of January so 47 days gives me hope that spring is around the corner.  I received my new seed catalog – and excited to try some new varieties – I plan on planting water cress and arugula in lieu of lettuce this year – I have a nice area under the deck to plant my herb and delicate plants – away from the hounds and hens!

The sugar cookie ice cream sandwiches are for dessert tonight.  Planning on making a pizza and watching the rest of season 5 of LOST on Netflix. – Happy February
Will the Hooterville Hog give us a short winter?  We will find out tomorrow.