Friday, January 30, 2015

Big and Fluffy Hamburger Buns

                Friday has finally arrived and I for one am glad to see it. It's been another week of early morning wake up calls and generally not getting enough sleep. The older I get the harder it is to sleep an entire night without waking up. I've had home on my mind lately. It's almost been a year since my brother passed away and I have still not made peace with it. I have such an unease inside of me now and the need to go home to help my parents is growing stronger by the minute. Times like these I hate being so far away.
          When it gets to be to much I head into the kitchen to bake bread. It's the only thing that takes the edge off of my anxiety and allows me to focus on something else for awhile. Thanks goodness for bread :)
                  You can't really tell by the photos but these buns are kinda big..and fluffy and oh so tender and perfect. I love the whole wheat in the recipe and the butter,milk, and egg helps keep everything soft and delicious. If you are looking for a new bun recipe to try, I hope you give these a chance!

Big and Fluffy Hamburger Buns

1/4 cup Water
1 cup Milk
3 TBS Butter
1 TBS Sugar
2-1/4 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1 Egg
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1-1/2 tsp. Salt
2-1/2-3 cups All-purpose Flour

In a small saucepan,combine the water,milk and butter. Heat over low and cook just until the butter starts to melt (110-115f). Take off the heat and add in the sugar and yeast.

Pour into a stand mixer and add in the egg,whole wheat flour and salt. While mixing with the dough hook attachment, add in enough remaining flour to form a soft smooth and elastic dough...should take about 6-8 minutes on speed 4. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greed bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Gently deflate dough and place onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 8-9 balls and shape each one into a tight round ball. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten each ball until it's less than an inch thick and about 5 inches across. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350/180. Brush each bun with either milk or water and sprinkle sesame seeds or nigella seeds on top. 

Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Cool on wire rack.

Yield: 8-9 Hamburger Buns
Source: Recipe Fiction

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Take A Peek Wednesday: Weekend Snow!

                    My husband left for work around 6 am and by 8 am this is what greeted me as I made my way to the chickens! I knew we were going to get a bit of snow fall but had no idea we'd get this amount.

               Lily and Mabel didn't share my enthusiasm for the big white fluffy flakes. This was the chickens very first snow fall and they were refusing to come out. Even though they have a section of covered area to eat and hang out in, they just weren't having it. They finally came out when they saw me shaking the treat jar and then it was the frantic clucking as everyone tried to figure out what was going on.



                As you can see, we covered part of their chicken run with a special mesh they use on construction sites. It's breathable so they always have fresh air in there while it keeps the wind and rain out. They wouldn't step foot outside of their indoor run for two days. There was at least a few inches by Saturday after noon. Then it stopped and the sun came out. It started warming up and as quickly as the snow arrived, it was gone just as fast. I kind of like these one day snow ins. The forecast is calling for more snow fall during the next two days. Is anyone else experiencing snow fall?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies

                  Cookies for breakfast? You know you wanna! During the week I keep my two teenaged sons on a healthy breakfast schedule. It consists of anything from, Healthy Whole Gain Waffles, to Spelt Pancakes and a variety of whole grain muffins,eggs,toast and yogurt with a sprinkle of granola to go on top. I decided to give the popular cookie for breakfast recipe a go just because I know they wouldn't expect me to plunk down a plate of those along with their yogurt.

The cookies are super soft and delicious and in all these anytime you like, but be brave and snag a few for breakfast to have along side your cup of coffee. You won't be sorry!

Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies

1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 TBS Coconut Oil
1 Egg
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 TBS Ground Flax Seeds
3/4 cup Quick Oats
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 cup Mini Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350/180. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Using a stand mixer or hand held mixer, mix the peanut butter,brown sugar, and coconut oil until smooth. Add in the egg and mix until combined. Add in the salt, ground flax seeds,oats and flour and mix just until combined. Add in the chocolate chips and gently mix them in.

Scoop out 2 tablespoons worth of dough and shape into a ball. Place onto cookie sheet and press down slightly with the tines of a fork ( the cookies hardly spread out so you can place them fairly close together).

Bake for 9 minutes. Allow cookies to completely cool on cookie sheet as they are super duper soft and fragile.

Yield: 12 Cookies
Source: Crazy for Crust  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Take A Peek Wednesday: Running Errands

                 So let's run some errands together..but first..lets take in the beautiful sunshine that is pouring through my front window. It makes me so happy.
               The back yard has seen better days I'm afraid. It's super cold over here and I've been working on digging up the remains of what was left over from the summer. I pretty much suck at weeding and yard work in general. It's probably why I keep a container garden..less mess to deal with. I have such plans for this area though. I've got my seed list made and will be ordering everything soon. I plan on growing way more than I did last year!!

                   My husband and I decided to grab some lunch before we officially began our long list of things that needed to be done so it was off to Intratuin. It's a large garden center with a cafe. This was our view. If you look straight ahead and slightly to the left you will see my favorite section. The kitchen department. It's overpriced for sure but I do love walking through there and grabbing something small to take along with us.

                  But first..lets eat! I always get the same thing when we go here. A sandwich that has cheese,ham,cucumber,tomato and sliced hard boiled egg. I usually get it with a cup of coffee or cappuccino. We don't go out for a meal to often so I enjoy these times where we can sit and chat about things. 

                    On our way out we grabbed a small bag of jelly beans to share. I am a full on jelly bean freak..and an orange slice, swedish fish and any other sort of gummy freak. I can't get those over here so I get my fix every so often via jelly beans!

             Sadly this was my last shot. I didn't realize the battery was low on my point and shoot until I took this photo. We were on our way to Gronau,which is the first town when we come to when we cross the border into Germany. It takes about 10 minutes and we head there every few weeks to stock up on a few things that are cheaper over there.

What's your weather like where you are? We've had snow flurries but nothing has stuck thank goodness. We are in the low 30's but it's been dry which is nice. I can't wait til summer!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Take A Peek Wednesday: The Dark Dreary Days of A Dutch Winter

              Santa surprised me with a few things for being a point and shoot camera. I've been dropping hints for awhile but mostly in the form of complaints. I've got a large camera that is strictly used for the top notch pictures I love to take of my food and other things...and I love it. But it's big and bulky and you can't randomly snap photos here and there without making a deal out of it. So this year they went on sale and I got one.

So you can expect random photos now when I feel brave enough to snap a pic in public. The weather hasn't been on my side as of late but that's the Dutch winter for you. The photos consist of our city center that has a market on Tuesday and Saturday. It's kind of sad looking at the moment and I prefer it more in the summer when you see twice the amount of vendors. The other one is while driving in the car and the last is one of my Christmas gifts..A bread book. Is anyone surprised by this?

I hope your weather is looking friendlier than mine is!!! Hurry up summer!!!!!       


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Maple Pecan Muffins

                   I am sloooowly making my way back to the blogging world. I've been staring at this blog and wondering where it's going. Do I keep it up or just walk away? I don't have the answer so for now you get a muffin recipe!

             I loved the maple flavor and the crunch of the pecans. The muffin is moist and the topping adds another hit of sweetness. I successfully reduced the amount of sugar in these muffins without compromising on the flavor. I also used whole wheat flour and will makes notes where I changed things up.

Maple Pecan Muffins

1-3/4 cups All-purpose Flour..( I used 1 cup whole wheat flour and 3/4 APF)
1 cup Rolled Oats
1/2 tsp. Salt
3 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
3/4 cup Brown Sugar..I went with just under 1/2 cup
1 Large Egg
1 cup Milk..I used low fat
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
1 TBS Maple Extract
1 cup Chopped Pecans

2 TBS Cold Butter,cubed
1/4 cup Brown Sugar..I reduced to 2 tablespoons
2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour or Whole Wheat
2 TBS Oats

Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners and set aside.

In a large bowl,whisk together the flour,oats,salt baking powder and cinnamon.

In another bowl,whisk together the egg,milk,vegetable oil and maple extract. Pour the wet into the dry and mix just until combined. Fold in the pecans. Fill each muffin liner 2/3-3/4s full.

In a small bowl,combine the topping ingredients and using your fingers, cut the butter in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle evenly on top of muffin batter.

Bake 17-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan for 2 minutes before removing to wire rack.

Yield: 12 Muffins
Source: Lemon Sugar