Archive for September, 2010

30
Sep
10

Artisanal Amazingness

Last night I threw together some flour, yeast, salt and water and called it the beginning of good taste.  This evening I threw that mass of sticky, carby goodness into the oven, sliced it up and served it alongside some spaghetti.  Oh yes.. enter the No Knead Bread!

I wouldn’t call it “no knead” exactly, since a little finagling has to be done to make it cooperate, but it takes little to no effort to create this

from this.

It looked much messier before I worked it into a neat ball, but I failed to capture the bubbly starter.  Fret not for it will be made again.  I’m thinking of mixing some herbs or dried fruit/nuts into my next loaf.  The possibilities are endless!

Baking seems an obvious way to spend my day off since our radar map has looked like this for the past 4 days and there is no end in sight.  Thank you Tropical Storm Depression nuisance Nicole.  You can leave now!

 

In general, I’m a huge fan of thunderstorms and rain, especially when I have the time to stay in bed and read/blog/nap but they don’t call this area “Tidewater” for no reason.  The waters are a-rising and the people are a-worrying.  Living so close to so many bodies of water makes it a little treacherous around here after only 1 day of rain.  We’ve had many, which brings out the horrible drivers.  I prefer to keep myself at home to bake, cook, clean and relax. 

So, bring on the rain!

29
Sep
10

No excuses!

I’d like to have a good reason for taking so much time since my last post.  I don’t.  Every few days I’d think “Man, I should really post this so that in a few months, I will remember it.”  I’d have a moment of hysteric laughter or sheer anger and I felt like writing, but I didn’t. 
I suppose I just didn’t care enough.

 In any case, in between posts I spent some time here back in June:

Princeville Beach at the St. Regis (Kauai, Hawaii).  The cuties below will soon be my niece and nephew!

Luckily, we didn’t have to pay outrageous St. Regis prices to enjoy the water.  My hubby’s grandfather lives just down the road from the resort in this cozy home –

 Half of my family stayed with him while we bunked with a few others right next door in this beautiful place –

I would have loved to gather all of those plumeria on the ground to bring them home.  The smell was wonderful!  Don’t let those Bath & Body Works scents fool you.  They are nothing like the real thing!

The Kauai trip was a celebration for my in-laws 40th anniversary. I love how in love they are and what a great example they have set for my own relationship –

They thought they would give a gift to each other by reuniting all of their children and their counterparts in Hawaii.  A gift for them was a gift for all of us too!  Is there any way thank someone for being so generous because all of the baked breads and pastries that I’ve given them don’t seem enough?  Anyone got an idea? 

Along for the ride was my sister-in-law, Michelle, her best friend, Lori, bro-in-law Mike and his girlfriend, Cassie, sis-in-law Patti and her boyfriend-turned-fiance, Bill, as well as Bill’s children.

Here’s everyone (minus me) getting ice cream at Lappert’swhich is a Kauai staple! 

Gotta love happy ice cream faces!  It is, by far, the most amazing ice cream and sorbet that has crossed my lips.  Sadly, shipping to the east coast just isn’t an option.  Thumbs down to that.  I guess I just have to make the cross-country trip for more!

Ice cream was just one of many Kauai highlights and I think it’s only fair for those who have not been to the island to be given the breakdown, should you decide to venture that way.

Things to love about Kauai:

  1. Chickens – You should make yourself accustomed to early morning rooster wakeup calls.  The chickens are EVERYWHERE, including the beach.  
  2. Bubba Burgers – Yes, the teriyaki burgers are like none other, but their grilled chicken sandwiches also rock my socks.  You should never say no to a trip to Bubba’s.  It’s an experience that should not be skipped, even if they do proclaim that “health food sucks.”

3. Mai Tai’s and other yummy “Grown-Up” drinks – This really requires no explanation.  It is vacation after all!

4. A Luau – Where else can you see beautiful, talented dancers and handsome fire-handling men.

Kaiden, however, was a little embarrassed by the beautiful hula girls and had to hide is own face with his Daddy’s hand.  This was, by far, the funniest kid-related moment of the entire trip.  I should also mention that about a half-hour later, when the girls performed a serious hip-shaking Tahitian routine, he could not stop laughing!

It was a magnificent 10 days. 

In other happenings since my last post I’ve also started a new part-time gig which I absolutely adore.  I’m working at a small shoe store that specializes in custom orthotics, specialty shoe brands and diabetic shoes.  My coworkers make me laugh and my customers (usually) make me smile.  Our diabetic customers are so grateful to finally find some comfortable shoes that offer them the support and protection they need.  I often get to use my biology knowledge when customers come in with plantar fascitis, foot injuries, neuropathy – just about anything that makes it unpleasant to do..well.. anything.  I love it almost as much as I love the HUGE shoe discount.  Score one for my tootsies!

I had a birthday – the big 2-8 – and I got my #1 wedding registry item. Can you guess? 

(source)

My husband and in-laws must really like me!!  In the 30 days since receiving it, it has churned out multiple batches of hubby’s favorite chocolate chip cookies, Heidi Swanson’s Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip cookies (Hey, I’ve gotta get my chocolate fix too!), Tina’s Chewy Oatmeal Raisin cookies, and I am now on my 2nd loaf of the famous No Knead Bread, introduced by Mark Bitten.  I don’t know how I lived for so long without this mixer.  I am in baking heaven!  My coworkers, husband and parents waists are probably growing because of my new obsession, but it doesn’t matter.  If I have a spare few hours, something is going to make my home smell yummy!

The starter has been mixed for tomorrow’s bread loaf and it will likely accompany my regular spaghetti.  You never know, however.  I might get crazy and whip up something new – riding the wave of adventure spawned by my new toy!

Aside from my new mixer, new job and new tan (actually, that faded about 1 week after I returned from Hawaii), things are much the same.  I’ve been keeping tabs on my favorite bloggers and wish you all lots and lots and lots and lots of luck during the challenge.  I’m glad that many of my faves are participating and I am having a blast (and probably wasting too much time) reading blogs that are new to me!  I wish I had more hours in the day and money in my wallet to make some of the amazing recipes I am seeing!  It is all so inspirational!

In fact, I think I’ll go waste some more of that time now..




Hi Ya’ll!

Hiya! I'm Heidi, a 28-year-old "retired" student living in Virginia. I am a newlywed and currently on the hunt for a full-time job that will use either my Biology or Secondary Education degree. In the meantime, I work in retail and at an event venue part-time. When I'm not working, I love to kill hours at the gym, scrapbook, and act as a domesticated diva to keep my hubby happy!