Christmas in Vermont Bread

January 16, 2015

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So wooo-wheee! That’s it!! The holidays are over!!! Now please don’t take my obvious joy at that statement as a hint that perhaps I have a bit of a  “grinchy” attitude towards Christmas.

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I don’t…for the most part anyway, though I feel a disclaimer should pop up here saying something like ” Mood subject to change a the drop of a hat”. There are a lot of things about the holidays that I enjoy, but that certainly doesn’t mean that they aren’t a whole heck of a lot of work. So I do admit when they are finally done and dusted, I am definitely relieved as well as somewhat delighted. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen this past Christmas and whipped up some delicious treats. As usual, before everything was in a full frenzied Christmas whirl, I swore that I would take the time to get pictures of all of the delicacies that I made. And as usual, guess what? Things got hectic and heated and as if you hadn’t guessed from my sudden disappearance from the blog-a-shpere around mid-December, yeah, I didn’t really get any photos….Except….Of one of my favourite new recipes this year, Christmas in Vermont Bread. I love, love, LOVE this bread. The fact that I snapped photos of it are nothing short of a Christmas miracle in itself, so I just had to share it with you, even though Christmas is indeed gone. (I might be doing one of those jumping up and down hands waving about over  the head silent cheers right now.)

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This bread was very easy to make and looks pretty impressive if I do say so myself. It is a soft and tender sweet yeast bread which has a scrumptious ribbon of pecan and maple sugar running through the middle as well as generously sprinkled over the top.

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And as if that wasn’t enough, there is also an addictive maple sugar glaze drizzled liberally over the top. Great to gobble down toasted (the bread, not yourself…though the festive holiday season has been known to involve a bit of tipple or two…) with lashings of butter, or to take to a holiday get together or even give as a gift! As I mentioned, it is easy to make with one caveat. It does call for Maple Sugar, which might be difficult for you to find. King Arthur Flour sells it on their site or you could always order from Amazon. Or you could always just substitute brown sugar. (I really like the Maple flavour though, so you might want to plan ahead and procure the true blue maple stuff) Bottom line is this bread is amazing! It will be a Christmas tradition around here without a doubt. But I should mention, it would also be lovely to have at Thanksgiving. I think all of its warm maple and pecan flavours certainly evoke a Fall-time, Thanksgiving -y vibe. Heck, who am I kidding. I’m sure the next time you check in with me I’ll have a loaf of “Easter in Vermont Bread” or “Height of Summer” in Vermont Bread. It is that good, there is no reason why it can’t be enjoyed year round. Unless you’re concerned about being able to zip your britches up I suppose. I don’t know, maybe skinny jeans are over-rated. Stretchy yoga pants are quite fashionable now a days. But I digress….I guess what I’m saying is that this Christmas in Vermont Bread is worth a little indulgence. You should give it a try, no matter what time of year. I guarantee you will be hooked!

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Christmas in Vermont Bread

  • Servings: 16 -18 slices
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: King Arthur Flour Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 3/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 yolk (reserve the white)

 For the Filling and topping:

  • 1/2 cup maple sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup pecan meal or almond flour, or very finely ground pecans or almonds
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

For the Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup maple sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup glazing sugar or confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Melt the butter in the milk, and let cool to lukewarm (98° – 105°F). Combine all of the dough ingredients, and mix and knead them—by hand, mixer, or bread machine—until you have a very soft, shiny, slightly sticky dough. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and allow it to rise for 1 1/2 hours.

To make the filling: Stir together all of the filling ingredients until they form coarse crumbs. Set them aside.

Grease a large tube pan. (make it a large one – lots of ovenspring here). Scoop about half of the dough into the greased pan. Sprinkle about two-thirds of the filling atop the dough. Top with the remaining dough.

Beat the reserved egg white till foamy. Brush over the dough, and sprinkle with the remaining filling/topping. Cover lightly with greased plastic wrap, and let rise for 1 1/2 hours, or till puffy.

Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until it’s golden brown. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack to cool while you make the glaze. Mix the glaze ingredients together and heat them, in a saucepan or in the microwave, till the sugar dissolves. Place the loaf on a serving plate and drizzle with the warm glaze. Cool completely before slicing with a serrated knife.

Enjoy!

Christmas in Vermont Bread brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


Heavenly West Virginia Dinner Rolls

November 28, 2014

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I have a confession to make. I love bread. I LOVE it. When I did that South Beach Diet a few years ago and bread was completely out of the question, I thought I might die. I guess that is when I figured out South Beach was not really sustainable in my world. Nope. In my world there is a lot of fresh baked bread, preferably slathered in lovely salty butter.

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I guess I’ll have to hit the gym a little longer to make sure that in my world I can still get my britches buttoned. But if that’s what it takes to chow down on bread, then so be it. And these little dinner rolls that I’m about to talk about, well they are definitely worth undertaking a few extra revs in the gym. Moist, tender and slightly sweet, they are my go-to roll for all dinners. I probably should have let you know about these before Thanksgiving, but hey –  Christmas and New Year’s are right around the corner!

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You may wonder why I call them West Virginia Rolls. Well, I originally came across this recipe when I was looking for Pepperoni Roll recipe. The husband and I love to visit West Virginia every chance we get. Especially the town of Fayetteville, which I’ve told you all about in previous blogs. Pepperoni Rolls, soft white yeast roll which are stuffed with pepperoni, cheese and possibly some peppers, are like the State food of West Virginia. You can find them everywhere from bakeries to gas stations. I wanted to recreate them at home and found an absolutely to die for recipe on Martha Miller’s blog. Her recipe yielded up some truly Heavenly Pepperoni Rolls. The bread called for in that recipe, which was from Martha’s grandmother Yie’s dinner roll recipe, is the same bread used in these rolls. I called them Yie’s Rolls for a while, but everyone around here thought I was saying “yeast rolls” and they were wondering which yeast rolls I meant. Now, when I say West Virginia Rolls, everyone knows exactly what I mean and starts drooling immediately!

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I used to be intimidated by any recipe that had yeast in it. I was sure it was just too difficult to pull off. Now I know that baking with yeast is not really difficult at all, though it can be a bit persnickity, so it helps if you have a few tools on hand. You definitely need a good thermometer which will give you a fast read. And the type of yeast you use is important. Personally I love the SAF Instant Yeast I keep a canister of it in the freezer at all times. And a dough rising bucket is also nice to have. You could probably get by without these tools, but having them makes things go much more smoothly. So now you’re ready to make some lovely yeast dinner rolls. These flavourful little gems are easy to make, though I will admit they are a bit time-consuming with two separate rise times, so make sure you have plenty of time set aside for them on baking day. Now don’t get discouraged. I know you’re thinking “there is no way I have time for all that nonsense especially around the holidays.” But here is a great secret I am happy to pass along to you. Sometime prior to the big dinner you have planned, when you have some free time on your hands (yeah right, huh?) you can make a bunch of these rolls up and par-bake them. So that means you just bake them for 7 minutes, take them out of the oven to cool and then freeze them in heavy ziplock freezer bags. (They will keep in the freezer for several months.) Then, when the day of the big dinner arrives, you simply take them out of the freezer and pop them frozen right onto the baking tray and bake at 375° F for about 8 -10 minutes. And voila! Lovely dinner rolls, fresh from the oven, melt in your mouth, golden brown and irresistible. You will be amazed how quickly these little devils disappear from your table!

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Heavenly West Virginia Dinner Rolls

  • Servings: 3 dozen
  • Difficulty: easy - but time consuming
  • Print

recipe from: Martha J Miller

Note: This recipe makes a lot of rolls! My stand mixer is not even big enough to handle the full recipe. I usually make 1/2 of the recipe which yields about 18 -20 rolls.

Ingredients:

For the bread:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 packages instant yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons – a yeast packet contains 2 1/4 tsp. yeast)
  • 1 cup warm water (about 110°F)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 9-10 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Directions:

In a small saucepan, heat the milk over low heat until just before it comes to a boil (heat to about 190 – 195° F). Do not let the milk boil. In a small bowl, combine the warm milk, oil, salt and 3/4 cup sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves and let the mixture cool to lukewarm (98°F).

Meanwhile, in the bowl of stand mixer combine the two packages of yeast, sugar and warm cup of water. Stir gently with a fork to break up any clumps and let stand 5 minutes or until mixture becomes bubbly. Pour the lukewarm milk mixture into the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the eggs one at a time and beat to combine.

On low speed, begin to slowly add the flour, one cup at a time until a loose dough forms. There is no precise measurement for the flour as it will vary depending on your individual environment’s humidity, elevation, etc. but it will be somewhere between 9 to 10 cups. The finished dough will pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl, be slightly sticky and slack, but still hold together well.

Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead, incorporating more flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands and the counter top. Knead by hand for 6 to 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Or you can just switch to your dough hook and let the mixer knead it for about 6 – 8 minutes. To test if the dough is ready, gently poke your finger into the dough and if the indentation remains but slowly comes back, you have kneaded long enough. Place dough in a rising bucket or if you don’t have one, a large lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Place in a warm draft-free place and let rise until dough doubles, about 2 hours.

After the first rise, gently remove the dough and knead lightly 2 or 3 times on a floured surface to remove any large air pockets. Next, divide the dough into 2 ounce pieces preferably using a kitchen scale. If you do not own a kitchen scale the dough should divide out into roughly 3 dozen small pieces and once shaped, be about 1-1.5 inches in diameter.

Shape dough pieces into rolls by pinching two opposite sides of the dough and then pinching together the other two sides to form a ball.

Place shaped rolls on greased sheet pans with enough room for them to rise without touching and lightly cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, approximately 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly beat one large egg with a splash of water and paint egg wash gently over each roll. Bake rolls for 12-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool finished rolls on a rack and re-warm before serving.

To par-bake the rolls simply remove the partially cooked rolls after 7 minutes, let cool, and freeze in heavy duty plastic bags. To finish, place frozen rolls on a greased sheet pan and cook at 375°F for 8-10 minutes. Frozen par-baked rolls will keep in your freezer for several months.

Enjoy!

Heavenly West Virginia Dinner Rolls brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 

 


Cranberry, Pistachio and White Chocolate Biscotti

January 3, 2012

I actually did it! I managed to make Biscotti all on my own! And not any old Biscotti, this Cranberry, Pistachio and White Chocolate Biscotti rocks! It is far and away, the best Biscotti I have ever eaten! My friend John originally turned me on to Biscotti by bringing me Whole Food’s Cranberry Pistachio version, telling me “This stuff is fantastic! You should try it.” Well, truth be told, although I was thankful he was so thoughtful, I wasn’t thrilled with idea of the biscotti. Every Biscotti I had eaten up until that point had been very dry, like chewing sawdust, with very little flavour. Furthermore, it was often so hard that I just knew it had a high probability of cracking every tooth I had it my head! So, the Whole Food Biscotti got pushed aside for a few days. But John had been so enthusiastic about them, I decided to give them a try. Armed with a cup of coffee to lessen the likely hood of a sudden trip to the dentist, I tentatively dunked and then tasted. John was right! These Biscotti were fantastic! Fast forward to about a month ago, I happened to see Giada De Laurentis making Biscotti on the Food Network. She made it look very easy, so I gave it a whirl.

The only thing I changed in her recipe is that she dipped her Cranberry, Pistachio Biscotti in melted White Chocolate and then sprinkled them with red and green sanding sugar to give them a real Holiday feel. I decided to simply add some white chocolate chips to the mix and skip the dipping. I thought that the red cranberries and green pistachios give it all the Holiday cheer it needed. (and I might be a bit lazy…) The results? These Biscotti put the Whole Foods version to shame. They are full of flavour, you can really taste the cranberries, and have an awesome texture, crunchy yet still moist.

My husband happened to pop into the kitchen just after I had taken my first bite to find me literally dancing about. Being somewhat leery of Biscotti himself, for the same reasons I had been, he was a bit hesitant to try them. But watching my happy dance, he couldn’t resist and now is a Biscotti fan himself! He loved them. He loved them so much he is asking me to make an Apricot Dark Chocolate version which I am planning to do later this week. Even our dog loves them, so much he can recognize the sound of the Biscotti container opening and will immediately run to the kitchen. (Not that we spoil our dog by giving him people food…) So, I guess I’m saying, don’t put up with that brick bat hard, tasteless, cardboardy store-bought Biscotti any longer, make some for yourself and see how delicious it can truly be!

Cranberry Pistachio and White Chocolate Biscotti

recipe from Giada De Laurentis via the Food Network

yield: about 15 biscotti

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the pistachios, cranberries and white chocolate.

Form the dough into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.

Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.

Enjoy!


Toffee Almond Sandies

December 28, 2011

O.k., O.k……I’m sure you are all sick to death of cookies by this point. I know I went way overboard on the cookie making front, I say staring at a tower of cookies in tins and bags, which if it were to fall would surely crush me. If you suddenly hear no more from me, at least you’ll know what it was that likely did me in! I guess the way it got so out of control is that I have certain cookies that I like to bake every Christmas. But every year I see some new cookie recipes that look fantastic. I can’t not make the old favourites, so I just keep adding more and more to the list. This year I came across this Toffee Almond Sandie recipe on one of my new favourite blogs Once Upon A Chef, I and just must share it with everyone it was so scrumptious! I know I’ve mentioned this blog before. Jennifer, a professionally trained chef and the author of this blog, was my source for the Roasted Green Beans with Garlic, Pine Nuts and Parmigiano-Reggiano which I blogged about back in November. I served that dish as a side on Thanksgiving and loved it so much that I just rolled it out again for Christmas Dinner! I’ve also made several other dishes from her blog and they have all been just to die for! I am now a loyal follower, I assure you. So if you haven’t yet, take a peek at her site!

Back to the cookies. These little Toffee Almond Sandies were such a big hit and are forever added to my growing favourite Christmas Cookies (or any other time of year for that matter!). They look fairly plain, kind of rustic and home-y, but oh my stars, when you take one bite, you’ll be hooked. They are crunchy from the sparkly sugar-coating ( I used Demerara sugar), crispy and nutty from the chopped almonds, a bit chewy from the lovely toffee bits(I used Heath toffee chips-found in your grocer’s aisle along with the chocolate chips) and all of the delicious bits mentioned above are nestled in among a delicious sweet shortbread. Quite a pleasant surprize!

Really stellar I must say. Don’t wait until next Christmas to try these out. Serve them for New Year’s Eve. Bet they’d go great with some Champagne!

Toffee Almond Sandies

recipe from Once Upon a Chef

yield: 9 dozen cookies (I halved it!)

Ingredients:

  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup Confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups chopped almonds
  • 6 oz (about 1 heaping cup) English toffee bits*
  • Additional sugar

Directions:

Set racks in middle of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in a medium bowl; mix well.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and Confectioners’ sugar until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula, then add oil, eggs and almond extract; mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix slowly to combine. Stir in almonds and toffee bits.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls, roll in sugar, then place about 2″ apart on prepared baking sheets and flatten with a fork. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through cooking, for 14-17 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cookies cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Enjoy!


Biscoff Crunch White Chocolate Chip Cookies

December 22, 2011

Alright…I know your first questions are “What is Biscoff?” “Is that a spelling error?” No it isn’t. Biscoff are delicious cookies originally made by the Lotus Bakery in Belgium in 1932. Overseas they are referred to as Speculoos Biscuits (Biscuit=cookie in European speak) These cookies are really delicious and have a caramelized cinnamony taste. You may have eaten one if you’ve flown anywhere recently, because many airlines have been serving them as a snack since 1984. Now they are being sold in the United States. I have seen them in my local Giant and Safeway stores. You can check out the Biscoff website to find out which grocery chain sells them in your state, or there is always good old Amazon if you can’t seem to find them anywhere. And believe me, you should try to find them. They are fabulous all on their own, especially with a nice cup of tea or coffee. But when they are crunched up in a cookie with white chocolate chips, they will just put you over the moon! These cookies really are that fantastic! Just so you know, you will need two sleeves of these cookies to make this recipe, so when you find them, stock up! Santa may be getting one or two Biscoff Crunch White Chocolate Chip Cookies, if he is lucky. We might just gobble them all up before Christmas Eve. I’m sure you noticed my pup lurking around in the background of my pics! It will definitely be touch and go. I’ll keep you posted…

Biscoff Crunch White Chocolate Chip Cookies

recipe from Picky Palate

yield: 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 20 finely ground Biscoff Cookies
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 20 crushed Biscoff Cookies (coarsely chopped for an added crunch)
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with a silpat liner or parchment paper.

In a stand or electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and creamy. Add eggs then vanilla until well combined.

In a large bowl add the flour, ground Biscoff Cookies, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine then slowly add to wet ingredients until just combined. Add coarsely chopped Biscoff cookies and white chips until just combined.

With a medium cookies scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes until edges start to turn golden brown. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Enjoy!


Happy New Year!….Better late than never…….

January 23, 2011

Bah-Humbug! Is it over yet?

Wow! Here we are post-Thanksgiving, post-Christmas, post- St. Stephen’s Day, post -Farl Week (more on this later) and post- New Year and not even one “post” from me since Halloween. Where does the time go? So quite a bit has happened since I last bothered to blog. Christmas as usual was a whirlwind. We were busy with events leading right up to Christmas Day on which Jay and I hosted both sets of parents for dinner. This year we did a bacon wrapped beef tenderloin roast with horseradish sauce, potato and leek gratin, garden greens with champagne vinagrette and yorkshire puddings, topped off by Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes with a side of vanilla ice cream.

Bacon Wrapped Terderloin with Roasted Mushrooms

Yorkshire Puddings

Dinner is served!

Molten Chocolate Cakes about to be plated & paired with ice cream

For whatever reason, this meal was significantly less stessful to prepare than those in the past. Perhaps I’m just getting more experienced in dealing with all of the small kitchen disasters one can be faced with when preparing for a dinner party. All in all, very enjoyable. The following day, St. Stephen’s Day, our parents returned for brunch. My brother Russ, sister-in-law Jen and their kids Riley and Jason stopped by as well. We had plenty to eat: two tarts-a ham and a bacon, scones-chocolate chip and currant, strawberries and cream, bacon cheddar biscuits, almond coffee cake, sliced ham with buttermilk mini biscuits, etc.

Brunch Table

Riley makes a selection

Kids really make Christmas, so there was big excitement for all involved. After spying some squirrels outside who were enjoying their St. Stephen’s Day peanuts, Riley and Jason were ready to get down to opening some prezzies.

On Squirrel Patrol

Riley really loved a princess castle that her Pop-pop and Granny gave her.

Wait..it was Riley who loved her castle right? My what big boots you have Riley!

Strawberries and Cream in a castle

Jason gets some help with a prezzie

He gets into the swing of things

Everyone joins in the fun

Perhaps some had a little too much fun...

Quite fittingly, we discovered that there is an actual Ridgeway Brewery in Oxfordshire England. We purchased a few bottles of their Christmas Ales. Splendid. Hope to visit it in person some day.

Ridgeway Ale

Overall, a very merry Christmas! Want to see more pics? Please click on Christmas/St. Stephan’s Day photos to view our entire gallery.

Later in the day, we had a few friends stop by as well for a very “chill” St. Stephen’s Day wind down. One particular highlight of the evening was that Peter, Jenn and Guiliane stopped by with the newest addition to their family-Eliana Camille-only 17 days old!

Eliana Camille Alcantara

How is that for adorable huh? Jenn is the photographer here. As you can see, she is awesome. Her business website, JLAphotos, is currently undergoing an upgrade, but make sure you check back soon. For those of you who can’t wait for a further peek at her gorgeous photography, take a look at her personal blog. She has many fantastic shots posted there. I particularly love the way she is able to really capture the personality of the children she photographs by having them just be themselves. There are few stiff, posed photos. That being said, she does do some awesome portrait type photography as well. Take a look at her work here on Fishnets and Photos. These HOT photos pay homage to the pin-up girls of yesterdays. Great for bachelorette parties or maybe a memorable Valentine’s gift for that special someone.

Jay and I both received some awesome prezzies as well. Too many, I’m ashamed to say, to mention here. However, I thought I would take the opportunity to show off a couple. Jay purchased these two fellows for me from a place called Motley Mutton.

Pajo Sheep

Tarquinn Squirrel

They are needle felted wool creations. Needle felting, for those who are not familiar with the process, is basically sculpting a form with wool. First you roll or bunch carded wool into a shape and then poke the wool with a barbed needle. This action causes the wool to become tangled and intertwined. The more the shape is stabbed, the tighter the twined wool. What Motley Mutton achieves with this process is amazing! Definitely take a look at this etsy store, her stuff is just adorable! I’m hoping to learn how to do this….I’ll keep you posted.

Speaking of prezzies, Gimlet was very happy with this giant, peanut butter rawhide bone.

Lucky Dog!

Jay is really pleased with his new EBOW. What is an EBOW you may ask. It is a piece of musical equipment which makes his guitar sound a bit more like a violin. Take a listen here:

With all of the Christmas festivities done, Jay and I looked forward to Farl Week. Farl Week, for those who don’t know, is the week following Christmas. During that week, for every single breakfast I prepare potato farls from our Christmas Dinner leftover mashed potatoes. You may have noticed that our Christmas Dinner this year did not include mashed potatoes. Not to be cheated out of Farl Week, I made up a batch on Christmas Eve and stuck them right in the fridge so they’d be ready on December 27th! A potato farl is basically a potato pancake, fried in butter or bacon drippings….YUM! I first became a fan when I had them in Ireland. There you can just buy them pre-made from the store. Those farls are basically shaped like a slice of bread, which is nice because you can put eggs and bacon on top of it and fold it over for a little breakfast sandwich. I cut mine out with a biscuit cutter and add a little shredded cheddar cheese to the mix. The recipe is easy: 1 Cup leftover mashed potatoes, 1/2 cup flour, salt and pepper to taste, cheddar cheese (or any other cheese you prefer) if you would like. Mix it all up, roll it out, cut into biscuit shapes, or I have even fried the entire farl round and cut it into wedges when it was done. I think I prefer the biscuit shapes though because they are a bit more crispy.

Rolling out the farl dough

Biscuit shaped farls

Frying 'em up!

Awesome Farlicious Breakfast

There were many awesome treats to be had over the whole holiday season and I assure you my waistline is happy that Farl Week only lasts one week. Farl Month would be a nightmare….a delicious nightmare…but…We’ve definitely tried to get back into the working out/ watching what we eat daily routine. However, I have recently come across some fantastic recipes and I’m sure we’ll have to take a break from the diet drudgery to try them out. Check back soon (Promise I will be better about the posting frequency…..)

Gimlet scarfs a snack


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