Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What are we eating now?

This winter I got caught up in an article about MAKING A BETTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE. I mean really........... good is good and all chocolate chip cookies are good...... right?

So I looked at several recipes and although there are some variations I didn't see any major differences. But, who am I to make a hasty decision without actually testing?

Being true to my New England roots I chose my recipe from King Arthur Flour. You can get it HERE I've always used the recipe on the chip bag and decided if I was going to explore new territory I should go all out. This version had 2 ingredients I had never used baking soda and vinegar.

I mixed everything as the recipe suggested and then.............

placed it in the fridge for 12 to 36 hours. Thank goodness my children are no longer living at home. Cookie dough ice cream was very much the in thing when they were young and I would have seen my dough slowly disappear if I had left it unattended for that amount of time.
When it came time to bake the cookies they asked that you sprinkle with a bit of sea salt,and so I did.
Now I'm not sure what made them better............I did not put walnuts in as this was not in the recipe. I included the soda and vinegar.........Did that make a difference? I sprinkled with sea salt certainly doesn't sound earth shattering. Of course I chilled the dough 24 hours..........put the cookies out and waited to see if I heard any feedback. My husband was the first to try them......"wow new recipe? These cookies taste great" Really? I guess you can make a better cookie..............said the hobbit

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Are you thinking garden?

I can't help it...........must be something in the genes. I have food/garden on my mind for most of my waking hours. Trouble is I usually dismiss my brainstorming with a wave of my hand always so sure it probably wouldn't work. Thankfully Christmas keeps me pretty busy and I manage to stop obsessing about the garden. However this year was a little different.........A late hurricane and an early snow storm found me doing cleanup in the garden on a warm November day and I started that..........."Why can't I grow something year round?" feeling. Living in N.H. it's easy to dismiss such a possibility. Somehow this year I just couldn't let go of it.

After weeding out a new area to expand the summer garden I thought. "Why not plant a few seeds under the tunnel and see what happens.

After 2 weeks into November I raised the tunnel and look what I found!!! I know......it's hard to see but, in the lower right hand corner of this picture I spied the smallest bit of lettuce starting to sprout.

At the opposite end of the tunnel (upper right hand corner) The faintest bit of red lettuce. I had a grin from ear to ear. I know ........doesn't take much to make me happy...right? Of course...now I have the bug. I'm anticipating a longer growing season already. How about you? Are you thinking on your garden? ............................said the hobbit

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's a Bittyful Friday

Wake me when Spring has sprung......I've got a craving for green grass.

Friday, February 10, 2012

It's a Bittyful Friday


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What......January is over??????

I made a to do list for January and it seems I'm out of time !!! So many important things to celebrate this month, I just had push to some projects to my February list.

Let's see.................DaughterRENEE celebrated her 4 T ith b-day. As you can see , she didn't take it too seriously.............she seemed to be having fun with it.

Then,good friend Betty got a new kitchen........really, a whole new kitchen. So much to love here, but, I think my favorite thing is the fridge.........It has a drawer with it's own temperature control for snacks or cooling desserts or just for little people to be able to find their goodies.
But, here is the biggest news of all this month. We have a new grand daughter. This is Cottrell, giving her father all the attention she can to win a place in his heart...........don't worry honey, I have it on good authority that he's in love ........again.

Here she is nuzzling up to pepere.............nice move Cottrell.
Looks like you're a keeper....................said the hobbit

Sunday, February 5, 2012

What are we eating now?

Are you trying to eat local? I spend time every week trying to find out what else I could serve that would be grown or raised in New England. You would think that after all these years it would be hard to find new favorites ,but, they keep coming. This past month it was a big surprise that I fell in love with BEANS................ I know that seems a bit weird , who knew!!!
While exploring our neighboring states, this past fall, I came across local dried beans. My bad self thought "big deal". The farmer in me said "Do you know how much time someone worked to get you this little bag of dried beans?" I picked up the 2 lb bag of beans in support of my "farmer people" patted myself on the back for supporting local and stuck the beans in the closet. That being said let's get right to my new love.

First I poured 2 cups of my beans into a pot and covered with water to soak over night. Did you know that slow overnight soaking releases gases that would otherwise get stuck in your tummy.I had no idea that soaking did that.

Tucked in my freezer was a beef shank that needed to be the center of attention on the Sunday table. With a little olive oil in my pot, I browned the meat on all sides.

Then, I minced of few garlic cloves and snipped a fresh leaf off of my bay plant.
I chopped an onion,3 celery stalks,and 4 carrots. This is what I had in the fridge so, it wasn't a magic number more what I had on hand.
I removed the shank and set it aside,then browned the veggies and the herbs in the remaining oil and beef juice. Then I mixed in the drained beans ......topped it with the meat
Made sure all the veggies and beans were covered with water brought it to a boil on top of the stove and put it in the oven,cover on, for 3 to 4 hours at 300 degrees. I'm sure you could do this in a crock pot or slow cooker, however, years ago I spent time and money buying the perfect stewing pot and after months of searching settled on a copco from Denmark. Obviously, I had not reached my local stage yet. The "brown pot" as it is referred to, did a great job.
When supper time came I served this with crusty bread and I have to say, it was fantastic. But, the beans ............they were so good that I'm trying to figure out just how I could grow my own. Of course, if it doesn't work out I now know where I can get them, but then we all know that the fun is in the trying ........................said the hobbit

Friday, February 3, 2012

It's a Bittyful Friday

Hobbit dangles a bit of yarn and I smack it around...............I love this game