Monthly Archives: January 2014

Shooting the Bullseye

Rebekah has been interested in archery ever since she saw a pretty pink bow a Dick’s Sporting Goods a few years ago. She asked about the bow, begged for it, wanting us to get it for her off and on since then.

We said no. Not that we didn’t want to support her in the desire to learn archery, but that we thought it was no more than a passing phase. That she would grow out of it, forget about it.

But she didn’t.

After we realized that she had not lost interest, we took her to a local gun shop that had an indoor archery range to try it out. We wanted to see if she would really like it, once she shot a bow, and realized it takes focus, effort, and practice.

And she did. She loved it.

We ended up buying her a bow for Christmas. Blue. With blue arrows.

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Rick and I refurbished my parents 1970 something compound bows, they are in fantastic shape, to be able to shoot with her at the range. And I think Rick has found his niche also!

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Something they can do together. Something they both love.

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I am in trouble!

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Proud

This man. I am so proud of him. Twenty years military service. So very proud of all he has accomplished in his career, and proud to support him in it.

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Desolate

I have a love hate relationship with my Christmas Tree.

I love it before Christmas. All stuffed with presents, and just waiting in anticipation.

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See what I mean, just waiting for the big day!

After Christmas, I began to not really like it. It always seems so desolate now that Christmas is over , and the presents are gone.

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See what I mean, desolate.

I always want to take the tree down as soon after Christmas as I could, and this year was able to enlist Rebekah to help. Thankfully, because it went so much quicker!

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Homemade Gnocchi

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My family loves Gnocchi.

Well, that may be an understatement. If given one food to eat for the rest of our lives, gnocchi would be one of the top choices for my family.

Today, I decided to surprise my cherished family with some homemade gnocchi in browned butter and garlic.

Making gnocchi is a fairly easy process, albeit a bit time consuming. It is a combination of 2 parts mashed potatoes to one part flour, and an egg to bind.

Since I didn’t have potatoes left over (we don’t typically eat mashed potatoes), I decided to bake about 6 medium Idaho russets until they were fork tender.

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After they had cooled enough to handle, I scooped out the insides and mashed them with some butter and milk (using my hand masher).

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I placed them in a container and stored in the refrigerator until I was ready to begin making the gnocchi.

I mentioned before that gnocchi is an easy recipe, and it is. I measured out 2 cups of the potatoes, one cup white flour, got my egg and brought it all to room temperature before starting.

(I didn’t get pictures of these parts)

I floured the counter with about 1/4 – 1/2 of the flour, and dumped out the potatoes onto the floured counter, then created a potato mound with a well in the center.

Into the well, I cracked the egg (do that in a separate bowl and then add it into the well. That way, if you get a bad egg the entire mixture is not runid!) and added the remainder of the flour.

Mix this with your hands until a dough forms.

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Divide the dough into 3 parts, to make it easier to work with, and create a roll with each part out until they are about an inch thick.

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Using a pastry scraper or a knife, cut each one into one inch segments, and roll along the times of a fork to create ridges.

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These are crucial, because they will hold all the yummy sauce!

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Once all of the gnocchi is completed, boil in salted water 2-3 minutes or until they float. The gnocchi will float when they are done.

Cover with whatever sauce you like! (I browned some butter and garlic for ours!)

 

Snow Bound!

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It’s here.

The snow that the weather forecasters have been predicting all week has finally arrived.

8-12 inches for central Indiana. With blizzard like conditions predicted for the afternoon.

If you know anything about people in central Indiana, you know we like to be prepared. And there was a lot of preparation for this storm….

Facebook friends reported multiple stores in the area had run out of milk, bread, produce, meat…. beer (hey, I said we like to be prepared!)

The snow was supposed to start last night, but the weather models changed the beginning of the snow fall to this morning. And now it is here.

Big, fluffy, beautiful, flakes of snow.

(I am anticipating a snow day for school tomorrow!)

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Old Fashioned Bean Soup

Okay, I have to say it… I do not like bean soup.

I think my southern relatives just had a heart attack.

I don’t know where my dislike of bean soup came from. I grew up eating it. All my family loves it; the family I grew up with, and the one that I have now as a mom and a wife. My husbands favorite is lima bean and ham (yuck), and my daughter loves any type f bean soup (double yuck).

That being said, I have made it my mission to make bean soup for them. Not as often as they would like, I’m sure, but I make it about 3 times a year.

This past week I had a ham bone from a spiral cut ham that we had for Christmas and a bag of great northern beans. The perfect combination for ham and bean soup.

This soup is “souper” easy (heehee) to throw together, using onion, garlic, beans, one ham bone, chicken stock (I would use vegetable stock if I had it on hand, but chicken stock works well too), salt/pepper, and bay leaves.

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Starting the night before, soak the beans according to the package directions.

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Dice onion and garlic,

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and saute the onion in a large dutch oven until translucent.

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add garlic, beans and the ham bone. Cover with stock, and add salt, pepper, and 3 bay leaves (or however many you desire.)

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Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cover and cook until the beans are tender.

Remove the ham bone, pull off the meat, and return the meat to the pot.

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(my two beggars)

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Continue cooking until the beans are creamy.

I typically serve this with some type of bread (corn bread, biscuits) and a salad.

Old Fashioned Ham and Bean Soup

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz Great Northern Beans (dried)
  • 1 Ham Bone
  • 1 Large Onion (diced)
  • 2-3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 32 oz Chicken Stock (or Vegetable)
  • 2-3 Bay Leaves
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

  1. Soak the beans following package directions. Remove any beans that are bad, and drain.
  2. In a large stock pot, saute onion until translucent. Add agrlic and saute for another minute.
  3. Add remaining ingredients.
  4. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer until beans are tender (around 1 1/2 – 2 hours.)
  5. Remove ham bone and pull the meat off the bone.
  6. Return the meat to the soup, and discard the bone.
  7. Continue simmering uncovered until the beans are creamy.
  8. Remove bay leaves, and serve!

Cold Stone Creamery Sweet Cream Ice Cream – Knock Off

One of my favorite ice creams ever is Cold Stone Creamery’s Sweet Cream Ice Cream. I first had it this past Labor Day weekend in Anaheim, while we were at Disney. It was a very hot weekend, and there is nothing better than munching on this ice cream while walking back to the hotel after a hot, sticky day at the park.

I have thought about, dreamt about, desired this ice cream since then.

I had to have it!

Since the only Cold Stone Creamery is 30 miles away, I was left with making it at home. After an exhaustive search on the internet (okay, really just typing in what I wanted and clicking on the first link) I found this recipe.

Churning the Ice Cream

Churning the Ice Cream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Could it be? My Sweet Cream ice cream?

The reviews look promising. I had all the ingredients. There was nothing left to do but plunge forward with trying it.

It was creamy, delicious, heaven!

I mixed in some M&Ms I had left over from holiday baking, and if I closed my eyes I was transported back to Anaheim. That is until I heard the snow and wind howling outside the window….

Oh well. The ice cream was still fantastic!

Cold Stone Creamery Sweet Cream Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup

Directions:

In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar and cornstarch until combine. Pour in cream, milk and corn syrup and whisk until well blended. Cook mixture over medium heat (sometimes I even cook it over medium high to speed it up a bit), stirring constantly until mixture comes just to a gentle boil. Once mixture reaches a gentle boil, reduce heat and allow mixture to gently bubble, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Cover mixture with saran wrap or wax paper, pressing directly against the surface of the ice cream base to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate mixture until fully chilled, then transfer to freezer and freeze 1 hour – 1 1/2 hours (I’ve found this really helps the ice cream structure when freezing post ice cream maker processing, it basically gives it a head start). Transfer extra chilled ice cream mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers directions. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until nearly firm, or freeze until firm and soften in microwave about 5-10 seconds until slightly softened. Mix in desired “mix-ins” (if you wanted to prepare just as Cold Stone does, you could freeze a marble slab then use two large spoons to fold in mix-ins using chilled marble slab, or alternately you could add the mix-ins in during the last 5 minutes of processing in ice cream maker).

Recipe from http://www.cookingclassy.com/

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