Sunday, March 27, 2011

Before and After

Or, what a difference a day makes.
Yesterday the sun was shining and everything was feeling like Spring.

The camellias are in full bloom

The daffodils and jonquils are smiling brightly

The cat will stay out for more than a five minute run

And then today Winter reared it's ugly head once more. All told we probably got a little over a solid inch which in my book is an inch too much!

I should be making jewelry to restock at the restaurant gift shop as i am down to just a meager 3 pairs of earrings and  1 necklace, I should be finishing up the last of the aprons in our round robin to ship off this week or even making the trades for Art and Soul. 
 But my muse seems to be in a domestic mood as of late. 
This past week my grandaughter spent some time with us and we made a batch of strawberry jam out of the strawberries I brought back with us from Florida. I wish i had a picture but since it was just her and i I didn't want to chance leaving her by the pot unattended so i could snap a picture. Ever had hot sugary jam pop and splatter and burn you? Not good.

So yesterday while I was feeling all domestic I decided to use the rest of the flat of strawberries and make more jam. I was able to make an additional 2 batches for a total of 23 jars.

Then I got an idea to make some fresh bread to go along with the fresh jam. I have always just made the dough in my kitchenaid mixer with the dough hook and then baked it in the oven with my baking stone. Last winter I even took an artisan bread making class at the local community college.
But recently i looked into and purchased a bread machine for when I didn't have time to babysit a loaf from start to finish. I had read that they use these in the test kitchens at King Arthur Flour so decided it was worth a try.

The first loaf  is just a loaf of white bread, the standard recipe that came with the machine and it was done in 2 hours and 20 minutes using the fast rise yeast. This was a medium crust.  Very convenient.

Made great toast for the jam. 

Then I decided to make a fresh pizza. I can't take credit for this crust, this was purchased at the bakery but there is a recipe for a pizza dough that came with the bread machine that i will give a try. We topped it with pizza sauce, mozzarella, provolone and parmesan cheeses, pepperoni, peppers and onions.

As we speak I have a pot of red beans soaking getting ready to be made into red beans and rice, a recipe from my dear friend Carol from Louisiana so i know it's going to be good! I hope i do her recipe justice!

 I say come Monday I'll need to find my way back to my diet! Or the next before and after pictures will be of me, before and after all this domestic bliss!

**Update- the red beans and rice are Deeelish! And... while they were cooking i finished the apron and got it ready to ship out tomorrow! Yippee!


  1. Laura, you have been SO busy! I understand about taking a break from jewelry and pursuing your other hobbies. For me it's antiquing and baking. Your strawberry jam looks so delicious as well as your bread and that pizza! Oh it makes me miss my bread machine. It somehow got lost in the shuffle during one of our moves, but boy did we use it a LOT. Now my 10-year old and I make homemade pizza dough every once in a while. In fact, I was just thinking about that today. You're making me hungry!! :-)

  2. Everything looks so yummy...have to get my jam done tomorrow...just been too busy to do it....the pizza looks delicious...I think I'll try to do that too !! You are an inspiration to me you...miss you....


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