Monday, February 28, 2011

My Favorite Baking Supplies

Good afternoon and thanks for stopping by. I thought I would share a few items that I just love to bake with and in my opinion help me make the best bread possible.

My favorite yeast is Hodgson Mill. This yeast works well with wheat flours. I have tried all kinds of yeast and this is by far the best. Living far away from most major supermarket chains other than the big "W" makes it hard for me to find but it's worth the hunt.

I also just love their vital wheat gluten. You just add it with your flour as your are adding your liquids and it works miracles. My breads are softer and stay fresh so much longer. I use one tablespoon for a two loaf batch of bread.

These items are available at Hodgson Mill's website also. You can order online HERE.

They have a wide range of products for baking.If you have a gluten intolerance they have many alternative flours to choose from. You can also get a all purpose baking mix, chocolate cake mix and a cookie mix.

Hodgson Mill has been in business for over 125 years and have a wealth of information and recipes on their website. I am not any any way being compensated for posting about them. I just wanted to share with you things I feel are worthwhile and helpful in the kitchen.

Do you have any products that you can't live without? I would love to hear what your favorites are. Can you taste the difference when using different yeasts? I can, a few people tell me I'm wacky, but its true!

I hope everyone is experiencing signs of spring. Not yet here, but I've got my eyes peeled! Have a great day and thanks again for stopping by my little neck of the country!

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Springy Little Roosters

Welcome Tablescapers, our favorite day of the week is here again. It is time to link up with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.

We have had some really great spring like weather around here lately and it got me in the mood. I bought these dishes from a catalog last spring and we have been enjoying them as our everyday dishes. They are marked akauasa, nothing fancy for sure but very fun. The pattern is called Casa Vero.

They came with bowls too but they are so big that you can barley see the plate when stacked so I left them out. I also used the salad plates as saucers for the coffee cups. they are on the small side and the plates anchored them on the table a bit better. I will do a table using the bowls for a soup and sandwich night later on.

Have you ever noticed that I never use flowers on my table? Well, I have a issue. No I'm not allergic. It is silly really, but I just LOVE fresh cut flowers of any and every kind. But when they die it makes me so sad. I just hate it really!! My husband has strict orders to never bring me flowers. Well unless its potted and can find a place in our flower beds or house! Yeah, I'm wacky I know.

I saw these little red beauties and they were just dying in the after Valentine's Day bin and it hit me. Should I let them die alone in the bargain bin? No way, I say. From now on I will rescue at least one bouquet a week from the bargain bin. It appeals to my cheap, I mean thrifty side too!

Aaahhh! I will never deprive my little table fresh flowers again! They are so pretty. Yes I will be sad when they are done. But they will live on in my blog.

I thought these little tea light holders in green would be perfect for a little light without overshadowing the flowers.

My pewter chickens came out too. Can't have a Rooster party without inviting the ladies.

Look at him. He is just showing off for the hens.

Sorry about the lighting. Someone needs a new camera and a clue how to use it.

Now it is getting a bit darker. A few shots of the candlelight.

I want to thank you all for stopping by. I enjoy visiting by all of your wonderful tables and I try to see them all. Please leave me a comment. I love to hear from you! Happy Tablescaping!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Muffins

Welcome, thanks for dropping by! I am in a bit of a muffin mood today.I thought these easy and yummy little guys would fit the bill. There is something about the tang of buttermilk and the sweetness of chocolate, a match made in baking heaven. Warm up the oven and treat the family to a batch of these today.

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Muffins
yields 18

1/2 cup or one stick of butter softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs room temp
1 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. cream together butter and sugar till fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in buttermilk and mix well. Sift together dry ingredients and incorporate into wet ingredients a little at a time. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared muffin tins or liners and bake for approx 18 mins.

I sprinkled them with a bit of powdered sugar but you can skip it if you want. Try one warm. The chocolate chips are so gooey, the best way to eat them if you ask me!

See the cute tiered tray? I scored this at Homegoods on my last trip to Kansas City. I had to go to four different stores to round up 6 dinner plates, 6 salad plates and this server. Can you ladies relate? I bet we all have a Homegoods, Marshall's and TJ Maxx story to tell. The poor hubby and kids had to suffer this trip! I was a woman on a mission.

Does anyone know what kind of bird he is? If it's not a cardinal, blue jay or hummingbird, I'm lost! The salad plates have a blue bird with a red breast on them. I'm guessing bluebird? Stay tuned, a tablescape will be coming with these treasures!

Have a wonderful weekend and happy baking!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day table for the family

Welcome to Valentine's Day in my little neck of the woods. I hope everyone had a wonderful day and got their sugar fix, mine still hasn't worn off with Christmas but that's another story.

Tablescape Thursday has come upon us again. Make sure you hop over there and get your eyes full of all the wonderful tablescapes. Make sure you leave a comment and tell Susan thanks for all her hard work each week!

This is my attempt and a aerial view. Actually its a chopped off "chair-ial view". Not a safe or recommended method for sure. He He He!

this is my husbands grandmother's silver plate in the Moss Rose pattern, and my favorite Irish linen monogram napkins.

chargers: Walmart
capiz shell napkin rings: Walmart
dinnerware: Gibson Claremont
napkins: Ebay
tablecloth: Target
cake pedestal: Bed Bath and beyond
sherbet glasses: local antique store

I served lasagna, salad and shrimp cocktail for our dinner and some amazing chocolate and marshmallow creme filled cupcakes with chocolate ganache from Liz at Hoosier Homemade. How did you spend Valentines' Day?