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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My second love, cooking (not quilt related)

I'm sure you will all think I am crazy, but I love winter. Not because of the weather, but because when it gets cool I start to do more cooking. My husband doesn't like me to cook too much in the heat of the summer because he doesn't like me heating up the house so as soon as it starts to cool, I get to make some of my favorite dishes.

My mother was a home economics teacher so you can imagine that growing up I ate a lot of wonderful meals. I got my love of cooking from her (along with my love of sewing). Almost everything was made from scratch (except for the occasional TV dinner which were all the rage then). Also I have a husband who loves to eat (and it shows)!

When we moved to North Carolina I had this huge family kitchen and I was a stay-at-home mom with two small children. My mom never made bread from scratch but I always watched Mike's aunt make Easter bread every year and loved the way fresh bread tasted a smelled, so I started to make my own bread. There is nothing more enticing than the smell of fresh bread in a kitchen, in addition to being more healthy since there are no preservatives in them. (These are the Vermont Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey bread from the King Arthur Flour website.)

I enjoyed the whole process. The kneading, shaping, and watching the dough rise. The only problem was as I got older my hands couldn't knead the bread anymore so I bought a bread machine. The bread machine helped with the kneading but I still like to shape the dough so I would only use the dough setting. I also discovered the dough hook on my mixer and that helped too.

This winter I wanted to experiment with new breads and doughs so I made some new things. I also discovered Craftsy cooking classes and King Arthur's website.  Some of the Craftsy classes I signed up for are King Arthur Flour's Best Sandwich Bread, Homemade Holiday Breads, and the Bread Monk's Baking Sweet Yeast Breads, Challah, and More. If you click on those links you will get 25% off the regular price if it is not already reduced. (Coupon Details: Get 25% off the full retail price of any Craftsy class. Excludes classes from our special Mastering in Minutes series as well as from our partner, The Great Courses. Cannot be combined with any other coupons. Expires April 10, 2018.) These are affiliate links not mine. Craftsy has a special promotion and enrollment that you can also purchase a monthly subscription and see all of the classes that you want before purchasing them, included with this subscription is a 14 day free trial. (You can also get a chance to see my class to see if you would like to purchase it.)

Here is my Challah. It is a Jewish braided bread that is usually made on Friday for the Jewish sabbath. I got this recipe from a cookbook called California Jewish Cooking.

From one of my Craftsy classes I finally learned to make perfectly round rolls! I made a large batch of rolls for Thanksgiving. They were so big everyone could only eat one so I had to freeze half of them! This was King Arthur Flour's Big Batch quick dinner rolls recipe.

I also used another of their roll recipe (Soft white dinner rolls) to make my Christmas tree bread for Christmas dinner. It made 16 rolls which was the perfect number to make a tree!

I'm sure these photos will make your mouth water. Just looking at them, I think of the wonderful smells and tastes. One more King Arthur recipe I tried was their Cinnamon Star Bread. I had to make one for me to make sure it was okay and one for my friends who were coming over for Christmas dinner as a gift.

I hope this gives you some insight into another part of my life besides quilting! All of these recipes you can find on the King Arthur Flour website (just a fan, I don't get paid to say this).

Remember: Always do what you love and love what you do. Thanks for reading and feel free to share with your friends.


Jocelyn said...

When I was a new bride and when our children were small, I loved to cook and bake for them. But over the years I have not expanded many recipes. So now I don't enjoy cooking, and have found that I'm really not very good at it anyway.

Sheepish said...

Joycelyn, practice makes perfect. Where there is a desire there is a way. Toby sent me to the King Arthur's site. I was greatly impressed. I am an experienced baker. I have learned so much reading at their site. I made their Banana Bread recipe of the year. It was easy and came out perfect. From the comments under the recipe, it seems there is nothing you can do to mess it up. Readers also give hints on how they achieved their successes. I found now that the kids are gone I miss that part so now I am trying to find outlets for my endeavors (my husbands office is enjoying a lot of them.) Thanks Toby for this great blog. BTW...Love the new Georgia Block. (I'm lucky, I've met Toby, She is a multi talented person) Glo

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