Sunday, August 21, 2011

Our Little Princesses!

Happy 6 month Birthday to Lily & Lucie! Has it gone by fast for you? Because I have felt like the past 6 months have flown by... They both are in the middle of teething, none have cut through yet, but they are gnawing on everything, including each other! It is so fun to watch these girls interact. They also have mastered the art of rolling over and are starting to scoot a little bit, even if it is backwards. These girls are also so smiley and happy! We couldn't feel more blessed with how healthy and happy these twins are.

Chelsea is in the stage of exploration! She wants to know how everything feels, sounds, and tastes like. The other day we were playing outside and she heard someone playfully scream from a neighboring yard. She of course couldn't resist the urge to copy it (same pitch, mind you) but then she discovered something...her echo! She kept doing it over and over again just to hear the echo, the look of discovery on her face was priceless!

Chelsea loves animals! She's had these sounds mastered for a while but this is the first time I actually caught them on video. Don't worry, she doesn't have a huge growth on her back, we were pretending she was a turtle.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bread, bread, and more bread.

For some reason I have had a huge desire to become great at baking bread. I've really wanted to perfect the art - Not just know how to follow the recipe, but to know that putting water in the oven along with the bread makes the crust more crispy, or knowing to let the yeast sit until it is completely dissolved before I add it to the oil, sugar, and salt, even knowing that patience in letting the dough rise long enough is always worth it in the end. So a 1 1/2 years ago I made my first loaf of French bread and this is how it turned out:

Not bad looking, but it just didn't taste right. It tasted too flour-y and was very thick. Michael was very nice about it and told me he loved it, but for the most part, it didn't taste anything like the French bread he actually had in France. My problem is that I always thought that the bread isn't supposed to be sticky anymore after I've mixed it all together so I kept adding and adding flour, when really the extra flour just makes the bread heavy. So over the past few months I've searched and searched for a recipe that would taste amazing and look good, and have also done a lot of reading on how to make the bread the right consistency: fluffy, a little crisp on the outside, will go along with anything or will taste great plain. And this is what I've come up with:

The glazed look on the crust is a coat of egg whites I added before I let it rise for the last time.

My mother-in-law (who tells me that she hardly ever eats bread) has now asked me to make it every time I come over for a Sunday dinner. Isn't she nice? I have a long way to go still because all I can make is French bread and I'm still learning the tricks of that trade. But, my next journey is finding a good Sandwich bread recipe . . . Wish me luck on my continued adventures in the world of bread.

Saturday, August 6, 2011