We’ve settled in to Farr Park RV Campground here in Baton Rouge and we’ve been loving the food!
Sunday we went to Sammy’s Grill to have some much needed and missed boiled crawfish… Yum! Continue reading
So I have still been searching for a recipe that makes really good sandwich bread. Even though Allen likes most of them, some more than others, I haven’t really found one fit for a pb&j… (And I love pb&j sammies!) But I stumbled across one 2 days ago. I can’t believe one simple step made such a world of difference!Here’s the recipe I used from food.com:
The trick is to put the hot water, yeast and sugar in the bread pan and let it sit for about 10 minutes. The yeast will foam a little. Then you add the remaining ingredients, set the machine to basic cycle with rapid crust. So. Delicious.
Also, I tried my hand at homemade bagels yesterday! I made them my version of Everything Bagels… I found the recipe on King Arthur Flour’s site (here). I cut the recipe in half since Allen isn’t a huge fan of bagels… Here’s my version and it made 4 normal size bagels.
Put all that in the bread machine and set it for bagel dough. Once it’s finished, cut the dough into 4 equal parts and shape into smooth, round balls. (Or try your best at smooth and round) Then place them on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, lightly greased, cover with plastic wrap and let them sit for about a half hour.
Bring all that to a boil then reduce it to a simmer. Preheat the oven to 425 (or convection oven to 400). Then poke a hole through the center of the doughball and twirl around your pointer finger until the hole is about 2″ in diameter. (Mine look perfect, right?)
Take them out and place them back on the parchment lined baking tray. Sprinkle with seasoning if desired… (It’ll stick better if you brush the tops of the bagels with an egg wash first – 1 egg white mixed with 2 tbs water)Bake them in the oven for 15 minutes, flip them over, bake 10 minutes more. Then if you still want them a little darker in color, flip them back over, right side up for about 5 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Yum! They are chewy and crunchy (after toasting) and they have that bagel flavor. The only thing I might change is my “everything” seasoning. I think it’s a little too salty. I want to hurry and eat these so I can make another batch!
Today is a weather day for my love.
Last night we ran to Grand Forks to go to Walmart and stock up on some groceries. We had dinner at Texas Roadhouse (yum). I saved part of my steak for steak & eggs and Allen saved his ribeye bone for our little sweet bored puppy (she’s not a fan of winter, she’s a Floridian at heart like us!)
So I got up this morning and made bacon and steak & eggs. Then got ready to make some bread.
I found a recipe for Potato Bread that uses real onion and a real potato so I thought I’d try it. I’ve been having an issue lately with my bread not rising enough. My first thought was the altitude but we aren’t very high. Now I’m thinking it’s the temperature. The bread maker’s room temperature and mine must be different! Considering we are trying to maintain a steady 64 degrees I’m not too surprised.
We keep alternating between using the fireplace & space heater, and using the furnace. We are trying to balance saving propane, while also trying to keep the floor warm, as well as the huge cubby and the water compartment outside. Plus we are paying for electric here, so we don’t want to crazy run the meter up. But, we’ve already went through over $100 in propane in 2 weeks heating this huge camper we are fortunate enough to live in! We have our heated water hose plugged in and the tank heaters on, and the truck is plugged in.
Anyway, I’m warming my ingredients by the hearth! Trying to bring them up to my picky bread maker’s version of room temp, not my budget-conscious version!
Baked Potato Bread
- 1/2 milk (@ 80 degrees)
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 1 egg (@ room temp)
- 2 3/4 cup bread flour
- 1/3 cup baked potato, mashed (I microwaved mine)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp yeast
- 1/2 cup onion, finely diced (added at the nut beep)
This makes a 1 1/2 lb loaf. Basic/White cycle. Medium crust color.
Pumpernickel Rye Bread
- 5 oz water (@ 80 degrees)
- 1 1/2 tbs molasses (I used syrup because that’s all I had on hand)
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1/3 cup rye flour
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp yeast
This makes a 1 lb loaf. White/Basic cycle. Medium crust color.
As always, if you want to browse some other bread machine recipes, you can do that here. I’m making this to go with this Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup I’m going to try tonight. I’ll post the recipe once I find out if it’s any good! Stay warm out there!
I think I want this bread with a big bowl of chili for my last meal! It is SO good!
I made this chili bread yesterday with my Hillbilly Chili for dinner and Allen and I ate almost the whole loaf! We didn’t even bother to take the kneading paddle out, we just tore off chunks at a time…
I was a little worried because it doesn’t call for any sugar, but beer has sugar in it… I modified the recipe a little bit to fit what I had available… Here’s what I did:
This makes a 1lb loaf. I set my machine to the french bread setting and a medium crust color. The basic/white bread setting would probably work also.
It’s perfect to munch on by itself, it’s spicy and delicious, but even better dipped in chili. If you’re in the market to try a new chili recipe, mine is pretty fantastic! You can find that recipe here. It would actually probably be good served with gumbo too… Maybe I’ll put that on the list for next week!
I’ve been compiling my favorite bread recipes in one spot, if you want to check them out and maybe try one this weekend.
The tentative plan a few days ago included leaving here, driving to South Dakota to change our domicile, get a new mailing address, register vehicles, etc. then head on to Dallas for the next job.
I’m excited, I’ve never been to the Dakotas and I’ve never been that far north period. I’m hoping for Allen’s sake if nothing else that we don’t get snow while we are there, but it’ll be an adventure nonetheless.
I love traveling and I get a little hard to deal with (I think) when we sit somewhere for longer than a month or two. I just get antsy and want to get on with it already. And I can’t wait to add to our map!
The tower they are going to be working on was the tallest structure in the world when it was built in 1963. It’s now the 4th tallest structure in the world (after some buildings in Tokyo), THE tallest in the Western Hemisphere and the tallest radio mast in the world. Pretty cool…
The KVLY-TV mast is in Blanchard, ND (almost exactly halfway between Fargo and Grand Forks). Blanchard has a population of 26. Yep. Small town. And I thought Convent, Louisiana was tiny! (Population 711, right on the Mississippi River)
The closest RV park is in Hillsboro and that’s a little bigger, population 1,603 in the 2010 census. It’s 1 square mile. There is a family restaurant, a Burger King, a Subway, gas station, grocery store, bakery, and a florist and I think there MAY be 1-3 bars but I can’t really decide if they are still open. From what I gather online, the RV park is also the town laundry mat and a fried chicken place. It should be interesting!
I’m super excited to be getting out of the city and out into the country. I get to where I need open spaces after being in a city for too long. I’m excited Charlie will have some grass! And Allen will be glad to get back to real tower work (not just painting and piddling).
Today is full of typical San Francisco fogginess so I’m making my hillbilly chili for dinner and trying out this new recipe for Chili Bread that I found… I’ll let you know if it comes out delicious!
I also made these pillow covers for our friend Brandi back in Kentucky and mailed them to her this week… Her boyfriend went and installed a 50AMP outlet for us so we can stay in their yard during the holidays. Talk about some awesome friends!
For now I will leave you with some cuteness… Charlie and her parking lot pals… Cheers!
Not together of course. That wouldn’t be so delicious. But separately=yum!
Side note: if you WANT to try chocolate covered clams, here’s a random recipe!
**Disclaimer: I took none of the pictures of The Old Clam House, just borrowed them from Google.
He could not have picked a better place! The Old Clam House is the oldest restaurant in San Francisco. It started in 1861. If you’re ever hungry in the city I highly recommend it! We started with drinks of course. They have their own beer, brewed by Anchor Steam, so I had that. It was really good, a little lighter than Allen’s Lagunitas. It’s called Old Clam House Milwaukee Steam.
Then we had a sizzling iron platter of shrimp and mussels with butter to dip in. Dave hates that the place switched owners and they no longer serve sourdough bread, but they make this soda bread in a cast iron pot type thing that was really good (I wish I could make bread like that!)
Then I finally got to try cioppino! I’ve always wanted to but I was always a little iffy about it. It was really good! Allen liked it too. I was a TINY bit surprised he liked everything as much as I did.
Thank you Dave for a wonderful dinner! If you’re up for it, check out some of Dave’s paintings!
Now for the Chocolate Zucchini Bread….
I found the recipe here: With The Grains
I modified it a little to fit what I had and cut it in half. I love it! The closest way I can think to describe it is it’s kinda like a chocolate muffin. It’s not too sweet. But it doesn’t taste like zucchini at all. I’ll definitely make it again. Here’s the version I made:
I’ve been experimenting with different recipes in my bread machine lately… (An Oster Expressbake)
Mostly because I’ve been trying to get the perfect sandwich bread for Allen’s lunches.
It’s also been kind of dreary here in San Francisco lately. However, there’s an end in sight! From what I gather we need to be in Dallas by the first part of November… I can’t wait! The tower they were working on at Fair Park is coming down. I’m hoping we can swing through South Dakota and change our domicile on the way-even though it’s not really “on the way”).
Anyhow, back to bread: About a month ago I made this honey wheat bread that had an egg in it (my first bread using an egg) and Allen loved it. I think the egg holds it together better (for sandwiches that travel in a backpack on a motorcycle especially). Well… I can’t find that recipe again! I’ve looked in my search history and through all my scattered notes on paper throughout the house (I have plenty of those!)… Nada. So I’ve been trying different recipes looking for something that holds together well and has a nice texture and flavor.
I finally found two that Allen says are delicious! (I wrote them down in a safe place!) First, the runner-up:
French Countryside Bread (1LB loaf)
Basic/White Setting; Medium Crust Color
The WINNER is moist and holds together well with less crumbs than normal and has a slight buttery flavor:
1LB Egg Bread (from Fleischmann’s)
White/Basic Setting; Medium Crust Color
While I was perusing Fleischmann’s recipes, I came across one for Cinnamon Raisin Bread and decided to try that out. Allen, who claims not to like raisins, loved it! I’m thinking I could make it during the holidays for a little treat or breakfast toast…
Cinnamon Raisin 1LB Loaf
Add all ingredients except raisins.
White/Basic Setting; Medium Crust Color
Add raisins at beep, towards the end of the kneading cycle.
Happy bread making!
P.S. We finally got our new valve for the leveling jacks, but haven’t put it on yet. The weekends have been filled with football and we haven’t found the time quite yet (getting to the bar at 9am to watch the Bengals play has been a little rough on us!)
Since I’ve had my breadmaker, I’ve been trying all kinds of different recipes. Most have come out super yummy. I had high hopes for this one: Lemonade Bread.
Doesn’t that just sound delicious?! I thought it could be like a light dessert, similar to lemon cake but not quite as sweet… I found the recipe here. I’ve made other recipes from this list and they’ve turned out great! (Mexican Sunset Bread, Garden Herb Bread…) But this time… Nope. Not at all good!
Once I added all the ingredients and the cycle started and the machine started to knead the bread and work its magic, I quickly realized there wasn’t nearly enough liquid. So I stopped the cycle. I added some more lemonade concentrate, then some water. I restarted the cycle, it was too wet so I sprinkled some flour. I finally got the dough ball looking relatively normal. So I stopped fretting and cleaned up.
I knew I had to throw it out but I tasted a little piece for good measure! SO sour! Definitely way too much lemonade contentrate was involved in the making of my cement ball.
Now, here in the grand parking lot of Candlestick RV Park on the outskirts of the city, we have LOTS of stray cats and a few huge raccoons that we see almost nightly when we walk Charlie. So Allen suggested I see if the cats or coons wanted to try my “bread”. I set it in an empty parking spot that night. These pictures were taken the next morning.
Untouched! And Charlie didn’t even want anything to do with it! You know it has to be bad when raccoons won’t eat it! Lesson learned: check the recipe before baking and compare to what I KNOW works…
I managed to convince Allen that we needed to go to Goodwill today. Ever since I got my sewing machine, I feel like he’s been ripping his jeans on purpose! He found 3 pairs of work jeans and I found 3 tops. Goodwill out here is rather pricey, but I did find one amazing deal!
Now I’m making some Garden Herb Bread for Allen to make sandwiches for lunch this week… Yum…
My neighbor Carmen recently got us (and by that I mean me, because really, Allen will never touch the thing…) a bread machine! I love it! I’ve been wanting to get one since we were in Florida this last time. Our neighbors Lyne and Terry had one and it smelled so good. They bring down their own flour every year from Canada because they don’t like the way American bread tastes. Anyway, I’ve been comparing models, and Carmen said she really wanted to get us something for sort of a housewarming gift, so, I’m the proud new owner of an Oster 2LB. Expressbake Breadmaker.I started with the traditional white bread in a 1.5LB loaf and it came out delicious. Then I moved on to the flavors… I’ve mostly used the recipes that came with the breadmaker but I’ve also ventured into Google territory for some yummy ideas.
I made a super scrumptious cheddar/garlic/herb type loaf that we ate one day then the next day sliced and drizzled with EVOO and stuck on the grill for a few minutes – SO good! We had the bread with a bacon-wrapped pork loin…yum!I tried Honey Wheat because that’s the kind of bread we like on a daily basis, but the recipe was a 2LB loaf, which is just too big for sandwiches. And I had not mastered the art of slicing by then. The next day we took off for Tahoe so it was moldy by the time we got back.
The latest was a 1LB Italian garlic and herb loaf which came out perfect! It’s the perfect size for sandwiches. (Allen’s taken two to work already.) And I let it cool longer this time before slicing. I also didn’t use my fancy bread knife and bamboo bread slicer that I bought.
I just used a non-serrated knife I got from the Dollar Tree a LONG time ago, and it worked great… Surprising, but true… So we have decided that the 1LB loaves are the way to go… My goal is to never buy grocery store bread again.
On another note, I felt my very first earthquake ever!!! I went to school (this super expensive one) out here in San Francisco for 4yrs and never felt one (I think I was on a barstool for most of them…) and then last year we were out here for about 5 months and I didn’t feel one then either. This one was crazy! I was laying in bed with Charlie, probably blogging or Pinteresting, and it felt like someone hit the camper. It actually felt like Allen backed up and hitched up to the camper, but I knew he was at work. So I thought A) someone was trying to steal our house with me and the dog inside! or B) one of these tourists driving a rental RV must’ve clipped our nose… Charlie and I both ran outside but nobody was out. All was quiet. I texted Allen and he then informed me it was an earthquake, that they felt it by the tower too. Yikes! But it was a smaller one, nobody was hurt, so that was good.
I’ve also been on the phone trying to order parts for the camper from Grand Design. We have a 2015 Grand Design Momentum 385TH. We just bought it at the end of March. It’s still brand new. You’d think it would be fairly easy to get simple parts for it. Almost two weeks after sending the first “inquiry form” to Grand Design, we finally have parts on the way! (I honestly thought they would have excellent customer service being that they are still a new and fairly small company…)
While I was back at my mom’s house for my brother’s funeral and Allen and Charlie drove from Texas to San Francisco alone, a yellow pole at a tiny gas station jumped up and grabbed onto the ladder on the side of the camper, yanked it a little and busted the red light that’s back there. So we need a light, and the bottom brackets that hold the ladder onto the camper.
We wound up having to get the part numbers from Grand Design then call a dealer to order them because Grand Design is not set up to sell directly to actual people. I find this silly. Luckily, Shelly at Lazydays RV in Florida was super nice and helped us out. I probably should’ve called Palm Beach RV since that’s where we bought the camper, but oh well.
Anyway, while I was on the phone with Amanda at Grand Design I had her switch me over to Jerry in warranty (yes, I’m on a first name basis with these people). I spoke with Jerry multiple times when we were in Louisiana trying to take care of the radio/tv situation. Grand Design had the bright idea to put some Furrion products, and some Haier products in here. (To save money I presume..) But they don’t communicate well with one another. The radio in the living room is also a DVD player and that wasn’t working so Jerry sent us a new HDMI cord. It worked then, but in hindsight I don’t think the cord was the issue. We still have the same problem with having sound and no picture when we play a DVD but now we just unplug the TV then plug it back in. It’s the cheap Haier TV. In the garage (toy hauler) there is a car stereo that also plays DVDs. But it constantly sounds like it is skipping around a CD in there or trying to spit one out. Jerry also sent us a new radio that we swapped out. That worked for a while. I noticed Monday that it started making noise again. So he is supposedly sending us ANOTHER radio to swap out and says if we have more issues we will have to take it in to have it looked at. I’m trying to avoid that because we live in here full time and I’d rather not live at a dealership for days. Also, the closest Grand Design dealer is in Sacramento. And Allen will not be commuting to from Sacramento to San Francisco to work! Anyway, last time, Jerry took forever to send anything out, I mean he said he sent it then a week later I called to see where it was and he still hadn’t sent it. So fingers crossed he actually put it in the mail yesterday!
Before we left for Tahoe, Allen’s buddy was flying home for the weekend and gave us a 10LB bag of potatoes. (He lives alone. Why he would buy a 10LB bag of potatoes eludes me. I’ll have to talk to him about that.) Anyhow, I’ve been looking at this bag all week. Then I decided that instead of letting them go bad, maybe I could freeze them. So I Googled… Then I made some frozen hashbrowns (you just dice them, drop them in boiling water for about 2min, drain and cool them, bag them and freeze them) and some frozen fries (same as above but you also fry them in oil for about 3min after blanching and drying, then cool, bag and freeze). Easy peasy. I still have over 5LBs of potatoes left but at least I got rid of some of them!Last night I made 3-ways for dinner. Technically, 4-ways. If you don’t know what that is, it’s because it’s a Cincinnati thing… We are weird like that. It doesn’t matter where we move to, where our domicile is, Allen will always love 3-ways and goetta. (I on the other hand despise goetta… The taste, texture, cooking it, yuck!) The night before last, I came up with a new concoction that was pretty tasty… Rum and Kool-Aid! My brother loved Kool-Aid so I named this “Ode to Adam”…