Tuesday, August 30, 2011

One Step Closer

I'm not entirely ready to make the jam yet, but I am a tiny bit closer - I bought mason jars today!  Now that I finally have some jars, I guess I have to make some jam, right?

Now, if only I had some peaches, I could get right to work.  Kindergarten starts on Thursday, so I'll finally have a little quiet time to get cooking.  Keep an eye out for my first recipe post, and cross your fingers that the canning goes well!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Told Ya So...

Yeah, so... he forgot the peaches.  Clearly grocery lists aren't really his thing.  Didn't I predict this happening?  On the plus side, he did get vanilla beans.  Small victories... I'll take it.


As you know, I had hopes of procuring 3 lbs of juicy peaches at the Farmer's Market today.  We saw them on our way in... and they looked fabulous.  I didn't want to lug around a big old bag for the remainder of the morning, so we left that purchase for last.  We started off by buying some other produce for the week - tomatoes, zucchini, kale, cilantro, carrots - and then moved on to breakfast.  We had chilaquiles from Verde Cocina, which has the most amazing piles of fresh veggies and salsa on every dish.  It is some truly delicious food.  The Boy did a pretty good job behaving at the Farmer's Market, which is quite an improvement over his last two visits (both ending in him being carried to the car, yelling at us... awesome, I know).  Unfortuntely, his five-ness decided to make an appearance just as I was about to fill a bag with my precious peaches.  His chubby little fingers poking, prodding every peach he could find.  Ugh.  Since actually listening to me tell him to STOP didn't seem to be happening, we made a quick exit.  Without my peaches.  So sad.

Don't worry - I'm not totally off the hook on creating this recipe.  Sweet Husband is currently doing a grocery shopping run (which is a little scary in itself - he always comes home with the most random and unnecessary stuff) and should be returning with peaches, vanilla beans and mason jars.  Of course, this is assuming he remembers to look at the list... it is entirely possible that he might come back with pinto beans and nectarines.  Which would make a pretty gross jam.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Have Inspiration, Need Motivation

The universe is speaking to me shouting at me, and it is screaming, "Make some flippin' bread and jam, already!"  Ever since I made me last post about yeast breads and homemade jams being on my to-make food bucket list, I have been seeing absolutely delicious looking blog entries from other (much more brave) food bloggers everywhere.  Seriously.  EVERYWHERE.

On one hand, I'm totally inspired by their recipes, their beautiful photos, and the prospect of having my very own 9 jars of jam... but I'm still a little freaked out to give it a go.  In case you'd like to be inspired - even if you lack the actual action, like me - take a look at these links:

Lemon Raspberry Breakfast Rolls

Peach Vanilla Bean Jam

Cheesy Bacon Ranch Pull Apart Bread

Jennie's Tomato Jam

Blackberry Jam

And, if you are feeling more like me... perhaps buying jam would be easier than making it yourself.  If that's the case, head over to Bloggers Without Borders and look at the many auctions set up to support the incredibly strong Jennie Perillo.  Her husband recently passed away suddenly, leaving her on her own in caring for her two young daughters.  The food blogging community has rallied around her in support to raise money to help transition her through this terrible time.  My favorite auction?  JAMS, of course... Yum!

I do have high hopes of procuring the ingredients to make the Peach Vanilla Bean Jam at the Portland Farmer's Market this weekend.  Hopefully, in telling you this, I'll actually feel it necessary to follow through.  One can only hope!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What's for Dinner?

Yeah, so, I just started this blog, and it is supposed to help inspire me to cook again.  Like, really cook.  Not just open up packages and microwave stuff.  Let's face it: I've gotten pretty lazy over the last few years... especially with the constantly changing dietary needs of my family.  Whatever is easiest has been my motto.  But, now, I've turned over a new leaf.  I live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, with fresh produce and locally sourced goods in abundance.  I should be able to whip up fabulous and delicious, organic meals every night, right?  Um, yeah, that's the plan.  Though, somehow tonight we ended up having spaghetti.  With sauce from a jar.  And meatballs from Trader Joe's.  Looks like I have work to do if I'm ever going to have an actual recipe to blog about.

The Bucket List

My little sister just finished a visit to my new hometown last week.  While she really came to meet her new nephew, I managed to sneak in lots of sister-time.  She shared her huge list of favorite cooking/baking blogs and we talked about her "bucket list".  Now, this wasn't a traditional places-to-go-things-to-do-people-to-see-before-you-die list... this was a things-to-eat/bake/cook list.  Definitely our kind of list!  How have I never thought of starting one?  I'm a list-maker by nature - my chores are all sorted on lists, I have a mile-long list of restaurants I want to eat at, and I definitely have a fabulous amazon.com wishlist (in case anyone ever wants to buy me a present!).  This is a list I must make.

1. Make jam.  Maybe like this delicious-looking Peach Vanilla Bean Jam from Annie's Eats.  It looks so fabulous, but I'm super intimidated by the canning process.

2. Make bread.  From scratch. With yeast.  I'm fabulous with quick breads, but those yeast breads make me nervous!

3. Paella.  Not a short-cut quick version... but a complex, fully-developed flavor paella is the only one that counts for the bucket list!

4. Bake a cake - from SCRATCH.  You are disappointed in me, aren't you?  I am the queen of dressing up a boxed cake mix into something delectable, but I've never even attempted a from-scratch cake.  How embarrassing.  This must be rectified.

HEY! If I make bread and jam, not only will I have a totally delicious snack, but I'll be able to cross the first two items off my Baker's Bucket List.  Perfect!  Now, if only I could get myself off the couch...

Welcome to My World!

Hello, friends... or strangers!  However you found yourself at my new little blog, I'm happy that you did.  I'm not new to blogging, but until this point my blog has been completely family-focused.  Not necessarily interesting for anyone outside my immediate circle, and hardly a vehicle to help me grow.  With the recent birth of adorable baby number two, I've decided that I need something that is uniquely mine - not focused on the family.  Sure, I'll probably mention those little guys occasionally, but this blog gets to be mostly for me - and you, too!