Date Night In #8 – Breakfast for Dinner

Last Valentine’s Day, I gave Matt a jar filled with ideas for a Date Night In.  Even though I made them, we weren’t very excited about the last couple we picked, so we did themed dinners instead, like the last … Continue reading

Father’s Day 2013

I love the weekends. I love the weekends because I get to have my little family together for at least a whole day to go out and do something fun. There’s no rushing around at night making dinner, getting ready for the next day, trying to squeeze in cleaning, etc. Of course this past Sunday was Father’s Day so it was extra special.

Always looking for an excuse to try a new recipe, I wanted to make Matt a special breakfast to celebrate his second Father’s Day. I came across this great recipe for banana bacon pancakes from Bake at 350.

You can’t go wrong with bananas and bacon in pancake form.  And of course the house smelled amazing!

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I have to say they were definitely a hit!

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Strawberry picking was next on our to-do list.  I have been blueberry, raspberry, peach, plum, and apple picking.  But I had never picked strawberries so I was excited Matt wanted to go on his day. We went to Rogers Spring Hill Garden Center.

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It was the perfect day to do this.  There was a nice breeze and it was slightly overcast so it wasn’t wicked hot.

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I was so happy that Luke had a great time.  He took his job of picking strawberries and putting them in the containers very seriously.

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I am looking for some great recipes to make with all of the strawberries we picked. I will definitely be making a strawberry lemonade and maybe make a strawberry jam.

We wrapped up an amazing day out with lunch at The Chicken Connection.  This was our first time here and it is definitely our new place!  I wish everyone could experience how great it is!

I will keep you posted on what becomes of the strawberries :).

Making Pie with Joy the Baker!

This weekend, I had the opportunity to take a pie baking class with Joy Wilson of the blog Joy the Baker at King Arthur Flour in Vermont.

             

This was one of the most fun days I have ever had!  There is nothing better than being in a room with a group of people who share the same passion for baking as you do.  And to have it taught by Joy made it that much better.

As you know, I am part of a group called Sundays with Joy.  We are baking our way through the Joy the Baker Cookbook.  So I am definitely a fan of Joy’s and her blog to see what she is always creating.  I am also a hug fan of Carrie and her blog Bakeaholic Mama so I was excited to meet and bake with her.  I am so thankful that she invited me!

Carrie of Bakeaholic Mama

Before I get into the class, let me tell you how AMAZING King Arthur Flour is.  The drive up there was so easy, taking only about 1 hour 40 minutes.  The building is absolutely beautiful.  It is up on a hill and reminds me of a lodge.  It is a café, store, bakery, and school all in one so you can imagine how big this place is.  And of course it smells amazing!

         

The store has everything you could possibly need for baking.  I was overwhelmed.  I wanted to buy everything, but sadly I didn’t.  I picked up a couple of ingredients I always come across in recipes but can never find.  I also got a couple of baking tools and a coffee mug that says “Bake” :).

The pie baking class was absolutely wonderful.  I learned so much in just three hours. We made sweet potato pie and apple pie both with a buttermilk pie crust (click on the links for her recipes!).  Making the sweet potato pie was perfect because that is the next Sundays with Joy recipe.

Joy gave demonstrations and explained why you do certain techniques, such as using your fingers instead of a food processor or pastry blender to cut in the butter to the flour.

Following the demonstrations, Joy came around to see how we were doing and helped if necessary.  For me, the biggest thing I took away from Joy’s demonstrations is how to properly make pie dough and how to roll it out without destroying it.

I am happy to say I no longer fear the pie dough.

      

I am very happy with the way the pies came out.  Whenever I make a pie with dough on top, I roll it too thin and the filling breaks through.  Not this time!  One thing I do have to work on is my crimping technique for the edges of the crust.  I didn’t try to get all fancy because I was afraid I would tear the dough.

      

The pies taste absolutely amazing!.  Matt said the dough is most delicious, flakiest dough he has ever had.  Yes!  I wish Thanksgiving was tomorrow because then I would have two pies all ready to go!

      

Check out that crust!

While we were waiting for the pies to finish baking, we got to chat with Joy and have our books signed.

I am so happy and fortunate to have had the opportunity to go to King Arthur Flour and learn from such a talented baker.  I will be seeing her again among other cookbook authors next month in Boston at the Eat Boutique Holiday Market!  Can’t wait! 🙂