July 25, 2013

Boiled & Baked Bagels

A couple of weekends ago I decided to try my hand at making boiled bagels. I have been wanting to make them for a very long time, but we now have a great local restaurant that makes wood-fired bagels so I haven't really had the need to make them. But the restaurant is undergoing some changes, and this means that their hours and menu items have been a little wonky. It was starting to irritate me, and motivate me, to make my own.

I used the bagel recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day, I made up the dough on Saturday night, then retarded it in the fridge so that we could have fresh bagels on Sunday morning.  I estimated that it would only take me about an hour on Sunday to make them up, but I sorely under-estimated. It actually took two hours, and should have taken a little longer because I think the dough could have done with a little extra rising time. I was slowed down a little by boiling the bagels in smaller batches, so next time I might have two pots of water going at a time.

The recipe says that it'll make 20 bagels, so I halved it because I didn't want 20 bagels around the house tempting me. We ended up getting 9 bagels out of the batch - each one +/- 3 oz.

 3 oz. dough balls rising on the pan.

Bagel shapes formed and boiling in water, baking soda and sugar. 

 Boiled bagels resting on a floured dish towel to make sure the excess water is gone. 

I will say that no matter how much flour I put on that towel, the bagels always stuck. This was a flour sack towel, so next time I'll try a different one to see if that makes a difference.

Finished bagels, with a sprinkling of kosher salt on top. 

The bagel circumference is a fairly standard size, but the height of the bagels is a bit shallow. I sliced the first one, but on the second one I just slathered the cream cheese right on top. Next time I'll let them rise a bit longer to see if that makes a difference. I will say that they turned out delicious! We froze half of them as well, and they are still really chewy after defrosting.

While it's definitely easier to run down to the bagel shop and buy bagels, I happen to believe that the boiled ones are the best. If you don't have a local shop making boiled bagels, then making your own is absolutely worth it. And the same recipe can be used for Bialy's and rolls. I actually made both of those last weekend, and they were equally delicious!

July 17, 2013

My favorite photo of Mike and our niece Elle

Today is my love's birthday.

He does not love his birthday.

He has an issue with time passing.

This year, more than ever, I encourage him to focus on the moments. 
To not be a "big picture" person (I'll handle that).
To enjoy being himself, a husband and a papa.

Happy birthday, love.

July 7, 2013

It's blueberry season in Oregon!


On Friday I took my stepsister Remi's advice and headed out to Sauvie Island Farms to pick blueberries ($2/lb); the berries were large, sweet and easy picking.

And I got two large mixing bowl's worth for $11!

I froze some of them, left a bunch out for eating, and decided to make a couple of mini pies. I thought we'd freeze one and eat the other, but they were just too delicious...

I used the crust recipe from the book A Passion for Baking (All-Butter, One-Egg Pie Dough) and the pie filling recipe from here. I varied the filling by using 4 TB of cornstarch and replacing one cup of blueberries with one cup of raspberries. I also reduced the temp to 400ยบ and the bake time to 30 minutes since the pies were so small - perfect!

Since I was in the baking mood, I also made a loaf of Sally Lunn Bread, and on Saturday used the day-old bread to make french toast, using Alton Brown's recipe. While the recipe required more steps than I've ever taken to make french toast, this turned out to be my best french toast ever. So that's saying something for Alton Brown (and the blueberries)!

July 1, 2013


I have not sewn a damn thing in 5 months.

Nor have I needle-felted or crocheted. I have barely even cooked.

I have managed to clean the bathroom a few times, and keep the laundry from piling up too high, and I've even gotten to the grocery store on a bi-weekly basis. And I can't even blame it on my nausea anymore, as luckily that has passed. I had no idea that pregnancy would just drain the project-motivation right out of me.  I'm looking at July as a possible month to get something fun/crafty accomplished - but don't hold me to it.

When I got pregnant I had all these plans to sew maternity clothes (Megan Nielson has a great maternity collection), but even that quickly became unappealing. Lucky for me, my sister Sara has an amazing assortment of maternity clothes, in my size and style no less. When Sara visited in June she brought an extra suitcase of clothes for me. I am immensely grateful to have an entire new wardrobe of clothes that fit, and that I didn't even have to shop for. Word of advice - if you have a friend with great style, get pregnant right after they have a baby.

Amazingly, I did find a few handmade tops in my wardrobe that I rarely ever wore because they made me look pregnant, and now they fit perfectly! One is the Wiksten Tova in dotted flannel:

Another is the Amy Butler Long Top:

And now I have the version I made Sara too!

Lastly, I made another version of the Washi Tunic in flannel that I never blogged about because the fit wasn't great. I finally figured out that the bodice size that fit my measurements was actually too large and that was the cause for the large gap in front. Sadly I made three Washis before I figured this out. Lucky for me, my increased bust and rib cage size (side effect of pregnancy) means that the top fits better now that it ever did.

And I don't even mind looking pregnant!

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