One week into the new year, and we have had our first significant snowfall. We did not even attempt to leave the house on Saturday as the snow was coming down all day. Today we cleared our drive, and then went to my parents’ house to clear their drive. Then we enjoyed a little sledding, visited the beach, and the bison.
This weekend we visited a mine in New Jersey with out Boy Scout troop. We were able to complete two merit badges: Mining in Society and Geology. It was well worth the visit.
A new year, and a whole bunch of new books to read. My son is an avid reader. I just can’t keep up with him. My 8 year old isn’t quite there yet. Neither is my ten year old nephew. To help them along, I have created a challenge for them- twelve books in twelve months. Not too crazy. I am sure they will read more than that. So here it is…
- A national book award winner
- A book based on a fairytale
- A book set in your home state
- A book set in Europe
- A book that is also a movie
- A book recommended by a friend
- A book published in 2016
- A book that takes place in the summer
- A mystery
- A biography
- A book that takes place on an island
- A book with a green cover
Of course, I will be giving a reward if the challenge is completed. Who will join us?
Here is a printable copy of the Book challenge .
A few weeks ago, we had family visiting from New England. They brought some lovely New England blueberries. Yumm! I made this very easy blueberry crisp from my favorite baking book, The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion. According to them, crisps and crumbles are not the same. A crumble has oatmeal in the topping, while crisps do not. I love that I don’t need to bother with pastry. This was so quick and easy. Click on the title for a printable version.
2 pints (4 generous cups, about 24 ounces) blueberries, cleaned and stemmed
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
1/4 cup (1 ounce) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice, or 2 drops of lemon oil
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks, 5 ounces) butter melted
1 cup (3 1/2 to 4 ounces) walnuts or pecans, chopped
Grease and flour a 9-inch ie pan. Preheat oven to 350°F
Filling: Put the berries in the pan. Mix the sugar, flour, salt, and lemon together, and sprinkle this mixture over the berries.
Topping: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, melted butter, and nuts. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit.
Bake the crisp for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is golden and the filling is bubbly. Cool slightly, then serve warm, with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or pouring cream.
This is for my sister-in-law who has just moved to the US from the UK. She was asking me for a good pancake recipe. This is our all time favorite version. It is from the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion, one of my favorite cookbooks. They call it “The Simple But Perfect Pancake”, and it truly is. Because I work, I usually make the batter the night before. It keeps well in the refrigerator over night. I have actually left it a few nights, and it has still been okay. It is best used the same morning, but my life does not usually lend itself to that. So, here it is… (Click Simple but Perfect Pancakes for a printable copy)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (10 ounces) milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (not the imitation kind, but the true vanilla extract)
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) butter, melted (I usually use unsalted)
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour (I usually use the King Arthur Flour make)
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
I usually start by melting the butter in the microwave, so it is slightly cooled before I add it.
Beat the eggs, milk, and vanilla until light and foamy, about three minutes at high speed of a stand mixer or hand mixer. Stir in the butter.
Wish the dry ingredients together to evenly distribute the salt, baking powder and sugar. Gently and quickly mix into the egg and milk mixture. Let the batter relax while the griddle is heating (or overnight in the refrigerator). The batter will thicken slightly while resting.
Grease and preheat the griddle. The griddle is ready if a drop of water will skitter across the surface, evaporating immediately. If you have an electric griddle (I do not), set the temperature between 325° and 350°F. Drop 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the lightly greased griddle. (I use my cupcake scoop). Cook on one side until bubbles begin to form and break.*** Then turn the pancake and cook the other side until brown. Turn over only once, and resist the urge to push down on the pancake with spatula. you do not want to squish out air, as these are so light and fluffy from the beating of the eggs and milk.
***the pancake is ready to turn when the edges begin to look dry and bubbles form and start to break.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we do, and I hope my sister-in-law enjoys making them, maybe with a little help from my nephew.
Today we tried some more science experiments using polymers and such. We started out making oobleck. We mixed 1 part water to 2 parts cornstarch. This creates a substance that is a solid and a liquid. So cool. We added some food coloring too.
We also made snow using snow polymers.
Then we just had fun by sticking pencils through bags of water. So cool.