Marshmallows

I really wanted to test out my kitchenaid whisk attachment and some of the higher speeds today.  I decided what better way to do that than making homemade marshmallows for the FIRST. TIME. EVER!!  It was really easy only took 3 ingredients and the outcome was overall fantastic!! I am really enjoying my new Kitchenaid Pro Design 600 that I picked up refurbished by the manufacturer for $220 with the pour shield, spiral dough hook, whisk and cake paddle attachments.  It has held up to everything I’ve thrown in it and is making cooking so much more fun!

Wanna make some marshmallows too?

Marshmallow Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 (.25oz) packets unflavoured powder gelatin
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. Put 1/2 cup water in the botton of the mixer bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water, walk away.
  2. In a small saucepan pour remaining 1/2 cup water, honey & sugar. Cook over medium-high heat until boiling, then about 7-9 minutes later check the temp using a candy thermometer if you are lucky enough to have one, I am not, or use the cold water test discussed here.  Once you’ve reached correct temp of 240 degrees farenheit, remove from heat.
  3. Turn mixer on to lowest setting and slowly, pouring down the side of the bowl, add the honey mixture.  Once all the mixture is incorporated, time to crank up the speed.  Turn it up to highest speed setting (mine is 10) and let it do it’s thing while you wander around the house waiting so patiently for it to thicken up and resemble marshmallow fluff (or really really stiff frosting).  Roughly 10-15 minutes.
  4. Once it’s thickened to your liking scoop into a 13×9 pan lined with parchment paper…or if you are like me and too lazy to wash the ONLY pan you have that size in time…just spread it out on the piece of parchment paper and using your finger kinda spread it around into a rectangular shape that’s roughly 5cm high.
  5. Set aside in a safe place ,where no little fingers will try to lick it, to dry for approximately 12 hours (overnight is good too).  Cut into whatever shape makes you happy and store in a dry coolish place….or eat them…or do whatever you like to do with marshmallows.

For storage: I dust the cut marshmallows in flour and put in an air tightish container. They should keep for about a month…assuming they last that long!!

The KitchenAid in action:

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Baked Crispy Fish & Potato Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Potatos (peeled, chopped, parboiled) 
  • 2 pounds Fish Fillets 
  • 1 cup Homemade Mayonnaise (room temperature)
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
  • 1/4 stick (2 oz) Butter (cut into small cubes)
  • 4 tablespoons Oil (get fancy use something delicious…Olive, Coconut, Almond..live a little)
  • 8-10 round Butter Crackers (crushed, think Ritz crackers)
  • 1/4 cup sliced Almonds
  • 1 teaspoon Homemade Fish & Poultry Seasoning

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees farenheit. In a lightly greased 13×9 pan line bottom of pan with parboiled potatoes.  
    2. Over potatoes evenly place cubes of butter, drizzle 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of F&P Seasoning.
    3. Pour 1/2 cup mayonnaise over all of the potatoes, then sprinkly 1/2 a cup of cheddar cheese over the mayonnaise.
    4. In a single layer place fish fillets on top of the cheese ensuring full coverage of the lower layers.
    5. Pour remaining 1/2 cup of mayonnaise over fish fillets followed by remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.
    6. In a small bowl mix crackers, almonds and remaining 1/2 teaspoon F&P seasoning until well incorporated. Generously cover the top of the cheese layer with cracker mixture, ensure that it is completely covered. Drizzle remaining oil evenly over the cracker mixture.
    7. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and fish is flaky and potatos are easily pierced with a fork.

    Serve with a simple side salad of fresh spring greens, tomatos, onions & shredded carrots, topped with one of these delicious homemade salad dressings (link coming soon!!)


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    Chiriqui Grande

    Today I went to Chiriqui Grande for some food and fabric.  My neighbor drove me in his boat.  He likes to leave early, usually he picks me up around 730a. The trip takes approximately 30-45 minutes depending on the weather and today we had totally calm water and brilliant blue sunny skies!  It was HOT.

    Once I get into to town I usually stop at the little restaurant near the dock for a quick breakfast.  This morning it was scrambled eggs and these little oval shaped meat filled potato pastries, they look like fingers. Ha!  After breakfast I wander around the town with my list, returning often to the boat to drop things off, acquiring all kinds of items.  Today was no different.  My spoils included a variety of fruit, vegetables, chicken food, chicken for eating and fabrics for sewing.  Overall it was a successful trip and I was able to return back home by 130 as planned after dropping off a friend of ours, who came along with me.
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    Crunchy & Green Triple B Muffins

    Bacon, Bananas & Blueberries???
    In muffin & loaf form? WHAT?!?!?

    Yes I did it. They were absolutely delicious.  Feel free to make some of your own. 

    Crunchy & Green Triple B Muffins

    This recipe makes approximately 24 muffins or 6 muffins and a 7″ loaf.

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/4 cup bacon grease with a bit of neutral flavored oil to top off the measuring cup
    • 2 large egg (can substitute 1/4 cup banana or applesauce for each egg to make egg-free)
    • 3/4 milk; dairy and non-dairy both work
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 6 to 8 ounces fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw frozen) (about 1 cup)
    • 1/2lb crispy bacon (reserve grease for oil in recipe), crumbled
    • 2 small ripe and soft bananas
    • 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
    • 1/4 sliced almonds
    • 1 whole kale leaf or handful of baby spinach

    Directions

    1. In a large bowl, mix until well combined, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, flaxseed and almonds. 
    2. In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup put grease/oil, eggs, milk, vanilla, bananas and kale/spinach, using an immersion blender, puree until all ingredients are smooth. 
    3. Mix blueberries and then bacon into flour mixture. 
    4. Add liquid mixture and fold until just incorporated, do not overmix, you want the ingredients to all be moist, but a little lumpy is fine. 
    5. Scoop by the spoonful into muffin cups (about 3/4 full) or pour/scoop into loaf pan.
    6. Place in preheated (375 degrees F) oven for 15-20 minutes (6/12 cup muffin pan), 45 minutes for loaf pan.  Remove with you can insert knife/toothpick into center and remove clean and tops are golden brown.  

    Serve with butter and honey/maple syrup!

        Enjoy! 

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        Crochet Owl Eye Mask

        I started using an eye mask off and on lately since we live in an open floor plan houseboat and have different bedtimes. I have found it to help quite a bit actually! Anyway my first eye mask was a strip of felt stapled to a strip of 1″ wide elastic. I know super lazy.  Actually I came up with it one night on a spur of the moment and it definitely did the job! So I decided I wanted something a bit more… posh.  

        After looking around for ideas on the internet I found this

        That was a week ago…. 

        Yeah I get busy around here apparently. 

        Ha! 

        Anyway after an hour of diligently focusing… 

        Ok  more like a divided hour over a 3 hour period of my day…. 
        I completed one too! 

        Yay!  
        Alright. 

        Goodnight! 

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        ​Super Soft Lightly Sour Sourdough Bread (in the bread maker or not)/Dinner Rolls and Pizza Crust

        I was on the hunt for a sourdough sandwich bread that my kids would eat AND I could do practically all of it in my gazillion dollar bread maker.  I found this FANTASTIC recipe over at The Fresh Loaf.  After making it EXACTLY as TX farmer notes,  in her sandwich loaf recipe mentioned above, and it turning out SUPER,  I decided to tweak it to suit my lazy need to not measure things by weight unless ABSOLUTELY necessary. Here is the outcome of my “2 additional loaves made  already ” adventure.  
        Ingredients 
        Starter Dough

        26g fed Sourdough Starter

        44 g Whole Milk Milk

        82g  AP Flour

        Let sit at around 72 deg overnight (12 hours) 

        Final Dough 

        (in this order in the bread maker, or whatever order your bread maker calls for) 

        1 Starter Dough portion (this is the yeast) 

        4 1/4 cups Flour (AP or 1 cup WW for 1 cup AP) 

        1 Tbs Sugar

        2.5 Tbs Butter

        2 tsp Salt

        In a 2 cup Measuring Cup add the following:

        2 whole eggs

        fill up to 1.5 cup line with Whole Milk 

        Directions 

        Using a bread maker, select a 20 min dough cycle or stop the mixing at 20 minutes 

        or use a mixer with dough hooks… 

        or use your hands. 

        I’m all about equal opportunity baking.  

        Now remove a portion equivalent to the amount of starter dough you added (roughly 1 cup). Set that aside.  Take the main dough and form a ball, place into cover bowl and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.  Place container in fridge overnight (12 hours). 

        In the meantime for the extra dough you set aside:

        Roll your remaining dough into a thick even log and slice into 6 even pieces. Roll into balls and place on pan or in large 6 count muffin tin.  Cover and let rise for 6 hours or until each ball has almost doubled in size. (fills the muffin cup).  Bake at 350 for 15-20 min until golden brown. 

        Serve warm or store for later snack time. 

        Once the 12 hours has passed:

        Remove main dough from fridge.  You may divide it into two portions for baking ( 2 standard loaf pans or making 2 largish pizza crusts) or if baking in the bread maker don’t divide it (round it to fit nicely in the bread machine pan). 

        For bread loaf(ves) (not pizza crust) 
        Put main dough (whole) into pan,  cover and set aside for 6-8 hours until it has reached the top of the pan edge… maybe a tad bit higher if you are so inclined. I bake it at the pan edge measurement.

        Bread Machine Baking:

        When appropriate height is reached, using bake only function, select 45 minutes and press start. When finished remove and let cool on rack for an hour or 3.

        Oven baking:

        Place shaped loafs into pans and bake in a preheated oven (350 degrees) for 45 minutes until tops are what ever shade of brown you desire. Approximately 45 minutes give or take.
        Pizza crust:

        Take one half or the main dough and roll out to desired shape and thickness. 

        Let rest for about 1-3 hours….basically we’re going for slightly puffy.  

        Punch it down if it gets out of hand. 

        Sourdough is slow and forgiving… 

        …  in my experience. 

        Which is why you’re reading this right?? 

        Moving… on. 

        Top with whatever you enjoy on your pizza and bake it!  

        You may bake it in a preheated oven (350 degrees) or  in a wood burning pizza oven or over a campfire on a flat stone… I won’t judge. 

        Cook it until it looks golden brown around the edges (for 20 minutes or so) … you may find it desirable to use a pizza stone or to put cornmeal on the bottom for extra fanciness. 

        I don’t…  but you might.. and that’s why we’re called INDIVIDUALS. 😂

        Whatever you do,  enjoy gobbling it up at the very least!

        You’re welcome. 

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        Loomin’ Knit

        Recently I decided it was time to teach AJM an add on skill to her ever growing repertoire of home economics type skills.   She already knows how to finger knit, basic embroidery /hand sewing , chaining for crochet (with a hook! ) and some basic cooking. Girl is on fiyah!  Anywho. . .

        The latest add on came about because I was searching the internet late in the evening (probably lurking through Pinterest or something) and happened upon an upcycling project for plastic bottles (well basically for any plastic tub, bottle, container , etc) and a cute project for a backpack (using a loom) .

        I set to work the next morning and after collecting my supplies:

        • 2 containers (empty vitamin containers a friend gave me)
        • a pair of metal cutters (borrowed from J’s room)
        • a sharp knife
        • a pair of scissors
        • a piece of sandpaper
        • a permanent marker
        • a measuring tape

        The rest of the process is a blur of plastic clippings and pieces of sanded plastic, ending with me very happy and two very simple circular knitting looms!!

        I spent the morning searching the internet for knitting loom instructions, stitches and patterns and was super excited when I fell upon this thorough and well put together site on ALL THINGS KNIT LOOM!!

        AJM really enjoyed learning how to do the basic “e-wrap” knit stitch and happily sat at my desk “knitting” on her loom.

        This was a successful lesson and she finished her first “sleeve”  (for a summer dress she now wants to sew) just before dinner today successfully binding off using The Crochet Crowds video. She seems very pleased with her first project .
        Later this evening I found a few “spool”  loom projects  and decided to try out Guppy Girl’s adorable Mini Cream pattern.

        AJM stayed up a bit late tonight watching me finish up the double scoop version.  She informed me that if I made a few more her dolls could have an icecream party.  I told her she could make a few tomorrow and sent her to bed.
        Now I’m off… to figure out some more things we can make . . . .

        Teddy bears and Lizards? ?

        Oh my !

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        This post and website contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using any of the links you see here. Even if you purchase something other than what is advertised in the link/banner, I will still receive a percentage if you purchase by clicking my links first to shop on their website. Thanks in advance for helping support my family and our adventures!

        Easy Granny Triangle Pattern

        Hey everyone ! 

        I found this great video online about making a cute granny square triangle and it didn’t have written instructions . I decided to write out the pattern here for my own memory and share it with you along with the video link!  It was posted as a free pattern by WoolyWondersCrochet

         
        Written Pattern:

        Easy Granny Triangle

        4mm Hook

        US Terms

        Worsted Weight Yarn scraps

        Create a Magic Circle 

        R1 Ch3, (counts as 1st DC), 2DC in magic circle, *Ch3, 3DC, repeat from * once. SS to top of ch 3 at beg. Pull magic circle closed.

        Cut Yarn

        Change colour by creating a slip knot, insert into any of the ch3 spaces and secure with a slip knot.

        R2 Working into Ch3-Space, (SS of attached colour counts as ch 1) Ch2 (this counts as ch3), 2DC, Ch1, * in nxt ch3- space 3DC, Ch3, 3DC, repeat from the star once, in last ch3-space, 3DC, Ch3, ss to top of ch3 at beg of rnd.

        Cut Yarn

        Change colour by creating a slip knot, insert into any of the corners and secure with a slip knot.

        R3 Ch2 (counts as ch3 with ss attaching new colour, which counts as 1 DC), 2DC, Ch1, * in next space 3DC, ch 1, in corner 3DC, ch3, 3DC, ch1, rep once from star, in last corner at beg, 3DC, ch3, ss to top of ch3 at beg. 

        Cut Yarn

        Change colour by creating a slip knot, insert into any of the corners and secure with a slip knot.

        R4 Ch2 (counts as ch3 with ss attaching new colour, which counts as 1 DC), 2DC, Ch1, * (in next space 3DC, ch1) x2 in corner 3DC, ch3, 3DC, ch1, rep once from star, in last corner at beg, 3DC, ch3, ss to top of ch3 at beg. 

        Cut Yarn

        Change colour by creating a slip knot, insert into any of the corners and secure with a slip knot.

        R5 Ch2 (counts as ch3 with ss attaching new colour, which counts as 1 DC), 2DC, Ch1, * (in next space 3DC, ch1) x3 in corner 3DC, ch3, 3DC, ch1, rep once from star, in last corner at beg, 3DC, ch3, ss to top of ch3 at beg. 
        Repeat for as many rnds as desires. 

        At end of each round change colour. 
        Bobble border. 

        Working in WS

        Cut Yarn

        Change colour by creating a slip knot, insert into any of the sts just after a corner and secure with a ss. 

        R1 – Work a SC in same st as beg SS, SC in nxt st, TR in nxt, *SC in nxt 2 sts, TR in nxt st, rep from star until the corner, at corner 3SC, 3CH 3SC, rep twice around. SS to top of beg st. 

        May rep border for added fanciness. 

        Written out by Dashaina while listening to video. Please comment with any errors.

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        The Wonders of Yuca (aka cassava) 

        A few months ago a few neighbors came by on different days with various parts (and quantities)  of the yuca  plant for my family.  I was so grateful and a bit overwhelmed with the generosity of this gesture and not quite sure how to handle storing it,  planting it,  using it all before it went bad. 

        Which brings  me to today’s bounty… yuca root!   Locally I sell my homemade bread and yogurt. Some customers pay in cash others pay in trade,  we all benefit from the exchange.   This morning one neighbor showed up with his part of our recent trade, yogurt for yuca, and boy did he bring me a big pile this time!  

        I made a video about chopping it up here

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        Creamy Dill Honey Mustard Dressing

        1/4 c Apple Cider Vinegar
        3 Tbs Honey
        1/2 tsp Salt
        1/2 tsp dried dill
        1/4 tsp ground black pepper
        2 Tbs Prepared Mustard
        1 cup Mayonnaise

        Put the first 6 ingredients into a clean glass jar, whisk until combined.  Add mayonnaise or ingredients for homemade mayo and combine using an immersion blender until creamy and homogeneous.

        Refrigerate for about 20  minutes until thickened.  Serve over or tossed in salad.

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