What an absolutely gorgeous day we had yesterday, and today is shaping up to be exactly the same!  I think our high yesterday was around 65 degrees and blue skies.  Fall has always been my favorite season – maybe because I looked forward to my field hockey season?

I was up early, so got my exercise out of the way.  I ended up doing a 45 minute Jackie Werner workout – holy cow am I sore today, but it feels good! 😀

I knew we were going out to eat so breakfast was a quick slice of banana bread with a schmear of butter.

We ended up going to the Crystal Lake farmers market.  Some of their stuff was just way too expensive – $4 a pound for fingerling potatoes?  And some of the produce had stickers on it like you would buy at Dominicks or Jewel!  I ended up getting sweet and hot red peppers for my pepper jelly – they were $2 a pound.  And I got a delicata squash and a personal size spaghetti squash.

They did have lots of tomatoes, but I didn’t buy any.

And really interesting squash!

We went to a Mexican restaurant – I ordered a cup of tortilla soup, one beef taco and a side of refried beans.

The soup had no flavor at all, so I need to make a pot at home 😀

When the temperatures drop, I definitely get in the mood to bake.  While I should have just stuck with the Best Bread Ever, I decided to try a different recipe.

The First Loaf (by Bernard Clayton)

  • 5 to 6 cups of flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 3 tablespoons shortening (I used butter flavor)

Put 2 cups of flour, sugar, salt, yeast and dry milk in a large bowl and mix well.  Pour the hot water into the dry ingredients and beat by hand or mixer until well combined.  Add the shortening and continue to beat until the shortening melts from the hot water.

Add 1 cup of flour at a time until you reach the desired consistency.  I had 5 cups total, with about 1/2 an additional cup as I was kneading the bread.  Either knead by hand or by stand mixer for 10 minutes.  Put in a lightly oiled bowl and let rise 1 hour.

Remove from bowl, cut in half and shape into two dough balls.  Let rise an additional hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  You can cook either way – they ended up coming out the same – the first loaf I cooked in a dutch oven with the lid on for 30 minutes, removed the lid for the last 15 minutes.  The second loaf I just baked on a cookie sheet.  For each loaf though after the first 15 minutes I reduced the heat to 350.

it took about 100 strokes for the shortening to melt

put an X with a knife on the dough right before baking
after 45 minutes - done!

I really liked this bread – I describe it as white sandwich bread.  Tony missed the crunch of the Best Ever Bread, so I think I’ll stick with that recipe, but this made a good grilled cheese sandwich!

Dinner was simple grilled roasted chicken.  I chopped 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary with 2 cloves of garlic and rubbed that under the skin.  On the outside I brushed 1 tablespoon of olive oil mixed with lemon zest, salt and pepper.

It was as I was grilling that I realized that I hadn’t made anything for the BSI this week, which was milk.  So I quickly put together our side dish.

Spinach Twice Baked Potatoes (makes 4 halves)

  • 2 large baked potatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese

Cut potatoes in half, remove the potato careful not to break the skin.  Put the skins under the broiler to crisp up, about 5 minutes on low.  Mix together all ingredients except for the cheddar cheese, and stuff the shells, put cheese on top and broil until cheese is melty.

the skin was crispy, but the filling was tender and cheezy - yum!

I got the new Food Network magazine in the mail yesterday.   I believe Hannah has some ideas on what I should make this week!

One problem is that Hannah goes to night school 4 days a week, so Tuesday I know she’ll be home and I’ll be making the sesame chicken.  It is a recipe by Ellie Krieger, so I am anxious to see hot it turns out.

Today Hannah is off work!  We are meeting my Mom at Septemberfest in Schaumburg today – perfect day to walk around outside, I think they have a craft fair going on too.  And they just might have 20+ restaurants at their food tent! 😀

Reminder:  tomorrow is the last day of 101 Days of Summer Challenge already! Don’t forget to email me your final summer update for tomorrow’s post.   Tomorrow is my final weigh in and measurements.

And you still have until Monday night to enter my 2 year blogaversary! 😀

Enjoy your Sunday!