Barefoot by the Sea

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Last Hodgepodge of May!


From this Side of the Pond

Here we are, the very last day of MAY 2017! Crazy isn't it? Time certainly isn't slowing down these days and soon we'll be welcoming JUNE! I haven't blogged much this moth but I wanted to wrap up with a dose of the HODGEPODGE!  Click the button above and come join the fun! Thank you, as always Joyce for hosting! 

1. What makes you feel accomplished? Explain. An organized, clean house, planting the garden, landscaping, seeing a project completed, a good DIY, perfecting a delicious meal. Most of all, watching my family all together...the sweetest moments, when my girls are laughing, interacting, smiling and talking. They're developing that close sisterly bond and when I see that? I know we've truly done our job and accomplished something incredible.

2. If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? Tell us why. That is SO TOUGH! I really find that a difficult question. I guess I'd pick Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake because oh my goodness they just make me laugh so much.  

Oprah because, she's Oprah and probably Tom Cruise because I would love to have him explain Scientology and/or call me glib.

3. Do you have a great burger recipe? What's in it? What do you like on a hamburger and where is your favorite spot to order one out? I do love a good veggie burger, I also make a yummy turkey burger stuffed with spinach and feta. I'm not big on burgers but do love the smell of a grill on a Summer day.

4. What's the biggest anxiety producing thing you do on a regular basis? Without a doubt, the future, my kids and keeping them safe in this uncertain world. I guess that's a few but #1 would be my kids!


5. This is the last Hodgepodge of May. Tell us about your summer plans. I'd love a long, lazy Summer with trips to the farm, lake and beach. We'll visit Cape Cod and unplug for a bit, spend a lot of time enjoying our local area. I just am excited to have my kids home for the Summer and we're all looking forward to stepping out of the routine!

6. Insert your own random thought here. We've had a lot of gloomy days here - A LOT. Did I mention it was 49 degrees here on Memorial Day? Pouring rain! I made salad and flatbread, we cuddled in blankets. It was cozy but felt like late March. This was appropriate!

On that note, Happy June my friends! Let's hope for sunshine ahead! I'm ready!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Quick and Easy Egg Wraps

Yet another break in blogging and I'll admit it, I have few excuses. My oldest turned 13 in the beginning of the month and I was busy with that, my youngest had a field trip, I've been working and life gets in the way. I love this space to inspire and share, I get so much from other bloggers and don't want to give up this creative outlet. I'll be back as often as I can! For now, I wanted to share a quick and simple breakfast or lunch idea that's been saving me lately. 
I try to keep it healthy, especially during the weeks. Weekends tend to be when I'll indulge a bit more. Lately, I've been batch cooking egg wraps that keep me on track and are pretty healthy. I know they're definitely more healthy than the usual suspects. When you go out to eat, it's hard to ensure EXACTLY the fat, calories and nutritional content of your order, so we just hope for the best. What I love about these is that they're customizable, quick and handy. Make a batch in the beginning of the week and enjoy whenever you need some fast FUELING food!

4 eggs
Cooking spray
Cheese of your choice (I used feta)
Veggies of your choice
Wraps

Over a pan, cook eggs until they're done. Add your veggies, top with cheese and transfer to wraps while your cheese is hot and melty. That will be the "glue" that holds the wrap together. I freeze these in between sheets of wax paper. 
Have a great Tuesday! Can you believe NEXT week is Memorial Day? Time is
FLYING!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Happy MAY - it's the Hodgepodge!

Hello My Friends! It's been a while! What can I say, life got busy, then busier. After weeks of play prep and a week of performances and visits from family and friends, we ended on school vacation week. It was a MUCH needed break! So, while I had great hopes to get back to my little space here, I procrastinated and decided that was okay. I figured it would be a great idea to get back to it with the Wednesday Hodgepodge, which always gets my brain moving! If you haven't participated, come join the fun! Thanks as always, to Joyce for hosting! 

1. Can you tell I'm embracing a Cinco de Mayo theme here this week? Do you like Mexican food? What's your favorite dish? How about on the side-black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, rice? What about heat-mild, medium, hot? Will you celebrate with Mexican food and drink on May 5th aka Cinco de Mayo? I LOVE Mexican food - but, living in New Hampshire, I often wonder if I've ever had real, authentic Mexican food. I do love a great Mexican salad with grilled veggies, pico de gallo and homemade guacamole. I would probably go with a side of black beans and HOT salsa! There are so many delicious Mexican dishes, I also love poblano peppers and fajitas! I probably won't have a special drink on Cinco de Mayo but I do love a good margarita! 

2. Ever been to Mexico? For work or holiday? Love it or no? If you haven't been is this a place you'd like to visit? Can you speak Spanish? Yes, I've been to Mexico - I was a junior in college. Cancun is about as Americanized Mexico as you can get. I remember arriving an ordering nachos with my friends, only to be served stale chips with gluey, orange cheese. I'm guessing they figure college kids aren't culinary experts, at least not in the mid 90s. I studied Spanish all through school, can't speak it that well but can understand some (isn't that always the way?)


3. What's one thing you may accomplish this month? I'm hoping to get yard work done (if it EVER stops raining), plant my garden and celebrate my daughter's birthday next week. That WILL happen! 


4. If you were mayor of your village, city, or town, what's one thing you'd like to see changed, done away with, revamped, or accomplished? Is serving in public office something you've ever seriously considered? I'd love for the community to get together to clean up the sides of the roads - this time of year it's SO dirty after such a long Winter. It's a beautiful area, but we need to clean it up this time of year. I am actively involved in our school system and try to help out where I'm useful. We just had a huge Earth Day event at my youngest's school, I'm happy to be involved and love seeing the kids get so excited about greening the grounds and making their school - and community the best place it can be!


5. What's something that may be popular, but that you just don't get? The show, 13 Reasons Why - which seemingly glamorizes suicide and I'm not sure why you'd let your kids watch this show. If you weren't aware of it and they're watching, have a conversation with them - it's too important not to! 


6. Can't let this week slip by without mentioning Thursday May 4th is Star Wars Day. As in 'May the 4th be with you' ahem. Are you a fan of the Star Wars series? Exactly how much of a fan are you? On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being 'I've seen every film, own the action figures, might have dressed as Darth Vader for Halloween one year', and 1 being, 'what's a Vader?' -where do you land? My husband is the biggest Star Wars fan I know - as in, he has trunk loads of items for his "someday man cave" of little circa 1970 Star Wars figures, old Empire Strikes Back glasses from Burger King, all sorts of merchandise. He is quite obsessed and in order to be married to him, well, it was kind of a prerequisite to be a fan as well. I remember seeing the original Star Wars with my Grandmother in 1978 in Ludlow, Massachusetts. Yes, I've seen them all. I never dressed as Darth but my husband has and yes, we have several lightsabers around the house (in the attic of course), but they're handy in case we need to use "the force". 


7. Scroll back through your blog posts and in three sentences or less tell us the general theme of your fourth blog post. Does it still ring true today? Is it a topic you re-visit on your blog from time to time? The post shared my then FIVE year old's pictures she took on my phone. She was so little but loved her puppies and was creative - that still rings true today! Family and creativity are two topics I love to write about - my family is just busier these days! 


8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Happy May Friends!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Swedish Tea Ring Recipe

Last week, my youngest had her Countries Around The World Day. Each third grader has been researching their heritage and picked one country to focus on and research more. She picked Sweden. Once their done with their reports, they present them to parents and classmates in a school wide event. As part of the project, we also brought in a food or dish from the particular country. We settled in on a Swedish Tea Ring. It was delicious and I wanted to share the recipe (and photo montage) below...

Swedish Tea Ring

Ingredients

  • For the Dough:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/4 cups bread flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

  • For the Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • For the Icing:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk, or as needed

Directions

  1. In a bread machine, put milk, egg, butter, sugar, salt, bread flour, and yeast in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select the Dough cycle and press Start. When dough is mixed, transfer to a greased bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Grease 2 baking sheets or line them with parchment paper; set aside.
  3. Divide dough in half. Roll each piece out into rectangles about 12x16 inches. Spread each dough rectangle with 1 tablespoon softened butter. In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 3/4 cup light brown sugar, and 1/2 cup raisins.
  4. Sprinkle cinnamon mixture onto buttered dough. Roll them up jelly-roll fashion, along long side. Pinch edges to seal. Stretch and twist into rings, pinching ends to seal. Place them seam-side down onto prepared baking sheets. Using clean scissors, cut 2/3 way of the way through the loaf at about 1-inch intervals. Spread each cut slightly. you wish to
  5. [At this point, the dough can be refrigerated: cover dough with greased plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, let pastries come to room temperature for about half an hour before baking as directed in step 7.]
  6. Alternately, cover each ring with a clean towel or greased plastic wrap and let loaves rise until double, about 40 minutes.
  7. Arrange two oven racks so that both baking sheets will fit. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  8. Bake for 10 minutes in preheated; rotate baking sheets. Bake until rings are light brown and the filling is oozing and bubbling, about 10 minutes more.
  9. In a small mixing bowl, combine confectioners sugar, almond extract, and milk until icing is desired consistency. Drizzle icing over warm pastries.

 It was a great day and she had a lot of fun. It's amazing to see how hard the kids worked on their projects. Great to enjoy some yummy food too!
 
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