Thursday, February 14, 2013

100 Blog Posts in, Am I a Blogger now ?

Hahaha some things still make me smile and shake my head ...I never in a million years would have thought I would become a Foodie , let alone a Food Blogger !  But here I am , making my 100th post on here :) With about 40000 pages views :) Now considering I did 50 posts in the first 6 months I have slowed down a little , as it took 2 years for the next 50!!! Hahaha I was concentrating on FB instead and just recently my Facebook page surpassed 7000 photos uploaded ... wow :))  With an average of 6000 views a week to over 70 countries , I am amazed !!   Thank you all :)   Im hoping it wont take me another 2 years for the next 50!

So Id like to celebrate by posting a few links to , previous posts , a couple old , a couple new ... and a previous milestone or two :))

Enjoy !

This one has been the most popular for two years running , and I still love making them :) Crispy Chili Cheese Bites !

Hummus was one of those turning points for me ... once I discovered I could make it and other dips , cheaper , tastier and healthier than store bought :) There was no looking back :)   Roasted Red Pepper Hummus !

and who doesn't like homemade bread !!!    Hahaha this is one that made me nervous , having had VERY bad luck with a bread maker...  I attempted a foccacia bread , by hand ... and success!!   Since then, Ive moved on to rolls, Indian Flat Bread, Pizza Shells .. and my latest favourite Crusty Bread !

One of the VERY few things I made from scratch before starting my foodie journey about 6 years ago ...  was Chili!   It was always my job to make a huge batch for Superbowl, or Guy Fawkes Night :)   Hahaha I should have seen the signs !    Recently I made  a batch for my own Birthday , here it is Birthday Chili :)

For those that don't know ..  Back in October 2010 .. I quit my career of 20 years , and embarked on a life changing path ...   first stop , farming!!!   Raising egg layers and meat birds on a local organic farm :))  So much better than the office !!  Hahaha

Here's the 50th post ... from back Spring 2011

and finally , here is the blog post that started this blog!!   Hahaha

Whats next ??  I'm not too sure, I'm now working in a catering kitchen, and following my passions as they appear .. lately photography has been taking more and more of my time , I am hoping to pursue that further , and continue learning ... sadly farming has dropped off , gardening is still a huge part of my life and my yard!! Hahaha I do know that in the coming week.. I'll be making homemade sausages !!!

Ill leave you with a rare shot of me,  taking during a recent outing with some fellow bird and nature photographers .. taken by friend Andrew of

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Homemade Crusty Bread

Okay ....   Enough already , Ill write the recipe !!  hahahaha I must have had 20 requests for this bread recipe :)   So here it is :)  

I must add this has become my favourite bread of all time ...   nothing Ive made or had can beat the crunchy crust with the chewy soft interior , and as a bonus its a very flexible recipe , can be made with or without a blender with equal success.

This post outlines , my first attempt at making this , almost a year ago now ...  since then I have made well over 50 loaves , using a wide variety of flours and flavours :)

Ingredients for a double batch :)

12 Cups of Flour , can be a variety of combinations for this one it was 10 cups AP, 2 cups 12 Whole Grains  , if using Whole Wheat I use 8 AP , 4 WW
2 Teaspoons Dry Yeast
7 Teaspoons Sea Salt
6 Cups Warm Water

The rest is optional ...  for this batch I used

4 Cloves of garlic, Minced
1 Large pinch of dried basil
2 dutch onions , minced

Mix all the dry ingredients first 

Stir in water

I did this batch by hand , using two wooden spatulas , took about 5 minutes ...   A stand mixer will do the same, in about the same time ...  should be a sticky mess

Cover with plastic wrap , and leave on counter for 18 - 24 hours 

Should at least double in size over night  - At this point you will want to put your dutch ovens into a oven , preheat t 450F ( about 20 minutes or so )  

On a well floured surface , divide into whatever sized loaves you like ..  this will require a bit of effort ...  you do not want them sticky ..  

Drop the dough into the HOT dutch ovens ...  no oil required, just a hot pot!  

Cover and into the 450F oven for 30 minutes...   Just for fun I tried one in a silicone bread pan , with tin foil as a lid , remove the lids after 30 minutes , and continue cooking for another 15 minutes 

After 45 minutes ... you will have something like this !!!  Mmmmmm

This is my 6.5 Q dutch oven, makes a really nice big oval bread !  

The silicone pan worked out just fine 

Thats it ... let them cool on a rack , as long as you can , and then grab some butter and dig in ! 

Nice bonus, if done right ...  no clean up!!  Just a quick wipe of the pot!  

I hope you try this out, and come to love it as much as I do ...

Peace, Love and Good Food!