Thursday, February 25, 2010

Podcasts and Pumpernickel

I don't know how many of you out there are podcast listeners, but I just can't get enough of them. In fact, I have quite a few in my queue. I just won't say how many. But I do have a few favorites that I never miss an "episode" of that get regular rotation on my iPod. Here are my five favorites in no random order:

Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase - Betty is a flight attendant for a major airline. She tells funny travel/airline stories and interviews airline crew members from all over to hear their funny stories. Most episodes have a theme. And you don't have to be in the travel industry to enjoy it. Funny stuff! She has around one episode a month, so it's not a big time commitment.

Desiring God Sermon Audio - I am a big John Piper fan. This is his weekly sermon broadcast from Bethlehem Baptist Church. It is great preaching every single week. And you will be blessed and challenged every single time you listen.

Amateur Traveler Podcast - If you love to travel or hear about the best places to travel, this is the podcast for you. Chris picks a different destination every week from somewhere in the world. He interviews experts from that region regarding the best places to eat and stay and the best attractions to visit. I find it entertaining and informative.

Gardenfork - This is a video blog about gardening, cooking, minor home repairs, and other stuff. Most episodes are under 10 minutes long and it a lot of fun to watch. Eric does more cooking than gardening. The cooking appeals to me more anyway, but the gardening episodes I have seen have been very interesting and helpful to me. This is definitely a keeper.

ThreadBanger - D.I.Y. Fashion and Style - This is a crafty rockin' video podcast! Some of the things are a little out there for me, but this podcast will definitely get your creative juices flowing. Lots of great ideas and amazing work from some really creative people out there. The episodes last anywhere from 3 minutes to 10. If you are crafty, this is the podcast for you.

So go to iTunes and give some of these a try.

A great book I received for Christmas was Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery that Revolutionizes Home Baking. It sounded a little too good to be true, but boy was I wrong. You can actually have a great loaf of artisan bread without kneading and making a big mess. It's amazing! So far I've made a baguette and quite a few calzones with a basic bread dough. Last weekend though I thought I would try my hand at pumpernickel. I mean, who doesn't like a good pumpernickel? And what a fun word to say! Here is my first loaf of pumpernickel.

I am not very good at taking food pictures, but I was just so darn proud of my loaf that I had to post it for all to see. And it was tasty folks. Yes indeed. My friend Veronica can vouch for that.

The great thing about these recipes is that you mix everything up in the bowl you are going to store the dough in. Yep, just throw all the ingredients in and give it a good mix, let it rise on the counter for around 2 hours (enough to rise and fall), then put it in the fridge for up to two weeks. Whenever you need some, just tear off a chunk, let it rise for a little while and bake. I'm going to sprinkle dates and walnuts into the last of my pumpernickel dough for a desert like bread. I got three loaves out of that dough. Kneadless to say, I am very happy. Kneadless... Get it? :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Winter Wonderland

I was hoping for one more good snow before winter left us. Well, we got it, and it was record breaking. Man, it was so pretty!

The snow was not good to our poor trees though. We had a ton of down limbs. Kevin knocked snow off on Thursday till his poor arms were ready to give out, but it didn't help. This is the front of our house.

On the knitting front, I have been in slouchy hat mode.

I recently finished a baby blanket and shipped it off to our good friends in Scotland who just had a baby girl. Since they did not know the babies sex until the birth, I chose a light green color.