Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Hot Cross Buns

Happy Easter Friends!
I hope your Easter weekend was lovely. Mine was full of sunshine, daffodils, hot cross buns and insulation. Yes, we know how to celebrate holidays in my family. We plan work parties! So Saturday Mandy and I helped insulate our brother's house. This has been an ongoing project which we have been working on for about two weeks, so glad to finally be finished!

 We had daffodils for Easter! Actually, they were up last week and I was going to post about them, but the week flew by before I had a chance. Our Easter celebrations were last weekend on Palm Sunday as that is when all the family could get together. It was lovely and I was so happy to have daffys for both weekends!

 I finally got around to making Hot Cross Buns! Something that has been on my to-bake list for awhile. They were quite easy to make and scrumptious! The recipe is from my Great British Bake Off Cookbook, but here is a recipe from Mary Berry that is very similar. I really liked the piped on flour paste cross instead of the usual (American) icing cross. When I checked on the buns shortly after putting them in the oven I was sad to see the cross had soaked in and was barely visible. But the next time I checked, the buns were a lovely golden brown with a pale cross shining through!

 Oh the new leaves! Everyday there are trees with new leaflets. I am so enjoying laying in bed soaking up the green view!

 These beauties came with the little house. I usually prefer my daffodils yellow, but these have been especially lovely this year.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Apple Buckwheat Muffins

 Do you like buckwheat? It is a stronger flavored flour and is usually the overwhelming flavor in baked good. But oh, it makes fluffy muffins and pancakes!
I think it was sister Becky, that first introduced me to buckwheat via a vintage recipe for Buckwheat Griddlecakes (pancakes). Mandy and I love to make thick fluffy buckwheat pancakes, but we still haven't gotten the hang of getting them to not stick to the pan. Part of the problem is that we are also making them dairy free with water and coconut oil. Anyway, the house always ends up smelling like a greasy diner and burnt oil.
So, I thought buckwheat muffins would solve the problem nicely. A quick search online and nothing. Nothing that met my critia (dairy-free, but not gluten free and easy). I did a quick look through my vintage cookbook collection, nothing. A look through the "modern" cookbooks, nothing. I decided, fine, I will just add a bit of buckwheat to one of my favorite recipes. The first try was not good and I didn't get around to another go....

Then last week while looking for an oatmeal cookie recipe, I grabbed Mandy's Betty Crocker Country Cooking off the shelf and came across several lovely muffins recipes. Including Apple Buckwheat Muffins!
I was focused on oatmeal cookies at the moment. But after an unfortunate egg incident (Have you ever had an egg explode when you cracked it open?!?) in which I used up all the raisins, I thought muffins might sooth my nerves. Oh my! These are some of the best muffins! Soft, moist, flavorful, satisfying.....

 I am not really sure if I should be posting the recipe (It always seems like a gray area to me. Most recipes are variations, so should they really be copyrighted?), but it is too good not to share!

Apple Buckwheat Muffins (dairy-free version)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup apple juice or water
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 egg
1 large tart apple, grated

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour, buckwheat flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir in grated apple until well coated with flour mixture. Beat together egg, water or apple juice and coconut oil in a small bowl. Add to flour apple mixture, stir until just blended. Spoon into 18 muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Tip muffins up on edge in pan to cool.
Maybe this is my recipe now that I have tweaked it a bit.(?) If you don't have/like coconut oil, I am sure another veggie oil will work fine too.

AS you can see, they didn't last long!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Cozy Calico

Mom and I recently discovered the blog Posie Gets Cozy. (How have we missed her all these years?!?) We are so in love with her blog, her charming bungalow, cute as can be daughter and lovely quilts! Hours have been spent ohhing and ahhing. And before we knew it, inspiration was swirling around. So two weekends ago, the fabric was sorted, the sewing machine cleaned and threaded, the iron heated and a quilt was made.

Inspired by Alicia's calico comforter, we used an Ikea comforter instead of the usual cotton batting, tuffy floss ties instead of quilting stitches and simple 4.5" squares. From the fabric stash we pulled out all the reds, orange, blue, green, and browns (to match the living room) we could find.

Can you believe we had all these fabrics in the stash? Some had a copyright of 2000 stamped on the salvage...... It was so good to finally use them up!
The top went together fairly quickly. I was a little sad not to get it all finished by Sunday evening(couldn't wait to see how it would turn out!), but by Tuesday evening all the layers were sewn together and safety pinned. Though there are still tufts to be tied as we ran out of black embroidery floss.

 We are so happy with our new calico comforter, it has already become favorite. Kerri especially loves cuddling up in it. I love how nicely the colors go with the living room, even though to me it looks slightly reminiscent of the 1970s.