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Okay, so I've remodeled the look of my blog & am starting "anew"...well sort of. I'm keeping my few previous entries & going with it. I've been putting off posting this for some time, waiting for the right time. To have everything in order, to have nothing being neglected or overlooked as I steal a few moments away to type. I realize, it's just not going to happen, so I'll begin.

I had once hoped to carry this into a sort of food blog, nothing gourmet mind you, just me. I don't have time for that. I so wish I did. I do cook & love to cook, but my adventures aren't as frequent as I had hoped. Most of our meals are really aren't awe inspiring as I find so many others to be.

While admitting I don't have the time I wish I did for cooking, I'm still going to cook, (after all, we do have to eat!) and post what I can or feel might be an interest to someone. Or, I'll post for my own future reflections.

So, this is me. Here I am. Muddling my way through with my husband and kids carving out our little niche. There will be some cooking, some crafts, some of everything I find along my way...and basically, well, there will be me!
Okay, so I took the summer off from BBA due to a full calendar of events. My last course of action, before doing so, was to tackle the bagels! My whole family is crazy about bagels and were very excited with this challenge.
I wound up doubling the recipe. (Crazy I know!) See the thing was, I got this notion of making baskets and delivering them to neighbors and the in-laws! The total yield was 52 bagels. 25 sun dried tomato garlic parmesan and 27 cinnamon raisin. We had one casualty along the way, during the cooking process, so only 51 were fully completed.

Here are some the bagels as there were being set up to proof overnight.

Now I have to say, I wasn't fully aware of what I was getting myself into. My house is kept on the cooler side, thanks to my darling husband. Needless, it took forever the night before to get my starters to rise. I was up until the wee hours of the morning. The next day, was one of the warmest days we had all summer, and of course there I am over a "cauldron" boiling bagels & tossing them in the oven! I wish the heat was the only unanticipated occurrence. The thing was, I thought I was making mini bagels. I mean they were small when I shaped them & only slightly larger the next day. Add a boiling pot of water into the mix and suddenly my mini bagels were full blown, full sized bagels! Please note that I am not complaining, as I am a true blue bagel lover, but boy what a surprise!!

Here's a pic of my little lovelies as they came out of the "bath". See how they increased in size!

I brushed the cinnamon raisin ones with butter and sprinkled them with
Sweet Cinnamon Sprinkle from Pampered Chef.

The sun dried tomato-garlic-parm bagels got topped with cheese, minus 6 that were left plain.

Finally the crumb!
(I'm working on the whole photography thing!)

There's a quote by Beatrice & Ira Freeman which says, "The bagel (is) an unsweetened doughnut with rigor mortis". This does not holds true for Peter Reinhart's bagels. They are wonderfully chewy and dare I say moist, for as moist as a bagel can be. I wasn't really sure about the cinnamon raisin ones, but once they got a chance to cool completely & set up, (the butter seemed to drag it out), they wound up being terrific! We found them simply wonderful!! They were a huge hit all around & I can't wait to make them again!!
No picture to accompany this post. (Not that I didn't take any though! They just weren't of any quality.) This is a follow up to my last post about Greek Celebration bread. This morning I finally did the french toast version!! Oh it was so delightful!! I'm not a big fan of raisins in food. Very, very selective about it actually. I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed the bread & equally so the french toast!! As I did enjoy it, I have to say that cinnamon roll french toast is still my all time favorite. That being said, we will definitely be having this again when I dust the recipe off for Thanksgiving. (If not before!).

Tomorrow I will undergoing BBA Challenge #3: Bagels! Yee-ow!! Very excited & nervous about this, as it is a bit involved!! Keep your fingers crossed! :)
Last week was second week of BBA's Challenge, which introduced us to Greek Celebration Bread! I started off making a poolish. This bread I struggled with. For some reason, I didn't come across the correct consistency on mixing the ingredients. It took a very long time for it to rise. In fact, on the suggestion of some fellow Challengers and bakers, I wound up letting it go over night. In doing so, such a wonderful thing occurred!! The bread turned out wonderfully!! The smell it gave off while kneading and proofing was wonderful!!

I wound up making one boule and one regular loaf. I had intentions of making mini Christopomos, but with the holiday weekend and the extra time needed for the poolish itself, time just didn't allow. The extra ingredients of the Christopomos were added, (excluding the nuts), only the physical shape of it was not followed through. This is an amazing aromatic bread! With the crisp spring air and the zesty spiced bread perfuming the air, it truly felt like a holiday weekend. It conjured up thoughts of Thanksgiving and Christmas. This bread would be a perfect accompaniment for either of the two holiday meals!

Once finished baking, I had plenty of guinea pigs for taste testers! Ages of my taste testers ranged from 22 months to 36 years of age. They all gave a unanimous thumbs up. The little kids could not get enough. My little asked for seconds and did a little happy dance when she got it! Of course, she ate all the fruit of it first & then at the bread, but it all disappeared into her little tummy!! :) Later that evening we took the boule to our other neighbors house and had it with some wine. It was again well received by all. This is one that will definitely be revisited with winter holidays!