Sunday Small Talk

Yesterday was so full of all things wonderful. We started the day by canning some applesauce. Bob graciously volunteered to finish up the process (thank you!) so I could go horseback riding with some old friends (thanks again!).We wrapped up our day with wings at BWW and a Michigan Tech hockey game at Ferris State. WE WON. Go Tech.

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In other news, the colors are almost all off the trees up here. It’s been a GORGEOUS fall. I have no complaints.

IMG_20141019_173145Here’s some links for you Sunday web surfing:

Darcy sent me free online photography tutorials. They look great, and are totally going to be a winter project!

Ever struggle with introducing people to each other? Here is a better way to introduce your friends at parties.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip. It’s a problem. I love it so.

Home, gym, and pool workouts. Great ideas to save you from “swim 1000 yards” or “run 4 miles.” Also, some great, short do-while-you-watch-TV toning ideas. I’m definitely trying some of these this winter!

Joy the Baker posted her favorite autumn eats. Delicious.

Enjoy your Sunday, friends!

Dear Amy (Croissants)

Dearest Amy,

How I miss living with you! I still remember the first Christmas party we girls threw after the Singing Christmas Tree. We weren’t sure what our living situation would be the next semester. Would we have to move? Could we resign the lease? What were we going to do?

And then we found out you were looking for a place to live. And it seemed perfect. So you moved in. Four of us girls. One tiny apartment–two tiny bedrooms, tiny closets, a tiny bathroom, and a tiny galley kitchen. We thought we had the life.

We lived together. We made some meals together. We cried together. We supported each other at final performances and shows. And then we graduated, and moved our separate ways. We keep in touch, even if just sporadically through emails and phone calls and facebook messages.

And then, a little more than a couple years ago, you asked if I knew of any good internships. I did! A couple months after that conversation, you moved in again. This time into a house in small town, Indiana. We had our own bedrooms and bathrooms. That was nice, but the back porch was the best part of the whole place.

Once again, we lived together. We made some meals together. We cried together.

And now, here you are at another transition. I want such great things for you! I hope you end up in the perfect spot–right where you are supposed to be.

Before I moved out, we talked about taking a day to make croissants. And we never did. I regret that. I wish we had taken a Saturday to knead, roll, fold, and refrigerate. And then do it all over again. I wish we had been together while we waited in anticipation for the timer to beep, and those light, fluffy rolls to emerge from the oven. Alas, we weren’t.

But, Amy, I made croissants. And they turned out pretty great!

IMG_0446I used this recipe from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures. I baked 6, and I froze 8. If you’re only baking 6, reduce the bake time to 20 minutes. To freeze the remainder, put them in the freezer on a baking sheet, covered by saran wrap. When they’re frozen, put them in a gallon ziploc, and squeeze as much air out as you can.

I even stuffed some of them with chocolate chips. Delicious! Just line up a dozen or chocolate chips on the base of your triangle, and roll up as you do the plain ones. You’ll get a creamy, chocolate core in the middle. You can see it peaking out on the ends.

IMG_0447Many thanks to Andrew for passing on the recipe! Tracey’s photos and clear directions will walk even the most novice pastry baker through the steps.

My timeline (so I didn’t give up a whole day):

  • Thursday night–mix and knead dough. Roll it and fold it the first two turns. Leave in the fridge overnight.
  • Friday night–roll it and fold it the second two turns. Roll out, cut, and form the croissants. Leave in fridge to proof over night.
  • Saturday morning–pull from fridge, and let rise on the counter for 2-3 hours. Bake and consume (with coffee!).

Bon apetit!

The Galette that was not

Galette. It’s a fancy (French) word for tart. It looks rustic. And tasty. Like this one Marcie made. Pretty, right?

Mine started out OK. I toasted my almonds.

I chopped my strawberries.

I rolled my dough and piled everything on top.

And folded up the edges.

So far so good, yeah? Well, in the process of baking, it acted like a volcano and came out looking like a crumbled mess. Tasty. But messy.

Dear reader, I don’t know what went awry. Was my dough not thin enough? Did I use too many berries? One thing I know for certain is it was a mistake to move it  from one surface to another before baking, and another mistake to move it after baking. Much like a pie, assemble, bake, and serve this dessert in all the same dish. Transporting will not work. The scoreboard officially reads Galette-1, Rachel-0.

Click here for the recipe. Let me know if you have more luck than I did!