acreage renovation: new countertops

Before.

After.

So begins our kitchen renovation …

which is on hold until summer is over and we are finished tackling the outdoor projects. 😂 However, it’s a start (and a beautiful one at that)!

Emory

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recipe: braided cinnamon swirl loaf

I have to admit that I made this recipe pre-pandemic. I used two different types of flour and sugar, as well as yeast. I am going to hold off making it again until I have enough of those ingredients in my pantry. However, if you have them now, please indulge in this deliciously moist and sweet loaf. You will not regret it!

Braided Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

Ingredients:

For the dough:
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup warm water
1 large egg
oil, to grease pan

For the filling:
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter

Steps:

1. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and active dry yeast in a large bowl. Mix well.

2. In a medium bowl, beat the oil, water, and egg. Then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix with a spatula until well-combined. A soft dough should be formed. Transfer the dough to a floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes, adding more flour if dough is sticky. Grease a medium bowl with oil and place the dough inside, covering with a towel and letting rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.

3. Using the same floured surface, remove the dough from the bowl. Flour a rolling pin and roll out the dough to an 11”x17” rectangle. Spread the filling evenly onto the dough. Starting at the widest end, roll the dough into a long log. Cut the log in half and pinch one of their ends together. Gently braid a few times. Set inside a greased loaf pan, cover, and let rise for 90 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the loaf inside and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and let cool slightly before taking it out of the pan. Store in an airtight container, bag, or bread box at room temperature.

Emory

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recipe: vegan chocolate zucchini cake

Enjoy diving into this decadent dessert that is not all that bad for your health! Hello New Year and new healthy body!

Ingredients:

(For the cake)
½ cup canola oil
¾ cup almond (or any dairy-free) milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup white sugar
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup zucchini, shredded
dairy-free butter, to grease

(For the icing)
1 ¼ cup icing sugar
2 tbsp dairy-free butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp almond milk (or more depending on desired consistency)
½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8”x8” (or thereabouts) baking dish and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, milk, vanilla extract, and sugar. Mix well.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the wet ingredients, adding the zucchini last. Stir until just combined.

4. Pour batter into the prepared baking dish and put in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the icing. Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until melted. Stir often and do not burn.

6. Once the cake has cooled thoroughly, top with the dairy-free icing. Yum!

Emory

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recipe: white apple cinnamon loaf

White Apple Cinnamon Loaf

Ingredients:

⅓ cup brown sugar
⅔ cup white sugar
½ cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ cup milk
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
butter to grease

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a greased loaf pan.

2. Add brown sugar, white sugar, butter, cinnamon, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Fold ingredients into wet mixture. Add milk.

4. Pour half the batter into the loaf pan. Add half the apples. Pour the remaining mixture over top then add the remaining apples, pressing down gently so they are not completely exposed. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Cool completely before removing from loaf pan and cutting into slices.

For added sweetness, you can spread a layer of icing on this loaf. Make from scratch using icing sugar in order to control its consistency!

Emory

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recipe: vegetarian refried bean & rice burritos on homemade tortillas

I recently watched a Ted Talks called “How to Live to be 100+“. In it, Dan Buettner discussed communities where their residents commonly lived to be over 100 years of age. Scattered around the globe, one thing that they had in common was that they lived largely on plant-based diets. More specifically, they ate a lot of beans.

I went on to read a related article that stated if you eat a handful of beans everyday, you can increase your overall lifespan by up to 4 years. Incredible! After that, I immediately began to look up delicious recipes that featured beans. Geoffrey and I have agreed to eat more beans and less meat, starting with one vegetarian day per week. We will see where it goes from there.

This is my take on one of those recipes. Geoff said that it was honestly the best supper I have ever made! Thus, there is no reason for you not to try it out for yourselves. ;-)))

Vegetarian Refried Bean & Rice Burritos on Homemade Tortillas

(Takes 1 hour)

Ingredients:

For the tortilla
(Makes 6)

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
¾ cup water
3 tbsp canola oil (and more for cooking)

For the burritos

6 tortillas
1 cup long grain rice, cooked
2 cups refried beans, warmed
1 cup corn, cooked
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1 cup cucumber, chopped
½ cup onion, sliced
1 cup cheese (any), grated

Steps:

1. For the tortilla- combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Mix in water and oil.

2. Place dough on floured surface. Knead into ball. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

3. Separate dough into 6. Using a floured rolling pin, roll into thin and smooth circles.

4. Heat pan to medium. Add oil and then one tortilla at a time. Cook until brown (approximately 2 minutes on either side). Remove from pan and place on plate. Set aside.

5. For the burritos- cook rice, beans, and corn. Cut up remaining vegetables and grate cheese. Heat clean skillet or press to medium. Fill each tortilla evenly with each ingredient.

6. Take one side of the tortilla and fold it over to the middle. Holding that side down, grab the left and right side and fold those in as well. Then roll it closed and place it face down on the skillet or press. Cook until browned and sealed close. Serve warm. Add salsa, sour cream, or any other condiment if so desired!

Emory

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