Hey everyone! It’s great to be writing again. I’ve had quite a few distractions since I‘ve last written. My son Curtis introduced me to Club House, a new app on my phone. It’s super interesting and worth looking into. I’ve also started listening to The Bible in a Year Podcast with Father Mike Schmitz. I was raised Catholic, but have never read the bible. It has been interesting so far. I’m also raising chickens, baking bread from scratch, making nutritious meals and entertaining occasionally. I spend a lot of time in the garden composting, weeding, seed sowing, planting vegetables and bulbs. The garden is popping right now with paperwhites, daffodils, snow drops, anemones, calendulas, rosemary, borage, lemon balm, mint, and much much more. I hike with friends, my sister or my husband regularly. It’s a passion. I love working on puzzles when I find the time to sit. There is always so much to do around the house. And don’t forget cookie baking. I also made a yummy gluten free crispy ginger cookies recipe this week. I can share that recipe too.
Did I mention my trip to Napa with my girlfriend Marie? We started at the Model Bakery where we purchased scones, wheat bread, focaccia, and apple pies. Next to it was The Fatted Calf, and if we weren’t going to be gone all day, I would have gotten something to barbeque for dinner. They had every kind of meat, pork, duck, sausage, bacon, salami you could think of. Back to the bakery. Marie got an oatmeal raisin cookie too, and saved it for her husband Ron. We had them slice the bread and divide them up so we could both bring some home to our families. I’ve since made a grilled cheese with tuna salad on the wheat bread. Soooo gooood. Next we walked through Ox Bow Market. If you haven’t been there, it’s a must see. Of course we had to stop at the Napa Valley Distillery, Anette’s Chocolates and Hudson Greens and Goods. You can find Ritual Coffee, Napa BookMine, The Olive Press and our favorite Whole Spice. We then walked to town and had lunch at the Archer Hotel Roof Top where we enjoyed olives, crostini, beet salad and good wine. It was a glorious day and I’m thankful for a day with my friend Marie.
Today I planted seeds of dill, Thai basil, Genovese basil, sweet peas, snow peas, and microgreens. I attended a class on Smudging on Club House today and learned which herbal plants can be used to make these potent dried bundles. They can be used for practical reasons, or spiritual or ceremonial purposes. Antimicrobial Sages, yarrow, calendula, mullein, mugwort, cedar, juniper, English lavender, rosemary, sweet grass, palo santo, thyme, bayberry, oregano, frankincense, myrrh, peppermint, basil, lemon grass, clove, cinnamon,blue spruce, dill, bay leaves, and eucalyptus are many of the herbs used in making the smudges.I’m still learning about the health benefits of burning these herbs. Many tribes from the ancient ways and traditions believe these herbs are sacred, have special healing effects and cleansing essence. They can help low vibration energies.
I bake with cinnamon, ginger, cloves and cardamom whenever I make oatmeal cookies or gingerbread cake. These are my favorite warm spices. I wrote a blog and shared a gingerbread cupcake recipe. My son and his girlfriend Shannon made it together yesterday. It tasted terrific, but the cupcakes didn’t rise correctly, so I have to go back and make the recipe again myself. We still ate the moist crumbles with a white chocolate buttercream frosting. They were delicious.
It’s after 5PM already, and I have to bring in the chickens and make dinner for my husband. I’m planning on preparing a white fish with a pineapple mango salsa for dinner. It’s so yummy. I might have to share the recipe with you.
Sponge= Pre dough
2 ¼ t dry yeast
⅓ C warm Milk
¼ C sourdough starter
1 C All Purpose Flour or Bread Flour
Place all ingredients in a stand mixer and combine on medium to medium low speed until combined.
Sprinkle 1 Cup All purpose flour/ bread flour (I use ¼ C. Hard Red Wheat, ¾ C Bread flour over dough so it doesn’t dry out. Let rest and rise for 30-45 min.
The sponge adds flavor to the brioche and keeping quality.
⅓ C Sugar
1 T Kosher Salt
Crack 4 eggs into a separate bowl (approx ¾ C.)
¾ -1 C softened butter
Place sugar, salt, and eggs alternatively with 1 -1/12 C. more Flour into stand mixer.
Using the dough hook, slowly incorporate all these ingredients adding the softened butter a Tablespoon at a time at the end until all of it is added.
Mix on medium to med high speed for 7-9 minutes until you hear the slap sound when the dough hits the bowl.
Transfer to a clean buttered bowl. Cover and let sit until it doubles in volume about 1- 2 hours.
Deflate and redistribute the dough by gently lifting edges of dough a little from the bottom, turning the bowl as you lift the dough.
Place the dough into the refrigerator for 4-6 hours or overnight.
At this point you can divide the dough in half and keep the other ½ of the dough covered in the fridge.
Pecan Sticky Buns
Smack the dough with a rolling pin on a lightly floured flat surface into a 11/14 square or rectangle. Touch as little as possible. Dot in 3 0z softened butter onto dough. Fold over itself. 1/2 up and 1/2 down.
Roll out again. Dot with 3 oz softened butter. Fold over itself again. 1/2 up. 1/2 down. Place on a sheet pan and place in fridge for 1/2 hour to chill.
Sprinkle counter with four. Roll out dough with a floured rolling pin to 11/14 rectangle using plenty of four so it doesn’t stick. Crack 1 whole egg into a dish and whisk it until combined. Using a pastry brush, brush on egg wash onto dough. Sprinkle 4 T sugar and 1 teas cinnamon onto dough evenly leaving an inch or two at the edge free of cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle 1/2 C toasted chopped pecans onto dough. Use more egg wash so it seals when you roll up. Roll up away from you, making sure to seal the edges. Set on a sheet pan and set in freezer for 45 min. so dough will slice easier.
Prepare a round baking dish with 1 stick of softened butter and sprinkle 1/2 C light brown sugar on top of butter.
Cut roll of dough into 1 1/2 ” slices or 7 pieces. Put 3 pecans on each slice and place pecan side down into prepared pan.. Place cinnamon rolls next to each other and let rise again for 1 -1 1/2 hours at room temperature. You can leave in fridge over night and place on counter for 1 hour before baking.
Bake in a 325 degree preheated convection oven or 350 degrees oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven invert onto a dish and cool.
Thanks for joining me here. I appreciate your comments and feedback if you have questions about my recipes or the smudging.
King Ben's Grandma
March 2, 2021 at 4:27 am
So great to see you out and enjoying yourself! My ex is Native American descent so smudging is very familiar to me. My younger daughter gathers, dries and wraps sage bundles for our family, and I buy braids of sweetgrass from a local vendor. Sage is very good for cleansing, and sweetgrass draws positive energy.
I love bakeries! I want to try a bite of everything!💕
March 2, 2021 at 5:02 am
Smudging is very new to me. I’ve seen a few on Instagram, but never knew what it is all about. I grow lots of herbs. Many of them reseed. So I will be sending seeds to about 4 or 5 people so far.
I have my work cut out for me.
Never heard of sweet grass before either.
And bakeries are the best!
March 2, 2021 at 9:09 pm
What a super fun day! The Model Bakery and lunch at the Archer Hotel Rooftop Restaurant were amazing! Would love to learn more about smudging.
March 2, 2021 at 11:30 pm
Can’t wait for our next excursion