Monday, June 27, 2011

Fresh, baked bread

I used the new Bosch again - this time with the dough hook to make some fresh, honey-wheat bread.

Here are the ingredients I started with:
3 cups warm water
3/4 cup honey
2 pkgs.dry yeast
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups white flour
2 tsp. salt

In the mixing bowl, combine and mix together water, honey and yeast until yeast is softened. Blend in melted butter, whole wheat flour, 1 cup white flour and salt into the yeast mixture and turn the Bosch on and run on Setting 1 for 7 minutes.

Slowly add 3 more cups white flour in the opening of the splatter screen until stiff dough forms. Add flour if dough is too sticky. Run dough hook 8-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.

Take the dough out on a floured mat, grease the mixing bowl, then return dough to Bosch bowl and turn over so the outside of the dough is greased.

Cover bowl with a damp towel and set in a warm place until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Divide dough in half (or my case remove 1/3 for the smaller bread pan), shape into loaves and place in greased bread pans. Place loaves in a warm place and allow to rise to top of pans, about 45 minutes.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 1 hour or until loaves are hollow-sounding when tops are tapped. Turn loaves onto a rack to cool.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Garden update...

Garden update from today:

Cute baby peppers...

Cherry tomatoes are starting...

Tomatoes are almost ready to pick...

"Lucky in Love"

Friday, June 24, 2011

Technology Review | iPad 2 vs Xoom


This was my desk today – does it look like technology overload?! Nah – I am in tech-heaven!

I’ve been trying out the iPad for a couple of months (front right), now I’m trying out the Motorola Xoom tablet (front left) – pronounced zoom.  I’m going to post my review below, but for an Android platform lover, the Xoom is the way to go and I’m so excited for this new tablet! It will allow me the business options to create, edit and view documents, spreadsheets and powerpoints, as well as provide the ease of utilizing social media to send messages from wherever I’m traveling.

Motorola Xoom

  • Moto's partnership with Google (and use of the 3.0 version of its mobile operating system, Honeycomb)
  • 32 GB
  • Free 4G upgrade when it becomes available in the fall
  • 1GHz, NVIDIA Tegra 2-based slate boasts a sizable 1GB of DDR2 RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 capacitive display, 3G connectivity
  • Meant to be used in landscape mode more than portrait – better for video and screen viewing
  • Front and rear facing cameras (rear facing has a larger zoom)
  • HD video capability
  • Wireless options – cheaper with a Verizon contract
  • With what Google has done on the software side -- the Xoom could represent the next stage of tablet evolution

Apple iPad

  • Options of 16, 32 and 64 GB – you pay for the memory. Overall, the iPad 2 is more affordable, but to get to 32 or 64 GB, it is more expensive
  • 9.7-inch, 1024 x 768 screen – easier to read both in portrait and horizontal views
  • Thinner designed and slightly lighter
  • 1 GHz dual core chip, 512MB of RAM, A4 CPU
  • Front & rear camera for pictures, video
  • A little longer battery life than the Xoom
  • Only 3G capabilities
  • No Flash player available – many movies and pictures cannot be viewed because it is not supported by the Apple platform



Basically with the Xoom, you have the capability to control what you want to do, and the iPad pretty much controls what you can do.

There are so many more options, especially the business features with the Xoom. I discovered how you can create and share documents, which will be beneficial. There is a similar program with the iPad, but since Mac has their own system, it won’t work as well with our PC computers and data.

There is not much sharing between the devices, except for a few apps, so it’s not like we have to have the Android phone with the Xoom or the iPhone with the iPad. But it would be easier if they were the same platform for familiarity and ease of use.

The biggest difference is that the Xoom is more computer like, whereas the iPad is more oversized-phone like.

Anyone have one or the other tablet that they like?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday | Summer flowers

Before the summer sun and heat scorch my flowers, I thought I’d share a few pictures.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Making ice cream

Remember my Christmas present in May? I've already used the slicer, blender and mixer, so on this hot, muggy day today, I whipped out the ice cream maker.

Here is the recipe I used:

Vanilla Ice Cream
1 1/4 cup milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt

First, bring milk, vanilla and sugar to a brief boil.

Set aside to cool (or stick in the freezer like I did to hurry it up).

After it is cool, mix in cream and salt. Then pour into the ice cream mixer after it is turned on to setting 1.

Leave on for 20-30 minutes and you'll have ice cream! I would recommend putting in the freezer before serving, but soft ice cream still tastes really good!

At least my husband says so. :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Harvest has begun…

…in my garden at least.

Since the last garden update from this…Garden May 18 (5)

…to this – it has changed a little bit!

Maybe what’s even more wild to look at is from the date of planting until now. DSCI0048DSCI0081

I’ve only harvested broccoli - about 2 quarts worth - not all is pictured. DSCI0095Broccoli june 10broccoli june 19

The zucchini are really close as well…

And the tomatoes are turning red…DSCI0078

The carrots have long stems and the peppers are blooming…DSCI0076DSCI0079

And the digmaster is being a good watchdog by keeping the birds away and NOT digging…so proud.DSCI0080

Monday, June 6, 2011

A summer bath

This starts out as a sad story – Ronny and I had to be separated from our child (aka the hairy one we call “Hank”) for three weeks. This was because we were traveling a lot to California and for work reasons, so he enjoyed life at Grandma and Grandpa Pope’s and became a farm dog.

Hank really liked life as a farm dog and probably didn’t miss us, but we sure missed him and our house was pretty quiet around without him. So coming back from Manhattan this weekend, we finally got to bring him home. But being he was a farm dog for three weeks meant he was pretty dirty – and the possibility of ticks scared me away from giving him a bath inside.

Since it was nice and hot outside (don't mind the forest we call our lawn) …

 ...we bathed him in a tub with a hose and lots of shampoo.

He stood like that with two paws up all on his own.

And we found eight of these gross ticks...

But the two little old men were happy when it was all done and enjoyed the summer evening at home.

Thank you again to the Pope's for taking care of him!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Surviving the BolderBOULDER 10K

Memorial Day was a day for remembering, as well as achieving, for Ronny and I this year.

My goal was to run the BolderBOULDER 10K in Boulder, CO  with my Uncle Mark - who has ran it for several years - in honor of my Gramps, a US Navy Veteran, and Ronny's Grandpa Pope, a US Air Force Veteran. And also in honor of grandpa's being cattlemen, we ran, "Fueled by Beef"!
I've been training and getting ready for this race from the past 5K and 10K. Ronny decided that since he was going to be out there anyways, he might as well run with me. I was a little worried about the altitude, but I really only felt it about halfway through the race, and walked for about 30 seconds, then was on the go again.

All along the race route, there were bands and people cheering. Some college guys were handing out beer, others were handing out popsicles and Doritos chips. It made for entertainment, that is for sure!

The coolest part was running into the stadium (cue "Chariots of Fire"). I felt like an Olympian when you watch the marathoners run by a big crowd cheering into the final lap in a stadium. I did push myself a little hard - which caused me to start gagging - and can you imagine what my husband said? "You can puke on the finish line - let's go!" Love you too, honey.
I guess even though he was yelling at me to finish, Ronny was nice enough to "lend his hand" and run together across the finish line. It really would have been a lot harder to finish if he wasn't there motivating me.

But it was an amazing feeling to accomplish something like this, and do it in honor of someone I love.
I remember this picture looking at the jumbotron - Ronny was pointing out our time - 1:01 - the same as my last race and I even walked some in this one! 
My mom took all of the great finish line photos with her telephoto lens- thanks Mom! All along the race, they take your picture and even video the runners (You can watch us here). This was probably my favorite picture they took of us... :)

After the race was done, we filed up in the fieldhouse and met up with Uncle Mark (who is a rockstar and finished in 49:33 minutes!)
Then found my hot beef-supporting-mama!

There were several very funny looking costumes on people running - especially near the end of the race.
But the coolest part was seeing this troop of soldiers, who ran the entire 10K together, and just before finishing....
 Then ran into the side of the stadium floor...
 And did 20-some pushups! Pretty impressive.
 Then got up....
 And finished the race!

It was truly an awesome experience that I hope more of my family members can experience next year!