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Hot Cross Buns

30 Mar

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For the last couple of years hot cross buns have become part of our Easter morning tradition. Our church has one combined outdoor service for Easter and everyone is encouraged to bring food to share with others before and after the service. Hot cross buns are a simple spiced bread with currants that make a tasty breakfast that’s easy to share.

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Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday in England, but because of my schedule, and usually what I have given up for lent, I have been waiting to make them for Easter Sunday. I read a superstition somewhere that if you make the buns on Good Friday they will not go bad all year! I don’t know if I could not eat them long enough to find out…

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Hot Cross Buns

This recipe is from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

12 tablespoons of butter melted and cooled
1 cup milk
2 packages (14 grams) active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 eggs lightly beaten
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups currants or raisins
1 egg white
2 cups powdered sugar
juice of 1 lemon (optional)

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Directions

  • Grease a large bowl and set aside.
  • In a sauce pan or microwave warm the milk until just warm, about 110 degrees.
  • Put the dough hook on your electric mixer. In your electric mixer’s bowl pour the milk, butter, sugar and yeast. Stir a few times and then let sit for 2-3 minutes until the mixture starts to look bubbly on the surface.
  • While waiting for the bubbles to form, in a separate bowl measure out your flour and whisk your salt into it.
  • Going back to the liquid ingredients, turn your mixer on low and add in the 4 eggs, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix until just incorporated.
  • One cup at a time add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, making sure the flour has mixed in before adding more. When all of the flour has been added let the mixer kneed the dough for about 4 more minutes. You will have to watch the mixer to scrape down the dough every once and a while. It likes to work it’s self up the hook.
  • Add the currants or raisins and mix for about 30 more seconds then take the dough out of the bowl onto a well floured counter and kneed a bit more until the currants are even throughout the dough.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and place in your greased bowl. Put a little bit of melted butter or oil on top of the dough, cover loosely with plastic wrap, cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot to rise for about one and a half to two hours. The dough should double in size.
  • When the dough is ready, line a 11 x 17 baking sheet with parchment paper and pre heat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • Take the dough out of the bowl and kneed a few times. Divide your dough in half, then each peace in half again, then thirds. This should give you 24 (about 2oz) pieces. Roll each one into a little ball by folding into onto it’s self at on point on the bottom. Cover the backing sheet loosely with a towel again and let sit for about thirty more minutes.
  • Take a knife or scissors and cut a cross on the top of each roll and brush with the egg white that’s been mixed with a little bit of water.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until the tops are nice and golden. Let cool.
  • Mix together the powdered sugar, a table spoon of milk or water and lemon if you wish. Fill a plastic zip top bag with the glaze and then cut a slit in the bottom corner and pipe a cross onto each bun.

Sharing a Hot Cross Bun with someone this Easter is a beautiful and delicious reminder of His love for us.

Summer Vacation – Last Little Bit

13 Aug

Here are the rest of the photos from our vacations to Gulfshores, Alabama, although these photos were taken two totally different places!

We went to Fairhope, just north of Gulf Shores, for an afternoon and found this fun place called Dr. Music. I had taken a picture of the outside of the store a few years back, but had never gone inside.

To my surprise it wasn’t just records and music as I had thought! They also had used books, and vintage suitcases, typewriters, radios, and more things I can’t remember.

Definitely a fun place to look around and next door there is a yarn store with this cute cat chilling in the window.

On the way home from Alabama, Sean and I decided to stop in Covington, Louisiana, to visit the final resting place of Walker Percy. This might sound a little morbid, but Percy is one of Sean’s favorite authors.

Percy is buried at Saint Joseph Abbey cemetery. The abbey and grounds are beautiful, with many large old oak trees.

It was a wonderful end to our vacation.

Orange Marmalade Muffins

7 Apr

Earlier in the year my uncle sent me two delicious jars of orange marmalade he made from the oranges that grow in his yard. It’s great on scones and toast but I was trying to think of some other ways I could use it when I found this recipe. I had never thought to put the marmalade in the muffins! It is a delicious combination and they are fast and easy to throw together. I’m pretty sure you could also swap out the marmalade for other preserves if you have a surplus sitting around this summer and they would taste great too.

Marmalade Muffins
(Makes 12)

Adopted from Poppytalk

3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup marmalade or jam

Pre heat your oven to 375F and grease your muffin tins or line them. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl add the milk, oil, vanilla, apple sauce, and honey and mix until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined, no more, so that the muffins stay tender. Gently swirl the marmalade into the batter and then fill your muffin tins. Bake until the muffins are just lightly golden on top, about 20 minutes. When the muffins have cool enough to handle take them out of the tins and let them cool the rest of the way on wire racks. Enjoy with a cup of tea and have a delicious breakfast!

Doherty – Family Portraits

11 Dec

I had a great time photographing the Doherty Family during Thanksgiving. They have four beautiful granddaughters that were a lot of fun and very sweet.

I love this photo of all the granddaughters trying to sit on Grandma’s lap!

Getting to Know You

18 Sep

This year in our school district a new elementary school opened near by so there was a little bit of a shuffle of students to relieve some over populated schools. We ended up sending almost 300 kids to the new school and over 200 new kids came from other schools to ours. As you can imagine there are quite a few new faces and names to learn so we did some name art to start the year. The kids love to use their names to make art, and I can see the student’s name with their face for about 30 minutes as they work on the project, so it’s win-win for both of us.

Here are a few examples. In 2nd grade we talked about stained glass and the students used the spaces between their letters to create different designs. 3rd grade made name pennants with their favorite colors and hobbies on them. 5th grade learned how to use radial symmetry to make their names into a design tile. We had a good time, and I now know who more of my students are!

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