I’ll never forget my first married Thanksgiving. We were young and poor and far away from family. I was determined to make my first Thanksgiving entirely from scratch. I took the liberty to nix certain staples off the menu and add some new ones. I cleaned, brined, and cooked the turkey all by myself. I was proud, so proud, until Kev saw the final spread. Read more
Colorado or bust was my mantra. #Denver2014 was my hashtag. For nearly 6 years we’ve tried to make our way out west. After our last move to Connecticut, we promised ourselves that we’d pack up and make the Rockies our backyard once Kev finished his postdoc here. No excuses. Here we are 4 months from wrapping up his postdoc. And guess what? We’re not moving to Denver. Read more
Five years ago, I married my best friend. We left our homes and moved to Chicago where he began graduate school. A couple months in to the journey, I started this space. He was working and studying all the time. I quickly learned a weekend outlet was necessary for me to survive blips of boredom, and cleaning the condo wasn’t cutting it. Read more
Who was your first blog crush? Mine was Smitten Kitchen. I’ve been reading since nearly the beginning. I remember when she first went on that Caribbean food blogger trip. I was green with envy and thought maybe I’d get to go one day. And I remember when she announced she had a bun in the oven with real buns in the oven. And when she told us so long ago that there would be a cookbook. She’s who I looked to when I started this blog. In a way she’s been my mentor, not that she knows it. And I imagine she’s been a mentor to thousands of others too. Read more
I’m in the midst of the hurricane that is the week of my sister’s wedding. We are furiously making chocolate favors filled with nutella ganache coming up with a last minute favor idea. Maybe these cookies? Designing the programs. Baking the layers for the groom’s cake. Putting the finishing touches on the Bachelorette party. Whipping up a batch of granola. And buying my last minute bridesmaid shoes for a whopping $9. Sometimes procrastination pays off. Read more
One last recipe before the year end. And here I sit in disbelief that I just typed “year end”. Truth be told, this is my least favorite time of year. The hype of Christmas has passed. The tree is still up but sits lonely and unlit in the corner. It’s trunk bare with opened gifts that have since found new homes. The sun shines brightly trying to uplift my disposition. But seems to do just the opposite as I wish for overcast mornings. For snow covered streets. For the quietness of winter. It’s not time for the bright and cheery. It’s not time to press restart again. Or is it? Read more
I’m not sure if anyone else has this problem—but from time to time, my bread flops. It fails to rise. And it’s the worst feeling ever. I’m embarrassed to say that I used to boil water before pouring it over yeast. Needless to say I killed the yeast. Big time.
Luckily, I’ve learned a thing or two since. So to ease your bread making, yeast rising fears, I made a video. Just humor me. This is my first video making attempt. Definitely a faux and not a pro when it comes to this.
How to proof yeast 1. According to your recipe, add warm liquid (s) to bowl. It should between 110°-115°. Use a thermometer to be sure. When you get more comfortable, you can ditch the thermometer. I hold my hand just above the water to detect warmth. You want it to be warm but not hot. I’m not a mom yet, but I imagine the baby bottle squirt on wrist technique will work for this as well.
2. Add a pinch of sugar to the liquid whether the recipe calls for it or not. Sugar feeds the yeast and helps it to grow. If the recipe calls for sugar, only add a pinch during this step.
3. Pour yeast into bowl. Give it a little stir and watch it proof or foam. Bubbles will begin to appear on the surface. This takes 5-10 minutes.
4. Use yeast mixture according to recipe.
Why proof? Proofing allows you to make sure the yeast is active before you add it to the rest of the ingredients. If it fails to proof, start over. Most likely you’ve only wasted water and a pinch of sugar.
Give it a try with the Brioche Burger Buns recipe. I wish you great success in your bread rising adventures!