wordless wednesday::down by the river

a sweltering memorial day morning spent in the valley down by the river skipping rocks and avoiding poison ivy.

more wordless wednesday here, here and here!


a success story about buns

we have been in the process of transitioning our food preparation and consumption into more of a traditional diet for the past year (i will have to save that for another post), and one of the things i'm learning is how to work with soaked grains for baking.

side note: i have learned that it's not enough to switch from refined carbohydrates and sugars.  if it's not prepared properly, consuming whole grains doesn't really do your body any good (don't ask about breakfast cereal).  even though whole grains have all the good for you nutrients, it also contains phytic acid (so do legumes, by the way) and other anti-nutrients.  if not neutralized, phytic acid actually blocks the absorption of those vital nutrients found in whole grains.  unprepared whole grains are also more difficult for your body to digest.  soaking will also break down the complex starches and difficult to digest protein (like gluten) so that your body can digest it better.  soaking is just one way to neutralize phytic acid in grains and make them more digestible.   you can also ferment (sourdough) or sprout but i haven't gotten that far yet.

ok, back to the success story.

i made homemade buns last week using a recipe i've used many times before.  except i decided to soak the flour first.  well...it was a major FAIL.  i was so sad to have to toss it all.

that was my first attempt at soaking flour for use in bread.

yesterday we had burgers on the grill and i decided to try again at making homemade buns using soaked flour.  this time i got smart and googled for a recipe to try since i'm still quite a novice when it comes to working with soaked flour.

of course i found one within minutes!  this recipe was simple to follow and prepare...very good for beginner soakers like me.  the down side is that it still calls for white flour and uses instant yeast (i'm not sure yet how using instant yeast affects the integrity of the soaked flour/nutritional value...must do more research on it), but it served its purpose until i'm ready to experiment with something more.

homemade soaked hamburger buns from heavenly homesteading  
yields 8 hamburger buns

soaking/the day before baking


1 cup water
1 Tbs. of water kefir, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (i used raw apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup or 4 Tbs. of coconut oil (mine was in liquid form since i made this on a hot day, but the site says you can cut the oil into the flour before adding the water and acidic medium.)
2 cups whole wheat flour

combine the 4 ingredients until all the flour is moistened in a ceramic or glass bowl.  cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and place in a warm place and let sit 12-24 hours.

baking day

1 egg
1 cup unbleached white flour (preferably organic)
3/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. whole cane sugar (i used rapadura, but i'm sure honey would be good too)
3 tsp. SAF instant yeast (i didn't have any of that so i used the active dry yeast i had on hand)
your pre-soaked flour mixture

add the ingredients to the pre-soaked flour mixture and knead until all ingredients are incorporated and dough is smooth.  i ended up having to add a bit more than 1 cup of white flour since the dough was still quite sticky.  the dough should be smooth and elastic (tacky but not sticky) once you're done kneading.

lightly dust with flour a rectangular pizza/baking stone (if you don't have a pizza stone, i think a baking sheet covered with parchment paper should work too).  place dough on floured surface or counter top and divide into 8 equal pieces. i left the divided dough in the bowl, working with 1 half piece at a time, because i'm lazy and didn't want to clean up a flour covered counter.  roll each piece in a ball and flatten a bit.  place the pieces on the baking stone.  lightly dust top with flour and cover with a towel.  place in a warm place until it doubles in size (about 2 hours).

preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.  bake buns for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  once done, cool buns on rack.  you can brush a little melted butter on top of each bun.  slice horizontally and stick a burger in between 'em.

these buns turned out so well that i don't think i'll go back to my stand-by recipe until i've figured out how to adjust the ingredients for soaking.  they are quite soft, though more dense compared to grocery store hamburger buns.  they didn't turn out so crumbly like the buns i used to make, and they were still soft the next day (usually my homemade bread and hamburger buns get stale much faster since there's no preservatives or dough conditioners).  i am very happy with the results!


hello cleveland

my baby sister and her boyfriend were in town last week.

i haven't seen her in 3 years so i think it was about time for a reunion!

we had so much fun together.

the kiddos loved having the company and getting reacquainted with their auntie michelle and kofi.

this was her 3rd time to cleveland and kofi's very first visit.

we showed them around town.

even with the amount of places we visited we didn't get to see it all.

of course, in addition to the sights we can't forget about some of the food stops we made (noodlecat, the melt and the happy dog), and the sunny afternoons in our yard just hanging out.  it was sad to see them go (though i'm sure they were ready for a kiddie break), but perhaps there will be a cleveland visit round 2 in the near future.


wordless wednesday::3 is the magic number

our boy turned 3 on sunday.

we celebrated with one of his favorite dinners, a birthday cupcake, birthday ice cream (all per his request) and fun with some of his new birthday gifts (football, football shirt and "football" pants were a HUGE hit).

more wordless wednesday here, here and here.



little dude.  

i think that term fits perfectly with who you are, my son.  it's hard to believe that you are 3 years old today, but here we are.  

i have had so much fun watching your personality grow and develop over the past year.  you are your own little person, full of energy and passion for things you like (and don't like).  you are rough and tumble through and through, but still enjoy sweet, cuddly moments with your mom and dad.  i hope you don't ever lose that part, because i love it!
you have grown quite well into your role as big brother as you help your baby cash smile with toys, books, or sweet talk when he's upset.  or bringing him his milk when he fusses.  or feed him raisins when he's ready for a snack.  i'm fairly certain you will be an awesome big brother when this next little one comes in august.

i am realizing that you really aren't a baby anymore.  i have heard your speech explode tremendously this past year.  i enjoy watching and listening to you make up your own stories with blocks, cars and whatever else you manage to dig up around the house. you have mastered the potty.  you eat more than your big sister (sometimes me!).  you like to jump off things.  you can set the table, get your own water, and bring your food to the table.  the road to independence is clearly in front of you and you are taking it in strides.
but even though you are now a little boy, you will always be my sweet baby.  we pray that we can be parents that guide and prepare you well for what the Lord has planned for you, and that you will become a man that loves the Lord who will faithfully serve and honor him in whatever he calls you to do.

my heart overflows with love for you sweet boy.  happy birthday!



do something: weekend may 19-20

this one's a little tardy, but i have been enjoying some much needed big sister/little sister reunion.  it has been such a fun visit, i'm sad that she has to leave tomorrow.  i'll have to share post about my sister's visit later on this week.

meanwhile, this weekend is full of things to do, and the lovely weather definitely will make whatever you're doing even more enjoyable (in my opinion).


the 3rd annual cleveland asian festival kicks off tomorrow from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. and continues sunday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.  we haven't been able to go the past 2 years because of scheduling conflicts, but this year we are committed to going.  it's a free, family-friendly event located around the e 30th and payne avenue area.  there will be performances (including mtv's america's best dance crew top 5 finalists, instant noodles), asian food (that's probably not free), children's activities and an eating contest, just to name a few things.  you can go here to get more details on the festival schedule and for the festival map.

support local artists by stopping by around the corner in lakewood from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. for cleveland craft coalition's craftastrophe.   this show looks to have quite a variety of artists featured from edibles to wear-ables.

in conjunction with the 27th annual cleveland police memorial commemoration going on this weekend, the cleveland international tattoo will be performing at 7:30 p.m. at cleveland public hall.  ticket price ranges from $20-50.  if you like pipe and drums, then this is something you should check out.  there will be other performers there as well, including highland dancing, irish dancing and singing.

if the ticket prices for the cleveland tattoo are a little out of your price range, or if bagpipes are just not your thing, then maybe some rock and roll might be more up your alley.  if so, then stop by the 5 o'clock lounge and check out some local bands doing their thing, featuring scoliosis jones, shouting thomas, and the torments.  show starts at 10 p.m. and it's free!

today is the last day for CPT's danceworks '12 series.  this weekend features local dance company antaeus dance.  i have yet to see them perform, though i have taken a few classes from their artistic director, joan meggitt.  the company will be performing a collection of audience favorites from the past 11 years.  tonight is their last show.  tickets can be purchased online for $10-$25, and the show starts at 7 p.m.


if you've got kids that are huge train fans (or more specifically thomas the train fans), then you might not want to miss day out with thomas.  this event starts saturday may 19, sunday the 20th, and friday - sunday may 25-27.  we have never been to this event, but have heard about it over the past years.  alternatively, you can also just purchase tickets for a lovely scenic train ride with the family.  these are a little more lengthy excursions than the 35 minute ride with thomas, requiring about 3 hours round trip for most of the tours.

the 43rd annual hessler street fair started yesterday and will be going on sunday 11 a.m. to dusk.  this event is always held the weekend before memorial day as a way to kick off the summer season.  there's plenty to see and do at the fair.  be sure to visit their website for more information.  if you're torn about whether to go to the cleveland asian festival and hessler street fair, why not do both.  both events run saturday and sunday, so surely you can split up your weekend between the two.

summer is just around the corner, and cleveland is buzzing with so many outdoor events to the point where we just don't have enough weekends to see everything.

no matter what you're doing this weekend, i hope you can enjoy it outside.  sun and warmth make me smile.


do something: weekend may 11-13

so glad friday is here.  i am looking forward to next week when my husband will be home with us all week AND my sister and her boyfriend will be here to visit!  i haven't seen her in 3 years (such is the problem with living almost on the opposite end of the country from my family).  we will definitely be doing some CLE fun...and by fun i usually mean hitting up the delicious local eats around town (and maybe a little sight-seeing too).

meanwhile, here's a taste of what we may be checking out this weekend...


near west theatre, a local community theatre in town, will be showing ragtime this weekend.  the show actually opened last weekend and will run through next weekend.  i will be going tonight for our church's monthly ladies' night, and i cannot wait.  i love musicals, and from what i've read, near west theatre puts on a pretty good show.  adult tickets are $8 (so affordable!) and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

photo source.
last weekend i posted about cleveland public theatre's danceworks performances, which showcased inlet dance theatre.  tonight and tomorrow night, danceworks will be showcasing 2 local dance companies, morrisondance and travesty dance group.  i have not personally seen any of their works, but both pieces being presented this weekend sound intriguing.  tickets, which can be purchased online, run from $10-$25 and the show starts at 7:00 p.m.

it's the second friday of the month which means it's time for the tremont art walk.  get yourself down there and take advantage of the warm weather tonight while checking out some local art and enjoying the loveliness of the tremont neighborhood (one of my favorite cleveland neighborhoods).  art work will be displayed at various local businesses in the neighborhood.  it's free and runs from 6-10 p.m.  print out this map before you go and you will be well prepared for the art walk.  if you drive down, parking is a bit tricky so bus, bike or carpool with friends if you can.


it will be a busy saturday for local shop, crafty goodness.  drop-in from 11 a.m - 1 p.m. you can take their mother's day workshop and make a glass tile pendant for your mama for $10.  then, from 5-7 p.m. they will be hosting a craft swap to help you get your craft stash under control.  there is no cost for this gathering, although a donation of a personal hygiene item (see the list on their facebook event page) for the peter jones project will be your admission ticket.

photo source.
the 3rd annual the hooley on kamm's corner will be going on from noon - 8 p.m. where they will close off a section of lorain avenue to allow for the many events going on during the festival.  in case you are not familiar with irish slang, "hooley" means party or celebration, and from the looks of the festival schedule it looks to be a very fun, neighborhood party (of course you don't have to live in the neighborhood to attend).


call your mother.  tell her you love her and wish her a happy mother's day!

happy weekend!


wordless wednesday::bits.2

more bits and pieces from the past week (thanks to instagram)...

link up!  more wordless wednesday here, here and here.


do something: weekend may 4-6

wow it's been a while since i've done this list!  we, personally, have a very full weekend of stuff going on.  i'll share with you some of the things we'll be doing and some that we won't but are still cool anyway.

we are a family who enjoy intentional outings on the weekend.  it can be as simple as going to the library or something a bit more involved like heading out to an event.  it's fun.  and most times it's inexpensive (we plan it that way).  most of all, it gets us out of the house and into the community around us.


the amazing, new york-based modern dance company alvin ailey american dance theatre will be here in cleveland this weekend!  you don't even know how excited i am.  the last time i had an opportunity to see them was back when i was in seattle.  and i missed them then.  i couldn't miss another chance to see them this time.  who knows when they'll be touring at my city of residence again?  i am looking forward to the show tonight.  my sweet husband has graciously given up his spot as date (i don't think he minded that much), so i will be going with a new/old friend (old as in we've been facebook friends for maybe a year, but new in that we've never hung out together in real life), valerie.  side note:  if you haven't had the chance to stop by her shop yet or check out her work, please do!  she makes some cool stuff.  tickets are still available for this event.  prices range from $10-$70. the show starts at 8 p.m.

photo source
more on the dance front is CPT's danceworks '12.  this weekend, danceworks features local modern company, inlet dance theatre.  i have yet to see this company live, but their work looks phenomenal.  tickets for the rest of the weekend is $25 each, which you can purchase online.  but you get free beer if you go tonight!


cinco de mayo aside, get yourself to the screw factory artists' spring open studio.  we've gone to a few of these and we do make it a point not to try and miss one.  this is a free event running from noon - .  in addition to the many talented artists participating, there will be vendors there including coffee for a cause, fresh fork market (sign up for your summer CSA!), the sweet spot, rosy girl baked goods, fired up taco truck and the nosh box food truck.  a treat for the senses!

it's semi-finals for cleveland's burning river roller girls!  if you like roller derby then you don't want to miss out on this fun event at the wolstein center.  we have yet to go, but would like to plan on making a date night out of it some day.  and when all the kids can start tolerating later nights, then we'll definitely be making this a family affair.  tickets are $12 in advance or $17 at the door.  kids 12 and under are $6 each.  doors open at 5 p.m. with the first bout starting at 6 p.m.

photo source

this is the last day for kamm's corner's indoor farmers' market!  stop by and stock up your pantry.  their outdoor market will begin sunday 10 june.  if you enjoy going to the farmers' market, the one in crocker park has already started.  for a more comprehensive list, check here.

if one bout wasn't enough on saturday, then you have another chance to see more derby on sunday.  check out the burning river all-star team as they go up against the long island roller rebels from new york at the pla-mor roller rink.  and...ticket prices are much more affordable running at $3 a pop (cash only).  doors open at 10 a.m. with the bout starting at 10:20 a.m.

happy weekend!


wordless wednesday::bits

bits and pieces of the past week.

more wordless wednesday here, here and here.
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