This is one of those weeks where I’m going to hate my computer. A little because it messed up on me this weekend but mostly because we’re going on vacation and I’m going to ignore it for the next week.
I had this post scheduled to go up a few days ago and – nothing.
I wanted to share this bread recipe with you over the weekend so you could go ahead and put it on your 4th of July menu. Since it didn’t happen when it was supposed to, let’s talk about this now.
We love bread in this house, especially a loaf right out of the oven. And this recipe is going to be put in our regular rotation from now on.
It wasn’t the life-changing event I always thought it would be. Really, it was just another work day plus a fun dinner with friends at the end of it. Unlike any other day, I did get a new banjo(!) from Nick that I’m very excited about. To see those words written out – that I got a banjo for my birthday – is definitely something I never thought I would say.
Even though there were no fireworks or instantaneous changes that happened when 29 became 30, I do feel different. Some of that is simply getting older, but some of it is because I’ve made some changes recently to try to make things easier on myself, and I think it’s working.
It seems to be, for me, anyway, that simple is the best. Simple meals, easy foods, non-fussy recipes. And even though I’ve made some changes lately in how I’ve been cooking (new recipes coming soon!), I feel like some creativity is finally coming back to me. And that is exciting….since I’ve felt like I’ve been stuck in a rut for months now.
Enter my new favorite dessert: easy chocolate coffee cups.
When I tried describing these to Nick as an easy pot de crème, he asked “So….you made pudding?”.
And yeah, I guess I did. But without the normal cornstarch you would have in pudding and this dessert is made in the blender with almost no cook time (except to heat the milk). Easy enough for you? It was for me.
My favorite part about this recipe is that even though it takes almost no time to make, it’s a pretty fancy way to end your meal. And no one else has to know just how easy it was.
I swear I’m not trying to slack off with recipes here. Real life is simply taking over.
Call it busy summer days with longer lasting daylight. Call it the-garden-is-taking-over-our-lives-again. Call it traveling too much. Call it, more often than not, laziness once I finally sit down at night. Mostly, it’s dreading turning the computer on after a long day at work spent – you guessed it – on the computer.
There are some days, weeks even, when making the simplest thing is hard for me. And this really doesn’t do well for the blog, if you couldn’t tell. I feel weird about sharing this, like I’m the only one that feels this way or goes through this and that’s always the worst feeling. That no one else feels the same or understands, but I don’t think that’s true.
Like most of you (or so I hope), I lose steam…motivation…creativity. Every few months, I find myself in a rut and sometimes, it’s hard to dig myself out of it. I get comfortable where I am and have no desire to change things, to make new things, to do anything that requires thought again. This is when I fall back into books, reading for hours, and not wanting to do anything else. Between work, commuting, making meals, pulling lettuce and chard, making jam, freezing berries, doing laundry, cleaning house, taking care of pets and reading, I just don’t want to do anything else.
So it’s been easy things here lately.
Quick meals, lots of leftovers, nothing that requires too much work. I know I’ll get back to the point where I want to spend an entire day making croissants or roasting a chicken while making bread and braising something else. But that day is not today.
I started to feel bad about this, about not making lots of things lately or not having much in the way of motivation to cook. But we all go through this, right? It can’t just be me.
Today totally felt like Monday, so I keep forgetting that it’s actually Wednesday. My suitcase is still packed from this weekend and laundry needs to be done.
And, even though I’m trying to tell you guys about this bourbon orange pound cake, all I can think about is strawberries.
I went out tonight to pick strawberries for the first time in a week. Blame the travel, blame a little bit of laziness, blame the rain, blame whatever you want, but it had been too long. I even brought 2 huge bowls with me because I figured there would be a ton….but I think we’re hitting the end of our berries, which put me in a bad mood.
I’m not ready for our berries to be done! I still have to wait another month and a half for figs and raspberries. I wanted more pie! More jam! More berries in our freezer! Can someone please just come take my day job away from me so I can plant an acre of berries and just be a farm girl already?
Since I’ve been working on freezing and jamming and inhaling strawberries lately, I’m backed up on recipe posts and haven’t even posted anything with strawberries yet! Such a shame. But those are coming soon, I promise.
Before I get to the strawberry recipes, I have to share this pound cake. Remember that pound cake phase I went through last year? Well, it had been long enough. I needed either a sponge cake or pound cake for a recipe I was testing a few weeks ago and I figured, this is the perfect time to make another pound cake for myself!
The one bad thing about being so busy at these conferences is that I never get all the pictures I want. When I’m there, I feel like I’m taking pictures all the time, but as soon as I go to put them into a post, I realize just how much I missed!
After the Stonyfieldreception, the rest of the weekend went by like a blur. I spent a few hours each day with the fabulous Stonyfield and Organic Valley girls at the booth, talking to bloggers and eating my weight in yogurt and string cheese.
Stonyfield and Organic Valley had also set up different times during the days to feature recipes from Liz, Amelia, and me – I’ll have to get all the recipes to make them at home and post them here because Amelia’s parfaits and Liz’s dips were great! It’s always nice to have new ways to use yogurt – especially in savory dishes.
For their “cookie and milk” break, they used my almond no bake cookies and some chocolate cookies that I’ll be making and posting soon.
The other bad (but kind of great) thing about these conferences? There is food everywhere. Not even just at meal times, but there’s always food out for snack breaks, plus at the booths, and then just around in the city, too.
But I could definitely get used to having a cookies and milk break every afternoon. Can we build that into a normal workday? Maybe at least once a week?
After a few days of non-stop conference action, we had a smaller yogurt-topping bar get together to end the weekend and it was just perfect. A handful of people – all good friends now – Stonyfield greek yogurt and all kinds of toppings plus a lot of laughs.
Even though I’m back home, I already miss all my blogger friends. It’s always bittersweet because these are some of the only times I get to see other bloggers and my friends from Stonyfield. But I can’t wait until next year! Who knows what new flavors Stonyfield might have by then…and it’ll be fun to share that with all of you.
PS: If you haven’t tried their Pineapple greek yogurt, put it on your list – I think it’s officially my favorite now!
A big thanks to Stonyfield for sponsoring my trip – it’s always a fun time!