Saturday, February 22, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
|Wedding Couple - Photo credit: www.therickardnilsson.com|
If you're marrying the man (or woman) of your dreams, you're going to want to get her a gift, right? Can I be so bold as to suggest the best, and most creative gift you could ever get your lifetime lover/partner/friend? Have you guessed it yet? A monster!
Or even some custom made embroidery hoop (see photo below). This would make a great wedding present.
Think of us for your wedding monster needs. :)
Saturday, February 15, 2014
I learned how to make bagels a few weeks ago, and I want to share the recipe with you! I got it from King Arthur Flour, so it's a copy paste recipe. I'll add the original link at the bottom.
I've made this recipe twice so far. I'm still a fairly new bread maker, so if you have any issues, I recommend checking out the link I provide at the bottom. The original website answers some questions. :) I'll provide some helpful hints at the bottom if you're not an expert baker like myself.
I don't have a bread machine, or a heavy duty mixer, so the 'kneading' has to be done by hand. I found this video of a chef that shows his method of kneading the dough. I have to say it's really noisy, but much more fun! I learned from this video the correct way to make dough, as I've been doing it wrong this whole time! Who knew!? :)
On to the recipe!
1 tablespoon instant yeast
4 cups (17 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar or barley malt syrup
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) water, lukewarm
2 quarts (64 ounces or 8 cups) water
2 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder, brown sugar or barley malt syrup
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Manual/Mixer Method: To make this dough by hand or in a mixer, combine all of the dough ingredients and knead vigorously, by hand for 10 to 15 minutes, or by machine on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes. Since we're using a high-protein bread flour here, it takes a bit more effort and time to develop the gluten. The dough will be quite stiff; if you're using an electric mixer it will "thwap" the sides of the bowl, and hold its shape (without spreading at all) when you stop the mixer. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and set it aside to rise till noticeably puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Bread Machine Method: Place all of the dough ingredients in the pan of the machine, program the machine for Dough or Manual, and press Start. Check the dough after 10 minutes; it should be quite stiff, and won't have formed a smooth ball. The dough will feel quite firm when you poke your finger into it. Allow the machine to complete its cycle, then complete bagels as instructed below.
Transfer the dough to a work surface, and divide it into eight pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll it into a smooth, round ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap, and let them rest for 30 minutes. They'll puff up very slightly.
While the dough is resting, prepare the water bath by heating the water, malt and sugar to a very gentle boil in a large, wide-diameter pan. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Use your index finger to poke a hole through the center of each ball, then twirl the dough on your finger to stretch the hole till it's about 2 inches in diameter (the entire bagel will be about 4 inches across). Place each bagel on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Transfer the bagels, four at a time if possible, to the simmering water. Increase the heat under the pan to bring the water back up to a gently simmering boil, if necessary. Cook the bagels for 2 minutes, flip them over, and cook 1 minute more. Using a skimmer or strainer, remove the bagels from the water and place them back on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining bagels.
Bake the bagels for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're as deep brown as you like, turning them over about 15 minutes into the baking time (this will help them remain tall and round). Remove the bagels from the oven, and cool completely on a wire rack. Yield: 8 bagels.
To make sesame seed or poppy seed (or other seed) bagels, brush each bagel, just before baking, with a glaze made of 1 egg white beaten till frothy with 1 tablespoon of water. Glaze each bagel, and sprinkle heavily with seeds.
To make onion-topped bagels, bake bagels for 20 to 22 minutes (or until they're almost as brown as you like), and remove the pan from the oven, keeping the oven turned on. Working with one bagel at a time, glaze as instructed above, and sprinkle with minced, dried onion. Return the bagels to the oven for no more than 2 minutes (the onions will burn if the bagels are left in longer than that).
Want to make cinnamon-raisin bagels? Knead about 2/3 cup of raisins into the dough toward the end of the kneading process. Just before you're done kneading, sprinkle your work surface heavily with cinnamon-sugar, and give the dough a few more turns; it'll pick up the cinnamon-sugar in irregular swirls. Divide the dough into eight pieces, form each piece into a ball, and roll each ball in additional cinnamon-sugar. Proceed to let rest and shape as directed above.
We've seen bagel-store bagels in varieties as diverse as jalapeno pepper, spinach and cheese, and marbled rye. You can make bagels with just about any kind of bread dough. To retain the characteristic chewy texture, just be sure to make a dough that's low in fat, and follow the shaping, rising, boiling and baking techniques.
Nutritional information per serving (1 plain bagel, 111g): 211 cal, .5g fat, 7g protein, 43g complex carbohydrates, 2g sugar, 2g dietary fiber, 536mg sodium, 101mg potassium, 3mg iron, 106mg calcium, 67mg phosphorus.
If you make these, let me know in the comments how they turned out! :) The photo above is my last batch of bagels. Mini Moose really, really likes them!
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Want to win this lovely, limited edition monster?? Workshop Studio Boutique is having a February giveaway, and today is win a Curious Little Bird monster. Don't hesitate, because the contest closes at midnight EST tonight, February 12.
Follow this link to enter! http://workshopandflock.com/feb-12th-giveaway-by-curious-little-bird/
Thursday, February 06, 2014
For those of you who are going to the One Of A Kind show, you can now get your discounted tickets! Click the photo above to go directly to the website to get your tickets. :)
If that link doesn't work, you can click HERE.
I'll post more info as I get it... like what booth I'm going to be in.
Monday, February 03, 2014
I'm really excited, and a little stressed out, to be exhibiting at one of North America's largest handmade shows! This is going to be my very first time attending the OOAK show. I've never even been as a shopper, so this is literally going to be the biggest show I've attended (besides Montreal Comiccon).
Sign up to get updates on my blog, because I will be posting photos of the monsters I will be creating especially for the show! You can get a sneak preview of what will be for sale, and you can pre-plan your shopping trip.
Speaking of new things… Here's a sneak peak of what I've made so far for the show…
|Monsterific cell phone sleeves!|
|It's an army of bearded monsters, and there's still more to come!|
|These guys captured my felted owl, and are up to no good.|
|Oh no! They've ganged up on one of their own!|
|Some furry keychains! All will be for sale except for the black one. No black keychains will be available.|
That's it for now. You can subscribe to my blog via email, or bloglovin' or RSS feed to get updates on the show. A sneak peek is always fun.