Monday, September 30, 2013

All Oats Cookies


               Happy Monday! I can't believe another week has begun. As always, our saturday was filled with running around. We headed over into Germany for a bit of grocery shopping. The meat department is a lot cheaper than in NL and it's nice to stock up when I am able to. I currently have the first pork stew bubbling away in the crock pot as we speak and a pot of hot coffee waiting for me..Because it's cold,people and cold weather means tons of coffee and hot meals. I'm not complaining though! oh no, not me. I will take these cold crisp and sunny days over the doom and glum that is headed our way soon enough. The hens are loving this weather too! The various breads we have prefer the cold and do very well in it. They are happily running around and pecking at anything that moves or crawls.
                


               In fact, here is Miss Astrid checking out the new treat ball we put in there. You fill it with chicken scratch and the more they push the ball around, the more the treats will fall out. It took them all of 7 seconds to figure it out and another 30 seconds to empty the darn thing. I went to the market this weekend to purchase them some different types of lettuce and cabbage to eat. I'm pretty sure they eat better than we do at this point. In fact, I know they do! All I know is that I had better see an extra large golden egg at some point as a thanks for all the healthy and delicious foods they get from me!
                 


             So lets talk oat cookies. No flour just oats. I don't need to watch my gluten intake but know of others who do. So this one is for them. These taste just like a chewy oatmeal cookie! These will appeal to both gluten and non gluten eaters. I mean seriously, how can you go wrong with oats,nuts and cinnamon? You pretty much can't!

All Oats Cookies

2 cups (6-1/4 ounce) Quick-cooking Oats
3/4 cup (2-3/4 ounces) Coarsely chopped Pecans or Walnuts
1-1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
4 TBS (2 ounces) Unsalted Butter,softened
3/4 cup (5-5/8 ounces) Packed Light or Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 cup (1-3/4 ounces) Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 TBS Cider Vinegar
2 tsp. Vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 or 190 celsius. Lightly grease two baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

Combine the oats,nuts,cinnamon,baking powder and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely chopped and evenly distributed.

Beat the butter and sugars in a large bowl until smooth. Add the eggs,scraping the sides and again beating until smooth. Stir in the vinegar and vanilla, then the oat mixture. Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto prepared pans.

Bake the cookies until the edges are barely browned,14 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool on the pans for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Yield: 42 Cookies
Source: King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking

     





Friday, September 27, 2013

Cowboy Coffee Cake



                  When I posted this pic and name on my facebook page, all of my American friends knew what this was. This coffee cake screams, I am the child of the 80's and 90's!! We all had it! every single one of my friends had this cake growing up. It was served around christmas time or on weekends..usually starting around the fall. I love it..it's simple and out of this world delicious.

So start your saturday morning off right with this coffee cake. Put on a pot of coffee or tea,sit down with a slice and enjoy. Happy Weekend!

Cowboy Coffee Cake

2-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour or half white and half wheat
1-1/2 cups Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
2/3 cup Butter,diced into cubes
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
2 Beaten Eggs
1-1/3 cups Buttermilk
1/2 cup Chopped Nuts..I used Walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celsius. Grease a 13x9 inch pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

In a medium bow,combine the flour,brown sugar, and salt. Cut in butter using your fingers or a pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture. To the remaining mixture, stir in baking powder,baking soda,cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In a small bowl,combine the eggs and buttermilk. Add egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out as needed. Stir together reserved crumb mixture and nuts. Sprinkle over the batter evenly.

Bake for 35-40 minutes of until a toothpick inserted towards center comes out clean. Serve warm!

Yield: 18 slices if you want to be stingy..less if you are feeling generous :)
Source: Better Homes and Gardens The Cook Book


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Take A Peek Wednesday: Planning




            I'm starting early this year...found a turkey in Germany already..it's on,people.




Monday, September 23, 2013

Banana Yeast Bread

  

                  Happy Monday..As always the weekend went by way to quickly. We have to get everything done store wise on saturday because everything is closed on sunday. There is the odd store here and there that is open, but those are mostly grocery stores and you don't even want to shop then because every other bored person dresses up in their sunday best and heads to the store to hang out! I was able to get the much needed lunch date with the husband and regroup a bit. I've been on a long grumpy streak that's more of my doing than anything else. I guess we all go through periods where we wonder if anything we do actually matters to anyone else. The answer is,yes of course it matters! the mind can play tricky games sometimes.

The more I bake bread the more I realize I need several stomach chambers like a cow. I'm serious!!! There is just not enough time to consume all of the bread that I want. If you saw the list of breads that I wanted to bake you'd think I was crazy..but it's true. I love baking bread and happily work through and mark off each type I have baked. I'm starting to love free form loaves more than the traditional roll up and plop into a loaf pan kind. I still love those for sure, but I just love shaping bread into round fat loaves or braids or even into a wreath shape..which I will share soon! artisan,free form loaves are amazing.

And so is this bread! I know most people don't think about banana being a yeast type bread..but it is! people need to be baking these more because they are just incredible. The bread is incredibly moist and believe it or not, the banana flavor is very subtle. We loved thick slices of this toasted, slathered in peanut butter and with a drizzle of honey. It's also excellent when turned into a grilled peanut butter sandwich or when made into french toast. This bread will be added to my usual rotation of sweet type breads that we adore during the fall and winter months. I hope you give this recipe a try. You won't be sorry!

Banana Yeast Bread

3/4 cup Milk
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
5-1/4-6 cups All-purpose Flour
4-1/2 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1 tsp. Salt
3 Eggs
3 Medium Ripe Bananas

In a large saucepan, cook and stir the milk, butter, and sugar over medium heat until butter is melted; cool to 120-130-F. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour, yeast, salt,2 eggs,bananas, and milk mixture; beat on low speed until combined or use a large wooden spoon and mix until thoroughly combined, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead the dough until smooth and elastic ( adding in any additional flour to make that happen),between 5 and 10 minutes. Place into a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm spot until doubled,about 45 minutes - 1 hour.

Lightly flour your surface and divide the dough in half. Shape into two round balls and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet or one that has been spray lightly with nonstick spray. Cover with either a tea towel or plastic wrap that has been sprayed with nonstick spray to avoid sticking to the dough and allow to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
                       
 
              Preheat oven to 375 or 190 celsius. In a small bowl, beat remaining egg with 1 teaspoon of water and set aside. Slash the bread across the top, brush it with the egg wash and bake in the oven 30-35 minutes, or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on wire racks. You can freeze these as well! Once cooled,wrap them up in plastic wrap, then in foil, and then place into a freezer safe bag.

Yield: 2 round loaves
Source: Taste of Home

                
                   





    

Friday, September 20, 2013

Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies


 I am so glad it's friday! It's been one of those weeks..we've all had them so there is no point in talking about it. I have a lunch date with my husband tomorrow that is very much needed. We are able to regroup during those lunches and make plans for the upcoming week as well as the next few months. We're heading towards October and it seems so crazy..Christmas is just around the corner ya know!

So lets talk chewy,brownie-like cookies..because that's what these are. I'm usually more of a thick cake-like cookie person but these suckers hit the spot..like spot on! If you aren't a fan of sprinkles, roll them into crushed nuts if you like. They are a cinch to make and will be loved by all!

Happy Weekend!

Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies

1 cup All-purpose Flour
6 TBS Unsweetened Dutch-process Cocoa powder,sifted
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
10 TBS Unsalted Butter,softened
1 cup Sugar
1 Large Egg
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/3 cup Chocolate Sprinkles or crushed nuts

Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celsius. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl,combine the flour,cocoa powder,baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy,about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.

Place the sprinkles in a small bowl. Scoop up a tablespoon of dough and roll it between your palms to form a ball. Roll the top half into the sprinkles. Place the balls,sprinkle side up, onto the prepared pan.           


 Leave about 3 inches of space between each cookie as they will spread slightly.

Bake the cookies until they are dry on top,8-10 minutes. Let them cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Store in airtight container for up to 3 days..but they won't last that long :)

Yield: 24 Cookies
Source: Mom's Big Book of Baking




Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Take A Peek Wednesday: This and That


              Although it's not officially fall yet, we've got all the signs around here. The mornings are grey and foggy now. See the hens back there? they say,Hi!
             
 
         Why not walk over and give them a proper hello..Belle, one of my new four is thriving. I can not believe how big they are all getting!
         


            Mabel's not impressed and wants treats..photos means treats..they know this now. I had to run in and split a large zucchini in half for them to eat. These ladies mean business and a deals a deal..pics means treats. They also have a sound that is just meant for me. When they see me each morning they start making that sound and if I walk with anyone else, they won't make it. 
                        


               I have a confession to make: I suck at growing herbs..like seriously suck at it. I am trying once again to grow a variety..but like always, it's not going so well. I think I kill them with to much kindness. Everyone says not to water them to much and I HAVE been following that rule..or at least I feel like I am..but the thyme is barely hanging on at this point. I'm pretty much over it after this point. If they don't make it then I'm not going to worry about it anymore. I like dried herbs just fine thank you very much.
                  


             Oh wait..someone else wants to say,Hi! Ellie,meet everyone..everyone,meet Ellie! Ellie is a bearded dragon and I love her to bits. Yep..I've got dragons. I also raise special cockroaches for them to eat but that's another story.
                     


             I've had the dragons almost a year now..I never EVER thought I would own one..let alone two..but I do..Oh yes, I have two!
                       


               This is Hannah..she's the enforcer and basically puts up with me. Ellie is way more user friendly and Hannah is look but don't touch. She will let me hold her without any problems but she would rather be running around the living room and claiming all available space as her own.
                


              Dragons are funny and do things like puff their eyeballs out like frogs when they are shedding. They are warm,not cold,are quiet,soft,aren't aggressive, chomp roaches like potato chips, and love hanging out on your shoulder as you walk around. Easy peasy pets!







Monday, September 16, 2013

Simple Spelt Pancakes


           With the boys being back in school it's important that they head off with a decent breakfast. They don't respond well to a bowl of cereal and I can't say that I blame them. I much prefer to give them a fuel packed breakfast that I know will keep them full until their lunch time.

Since I started my weight loss journey and doing a massive overhaul of our eating, I've discovered that we all love the taste of whole wheat flour and whole wheat based products..whole wheat pasta is another favorite of ours! 

Whole spelt flour is high in fiber and protein and has a milder flavor than whole wheat. If you are new to using this flour I would like to suggest that you give this recipe a try. If you are still unsure of how you or family will respond to the taste, add in ground cinnamon or toss in some nuts. You can also top the pancakes with bananas or fruit of choice. We leave it as is since we like that wholesome flavor.

The one and only trick to this recipe is to allow it to sit for 15 minutes. The batter is going to look watery but allow it to sit and the spelt will absorb the liquid and give you a more cakier pancake then you would get without the resting period.

Simple Spelt Pancakes

2 cups (7ounces) Whole Spelt Flour
2 TBS Sugar
1 TBS Baking Powder
3/4 tsp. Salt
1-3/4 cups (14 ounces) Milk
2 TBS Unsalted Butter,melted
2 tsp. Vanilla

In a medium bowl,whisk together the spelt flour,sugar,baking powder,and salt. In another bowl, combine the milk,melted butter and vanilla. Form a well in the center of the flour and pour the wet ingredients into dry. Stir the batter just until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened...it will look very wet and thin,but will thicken as it sits. Let the batter sit for 15 minutes.

Heat a nonstick pan on medium heat ( you may need to adjust the heat up or down to get the pancakes to cook through without scorching the surface or being too pale). Pour 1/4 cups worth of batter onto the hot pan. Let the pancakes cook on the first side until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pancakes,about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for another minute or so,or until they are golden brown on both sides.

Yield: 16 (4-inch) Pancakes
Source: King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking 







Friday, September 13, 2013

Cheddar Loaves


                  Friends, it's been a long week. I'm not sure where I went wrong but I managed to make every single thing I did harder on myself..and on anyone else who got in my way. I had one of those weeks where you can honestly say that you weren't to proud of yourself and can see some serious room for improvement. I need to worry less about things that I have zero control over and learn how to breath a little more. 
               
 
         The one thing I did manage to get right is this bread. It's a beautiful thing. You can never go wrong with a cheese bread..like ever. I think the only way this bread could be improved is by adding in diced green chilies or maybe some crumbled up bacon..or both..YES! you need both! I see some bread baking going on in this weekend.
                 


             Look at the cheese in that bread..isn't it beautiful? the bread is crazy moist and if you are careful with the kneading in of the cheese..you too will get pockets of cheesy goodness when you slice into it...because cheesy goodness is a beautiful thing. A real beautiful thing.

So make this bread..like ALL my breads, this recipe isn't hard..mix it,knead it,proof it, shape it into two rounds,slice the tops and bake! that is it..the most difficult thing is warming up the water and milk. Trust me..you CAN do this!

Cheddar Loaves

3 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup Warm Water
2 cups Warm Milk
2 TBS Butter,melted
2 Eggs
3 tsp. Sugar
2 tsp. Salt
6-6-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
2 cups (8 ounces) Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

** ( If you want to kill 3 birds with one stone,go ahead and heat the water,milk, and butter together in a saucepan. Heat it up slowly and allow the butter to melt as it cools down. You want the temp between 110-115 F) 

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast into the warm water and milk mixture. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, and 6 cups of the flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Stir in remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic,about 6-8 minutes ( please note that you might need to add in more flour. I needed an additional 1 cup to bring everything together). Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl,turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm spot until doubled,about 1 hour.

Punch down down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead the cheese into the dough. Divide in half; shape each portion into a 6-inch round loaf. Place onto parchment lined or greased baking sheets. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled,about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celsius. Bake the loaves 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Yield: 2 Large Loaves
Source: Taste of Home










Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Take A Peek Wednesday: Meeting Nigel Slater



            When I first moved to The Netherlands there wasn't a cooking show in site. I was so homesick I could barely stand it. I discovered we had the BBC channels and my life has never been the same. I was able to watch Nigella,Jamie Oliver, the Hairy Bikers..and Nigel Slater.  The gentle,patient and soft spoken way about him has you leaning in towards the screen to make sure you don't miss anything he says. He doesn't worry about name brand ingredients and the only thing he asks of you is to use what you have and not to worry. His laid back approach to cooking has me rushing into the kitchen in hopes of keeping that same attitude while making dinner. Sadly, I am still working on that. I can stress myself out very easily and when I can't find the ingredients I need here..well more often than not, I am ready to throw in the towel. I've gotten a lot better about making things from scratch..but I do miss certain products and now that I have been watching British cooking shows for the passed 7 years..I too want clotted cream and sausages,pork pies, and everything else they chat about.

So..last week he came to Amsterdam. They are finally releasing one of his cookbooks over here in Dutch and they were holding a kind of meet and greet session along with a meal from his cookbook. I looked at my husband when I found this out and he bought the tickets right away. I was so excited. I was able to get an English version of the book set aside and became even more excited when I learned that two of my expats friends would also be coming along. There was so much I wanted to tell him and never imagined I would get the chance to do so..but I did! 
                     
 
          We kind of swarmed the poor guy and told him we were expats..I was the American and we had one Scottish and British woman. He smiled really big when he found out. He didn't expect us to come..the event was filled with food writers and publicists and anyone else having to do with the cookbook world and food writing. We were the only true fans there. I was able to tell him everything I wanted.
                       


             This is me telling him that I loved his show,loved the way he talked about food..begging him to put out a bread baking book and just thanking him for making my life here a little more bearable. He was everything I had imagined him to be; humble, soft spoken, and shy. What I saw on tv, I got in person as well. I was on cloud nine and thanked my husband for taking the pics with his camera phone because I was so stunned to think about anything else.
                    


                 I sat by during the dinner..well I sat next to his Dutch publicist but he was next to him..and we chatted various times during everything. When the food came out,everyone started snapping pictures of it...including him. We dined on lamb and roasted vegetables,squid, and for dessert we had a plum crumble. I had the best time. I left with an autographed copy of his cookbook and a memory to last me a lifetime. This was my first time meeting an actual celebrity and I'm glad it was him. I hope this isn't the last we see of him here and look forward to watching him on tv,smiling, and thinking back to when I met and spoke to him.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Cheesy Drop Biscuits

      

       I watched summer leave last week..it left in one humid and sweaty blaze of glory. I think for the first time in a very long time,I am ready for fall. I still don't like the rain though. We had a pretty big storm roll in a few days ago and it was nasty. It was long over due though. It came down in giant hard drops and just didn't want to let up. The thunder and lightening followed soon after and then hail also paid us a visit. It's a bit calmer today..but the rain is out there and it will be back before we know it.
          
 
         During the week I bake 20 homemade buns of some kind as well as various other breads to keep us going. You'd be amazed how much I can bake in one week..I even surprise myself sometimes. By the time dinner rolls around I can't be bothered to do anything elaborate and sometimes I want to toss a bowl of cereal at everyone and watch them panic ( no one eats cereal except for me). It's times like these that I just love drop biscuit recipes. You bung everything into one bowl,mix,drop, and bake..that's it. Left overs are great the next day with some cheesy eggs..or make the cheesy eggs to go along with dinner..breakfast for dinner is loved by all in this house!

Cheesy Drop Biscuits

2 cups All-purpose Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 cup (4 ounces) Shredded Cheddar Chese
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
2/3 cup Buttermilk
1/3 cup Canola Oil
Additional Parmesan cheese for sprinkling;optional

Preheat oven to 400 or 200 celsius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Add cheeses.

In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Drop by 1/4 cupfuls onto prepared sheet. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese if desired.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield: 10 Biscuits
Source: Taste of Home








Friday, September 6, 2013

Coconut Chip Coffee Cake

          


            Is it just me or do you find the first back to school week crazy? Last week was their first full week in high school and every single day I had two tired boys on my hands. It was a week filled with making sure everyone had their homework,lunches,keys and everything else they needed to make sure they made it through the day. By the end of the week, I felt like I needed to have something on hand that said..job well done on your first week.
                


          Since we are more of a coffe cake family than a frosted cake family, I decided to bake something up that combined everything we loved..chocolate,nuts, and coconut.
          


            I don't think you can go wrong with that combination..unless you don't like coconut and in that case..how can you NOT love it? I suppose in theory you could leave it out but don't tell me if you do because it would make me sad. I love coconut that much.

Like alot of coffee cakes, you need to keep an eye on this one. You don't want it to dry out so make sure you check it around the 35 minute mark. I checked at that time and it was totally done..and if I'm honest, I could have checked at the 30 minute mark aswell. So keep an eye on that and if you want more of a coconut flavor..add in some coconut extract! I will do that next time aswell.

It was loved by all and gone by the next morning!

Coconut Chip Coffee Cake

1/2 cup Butter,softened
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 cup Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt

Filling/Topping

1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Flaked Coconut
1/2 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips..I used mini
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 or 180 ceclius. Grease a 10-inch tube pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sungar until lightl and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. 

In another bowl, combine the flour,baking powder,baking soda and salt;gradually add to the creamed mixture alternately with the sour cream.

Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan. Combine the filling ingredients and sprinkle half over the batter. Spread remaining batter on top and sprinkle the rest of the filling over the top.

Bake for 35-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from to wire rack.

Yield: 12-16 servings
Source: Taste of Home
         








Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Take A Peek Wednesday

             


         Somewhere along the way my blog has become a little more personal. I've shared my weight loss battle,my new home, and everything else in between. I've decided that every wednesday I will show you a closer look at my life..I've been getting e-mails asking that I show more of my hens,more pictures of my house and just every day life pictures. I too can get curious about other bloggers and what their world looks like from their point of view so I decided to share a bit of mine with you. I can't promise that my world is all that exciting. I am no different than anyone else but I am happy to share with you!
          


        I spotted a near death strawberry plant when we moved in and decided to see if I could bring it back to life. I began watering it and over time it sprouted two tiny perfect strawberries. I snapped the left photo and decided to give it one more day to really ripen up..the next day I was greeted with the right photo! somebody stole it! I'm guessing a mouse maybe? I was happy to share. However as soon as they other one ripened up I snapped it right up. It tasted incredible! I'm going to buy some netting next summer in hopes of growing more.
               


          Bees..man do I love bees! I love bees because they are going to help me with my garden next summer. I have decided to leave my giant butter fly bush where it is and then trim it so that it doesn't shade my veggies. The bees and butterflies love that bush and in return they will help me. It's all about giving everything and everyone a hand. So help the bee out if you can.
          


The new girls are no longer new anymore. We've had them 2 weeks now and boy have they grown. This is Annie Oakley.
                      
  
       This is Astrid and she is just as big as Annie. I love their colors!
                 


         This is Belle and she has come such a long way. She was picked up pretty badly at first but she has really started to stick up for herself. I wasn't to keen on getting a white hen but she adds a nice touch to the flock and I'm glad I have her now.
              

      This is Lily and she seems to be the lowest on the totem pole right now. She has calmed down alot but you can still see the unease in her eyes.
         


   My original 4 are growing happily aswell. I split a giant zucchini down the middle yesterday to for them to eat. It took them hours to figure out they could infact,eat it. By the end of the day there was no sign of the giant zucchini! I love my girls.           
                       

       Summer is coming to an end. I can feel it. We have the foggy cooler mornings now and although they are calling for the upper 80's today and tomorrow..those temps are numbered. I can honestly say that I am ready for fall. I used to hate that time around here..but not this time. I'm excited for chicken eggs, christmas,baking and..chicken eggs!!!!

On a side note..my husband and I are heading out to Amsterdam to have dinner with a celebrity chef who is based out of England. I barely recall hearing about him from the U.S. so I am not sure how well known he will be to alot of my readers...But I am beyond excited. I hope I don't turn into a giggly 14 year old that can't put a sentence together when the time comes to meet him. I hope I am able to quickly tell him how much he helped me when I spotted him on the BBC network. My two expat friends will also be there so I have no doubt this is going to be a wonderful evening..stay tuned for photos!