I have missed you, believe it or not. I've been gone so long because I've been getting business stuff going while also managing to have some excellent personal time. I started the business because I truly believe that it could become a full-time venture in the future, but for now I'm working hard to balance business development with my normal life, which includes downtime!
So I've done lots of cooking and socializing lately, and Tim and I even managed to squeeze in some preservation! I'm going to show you how we preserved broccoli and some snapshots from the last few days, including the little dinner potluck we had recently. Then, I have a pretty awesome Rosie's Best giveaway to share with you! If you don't care for broccoli or cute dinner guests, skip on down to the bottom of this post for details.
There are a few cold-hardy vegetables that are still around, and broccoli is one of them. If you're lucky enough to have access to some, I suggest you scoop up as much as you can and preserve it. While broccoli might not seem that exciting right now, I assure you that the little burst of bright green of frozen broccoli will be welcome in January.
Cut your broccoli into the pieces you'll use when you cook it. They should all be around the same size. (I apologize for the bad lighting in these photos. We have to resort to a little lamp when cooking happens on dark nights.)
We also prepared some romanesco. In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful vegetables.
We blanched the veggies in hot water for a minute, and then plunged them into ice water.
Then we spread the cold florets onto a towel and got them as dry as we could. After this, we set them on a sheet pan and stuck it into the freezer so the florets each froze individually and didn't stick together.
From here you could throw them into a freezer bag, but we used our Foodsaver.
I have some potatoes downstairs that I plan to use in a soup with this broccoli later.
Now I'd like to share a bunch of snapshots that I've taken in the last few days.
The nephew visited. He turned six this fall. Apparently age six is the big year that nephews become perfect assistants in the kitchen. This guy made breakfast and lunch, and even did the dishes. Here he's mixing up the dry ingredients for the chocolate chip pancakes we made.
There was music on this visit, too. Razi supervised.
We've still got a few green tomatoes around in the kitchen.
And these guys are everywhere, of course. I took a picture of this one because her wings are half spotted and half solid.
Iowa weather has been very strange this fall, and we had a sleepy day of fog. The dark early morning light lit up the mist in the backyard. (We've raked since then, I promise.)
Finally, Tim and I were lucky enough to have a collection of generous friends over to welcome back an old friend who was in town for the weekend. Everyone contributed something to the potluck dinner party, and we hosted. I was far too busy to pull off everything by myself, but thankfully these girls came prepared. They brought appetizers and side dishes, and we all constructed the main dish together. It was so much fun to kick around the kitchen, wine in hand, and end up with a very impressive spread. I contributed some Rosie's Best cookies for dessert, but you'll have to wait for those.
We set the table to celebrate the lovely Sarah. I documented her taking a picture of the festivities for her daily photo blog, which you can read here.
I love this photo, even though it's blurry. I think it shows the anticipation of a big meal, and I enjoy all the small worlds combined into one shot.
Eats. We ate stuffed peppers and dates (you rule, Nikki!) before we even got to the table. At dinner we passed around Indian-style lasagna, Korean sesame noodles, two quiches, and my contribution of baked brie with cherry jalapeno jam and Rosie's Best crackers (again, soon!).
Eventually the party moved into the living room and Razi became the center of attention.
I feel lucky to live my normal life and work on bakery stuff at the same time.
Speaking of which, how would you like to win a little piece of Rosie's Best?
Today I'm offering a giveaway of some Rosie's Best Granola for three lucky people.
I'm giving away one 10 oz. package of my best basic granola to three people who comment on this post. First, the granola.
This granola is made with organic oatmeal, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, slivered almonds, chia seeds, golden raisins, honey* cinnamon, chia seeds, and a pinch of salt. The honey comes from Noble Bee.
I love my granola because it's the right combination of crunchy and chewy. This version is lightly sweetened with honey (or sorghum if you're vegan) and baked low and slow.
If you'd like to win some of this granola for yourself
here are the rules:
enter by leaving a comment and a way to contact you on this post.
I'll close comments at 9 a.m. and randomly select three winners this Friday after Thanksgiving, since you'll be bored and off work. Each winner will receive 10 ounces of my basic granola in reusable glass jars.
if you want extra entries, you can
tweet about this giveaway (here's a bit.ly of this post)
become a fan of my facebook page (here's a link)
blog about this giveaway
and be sure to leave a comment below indicating that you did so.
In the mean time, you can buy some Rosie's Best granola in kraft paper bags here-
or in jars here.
Thanks for your patience and understanding, and I can't wait to let you taste some granola. So, enter!