Yumday – Breaking Bread

I had such dreams for today. Such wild, unattainable dreams. I wanted to get up, work out, organize the whole apartment, and create a Yumday post fit for kings.

Well, we can’t always get what we want, can we?

I got up, realized my Yumday prep last night didn’t work, did some research, began to fix it, worked out, Justin left for work, began more Yumday prep, began multitasking, ruined my kitchen, Justin came home from work early and made food that I gave into, we got tired, took a nap, and…well…now I’m here.

Some days, things just happen. Am I right?

So…I’m going to save some Yumday for tomorrow. But still report on the one thing I did do today.

Today I attempted baking my own bread in my crock pot. I already feel like a failure at it, even though I didn’t fail, because it’s not organic and probably not eco friendly…but I made it anyway because I’m out of bread and the few dollars I do have I’d rather spend on gas to get to work.

I followed the basic directions from Home Ready Home and tweaked it a little bit because I didn’t have everything needed – like sugar, and parchment paper. So I didn’t use sugar, and used aluminum foil instead. I know, I’ve read some pretty shady things about aluminum foil, but it’s all I had and until next month my budget is as slim as a razor.

So after mixing and kneading and hating myself and then consoling myself, I plopped my ball of dough into the crockpot and waited. And waited. And waited. And checked. And attempted to use my old camera instead of my phone. And waited.

This was my result:

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I had to broil it after I took it out of the crock pot because the crust wasn’t very brown on the top.

So I cautiously cut a slice – It was a little bit crumbly – and topped it with some adzuki beans (more on adzuki tomorrow).

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And I took a bite.

It’s actually pretty delicious. It tastes like bread. It tastes…homemade. It doesn’t taste commercially made or mass produced, and even though it’s not organic (and soon all my bread will be – once I get my budget straight!), I’m glad I decided to try my hand at baking bread. This will not be the last time. Next time, I may incorporate rosemary and thyme.

This is my tweaked recipe:

 1 (0.25 ounce) package OR 2 ¼ Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast

1 ¼ Cups warm (not hot) water

½ Tablespoon salt

1 Tablespoon shortening

3 Cups unbleached bread flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water, and let stand for ten minutes to proof. Proofing is basically making sure the yeast is good. If there are little bubbles in the water after ten minutes, you’re fine! If not, the dough won’t rise.

Stir in salt and shortening, mixing until dissolved.

Stir in flour, small amounts at a time. Once all the flour is in, knead dough for about five minutes. If it’s still too sticky, add some more flour. Wait until the dough no longer stick to the sides of the bowl you’re working in.

Line crock pot with parchment paper (I used aluminum foil but try to use parchment paper) and turn on high. Roll dough into a ball and place in crock pot. Cover, and let stand.

Cooking times may vary. The original recipe called four about two hours, and mine took about four. Keep a thermometer ready, and wait until it reads between 180 – 200.

Take the bread out, and broil if needed to brown up the crust.

And that’s it! Enjoy your homemade crock pot bread.

I hope everyone had a good weekend! Much love ❤

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Riverboat Landing and East

This is a belated post – and by belated I mean I meant to do this about two weeks ago. I know, my schedule is still being set. Two days in the office, three days work from home, budgeting time around my boyfriend, pets, and hobbies, plus keeping this new, big apartment clean…it gets very hectic.

Two weeks ago my parents came to visit! They arrived on a Saturday and stayed until Monday. It was very exciting, because I hadn’t seen them in forever, and they brought over some stuff (including farm fresh eggs from their free range chickens!!)

So this blog is about eco friendly, organic living with a Wilmington vibe – So I’d like to point out two restaurants we went to while my parents were here.

The first restaurant we went to was called Riverboat Landing. It’s a beautiful, medium sized restaurant right on the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington. The building itself is very old, and there are private two person verandas with cute little tables! We sat inside because we were four, and while their menu isn’t huge, the choices are phenomenal. To be honest, I didn’t get photos of the food we had there, because I was so wrapped up in my parents’ company, but we had the crispy pickles, and then we all got the burger, which was perfectly cooked and delicious. My dad strayed from the pack and got the Ahi tuna. Everything is local, fresh, and well priced.

In case you haven’t been to Downtown Wilmington, here’s a sunset shot of my parents in front of the Cape Fear River at sunset, and another with the Battleship in the background:

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It’s pretty freaking beautiful where I live. Not going to lie.

The next day, Justin and I met up with my parents at their hotel on Wrightsville beach. We found my mom lounging in a chair on the shore, eyes closed, taking in the sea air and sounds. Sometimes I think my mom is a mermaid, because she’s obsessed with the ocean, and I like that.

After a few hours on the beach and looking for shells with my dad (our favorite beach past time), we went up to their room for showers and changing for dinner.

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Mom snapped this photo of Justin and I.

After we had all changed and freshened up, we headed down to the magnificent hotel restaurant, East Oceanfront Dining.

I’ve only lived in Wilmington a couple months, but East Oceanfront Dining is definitely the best restaurant I’ve been to. The menu is small but has a lot of variety, and is VERY vegetarian and vegan friendly. Though I did not have the veggie friendly option, I was extremely excited to see it.

Once seated we were given warm rolls baked with whole cloves of garlic and a to die for white bean spread. Honestly I could have eaten just that and been happy!

We started with the Low Country Caprese, an incredible blend of fried green tomatoes, local goat cheese, country ham, and sorghum vinaigrette. We also had the Korean Pork Belly “Tacos”, which consisted of Heritage Farms pork, butternut kimchi, Asian BBQ, and micro cilantro. Both appetizers were absolutely to die for, though the tacos were definitely my favorite.

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Incredible. Absolutely, insanely incredible and wonderful.

For the main course, I opted for the Crispy Tuna, which had a panko and nori crust, stir fried bok choi, and shitake ragout, and i changed the cilantro rice to black quinoa salad.

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It was heaven. I never wanted it to end.

Mom had the crab cakes which were perfectly cooked, and dad and Justin both got the Korean BBQ Osso Bocco, which was equally delicious. Everything was local, fresh, and each bite was a gentle reminder that I live in a beautiful world.

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Food and family are in my top three favorite things in the world, and that’s genuine happiness on my face right there.

So if you’re in Wilmington, and even if you’re not staying at the Blockade Runner Hotel (Where East Oceanfront is located), please indulge yourself in the incredible food, and wonderful service, this restaurant has to offer.

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Hopefully a Yumday post tomorrow!

Much love.