Everyday is Earth Day for Farmers

Happy Earth Day! In honor of Earth Day I only thought it was appropriate to give a shout out to farmers because everyday is Earth Day for farmers. 

The other night after making and eating, devouring, the previously blogged about liege waffle, (if you have not made them or read the blog, do so stat), I was feeling particularly fat and sassy (a term my college roommates and I coined whenever we would overindulge OR have PMS)

It was still light and warm out so Travis and I took a walk around the farm so I could burn off some cals. If we are honest though, at the pace we were walking and the amount of times we stopped, I probably just burned off the caramel sauce, ugh. 

Anyway...I brought the camera along and snapped some pictures of the farm from our stroll! Spring is my absolute favorite time, everything is freshly planted, green and things are not quite hectic yet.

What are some things you enjoy doing after dinner? I hope you are all having a lovely evening!

This is baby barley. 

This is more baby barley planted a little bit earlier than the ones before.
Once they grow up they will become malted barley for beer.
Beer = Water + Hops + Malted Barley

A whole field of  barley seedlings. 

Travis looking majestic. He has been growing out his hair during the off season.
I am guessing once it turns really hot it will be gone. 

I mentioned last week the water coming in for irrigation.
Here it comes down the canals, all the way from the mountains.
Our farm is one of the last stops. 

Farmers do not get to have as much water as their heart desires
They are allotted a certain amount each year and also pay for it.
If they use more than their allotment then they have to pay extra...
which can be very expensive.  

Our farm uses conservation techniques to save extra and run-off water.
One way is using run-off ponds like the one above that captures the leftover water. 

And here is another.
Travis also enjoys fishing in them and yesterday suggested
that we buy at automated fish feeder...

The Best Waffle You Will Ever Eat

A week or so ago I mentioned on, "Things I'm Loving Thursday," liege waffles. I also mentioned sharing a recipe for them. After mixing, combining and changing a couple different recipes I have found on the internets I finally came up with the perfect flavor combination. The outside is crispy, the inside chewy, with yeasty and sugary flavors, sprinkled with pockets of caramelized sugar. It is not suggested that you put butter and syrup on these like you do buttermilk waffles, they are delicious just on their own. When I made them last, we had them as dessert instead and topped with vanilla ice cream. Whenever you choose to eat them, I have no doubt you will love them! Let me know what you think!!

Liege/Street Waffles

1 pkg. yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
1/3 c. warm milk
2 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. flour
3 eggs
1 c. melted butter
1 c. pearl sugar (or smashed sugar cubes if you cannot find it)

Place brown sugar and 1 package of yeast into warm milk. Let sit for 5 minutes to activate. In a mixing bowl sift together flour and salt. Once yeast has activated stir into flour mixture on medium speed. Next mix in eggs, on at a time, on medium speed alternating with melted butter. Add vanilla. 

Cover and let dough double. You can also cover and place in the refrigerator overnight and then cook in the morning, do not add sugar. 

While your dough is proofing, if you were not able to find pearl sugar you can make your own by placing sugar cubes in a ziplock bag and smashing them with a rolling pin. You want small chunks of sugar. I like to think of making them into chunks the size of diamonds or crystals but that's just me. Once dough is doubled, gently stir in the sugar. 

Heat your waffle iron on high heat, then take around two tablespoons (an ice cream scoop works perfect) and put into the center of the sprayed iron. Let cook for five minutes or until the outside is crispy and browned. 

BE VERY CAREFUL when you take them off the iron and DO NOT eat them immediately. They are SUPER HOT and will burn your precious hands and mouth. Let cool and then enjoy! 
If you have never used yeast, don't let it scare you!
This is how it looks once it gets activated.
Mix together the flour and salt. 
Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture so they are one happy family.
Alternated between golden deliciousness and eggs. 

3 eggs to be exact. 

I like to use vanilla bean paste sometimes instead to add
pretty speckles of vanilla bean. 

The mixture should be the consistency of runny bread dough. 
A warm window is always a good spot to let dough rise. 
If you cannot find pearl sugar,
sugar cubes will do. 
Sugared diamonds. 

Gently fold the crystals in. 
An ice cream scoop works perfect for scooping the dough. 

Drop in the center of the waffle iron.
A Belgium Waffle Iron works best.
This is Coco's Humane Society/Begging Face.
She LOVES waffles. 

You can eat them plain or...

Topped with your favorite flavor combination!

Things I'm Loving Thursday | April 9, 2015

Today I am headed down to the Bay area with my mom to attend the Bloom Workshop. I am so excited to go and learn some new things and meet more creative ladies. I plan on doing a recap of the workshop once I return so until then, here are some of the things I am loving this week.

Homemade Rosemary Soap
One of Travis's aunts has recently started her own soap making business. This summer she is opening up a produce stand/farmers market at their house and will be selling fresh produce, homemade soaps, handmade cards and other goodies. I am excited for her new adventure and to visit/support her shop! While we were there on Easter she gave us a couple bars of her 100% natural, homemade soap and I love it. We have been using the rosemary scent in the kitchen but also have a sweet almond and oat scent one to try. I love it because it it does not leave my sensitive prone skin feeling dried out and itchy plus, they smell great. I told her she needs to open an Etsy shop to sell her goods but until then, let me know if you would like to try some and I can send you her way!

Old Navy Chambray Shirt Dress
When I was little I would get a new, fancy dress to wear to church on Easter and Christmas each year. The older I grew the less I did this, until this year. I decided this year to bring back that tradition. Partly because it gives me an excuse to go shopping but also because dressing up for occasions is seeming less common. Travis and I went to see Swan Lake at the Portland Ballet a couple years ago and I was shocked to see people wearing jeans. It was a matinee but come on people, really??? Or even just going to the grocery store and seeing way too many people wearing pajama pants. It is just as easy to put on a pair of jeans as it is pjs, just sayin'. While this dress is not fancy, it is cute and very comfy. I wore it with tall boots because it was a little chilly Easter morning but I can't wait to wear it with sandals and flats once the weather warms up. 

Liege Waffles
I first had this type of waffle in Hawaii last winter but the vendor called it a, "Street Waffle." I had to patiently wait 10 minutes at the local farmer's market for it to be made but it was well worth it. It was a crunchy, sweet and chewy waffle, topped with fresh bananas, macadamia nuts, shredded coconut, whipped cream and caramel...Heaven in a breakfast/dessert form. After much research I figured out what made these waffles so great and different; yeast and pearl sugar. The yeast adds the chewiness and the pearl sugar creates little pockets of caramelly sweetness throughout the waffle as it is being cooked. I decided to try my luck at making these waffles for Easter brunch and they were just as good as I remember! I plan on writing a blog with a recipe for these soon, mostly because I want an excuse to eat more of them, so stay tuned!

Mid Century Modern House for Sale
Three of my coworkers are all currently house hunting, which I love because I get to talk to them about different houses for sale and kindly invite myself to tag along to their house viewings if they would like :) I love houses that are diamonds in the rough. I know this isn't always a good option for people that have a hard time envisioning the potential of a place but that is what designers are for. This gem is currently for sale in Madras and I am IN LOVE with it. This is a classic mid century modern house that has so much potential but I think this home will have to attract a very specific buyer, someone that can appreciate the design period and who will also restore and update it. It appears that at one point they added-on to the home and used pine, totally making it look mismatched. I hope whoever buys this home understands the style and does not add to the random look. 

637 SE B St, Madras, OR 97741

Write_On Campaign
The other day on Facebook I saw a fellow friend post a picture of the cutest stationary she received in the mail with a caption saying she was participating in the Write_On Campaign. I had to know more, so I asked her to send me a link to the website. This is such a great idea and it is inspired by a fellow Oregonian. April is National Letter Writing Month, and Tess Darrow from Egg Press, is challenging people to hand-write a letter to someone every day for 30 days. In a day and age where communicating is mostly done electronically, letter writing is becoming a dying trend, which is sad. I still save all of the cards and letters I receive because they are special and fun to go back and read later on. Also, who doesn't love receiving snail mail?! They provided lovely starter kits to participants and I am super bummed I missed the boat on this. Since I am a week behind I have decided to do this for the month of May, even though it is not National Letter Writing month. I also might, just might, be featuring a set of downloadable cards for you to use as well :)