Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Spiral Apple Bread......"

I saw this recipe on Facebook.....Spiral Apple Bread.....and decided to try it.  Of course, with this photo of delicious looking bread, who wouldn't want to duplicate it?!


2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cinnamon, ground
3 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (I used Granny Smith.)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Place flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and yeast in a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Stir to combine.

In a small bowl add your melted butter into your warm milk. Then, with the mixer on low, add this mixture to the flour mixture until it forms a soft dough ball.

Knead with the mixer for about 4 minutes. Then transfer dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area for 1.1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Punch dough down then divide into 2 balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball into an approximately 8 x 11-inch rectangle. Cut into 9 strips.
Lightly grease an 8- or 9-inch round pan. Starting at the center of pan, coil apple slices with dough strips into a spiral, pinching ends securely as strips are added.
Repeat the same steps for the other half of the dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes. Toward the end of rising time, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

For the topping, mix cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Once the bread is removed from the oven, brush each loaf with melted butter and then sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

While the bread cools, melt butter in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 1/4 cup brown sugar. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat to low. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Stir in cider. Heat to boiling; remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm, about 30 minutes.

Gradually stir powdered sugar into glaze mixture. If the glaze becomes too stiff, stir in additional cider, 1/2 teaspoon at a time. If the glaze is too thin, add more powdered sugar. Drizzle glaze over the bread.

So, after peeling enough apples to fill our dehydrator once again, it was time to begin prepping for the Spiral Apple Bread.  After mixing the bread dough and allowing it to go through its initial rising period, the dough was punched down, divided in 2, and rolled out using a rolling pi  Each rolled out piece was then sliced into several strips.  The spiral is started in the center of the cake pan with the end of a strip beginning to be turned onto itself, then apple slices are inserted between the dough strips.  Here is a photo of my end product prior to letting it rise a 2nd time.

After letting it rise, I then baked it, although I added an additional 5 minutes to the bake time.  Even with the additional time added, it still was not as golden brown as what I would have liked to see, but I feared baking it longer might have dried it out too much.  Immediately after taking it out of the oven, instead of following the directions about melting the butter and pouring it over the bread, I used a pastry brush and "painted" the bread with soft butter.  Of course, it melted almost immediately due to the hot bread.  The bread was then sprinkled with a mixture of cinnamon sugar.

This all took place after dinner and the bread needed to cool completely before adding the glaze, which brings me to this morning.  :) Having stored the cool bread in a pie carrier overnight, I made the glaze this morning and finished the last step of the recipe.  :)

Although I am saving it for later today, I decided I should cut a slice "just for the photo" (and yes, I slid it back afterwards!).  ;)  It looks and smells delicious, but "that" test will be later today.  ;)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Don's First Riding Lesson Continued......"

After everyones help with getting Baby ready, Don was up in the saddle awaiting the next step in the lesson.

His stirrups needed lengthening, so with Julie on one side and Patrick on the other, they were adjusted to fit comfortably.

After he once again settled in the saddle and with adjustments completed, he gently nudges Baby into moving forward.

Baby is an excellent beginning riders mount as she smoothly follows Patrick around the riding arena.

Patrick then tells Don how to get Baby to move along following only his guidance.  Up until then, Baby had been basically following Patrick around the arena.

Don is then on his own in the arena with Patrick giving suggestions and advice from further away...

Don did an excellent job with following Patricks advice and soon had Baby riding in a figure eight pattern.

With his lesson over, Don spent some time talking with Baby and thanking her for a great lesson, while Patrick made sure her saddle and bridle were back in their proper place. ;)

Then Baby was led back to her pasture to join the other horses......

After Baby was safely in her pasture, Patrick went back to the barn to close everything up and Don joined Julie and Abigail in walking out in another pasture to get a closer view of some mares with their foals.

Of course, as they were heading back, the stallion and a mare also wanted some attention.  :)

We got into our respective cars and headed home, with plans to meet them in Traverse City at The Mackinaw Brewing Company later that afternoon for dinner to celebrate their 6th anniversary.  I KNOW!!! 6 years already!!!!  Abigail made us promise several times that we would meet them later. ;)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

"Don's First Horseback Riding Lesson........"

Julie and Patrick offered to teach Don how to horseback ride.  Don had ridden a horse back in 1969 when he went to Chile and Argentina after graduating from high school, but he had not been given any instruction.  Seeing those photos of him "back in the day" of him galloping along,  we're very fortunate he survived his first time riding.  ;)

Patrick puts a halter on "Baby" (behind "Baby", on the right), while Julie, Don, and Abigail look on......I am by the gate to the pasture taking photos and ready to open the gate for them to come out.  Crystal, a young pup and one of the resident Doberman's, runs around in the pasture.

After bringing Baby into the barn, Baby is cleaned up in preparation for putting her saddle and bridle on.  Don is given instructions on this aspect of horseback riding and then participates in getting Baby ready.

As you can see, Abigail participates as well.

I'm getting this look because I needed to move so Patrick could "pick" Baby's back hoof.  :)

Abigail and Grandpa Don at work......

Yep.....perfect example of our "no fear" Abigail!  She's letting Baby know where she is.......

Don wearing Patrick's riding helmet and enjoying a moment with Bella, young Crystal's Mom.

We have so many photos of yesterdays lesson, that I am breaking it into a couple of blog posts.  To be continued.......

Friday, September 19, 2014

"Skylight Covered/Trimmed......"

Yesterday, Dave and Rick, of Soper Services (http://soperservices.com), began work on covering up the hole in the main floor bedroom left after taking out the skylight when the new metal roof was installed.  Matching the tongue and groove ceiling wasn't going to be easy, but Dave came up a very close replica.

We decided to keep the frame of trim for a cleaner finished look.

They also had to add trim inside the 2 skylight frames in the great room, too.

We are VERY happy with the results in both rooms!

The boys are back today to do some other work, so I'm sure I will be posting more soon.  ;)

Monday, September 15, 2014

"2014 Northern Home and Cottage Tour"

Don and I went to the the 2014 Northern Home and Cottage Tour on Saturday.  There were 10 places on the tour but we only were able to make it to 4 of them due to a later start AND the distance between each place on the tour.

We began with the 1st home listed, which was on Torch Lake (http://mynorth.com/2014/08/2014-northern-home-cottage-home-tour-european-accent/)  It is a beautiful home but "a bit much" for my tastes.

Next we went to a place located on the shore of East Bay.  If it had been the only place we had visited, it would have been enough for the tour.  ;)  IT IS FANTASTIC!  It was a private home but has since been donated to a non-profit organization.  (http://mynorth.com/2014/08/2014-northern-home-cottage-home-tour-one-for-the-ages/)

We took photos of it but there are many photos on the link (http://pinehollow.org) which will be more informative.  DEFINITELY check it out!  "My" favorite bedroom was "Michigan".

Behind the tree/bush in the previous photo is where this next photo was taken.

Our next stop was on Old Mission Peninsula, although we did not take any photos (http://mynorth.com/2014/08/2014-northern-home-and-cottage-home-tour-barn-reno/)

The last home we toured was also on Old Mission Peninsula, but towards the center of the Peninsula amongst the fields and orchards (http://mynorth.com/2014/08/2014-northern-home-and-cottage-tour-farmhouse-reno/).

It was a very enjoyable day!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

"Sandy and Rod Visit From WI......"

Sandy and Rod from Wisconsin came for a short visit, arriving Thursday evening, after a "not so smooth" Lake Michigan crossing via the "SS Badger".  Poor Rod had a hard time of it, and believe me when I say that "I understand", being that I, too, have a very sensitive stomach.  ;)

Rod felt fine by the time they arrived at our house.  We stayed up and did some catching up but eventually went to bed so that we could get going Friday morning at a decent hour.  I "think" it was close to noon or somewhat after, that we actually got in the car and headed west to Sleeping Bear Dunes.  So much for an early start, although there were trails to walk and things to see while I made breakfast.  :)

Our first "overlook"........Glen Lake.

Then on to a couple more scenic overlooks.

This was taken on our walk from the parking area to the deck which is built overlooking Lake Michigan.

Here we are on the deck.  A nice older gentleman offered to take our photo (I have to use that word "older" carefully).  ;)

A photo of the shoreline from the deck.  It is a LONG WAY DOWN to the shore!

Here is another photo to help put things in perspective.

After leaving Sleeping Bear Dunes we drove further up the Lake Michigan shoreline to Leland, where historic "Fish Town" is located.

Rod and Sandy.....

We finished our Leelanau Peninsula tour with a "drive through" of Glen Haven and a coffee stop in Glen Arbor.  Our final stop was in Northport, which sits near the tip of the Peninsula facing where West Bay and East Bay join.  We had, as expected, a nice meal at The Soggy Dollar, then drove back down the shoreline of West Bay, arriving back at our house after dark.  It was a GREAT day!