News from the Nest, January 16
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Good Morning, friends.
It seems Monday has rolled around again!
I enjoyed a relatively chill weekend. Terry had to make a quick road trip which allowed me to indulge in, in his words, a ‘chic flick’ for most of Saturday afternoon while I worked on a new knit project. I binge-watched season one of Belgravia, which was written and produced by Julian Fellowes, who also wrote and produced Downton Abbey. It definitely has a Downton Abbey feel to it, right down to the music and even the way some of the characters talk. It is set in London in the early and mid-19th century.
It was right up my alley, and I’m tickled that there is a season two in production.
Then, on Sunday, a girlfriend and I spent the afternoon attending a Basic Sourdough Baking Class, and my head is still swimming! I plan to finish my ‘homework’ today: finish and bake two more loaves of the most delicious Sourdough boule! Once I spend a little more time perfecting this skill, I will surely share it with you.
I didn’t snap a photo of my first loaf, but my girlfriend did. Isn’t it gorgeous?
See those little pieces that lifted up on the farthest side? Those are called ‘ears’, and they are highly sought after in sourdough bread baking. They happen when you’ve done everything right. Per the King Arthur BakingCompany site, ‘And while you might see these sourdough ears as mostly an aesthetic addition to a loaf, they are also indicators of success in each step of the bread baking process. They show the baker’s skill in harnessing vigorous fermentation, imparting sufficient dough strength, shaping properly, proofing appropriately, and the last step in the process: scoring effectively.’
So, next week, I’ll let you know if I get ears after doing my homework today. If I don’t say anything, well…I’ll let you surmise.
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. day here in the U.S. So many of his words are universal. Here’s one of my favorites.
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.Martin Luther King, Jr.
new on nourish + nestle
It was sheer kismet that I came home last night with a boule of the aforementioned best Sourdough you’ve ever had, just in time to enjoy it with a bowl of the best Tuscan White Bean Soup you’ve ever had! I love it when a plan I didn’t really plan comes together!
This Tuscan White Bean Soup is EASY and VERSATILE. I made it in the slow cooker, but I have instructions to make it on the stovetop. The results are equally delicious; it’s just up to you what would make your day easier! And I’ve shared a few substitutions if you’d prefer this soup to be Vegetarian or Vegan.
And because it is still January and January is officially National Slow Cooking Month, I’ve got another brand new slow-cooking recipe for you!
This Slow Cooker Pulled Beef recipe is another versatile recipe. We typically enjoy it with some of my homemade barbecue sauce, but it is equally delicious filling burritos, enchiladas, or tacos. Or, eat it with mashed potatoes or noodles! Not only is this another REALLY easy dish (truly dump the ingredients and let the slow cooker do the work), but as a chuck roast is one of the most economical cuts of beef, it is a budget-friendly meal as well.
reigning in the excesses
Seems every January, I atone for the excesses of November and December in a couple of ways!
- I cut back on all the sweets and treats I consumed from the end of November through January first and treat my body a little better.
- I diligently declutter my home of all the ‘stuff’ that adorned it since the day after Thanksgiving.
- And I reign in my expenditures in a big way! Granted, the number of people in our home doubles over the holidays, so my grocery bill increases. But there are so many ways I tend to overspend during the holidays, and now is the time to try to make up for it. In January, I limit myself to only buying perishables and ‘eat what we already have’.
- This post shares how to eat well on less! It’s helpful to know which fruits and vegetables are the most and least expensive, as well as some other tips for reigning in your grocery budget.
- Hand-in-hand with reducing your grocery budget is learning how to reduce food waste.
- And along the same lines, learn how to keep produce fresh longer.
- And finally, twenty-six budget-friendly meals that are also healthy.
This Half Linene Stitch, Faux Fur edged knit blanket is getting quite a bit of use right now! It is so warm and snuggly! It makes a very welcome gift! Nab the pattern.
How’d you do this past week in the kitchen and laundry room? Some of my accomplishments: I cleaned out my jar and storage container drawer of too many jars without lids and lids without jars. In the pantry, I finally tossed out two packages of taco shells that had languished there for easily three years!
Week three of the declutter challenge focuses on tips to clear the clutter from the den and linen closet. This week’s checklist includes twenty-six items commonly found in those family living areas and linen closets that you can most likely discard and won’t miss! At the end of seven weeks, you will have checklists of more than one hundred and fifty items that you can toss! Think of it as a Decluttering Scavenger Hunt!
You can join the 2023 challenge from the beginning at any time! Click here to see the overview and to join.
I like to collect original art. I’m not talking about Monet or Picasso, just artwork that speaks to me. Lately, I’ve been looking for still life for our kitchen to fill the space above the cabinets. You can find great, original art and prints online at Etsy. This artist has some lovely works.
plan a galentine’s day gathering!
Invite some of your gal pals over for an evening of treats and crafts! This post is chockful of ideas to make the evening just perfect!
and finally, a huge ask!
Nourish + Nestle has basically looked the same for seven years. Last year I changed fonts and my logo, but the blog’s layout has remained the same.
It’s time to give this girl a bit of an update! And I am so excited about this upcoming update. Not only will it be more visually appealing, but I want it to be more ‘user-friendly.’ And since you are the user, I would love your input!
It’s possible that as we move along with this process, I’ll be coming back to you for more input. But the first issue concerns what you often come to the blog to see. Is it knit patterns? Is it recipes? Is it container gardens? Is it something else? Is there a topic you wish we covered more? Now’s your chance!
We have a quick 1-2 minute survey, similar to the survey we ran last year, that asks you to pick up to 8 topics that you come to Nourish + Nestle most often to read. There is also space for you to opine on whatever you would like to opine on as it relates to the design and content of N + N.
Many thanks in advance for your input. It truly is invaluable to me.
Thanks for visiting today! I am off to do my homework! 🤗
Until next week,
About keeping produce and fruit fresh longer.
Someone on FB posted that keeping strawberries directly from the store refrigerated in a sealed glass jar kept them for 4 weeks. Mine turned to mush after one week, but my daughter-in-love’s stayed fresh much longer, so it must depend on the condition of the berries to begin with.
But another hint SAVED me from always losing 1/2 bundle of celery before before I could use it. I cut off the stem bottom and the top 3″, saving them for soup flavoring. Placing a rubber band to hold the stalks together I wrap the bundle in aluminum foil which keeps the stalks fresh for several months. I’m on my 3rd such saving!
It is said not to refrigerate bananas but I find that they stay fresh longer in the fridge even though the peels turn brown. If my bananas do become too ripe, I slice and freeze two in a zip lock bag for banana shakes in the blender with 1 c milk, a squirt of vanilla, a little sugar or 1/4 c liquid vanilla coffee creamer. Yummy.
Thanks so much for your produce saving experience. I hadn’t heard of that strawberry one. As it relates to your celery, you wrap the entire celery bundle in aluminum foil? I will definitely be giving that a try and updating my post. We do that same with bananas…the dark skin doesn’t bother us. But, my husband actually slices the whole things…skins and all…for his smoothies. The skins have a good amount of nutrition. But that’s a bridge too far for me! 🤢
Have a great day, my friend.