Monday Must-Haves: Home Reminders

I haven’t lived in Vermont for over 9 years, but I still call it home. The majority of my family remains there, as does Husby’s. Looking back, it seems hard to believe that I spent the first 20 years of my life there because the memories seem so faded + distant. I feel as though I can’t navigate my way around there anymore without a GPS, which seems insane to me because I used to drive all over the state aimlessly, when I got my first car, without ever getting lost.

Vermont brings a lot of great memories: playing in the woods, camping, walking everywhere, dirt roads, mountains, swimming in rivers, fresh air, college… the list goes on.

Now, living about 18 hours away (driving), there are a few things that we like to keep around the house to remind us of home:

 

Woodchuck Cider (photo via Pinterest) ~ a nice cold cider on a hot summer day is simply amazing! I’m not a beer drinker, but also great Vermont brews include: Magic Hat, Long Trail + Otter Creek

Vermont State Flag ~ Husby has the VT state flag hanging in our garage. Such a simple design, but it represents Vermont the best.

Vermont Maple Syrup ~ there is nothing better than 100% pure Vermont maple syrup on your pancakes or waffles… or on everything!

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream (photo via Pinterest) ~ a freezer isn’t complete without B&J ice cream. With soo many different flavors, I don’t think I can have just one favorite… but among them are: Creme Brulee, Late Night Snack + Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch.

Cabot Cheese (Image Source) ~ hands down, the best cheddar cheese there is out there!

What reminds you of home?

~katie

Signs of Spring: Orange Cream Cheese Bread

I am always stocking up on citrus fruits, especially in the spring. However with my abundance of lemons, oranges + grapefruits around the house, I never manage to use them up before they go bad. It feels more like summer than spring today with a high of 88 degrees, but I had one mineola left that needed to be used up. What to make… what to make…

 

I ran across this recipe + decided to do some improvising. So here is my modified version:

Orange Cream Cheese Bread

  • 1 (8oz) package of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 + 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 + 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped in a food processor
  • 2 tbsp zested orange peel (I used a mineola)
  • 3 drops yellow food coloring
  • 1 drop red food coloring
  • 1/4 cup Simply Orange with Mango juice

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees with the oven rack in the center.

In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese + shortening on med-high setting. Slowly add in the granulated sugar, beating until light + fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well after each addition.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt + baking powder; add to the creamed mixture alternating with the milk, beginning + ending with the flour mixture. Mix well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in the chopped almonds + orange peel. Finally, add in your drops of yellow + red food coloring to give your batter an orange tint.

Grease + flour two bread loaf pans (mine were 8x4x3). Pour the batter equally between the pans + even out the top with a rubber spatula. Place your loaf pans in the oven + bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the orange juice over the top of each loaf (1/8 cup each) + remove from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.

That’s it! It tastes great while still warm or for breakfast the next day. Spread with jam, lemon curd, orange marmalade, maple syrup… whatever you like. Sounds like it would be perfect served with a mimosa, but I’ll have to wait till after baby for that one!

Enjoy!

~katie

 

Weekends Were Made For…

Dinner out for work functions / Catching up on Justified / Pancakes with Vermont maple syrup / A dozen pink balloons / Singing “Happy Birthday” / Two kinds of nachos for dinner / Watching Shaun of the Dead for the first time / Breakfast Burritos / Sending husby off to Alabama…

~katie