Thursday, October 31, 2013

october 2013 in review

Monday, October 28, 2013

november 2013 photo a day challenge

yes, really.  NOVEMBER PEOPLE!
follow mine on instagram @alohaneener

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

beer bread revisited

I love a good hard cider and whenever I see a brand I haven't tried before, I'm always game to see how it compares.  For the record, my all-time favorite is called Savannah and I've only ever seen it outside the US.  It's a dry cider, not sickly sweet or overly fruity.  Anyhow, I spotted an Irish cider I've never had before and decided to try it out.  I'm not a fan.  It tastes like beer.  And though I love beer too, I don't want my cider to taste like beer.  Instead of wasting the cider or forcing myself to drink it, I decided to do a little experiment.

I've made beer bread before using an apricot ale and it was pretty tasty.  I wondered how it would taste using cider instead.  And to amp up the fall flavor, I decided to add some chopped fresh apples and walnuts.  Good gracious, this was sooo yummy!  And of course it made the house smell amazing while it baked.

Here's my recipe...
3 cups bread flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
1-12oz bottle hard cider
1/4-1/2 cup butter
1 cup chopped apples
1/2 cup rough chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
Add the cider, apples and walnuts and mix until just combined – do not over mix! The batter should be somewhat lumpy.
Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Press down gently with a spatula or the back of the spoon to even out the dough, but do not press firmly or smooth.
Pour the melted butter over the batter.
Bake for approximately 1 hour (check after 45 minutes – mine was done in 50).  The bread should be slightly golden in color but not darker, otherwise it will dry out.
Let cool for approximately 15 minutes.

Easy to make substitutions.  Let me know if you try it!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

kids free october

October in San Diego is the month for checking out some of those attractions that tend to get pricey when you've got kids to pay for.  Most places are free for kids until they turn 3 and if your kid is anything like S, everyone will know when they are no longer a "little baby 2 yr old" so don't even think about trying to pass them off as one.

This year we've had to upgrade some of our memberships to include the child membership for places like LEGOLAND and the San Diego Zoo/Safari Park.  For those of you with kids older than 3, take advantage of this month's specials to treat your family to some fun just in time for cooler weather.

Some of our favorite places are participating.  The Zoo/Safari Park, most of the museums at Balboa Park (to include the Natural History Museum and the Fleet Science Center), the San Diego Botanical Garden, LEGOLAND, and more are offering free entry for kids all month!  You can check out the whole list, including a lot of hotels and restaurants, here.  This is also great for grandparents, aunts and uncles, and/or babysitters who might want to treat some parents to a little break.  (wink, wink!) 


As promised, here is a video of S reading to N.  I love when he realizes I'm filming.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013