Sourdough Success

I am currently in the groove with sourdough. I remember to feed my starter. I don’t hesitate before throwing away some of the discard. I’m even finding recipes I like.

I usually stick with Cooks Illustrated or King Arthur Flour for all of my baking recipe needs, but I haven’t loved their sourdough options. I picked up a copy of Artisan Sourdough Made Simple by Emilie Raffa and it has changed my sourdough world.

The cookbook is worth it for the cinnamon sugar sourdough waffle recipe – if you enjoy mini donuts at fairs and carnivals you would love these waffles. I wish I would remember to take a picture of the waffles, but the waffles are devoured before I remember to take photos every single time. Everyone in my family loves these waffles, even John, who is a self-proclaimed pancake snob. The waffles use discard, so I usually make them once a week when I’m feeding the starter.

I’ve also made country farmhouse white sandwich bread from Raffa’s book. It was delicious, easy, and perfect for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (we eat a lot of those in this house).20190311_1037518648076420246029432.jpg I made the best bread I’ve ever made using another recipe in the book: Decadent Chocolate Chip. It has a flavor similar to pain au chocolat, which means I’m in danger of eating a loaf of bread in a day. This is going to be my going to a brunch and bring a fancy gift bread from now on.20190312_0852566909099110063027743.jpg

In addition to baking enough bread to feed an army I’ve been getting the kids outside as much as possible now that it is above freezing. We went to the zoo yesterday and I snapped this tigertastic photo.20190311_1232406824261146548530294.jpg

I hope your week is carb filled and above freezing too.

WIP Wednesday: 47/52

Happy Wednesday! It’s cold here, so naturally we spent the morning at the zoo.  I love the zoo in winter. The animals are active, so they are more fun to watch. We are usually the only people there when the temperature is below freezing, which means the kids can run around without running into people. I don’t know why more people don’t visit in the cold, but I suspect it may have to do with their lack of fleece lined jeans.

I really enjoy the start of winter. I like sipping hot tea and knitting whenever possible. 

This week I almost finished Elliot’s Christmas sweater. It is currently blocking (please excuse the bad photo, in the winter I block in the basement). I still have to sew the pockets on and weave in the ends. The pockets look awful right now, so I’m hoping that sewing them on will fix them. If not, this sweater might not have pockets after all. I am hoping the buttons get here next week.

I’m working on the toe of my first sock. I am almost ready to start working on socks again.

I’m about to cast on my next project. I’m making the everyday shawl. Instead of using a gradient kit I’m using Shibori-dyed yarn. I’m going to alternate skeins. 

This is what the yarn looks like in hanks.

And this is what it looks like in cakes.

Once I wound the yarn it became obvious that the are too different to knit one skein at a time. 

Other than the shawl, I’m thinking I might knit up some mittens for the kids or slipper socks for my mother-in-law. I usually make her some felted slippers, but I really don’t like felting projects and I don’t think I have it in me this year.

Are you knitting any Christmas gifts this year?

Zoo Fun

This morning we met my friend Todd at the zoo. My kids call him Uncle Todd. I call him Hot Toddy. Everyone loves him.

Todd was running a few minutes behind, so the kids and I played at the park until he got there. The park is for big kids, which doesn’t slow Audrey down. She loves to climb.20180712_1021048175959471285283158.jpg

Once Todd arrived we headed in to the zoo. We went our regular route, with the added stop to see the new okapi. Elliot loved talking to Todd about everything we saw.20180712_1053545672542648848004442.jpg

He also loved talking to the baby lions.


The biggest treat for all of us was riding the camels. This is going to be a once a summer treat for us, as it is $6 a person. We all loved it. Audrey got off the camel and immediately asked to go again.

After the camel rides we decided to head home. It was so hot we needed to get out of the heat for a bit.

I love having a zoo pass. It makes going to the zoo for an hour something that we can do every week.

World Giraffe Day

Happy World Giraffe Day! What? You didn’t know that was a day that needed to be celebrated? Well, neither did I until last year when Audrey became obsessed with giraffes. Now that we are a giraffe obsessed household I decided it was high time we started celebrating the holiday.


We celebrated with a trip to the zoo. It was a drizzly, overcast morning. That weather was perfect for us – it kept people away. There wasn’t a long line to feed the giraffes. On beautiful days there is a long line, which doesn’t work with a two-year old and a three-year old. Today we only had to wait about five minutes before it was our turn.

I think feeding the giraffes might become a new World Giraffe Day tradition for us. I love that the kids get the experience of feeding them, but it isn’t something I want to pay for on every trip to the zoo.

How did you celebrate World Giraffe Day?


Kansas City Weekend

Happy Sunday! We made it back from our quick trip to Kansas City. It was a fun weekend.

On the three-hour drive down we stopped at the first rest area in Missouri to play and take a nature walk. It was hot – in the 90s. It was so hot Audrey decided she should walk down slides instead of sliding down them. That went about as well as you would think, and she ended up falling on her face. Luckily the playground was on the bouncy rubbery material that keeps kids from getting hurt. It was just enough of a shock to keep her from doing it again (hopefully).

On Saturday we went to my brother’s house to celebrate my niece’s graduation from High School. It was a great party. The highlight was discovering that Audrey is a natural at karaoke. She saw the machine and got to work singing nursery rhymes. Bailey, the graduate, was kind enough to sing a few songs with her.

None of us slept well last night, but we had been promising the kids a trip to the Kansas City Zoo for weeks. We decided to skip brunch and get some time in at the zoo before the kids crashed. I’m so glad we went. John hates to travel, so I like to squeeze family vacation moments in whenever I can.

We headed for home after a quick stop for lunch. Elliot, who woke up half asleep this morning, never napped. I have some very tired kids. Maybe they will even let us sleep in a little tomorrow.

I hope you had a great start to your long weekend!


Zoo Morning

We are still enjoying beautiful weather here, so the kids and I headed out to the zoo this morning. We should have gone to the grocery store, but I decided it would be better to play at the zoo this morning and have a pizza picnic instead of cooking dinner. It was the right choice.

We have a membership to Blank Park Zoo. It’s a small zoo only 20 minutes from our house. We visit often; it is not unusual for us to go every week. I love that we can visit until the kids are starting to get hungry and tired. It is a great place to spend a morning.

This was the first day this year that we have been at the zoo when it has been warm enough for the giraffes to be outside. It was nice to see them enjoying the sunshine instead of looking depressed in their enclosure.

Both kids wanted to bring their animals into the zoo. Now that I’ve discovered the mitten clip trick having the animals with us is less terrifying.  I ended up being happy that giraffe came with us when Audrey had giraffe look through the fence at the other giraffes.

Other than the giraffes we looked at the rhinos, fed the goats, peeked at the monkeys, and spent a shocking amount of time looking at the people cleaning the sea-lion and seal pool. We spent a little over an hour there, which is a long time for us. It was a great visit, and Audrey is already talking about the things she wants to do the next time we visit.