lunch

Mirror Lake and a Girl’s Day

On Thursday I took Logan to daycare and then Miss B and I got to do our own thing! I packed up some stuff and we drove up to Mount Hood, listening to Beth Hart and Lucinda Williams CDs. Bella was super excited for an adventure!

It was such a nice day and I had the whole day to do whatever I wanted. I wasn’t really up for working out yet (still a little sick) but an easy hike in some fresh air sounded right. I looked around for some hikes near us but found that the Gorge hikes are still largely closed due to the Eagle Creek Fire last year. Multnomah Falls is open but not all the way. So I decided to drive out to Mirror Lake.

Mirror Lake has been on my To Do List for years! It’s a super popular hike, though, and so we’ve never done it. Thee’s not a ton of parking available and it always fills up fast.

I got to the trailhead at 9:20 AM and I got the last parking spot (barely).

Bella and I got ready and headed out on the trail. You cross a bridge right away and I had to kind of wrangle Bella to get up on it and walk across and then she was ok. We hiked through the forest on a pretty manicured trail and then crossed another bridge.

Bella did great! The trail started to climb a little bit but it was never too steep or difficult. I thought it would be a good hike for Logan to do but then we came to this little area of rock scramble:

It looks worse than it was but it would be hard for a toddler to navigate. So not sure if Logan is ready for this one yet,

After the rocks, there were some mild switchbacks. We hike through the old growth alpine forest. It was fairly crowded but not too bad. Not like I imagine weekends to be! We got to a fork in the trail and took a left across this bridge:

The trail climbed again through some more forest and then it opened up and I got glimpses of the lake. Oh, one thing to note: The mosquitoes were SUPER bad! I got a few bites! Thankfully I had some bug spray in my backpack and so I put some of that on (a little too late, though).

The trail goes around the small lake and then there are parts of the forest that open up to the lakeside and you get THIS amazing view!

HELLO! There’s the mountain! What a perfect picture, too! It was so pretty. And all around the lake there were swarms of butterflies EVERYWHERE! It was kind of creepy, honestly! So many!

I walked around the lake (it’s pretty small) and then headed back down the trail. All in all it was a really nice, fairly easy hike. It’s good for older kids and was good for dogs. It would be a nice place to hike in and have a picnic lunch by the lake. Don’t forget your bug spray!

We got back to the car. I had packed some lunch in a cooler but it was only 11am so I decided to just drive home and eat there. Home to have lunch, shower, nap (I was worn out!) and then I spent the afternoon at the Oregon Humane Society.

I did NOT come home with a cat. 😉 But there were plenty of adorable ones! I found one that I loved. But she was a) a kitten–and I think I want a cat that’s around a year or two old and b) she looked exactly like Yggdrasil but with gold eyes. It made me cry a bit when I saw her and I just couldn’t do it. I think my next cat will have to look different than my baby did, otherwise I think I’d feel too sad.

But it was nice to look around. There were a TON of kittens at the Humane Society!

FRIDAY

Friday I went to the gym and then I got to take my new car on a little mini road trip! Some friends came over and we went to Sokol Blosser for a picnic lunch and tasting. None of them had ever been there, so it was nice to share it with them.

We had various cheeses, hummus and naan, tons of fruit and crackers. It was such a perfect day for a picnic!

After that we spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the sun and nice breeze at Stoller:

I stuck with water at the second place and they split a bottle of the Stoller Chardonnay (they all loved it as I knew they would!). It was nice just lounging in the chairs in the sun catching up with friends. I think Erika and I are going to do the Stoller 5k Race next year!

It was such a nice day! I got slightly sunburned, even though I used sunscreen! But other than that, it was chill and relaxing and perfect for my soul. 🙂

Baker Baker

I need some advice! But first, a cute photo of Logan and me cuddling on the couch early Saturday morning:

Over the long weekend I finally got to try my very first loaf of sourdough bread. I’ve never made bread before (except for Sheepherder’s Bread and I think I killed the yeast and it never rose) but it’s been something that both Michael and I have wanted to try doing for years.

My friend gave me some of her sourdough starter probably a month or so ago. I’ve been feeding it every week and it smelled so good and sour. I was really excited to try this. So Saturday morning after the gym I got started on prepping and making the dough because I knew it would be an all day process.

First off, having the Kitchenaid mixer for making bread is AMAZING. I barely had to do any of the kneading.

Second, even though I fed the starter a lot and gave it extra leading up to the weekend, I still didn’t have quite enough for the recipe. So I had to feed the starter more right before. Maybe that changed things? I don’t honestly know.

I followed the instructions of the recipe I used (recommended by my friend). I had found another recipe, too, that I thought sounded good. I think I will try that recipe next time and see how it goes.

EASY SOURDOUGH ARTISAN BREAD RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour (white whole wheat, whole wheat, unbleached, or a combo)
  • 1-1/4 cups water (may need less if your starter is “wetter”- mine is a 100% hydration starter, fed an equal ratio of flour to water)
  • 3/4 cup active sourdough starter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl) just until combined and then let sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Using a dough hook, knead for 5 minutes. If making by hand, knead for 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl, lightly coated with oil. Cover with plastic and let rise for 3 hours, turning and folding the dough once or twice.
  4. Remove dough, turn and fold again, and place it back in the bowl, seam-side up. Let rise for another 2 hours.
  5. After the second rise, place a square of parchment on a cookie sheet and gently shape the dough into a ball or oval (using lots of flour, as the dough is moist) and set on the parchment. Make sure there’s a good coating of flour on the top, as this will make slicing the top later easier.
  6. Set an enameled, cast iron dutch oven into a cold oven and turn heat to 450 degrees (alternately, you can use a baking stone), and set the timer for 40 minutes.
  7. When the timer goes off, slash the top of the loaf with a serrated knife (in 2-3 places) and transfer it to the hot pot by holding the edges of the parchment (or stone).
  8. Replace the hot lid and bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking for another 13-15 minutes, until golden brown.
  9. Remove to a wire rack to cool at least 30 minutes before cutting.
  10. NOTES
  11. Slicing tip: if you don’t have a good serrated knife, try using an electric knife to easily slice through crusty artisan bread. I works like a charm and even cuts through warm breads without squishing the crusts like regular knives do.

Notes

From: https://anoregoncottage.com/easy-sourdough-artisan-bread/2/

http://www.110pounds.com/?p=54767

Since this was my first loaf ever, I didn’t have high expectations. I knew it would take practice but I was still a little bummed out it didn’t turn out like it should. I think I should have let it rise longer than the 5 hours the recipe called for. Because the dough didn’t really look like it rose all that much from when I started it…

Next time, I won’t use my dutch oven to bake it, either. One of the options of the recipe was to use a baking/pizza stone. We have one that makes GREAT pizza so I will try that next time.

Overall the bread was OK but not great. It was really dense. It weighed a freakin’ ton. It wasn’t the light, airy sourdough I was expecting. I’m not sure what I need to do differently in the future. I read through some messages boards online and none of them were really clear. It could have been too wet, not wet enough, maybe I didn’t let it rise enough, maybe it had too much gluten in it, maybe not enough…HELPFUL.

So I could definitely use some advice from bread baking experts out there! What did I do wrong? How do I make the bread LIGHT and AIRY?

In other news…on Sunday we went out to lunch for Logan’s BFF’s birthday. I had an AMAZING burger on AMAZING bread. 😀

Lunch was at Hopworks. It’s a great place, good food and it’s very kid-friendly, which is nice. We were in a back room for kids so that was good, too.

Seriously, look at that bun! It was SO GOOD. I wish I could make bread like that. My burger had swiss cheese, toasted hazelnuts, caramelized onions, arugula and lemon aioli on it. It was to die for. One of the best burgers I’ve had in a long time.

The above photo was the toys at the restaurant in the kid’s area. (Great idea!) Logan had cheese pizza with apple slices on the side (decent pizza, too).

QUESTION: Master bakers, HELP ME!