Making Bagels

Is there a more satisfying breakfast food than a good bagel?  I believe there is not.  Where I grew up, there was this little, hole-in-the-wall bagel shop right up the street.  The kind that are only open until noon and that have fresh made bagels every day.  When I moved up to Newmarket last year, I couldn’t find a bagel shop like this anywhere!  Say what you will, but grocery store bagels don’t even come close.  So I learned how to make my own!  I got this recipe from googling online and I’ve been loyal to it ever since.

Ingredients:

For the bagels:

4 cups Bread Flour

2 tsp Salt

1 Tbsp yeast

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 1/2 warm water

For the wash:

4 cups water

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1/2 Tbsp white sugar

Process:

Measure out the water and add the yeast and brown sugar.  Stir together until the mixture gets frothy and let sit.  Measure out the flour and salt into a large bowl.  Add the water and knead/use the dough hook for your stand mixer for 10-15 minutes until the dough has formed a ball.

Cover and let rise for 1 1/2 hours.

Once the dough has risen (it should double in size) punch it down and turn it out onto a flat, floured surface.  Cut it into 8 equal pieces and form the pieces into balls.  Cover these and let them rise for another 30 minutes.

While the bagels are rising, pre-heat the oven to 475 degrees and prepare the water bath.  Measure out the water and pour it into a deep skillet.  Dissolve in the sugars and cover until the water boils.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with Pam.  Each of the dough balls will have doubled in size again.  Use your thumb to punch a hole through the middle of each dough ball and then swing it around your finger to widen it slightly.  Place the ring into the boiling water and repeat 3 more times.  Let the bagels boil 2 minutes on the first side and then flip and boil for 1 more minute.  Remove with a slatted spatula and place on the baking sheet.  Repeat this process with the remaining 4 bagels.

Bake at 475 for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on the outside.

Ingredients!

Ingredients!

2013-12-19 21.03.47

Forming the pre-bagel dough balls

2013-12-19 21.32.52

The twirl the dough around your finger hole making method in action

Boiling bagels!

Boiling bagels!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: all of these pictures are from our old place in Newmarket as the lighting in our current kitchen is quite poor.  Wasn’t our little ship stove cute!?

I’ve made these bagels an uncountable number of times over the last year or so and I can say that the smell of baking bagels is probably one of my top 10 favorites.  Don’t be daunted by the process.  Go for it and enjoy!

//

Bagel recipe originally found here!

Advertisements

Portsmouth Harbor Cruise!

On Wednesday night we tagged along with Collin’s dad,  Bill, on a sunset cruise around Portsmouth Harbor! It was put on by the local bank (Kennebunk Savings- no fees!) And it was so much fun!  Collin and I had never been out on the water in Portsmouth before and jumped on the opportunity to do something we normally wouldn’t do!  It’s fun playing tourist when vacation season is over!

It was a beautiful September night, a little chilly but not bad at all.  I was impressed/flabbergasted at some of the outfits the ladies on the cruise chose to wear.  I would have been freezing my behind off if I’d been wearing a dress with no tights AND no jacket!  I’m all about the sweaters, pants, and cozy socks as soon as it gets below 60 degrees.

Rt 1 and 95 bridges

Rt 1 and 95 bridges

We boarded around 5:45 and took off out of the Portsmouth Harbor towards the Open Ocean towards the Isle of Shoals.

Portsmouth from the water

Portsmouth from the water

We’d never seen Portsmouth from this side before!  There are some really nice apartments on the water.

Paws off, ladies

Paws off, ladies

What a dreamboat (Get it!?)

Newcastle boats and houses

Newcastle boats and houses

Processed with VSCOcam with a9 preset

 

Newcastle is a cute little suburb of Portsmouth with a really great sandwich shop and waterfront housing!  I’ve only experienced one of these things..

My dates for yhe evening- The Huston Gentlemen

My dates for the evening- The Huston Gentlemen

Processed with VSCOcam with a9 preset

There’s something fantastic about lighthouses.

Sunset over the Portsmouth skyline

Sunset over the Portsmouth skyline

Portsmouth by night

Portsmouth by night

Words fail

Words fail

It was such a treat to spend a beautiful evening on the water!  Find out more about Portsmouth Harbor Cruises here.

Fall in New England, guys. There are few better places to be this time of year!

 

What are you working for? More pressing: Why?

I’ve been at the same job for over a year now. In many ways, this is a huge accomplishment. I am 22 years old, living on my own (with boyfriend), fully(ish) independent from my parents. Like, have my own health insurance, independent. Having a “real” job for a year is a major accomplishment and an opportunity that I am very grateful for. But lately, I’ve become pretty disenchanted with it.  There is not a lot of room for growth at such a small firm and I pretty much peaked in the position after 6 months.  I know how to do my job and, horn tooting aside, I’m pretty good at it.  So, I’ve started to have this itch that it’s time to move on.

For a lot of people this is mostly daunting in the “how” category.  They know what they want, it’s just a matter of making that happen.  I’ve been really been stuck back on the “what”.  I want a change but I have no idea what I want that change to be.  The more I sat and stew on this conundrum, the more upset I got- What do I want to do?  Not even with jobs, just anything?  I drew blank after blank and eventually just started doodling flowers in my journal because those feel nice and better than crippling self doubt.

What I discovered, while hiking around last weekend (go figure), is that I can’t pressure myself into figuring this stuff out.  The more I was pushing myself to answer this question, the more overwhelmed and despondent I became.  So, during the mile or so that I hiked by myself last Sunday, I took a breath, and let my mind wander to stuff that I’ve day dreamed about in the past and to things that have been important for me for awhile, whether or not I’ve been aware of it.

2014-09-16 02.06.53 1

And voila! Here’s my List of Goals to Score (SPORT METAPHOR)!

  • Keep increasing fitness – I am not known for my physical prowess (stop laughing, Amanda), but I have been trying to at least maintain a decent baseline fitness mostly so I can keep up with Collin in the mountains.  Lately I’ve reached a plateau and haven’t been motivated to push myself out (off?) of it.  So, I’m going to work on running longer/faster and on putting yoga back into my routine as well because I haven’t done yoga all summer and a headstand would be a sick party trick.
  • Learn French – I had planned to take French during my last year at UNH but then, with accelerating my graduation, I couldn’t fit it into my schedule.  I’ve  also wanted to go back to Paris ever since I left in 2011 and it’d be magical to be able to speak the language if/when I go back.  Community College classes here I come!
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter – I miss having animals around and I have a lot of free time so, it’s only logical that I spend some time cuddling some puppies and kitties who really need it.
  • Learn about grant writing – Pending investigation, I think this could be a good career move for me.  I love to write (you had no idea, right?) and I would still like to have a job where I feel like I’m “doing good”.  So I’m going to learn more about the field and what I can do to get some background in it.  How cool would it be if I could write grants for animal shelter funding?!
  • Become a master blogger – Not really, but maybe!  I’m going to try to keep writing here more consistently and one a lot of different topics – I even have a list!  Setting out time for myself and this blog has been really great for me and I want to keep it up!  It also means that I need to start taking more pictures because, let’s face it, just word only posts are really boring.

Having a tangible list of things to achieve feels so good.  I don’t feel like I’m floundering and wasting my time.  I have the “what” to work towards and, more importantly, I have the “why” and that feels awesome.

Daily motivation and "take a breath" reminder.

Daily motivation and “take a breath” reminder

“Growth is not a steady, forward, upward progression.  It is indeed a switchback trail: three steps forward, two back, one around the bushes, and a few simply standing, before another forward leap.” – Dorothy Corkille Briggs

//

My keychain is from Three Potato Four which is a cute lil online shop that sells collected stuff and home decor along with these key tags.  Collin has one that says “RAD” for obvious reasons.

Happy (almost) Fall!

Hi hello, welcome to September!  I love this time of year.  To be fair, I love most times of the year except those days in the middle of July when it feels like you skin is melting off (too hot) and the last days of March when there is still snow on the ground no matter how sunny it’s been outside.  Fall is my favorite, though.  It’s not bitterly cold like Winter, but you can finally breathe again after the heat and humidity of the summer, and it’s so beautiful, especially in New England where people travel to see the leaves (seriously).

Last Fall on Central Street in Newmarket.  Black & white film

Last Fall on Central Street in Newmarket. Black & white film

MY TOP 10 FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT FALL IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

1. Wearing tall socks

And, more generally, shoes that require tall socks (boots!). I like the change over and keeping my feet toasty.

2. Taking my sweaters out of storage

They smell equal parts like the tuperware they’ve lived in for the summer and moth balls, which makes no sense since I don’t use moth balls, and the first time you pull one on, you realize how cold you’ve been for days.

3. Mulled apple cider

As someone who does not enjoy tea, I very much like the second option for a hot beverage that isn’t coffee.

4. Apple everything

Picking them, eating them, baking and cooking with them.

5. My birthday (!!!)

C’mon guys, that’s not a surprise.

6. The foliage

It’s breathtaking and it changes every single day.  I almost crashed my car (exaggeration) several times last fall because the trees next to the on-ramp where so spectacular!

7. Decorative Gourd Season Motherf*ckers

Always. 

8. Seeing your breath for the first time

I’m a weirdo that loves the cold but that’s why I moved here!

9. That all the summer tourists have gone home

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that the tourist industry is huge and very beneficial for New England, but it’s also really nice to be able to walk around town without getting mowed down by angry travelers and to get a dinner reservation on the weekends.

10. “Fall Jackets”

They don’t provide any real warmth, but it feels so nice to give them some air time and have an extra set of sleeves in the chillier mornings even if you know you won’t need the coat in the afternoon.

I know, I know it’s not “technically” fall yet. But the last 2 nights have been a little chilly, I’m wearing one of my favorite sweaters for the first time in a while, and I’m to excited to wait to blog about it on 9/23/14!

What are your favorite things about fall?

THEN//NOW- CRANMORE EDITION

As you may know, depending on who you are, I broke my wrist on March 30, 2013.  I did this while skiing at Cranmore mountain in North Conway, NH with my very new boyfriend Collin and his friend Brent.  It was a gorgeous early spring day in NH and I was just up visiting for the week because I hadn’t moved up here quite yet.  We had free lift tickets that Collin had somehow scored and were feeling pretty invincible overall.  Naturally, what happened next was a direct result of that giddy feeling.  I stopped paying attention, went over a headwall, and yardsaled right under the main chairlift.

After getting patched up at the hospital – a mostly hilarious experience due to our ski-bumminess and the morphine they gave me- we headed off to Easter dinner at Collin’s parent’s house.  Of note, this was my first time meeting them as his girlfriend.  We had a lovely meal altogether after getting over the shock and awe of what I’d managed to do to myself that day.  I won’t say that the morphine didn’t play a big role in my extremely good mood.

When we got back to Collin’s college apartment, the morphine was wearing off and I was starting to feel a little cranky and defiantly independent.  Collin came into the bathroom to find me balancing my freshly broken arm on my flamingo-ed leg while trying to turn on the lights.  I quote, “Are you f*cking kidding me, Katherine?”  The following picture he took just moments after this interaction and I think he would say that, to date, it is still his favorite picture of me.  Every time he sees it he chuckles a little and says “you punk.”

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 10.17.21 PM

 

2 casts, 1 move, and a college graduation later I was cast-less and living in NH with Collin.  We both agree that it was pretty damn lucky, that Week of the Splint, that we had already been friends for years before dating.  There were a lot of barriers that we’d already broken down and a lot that we were comfortable with saying to each other.  Like when I told me I was an idiot for trying to turn the lights on by myself.  Or when I needed help doing my hair in the morning because I only had one hand.  I’m not sure many 2 week old relationships could have handled such a traumatic event as well as we were able to.

Last week, Labor Day, Collin and our two friends did the Presidential traverse (10 peaks, 9,000′ elevation gain, 12 hours).  I went along for support, although I admit, it was semi-grudgingly.  I didn’t join them for the traverse and, instead, spent the day in N. Conway, NH.  I won’t say it was the most exciting day because it wasn’t.  But it did give me the opportunity to get the below picture which felt pretty great.

Sorry Mom

That is my manicured hand flipping off a blurry Cranmore in the distance (in case that wasn’t obvious). The point of this post is mostly the humor of it because flipping things off is funny and that whole day, 3/30/13, as terrible as it was, was also pretty funny.  The point of this post is also to acknowledge that shit things sometimes happen but they show you a) your own strength, endurance, perseverance, and what you can and absolutely cannot do one handed  b) that your friends and family are there for you no matter what stupid thing you did (Thanks Mom, Dad, and Church Street!) c) and that you really should try to be more careful next time because you’re not invincible, you idiot.

THEN: Collin was my best friend and great under pressure.

NOW: Ditto and so much more.

THEN: I was 100% fearless on a mountain

NOW: I got back up to 85% fearless by the end of the season but really, nothing is worth breaking a bone again and I have kind of a pathological fear of falling down.

THEN: I flipped the bird really well.

NOW: Same.

This has been a weird and fun blog post!  Sorry for all the cursing, Mom.