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Not Quite Amish http://notquiteamishliving.com Sun, 15 Nov 2015 17:20:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.14 Life Is Good In The Summer http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/life-good-summer/ http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/life-good-summer/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 12:00:46 +0000 http://notquiteamishliving.com/?p=7251 Are you enjoying summer? I am basking in the delightful sun and love having no set schedule but the one I make. Before we know it school will be starting (my kiddos already got their schedules!) and we all will be rushing around again. Well, at least that’s how it feels in my house. I […]

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Are you enjoying summer? I am basking in the delightful sun and love having no set schedule but the one I make. Before we know it school will be starting (my kiddos already got their schedules!) and we all will be rushing around again. Well, at least that’s how it feels in my house. I will be extra sad to see summer go this year because it has been an all-around fun one. Life is slower and more relaxed in June, July, and August. Right? I think a few people will agree with me for sure. You take your vacations, or in my case “staycations”, grill out a few nights a week, and sit alongside the pool. Sigh. Life is good in the summer. I am going to throw in that I prefer water balloon fights over the pool though. (I am NOT a swimmer!)

I thought it would be fun to share a few pictures that I have posted on Instagram of my summer so far. I enjoy snapping random pics of life. Be it a little critter who visits my backyard or something else I find intriguing, I click away. Some I post and some I keep just for me.

Peaches

First of all, summer doesn’t feel like summer until I have a juicy ripe peach. I mean come on. Seriously! Don’t these beauties look lovely? We take peaches seriously in my neck of the woods. Very seriously.

Peacock

I visited with this here peacock at the flea market. So pretty! Raise your hand if you like flea markets? I do!

Donuts

Umm…just so you know I didn’t eat all of these donuts but came pretty close to doing so. My purchases were forty percent off since it was a Saturday night. Score! On a side note, I didn’t indulge until the next morning because I ate too much chicken.

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 11.09.39 AM

A new baby was born in my neighborhood and I must say she/he is beautiful. Horses are such magnificent creatures.

The-Book-Loft

We ventured to the big ol city of Columbus in June. This awesome little gem is called The Book Loft. Such fun times I have when perusing books stores. I could stay in here for a very, very long time.

Schmidts-Sausage-Haus

One must eat after book shopping so our restaurant of choice was Schmidt’s Sausage Haus. They serve world famous sausages and my daughter swears she could eat her weight in their applesauce if I let her. This is the sign on the front door welcoming you in.

How are you spending your summer? I hope your days are being filled with gorgeous blue skies, lots of fun adventures, firecracker popsicles, and s’mores.


What’s your summer been filled with? @michelle__dawn shares her summer goings on @notquiteamish
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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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I Hate Summer http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/hate-summer/ http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/hate-summer/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 12:00:13 +0000 http://notquiteamishliving.com/?p=7239 I have tried to like summer, really I have. I wrote about summer in my May post. But I was faking. I hate summer. Summer is hot and humid and I’d rather curl up inside with a book or my knitting. I love nature just not when it’s trying to cook me the minute I […]

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hatesummer

I have tried to like summer, really I have. I wrote about summer in my May post. But I was faking. I hate summer. Summer is hot and humid and I’d rather curl up inside with a book or my knitting. I love nature just not when it’s trying to cook me the minute I step outside. I like nature when she’s chilly, when I have to wear a sweater or even take an umbrella with me when I go out for a walk. I am not alone. Comedian Jim Gaffigan confirms: Summer is no vacation as far as he’s concerned. We agree, sometimes it feels like summer is an obligation to enjoy yourself. Hence I fake it.

Autumn is my favorite season with winter, yes winter, coming in a very close second. I’ve posted about that before too, you can find them here and here. So why this chat of season dysfunction? Well I am melting in my first New York heat wave, and I’m not a fan. While most folks love summer, my guess is there have to be a few others just like me who are waiting for the first frost. Anyone?

Are there others who are looking forward to comfort food in the form of a hearty stew, or a big pan of bread pudding? Anyone else want to hear the crunch of leaves under foot? How bout being excited about buying school supplies and waiting for the first time you pull on your winter coat. Okay maybe I’ve gone too far. We will have to shovel after all.

But embracing what you love is not a bad thing. Waiting for summer to be over is kind of like counting the days till Christmas. I know one day all this sunshine and sweatiness will be over. Just as a storm can’t last forever neither can the heat of summer. And when you come right down to it I need all the seasons. I love to see the flowers pop out in Spring. I love to taste the first ice cream cone of summer. Those are treats. They would be commonplace if I didn’t have them balanced next to the crisp and cold of the other seasons. So I’ll give summer another chance. After all the first day of autumn is 57 days away (September 23). You summer lovers have lots of time to enjoy the heat! I’ll be here smiling with a sweater when you get cold in November.

What is your favorite season? Why?


Embracing what you love is not a bad thing! Lisa Bogart @notquiteamish
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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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A Lesson–Too Late http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/lesson-late/ http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/lesson-late/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 12:00:13 +0000 http://notquiteamishliving.com/?p=7235 It’s been over a quarter of a century since I penned the poem below, and in the spirit of the “older women teaching the younger women,” I’m sharing the poem and a quiet nudge to you young mothers out there. Take time to breathe. To enjoy. To delight. To savor the still moments of the […]

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Hollyhocks-bright-pink-close-up

It’s been over a quarter of a century since I penned the poem below, and in the spirit of the “older women teaching the younger women,” I’m sharing the poem and a quiet nudge to you young mothers out there. Take time to breathe. To enjoy. To delight. To savor the still moments of the nightwatch. As my mother told me, these days will go by in a flash. (And they did–the four kids on the haystack are adults now.) CHERISH the moments you have with your babies and young children, for tomorrow … they will be grown.

Kids-on-Haystack

By the way, you may notice mention of only three children in the poem … and four on the haystack. God has a sense of humor. I got the chance to follow my own advice and to cherish the moments. And I did.

A Lesson–Too Late

Had I known how quickly they would grow,
I would have cherished the moments more.
Those still, dark hours of night
When there was only me
and the smallest cheek to touch.
I would have marveled more at the utter satin-softness
and grumbled less about the lost sleep.

Had I known how quickly they would grow,
We would have rocked and cuddled close
long after sleep returned
To close those infant eyes.
I would have hummed more tunes
into the hush of night.

But nights grew long and I soon lost
The joy of my night watch.
I longed for my own pillow, then,
And hastily rocked, put back to bed.

And now they are gone–those quiet nights
While Brooke, or Zach, or Shannon
lay in my arms, holding tight
To my robe, lest I leave.

Now Brooke is grown–and Zach too busy being “stwong”
to cuddle much.
And Shannon learns to crawl away
And sleeps the night. “At last!” I think.
So uninterrupted nights return and
I’m amazed to learn
That I shed tears for those quiet times, forever gone,
Of nuzzling and baby grunts and sighs.

My infant days are over now —
a new season of life unfolds.
But I would have cherished those nights much more–
Had I known.


CHERISH the moments you have with your children, for tomorrow…they will be grown. @notquiteamish
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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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Choosing to Embrace the Summer Chaos http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/choosing-embrace-summer-chaos/ http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/choosing-embrace-summer-chaos/#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 12:00:51 +0000 http://notquiteamishliving.com/?p=7227 I love summer! For the past few years, ours has been full of camps, trips, and holiday celebrations with family.  So far this year, we’ve had cheerleading camp, youth camp with our church group, a beach vacation with family mixed with a couple of birthdays and other holiday celebrations. My daughter is spending this week with […]

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Choosing to Embrace the Summer Chaos

I love summer! For the past few years, ours has been full of camps, trips, and holiday celebrations with family.  So far this year, we’ve had cheerleading camp, youth camp with our church group, a beach vacation with family mixed with a couple of birthdays and other holiday celebrations. My daughter is spending this week with her best friend who lives in another state and we still have two more birthdays to celebrate.

When I look at the calendar marked up with days away from home and the days we are home with their doctor appointments and church activities, I have a choice—embrace or resent.

I made the decision in May: I choose to embrace the chaos and see the opportunities for building relationships and making memories. 

Yes, we’re tired sometimes. Yes, on the days when we have nothing to do I’m likely to stay in my pajamas all day. Yes, we could do less.

But this is a season … and all too soon it will pass.  My girl is fifteen. Her sophomore year of high school starts in less than one month. In just two summers we’ll be getting senior pictures made and planning college visits.

So, we go — to camps and on trips, to see movies and to celebrate birthdays. We’re gone more than we’re home, it’s true. But we’re together. In a few years, our summers will look different. And I have a feeling we’ll miss all this.

Choose to embrace the summer chaos and see the opportunities!

My choice really wasn’t hard and it has brought me far more joy than I can explain. I’ve learned this: sometimes being busy together is the best place to be!

How do you manage the busy seasons in your family’s life?


Choose to embrace the chaos & see the opportunities for building relationships! @TeriLynneU
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Time To Celebrate! http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/time-celebrate/ http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/time-celebrate/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 12:00:16 +0000 http://notquiteamishliving.com/?p=7216 A Very Merry Unbirthday to You!! Not heard of an unbirthday? It’s from Alice in Wonderland. Honestly I’m not sure if it is a Lewis Carroll creation or a Disney addition but it’s is a great excuse for a party either way. After all there are more unbirthdays than birthdays every day! Think about it, […]

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A Very Merry Unbirthday to You!! Not heard of an unbirthday? It’s from Alice in Wonderland. Honestly I’m not sure if it is a Lewis Carroll creation or a Disney addition but it’s is a great excuse for a party either way. After all there are more unbirthdays than birthdays every day! Think about it, you get 364 every year. Teehee.

I’ve been thinking about celebrations and how sometimes the expectations are so high for milestone in our lives: significant birthdays, graduations, new houses, new babies, new jobs. There are all kinds of reasons to celebrate. And there should be, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes the pressure to have a really good time or a fantastic celebration is hard to pull off.

So I was thinking why not throw a shindig for no apparent reason what so ever, just like the gang in Wonderland. It’s probably everyone’s unbirthday at your house this week. What if you were to surprise someone with a celebration just because it’s Wednesday? Why not? Summer is a great time to add a little silliness to your life. Try it out. Ice cream for dinner. Cards taped to the bathroom mirror. Balloons in the living room. Squirt guns in the backyard. There are all kinds of ways to put a smile on a family member’s face today. And not just the kids, hard working parents could use a break too. I challenge you to celebrate an unbirthday today.


Happy unbirthday! Find a reason to celebrate today! Lisa Bogart @notquiteamish
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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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On reading and writing Amish fiction http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/reading-writing-amish-fiction/ http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/reading-writing-amish-fiction/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 12:00:48 +0000 http://notquiteamishliving.com/?p=7206 I recently asked readers what they like most about reading Amish fiction. Here are a few of the answers: Amish fiction transports me to the simpler life that I wish I were living in with my family. The beautiful, rural settings always leave me with a sense of peace. I love their lifestyle, their faith, […]

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Amish_Farm_Lancaster_County_PA_8publicdomain.1

I recently asked readers what they like most about reading Amish fiction. Here are a few of the answers:

  • Amish fiction transports me to the simpler life that I wish I were living in with my family. The beautiful, rural settings always leave me with a sense of peace.
  • I love their lifestyle, their faith, and their closeness with family and community.
  • I enjoy reading Amish stories [and] learning that our lives are really not that different…
  • I love that they don’t seem to be so focused on accumulating things.
  • …reading Amish books has truly help me stay grounded.

I know that no culture is “perfect.” We all struggle with living out our faith, living in community, and living in harmony within our own families. The Amish do too.

But as I thought about readers’ responses, it dawned on me that I enjoy writing Amish fiction for many of the same reasons they enjoy reading the stories. Researching and writing about the Amish makes me think about my own grandparents and great grandparents, all who lived on farms or in rural settings. All had a simple faith in God, accompanied by a simple lifestyle.

On the other hand, my family has lived the typical late twentieth century/early twenty-first century runaround lifestyle. Parenting four kids has meant twenty years of soccer, plus church and Young Life and multiple other activities. Let’s just say my life as a mom has been very different than the lives of my grandmothers—or the average Amish mother.

But visiting with Amish women also makes realize how much we have in common—homemaking, raising children, taking them to appointments, helping them with schoolwork, praying for our families, and investing in friendships of our own. In many ways, our lives aren’t that different.

Writing Amish fiction also helps me stay grounded. In every book I write, I include spiritual journeys that the main characters are going through. Chances are those journeys parallel something in my own life. Writing keeps me grounded and focused and working through what God is teaching me.

All of these things have made me a big fan or writing Amish fiction. If you’re a fan of reading Amish fiction, let me know why in a comment below!


What do you love most about reading Amish fiction? @lesliejeangould @notquiteamish
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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Amish Roots, Part Two: Der Dutchman Heritage Festival at Plain City, Ohio http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/amish-roots-part-two-der-dutchman-heritage-festival-plain-city-ohio/ http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/amish-roots-part-two-der-dutchman-heritage-festival-plain-city-ohio/#respond Fri, 10 Jul 2015 12:00:10 +0000 http://notquiteamishliving.com/?p=7209 In last month’s post, I concentrated on the people at the Heritage Festival at Der Dutchman in Plain City, Ohio. For part two, I’ll highlight the crafts that were demonstrated on May 16. Pete Snellman patiently crafted brooms with this kicker-winder machine. His prowess at this dying art attracted quite a crowd. In my research […]

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Amish-Roots-Title

In last month’s post, I concentrated on the people at the Heritage Festival at Der Dutchman in Plain City, Ohio. For part two, I’ll highlight the crafts that were demonstrated on May 16.

Pete Snellman patiently crafted brooms with this kicker-winder machine.

New-Broom

His prowess at this dying art attracted quite a crowd. In my research for two books about the Underground Railroad Rankin family, I’d learned that eldest son Lowry put himself through seminary school in Cincinnati by crafting handmade brooms in the summer of 1831, even though the broom straw dust made him unbearably itchy. At this link, you can watch a Holmes County Amish woman make a broom. Notice she’s wearing long sleeves to protect her arms from the scratchy broom corn. She acquired the business from Syl Hershberger, a blind man who made brooms for most of his life. In a 1999 Cincinnati Enquirer interview with Syl, he was asked whether as a blind Amish child he was required to help with chores. He was incredulous; of course he helped! He baled hay and tended vegetables, just like his brothers and sisters. He also attended the Ohio State School for the Blind near Columbus through the eighth grade.

Think-Itll-Rain

As I moved on, I passed these two Amish men deep in conversation. Were they discussing the very cool and rainy weather for mid-May? As I passed the many swamped fields on the way to Dayton later that day, I wondered if the corn would be “knee-high by the Fourth of July,” as one of my favorite summer sayings goes. I don’t suppose the Amish men were worried, and I needn’t have been: the cornfields south of Plain City were easily shoulder high by the third week of June, thanks to a hot spell. The good Lord reminds us in Leviticus 26:3-4,

“If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.”

Fresh-Fruit

Speaking of fruit, the staff personnel at Der Dutchman added some luscious color to a gray day with these beautiful arrangements of fresh fruit. Red peppers are fruits, too; the seeds are inside. I’ve seen fruit flower arrangements before, but I enjoyed seeing the natural shapes of the fruit instead of just cookie-cutter shapes of the insides. I wish I had room for the photo of a graceful honeydew melon swan and carved watermelon roses.

Shelling

Next, I wandered over to the antique corn-sheller. As I watched Walter Calvin from Radnor, Ohio crank up the gas-powered engine, it was almost like reliving my old lawn mower days when we tried to start the mower by pulling the cord many times—ugh. Walter had a tussle with the persnickety engine before he got it putt-putting along. At last he funneled dried dent corn into the hopper and the shelled corn plinked into the galvanized tub below. The corn kernels can then be ground into meal for Fried Amish Cornmeal Mush.

In last month’s post, I ran a photo of three little boys on the way to the Der Dutchman booth, which was stocked with cookies, pies, and all sorts of goodies. In the title photo above, you see the proof that they got their treat. You’d think three Amish boys would be plenty familiar with Amish cooking, but I guess kids are the same the world over and never miss an opportunity to beg for something good. And oh, doesn’t an unexpected treat taste so much better? I will never forget when my parents took us all to Dairy Queen. Usually our choices were a DQ (ice cream) Sandwich or a Dilly Bar (soft-serve on a stick coated with a chocolate shell), but on this trip we were allowed to get Parfaits (layered hot fudge sundaes in fluted plastic dishes). My brother and I were so excited that we yelled, “Parfaits!” at the same time, and then I slapped his cheek for good measure. Big sisters, huh? I bet these Amish boys were just as excited when their dad relented.

I’m turning the tables on last month’s question: if you could invite an Amish family to your home, what would you share– a special dish, a tradition, a game, or some modern marvel? Let me know in the comments!


Visit Der Dutchman Heritage Festival at Plain City, Ohio with @StefReedBooks @notquiteamish
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Skillet Strawberry Rhubarb Galette http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/skillet-strawberry-rhubarb-galette/ http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/skillet-strawberry-rhubarb-galette/#respond Tue, 07 Jul 2015 12:00:08 +0000 http://notquiteamishliving.com/?p=7196 A couple years ago, I received a cast-iron skillet as a gift. I had always wanted one but never went ahead and purchased one for myself. I should have done so sooner, because it has become one of my favorite pans in the kitchen. Here’s why: Non-stick surface Once a cast iron skillet is “seasoned” […]

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Strawberry-rhubarb-galette-1-copy

A couple years ago, I received a cast-iron skillet as a gift. I had always wanted one but never went ahead and purchased one for myself. I should have done so sooner, because it has become one of my favorite pans in the kitchen. Here’s why:

Non-stick surface

Once a cast iron skillet is “seasoned” it has a natural non-stick patina (surface sheen). Many skillets now come pre-seasoned, and with regular use and care, the surface continues to develop an even better patina, making food even less likely to stick.

More even cooking

While the pan takes longer to heat up, once it is heated it holds the heat for a long time; and I found it distributes the heat more evenly than most of my other pans.

Affordability

I found a 10-inch cast-iron skillet for less than $20 online and in stores. You cannot beat that for a good, durable pan.

Easy to clean

The non-stick nature of a well-seasoned skillet means easier clean up.

Versatility

This is the only pan I have where I can start cooking something on the stove (like browning the outside of a cut of meat) and move it to the oven to finish cooking. I can sauté, braise, fry, brown, and bake with it. Stovetop or oven, it can handle both.

Strawberry rhubarb galette 2b copy

One of my new favorite dishes to make in my cast-iron skillet is Strawberry Rhubarb Galette. It worked wonderfully for this dessert. It kept the syrup from the filling confined to the pan and kept the crust from getting soggy.

Strawberry rhubarb galette 3 copy

Plus, the galette looks so good in the pan – rustic, simple, and mouthwatering. Here’s the recipe:

Skillet Strawberry Rhubarb Galette
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Dough ingredients:
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1c. whole-wheat flour
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 6-8 Tbsp. ice water
  • Filling ingredients:
  • 3 c. halved and quartered strawberries
  • 3 c. rhubarb, cut into ½-1 inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. minute tapioca
  • 1 tsp. turbinado sugar
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Prepare dough in a large bowl by stirring together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, kosher salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar.
  3. Add cold butter (be sure it is cold) and cut in with a pastry blender until butter is distributed and forms pea-sized pieces.
  4. Add the ice water 1 to 2 Tbsp. at a time, using a fork to mix it in, until the dough is easy to handle, but not sticky.
  5. Form the dough into a small disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Let it rest in the refrigerator while making the filling.
  6. Prepare filling by gently mixing together the strawberries, rhubarb, lime juice, sugar, and minute tapioca.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the galette dough to roughly 2 inches wider in diameter than your pan. For my 12-inch skillet, I rolled the dough out to around 14 inches.
  8. Fold the rolled-out dough in half and carefully transfer it to the cast-iron skillet. Unfold the dough and gently press it onto the bottom and sides of the pan, stretching slightly if needed.
  9. Spread filling evenly onto the dough in the skillet. Fold the edges of the dough over the filling, pinching together any open cracks.
  10. Brush dough lightly with water and sprinkle with 1 tsp. of turbinado sugar.
  11. Bake 50 to 55 minutes until crust is golden and fruit filling is soft and bubbly.
  12. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Serve warm or chilled.

Strawberry rhubarb galette 5 copy

 


Have a cast iron skillet? Try @MarieTDittmerRD’s skillet strawberry rhubarb galette!
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State Fair Snacking: {Frozen} Chocolate Covered Banana Pretzel Bites http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/state-fair-snacking-frozen-chocolate-covered-banana-pretzel-bites/ http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/07/state-fair-snacking-frozen-chocolate-covered-banana-pretzel-bites/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:00:31 +0000 http://notquiteamishliving.com/?p=7185 When I was a little girl growing up in Ohio, summertime always came with the promise of a trip to one of the state’s many country festivals and fairs. The crowning glory, of course, was The Ohio State Fair. The Ohio State Fair houses many memorable country traditions like the cake decorating contests, the Lumber […]

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bananabites

When I was a little girl growing up in Ohio, summertime always came with the promise of a trip to one of the state’s many country festivals and fairs. The crowning glory, of course, was The Ohio State Fair.

The Ohio State Fair houses many memorable country traditions like the cake decorating contests, the Lumber Jack show, the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir and Band, adorable farm animals, and I can’t go without mentioning the famous butter cow sculpture.

Yes. It’s a cow. Made of butter. Ohio knows how to state fair.

statefair

But in my opinion, the very best part of any state fair experience is the food. I mean, that’s really what you’re going in for, right? The state fair is the one place in the world where you can find almost any food item (and the occasional insect) fried, chocolatized, and on a stick.

My favorite fair delicacies include an ear of buttery sweet corn peeled straight from of the husk, freshly squeezed lemonade, funnel cake, and a cup o’ french fries. Here’s a new one I spotted last year: has anyone tried deep-fried gummy bears? I wasn’t feeling that adventurous, but I was very curious.

Last year, I discovered my all-time, forever favorite fair treat: the frozen chocolate covered banana. Oh. My. Goodness. It was like biting into a piece of heaven. I was kind of mad at myself for not trying it before and depriving myself of this delicious gift for so many years!

Inspired by fellow state fair foodies, I created a snack time version of this classic treat: frozen chocolate covered banana pretzel bites!

It’s a mouthful to say, but trust me, you’ll want to eat a mouthful of these delightful morsels!

bananabites1

{Frozen} Chocolate Covered Banana Pretzel Bites
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1-2 bananas
  • 1 package of dark chocolate chips (or any melting chocolate you prefer)
  • Snyder's waffle pretzels
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Slice the bananas into thick circles and freeze them for about 2 hours.
  2. When the bananas are ready, lay out the pretzels on foil.
  3. Melt a cup of chocolate chips in the microwave with the vegetable oil. This part can be a little tricky. I followed the directions on the back of the package, but I found that you just have to keep checking it and stirring until you get a smooth consistency. Add small amounts of vegetable oil as needed to make it creamy enough. Be careful not to nuke it too long or it will burn and get chunky (not that I did that or anything).
  4. Use a toothpick to dip the banana slices into the chocolate, and place it on a pretzel. You may need to use a fork to get the banana off the toothpick. You have to work fast here or your bananas will get too soft to work with. I would recommend taking the banana slices out of the freezer in small increments.
  5. Spread out the chocolate with a toothpick to cover the whole banana.
  6. Once your bites are finished, place them in the freezer to harden for about 5 minutes or until you are ready to munch.

Well, there you have it! Easy, quick, and delicious little snacks. There are a lot of variations you could add as well:

bananabites2

  • Add peanut butter to your chocolate, or spread it on top. I also believe I spotted a package of peanut butter chips in the store — now we’re talkin’.
  • Use organic dark chocolate for a healthier route.
  • Melt white chocolate chips and drizzle it on top.
  • While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle on granola, nuts, coconut, or graham cracker crumbs. (Or deep-fried gummy bears! Just kidding, don’t do that.)

bananabites3

Are you a fair foodie? What is your favorite food or tradition at your state fair?

{I crafted this recipe with a the help of Tasty Yummies. Check out her recipe for an equally delicious banana bites recipe.}


Calling all fair food lovers! @BriannaWyatt8 shares a version of her favorite treat on…
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Hospitable Kitchen {Plus a Giveaway!} http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/06/hospitable-kitchen-plus-giveaway/ http://notquiteamishliving.com/2015/06/hospitable-kitchen-plus-giveaway/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 12:00:10 +0000 http://notquiteamishliving.com/?p=7174 Our kitchen remodel is finished! Back in April the demo began and in May I shared a little bit of how not having a kitchen impacted my world. (Here’s the link if you missed it!) Now that this project is over, it’s a little like childbirth, I’ve forgotten how hard it was. And also like […]

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disasterkitchen

Our kitchen remodel is finished! Back in April the demo began and in May I shared a little bit of how not having a kitchen impacted my world. (Here’s the link if you missed it!) Now that this project is over, it’s a little like childbirth, I’ve forgotten how hard it was. And also like childbirth, I have a terrific result I want to show you. Teehee!kitchencollage

We updated our kitchen mostly for the resale value. But I discovered I also wanted a comfortable heart to our home. I missed our kitchen, and now that I have moved back in I realize how true it is. I love having a center to our house, a place where family can gather.

detailscollage

Last Sunday our extended family came over to see the new kitchen and join us for our first dinner party. I was thinking of all the details: Is the chicken done? Do I have enough napkins? Did I make enough veggies? I need flowers for the table! Then I remembered my own best advice. In fact I wrote a book about it, Come On In, Taking the Hassle Out of Hospitality. The message of the whole book is:book_hospitalityL

Hospitality is about your guests, not your clean house or what you offer them to eat.

It’s YOU and your GUEST nothing more is actually necessary. The trick to hospitality is to be there for your guests and enjoy their company. That’s it.

I relaxed. My family was there to help me celebrate a new living space. After all, they had listened to me complain about the process, and even fed me dinner once in a while we had no kitchen. It was my turn to say thank you and treat them. We had a lovely evening. It was so nice to catch up. We rarely can all get together at the same time.

This experience has been a great reminder that my new kitchen is not about the fancy light fixture I love or the built in desk by the window. Nope, my new kitchen is about feeding my family love in heapin’ helpings!

Is the kitchen the heart of your home, too? How do you extend hospitality to others? Share in the comment section for the chance to win a copy of Come On In, Taking the Hassle Out of Hospitality.

 


Hospitality is about your guests, not your clean house or what you offer them to eat. Lisa Bogart
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