All Posts By

Sarah Perdue

Baseball, Travel

Ballpark Review: Minute Maid Park (Astros)

We finally had the opportunity to visit Minute Maid Park, the home of our old Central division rivals, the Houston Astros. We visited this stadium with family after a fun Caribbean cruise while visiting my sister that now lives in Houston. We really appreciated the closed roof in humid Houston, which still provided a decent view of the Houston skyline through glass panels on the left field side. The abundance of local concession options (tacos, BBQ, breweries) was a huge plus. The overall atmosphere was energetic as fans rooted on their major league record leading team. Overall, we had a great experience and hope to see the Astros finally win a World Series this year – as long as it’s not against the Cardinals that is.

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Grandma's Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Food

Recipe: Grandma’s Cinnamon Swirl Bread

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Grandma's Cinnamon Swirl Bread
This is my Grandma Schatz’s bread recipe she made when she worked at a bakery in Germany before WWII. She moved to the US after the war and passed this cherished recipe on to her children and grandchildren.
Grandma's Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Course Bread
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Passive Time 180 minutes
Servings
loaves
Ingredients
Bread
Filling
Course Bread
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Passive Time 180 minutes
Servings
loaves
Ingredients
Bread
Filling
Grandma's Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Instructions
  1. Starting with dry ingredients, mix all ingredients on a counter or bowl.
  2. Knead by hand or with dough hook in stand mixer until dough comes together. Add additional flour as needed to form dough.
  3. Cover with damp cloth or saran wrap and let rise for 1.5-2 hours, until doubled in size.
  4. Split dough into three balls.
  5. With a rolling pin, roll out each ball to ~10"x12" rectangle.
  6. Mix together cinnamon-sugar filling and sprinkle evenly onto dough. Alternatively, you can use sprinkle cocoa as the filling instead of cinnamon-sugar.
  7. From the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge. Fold both ends under to form a loaf (3 total).
  8. Spray three loaf pans with oil and transfer loaves into pans.
  9. Cover loaves with damp cloth/saran wrap and let rise 1 hour until loaves rise to fill the pans.
  10. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.
  12. Allow to cool in pans for ~10 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling. Slice and serve warm with butter. Freeze loaves that are not consumed within a few days.
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Food

Blog: Grandma’s Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This weekend has been an emotional one as my sweet Grandma passed away. I have so many wonderful memories of my amazing Grandma, many of which can live on through her German baking. This cinnamon swirl bread and her German Kipfels are two I will always cherish. I like to keep kipfles and this bread in the freezer just like Grandma, so I can continue to remember her sweet heart and to share her love with my family and friends.

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Food

Chicken and Dumplings

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Chicken and Dumplings
This is a recipe I optimized from my Mom's dumpling recipe. Nothing speaks comfort like these yummy Chicken and Dumplings!
Course Main Dish, Soup
Cuisine Comfort
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
DUMPLINGS
SOUP
Course Main Dish, Soup
Cuisine Comfort
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
DUMPLINGS
SOUP
Instructions
DUMPLINGS
  1. Mix all dumpling ingredients by hand or in Kitchenaid until it comes together into a nice dough ball.
  2. Roll out dough very thin (1/8").
  3. Cut in squares 2" x 2".
  4. Let dough sit 30 minutes.
SOUP
  1. While dough is resting, add water and bouillon to pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Prep vegetables and add to chicken stock.
  3. Cook veggies for 5 minutes.
  4. Add dumplings to broth and cook 20 minutes.
  5. Add spices (garlic, thyme and black pepper) to taste.
  6. Add cooked chicken to broth.
  7. Once heated through, serve immediately and enjoy!
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Green Monster at Fenway Park
Baseball, Travel

Ballpark Review: Fenway Park (Red Sox)

Our experience at Fenway was a long but memorable one. We started early with a tour, lucked into getting to go onto the field to take selfies with the players, and then experienced a remarkable 11-inning Big Papi walk-off victory. A historical stadium capped with an amazing game showcasing Big Papi made this one ballpark visit we won’t forget.

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Food

Pain Francais (French Bread)

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Pain Francais (French Bread)
This is a variation of the French bread from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and a bread machine recipe I found on food.com.
Course Bread
Cuisine French
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 150 minutes
Servings
2 - 16" loaves or 3 - 14" loaves
Ingredients
Course Bread
Cuisine French
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Passive Time 150 minutes
Servings
2 - 16" loaves or 3 - 14" loaves
Ingredients
Instructions
DOUGH
  1. Add flour to mixing bowl setup with dough hook. Then add in instant yeast and salt followed by the tepid water.
  2. Mix with dough hook for 5 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and form in a ball, using extra flour to keep from sticking. Spray bowl with olive oil and return dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise in bowl for ~1.5 hours.
LOAF FORMATION
  1. If making baguettes, lightly flour work surface and place dough on surface. Cut into two or three pieces (depending on size of loaves you want); roll into balls. Place extra dough balls back in bowl under plastic wrap.
  2. Pat dough ball firmly into an 8- to 10-inch oval with lightly floured palms of hand.
  3. Fold the dough in half lengthwise by bringing the far edge down over the near edge. Seal the edges of the dough together using thumbs.
  4. Flatten the dough again into an oval with your palms. Press a trench along the central length with the side of your hand. Fold the dough in half lengthwise again. Seal the edges of the dough together using the heal of one hand and roll the dough a quarter turn toward you to seal the bottom.
  5. Now roll the dough back and forth with the palms of your hands to lengthen dough into a sausage shape. Start in the middle, placing your right palm on the dough and your left palm on top of your right hand. Continue rolling forward and backward rapidly, gradually sliding your hands toward the two ends as the dough lengthens to 16-18" for two loaves or 14" for three loaves.
  6. Place parchment paper on an insulated aluminum cookie sheet and transfer dough to sheet. Cover with a damp linen towel.
  7. Repeat loaf formation steps for all pieces.
  8. Slash the top of the dough using a sharp knife or razor blade (3 slashes), making sure that the blade lies almost parallel to the dough surface when cutting.
  9. Allow dough to rise until double/triple in size (1-2 hours).
BAKING
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Moisten surface of bread by painting with a soft brush dipped in egg wash (2 T water whisked with one egg) for a more golden bread and eliminates need to continue to coat during cooking.
  3. Bake loaves in upper third of oven for 25 minutes.
  4. Cool loaves on wire rack.
  5. Serve immediately, store wrapped in airtight bag for two days in refrigerator or freezer. To thaw, unwrap and place baking sheet in a cold oven; heat the oven to 400 F and bake ~20 minutes until crust is hot, crisp, and thawed.
Recipe Notes

Sources: "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and http://low-cholesterol.food.com/recipe/basic-machine-french-bread-46501

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