Easy Peasy Artisan Bread

Thursday, April 20, 2017

My mother-in-law recently gave me a Martha Stewart dutch oven for my birthday (so in love with it!) and I couldn't wait to put it to use. I've been dying to try my hand at baking bread. I've been hearing a lot about this "no knead bread" recipe and everyone raves about how easy it is. I don't think I've ever baked a single thing with yeast that has turned out edible. I was skeptical, but willing to give it a try... 

This might be the easiest bread you've ever baked! The ingredients are minimal and there is no kneading required. You basically mix everything together, let it set, then throw it in the oven! The end result is a crusty exterior with a soft and fluffy interior. I'm typically not a baker and again, any recipe that requires me to use yeast usually ends in disaster. This one is fool-proof though. I'd recommend you give it a try sometime - you just might surprise yourself with the results!

what you need:
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp rapid rise yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water

dutch oven (ideally 4 - 6 qts)
parchment paper (optional)

make the dough:
mix the flour, yeast and salt together in a large bowl. mix in room temperature water with a wooden spoon or spatula - be careful not to over-mix. cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise overnight (or 10-16 hours) - the dough should more than double in size.

make the bread:
once the dough has risen, punch down and fold into a ball on a well-floured surface. let the dough sit on parchment paper for 30 minutes before baking. pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. make sure your dutch oven is in the oven pre-heating, you don't want to place a cold pot in a hot oven, yikes! transfer the dough on the parchment paper into the hot dutch oven and bake covered for 30 minutes. bake another 15 minutes uncovered. and you're done!

I found this recipe by searching "no knead bread" in google and pinterest. 
I kept seeing the same recipe/ingredients repeated over and over again.
I slightly adjusted mine (adding less salt than the other recipes I encountered).

Our next trip...

Monday, February 6, 2017

Our next trip is just around the corner - 36 days away to be exact. This time we're headed to Dublin, Ireland for a week and then on to Barcelona, Spain for a week. Two places that are total opposites, but two places that are near the top of our travel bucket list. We're lucky enough to be visiting Dublin for St. Patrick's Day, which is also Luke's birthday. The last epic St. Patrick's Day I experienced was in Boston with a group of girlfriends (around 9 years ago!) so I'm due for another wild experience I guess :) After a few days in Dublin we'll venture out to the countryside to visit the family castle in Northern Ireland, a major bucket list item for me! Then it's time to hop on a plane down to Barcelona for a few days! Only 36 days to go...

The only semi-relatable photo to add to this post. A photo walking around Southie in Boston after the St. Patrick's Day parade in 2008. I've either miss-placed the photos I have from that trip or the photos that I still have are not appropriate to share online, haha!

New Year, New Camera

Friday, January 27, 2017

I recently parted ways with my Canon 60D DSLR, 50mm 1.4mm and 18-200mm lenses. It was a hard decision to make - but necessary to move on to something new. I have spent the past 6+ years in love with photography and have taught myself so much along the way. Back when I used to maintain this blog on a regular basis I was out and about with my DSLR every weekend, snapping everything in sight. As the years have gone on and my interests have changed, I rarely used my camera. It sat on the shelf and gathered dust. Lugging around a heavy camera and a collection of lenses became burdensome and then having to download, edit and upload through my computer became just another annoyance. It became clear that I needed to make a change.

I did my research and landed on something completely different than what I'm used to! An Olympus Pen E-PL8. It's mirrorless, small and has a retro look. It has the capability for different lenses, so I can always add more down the road - which I will probably do because the quality and depth of field  I got from my old 50mm 1.4 lens is something that I'd like to have again. I've had this new camera for only a few short weeks - so I still have a lot of learning to do - but I'm slowing getting the hang of this new format. So far the hardest part is that this new camera lacks a viewfinder, which is something I loved about my DSLR. It makes up for it in some other areas though... with built-in wifi and a touchscreen - which are new and exciting to me!

I'm excited to get to know this camera better and hopefully share my images here (fingers crossed, haha!).

I sold my camera and lenses through MPB.com. They gave me a competitive quote the same day as my inquiry and set up an at-home pick-up through FedEx. All that I had to do was carefully package my equipment, they did the rest. After evaluation they paid me only a few short days later. If you're looking to sell your equipment, I highly recommend them!

A look back on 2016

Saturday, December 31, 2016

When I sat down to re-cap my year I thought, what the heck am I even going to talk about?! It has been such an interesting year. Not bad, just interesting. For me, this year was full change and emotion. All of which I never quite felt ready for. Don't get me wrong, so many great things took place this year. But it was also a year filled with growing pains. Just when you think you have it all figured out... Such is life!

As someone that has always welcomed and fully embraced change, this year was a challenge for me. Everything felt a little harder this year. Everything is changing around me and I couldn't catch up. My mom has had a lot of health complications that have given our family quite a few scares. Friendships taking a weird turn. All of our friends are starting families while Luke and I aren't. That's a whole other post, maybe... Frustration with my professional development. The election this past November. While this year was a little weird and felt off, it's all a part of the journey. We're never promised the easy route. I know that I'll look back on this year with fond memories, eventually :) I keep reminding myself that it's a marathon and not a sprint.

Now on to the recap, I promise it's more uplifting! Looking back on this year - month by month - it was a good year. I'm beyond lucky to have a great family, friends, a job I love, the ability to travel and so many other freedoms and luxuries. Luke and I work hard for what we have.

January //

We started off 2016 in Amsterdam! We ended our epic European vacation by spending a few days walking along the canals. We got to experience New Years Eve in the city, which totally freaked me out (think no regulations whatsoever on fireworks)! It really was the best way to kick off the year and an experience that we'll never forget. We really hope to be able to live here someday...

January is also the month that we *finally* finished our mini-kitchen remodel. Hello new gas stove! Seriously, it's such a luxury and I don't think I can go back to an electric stove, ever. #firstworldproblems, I know!

February //

Sometime in February (I think it was February...) Luke and I started using SunBasket meal delivery, almost every week. It has completely changed the way we cook at home! We waste less food and always eat healthy with SunBasket meals. It has even influenced us to make healthier meals at home. And a bonus we didn't expect... Date Night In! We love pouring a glass of wine, turning up the music and making dinner together. It's become such a great way to connect at home. 

March //

We left the rain and flew down to LA for a long weekend. Heather joined us, too! Taking trips with Luke and Heather are always the most fun and the most memorable. I love that we're able to meet in different places a few times throughout the year. 

April //

We visited Austin, Texas for the first time in the middle of April. Heather joined on this trip, too! Austin is seriously such a cool city. We landed on my birthday (hello 34!) and hit the ground running looking for the best restaurants and sights. We discovered breakfast tacos on this trip - two words: life changing.

May //

We saw Billy Joel in concert at Safeco Field in Seattle. I've wanted to see him live for so long and he didn't disappoint! Fun fact: my first ever cassette tape when I was little was a Billy Joel album. 

June //

We met up with Luke's parents in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for 5 days. We frequented the swim-up bar and took trips into town in search of guacamole and margaritas. It was a little tooooo much sun for me, but fun nonetheless. 

We walked in the Portland Pride Parade with some of our friends and a lot of people with my company. Nike has a huge presence in the parade (even our CEO attends!) and it was an all-around amazing day of showing support. #LoveWins

July //

We took a camping trip to Crate Lake (our first time there!) but sadly I ruined the trip when I fell down the stairs (okay, like a stair and a half) spraining my ankle the day prior. No hikes for us! It was still a great trip and Crater Lake is beyond beautiful. We'll definitely visit again and do some hiking next time. 

August //

My previous boss took us out on his boat (hello half-day summer Fridays!) and we were convinced we needed to buy a boat of our own. It was such a fun day going up and down the Willamette. We even met up with some friends out on their boat! Our dreams of being boat owners quickly faded when we started to add up how much it would cost us (cost of boat, insurance, storage, maintenance...) Oh well - it was a fun day!

We hosted the "Copeland Summer Bash" in our backyard. We had good food, drinks, music, friends and sunshine! It was beyond fun to have everyone at our house. We ended the evening chatting around the fire pit with a few beers and some new friends.

September //

We took a week off work and flew out to the east coast to visit family and road trip to a few new places. We flew to Boston and drove up to New Hampshire to stay with Lynn and Brian (dad's cousin) at their house on Lake Winnipesaukee. We had an incredible 3 days with the "Lake Family" (there was about 10-12 of us for the long weekend). We drank beers by the fire pit, made breakfast and drank many cups of coffee together, spent a day out on their boat (our boat dreams are coming back!), visited the local distilleries and meaderies, drank more beers, caught up with family and told many stories of past years. It was truly a weekend that I'll never forget. After the lake we drove over to Portland, Maine for a few days to drink blueberry beers and eat lobster rolls! We told everyone that we were from "the other Portland" but no one seemed to be impressed, haha! Our final stop was a drive down to the 'burbs of Boston to spend a few days with Al and Kathy (also dad's cousin). We had so much fun catching up, taking a day trip to "the cape" and Al even took us out on the Charles River one day. 

October //

It's October, so that means MLB playoffs! We all know Luke is a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan. If you follow baseball at all, you'd know that the Cubs won the World Series and how big of a deal it was. Happy times in Copeland house!

November //

Election Day took place early on in November. To say that the outcome was devastating to me is a total understatement. This month was filled with a lot of unanswered questions and sheer disappointment in my country. I can only hope for the best moving forward and try my absolute hardest to give back to my community and support the causes that I care about.

We spent Thanksgiving with my family up in Seattle with Heather. We ate too much food and drank a lot of wine - so in other words, it was a success! 

December //

We hosted Christmas Eve cocktails at our house and spent Christmas dinner with Holly and Randy (my aunt and uncle). The holidays were beyond relaxing and much needed for everyone.

This month I made the tough decision to sell all of my Canon camera equipment. Over the past 6+ years I've had a variety of Canon DSLR's and interchangeable lenses. It's been one of my biggest passions. I've fallen out of love with the process over the years and carting around my equipment just became a major pain for me. Gone are the days of photographing weddings (I did two!), engagements and family photos. I'm switching up my photography game and purchasing a much smaller, mirrorless camera. I'm excited to try something new and have high hopes of discovering a new love of photography in a much simpler way.

----     ----     ----     ----     ----

If you made it this far, thank you for reading! Although I'm not into blogging like I have been in past years, it's still fun to pop in here and there to share what's going on. Coming up in March of 2017 Luke and I are headed to Ireland and Barcelona for a few weeks. We can't wait to see a few more countries and add some more stamps to our passports!

I hope you all have an incredible 2017 :)


We Love Sun Basket

Friday, July 8, 2016

It's true! We've been using Sun Basket's home delivery service for about 6 months now and we absolutely love it! Each week we receive 3 meals that we chose about a week and a half prior. You choose 3 out of 9 meal options - always with the choice of chicken, meat and fish and what I love the most... paleo, gluten–free, and vegetarian options! The meals arrive in a big cardboard box and are already portioned out. Each recipe comes with an instruction card, which is ridiculously easy to follow. Seriously! Luke and I make about 98% of the meals together and its totally boosted our confidence in cooking, like a lot. We're often blown away that we're capable of making such amazing food. Plus it makes for a super fun date night in - turn up the music, pour a glass of wine and spend about a half hour together in the kitchen making a delicious dinner. It has become our favorite way to spend an evening together. 

I wanted to share this meal we had last night, Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Breasts with a Tomato Panzanella - it was fantastic! More to come as we find more meals that we love!

Attempted Camping + Crater Lake

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Luke + I had grand plans for the 4th of July holiday weekend. We set out to embark on a two-day camping trip with our Ford Escape packed full with our tent, sleeping bags, air mattress, camping chairs, a cooler stocked with delicious food, TWO dogs (I'm dog-sitting for my boss), a few changes of clothes, extra towels, etc... you get the point - we were ready to have a fun few days off the grid! On Friday after work we loaded up and drove to my parents house in Madras, Oregon for the evening with plans to drive south on Saturday morning. Well, before we could even get our trip started I fell down the stairs in my parents' garage and hurt my ankle bad, real bad - so bad that I couldn't walk. I spent the evening on the couch with an ice pack on my foot bumming out on the fact that all these magnificent hikes we had planned are now not going to happen. By the next morning I could hobble around and I was thanking my lucky stars that my foot was only sprained and not broken. Still determined, we set off on our camping trip!

After a quick stop in Bend, Oregon for some lunch (and a few brewskis) we continued down south. We set up camp and ventured out to explore our surroundings. We drove around the lake and then ventured out to the "beach" area where people were swimming, drinking beers, listening to music and BBQ'ing. It was so nice and so sunny. After some relaxation at the "beach" we eventually made our way back to our campsite to cook dinner and hang out. Dinner took almost 3x longer to cook because the campfire was being difficult (it could have been user error, but Holly won't admit that...). Then we quickly realized we had left the dog food at my parents' house. Sigh. I drove down to a tiny store to pick up the smallest and most expensive bag of dog food - that only one dog ended up eating. We then realized that we didn't purchase any bug spray and the mosquitos were flying around like WOAH! Back to the store... they're all sold out of bug spray. Another sigh. To top off the evening, Luke's allergies never got better, I exerted too much pressure on my foot, and our air mattress kept going flat. I'm sure you can tell that neither of us were having a stellar evening. We went to bed early and decided that with all these little annoyances, it was only going to be a one-night camping trip. Oh well, we tried!

Scroll down past the camping photos because this post gets better!

The next morning we woke up early (deflated air mattress, remember?) made a quick breakfast, showered at the campsite and then drove to Crater Lake - an approximate 20 minute drive from our campground. We spent a few hours driving around the Rim Loop (the road that circles the lake) and stopping off at various viewpoints to take in the view from all angles. And what a view it was! It's places like this that make me proud to be an Oregonian. Even though I was born and raised in Oregon and still live here, the beauty in this state continuously blows me away. We spent a few hours admiring the lake, taking photos, visiting the lodge and taking more photos before we started the drive home.

- Photos © Holly Copeland -

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Monday, June 27, 2016

Earlier this month Luke and I traveled down to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Luke's parents met us there and the four of us spent a few days relaxing at the pool, indulging in fresh Mexican food and exploring as much as we could. We had been to other parts of Mexico before, so we were excited to explore an area that was new to us. We stayed in Marina Vallarta and after a few days of riding the local bus into town every day, we decided to spend the extra pesos on an air conditioned taxi (worth the money!). See below for where we stayed, what we ate and what we saw!

Where we stayed: Westin Puerto Vallarta Our hotel was amazing! We spent a lot of time at the pool and took advantage of the free breakfast every morning.
Where we ate: Sonora Prime, Vista Grill, Ocean Grill, El Faro Bar
Favorite Areas: Los Muertos Beach, the Romantic Zone, Marina Vallarta

^ At the top of this lighthouse is El Faro Bar - very tasty margs ^
^ Our very colorful hotel ^
^ We found the local beers! ^ 
^ We took a bus from Marina Vallarta to Boca de Tomatlan.
From here we hopped on a boat to Ocean Grill ^
^ Lunch is better with a dog ^
^ A beautiful sunset from our dinner table at Vista Grill ^
^ The Romantic Zone ^

- Photos © Holly Copeland -