Dublin, Ireland | March 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

This was our second trip over to Europe (see our last one here, here and here). Somehow I felt right at home walking around this small city. It was a pleasant surprise discovering that you could walk from your AirBnb all over town without even having to look at a map - that's how easy it was to navigate in Dublin. Everything was so bright and colorful and old and new. Dublin is truly a mix of past and present. We were lucky enough to visit on St. Patrick's Day to celebrate Luke's birthday and partake in all the festivities. Since we've been back everyone has asked us about our experience - they all suspect the place was CRAZY! Truth be told, Europeans know how to do life. While the city was a bit crazy and crawling with people it was more like controlled chaos. We found the parade to be more family friendly. We loved our stay, but could have done without the wind and sideways rain, haha.

Where we stayed: An AirBnb near Spencer Dock
Where we ate: The Boxty House, Seven Wonders, Oneill's Pub, Madigan's, Zozimus, The Stag's Head, The Larder, Klaw (I would highly recommend them all!)
What we loved: Temple Bar Pubs, The Little Museum of Dublin, Guinness Storehouse, St. Stephen's Green, Trinity College, Grafton Street shopping, Irish accents that were sometimes hard to understand, walking everywhere, pub culture.
What Holly didn't love: Driving a manual transmission on the other side of the car on the other side of the road.


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... 

It was a success! 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).