Squirt Has Arrived

God has blessed our family with another little heartbeat, 10 more wrinkly fingers, 10 more squishy toes.

He gave me a childbirth that was perfect in every way. I could not have asked for a better birth experience (well, naturally pain free would be nice…). About seven hours, mostly alone while the rest of the house slept. I felt a lot of peace in that laboring state; even dozing between some contractions. Of course, there was also pain, but it was not a hopeless sort of pain.

So, she is here. Her name is from Hebrew meaning “pleasantness,” and it really describes her well.

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.

— Psalm 65:8

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Fireplace Cooking: A New Series!

Our new house has a fabulous fireplace.

It isn’t as efficient as a wood stove for heating the whole home, but it keeps our living spaces toasty warm.

And, see that bar and hook at the top? That’s for hanging a cast-iron pot, a Dutch oven.

I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to learn to cook over that fire. After all, we would be burning wood to heat the home anyway, right? Why not use the energy to cook at the same time?

I hope to experiment frequently over this winter with cooking over this fire. And I’m calling the series Fireplace Cooking (aren’t I creative? Ha!).

If you want to see which of my experiments succeed and which fail miserably, subscribe via the WordPress platform or via email. Or follow me on Instagram (@belovedbrowneyesblog) or Facebook (Beloved Brown-Eyed Girl Blog).

Found on Pinterest: Stove Top Pizza (Recipe)

I wrote about our oven issues. Well, I’m also pregnant and have craved pizza for a solid 3 weeks. Getting desperate, I searched Pinterest and found a stove top version. Yes!

I chose this recipe for stove top pizza from The Orgasmic Chef blog.

Modifications

The blog author writes about a specific skillet with a vented lid. I don’t have that skillet. I do have an 8-9″ cast iron skillet with a lid that fits. That’s what I used. For the “vented” time of the cooking, I just shifted the lid slightly off the pan to vent the steam.

I didn’t have a hot oven to put it in, but the broil function of my oven does work. I put the whole pan in under the broiler on high to brown the cheese, for about 5 minutes.

My only other modification was to replace self-rising flour with home-mixed self-rising flour. It is easy to make: to 1 cup all-purpose flour add 1/2 Tbsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt.

What I Liked About This Recipe

It was tasty. The crust was crisp on the bottom, chewy inside, and the cheese melted fully. It was quick: no rising time for the dough. It was the right size lunch for me and the kids.

Downsides to This Recipe

The author didn’t specify to lower the heat from medium after the first 5 minutes. I left it on medium and about 10 minutes in to the vented cooking time, I could smell the crust was burning.

the bottom got a little too dark


So next time, I will definitely lower the heat at that point.

The crust also didn’t have much flavor. Next time, I would add extra salt and maybe some oregano and garlic powder. It did not have the yeast-y flavor my regular pizza dough recipe has. So the extra seasonings should help, I think.

Found on Pinterest: Banana Bread Pancakes (Recipe)

Our new house has a fantastic gas range and oven. Except, the oven doesn’t work. Well, it kind of works. Anyway, I had a couple of sad-looking bananas to use, and I would normally make banana bread. So I scoured Pinterest searching for stove top banana recipes and found this gem: banana bread pancakes from the Creme de la Crumb blog. The recipe made 11 4-5″ diameter cakes. We devoured them with butter and maple syrup. Yum!

Modifications

I added about 1/4 cup extra flour to the batter because it seemed too runny. Although, I shouldn’t have done that because the batter thickened some while the griddle was preheating.

What I Liked About This Recipe

The taste, first of all. Just sweet enough, just banana-y enough. Perfect.

Also they were easy. No more complicated than regular pancakes.

They don’t require heating the oven (and therefore the kitchen) for an hour.

They were eaten all in one sitting. Banana bread seems to languish a while in our household because Nate forgets it is available for breakfast and the kids don’t particularly love it.

Downsides to This Recipe

I really can’t think of any!

6 made and waiting for eaters!