The Best Biscuits

Thursday, July 20, 2017

For the past 3 or 4 years, I have been looking for a great biscuit recipe.  I would try a new one, be dissatisfied, and Adam would say, "what does your perfect biscuit look and taste like?"  I usually would reply with something really specific like, "I don't know, but this isn't it."

This went on for about 12 recipes.  I tried suggestions from friends, and new cookbooks, and on blogs.  I really didn't know what I wanted, but each biscuit was a disappointment.  Until this one.

This one is light, fluffy, melt in your mouth, rises so high they fall over sometimes, and is supremely good.  I really don't know how to convince you further.  They are spectacular.  Also, they are super easy.  No weird ingredients, or long chill times required.  I am a big fan.

For my birthday a few weeks ago, I made them so we could do biscuits and gravy for breakfast, and they were perfect.  If you are still in the market for a biscuit recipe, you really ought to try this one out.

The Best No-Nonsense Biscuits:
from Bake!

Makes about 8 biscuits (My version of the recipe is halved, because we can't eat 12 -15 biscuits in a sitting, so feel free to double if you like, for a full dozen biscuits)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (spoon into a measuring cup and level off with a knife)
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
7 Tbs unsalted butter, very cold, and cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 + 1/8 cup milk (or 5/8ths cup, but that seems overly complicated...)

Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, and pulse several time to mix.

Add the butter pieces, and mix until there are no visible butter pieces left, but the mixture is still powdery looking.

Turn off the mixer, and dump the milk in.  With a rubber spatula, scrape upwards from the bottom of the bowl, to moisten as evenly as possible.

Flour a clean counter top or cutting board, and turn out the contents of the mixer.

Very carefully, press the dough into a 6" square, and fold into thirds, by folding the bottom third over the middle third, then folding the top third over that,  and pressing down.  Now, press it out again, to make it a little longer in length, and fold it into thirds again, this time from the shorter ends. Now press your small square of dough back into a 6" square.

Using a 2" cutter (or glass), floured before each cut, cut out the biscuits, cutting straight down, without twisting.  Press the scraps together, and cut out more biscuits, discarding the remaining scraps, after your first cut out of scraps.

Place biscuits on your baking sheet 1" apart and bake them for 15-20 minutes, pulling them when they are golden brown and well risen.  Let them cool for a couple minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Finding the perfect swim cover-up

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

*Thanks for all your sweet comments here and on Instagram about our babies!  We are super stoked! I am grateful for your votes of confidence and congratulations! 

I used to think I didn't own that many clothes.  Until we moved.  There is something about moving that makes you feel like you have a mountain of stuff (ours is still a mountain of stuff, because it is currently living in a large, somewhat organized pile in my in-laws basement).

While I do have a lot of clothes, I still feel like there have been some holes in my closet that needed filling, including a swim coverup.  But, when I went looking for one, I didn't want a coverup that I could only wear for the next four weeks and then have to pack up with all the other clothes that don't fit a 'pregnant with twins' body. 

I also hate stuff that can only be worn to the pool, because I don't spend enough time at the pool to justify a dress just for that, so I wanted something that had some sort of sleeve and was long enough to wear to the grocery store (I never think I have a lot of opinions until I start looking, then I can't find a single thing that fulfills all the requirements I have).  

After lots of online browsing, a little in-store looking, and a Kohl's cash incentive, I found this dress in the maternity section at Kohl's.  Is it the most amazing swim cover up you have ever seen?  No.  It isn't even a swim cover up.  But it fits all the requirements (maternity body: check! sleeves: check! knee length: check!  super lightweight: check! can be worn in spring and fall: check!), and I thought it was pretty cute.  It is also dang comfy, which seems really important right now.  Anyway, I am kind of loving it, and wore it for an extra 3 hours after these photos were taken.  That is the sign of a successful swim coverup.  

dress: kohl's// shoes: DSW (similar)

Check out what Merrick and Janssen are wearing over their swimsuits this summer:


We are having twins (!!!!) and FAQ's about this pregnancy

Monday, July 10, 2017

If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen my post on Friday about being pregnant with twins.  It is true, I am pregnant with twins.

I feel like I always get the super surprised response ("you're joking" being the most common, I think), and then some questions about the twins/this pregnancy.  I will try to answer them here, so I don't leave you hanging, but feel free to ask more in the comments or on Instagram, and I will answer the best I can.

Identical or Fraternal? 

They are quite sure they are identical.  That is currently the word from the doctors. I am actually really excited about this, even though it means the potential for lots of extra complications for the pregnancy.

When are you due?

The week of Christmas, but chances are remote that I will actually have the babies on that day, or anywhere near it.  Chances are more likely I will deliver about 3 weeks before that.  Apparently identical twins are often born a few weeks early, for their health.

So how far along are you?  

Sixteen weeks.  I waiting a long time to announce, because talking about this pregnancy has felt really personal.  Identical twins (and twins generally), are considered high risk, so telling people felt like a huge emotional risk. I also wanted to wait until we found out how they were doing at sixteen weeks.  So far, they are doing great.

Did you have any idea that you would be having twins? 

Not a clue.  In fact, I was so clueless, that I showed up to my first doctor's appointment at 8 weeks without Adam, because I assumed it would be a regular ultrasound (fun, but no different than the first baby), so I was in shock for a while after the technician told me that we were having twins.  I didn't want to tell Adam via text, but I spent the next 2 hours wishing the office would let me go home and tell him (it was like the longest doctor's visit ever...).  Adam was thrilled, but I think we were both sad he missed the initial news.

Do twins run in your family? 

Nope.  There isn't a set of twins in about 3 generations on either side.  That being said, it actually doesn't matter with identical twins, because identical twins don't run in families.  It is a spontaneous egg splitting, so it can happen to anyone.

Do you know if you are having boys or girls yet? 

Boys!!!  Apparently in our family, you can only have one gender per family (Merrick has 3 boys, Janssen has 4 girls).  We are thrilled and excited for Fox to have little brothers.  We didn't really care what we had, but I had been thinking they would be girls, so I was kind of surprised to find out they were boys.

How are you feeling?  

Not too bad.  First trimester was tough (loads of nausea, a little vomiting and an overwhelming amount of fatigue), but compared to some people, I actually felt okay. It is just too bad that first trimester was during our move and packing up, because I needed a long nap almost every day.  This trimester has been much better, and I only require one or two naps a week, and occasional nausea.

This pregnancy is very much responsible for the reason that I have not been posting here much in the last month.  I had to use Fox's nap times for my nap time, and by the end of the day, I had to pack boxes, so I never got around to editing photos, and getting posts up.  Also, cooking and looking at food photos made me want to throw up, so posting about food basically wasn't an option.

Thankfully food tastes good once again, and I am in the kitchen most nights now, and feeling good!

Are you excited?  

You bet!  I am also terrified.  Going from one baby to three babies will be a serious adjustment, but I am hopeful I can handle it gracefully, and try to function with not very much sleep.  I am also very grateful that we moved to Utah, because my mom is significantly closer, and I have a few other relatives close by.

Is Fox excited?  

Um, maybe?  He thinks the word twin is really funny, and he regularly prays that the babies will be healthy and strong, but I don't think he actually has any idea what is going on.

Is Adam excited?  

Oh yes.  He is super excited!

Are you going to dress them the same all the time? 

No.  Mostly because I already have a lot of clothes from Fox that don't have a matching set.  I might buy the occasional matching thing, because I think that is cute, but they will definitely not match all the time.

What am I forgetting?  Any burning questions you have?

We made it!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Sorry for my silence the last few weeks.  There is something about the stress and craze of moving, then all the dust settling that made me want to just sit back and watch for a few days (or weeks).

Here are a few things I am really loving from the past weeks since arriving in Utah.

- No fire ants.  I am happy to have left those suckers behind.  They were the worst (they are everywhere in Texas, and they swarm up your legs/arms and all bite at once.  I have only been bitten once, and count myself lucky.  The bites hurt like crazy)!  A serious source of stress to parents. Also, no cockroaches, or tarantulas!  Hooray!

- A huge backyard to run in.  Fox loves being outside, and we are spending upwards of two hours outside everyday.  My in-laws backyard is gorgeous, and we are loving eating dinner on the patio, digging in the garden, looking for fish in their pond, picking fallen apples up, and searching for peas off the vine.  It has been truly amazing.  It makes me look forward to many more summer nights outside.

- Not having to cook.  We are staying with my in-laws for a few weeks, and my mother-in-law has done almost all the cooking.  Despite my love for cooking, it has been really awesome.

- The mountains.  When I was in college, one of my friends from New England commented how it surprised her how huge the mountains her were.  She felt like they were going to cave in on her or something.  I am from Las Vegas, which is also in a basin, so I find the mountains to be old friends.  Reassuring and strong.

- Seeing Fox with his grandparents. As a kid, we were always the family that drove up to family events, and I liked it that way, but the longer we lived really far away (about 21 hours), the more I realized that being far from family is really hard, especially when you have kids.  Fox follows my in-laws around all day saying "Dwama and Dwampa."  They love him just as much as he adores them.  It is really so fun.

- Being done with the move.  Moving is such a pain, and this one felt especially huge. It is relief to be done.  We still need to figure out what needs to be unpacked and where everything is going to go, but at least the stuff is here, and we are slowly getting settled.  I have a few items to purchase for Fox's room.  
We are transitioning him to a bed in a few weeks (hopefully...), and I am decorating the room he is going to be in.  Currently it is dark blue wallpaper with very red carpet, so let me know if you have any genius tips for decorating around that (we contemplated tearing the wallpaper down, but we will be in this house is for less than two years, so we decided against it).

I hope you are having a lovely week, and a good summer!

My Favorite Summertime Whites

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Last year, I bought this pair of white pants.  I had always been leery of them, because a toddler and white pants can mean disaster, but, white pants were everywhere, and I really wanted a pair.  So I ordered these, and despite the frequent need for a bleach pen, I have been amazed at what a difference they make temperature wise in the summer! 

You see, I don't own a pair of shorts, and potentially never will.  I don't like the way shorts look on me, and so having a pair of lighter pants is always a good thing.  I have been amazed at how comfortable they are!  White always feels so fresh and clean in the summertime, and I love how put together I feel when I wear them!  

Are you a white fan?  Or are you afraid of it because it gets dirty so easily?  

shirt: pants: J Crew via ThredUp// earrings: old// shoes: Lotta from Stockholm

Merrick and Janssen are wearing white today, too!  Check out their outfits! 

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