Thursday, December 31, 2020

DIY Window Seat Built-In Bookcase

 I like built-in furniture. There is just something about a built-in that makes a home feel less cookie-cutter—whether it's a built-in china cabinet, some built-in bookshelves, or some ledges that give a homeowner some extra space. And sometimes I look at a nook, or an odd wall, or some other space, and I think, "Boy, that would be a great space for a (fill in the built-in)."

For years I've been eyeballing the window ledge in my girls' room. My wife and I have had several ideas that we've talked about, from a reading nook to a fort of some sort to a bookshelf. As the years have gone by, and other house projects have taken precedent, I have continued to ruminate on that space. Then, in a brief window of time when I needed a quick weekend project, I seized the opportunity.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Light-as-Air Semolina Rolls

A year ago, when I was desperately wanting to make some homemade pasta, I searched all over for a large bag of semolina flour. I found some. It just happened to come in a bag with 49 pounds of friends. The look on my wife's face was precious when I came into the house with a 50 pound bag of flour. 

One year later, we still have semolina in our deep freeze. And our pantry. I continually look for ways to use it up. So I came across this recipe for semolina rolls. After tweaking it, adding to it, changing it, and modifying, modifying, modifying, hundreds of rolls later I am happy to present to you a wonderful, easy recipe for Light-as-Air Semolina Rolls


1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups semolina flour


1. Combine warm water, yeast, sugar and honey. Leave for 10 minutes until bubbly and foamy (if it is not bubbly and foamy your yeast is not good and your bread will not be happy). 

2. In a separate bowl, mix flours and salt. 

3. Add oil to foamy yeast mixture. Then, stirring with a dough hook, add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until mixture is smooth. Continue to knead with dough hook (or your hands if you're trying to impress Paul Hollywood) for 10 minutes. 

4. Allow to rise for one hour. 

5. Shape into small rolls or bread sticks and place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet. If shaping into rolls, tuck the outside into the bottom inside to make a mushroom-esque shape. 

6. Allow to rise for 30 minutes more. While rising, heat oven to 400. 

7. Bake 6-8 minutes or until top just turns brown. 

8. Take plate of warm rolls, along with some butter and jam, and hide in the bathroom to eat them so your kids don't know you're having something delicious.