Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples


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Crazy Monday, Much Better Tuesday

So Monday was… well… Monday. It is always so hard to get back into the swing of things after a long weekend. We both worked and volunteered on Saturday. Had a fun filled Sunday, so by the time Monday came around we were beat.

So for dinner on Monday I picked out an easy recipe for dinner. Black beans and spinach burritos. Well, when we got home we ended up not having half of the things we needed to make this dinner. So then we had to improvise…! Breakfast for dinner! We made maple pancakes with bacon. And since it was a rough day at work, whipped cream vodka and orange juice was the drink of choice! (Tastes like an orange creamsicle, for those of you who just made a face while reading “whipped cream vodka”. I was skeptic too, but it is delicious!)

And as promise, a picture of Randy and his mad skills!

panvake

Today was much better! The reason because of a wonderful surprise after work. We went grocery shopping (to get the other half of our dinner that we were suppose to have last night!) and stumbled across… wait for it… OCTOBERFEST!

This means fall is officially here! Well, actually, fall for me, pretty much started the day after July 4th! But this… this Octoberfest… this just seals the deal for me! Ready to bring out the boots, the hats, the hot apple cider, the pumpkin, the fall decor and smells! Sorry! Fall is the best time of year!

And to top off my day, I got these in the mail!!

straws1

Love these straws! They just make me smile every time I look at them!

Hope everyone is having a great week so far!


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Sunday Fun

So today it DID NOT RAIN!!! Woo Hoo! So we went hiking! Finally! We went to Bear Wallow Mountain; which comes to find out; is at our doorstep. We have lived in our house for 2 years and did not realize that this trail was two minutes away! It is very short, but the view is pretty great!

Randy&Jama Hiking

Awesome view, right? Love the mountains!

Leading Hiking

Hikin Feet

Tonight we had our very close friends, the Heaters, over for dinner. We had fondue, which we have not done in a long time! It was fun to do again! We use a fondue book from William-Sonoma that we got as a wedding gift. The beer cheese is amazing! We serve it with bread, veggies, apples and sausage.

michael&tesslynWe had lemon squares for dessert prepared by this cutie! Well, she added the powder sugar on top. (see how there is about 2 inches of sugar on top!) Isn’t she adorable?!

tesslyn&cakeLove these guys!

heaters&maples

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!


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Saturday Morning Randomness

Thursday night was our last night with my brother and sister-in-law πŸ™

I am going to miss them but I am excited for them as they move to a new city and take on new careers. I know that they will be awesome! (insert Barney Stinson’s voice here)

To celebrate I got something that I never ever buy… Krispy Kreme Doughnuts!

As much as I like the way doughnuts taste, I cannot eat them. They make me so sick! But I did have a bite of one! I couldn’t help myself… it was a cheesecake doughnut! And it was pretty good! πŸ™‚

In other news, I am so excited about my hydrangeas finally starting to bloom in my front yard! They bloom in late summer and last until fall (they are PG hydrangeas, for those of you who were wanting to know). I have been seeing beautiful hydrangeas in other people’s yard for several months now and I have been patiently waiting for mine to bloom! And not only are they blooming but they are getting huge! One is halfway up my bedroom window! Which is awesome!

I guess all this rain has been good for something… that and red rain boots!

rainboots

But hopefully this rain will stop soon! I miss hiking! But I think we are going to go hiking Sunday regardless of weather! We will see how that goes! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


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Living like true Ashevillians!

So I finally have time to write a new post! Working 10 hour days everyday and trying to get everything that I need to get done after work… there just isn’t enough time in the day to get it all finished! But anyways… I am here now! πŸ˜‰

This weekend has been a fun filled weekend with my brother and his wife. It is their last weekend here with us before they move 4 hours away! πŸ™ So we did classical Asheville activities!

We first went to Moe’s Original BBQ… the best wings ever! I could eat at this place everyday and never get bored! If you are fortunate enough to have one in your city count yourself blessed! If not, I am sorry!

Then we headed over to Highland Brewery; a local craft beer in Asheville. I am ashamed to say that in the 3 years (almost 4) that Randy and I have lived in the Asheville area we have not gone to any of the local breweries! Shameful I know!

 

highland brewery

 

Awkward Moment of the Day: A very nice guy took this picture for us. When he handed back our phone I said thank you and added that we were locals and not tourists. Randy just rolled his eyes and said yeah that just made it better! So glad my husband loves me!

We got flights to share. I only really like one so Randy got to enjoy the rest!

brewry

We then went to the Asheville Mall; which is a treat because it is so far away from where we live now. We don’t get to go very often. Plus Randy, really does not like going to the mall. But this trip we went shopping for him! We got a shirt and tie for Randy from Banana Republic… I love it! (Picture soon to follow) I had to make him buy it because he isn’t a big plaid fan. But it looks great on him! πŸ™‚

Then to finish up our day we had TCBY! I really can’t remember the last time we had TCBY! It was wonderful!

It was a wonderful weekend! I will definitely miss my little brother and sister -in-law but I am very happy for them both as they take this next big adventure together! They will just have to visit often!


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A Sweet Day

So today I feel like I have done nothing but eat sweets all day long. I will definitely be running tomorrow to possibly burn some of it off! But overall, I think it was worth it!

To start off our day, I made lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry sauce. They were some of the best pancakes I have ever had! I will be making them again, that’s for sure!

Here is the recipe: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/lemon-ricotta-pancakes-with-blueberry-sauce/

Randy also showed off his skills in the kitchen by flipping the pancakes in the pan. Such a show off πŸ˜‰ Next time I will be certain to catch it on video.

We celebrated my sister-in-law’s birthday today by having a little cookout.

Hotdogs, hamburgers, beer, etc. πŸ™‚ We made little hamburger sliders using the Hawaiian Sweet Rolls. They were so very good!

And to end our day we had strawberry shortcake. I used a recipe I found in a “Fine Cooking” magazine that I have had for a few years. I was excited to finally try it out. I really enjoyed this version of strawberry shortcake. It wasn’t so overbearingly sweet. Instead of an angel food cake, it was like a dense sweet biscuit. You will just have to try it to see what I am talking about. It is delicious!

 

Classic Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients

    For the strawberries:
  • 1 lb. ripe strawberries, hulled (about 4 cups)
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar; more to taste
  • For the biscuits:
  • 9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for rolling
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream; more for brushing
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • For the whipped cream:
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar

Instructions

    Prepare the strawberries:
  1. Put one-third of the berries in a medium bowl and, using a potato masher, crush them into a chunky purΓ©e. Slice the remaining berries 1/4 inch thick and stir them into the mashed berries along with the sugar. Taste the berries, adding more sugar if necessary. Let the berries sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Make the biscuits:
  3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425Β°F. Line a large heavy-duty baking sheet with parchment.
  4. Sift the flour, 1/3 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, and baking soda into a large bowl. Stir in the salt. Using a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingertips, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
  5. In a small bowl, beat the egg and heavy cream with a fork. Mix in the buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the cream mixture. Mix with the fork until the dough is evenly moistened and just comes together; it will still look a little shaggy. Gather the dough and gently knead it three or four times. If the dough seems dry and doesn’t form a cohesive mass, work in more cream, 1 tsp. at a time.
  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 3/4 -inch-thick disk. With a sharp 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter, press straight down to cut the dough into rounds and lift straight up to remove (don’t twist the cutter or it will seal the sides of the biscuits and interfere with rising). Transfer the rounds to the prepared baking sheet. Gather the dough scraps, gently knead them together, re-roll, and cut out more biscuits until you have a total of 6.
  7. Lightly brush the biscuit tops with cream (about 1 Tbs.) and sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbs. sugar. Bake, rotating the baking sheet once, until the biscuit tops are lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Let the biscuits cool slightly while you whip the cream.
  8. Whip the cream
  9. In a large, chilled metal bowl, whip the heavy cream and sugar to soft peaks with an electric hand mixer. (Use immediately or refrigerate, covered until ready to serve).
  10. Assemble the shortcakes:
  11. Using a serrated knife, split the warm biscuits in half horizontally and transfer the bottoms to 6 dessert plates. Spoon about three-quarters of the macerated berries and their juice evenly over the biscuit bottoms. It’s OK if some of the berries spill out onto the plate. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and cover each with a biscuit top. Spoon more berries and cream over each shortcake and serve immediately.
http://ourmapletree.com/a-sweet-day/

 

The perfect dessert to end a perfect, sweet little day!


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Hello World!

This is how WordPress suggests introducing your blog. “Hello World!” reminds me of my first day in computational physics class. Our first assignment was to write a program that spelled out, “Hello World!”. And that was the easiest assignment we had all year. Note to self: never, ever, ever take another class like that again!

Anyways, so this is my very first blog. I am not a great writer (engineer, remember?). So please excuse any misspellings, incorrect grammar and just down right bad writing! πŸ™‚

I wanted to start a blog mostly for friends and family to keep up with everything going on in mine and Randy’s lives. And to hopefully share my ideas, recipes and thoughts. But I welcome everyone! So welcome to our lives!

First, let me introduce myself… My name is Jama Maples. You pronounce my name Jay-ma, for anyone out there who wanted to know! πŸ˜‰ Different I know. It is an old Appalachian name. I use to hate it, but I love it now!

I grew up in Boone, North Carolina with my family (mom, dad, big sister and little brother). I went to Appalachian State University (in Boone, NC – can you tell I like staying close to home?) and there I met my other half, Randy. The rest you can say is history or in our “Meet the Maples” page! πŸ˜‰

I look forward to this new adventure of writing a blog and to meeting new people and to learning new things! Thank you for stopping by and I hope you stop by again. And just like in our home, our door is always open!