Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Don't Buy Brown and Serve

As promised...the homemade bread recipe...I will be making this recipe into rolls for Thanksgiving instead of the usual brown and serve or rolls of that type because it is so worth the very small effort that it takes to make....Mr. Holiday aka AH will be swooning again....

Amish White Bread

  • 2 c.of warm water
  • 1/3 c. of white sugar
  • 1 1/2 T active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 c. of vegtable oil
  • 6 c. of bread flour ( I didn't have bread flour...and all purpose still made awesome bread)

In a large bowl mix the warm water and sugar until sugar is disolved. ( it really only took a couple of minutes, it wasn't completely disolved and it was ok because the yeast still needed to proof which took about another 5 min.)
Add in yeast and allow to proof ( which basically means it will get foamy and have air bubbles.)

Mix in salt and oil into the yeast mixture.

Add in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough lightly... (at this point I wasn't feeling well enough and AH did it for me...he only kneaded the dough for maybe five minutes at the most.)

Place in a well oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth in a warm place until doubled in size...( mine took about 45 min.) Punch down, knead lightly, form into your loafs or rolls, place in your oiled pans and let rise approx. 30 min. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Minus the time for it to rise, which really doesn't count because it's not like you stand there and watch it, this recipe really only took about 15 minutes max to put together and it's really worth the effort.... I hope you'll try it and see just how easy and yummy it is... it has really encouraged me to try other bread recipes and I'm a huge foody so I'm not sure why I never did before...probably because of the myth that making bread is too much work...it's really not true, at least in this case and as I move to try to put more natural food into my body for health reasons this is one more thing that I can pretty easily do... :) Not to mention there's just something so comforting and satisfying about having bread baking in your oven that didn't come from the freezer section.... The original recipe called for 2/3 c. of sugar, I cut it down to 1/3 and for my Thanksgiving rolls I think I'm going to try omitting it all together. I'm working on cutting out all white food from my diet....now thats a daunting task!!

Changing gears...I would like to introduce you to blueberry...he's the latest newborn to come to our family.... He's a gracious little pony, but he is a little melancholy because he doesn't have stripes ( he thinks he's a zebra) and he's worried that blue makes his butt look big....I've tried to explain that he's beautifully and wonderfully made but I don't think he's come to full acceptance of this yet. Poor blueberry, I hope that he will be able to love himself for who he truly is soon... it's so hard to watch him struggle with self acceptance.

In the pic above Blueberry and Ms. Itty Bitty was enjoying a little quiet time to themselves...

Oh....and the Mad Christmas Hare is more out of control than ever....I've stopped counting how many times he's moved his tree....I've given up and wonder if he's just high strung and has nothing better to do with his energy....he is sort of nervous and jittery all the time....

Above is another family picture with the newest members...oh how they all seem to enjoy each other and get along so well, considering their vast individual personality traits...

So funny....while getting together for a family picture, MJ couldn't help herself and decided to get in the picture...she is such a naughty kitty most of the time that I thought she was jumping on the stool to grab one of them...instead she laid perfectly behind as you can see in the pic above.
And I just had to post this pic of MJ that Mr. Holiday had taken, she's all tuckered out and sleeping with her pet flea.... I don't know if I told you, MJ is Mr. Holiday's third child...seriously! I think it's a 'Godfather' thing...(you know, the movie), none the less I'm sure she is the most spoiled pet on the planet!
I have so much more I wanted to tell you...but I'm too pooped out right now so I'll have to save it for morning...Until then...I just want to say I am so thankful for you and I hope you are blessed beyond anything our minds could concieve!
P.S. It is only 30 degrees outside tonight and we are all on 'snow' watch... so much for 'Sunny CA!!!)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sugar Plums, New Friends....and shhh...lets just forget September.

Meet my new friends...I can't remember if I mentioned, but last December when Mitzi came for the wedding she gave me a crash course in needle felting. We were in the loveliest hotel on the pier in San Francisco, the night before she was to fly back home. We had gone to the city the night before because she had a much too early flight. We spent a lovely evening window shopping in the city, drinking cocoa, exchanging our Christmas gifts and her showing me how to needle felt as we sat on our beds in the hotel room (she also taught me how to wet felt with a bar of guest soap in the hotel bathroom)....Thinking about it now, I don't know how she had an ounce of energy left to show me and I'm shocked that I retained anything at all .... selfishly, I wish we could repeat our stay at this hotel five days before Christmas this year.... minus the exhausten and the early morning flight. :)

Please note that my new camera needs to be returned, it takes such awful pics and it really doesn't do justice to how cute my new friends really are, however, I'm happy to introduce you to...

Dough dough the Christmas bird (he is a royal). Harry (yes I know an unlikely name for an elf). The mad Christmas hare with his snowman tie... and in front, please meet "Plum". If you wish to speak with her you'll have to use sign language because unfortunately she's deaf due to a lack of enough periwinkle blue wool to finish her ears....

Poor, poor Plum, and she is the sweetest one of them all... hopefully tomorrow I can introduce you to a few more new friends as new ones are born each day, just in time to be adopted by way of gifts in time for Christmas. The original intent was to put a string in the top for ornaments....but as they sort of, kind of, start to come to life...I'm rethinking...I'm also selfishly trying to decide if I can even give them up for adoption now....

Today brought "Bitty", that would be 'Ms. Itty Bitty', who is a precocious pink wiener dog with white polka dots. Ms. Itty Bitty made fast friends with Little Miss Plum, as I knew she would because Plum is a friend to all.... Harry however thinks Ms. Itty Bitty is his pet pooch and you can imagine the upset around my house today as Ms. Itty Bitty let him know straight away that she is 'nobodies' pet! As the tantrum ensued, dough dough bird just sat quietly eating his gingerbread cookies and the mad hare stood stoically pondering the placement of the Christmas tree, which he has moved and rearranged at least ten times already...he really is quite mad!

This last week has also brought a new bread recipe... AH thought he was in Heaven and I had every intention of sharing it with you...but as it's quite late, it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Just a pinch more of catch up....September brought baby girls 23rd birthday. Pictured below is the birthday girl complete with her pearls and sash...and my big boy and his wife.

A few days later brought literally three weeks worth of misery for baby girl.... there were moments that I really didn't think either one of us was to live through this one... What seemed to be a typical visit to the oral surgeon turned into trauma and visits back to his office every other day...literally, I'm not kidding....thankfully she is all better now, but lets just write this last September right off the books... There was a little bit of irony and grins however....her oral surgeons name was Dr. Choo.... LOL, that doesn't happen everyday....

Sleep Sweet Dear Ones...

Monday, November 15, 2010

More sugarplums.... with a pinch of catch up.

Remember the matchbox swap...well I received my swap back. Twenty five little boxes filled with tiny little gifts. No matter how good my intentions are to post everyday, inevitably each day passes with a blank page yearning to be written. The last time I had spoke with Mitzi about my dismay, she said, "don't worry about catching up, just go forward, always go forward..." Good advice. But somethings are worth being remembered.
Sugar plums are still dancing in my head.... I've started little odds and ends of Christmas yummies to be given if I manage the fantastical feat of finishing them in between my down times. But first...

The end of October brought AH to his alter ego... "Spiderman". AH has been in love with Spiderman since he was a little boy...and now he has become "Spiderman". I wish you could have heard the delights of all the little boys telling AH, "I love you Spiderman", "Hi, Spiderman!", "Spiderman, your awesome." You can imagine how this made AH's heart soar.

World Series week brought excitement, cheering, moaning, jumping up and down and all various sorts of chaos to my living room. I wish you could have seen AH...I'm still giggling about his shouts of victory as the "Giants" brought home the World Series trophy...

And then there was AH's favorite Giant, known in our house as "Timmy".

But in between spider treats and baseball dreams sugar plums still dance in my head...

Who would like to get a roll of cookies in the mail? BHG has wonderful holiday recipes and gift ideas on their website right now....

Or how about a little envelope of cheese straws laid on each guest plate? Maybe even for Thanksgiving...maybe instead of old paper, maybe a note telling each loved one around your table why you are so grateful for their presence. That envelope above actually looks more like a sheet of parchment neatly wrapped around the cheese straws. So much inspiration, so little time... which is why a girl whose never made a list in her life is making one this year. One for Thanksgiving, one for Christmas.... Little things done each day no matter how small...that way when the big day comes I'll be totally organized and if AH or baby girl needs to step in for me it will be totally laid out for them. And that my friends will make Merry!

Check out another BHG inspiration above. How darling, CD jackets with a beautifully adorned cookie on the inside peeking out the window. How nice would this be for a teacher, mailman, your favorite grocery store clerk, co worker or maybe an acquaintance that you just feel like doing a little something for. I'm in love with that idea.....
So for now...sleep sweet dear friends. I hope to visit with you more, offering a little inspiration along with a little catch up along the way. Be blessed and well! XOXO Keke