Thursday, March 29, 2012

{Basic Bread}

Because my kids go thru bread like crazy, I have decided to make bread at home and save myself some money - plus who doesn't love the smell of homemade bread! I have shared the recipe before but will share it's so easy and so good. found it somewhere on one of the blogs I stalk but for the life of me can't remember which one.

I doubled the recipe and made 3 loaves - perfect size for sandwich's.

Basic Bread Recipe

3 cups of white or whole wheat flour, or 1-1/2 cups of each (plus a little extra flour for kneading) 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 packet, or about 2 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon sugar or brown sugar or honey
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup warm water (not hot, just warm)

*Place 1 cup of warm water, 1 Tablespoon sugar, and yeast in a small bowl and let this froth. It will bubble and grow about double. If it does not froth it means your yeast is not good.

*Mix together flour, salt, 1/4 cup sugar into a mixing bowl. If you have a Kitchen Aid Mixer with a kneader~put into your mixer.

*When your yeast has frothed, add it to your dry ingredients along with your oil. Mix slowly~if it is to dry add just a bit more water. It depends upon the day here in Mo. You want to make a nice dough kind-of like play dough.

*If you have a Mix Aid Mixer~knead about 3-4 minutes on a low setting then turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth like a baby's bottom. If you knead by hand~knead about 10 minutes.

*Place dough into a large greased bowl. Let rise to double size. It will depend on how warm your kitchen is at the time how quickly it will rise. It seems to take about an hour if your kitchen is real warm. It will take a bit longer if your kitchen is cooler. Do not rush this step!

* After your dough has risen, punch it down, shape into loaves. This will make 1 really large loaf or 2 small loaves. Let it rise again in the pans to double size. I like the smaller ones for sandwiches and toast. If you're  making it for a meal the large loaf is pretty.

* Bake @325º for about 50 minutes. Watch it closely. I just changed to an electric oven in our new home and it cooks faster.

* You know it is done when you take it out and give the bottom a thump. If it sounds hollow it is is down. If not put it back in for a few more minutes.

This is an easy bread to make and so cheap. I use it for cinnamon bread and cinnamon rolls also. Enjoy! Nothing makes a meal more complete than homemade bread.
  Rolls~you just roll into a ball about the size of a lime. Then place them side by side, cover them and let them rise until double. Bake them at the same temperature as the bread. 

It will only take about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.  

Cinnamon rolls~ Same thing after they have risen~cut the dough into two balls. Take your rolling pin and roll out into a  flat circle about 1/4 inch thick. Now cover with your butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Lots of butter and sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon just a bit thicker than you would toast. Now roll  the dough up into a jelly roll and slice them about one inch thick. Place them side by side in a large cake pan. Let them rise until double in size. 

Bake about 18-20 or until golden brown. I like to cover mine with a powdered sugar frosting with maple added.

Monday, March 26, 2012

{Recipe Binder}

I have been meaning to get my recipes all printed out so that when I don't have access to my computer or internet I have them on hand - that was over a year ago. Well, I finally got my act together and printed all my favorite recipes (tried and true and all tested by me), got a binder and protective sheets and some dividers and basically slapped it together!

It was soooooo EASY! I don't know what took me so long to get it done. The hardest part was creating my cover sheet and separating out my recipes into categories. Not only do I have food recipes but this binder has gift giving ideas with the recipes and I am going to have a cleaning/bug killing section too with all those recipes as well.

Sure I could have fancied up the binder with some fabric or craft paper but I just wanted to keep it simple and the best part of all is that I can use a wet/dry erase marker on the protective sleeves to adjust for making recipes larger or smaller!!

I am excited about my little binder!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

{Quick Dinner}

I made a quick dinner tonight using only sausage, kale, chicken broth, rice and some butter. It was a huge hit with my family and it was quick and easy and didn't need any extra seasoning. The kids loved the Kale, they said it tasted a little like broccoli. This recipe I just created to use up what I had in my fridge and pantry. You could add any vegi you like to it or any type of rice. I like medium grain rice because it's easy to make and has a nice texture.
By the way, do you know what kale looks like? I was watching a cooking show on PBS and the woman said a type of lettuce in her hand was Kale and it wasn't. I first learned about Kale when I made Zuppa Tuscana Soup. I went to my local grocery store and had to find the produce guy and ask what Kale was because I had no idea. It's actually pretty interesting looking and all ruffly. It's a wonderful addition to any soup where you want a splash of green. I love having it on hand, if you haven't tried it you should.

Sausage Rice with Kale

1 pound sausage (you can use any flavor of sausage)
1 - bunch of Kale
14.5 oz can Chicken Broth (I used swansons)
2 tablespoons of butter
1 cup dry medium grain rice
2 cups water

Directions:  In a large saute pan brown and cook up the sausage. Once cooked add the chicken broth and scrape up all the bits of goodness that may have stuck to the pan. Chop the kale and place on top of the sausage with 1 table spoon of butter, cover and reduce heat to low.

In a small pot add the water and bring to a boil with 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the rice and stir until water starts to boil again. Cover and reduce heat to low for 20 minuets. 

Once rice is cooked fluff it add it to the sausage mixture and then serve.

This would make a great side dish or even a nice dish on it's own. For smaller kids if it's too hot add a small handful of frozen peas and stir until cooled.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

{Basket full of Bunnies}

I found a cute post by Ashley at Lil Blue Boo of taking a pair of knee socks and turning them into cute bunnies! Of course I pinned it on Pintrest and the next day ran out and picked up 10 pairs of knee socks from Target, 'cause that's where Ashley got her's from.

Each pair of knee socks normally goes for $2.50 but they had a sale going on and I ended up saving 50 cents per sock!! I already had batting on hand for my cloth dolls that I make and I already have needles and thread and a sewing machine so I figure each bunny cost me about $3.50 each to make - mind you there is almost a full sock left over so I am thinking of turning the left over socks into mini bunnies so each bunny could potentially be less.

How cute are these bunnies. I am going to hand make the button eyes out of paperclay and I plan to embroider faces on them too...I am in love!!

Each of my kids will get one as will some nieces and nephews for easter. Ruth was bummed that she couldn't have one because I told her they were for sale in my shop...won't she be excited to find a cute bunny waiting for her on easter instead of seeing it sold. She even told me if she got one she would love it forever and call it Mr. Bunn Bunn.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

{Happy Birthday Sam!}

So here I am weeks after we celebrated Sam's birthday and I am just now getting around to posting the few pictures I took and the little video of how we surprised Sam. You see he thought he was going to celebrate his birthday on his actual birthday but we had everyone over on Saturday so we decided to have a little surprise party just for him, ya know spice it

I ordered a special "Tardis" Cake from Albertsons, (because I was too lazy to make the cake myself), they did an AMAZING job and it tasted good like always! and we hid the birthday presents and the cake away until it was after lunch...Sam didn't expect a thing!

It turned out great! Sam opened his presents after cake and ice cream and loved all the "doctor" related items he got and his favorite was the Tardis T-Shirt Nana & Papa sent him. Although the 3 outfits for the 9th,10th and 11th  doctor from Mommy and Daddy came in second!

Thanks Nana &Papa!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

{Weekly Weigh In: Week 11}

Ok this will be my last post for a while when it comes to my weight loss. I am going the wrong way on the scale and its frustrating me and I know for a fact that I am sabotaging myself because I am feeling less adequate then ever.

this is how I feel when I stand on my scale - credit
I need to just focus on getting happier because focusing on my weight is only making me spiral further into my depression. As I have said before I am an emotional eater and when I am depressed I eat the wrong things, take for example last night I went to Walmart and picked up 3 boxes of the peeps (purple and pink) and ate all 3 packages by myself because I was trying to sooth my hurt feelings because Ruth said I was the worse parent ever.

I just need to focus on me and not the weight. If I don't get my depression under control not only is my weight going to spiral out of control but so is everything else in my life. I need to get my iron levels up to combat the anemia and I need to figure out how to deal with the carpel tunnel that is making it near impossible for me to sculpt and paint my art work.

So for now, these posts won't be happening but instead I think I will write a weekly post about how I am doing in combating my mental and health issues and how I am feeling overall about life.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

{Bird Lady in Progress}

This is my current project - I am working on creating this lovely little gal who has been dubbed "Bird Lady". If you notice all my projects looks different - they each have taken on a mind of their own and "show" me what they want to become. I am  loving what transpires between my fingers and the clay. I can't wait to see how she turns out - Can you?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

{Interpur girl dish set}

You remember the bowl with the lovely face on it, right? Well I found the rest of her on after a friend told me that the set was made by Interpur a company based out of Korea. My bowl just said Korea so I really had no idea where to look.

BIG thanks to Kate for letting me know where to look!  I found that my little girl head is near impossible to find, (apparently blondes are rare), but there are little brunette girls and there are even boys and I saw a tea set with a granny on it. I am soooo going to start collecting these when and where I can.

So without further ado, check out my now complete girl dish set.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

{Red Headed Mama}

I just adore how she turned out but while gluing on her hair I messed up her back while taking off a bit of extra hair so I can't sell her but because I love how she looks, (what I envisioned myself to look like while pregnant with Aaron - of course I wasn't as skinny or have a mole above my lip but I felt just as beautiful as she turned out).

I now have her dangling from my rear view mirror in my car to keep me company on the crazy car rides with the kids.

Isn't she just ADORABLE!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

{Roof Re-Do}

When we bought our house we knew the roof was going to need to be replaced and because the house was built in 1920 there was added cost to put the plywood down over the slats that held the wood shingles on but with some savings and a nice return in our taxes we were able to get it done alot sooner then expected and had some guys come out over the weekend to get it done.

The before image is of the house when we first bought it and the after was from yesterday
The guys who did the roof work were clean and so nice and picked up after themselves!! The house looks great with the new roof and I am so pleased!

I am finding that being a home owner has it's good and bad points one of them being we have to shell out the money to get things replaced (like the roof) or fixed versus having a landlord do it but one of the positives is that we get to do what we want to our house like choosing the roof color! Now the next project to get done will be the bathroom downstairs will get a mini facelift and then the attic and then the roof over the laundry room will become a deck then we will see about getting a garage! Lots of projects to happen during the years to come!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

{Before and After}

I have been busy creating some lovely ornaments for my shop and enjoying family this weekend. But I did want to share a quick before and after of an "Alien Mama" ornament I just finished today.

As you can see in the before she is still attached to a stick and hasn't been sanded or primed yet and as you can see in the after she has a lovely blue skin and green eyes and hair...what you can't see is the green spots coming down her head, neck and snaking down her back.

I just love how she turned out!! She is for sale in my etsy shop if your interested in having her dangle in your home. I am working on adding more "mama's" into my shop over the next week.

Friday, March 9, 2012

{Weekly Weigh In: Week 10}

I know I didn't weigh in last week but I am going to this week...It's better then it was last week and I feel better about posting it today then I did last week.

I know I am no where near where I thought I would be by week 10 but I am trying to get myself back on track and not be so depressed and mopey. I am still fighting it but I am trying to push thru it.

This week I am going to start back up with tracking my eating at myfitnesspal and getting my fat butt off the couch and MOVE! I am going to get some sort of exercise be it walking or working out to a video or even working with the wii fit I will be moving for 30-60 min a day.

Start Weight: 302 lbs
Two Weeks Ago: 306.3
Loss/Gain: + 0.9 lbs
Current weight: 307.2 lbs

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

{Pregnant Painted}

I painted her, now to find the right tie to hang her with and I am still debating on weather I will clothe her or not. I am leaning more towards not but I am still undecided.

The images below were taken with my cell phone...I love that my phone can take pictures even if they are not the best.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

{new project}

This gal has the face I made a while back...I have been staring at her head for some time now, trying to figure out what I was going to do with her and what she was going to look like. Today I figured it out and look at how she is coming along! I am loving her look.

I must say I am fond of a pregnant woman's form since I no longer can have kids and I am in awe of it's beauty. I also think it's been therapeutic to create these little mother's and helps me deal with emotions that I have locked away after each miscarriage I had.

Isn't she just lovely! I think I might make her an ornament since I love her look without arms or legs - what do you think??

Don't these images look great for being cell phone pictures....LOL

Monday, March 5, 2012

{Sweetest Bowl and Birthday}

do you know anything about me??
Over the weekend I went to The Pink Duck, a lovely antique/thrift store in New Plymouth and found the most adorable little bowl with a sweet drawing of a little girl with pig tails on it. I want to find out more about it and  get any of the mates, if there are any that is. Do you know anything about it? Please let me know.

Now onto BIGGER news...Today is Sam's 9th Birthday!! I will post images from that day and such once I get them downloaded but below is his new Doctor who getup (the eleventh one BTW) that he has been wearing non-stop since he opened the box. He also got a leather jacket for the 9th doctor who and a suit for the 10th doctor and many other doctor who related items.

I can't believe my babe is NINE!!!

this is the 11th Doctor Who...

Friday, March 2, 2012

{Weekly Weigh In: Week 9}}

No scale picture, No weigh in this week. It's been insane and crazy and I haven't eaten the way I should and it shows on my scale and I am just not ready to face that fact


I did come across a lovely post on yahoo news about what some of the rules were on eating and drinking and staying healthy and what some of the new rules are now. It's called "4 Health Rules you can Break Today" by Leslie Goldman, below are the 4 rules. Check out the article for a fascinating read.

This first Rule was created in 1945 and whoever created it didn't see the whole picture....
Rule #1
Old Rule: Drink eight glasses of water a day. 
New Rule: Eat your water. 

Rule #2
Old Rule: Eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables. 
New Rule: Fill half your plate with produce. 

Rule #3
Old Rule: Avoid red meat
New Rule: Beef in moderation can be healthy. 

This last rule I like because as the article states most doctors don't take into account muscle mass and the person's frame size. We all come in different shapes and sizes.

Rule #4
Old Rule: Keep your BMI between 18.5 and 24.9.
New Rule: Eat healthy, exercise, and let your weight settle naturally.
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