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Monday, April 22, 2013

A springy, light loaf that’s all whole-wheat

A springy, light loaf that’s all whole-wheat

Extra yeast give this whole-wheat bread a light, bouncy texture more commonly associated with white breads.

Honest-to-Gosh 100% Whole-Wheat Bread

2 packages active dry yeast (or 4 teaspoons)
1 ½ cups warm water (110◦)
5 tablespoons honey or molasses (1/3 cup)
4 ¼ to 5 ¼ cups whole-wheat flour
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs


In a large bowl, combine yeast, water, and 1 tablespoon of the honey; let stand about 5 minutes (You will see the yeast start to activate and bubble).
Add 1 ½ cups of the whole-wheat flour. Beat until smoothly blended. Cover and let stand in a warm place until doubled, 20 to 30 minutes.

Using Paddle mixing attachment
Towel helps to keep in warmth to aid in the dough rising

Stir in butter, remaining ¼ cup honey, salt, and eggs.

My ingredients of choice


Add 2 cups whole-wheat flour and beat until thoroughly moistened. Stir in another 1 ¼ cups flour if needed . (I found I only needed ½ cups for the desired texture and density).

- If using a dough hook, beat on high speed until dough pulls cleanly from sides of bowl, 5 to 8 minutes; add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed.
If mixing by hand, scrape dough out onto a whole-wheat-floured board and knead until dough is smooth, about 10 minutes; add just enough flour to board to prevent sticking.
Place dough in an oiled bowl. Cover dough with plastic wrap (I used a kitchen towel).
 Put in a warm place and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Dough doubled in size

Punch dough down and knead lightly on a board to release air bubbles. Cut dough into 2 equal portions. Shape each portion into a loaf and place each in a greased 4x8 inch loaf pan.

 Cover lightly with towel and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, 20 to 30 minutes.
Dough doubled to loaf size, ready for the oven

Bake in a 375 oven until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped, 35 to 40 minutes. (I found my oven runs hot, I bake at 325 for 35 minutes and its great). Turn out onto racks to cool.
Picture from very first batch, even though, one loaf is larger than the other, they still turned out great.

Makes 2 loaves, each 1 ¼ pounds –
Alison Conner, Mercer Island Washington.
Passed on by Claudia Rood, Riverside, California
Passed on by Michelle Elliott, Riverside, California (recipe comments by Michelle)

Notes from Claudia Rood:
Be sure to use a thermometer to get the water the right temperature. I use a small glass measuring cup and put in microwave to get to the right temperature.
The key when using a food processor (i.e. Kitchen Aid) is running the machine the full amount of kneading time. You may not want the mixer on 'high', just fast enough to keep the dough off the sides. Once you have added the right amount of flour it will keep on the hook and clean the sides of the mixing bowl. The more you knead the dough, the better it will be as the yeast is exposed to the air and the moisture in the air will have an affect on the dough.
Getting bread to rise: I usually put in oven to proof. If it is really cold turn oven on just till the heater comes on, then turn off. If it is too warm it will cook the dough.

Notes from Michelle Elliott:
I found using my paddle attachment on the Kitchen Aid gave the dough starter a smoother mixture and allowed the yeast to activate evenly, I switched to the dough hook to knead.

Homemade whole-wheat loaf rises tall during baking. Use a serrated knife to slice thinly for sandwiches and toast.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Things that are homemade

I have been trying to do more homemade or DIY projects recently. It's funny how you can either realize you have a hidden talent or no talent at all! Here are some of my projects and their outcomes, with a little bit of commentary along the way. (Pictures to still be added) I will update this post from time to time as needed.

Furniture facelift: Girls Room (2012)
This project I would rate as Easy. I was given my Grandma Christensen's furniture when I got married. When we separated the boys and girls into their own rooms I realized I only had one dresser. So I took my dresser and James' matching nightstand and gave them to the girls.
Step 1. Wipe down dresser, sand and prep for painting, includes taking off drawer handles.
Step 2. I used a high grade spray paint, outside in good weather (no wind).
Step 3. Spray first layer, then sand before adding a much needed second.
Step 4. Adding embellishments. In the scalloped grooves I added a light pink for a boarder - topped with a pearl white to give a nice glossy color. I did the pearl white also on the drawer handles.

3D Room Art: (2012)
Girl's Room
I had this crazy idea to punch holes into some extra canvas' that I had. I decided to make two for the Girls room. The First canvas was inspired from their bed comforter and the second was to create something fun and unexpected. Another inexpensive way to add color was to put come fabric pieces in frames (About $25).

Boy's Room (2012)
The room is  a nautical theme and nautical d├ęcor is so expensive! One piece that I was missing was an anchor and a bit more red. So I decided to paint a red anchor and wrap rope around it. (Cost $10)

Updated Pew (2009)
This pew use to sit behind the pulpit. Our church decided to use chairs (which were newer and more comfy). The foam in the pew had disintegrated and so we were basically sitting on wood anyway. I took apart the bench, pulled 100's of staples out, added new foam and fabric, stapled it in place, and screwed the bench back together! (Materials cost: $55)

Family Theme Verse on Canvas (2010)
It is hard to find a verse already printed that I would like - nothing generic either. This verse is something I pray for my family and want to remind us daily. My inspiration was my Piano Room carpet.

Food:
Need I say more. Yes I am a foodie and a food snob, but I also like to try new things and LOVE baking and cooking. One of my most favorite gifts was Julia Child's "The art of French cooking". I have made many dishes and can't wait to make more.

Homemade bread. (2013)
This was something I have really wanted to try for a long time. I was a bit intimidated as my mother and my mother-in-law make great homemade bread. But I knew I would never learn, or get better at it, if I don't try.
I loved the way my first attempt turned out - my husband said that I didn't have to a achieve perfection the first time...really!? So in other words it turned out pretty good. Since then I have been making bread at least once a week and as time permits (4 young kids you know)

Sewing
My Christmas gift in 2012 from my husband was a sewing machine (yup love the man!). I have wanted one for some time. Since then I keep dreaming up these projects. So I thought I would make a list and see if I can do it. I am not putting a time frame on them as I have other things I would like to try too.

Dresses for the girls: Finished 2
Costumes:
Drapes for Master Bedroom:
Drapes for Boy's room:
Drapes for Girl's room:
Skirts for myself: (like a chevron pattern one)

Gardening:
This is going to prove to be a real challenge. I have had THEE hardest time keeping plants alive with young children. Not that they kill them...I can't remember to water them. BUT I have a solution. There is a little planter box outside my backdoor. We are planning to redo our back patio. I will keep the planter box and try my hand at an herb garden. I would find fresh herbs very helpful in my cooking. So this is a project for the summer of 2013.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

2012 Birthdays

We have had some major milestones for birthday's in our house this year. I am truly understand how fast time flies and how precious each moment really is.

Liam turned 6! Theme: Dinner and a Movie. Simple fun for a school night.



 
Emma is now 5 and ready for Kindergarten! Family Party with a "Tinkerbell garden Cake"






Speaking to Nana and Papa in Brisbane, AUS








Audrey is 3 going on 30 :-) - Audrey wanted a Megamind Cake and Auntie Cristilynn delivered! Simple family cake cutting.

Megamind in his Black Momba Suit






And Owen is 1! We had a little Elliott Birthday Celebration for Owen.

Owen's favorite birthday gift - toy lawn mower




Owen's gift from Nana and Papa

My Baby is One

Owen, my dear sweet little boy! This year had gone by so fast. I am so thankful for all special moments that we had together. Owen is a strong and determined little boy. He likes to play with his older siblings and to be included. I love how he like to build his blocks and then knock them down or others towers down. He loves to swing outside and go down the slide. Owen started walking at 9 months and was trying to run one month later. He is so cute as he tries to get people to chase him, he giggles as he hears you getting closer.

Owen has been Grandpa Rood's little buddy since he was born. He likes my dad's attention  and prefers him to almost anyone else. Unfortunately that is not how he feels about his uncle Lance. He started crying when he was 5-6 months old when he saw him. We aren't sure why that happened, but we think he is growing out of it.

 
Owen loves the beach and playing in the sand. He also loves the waves and tries to go in deeper and deeper. He doesn't mind getting wet and really enjoys running away from the waves.

He has also attached himself to Audrey. They cuddle together and sit in each others arms when watching children's shows. He also lays or walks on top of her to give her a hug and kiss.

On his first birthday Owen was wearing 2T clothes, side 7 shoe, 26 in tall and 31 lbs.
 I thank the Lord for my little man and my prayer for him is that he will Glorify God in the way he uses his large physic and that he uses his determined personality to achieve great thanks for God.

Liam's Kindergarten Adventure


I can't believe that Liam's first school year is almost out! 5 weeks left! It seems like it went so fast, but there were times when I thought it was taking forever! Usually those times came when homework was more of an effort.
Some of the highlights: Liam starting to sleep in, trying to get Liam ready for school, myself ready for work and lunches made and out the door on time. Christmas Party - Liam was so sick he couldn't participate, so he totally missed out. Valentines party, Career dress-up day, Tour of the Fire Station, Chinese Missions Week. Kindergarten Performance. I also created a Kindergarten memory book with pictures of the whole year for Liam to enjoy.

We had many lunch Dates and Visitors this year -
Nana & Papa Elliott (Australia)
Aunt Rebecca Elliott (Australia)
Uncle Chris (Great)
Aunt Connie (Great)
Uncle Dirk and Auntie Beth (Australia)
Grandpa & Grandma Rood
Aunt Cristilynn
Aunt Victoria
Uncle Parker
Daddy, Mommy, Emma, Audrey & Owen

Liam's reading and writing has really improved, he loved math and art. In class they did a letter per week. Once they got to Z Liam thought he was in 1st grade and asked from March until the end of the school year, "when am I in 1st grade?". He enjoyed his class mates and loved his Teacher Mrs. Gude.






First grade here comes Liam!