Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I made Rebekah's a few weeks ago to give her for her birthday. I didn't have help on hers and it took about and hour and a half.
Hannah's horse fabric was some of the fabric we purchased when Jo~ann's was having a big SALE. Her apron cost a total of $4.00 including fabric and notions. I know it would go for a lot more than that at any of the local craft fairs. Hey, maybe I'm on to something? I do know I will be making some for gifts in the near future.
The girls are excited to wear their aprons for household chores and meal prep. I'm hoping the aprons will help keep the mess down. I probably shouldn't get my hopes up too much. I am just excited that they enjoy helping around the house. But then what mother wouldn't be.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Add eggs and and mix slightly. Add butter and enough milk to make batter the consistency you prefer. Cook both sides on a hot griddle.
We serve these butter and "real" maple syrup. They are fabulous with blueberries, bananas, peaches, or chocolate chips added.
Making homemade bread for my family is one of my passions. It is so yummy and so much better for you than what you can buy in the store. And in all honesty is really not that difficult once you get the hang of it. Here is our favorite Italian Bread. We serve this with pasta, soups and more.
- 1 Tbsp yeast
- 1 cup warm water less 1 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 stiffly beaten egg whites
- egg yolks and sesame seeds for top of bread
I make most of my bread in my kitchen aid, but you can make this recipe by hand or even in a bread machine if you like.
During the winter months I rinse the bowl of my mixer with hot water before starting, so that the chilly stainless doesn't effect the yeast. Pour warm water into pre-warmed bowl. Add yeast and sugar. Mix with your finger and let proof for about five minutes. When you return it should be nice and bubbly. You can click between the two photos to see the difference in the yeast.
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While the yeast is proofing, beat the egg whites nice and stiff. These you can set aside.
To the yeast, add the salt and flour one cup at a time. Once all the flour in mixed in, it will be quite dry, add the butter.
Next add the egg whites. This will make the dough very wet. Not to worry the kneading will turn this wet mess into a beautifully elastic dough. I let the machine knead the dough for about 10 minutes. The dough will have pulled away from the sides of the bowl leaving it clean.
While the dough is kneading I oil my favorite dough bowl. This is where the dough will go to rise. I cover it with a clean dish towel and place it near the wood stove for about an hour and a half, or until it has doubled in size.
Now it is time to shape your bread. We like to make a braid. Cut the dough into three equal pieces and roll into ropes. Braid the three together turning both ends under. Cover with dish towel and let rise in a warm place for another 30 minutes or so. If you click through the photos below you will see all the steps mention to form the loaf.
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After the second rising brush the beaten egg yolk that has been mixed with a little water over the entire braid. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Again, here you can click through the photos to see the mentioned steps.
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Sorry for the slide shows in this post. I couldn't figure out another way to get all the pictures included.
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp cocoa
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups applesauce
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 large package chocolate chips
Mix together the melted butter and first measure of sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Sift together the next 5 ingredients and add to butter mixture. Add applesauce making sure to mix completely. Spread in a greased 9x9 pan. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of sugar and chocolate chips over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Rebekah loves here jumper. It is made of cotton flannel so it is toasty warm for the New England winter. It even has ties to help adjust the fit. And of course I made it nice and long.
Best of all the entire jumper cost $3.99 out of pocket. I had the pattern and the thread already. From start to finish it took me about 2 1/2 hours. Not bad if I say so myself. The next one should go faster as this was the first time I had ever used bias tape. It really wasn't difficult especially after viewing this tutorial. Thank Amy for a great explanation.
Check back later to see the next project.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
- 24 large shells
- 1 lb Italian sausage
- 1 container (15oz) ricotta cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella ( the picture shows cheddar which was good too)
- 1 10oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 medium carrot shredded
- 1 jar pasta sauce (or homemade from the freezer)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
Cook shells according to instructions on the package.
Meanwhile brown the sausage and drain fat. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella, spinach, basil and garlic until well blended. Stir in sausage and carrots.
Spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of the pan. Fill shells with about 3oz of ricotta cheese mixture. Place shells, filled side up, on the sauce in the baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over shells. Cover with foil.
Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of mozzarella. return to the oven uncovered for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
I am planning to try and freeze this as I do my lasagna. I will let you know how it works. I love to have meals in the freezer for those busy days when there just isn't time to cook.
Monday, January 19, 2009
The plan is to make two jumpers for Rebekah will matching doll dresses, a dust cover for Doug's printer, an apron for Hannah (that's the horse fabric), fleece jammie pants for Sarah, and two jumpers for myself. To help keep myself accountable I will post pictures as I finish each project.
My mother and grandmother both sewed beautifully. I hope that at little bit of that talent got passed down in my gene pool. I regret we never had the time to sew together.
Friday, January 16, 2009
This is a quick and yummy breakfast everyone loves. The kids equate it to toaster strudels but better. And of course mom knows it is healthier and more economical. I just wish my pictures were better.
- 2 cups Bisquick
- 3 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup jam (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and apricot are our favorites)
Cut cream cheese and butter into Bisquick until crumbly. Add milk and mix. The dough will not hold together yet, but don't add more milk. Pour out onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 12 times until the dough holds together. Roll into a 12" x 8" rectangle. Spread the jam down the center of the rectangle the long way. Cut from long edge to jam every 1 1/2 on both sides. Fold cut strip in over jam pressing slightly. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 12 - 15 minutes in a 425 degree oven.
For glaze mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/8 tsp vanilla, 1/8 tsp almond extract and about 1Tbs milk. Add more or less milk to get the consistency that you want. Drizzle glaze over braid and enjoy.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I found this neat activity one one of my favorite kids' craft web sites, The Crafty Crow, http://belladia.typepad.com/crafty_crow/. It looked like so much fun, and included a bit of a science lesson. And being that the temps have been sub zero it was the perfect weather for building ice towers. The kids had a great time even if their finger did get a little frost bitten (just kidding). We filled the various containers with water, then colored them with food coloring. We were hoping to get some marbled blocks but the food coloring diffused through the water faster than it froze. We left the blocks outside overnight to freeze. It actually might have been a little too cold as we had cracks in a lost of our blocks. The ice blocks popped out of their containers quite easily and the kids got right to building. We used a sprinkle of salt to melt the surface of the blocks slightly. They would then freeze back together. Everyone had fun and voted to do it again. We are on the hunt for tall thin containers such as Popsicle containers.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Rebekah wasn't quite sure what to do with her birthday cake. She did like the candle though. We gave her a little cake all for herself and she still wouldn't "dig in". She really doesn't like to get her hands dirty. As my mother-in-law says, I finally got my "girly girl".
Here she is today a big two year old. She likes to tell everyone she is two and holds up her thumb and first finger. Sarah made wonderful chocolate cupcakes from scratch with a peanut butter surprise in the center. They were really yummy. You can find the recipe here: http://boyerfamilyrecipes.blogspot.com/2009/01/chocolate-peanut-butter-cupcakes.html Rebekah still doesn't like to be messy. This year it was frosting on her nose!
Happy Birthday, my beautiful angle. We love you so much and thank God every day that He blessed our lives with you.
I find it so important that my girls learn what it takes to run a house. It seems anymore that people don't feel that homemaking is a "real" job. I truly believe it is one of the most important jobs a woman has, along with being a wife and mother. The girls and I work along side each other to make our house a home. We enjoy the time together, the many hands make light work, and I know that they will be equipped to manage their own homes someday.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Kathy Brodock at teaching good things is giving away a beautiful handmade doily with your name. If you are not familure with http://teachinggoodthings.com/blog/blog/ you need to check out their blog and the products they offer. The girls and I received Mrs. Brodock's DVD Basic Crochet, A Stitch by Stich Video for Christmas. The girls and I have had a wonderful time learning to crochet together. Mrs. Brodocks instructions are so simple and clear. I love being able to stop the DVD and replay it as many times as needed. It is like having someone right there teaching you. Now I'll admit I can't crochet that well yet, but learning is half the fun isn't it. Not to mention all the wonderfu memories the girls and I are making learning a new skill together. I'll post pictures later of our projects.
Follow the link below to enter to win the family name doily. Good Luck!