Healthy Lifestyle Ideas

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Great Homemade Bread Recipe

Who doesn't love fresh baked bread? I've been counting carbs for years and limiting my bread intake, however I finally decided to start eating whole grain bread because I enjoy it so much. I'd rather work out and still be able to enjoy a sandwich whenever I want. Life without a sandwich is sad :(.  I got the following bread recipe from a friend that mills her own wheat. I haven't committed to buying my own flour mill yet, but I found unbleached, organic and no preservative flour in the store and bought a  bread machine to help out. I've made several loaves now and my family and I are loving it! The only bad thing is that I love to spread Irish butter on my hot, fresh out of the oven slice.  Thanks for the recipe Mary!

Today I made the bread using 3 cups of white and 1 1/2 cups of wheat. I know I should use only whole wheat, but my kids love the taste of white bread.

I unplugged the machine after the dough cycle was done mixing and it continued to rise to the top in the warmth of the bread machine.

I took it out of the bread machine pan, lightly kneaded it and divided it into 2 loaf pans. I then cover the pans with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise an additional 20-30 minutes. Now they're ready for baking.

Here's the recipe:

Put ingredients into a bread maker in the following order and set on dough setting. After the dough mixing cycle is over, unplug the bread maker and let the dough continue to rise in the bread machine until it reaches the top of the pan. Remove and knead lightly. Divide dough into 2 loaves, cover and let rise 20 minutes. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 30 minutes or until done.

Basic Bread Recipe (Makes 2 loaves)
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup oil (1/3 cup if you use an egg)
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp. salt
Then add the following
4 1/2 cups freshly milled flour
1 tbsp. yeast

Here's how the loaf looked when it came out of the oven. It's a delicious basic bread recipe and the smell of it baking fills the house with the most wonderful aroma. It drives my kids crazy, waiting for it to be done. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Girlfriends Crafting Day

My friends Wendy, Mary and I recently had our 2nd 'Girls Night Out' get-together. It's more of a 'Girls Day In' because we have lunch and do a crafting project together. Wendy hosted the first one last February and she served a delicious quiche and had all the supplies ready for us to make these sweet valentines for our kids. Mary, who has boys (both now grown), gave hers to her little grand daughter.  They were a lot of fun to make.

Then in March, Mary hosted the lunch and had a no-sew scarf craft for us to learn. She served delicious sandwiches made with homemade bread (made with flour that she ground herself). Here's a picture of Mary, along with Wendy, standing by the flour mill. 
Here's a picture of the sack of wheat she orders online and the containers she keeps them in.
The bread she made from the freshly ground wheat was gorgeous and delicious. I'm thinking of buying a flour mill now!

The craft that Mary had for us to make was a no-sew scarf. Here's a picture of Wendy wearing the scarf she made. The scarf is made using lightweight t-shirt material (which curls on the edge when cut so you don't have to sew a hem or edge). We first doubled the fabric, then used a dinner plate to draw the initial circle. Mary had a swirl pattern for us to follow as a guide when we cut the fabric. You repeat the process several times so that you have several strips of fabric and then they are joined together to make the scarf. 

     I know I'm not explaining it well, but there's lots of info on the 'no-sew scarf' on websites, so I encourage you to look for them if you're interested. Here's a scarf Mary made:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Meet My New Garden Buddy!

 I've got not one, but two new ducklings to help me out in the garden. Both blue eyed cuties. They love to cuddle and they follow me all over the garden. Today while I planted potatoes, they ate worms and white grubs.
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