Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Easiest and Fluffiest Whole Wheat Bread Ever

This recipe came from my sister Vanessa. I watched her make it once and thought, "Oh I get it...I could do that". It's really a fluffy whole wheat bread that has a good bite to it. Like I know whole wheat breads. I don't but I really like this one. It's cheap too. Each loaf is about 60 cents. Sold.

6 C Warm Water

2/3 C Oil

2/3 C Honey

2 T Salt

3 T Yeast

3 T Gluten

3 T Dough Enhancer

12-13 C Whole Wheat Flour

Prepare in a large mixer (Bosch or KitchenAid). Or in a bowl with the flour in a well on the counter.

Mix together all ingredients except the flour and let it sit for a minute, then add the flour, 4 cups at a time. It might end up needing up to 14 cups of flour. Once all the flour is mixed in, the dough should be a little sticky but firm.

Mix on high for 8 minutes in the kitchen mixer. Divide dough into 5 blobs. Roll each blob into a rectangle, then roll it into a loaf shape and place it seam side down in the pan. Let rise for 1 hour. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees. In my gas oven, I usually bake it for 28 minutes. To get 5 loaves into my oven, I place one loaf (the runt) horizontally in the back and the other 4 vertical to the one in the back.

In the KitchenAid, I halved it to make 2 gigantic loaves.

Sliced into 16 slices, each slice is one weight watcher point.

I strongly recommend using aluminum pans to get a nice light-in-color crust.

I make 5 loaves and store them in the freezer. I think it tastes better the second day.

With a cluck cluck here and a cluck cluck there….

Thanks everyone for all your dear comments and excitement.  When I fell off of blog land three months ago I was such a different women.  Now, I’m not only knocked up but as I mentioned before—we have chickens!  Have you considered it?  We are, sort of.


Marisa of Backyard Farming  moved from her backyard farm to an apartment.   They’re still searching for their one acre with animal rights and so I asked to baby sit her chickens… 

It was selfish really

1.  Starting out with established layers would give us eggs, while figuring out if were were up to chicken ownership.

2. Temporary was the only way James Mair would agree to it.  

“You got chickens? (sputter sputter chuckle chuckle)”  It’s the response we hear every time. 

James’ best return is, “You should be asking us why you don’t have chickens.”  

So far the fun is naming them: Henrietta, Peck, Robot, Crack-a-lack-a-dack-a, and Matilda, gathering the eggs, and capturing escaped chickens and tossing them back into the the coop.  It’s a little country and a little shanty town and we’re still undecided as to whether they’re permanent.  James has made a couple of modifications to the coop.  He added a cool nesting box and a side door for food and water. 


As far as the universal sound all chickens make from the Old McDonald song, cluck cluck.  I haven’t heard a cluck yet.  When we come out with scraps or cold oatmeal, they whine or beg.  The sound drives James crazy.  In the mornings, or whenever, when they’re working on eggs, from what I can tell the other girls cheer on the one laying.  Chicken doulas if you will.  One morning I thought I heard children crying.  It was the chickens.  Marisa is now telling me it’s an adoption/foster program.   Meet Henrietta…  127Oh so much more to come….

Friday, June 18, 2010

And the winner is…

Blue  And by the way, we’re having a baby.  November 7th! 


So far so good.  He looked healthy, wiggly and bigger than normal so the date’s been moved up!  Wahoo.

It’s just the regular and not so regular stuff with this current uterine tenant.  Heart burn, hungry all the time,  and itchy hips (stretch marks are a stretchin’).  Included also have been a few ear zits (ouch), intense allergies and four of my cups are too small. 

All the medical persons who looked on my chart today during and after the ultrasound, said –oh this baby evens it all up!  And such a nice pattern.  GGBGBB.  And then my heart aches and I feel like one’s missing because she is.   We do miss her here.  I cried through the whole ultrasound and not because of that, but because of the whole miracle of it all.  And in the end a baby.  Hopefully.

Yesterday Benjamin asked again how the baby comes out.  He asked in all sincerity,  “Do your shoulders go back and they unzip the baby out?” all while zipping his stomach to neck line.  Oh Benjamin—I’d love to be able to show you a zipper.  I just responded with my old line of, “remember how all girls have three holes?”  He said he had to go out and swing.     

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Serendipty Potato Rolls

This recipe came to me from Christine Benee who gave me frozen rolls that I let rise and baked. The first time I had them I ate 6 out of the 12 :) When I made them the first time I ran out of white flour and substituted a cup of whole wheat flour. Even better with a hint of health.

1 pk of yeast or 1Tbs
1 1/2 cups warm water
2/3 cup sugar

Mix first three ingredients and let it sit a bit. Then add:

2/3 cup soft butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 t salt
1 cup mashed potatoes
6 cups white flour
(variation 5 cups white, 1 cup whole wheat flour)

Knead to soft dough 1-3 minutes or until not sticky.

Divide into 2 balls. Roll each (one at a time) into a large pizza circle and slice into 12-16 pieces. Roll up slices, place on a greased baking sheet and let it rise until double in size.

Bake 12-15 minutes at 350.

#1 I use instant mashed potatoes made in the microwave and they work great!

#2 After rolling up rolls, flash freeze in freezer and pile into freezer bags. To bake frozen rolls just cover with plastic wrap and let rise (about 4 hours).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Addie’s Day

Adelaide turned eight in April and was baptized May 1st. I served a mission for the LDS church and baptisms are special. In Brazil, many people listened to what we shared and then decided for themselves what path they wanted, whether baptism or thanks but no thanks. When it came to baptism, it was, at times, rollercoaster like. As missionaries we’d be so excited for their next step, and then dashed when they chose otherwise.

Addie’s baptism was the easiest baptism, by far, I’ve ever been apart of. It took eight years (smile), but what a great day. The gal was beaming. She and James Mair have a very cool connection—father daughterly sure but friends as well. Some pictures from that day.

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Did you eat the beans? Sorry if you didn’t know their fate.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Painting Kitchen Cabinets White Using a Brush and Oil Base Paint

Caution—lengthy text and really booooooring pictures below…..

There are many posts about painting cabinets—each one a little different—so let me me throw one more into the mix. My next door neighbor is a painter and his quote to paint my kitchen cabinets was around $2,500. A chunk I tell you.

Paint Choice: I asked him if he’d consult, did he have a choice? He had just painted the cabinets in his kitchen with an oil base paint, and it looked really good. He’s a big fan of Benjamin Moore, Impervo (half way between an egg shell and satin finish) so I went with it. I used the color, Cloud White. He also suggested a two inch ox hair brush, "Purdy" brand—I bought it at the Kwall store.


Logistics: I took the hardware off the doors and and the doors off the boxes and lined them around the laundry room on newspaper and broken paint stir sticks. I left the hinges on and painted around them. After about 20 I got pretty good at hinges. The doors took a while. I’d paint one side, wait twelve hours (read five days), flip and paint the other side. After the boxes were done (four coats), I hung the doors back up with only two coats on and finished painting them while they hung—that way I could paint both sides at a time.

Prep: I caulked the cracks in all the molding and door casings with just a paintable Walmart caulk. I washed all the doors and skipped sanding but used ESP (easy surface prep). Just wipe on and wipe off--ready to paint in 90 minutes.


Tips: I primed using Zinsser’s Oil Base Stain Blocker mainly because this primer was low odor. If just one out of the four coats was not as smelly as the the other three, it was worth it. It also helped to stretch the gallon of paint. I used Penetrol, a paint conditioner, to slow the drying time and to eliminate brush strokes. The paint out of the can was a thick chowder consistency and I would thin to about, homemade-ranch-dressing-before-refrigeration consistency. Maybe that's why it took four coats--but no brush marks and there was plenty of time to go back, even after an hour, and check for drips.


Bonus Tips: I sanded in between coats with a 220 grit just to remove all the blips and lint stuck on from drying, and then vacuumed the doors to remove the dust. By coat #4 my paint had all kinds of dried paint chips from the side of the can—and I had been so careful not to pour old paint back in, I even kept the lid on tight. Jim, the consult, suggested straining the paint using a nylon. I strained a lot of paint using 33 cents worth of knee highs and cottage cheese containers. I used about 3 inches of nylon fitting it over container and tying a knot in the other end, and then pouring it into another container.

I think I spent about 50+ hours on the whole project all together but the end result was just what I was going for. Don’t let me think about the improvements on the guitar or piano I could have made if I had practiced that many hours in a three week block. Or the cleanliness of the basement in general…

Links of inspiration and help!

Centsational Girl’s Tutorial

Young House Love

Dream Home Blog

I had thought I would antique them but they seem too white for that now. I probably should have picked a more off white—but maybe later once the floor is in and I need another change… I’m still debating painting the island a color, or staining it a dark wood color. I promise a better after picture once the whole shebang is done. But I’ve moved on to the railing and banister already. Just stripping away—you know the varnish that turned orange after 14 years.

And did you know we now have chickens? It’s a foster program really…more on that next time.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hello, Where have you been?

Oh, you’ve checked back for an after picture only to find nothing for more than 2 months! sorry


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Cleaning up from three weeks of painting wasn’t too bad, catching up on clutter and house stuff—whoooa.

The decisions have been harder than I thought. Remember the list? cabinets, floors, counters… Everyone is sick of hearing of my ongoing debate on flooring. You want to hear it as was well?

I wanted a wood looking floor: laminate, wood, vinyl what ever would give me the look and wear the best. And the the more I look the more I lean toward putting hard wood though out the whole upstairs. Crazy, I know, just ask James Mair how he feels about it. After two months of effort I’m closer now to a decision—anyone have any suggestions/contacts as far as a hard wood supplier, and or installer for the Salt Lake area?

I threw a mini fit about the current kitchen floor and refused to clean it until I had a date for new flooring---I got ants…

Coming soon a tutorial on painting Golden Oak cabinets and an update on the fun going on around here.