Saturday, April 30, 2011

Here it comes!!

Yes! Spring is finally arriving! Remember these photos from March 23? Here is the backyard today. I filled and hung the hummingbird feeder out on Thurs and Fri afternoon, the first hummer arrived. We've been busy cleaning up the yard, raking leaves left from the fall, putting out outdoor furniture and decorations. Still a lot to do, but we enjoy being outside and doing a little each day.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A few Easter Blooms

Finally, a few blooms are opening. It's getting a little warmer each day and evening, but we have had oh, so much rain. The garden soil is very soggy and there are areas we still can't rake and clean up yet.
The little one that looks like a dahlia is a miniature narcissus called Rip Van Winkle. Now the pictures really begin - lol

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ah, Spring....

Last week, we were still getting snowflurries. Today, we'll be flirting with the 70's. It's warm here, but a weird warm. Stuffy heat, like when
you open an oven door. I won't be surprised if we get thunderstorms.
We are way, way behind cleaning up the garden. Some plants are sprouting,
Monkshood, crocus, pink bleeding hearts, among others.
And another sign of spring, the bear has been back. Pretty sure it is the same one from last fall.
He breaks the fence in the same two spots every time. He comes in the back and leaves from the side garden. I don't like him because he has no fear of humans. He sometimes comes in the day time - not good.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Birthday Present

Sorry the first part of this story went through before I finished. I've had my Golden Touch n Sew for over 30 years with a love / hate relationship. And finally the hate took over and I stopped sewing a long, long time ago.
Enter my friend Suzie (Snowflakesrtumblin). We've chatted over the years and miles about one day making dolls. I've bought fabrics and patterns, but every time I've looked at that Touch n Sew, it just dared me to take it out of the cabinet. Well a few weeks back, I did. I tried to sew with it, but again, it sewed a bit and then jammed all up again. Same thing it has always done.
So I said to hubby, ' I think I want a new sewing machine. Nothing fancy, just a basic sewing basic.'
So, Suz and I began the search. Now, if you EVER need to find anything on the net, ask Suz.
She is the Sorceress of Google searches! We were both searching and both came up with the
same machine. Suzie found a video about this machine on another site at the same time I was looking at it on the Walmart site. They don't have this machine in the store, but you can order is
site to store and pick it up.
Sew - get it? - lol - here is my Bead Table Wednesday.
Hubby says no more birthday present this year, he's done. Well, gee, I have four more days until my birthday! I should get another, shouldn't I?

Birthday Present

I used to sew a lot years ago. I made almost all my clothes. Shirts and even a few suits for my husband. And then one day I traded my old Singer in for a new machine.
The new machine was a horrible, horrible machine. A Singer Futura. I had 3 of them in as many weeks. Finally, I took that back to the Singer store and took home a Touch and Sew. I really wasn't much happier with that machine. The salesman told me they didn't build machines any more for women who sewed like I did.

Wordless Wednesday, April 6

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bread Making

Bread making by my husband, Gary.

Two quick notes before I give you the recipe for this white bread.
1. I use a bread machine to do all the 'hard' work of making bread. My machine is set up for a basic loaf - 10 mins of mixing/kneading and 45 mins of rest/rise. If you can't program your machine, then set it for basic loaf and let it knead/mix for 7-10 mins then shut if off and let it
rise for 45 mins more. Or you can do it all by the hand the old fashioned way, keeping in mind the 7/10 min work and 45 min rise.

2. This recipe was developed by me, using Walmarts pre-packaged Great Value Pizza Dough.
There are name brands of the same item. The only thing you add to these packets are the water.
Walmarts brand cost 44 cents per package. These can be found in the pizza sauce/mix section.

This recipe will give you a crunchy/crusty loaf with a nice airy grain - good flavor and looks.
The ingredient list is for 2 recipes - 1 large loaf and 2 medium loaf recipe

Here's the recipe
In your bread machine pan - in the order given
1 Large Single Loaf - Recipe
1 cup warm water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 packages Pizza Dough
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast

2 Medium Loaves - Recipe
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
3 packages Pizza Dough
3 tsp dry yeast

1. Let your machine do the mixing, adjust the mix while it's working - dough too sticky, add flour, dough too dry, crumbly, add water - use regular flour and add water by tbsp. Mix/knead for 7-10 mins

2. Let Rest/Rise for 45 mins in machine

3. Remove from machine and using stretch and roll method, roll up the dough, shaping it to fit the bread pan(s). Grease bread pans, bottom and sides.

4. Preheat oven 30 seconds or just until it starts to feel warm. Turn oven off.

5. Place bread pan(s) in the warmed over and let rise for 45 mins to an hour until ready.
Use finger test to check if done rising.

6. Take out of the oven and heat over to 365 degrees - return loaves to heated oven and bake
for 35-40 mins or until done.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cookbook from Taste of Home

This book is at Borders now for only $4.99! It's regular price was $29.95 Plus inside the cover, you'll find a coupon for a years subscription to the Taste of Home magazine for FREE! Regular price $23.94. What a deal! Plus, being a subscriber gives you access to 33,000 more recipes on line.
We just picked up the book yesterday, but there are some recipes in there we definitely want to
try and I'll post those as we go along.