waking up feeling heavy with a cool, fresh breeze licking at my nose is good.

eating simple, fresh meals with a side of warmer weather is good.

waiting (impatiently) for our two little eggs to (hopefully) hatch this week is good.

evening thunderstorms that rattle window panes…

planning trips to visit loved ones…

new opportunities to learn and teach and grow…


father-in-law breaking his tooth and now matching a proud five-year-old granddaughter?  

also very good.

dog nose coming in for the attack.  good.

sweet sleeping kitties…  well, you know.

bread for elizabeth

yes, i realize this is in no way a foodie blog BUT, i do love to cook and bake so… per elizabeth’s request - my all time favorite recipes for BREAD!

perfect french bread/baguette:

18 oz bread flour

1.5 tesp dry active yeast

2 tesp salt

12.5 oz water (luke warm)


Measure four into a large bowl, add salt & yeast & crumble together with fingertips.  

make a well and add warm water& use a dough scraper or spatula to fold the flour & water mixture into a shaggy ball.

knead by hand or in a mixer with dough hook for about 10 minutes (this dough will be on the sticky side!)

on a lightly floured surface gently press out flat, then fold into quarters creating a  loose ball with air pockets.

place dough in a bowl to rise in a warm, draft less spot until it has doubled in size. you may use a tea towel to cover it or plastic wrap.  i’ve used both and have no complaints.

*do not punch down*

scoop dough out of the bowl and either divide into 2 loaves for baguette or leave in one loaf for french bread

again, to create the loaf, gently press the dough out flat (about 1” thick) and fold over the sides to create a loaf shape (or a ball for a circular loaf)

sprinkle cornmeal onto baking tray and place loaves on top with spines down

slice loaf tops 5-7 times with a sharp knife and let rise once more.  i usually use plastic wrap sprayed with non-stick spray to cover.

pre-heat oven to 450 & bake 15-20 minutes.  let cool before slicing (if you can wait!)

variations: i often use a cornstarch wash on these to give them a nice crackle crust.  i’ve also used this recipe and used bread pans.

quick biscuits

1/3 c shortening

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tesp baking powder

3/4 tesp salt

3/4 c milk

pre-heat oven to 450

cut shortening into flour, baking powder, and salt with a fork until it’s fine and crumbly.

stir in milk - i usually go on the sticky side for extra soft biscuits

turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly 10 times.  roll out to about 1/2” - 1” thick with rolling pin 

i use a floured glass to cut the biscuits rather than a biscuit cutter because it’s what i’ve got!

place biscuits in a round cake pan with all sides touching and bake about 10-12 minutes.

i can’t find my pizza crust recipe though… hmm.  it’s a delicious cracker crust - no rise variety.  well, when i find it i’ll post it along with my pretzel bread rolls!  i just found this english muffin recipe that i’m eager to try, too. enjoy. xo

back to baking?

the weather here has been really strange - snow storms, then earthquakes, then it got up to almost 60 degrees, then thunderstorms, now it’s back to the more typical dry, cold, gloomy indiana winter weather.  today, however, was SUNNY and brisk and just right for baguette baking!

of course, mae helped mama every step along the way.  we haven’t baked bread for at least a year so when she saw the mixer on the counter she was squealing with excitement!

she waited patiently to get started, then i measured out the flour - she measured out the salt and yeast and crumbled it all together.

she added the water to the mix, but when it came to kneading the dough into a shaggy ball she’d had enough!  all the dough was sticking to her hands creating big monster mitts HA!  i got it under control for her… then she dove back in to roll it up.

we plopped it into the mixer and mae monitored the progress very closely…  she hates the “rising” part of baking… especially since our bread has to go through that stage TWICE!  but, i kept her occupied with mixing a cornstarch wash during the second rise and she was happy as can be.  here’s our lovely (and delicious) bread

we also got a lot of snuggling in today.  mae likes to make a little nest made of blankets, pillows, and her huge stuffed tiger in the middle of the living room, then we all have to cuddle with her in it <3

ahhh… i guess i’ll get back to knitting & try desperately to enjoy the last few hours of this perfect day.

i hope you had a fun-filled weekend to start the year off right!