Saturday, July 15, 2017

My favorite bread the moment......

I love bread...homemade that is.  Crusty breads are my favorite but there is a place for just plain everyday bread for toast and grilled sandwiches of which this bread excels.  This recipe never fails unless you have dead yeast...otherwise you are guaranteed a perfect loaf each and every time!
This recipe is from Apples for Jam, a cookbook by Tessa Kiros and not only is it one of my favorite cookbooks but it reads like a novel and you get to meet her family and her history in beautiful photos along with the dishes.
Tessa says "You can make this as one loaf or shape into smaller rolls. Children love small white rolls, it seems.  Naturally, you can make different sizes or a different shape...long is nice for hot dogs.  You can easily make a batch and freeze them in small bags, a few together; to whip out at almost the last moment of need.  My kids like these with butter spread so thickly that they can see their teeth marks."
I was going to publish some pictures but Google doesn't seem to want to cooperate just now so I will give you the recipe straight away (I have since edited and Google is working again so pictures are in!).......all credit is given to Tessa Kiros and if you run across her cookbook (I got mine on Thriftbooks) I highly recommend it...that is, if you like to cook.....her recipes are for cooks as some are lengthy and involved and use real ingredients but not this bread recipe...this recipe is easy peasy!
Ingredients: (*FGS indicates my own personal notes for this recipe)

1 cup warm (comfortable to your fingers) milk
1 (1/2 ounce) cake of fresh yeast, crumbled, or 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast.
*since I buy my yeast in a jar I figured it to be 2 1/4 teaspoons~FGS*
1 teaspoon honey
3 2/3 cups bread flour *FGS - I recommend using the bread flour not regular*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Put the milk, yeast, and honey in a small bowl, and stir until the honey melts. *FGS - I also stir until the yeast is fairly well dissolved*  Leave it for about 10 minutes or until it begins to froth a bit.  Put the flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a larger bowl (*FGS - I use my Kitchen Aide mixer).  Add the yeast mixture, the egg, and butter, and mix through well.  (*FGS - I use my mixing paddle for this and then switch to my dough hook for the kneading*).  Knead for 10 minutes or so and , if it seems sticky, just hold the bowl firmly and move the dough around with your hand, rather than add more flour.  Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until it has puffed up well.
Lightly grease a 12 X 4 inch loaf pan and dust it with flour (*FGS - I greased the pan but forgot to dust it with flour but it came right out!  Lucky me!*)  Punch down the dough to flatten it and shape it into a rough loaf of a size to fit the pan.  Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place for another 45 to 60 minutes, or until it puffs right  up in the pan.  Meanwhile,  preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Put the pan in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top is firm and crusty and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.  Remove from the oven, knock the loaf out of the pan, and cool on a rack in a fly-free zone.
This is best sliced warm and spread with butter, but you can keep the loaf for a few days (*FGS -  I've kept it for over a week in the frig with no problem*) in an airtight container for excellent toast.
 Enjoy and Happy Trails!!!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Knitting blocking or blocking knitting?

I have never truly learned how to block knitted or crochet items so today was the day!  I had finished all my little star ornament points/pieces and they were all curled up so I thought blocking would help before I tried to sew them together..........
I got my new blocking mats out...I only needed one....
 I didn't know the letters came out........... 
Not knowing where they had been I decided to wash it good with my Mrs. Meyer's counter top spray..........
I also downloaded and read a free lesson on Craftsy about 'finishing' items which included how to block properly.  I got out some Eucalan wool wash that I had bought on my way back from a Canadian fishing trip when I stopped at a sheep farm several years ago.....

  If you don't have wool wash Craftsy suggested baby shampoo which is actually what I use on my hair but since I had the wool wash I figured I would use it.  I followed the directions which uses just a tiny bit of the wash in a bowl since my pieces were small.......see how they are all curled up?  I hope the blocking takes care of said to let them soak for 5 minutes....I let them soak for 15....if 5 minutes is good...15 must be better right? LOL!  Also, there is no need for rinsing with the Eucalan wool wash.
a little bit of dye came out but not much.........
then I squeezed the water out and rolled them up in a towel to get as much moisture out as possible...........
 I grabbed my pins and my blocking mat which I put a towel underneath and started the process of pinning them down into the shape they would hopefully dry into......
This was backbreaking as I was leaning over my desk and I had to take a break when I was about halfway done........but finally they were all pinned....I used every pin in that container except for 3!  Maybe I over did it but better safe than sorry..........
Tomorrow I hope to sew it together and be ready to have a finished object come Sunday's Year of Projects post....we shall see but I think I now know how to block items...I hope.
Happy Trails!!!
P.S.  Tomorrow I am posting my white bread recipe that several of you have requested so tune in again tomorrow!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

"Back in the saddle again".............

The grand boys are safely back home and it is quiet here.  I miss them but it's nice to get back in my old routine too....I was falling behind in a few areas plus, today is their parent's 15th wedding anniversary so it is only right that they be back home to celebrate!
 I'm catching up on laundry after stripping all the beds and there's ironing to do, bills to pay and cleaning always.
 When we were in Mountain Home last week, I was able to stock up on Summer candles.  We went to T.J.Max which I had not visited since it opened there several years ago.  Well.........let me tell you..........I am a BIG fan now!  They have wonderful brands and quality products for 1/2 price or more!  Where have I been???  I love T.J. Max!!!!  These candles I got are awesome, quality and not that much more than what I was paying for the cheap ones at Walmart!  And smell?  Ahhhh....they are so beautifully  scented...I'm in heaven and I wish I could give you a whiff! LOL!

I also got myself some body butter (I prefer body butter as opposed to lotions which are too runny for me)...this is luscious stuff and smells divine!  So, my advice is to head on over to your local T.J. Max and start getting some delicious deals!
In between my 'chores' I started a new project which is a CAL on Our Happy CAL Place group on's a Kitty Cat blanket and I am using stash........
I couldn't resist as my other projects are not t.v. watching material at the moment but this one is so simple and so cute!  It's a free pattern on Ravelry.  See the little kitty cats?   The CAL runs from July through September and since it is now officially Summer in the Ozarks at 106 heat index today (ouch!) is more like Winter....close the curtains and stay indoors!  So, I am lighting my Summer candles and crocheting and binge watching the news, The Crown and so much more! LOL!  After my chores are done, of course!  
   Happy Trails!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Thrift Store and Goodwill treasures!

Last week I was able to snag some 'real deals'!  I hadn't been to the Thrift Store for ages and I had never been to the Goodwill store in Mountain Home.   This blouse.... with the tags still on!  LOVE!  A Lee Rider blouse..........
some old clothes pins which are so much better made than the ones you can buy today...........
2 sets of long curtains in this awesome rose material which is right up my alley........this was about $3.00 for yards of material.....I may actually use them as curtains in my bedroom but if not I have some great material to use for other really looks like Cath Kidson and it may be
I have been looking for these ever since I started knitting and BINGO!  A whole set for $4.00!!!!!
These are used for blocking items and they have the same thing for about $30 if you buy them new through Knitpics or elsewhere.  These are children's alphabet pieces but are exactly the same...........this was a 'real deal'!

Tomorrow, I'll be back with another set of treasures I got at a different store that will now be a regular stop when I go to Mountain Home from now on!  Tune in tomorrow!
Happy Trails!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

YOP Week #2

I've had the 'grands' here all week so not a lot of progress was made but I was able to actually get a bit done on some of those WIP's amazingly enough.   My Beatrix Potter blanket got a little attention while we watched movies...............
I worked on The Frosted Pumpkin cross stitch and got a good portion done on it.............on the right hand side.............
and I am most happy and thrilled that I got the 5 beaded star points done on my star ornament and one unbeaded one for the back with only 4 more to go before the I-cord and seaming it together and stuffing!  I'm hoping to finish before next Sunday's YOP edition.  This has been the  most enjoyable project so far...............
When we were in Mountain Home the other day I was able to pick up the last skeins of floss needed to finish The Frosted there's nothing holding me back now for that project!
I am having a great time with my family and I hope you are doing the same!  I am so hopeful and excited about this YOP year and I can't wait to see everyone's progress and projects from last week!
Happy Trails!