Friday, July 25, 2008

Whole Wheat Bread

We're carb-oholics around here, especially when it comes to bread consumption. That being said, I try to keep the carbs to the whole grain variety. I also love to make bread; it is so satisfying to get my hands in a big, warm lump of dough and squish and mush and beat it around. Come to think of it, they should do bread baking in anger management classes. But I digress...

Sometimes I use the bread machine to make bread, but it does something the the whole wheat bread that makes it tough, and sometimes downright hard as a rock. Almost doorstop-like.

I've looked around and tried many-a-recipe, and I've finally stumbled upon a keeper. It's not quite my Great-Aunt Flo's whole wheat bread, but it's durn close!
100% Whole Wheat Bread

1 1/3 cups warm water
2 T. applesauce or canola oil
3 T. sucanat or brown sugar (I used unprocessed cane sugar)
1 t. salt
3 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
3 T. vital wheat gluten flour*
1 T. active dry yeast

* Don't be scared by this, it's available in the grocery store, even at super Wal-Mart.

Using a mixer (I used my trusty Kitchenaid that Andy was shamed into buying me by TamTam Tomatohead) combine all ingredients and knead for 6 minutes.
Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Knead 4 more minutes. Turn dough onto lightly oiled board and shape into 2 loaves. Place in pans to rise until doubled.
Bake at 350 degrees 40-50 minutes until golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Simple and Tasty. Yum!

Recipe from Natural Meals in Minutes by Rita Bingham
The kids and I ground the wheat in a Magic Mill wheat grinder. It smells so good!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pioneer Day #1

Pioneer Day commemorates the entry of Brigham Young, and the first group of Mormon Pioneers in to the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847, where the Latter-day Saints settled after being forced from Nauvoo, Illinois and other locations in the eastern United States.

In addition to being an official holiday in Utah, Pioneer Day is considered a special occasion by many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On Pioneer Day, some Latter-day Saints reenact walking the Mormon Trail or entering the Salt Lake Valley by handcart.

When I was growing up in rural Wisconsin, I loved Pioneer Day. We would celebrate in different ways, but one of my sisters and my favorite Pioneer Day was the year Dad built an actual handcart (to be used in the handcart races, of course!) We played endlessly with that handcart. Mellisa made Emily and I tote her around all over the farm in it.

Sugardoodle has a ton of fun activities to do the whole week. I think the kids and I will plan some fun things to do on Pioneer Day. We’ll let you know what we decide!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Summer Fun

Summer is flying by much faster than I thought it would, and now that the 3 S's (Summer school, Scout camp, and Softball) are over, what are we going to do? I needed some cheap and easy ideas! Things that we can do at home, using things we already have at our fingertips. We have been reading most every day, since the kids can't swim until they've read for 30 minutes. And there are always babies around to play with, so we have been pretty busy. But, here are some fun ideas I've run across:

LDSLiving magazine has an A-Z list of fun ideas, my favorites are: American Idol, Outdoor Painting, and an UNO tournament.

Marie has some great ideas on her site, Make and Takes. And why hadn't I thought of putting flashcards on bookrings? Natalia's kinder teacher, Mrs. Lester, sent all of her flashcards home on them. There's a project for the kids to do!

If you want to get crafty with the kids and have something to hang in their room to show for it, try this canvas art with your kids project by Miki of Pursuit of Craftyness. Cute!

If you're looking for family-friendly books to read, the crew at Deliciously Clean Reads reviews them for you!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Catchy Ads

I don't really like watching TV commercials, unless, of course, they're Got Milk, or the Ocean Spray Cranberry commercials that I mentioned here, but I love to look at the ads in magazines. Not just the regular run-of-the-mill ads, but the beautiful, or clever, or pleasing to the eye ads.

An ad for dressbarn recently caught my eye. This is how it read:

I believe
The best things in life contain chocolate. I believe I'm always right (except when I'm wrong). The closer I get to it, the more I believe that forty is the new thirty. I believe in my unalienable right to the perfect pair of jeans. I believe if you really want to know how you look, don't ask your mother, your sister or your best friend. Ask your 4 year old.

Well said. I think I'll go shop there to look for that perfect pair of jeans. Then I'll ask my 4 year old how I look, and he'll tell me I'm beautiful, like he does every day. Then he'll poke my tummy and say, "Squishy".

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Goose Girl

The Goose Girl The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Tara has been telling me to read The Goose Girl for a while, since it is one of her favorite books. The only problem was, the library did not have it! (Incidentally, they have Enna Burning and River Secrets, the two sequels. Go figure.)

Tara finally resorted to sending me her copy. Wonder if she'll notice if I don't send it back? One of my favorite books is Book of A Thousand Days, and I didn't think The Goose Girl would be as good. :)

This book is beautifully written. Ani is the oldest daugther of the King and Queen, and therefore Crown Princess. She also has the wonderful gift of being able to understand and communicate with birds and some other animals, but the gift makes her stand out as different to everyone around her.

View all my reviews.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day!

I, for one, would like a day of independence from feeding everyone around here. (I would also like independence from the horrific gas prices, but that will have to be another post.) With the kids home all day, every day, I can’t keep up with the feeding frenzy! When the kids are working outside or swimming, they seem to work up a mondo appetite, and can’t last the 4-or-so hours between meals.

My sister was accusing me of having cookies in the house all the time {and I wonder why I can’t lose any weight!} so I thought I would change it up a bit and try some healthier recipes. My kids will eat just about anything as long as it isn’t nailed down. Actually, now that I think about it, they might try prying it off to eat it, or just gnawing it off around the nail!

Peanut butter muffins
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 egg
¼ cup shredded carrots
¾ cup flour ¼ cup rolled oats
1 tsp. Baking soda
1/8 tsp. Salt
½ cup skim milk

Beat brown sugar and peanut butter; add eggs and beat well. Stir in carrots. Add remaining ingredients and mix just until blended. Pour into paper lined muffin cups and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Makes 8-10 muffins.

King Kong Chips
2 bananas sliced
½ cup orange juice
½ cup wheat germ

Dip banana slices into orange juice, then into wheat germ to coat. Arrange on cake pan or plates in single layer. Cover with plastic and freeze. Makes 4 servings.

Apple Nutties
1 cup apple butter
½ cup peanut butter
1 tsp. Vanilla
¾ cup instant nonfat dry milk
¾ cup flour
¼ tsp. Cinnamon
½ cup raisins

Beat apple butter, peanut butter, and vanilla together. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Flatten with fork. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Makes 30 cookies.

And, since we don’t want to go cold turkey off of the junk, we’ll be making some ice cream today!

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream (from cookbook Kitchen Classics)
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Dash salt
3 cups whole milk
5 ounces evaporated milk
2 egg yolks
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups strawberry slices
2 cups peach slices

Combine sugar, cornstarch (or 2 tablespoons flour), salt and milk in medium saucepan. Blend well. Cook over medium heat until hot but not bubbling. Mix lightly beaten egg yolks and 1 cup of the hot milk mixture together, stirring constantly. Pour this back into the pan with remaining milk mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until slightly thick; about 2-3 minutes.

Add evaporated milk, whipping cream and vanilla. Cool to lukewarm. Gently stir in the strawberries or peaches. Freeze in ice-cream freezer according to manufacturer's directions. Refreeze any leftover ice cream.

Makes about 2 to 2-1/2 quarts.

Homemade Ice Cream (from cookbook Fabulous and Flavorful)
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 quart milk, scalded
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
1 pint whipping cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Add sugar to beaten eggs in a bowl. Scald quart of milk in a pan. Pour egg mixture into milk.
Add vanilla and refrigerate.
Pour mixture into ice cream freezer. Add cream, sweetened milk, and top with additional milk if necessary.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Some Internet Fun!

I love the internet. I know, I know; I shouldn't spend too much time in here, but I try to keep it to a dull roar. But the internet is great for SO MANY different things. Like planning my Primary sharing time lessons. I go right here to

When it's time to cook dinner, and I have no clue what to make with what I have on hand, I visit You just type in the ingredients you have on hand, and they'll give you a list of recipes you can make. How cool is that? I tried this one last night, served it with rice and watermelon and got thumbs up all the way around.

My newlywed sister is now a blogger. You can read about her life as a new wife and BYU student at

Now, if you're crafty at all, you can find directions
and tutorials for just about any project you can
think of. Here's a cute and simple one (perfect for
the kids to make, too!) : sticky notes books.
Looking for a good book to read to your kids? Try Deliciously Clean Reads. They won't steer you wrong.
And finally, here's a little poem that could have been written by me.
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