Tuesday, November 23, 2010

French Bread

OK so I know what you are thinking. She is gone for a few months and then she decides she wants to try and win us back with some French Bread. Well yea I am hoping so. Let me explain where I have been once again. If you remember my last post I was going to start homeschooling. Well I am not sure how you mommas do it out there with more than one child. It isn't easy! Homeschooling my son has truly taken over my existence. There are so many questions. Am I doing this right? Is he doing good? Is he ok being home without any other children around? Does he enjoy this? Well here are the answers.

I seem to be doing pretty good. He has all A's and one B. Which compared to him going to normal school has been a huge difference. Let me explain, when you have a child that has always been a good student and grades drop and moral changes and they are not happy in their school. It really does show. It showed with Jr. Chef. He loves being home schooled. He loves that he is making good grades again. He loves that he can work at his worn pace as long as he stays on pace with what our goal is. He loves that he can finish early. Which with some classes he is done for his first semester. So, yes it is a big change. But it has been a change for the positive. It is just so draining. But it makes him happy and he is doing so much better.

So now to the yummy good stuff. I love bread! It is my weakness and everyone in my family. I have always wanted to make bread from scratch and never have. It was always something I pushed off because I didn't think I could do it. I also didn't have a bread machine. Luckily for this recipe you don't need one.


2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 tablespoon of salt
4 cups of flour ( you made need a little more if still too sticky)

Mix the  2 cups of warm water with the 1 tablespoon of yeast and let sit for a few minutes. Then add your tablespoon of sugar and your 1/2 tablespoon of salt. ( you can go up to a tablespoon. But I found it to be to salty for our taste). Start adding your flour 1/2 cup at a time. You can either mix in a bowl with a wooden spoon.
Or through in your Mixer with the Knead Hook. After you have finished mixing. Let the dough rise from 1-2 hours. I have tried it both ways and the bread has come out wonderful each way. Place your bread in a warm spot with no draft and covered. I usually just place in the oven with the light on.
It makes the oven warm and works well. Take out the dough and divide in half. Shape the dough into a loaf. You can either put flour or butter or even corn meal on your baking sheet so that your bread does not stick while it bakes. Once you have placed your shaped dough onto cookie sheet. You will make two slits on top of bread and spread water or egg on the top of the bread.
You will let rise uncovered for another 30 minutes. After you have let the dough rise for the second time. You will want to heat the oven to 450F. While the oven is heating up. You should boil a pot of water.
Once the water has boiled and the oven has heated you will want to place the boiling water in a pan that can go into the oven on the rack beneath bread. This will create steam which will help the bread get that beautiful crunch. Once the oven has heated to 450F bake for 10 minutes and then lower the heat to 350F and bake for another 20 minutes. When your timer is up you can tap on the bread to see if it sounds hollow. When it does you know you are ready to pull out your delicious bread.

This is what my dough comes out to look like after the second rise and the slits are cuts. You can make the slits deeper. For some reason my bread came out way bigger this time.

 This is what you get when it comes out. The smell that fills your house it just wonderful. I hope you enjoy this bread as much as we do.
It does take time to make this bread and I would recommend using the same day. But it is Oh So Worth It!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Home Schooling

OK so it has been a while since I have posted something. I have thought of so many things I want to post. So many things I want to share and then it hits me. Another day has passed. I wanted to let you know I am here I am OK. I have so many things on my plate these days. To top it all off I have added home schooling to the plate. I know it cannot be easy to home school little ones. But a teenager geese is it tricky? So far we like it. It seems a little more challenging. I mean who wants to work with their mom all day? But we all had a talk and decided that this was what was best for us right now. I have to say though it seems strange when it is the middle of the day and your child is home with you. When you know they are supposed to be in school. I think it has been harder for me to adapt than it has been for him. But I will let you know how it goes. Be patient with me. I am not gone. I am just a little invisible. Yea I think that is what I will say a little invisible. 8)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jr. Chefs Churros

I personally have never eaten or heard of Churros till recently while watching a show. But Jr. Chef recently went to a friends house and had some. Well let's just say it was love at first bite. A couple days ago this is house the conversation went between us.

Jr. Chef:     Mommy do we have Cinnamon?
Me:            Yes we should have.
Jr. Chef:      Do we have flour and other things to bake with?
Me:             Don't we always.
Jr. Chef       OK well there are these things called Churros that I had and I liked them. Can we make some?
Me:            Well I would have to look this up and see what it is and how they are made.
Jr. Chef:      Mom it's just fried dough or something and Cinnamon.
Me:             OK but I have to see how this dough is made.

Well he talked me into it. Seemed simple enough for him to do and so we went off and started our Churro adventure. Now since he was the one who had eaten them before. He would really be the only one to know if they came out right.

But as you can see above. He made them and did a darn good job. I tasted them which is very hard for me to do. I am not good at trying new things. But it was good. He said they were perfect! Great job Jr. Chef. For this recipe you can visit Cooks.com. They have a variety of recipes and the first one that popped up is the one we tried.

Recipe I used:

1 cup water
□   1/4 cup butter
□   tablespoons sugar, divided
□   1/4 teaspoon salt
□   1 cup flour
□   2 large eggs
□   vegetable oil for frying
□   1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine water, butter, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt in a medium saucepan.Bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in flour. Beat with a wooden spoon until dough forms a ball and begins to leave the sides of the pan.
On high speed of an electric mixer, beat in eggs, one at time, beating after each addition, until mixture is smooth.
Spoon dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe 3x1-inch strips onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Freeze baking sheet for 20 minutes.
In a deep frying pan filled with 3/4 inch of vegetable oil, fry churros, a few at a time, for about 3 to 4 minutes or until a deep golden brown, turning once. Remove from oil using a slotted to; drain on paper towels.
Combine 4 tablespoons sugar with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a clean brown paper bag. Toss churros in the cinnamon mixture to coat well.
Serve immediately or store in in a tight container for up to one day.
Makes approximately 3 dozen churros.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Emergency Blog Post-Almost Lost Little Piggy

Ok now I will not post any pictures as some may pass out and we do not want that. But I thought after going through what I have. It is my duty to warn others not to do the same. I was in my craft room as I usual am. I was crafting away when Jr. Chef asked if I wanted my chair because he had taken it out of the room to use. Well I said " no I am fine standing right now". Well while I said this I might add that I was using a quilting roller blade aka Rotary Cutter. Now I am sure many of you know what that is and how sharp they are. Well never did it dawn on me to sit down as I usually do. I thought I would be OK. Well guess what? I was wrong and I would like to spare the rest of you from near loss of limb fate that I experienced.

See while minding my own business. Crafting away so joyfully. My body decided to black out as it sometimes does. Now many of you that have followed me for a while know that I am a mess and have had medical issues. Well never did I think it would affect me while I was in one of my happiest modes. But guess what? It did! At some point I blacked out and next thing I know I hear the Rotary Cutter hit the floor. Before I knew what had happened (WAIT FOR IT). Yes it went right into my toe. Then apparently that wasn't enough for this sharp bladed bandit. But it had decided to bounce around on my foot and cut me three other times. Now as stated before there is a reason I didn't post pictures. You can only imagine. Especially if you use one of these often you know they mean business. Well one of my little piggies almost lost it's life yesterday. It's pretty bad and I am not sure how well it will heal.But heck it's kind of a win,win situation. I haven't lost the toe as of yet. WIN!! and my family is coming over to care for my foot while hubby is at work WIN! So if you are in need of some love and affection. Sure let this sharp little guy drop about 3 feet to your toe. But if you want to play it safe like I plan to for next time. WEAR STEAL TOE BOOTS!! Just saying I wouldn't want any more piggies getting hurt.

As for me I won't be crafting for a while. Since I can only wear flip flops and that is how I got here in the first place.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I want to say Happy Father's Day to all the Father's out there. But especially to the two special Father's in my life.

34 years ago my Papi became a dad. Who would have thought that this 21 year old barely a man. Would be one of the greatest men and father's of all time. I do not say this because he is my dad but because it is true. He is my hero. He is my superstar. He is my friend. He is my guide. He is just an all around awesome person. Not only a dad to myself. But anyone who knows him. Has always felt he was like a dad to them too. He is a funny guy. A smart guy. A peaceful guy. I know most of us think this way about our dads. But I wanted to make sure that he knew that I Love him more than anything. He is really loved by us all.

Through my faults and through my gains. He was there. He has never judged me. But only loved me. He has never turned his back on me. He has always been there to hold my hand through the good and bad times. Even at the age of 34 if I need him he is there for me without hesitation.

I Love You Papi!!! Happy Father's Day!

Here is my dad with Jr. Chef. You can see where he get's his looks from! My dad has a heart of gold and I am so glad to say that beyond the looks. Jr. Chef has taken that and many other great things after my dad.

Now on to the second greatest dad. That would be my hubby. He really is an awesome person all around. He is also very close to the man above. As they say all the time " Where is my best bud"? Now how can a girl not love that? Two of her favorite men have the same love for each other that she has for them. My husband is another man that would give for you before he did for himself. As you can see Jr. Chef also has some of his Daddy's good looks and charms. How awesome is that? Jr. Chef came to be the mixture of the two favorite men in my life. It was really a prayer answered. When I started to see his personality. To see he was going to be just like his Daddy and Papa. My husband is always the one that people refer to as "what a nice guy"! They got that right!. He too has a great heart and personality. He loves Jr. Chef and I to his fullest and has given us a life full of so much love. To me that is what I find important. The love that this man gives as a father, as a husband, as a friend, Son and Brother. So to my hubby. I Love You. I hope you have an awesome day. You are a great father and husband and Jr. Chef and I love you more than you will ever know.

I hope you and yours have a wonderful father's day. I would love to hear about your most moment with the dad in your life. When you knew no matter what this man would be there for you through thick and thin. That this man was meant to be a DAD!
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