books, gift giving, gifts, good karma, Uncategorized

staff of life

This day is full of bluster.  Wind gusts that take your breath away.  Rain pouring so hard it blocks the light of noon day.  It is a loud day.  I can hear trees and bushes brushing the side of the house.

Instead of fighting it and complaining, I decided to lean into it.  I have on warm socks and a sweater.  I made a huge cup of strong, dark, rich coffee and stirred in a spoonful of homemade caramel sauce.  I turned on the twinkle lights and flipped the switch on all the battery operated candles.   I even whipped up a mixture for the diffuser (spruce, cinnamon and orange).  Smells like winter.

Perfect day to talk about bread.  artisan bread

About 4 1/2 years ago I bought this book.  I got the supplies needed.  Then I didn’t do it. Life somehow got mixed up in MY plans and the road detoured for a bit.

I have baked many, many, oodles really,  loaves of bread in my life time.  I wanted to try my hand at Artisan Bread.

Why on earth did I wait so long?

You know that moment when you are in an upscale restaurant and they serve a slice of bread with holes and has a really good flavor and “chew” to it?  The chef simply kisses the bread with a little fire and somehow elevates everything that is served near, beside or atop it.  Yeah, that bread.

I wanted/want to learn to make that perfect texture, great color, haphazard slices swiped into the top, smell of heaven on earth, mouth-watering looking and tasting staff of life.  This is my first loaf!!!  Seriously folks, this is what baking is about.   Man alive, I wish your screen was scratch n sniff.   This is the real deal.  Oh, sweet mawma!

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“In the history of art there are periods when bread seems so beautiful that it nearly gets into museums.”
Janet Flanner, Paris Was Yesterday, 1925-1939

 

Once you mix the dough and let it sit in the refrigerator for a day or two or fourteen……..it takes HONESTLY 5 minutes to form it then you step away and allow it to do its thing.

I love the feel of the proofing cloth.  I love swirling the flour around with my hands.

The original recipe makes enough for four loaves.  I started with two.  It was easy peasy to divide.

Once I practice a bit more, we will share loaves with our friends and neighbors.  You can make a smaller loaf for a single friend or couple.  You can make a more generous size for a larger family.  As well as still making an amazing loaf for you and your spouse. 20170510_172200-1_resized

Baking a loaf of bread by spending 5 minutes.  What a lovely way to speak to your husband.  Yes, Mr. Right means that much to me.  I smiled to myself, the moment he walked in that back door.  His words,  “yum, smells like fresh-baked bread”.

That is why I bake bread.

That and the fact that it makes awesome toast.20170511_101744-1_resized

Gentle suggestion and nudge.  Buy the book.  Learn something new. Spend 5 minutes on making something for someone else.  You will be so proud of yourself.  Your family will be smitten with your new hobby.

Feeding yourself, family and friends fresh bread.  Nothing feels more right.

Imagine yourself, offering a loaf of fresh-baked bread to your neighbor or your co-worker expecting a new baby.  Yes, it feels that good and more.

In this together friends,

ps.  If you stop by, I promise to share a slice or at least get a loaf baking so you can take it home with you.

 

food review, haPPY, health, recipe, Uncategorized

W4D?

The age old question:  What’s for Dinner?

Kids ask, girlfriends ask, spouses casually slip in the question…..This question crosses the lips of all families across our land.

I have an answer for you!  Friday night dinner idea is taken care of.  done.  you’re welcome.

The Lenten season is fast approaching. Lots of folks will be trying to do away with some meat and dairy products. Maybe you just need a fresh new to you idea for dinner tonight?  Maybe you want to know what the heck your vegetarian friends eat for supper?  Maybe one of your resolutions was to eat with a healthier twist?

Giving up familiar items or trying new things can be tricky and frustrating.  Change is hard for everyone.

Adding something new to the dinner line up has to be slipped in carefully for some family members.

What’s For Dinner?  Secret insider information…. when I am plum out of ideas, I send a message to girlfriends…. W4D????  That means I am looking for dinner ideas, please help!

I thought I would share a dinner solution….we enjoyed last night.

falafel-2Vegetarian, quick, delish and you can build your own.  You can cut open a piece of naan, you can build your Falafel sandwich folded between the naan, you can even cut it up and make your own little stacks of goodness.

Tasty, great texture, filling, packed with flavor and pretty darn easy to make.  You can make the mixture early in the day, cover and refrigerate.  When dinner time comes around, you just use a cookie scoop (or spoon) and flatten them onto a pan or put into a black iron skillet.

Did you know there are restaurants in Europe and the only thing on the menu are Falafel???

While the Falafel patties cook, you have plenty of time to set the table, and chop some cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce. 20170209_172248-1_resized

I do not own a Tandori oven, I buy Naan Bread (Trader Joe’s has some for $3.69).  Sprinkle with a bit of water, heat in a 400* oven for 3 or 4 minutes, brush with garlic butter.  If you can’t find Naan Bread you can always use pita bread.

Serve with plenty of Tzatziki sauce and a big ol bowl of hummus.

Falafel Patties  http://www.myhdiet.com/Fall-In-Love-With-Food-Again/

1 onion, quartered, 3 garlic cloves, 2 cans of chickpeas, drained (or 3 cups of cooked chickpeas),  2 Tablespoons tahini, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon olive oil , 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 cup fresh parsley, 2 to 3 Tablespoons flour, pinch cayenne

Recipe notes:   When did the world started calling Garbanzo beans , Chickpeas?  I sometimes leave out the coriander (because I am too lazy to reach to the top shelf), I always use way more parsley than they suggest, I never use cayenne and I use a gluten-free flour blend.  For just the two of us, I make a half a batch. Sometimes I bake, other times, when I want it fast, I use a little oil and get that outer crust pretty crispy, yum. 

Process the onion and garlic in a food processor until well chopped.  Add the rest of the ingredients and process until well mixed and fairly well-chopped.  Scoop and pat into patties on a baking sheet, then bake at 400* for 35 minutes (flip over after 20 minutes) or saute in a skillet for about five minutes per side. 

Say grace and dig in.  Use lots of napkins, these beauties can get sloppy and messy and oh so good.  🙂

Here’s to our good health!

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

gifts, good karma, good marriages, haPPY, Homemade gift, Uncategorized

chop, chop, lollipop

Hello February!  Such a beautiful thing to say.  In our family, January has always been a tough, ugly, tricky month.  2017 was no different.

On to the fresh, clean slate of February.  Valentine’s day isn’t too far away.  It’s time for love and smooches and lollipops, of course.

I tied the sign, filled a jar and gave this to Mr. Right.20170131_154015-1_resized

Start with making the tag.  Next, fill whatever size (I used plastic) jar with bubble gum or suckers.  I thought Blow Pop suckers was silly, sweet and funny.

This is such an easy way to remind your Mr. Right, you love him and you are thinking about him.  You do send him to work with silly things he can share with co-workers, right?

Um, yeah, take the time.  How on earth do you think this thing called marriage is going to thrive and swirl?  You gotta feed it, girlfriend.  YES, even after 35 years of being married.

Yes, I know you are very “busy”.  You are going to tell me, “he knows I love him, I am lucky, I don’t have to show him.”

wrong.

Everyone needs to be reminded that they are loved.   It feels good.

It is HAPPY all stuffed into a jar!

That’s why this project is so dang tootin’ easy, quick and full of goodness!

Chop, Chop, Lollipop!  

Fill and give a jar of goodness, TODAY!!

In this together, friend.

Go share some happy!

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gifts, Uncategorized

a little cheer

This morning, I offered up a little Monday morning cheer for Mr. Right.  Perfect for sharing with his co-workers.

Reindeer Noses.

Easy, reasonably priced and a bit festive.

I filled a container with Malt Balls (grocery store) and a couple sour cherry balls (found them in bulk foods).  20161123_102802_resized

Printed a free tag ( http://www.lifeanchored.com) and tied on with a ribbon.

20161123_102807_resized-1Super easy and quick.

Now, I ask you????????….. Wouldn’t your day-care worker, babysitter, Sunday School teacher, mail carrier, dog walker, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, teacher, Secret Santa person….. LOVE to get this little container of cheer!

Tis the season of spreading good cheer!

Let it begin with me/us.

haPPY, Uncategorized

Monday makeover

The previous owners  of our home, did us a huge favor and left several small cans of paint, extra tile and base boards for us to use .  Not overwhelming amounts, just enough grout and shingles and things to match, in case we needed a little fix up.

Yesterday, we took one of the quart cans of exterior paint and had it matched and bought a gallon.

Today, I used half the gallon. A super easy, quick Monday “makeover”.

To a rather dreary, dark , unloved spot in our front yard, I painted the gate and small portion of the fence.  Then since the brush was still in my hand, I touched up the railing on the porch and a couple of places that needed a bit of sparkle and light.

1.5 hours (including clean up and picture-taking)  and ta-da!  Before and after .

Tomorrow I will add the second coat.

This gate and fence will be replaced next year.  Until then, nothing wrong with a little make up to hide the flaws.

I sort of swoon over quick and easy before & after(s).  Boy Howdy, I already completed this on a Monday with only one cup of coffee!

I have to wonder, what on earth will I be able to accomplish the rest of the week?

Bring it on!

I kind of have a hankering to make some peach Bar B Que sauce and I want to put a coat of primer white on some doors.  Not at the same time……….could get messy.

Love to hear how your week is shaping up.  In this together, friends.

Chat tomorrow.

 

gift giving, gifts, goodness, grace, grandchildren, haPPY, Uncategorized

fancy that

Our grands live a million miles away from us.  Well, it seems like a million miles.

That means all the goodies and surprises we mail have to go into a box with lots of packing supplies.  What that really means is all the ribbons and bows are crushed and look rather dull, drab, dumpy & smooshed by the time they get to the special short people.

We just mailed a box this morning.  Someone sweet is turning 6 years old.  We wanted to be in on the celebration.

So while this someone special is girlie girl through and through, she loves space and planets and stars and animals. 20160807_134753_resized So space books and a book on becoming a Veterinarian went into the box.  NASA flash cards and a planet kit went into the box next to earrings and headbands and a fancy polka dot girlie skirt. 20160805_204746_resized

I wanted to take a moment to share a couple of ideas.  I need fancy “bows” and “ribbons” that won’t get crushed.  I want creative and fun and happy and charming.

Every time I walk by those huge silk flower displays that scream 70% off?  If it fits my under 50 cent criteria, I buy one or two.  I have a box at home, just for ribbons and flowers and such.

When I spy stickers 50% off, I buy a sheet of letters and numbers.

You know those thin wooden letters that go on sale now and then?  I buy them and then fancy them up a bit with paint I have at home.

Oh goodness, I never throw away those purple stretchy bags that mini potatoes come in.  Little sisters love purple!20160807_131833_resized

Don’t forget the bulk section of the grocery store.  While you are buying baking soda, almonds and lentils……find the candy section and buy 6 glorious Butterfly gummies or a little bag of sour gummy worms.

I promise, if you put on your thinking cap, you will spend less than $5.00 for oodles and oodles of decorations for your packages.  Heck, they are even fancy enough to put on packages you hand deliver.

Sweet surprises for sweet girls and their sweet little sisters are amazingly fun to decorate.

Fancy that?

Chat tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

haPPY, Uncategorized

garage jewelry

Don’t ya just love a good before and after?

It is my all time favorite thing.  I love seeing those articles in magazines.  I am drawn to every little detail.  Pinterest…………ah so many before and afters………so little time, money, energy etc.. I collect and pin so many ideas on Pinterest, so when I/we actually complete one of them I want to show n tell.

Here’s the one drawback.  I am always so anxious to get on with the project that more often than not I forget to take the sad, ugly, boring, neutral “Before” shot.  The more rough-looking, dull, bland the better the “After” pictures will be.

Not this time.20160701_140340

I remembered to take a clear, in focus “Before” picture. No pizzazz, no make up, sad face, dull.

Before I get to the beautiful, snazzy “after” pictures here are the details:

I ordered the faux windows form Lowes.com  .  Then I purchased the hinges and handles from Home Depot.   Next stop, we purchased  Sherwin Williams black exterior paint to paint the attic vent.  Supplies sat inside our garage for about 6 weeks.  Too hot, too cold, too chicken to give it a try, to worried it wouldn’t turn out well.

We have no idea why we waited.  This was a straightforward project that took about 2 hours with ZERO cussing.  Good gravy, I am so glad we took on this project.

Looking forward to hearing your comments.  We are so dang happy with the final results.

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