Thursday, May 27, 2010

This Morning in my Kitchen... Baking

I got up early this morning to beat the heat. I got my grain order last week: 25 pounds of soft wheat for pastries and general baking, 50 pounds of hard white wheat for bread, 25 pounds of oats, and some bulgar wheat, wild rice mix, and gluten. It's just been so hot, I've not wanted to bake. Well, this morning I baked.

I made a big batch of whole wheat dough using Crystal Miller's recipe from her Bread Baking CD. I've used the recipe for a couple of years; however, I've always substituted a cup of white flour for the cup of gluten flour that the recipe called for. Oh my, the gluten made a world of difference! I ended up with incredibly soft and fluffy rolls and bread. The vital gluten is definitely worth searching out.

Hamburger Buns
Dinner rolls for Friday

Bread for dinner tonight.

These are a little lumpy because they rose too much. The kitchen was warm and the gluten was happy to help the dough rise. These loaves just kind of got away from me. I also made some scrumptious big pecan cinnamon rolls. We ate them way too quickly to even think of a photo!
It was a rewarding and delicious morning.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

GRATITUESDAY...Good Honest Friends

I'm so thankful to God for good honest friends.

Encouragement is important; but, only if it lines up with God's Word. Anything else is just empty words. When someone cares enough to share truth with you, you know that she is a true friend.

Deb, Debbie, Joy, Joyce, Beth, Cher, Caity, Chelsea, you're all in that group. Thank you for being my friends.

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Baking a Cake with a Mix Tutorial

This is an excellent tutorial on baking a cake using a cake mix. Brittany explains how to add ingredients to improve the taste and texture, and how to prepare layers and frost with buttercream icing. I've been baking for 35 years and didn't know all these tips. Oops! Now you know I've a few gray hairs!

I'm adding a cake mix to my grocery list!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Momma Laura's Homemade-From-Scratch Fudgy Brownies

Anna at Lasso the Moon asked for my brownie recipe. I've made this same recipe ever since I can remember. I've tried many boxes over the years. None can compare to this homemade-from-scratch recipe. The original recipe is written in pencil on a 3x5 index card. No name, no indication of when or where I might have gotten it. I've copied it off a few times; because, if I lost the recipe, I'd be in major trouble with my family. I've made change to the recipe. I now use butter instead of margarine. Don't you just love that butter is better—and better for you?
Why's this recipe so much better than others I've tried? Could it be the two sticks of real butter? The four eggs? The real Hershey's and only Hershey's cocoa? Could it be slightly underbaking so that the brownies come out fudgy and moist? You'll just have to find out for yourself!

Fudgy Brownies

2 cups sugar
8 T Hershey's Cocoa
2 sticks (1 c) melted butter
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts (optional)

This is a mix-by-hand recipe. It makes me feel old-fashioned and homey to get out a whisk, a wooden spoon, and my favorite mixing bowl.

  • Whisk together the sugar and cocoa in a large mixing bowl. I always use a whisk because it helps the cocoa and sugar to combine without lumps of cocoa.
  • Add the butter and mix it together. You can switch to a wooden spoon or large fork at this point if you wish.
  • Add the eggs and stir until it's all combined well.
  • Now add your flour. Mix it all up.
  • Grab a spoon from the drawer and take a taste if you don't mind the raw eggs.
  • Now, pour it into a 13x9 cake pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray or buttered generously.
  • Sprinkle with nuts if desired.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. They'll come out fudgy.

Now, you get to make the all-important decision.

Warm with ice cream?
Cool with homemade chocolate frosting?
The best recipe is on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa label.

You choose. You can't lose!

May I suggest?

Craving Chocolate Now!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Busy Busy Day in the Kitchen

Michael Paul

From my kitchen today:

Kombucha Tea ~ The batch that I started a couple of weeks ago was ready. I bottled it and started another batch.

Corndogs, chips, and kidney beans for lunch ~Don't tell!

Honey Oat Dinner Rolls ~ A dozen large ones to go with this evening's dinner. Two dozen regular sized ones for tomorrow's dinner.

Vegetable and Lentil Stew ~ from my husband's blog. I didn't have a vegetable boullion cube; so, I used a beef cube instead. I also added some yellow peppers for color. Notes: Next time, add garlic with the onions, peppers, and carrots. Also, add a little extra salt.

Just out of the oven... Homemade fudgy brownies. I've used the same recipe ever since I was a young girl. It's handwritten on a recipe card. There's no name and I have no idea who gave it to me. Perhaps I'll share that recipe another day.

I've just one more thing to make. I'm going to make the chocolate sheet cake that my mother taught me to make as a young teenager. I believe it was my Aunt JoAnn's recipe.

Busy busy!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Offend Away!

My son, Michael, had a new experience today. He went into the post office to mail a package for me. It's a gift for my eldest son; so, we decorated the package with some stickers. Some of the stickers had a Christian theme. The clerk at the window told him that the package might be offensive to the mail carrier. Michael calmly told her that it was too bad, it had to be sent anyway.
Imagine that! Telling a ten year old that! I was proud of him for standing his ground. We talked about it afterward. I told him that he needs to remember to be respectful but firm when confronted about his faith. It's very mild persecution, it's true. What have we come to that a child would be treated thusly by a federal employee?
Still, I rejoice that Michael's faith is in the Lord Jesus Christ. I say praise God!

May I suggest?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nothing Beats It!

Nothing beats cuddling up with your little ones to read a good book. I'm off to read right now!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thank God for Good Friends

Thank you God for my good friends. You know... the ones who aren't afraid to tell it like it is... the ones that always point me right back to You God... the ones who love me enough to tell me the truth... the ones who love YOU enough to speak truth to me...the ones that pray with me and for me.

Thank you God!
Thank you Friends!


P.S. You all know who you are!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Nineteen Years Ago...My First Mother's Day

I'm remembering my very first Mother's Day as a new momma this morning. It's hard to believe that it's been 19 years! It was also my birthday. Hubby took me, baby, and mother-in-love to lunch at an incredibly busy restaurant. We finally were seated, orders given, and baby starts fussing...and fussing...and fussing. I ended up cancelling my order, going to the car and nursing for half an hour. In those days, in that place, it would have been scandalous to nurse him in the restaurant. After he was well fed and well loved, it was back to the restaurant to reorder my dinner. It was a little disappointing as a celebration, but it was what it's all about...sacrifice.

Nineteen years later, I'm spending my first Mother's Day without Matthew with me. He was first in my thoughts this morning. He's away at school. I miss him so much. I love him so much. He's changed my life so much. So much for the better....

Matthew, I love you!

Emily, I love you!

Michael, I love you!

Amy, I love you!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Blessed is the Nation

All is not lost. It is not hopeless.
The Bible is filled with examples of the Lord
relenting when people were repenting.
Today is the National Day of Prayer.
People will be praying for our country all across our country.
I encourage you to pray, not just today but everyday, for our country.
I encourage you to examine your own life. Ask the Lord if there is anything in your own life that He would have you change. Then, with the Lord's help, do it.
Jesus Christ
The Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Disappointed Hummingbird...

A beautiful little hummingbird came to our feeder this evening. Alas, we had a disappointed little bird. We hadn't filled our feeder yet. Hubby found a recipe online and made it up. Tomorrow we'll have happy hummingbirds.

Sunday Meditation

"Praise the LORD.

Praise the LORD, O my soul.

I will praise the LORD all my life;

I will sing praise to God as long as I live."
Psalm 146:1-2

I'm having a Sunday morning at home. My thoughts turn often to the Lord. I read my Bible, sang to Him, and now I'm going to prepare for my family's return from church.

May your thoughts turn often to the Lord today as you rest in His Loving Arms.