Tag Archive for baking

Dusting off My Breadmaker

All of you have that certain small appliance sitting on your shelf collecting dust.  My shelf is pretty big, and sometimes I forgot to look in the back of the shelf to see what is there.  You know the second row of the shelf all the way in the back.   A few weeks ago, I looked back there and was reminded that I have a bread maker.  And it had quite a layer of dust on it.  So I pulled it off of the shelf, cleaned it all up, and actually found the recipe book that came with the bread maker.  I could not believe that one!  Travel Man had to replace the plug for me and then I was all set to go.

The bread maker is the easiest way to make bread known to man.  Throw your ingredients in, in the correct order of course, and voila a beautiful loaf of bread.  I had not made bread in a long, long time and everyone loved it, especially Evan.  He keeps asking me when I’ll be making more.  I made him his own personal loaf for Valentine’s Day.  He kissed the loaf of bread when I gave it to him.  Evan likes to have peanut butter sandwiches, and he told his Mom he could only eat them on the bread from Grandma now.  Too funny!

For this loaf of plain white bread the ingredients are:

  • 1 c. Water                          
  • 2¾ c. Bread Flour
  • 2 Tbsp. Dry Milk
  • 2 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1½ Tsp. Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter or Margarine
  • 2 Tsp. Active Dry Yeast

The first thing you put in the pan is the water.  Then mix the dry ingredients, except for the yeast, in a separate bowl  and add on top of the water.  Spread the dry ingredients in the pan evenly, and make a small well in the middle of the dry ingredients for the yeast.  Measure the yeast and put it into the little well.  Cut your butter into four small pieces, and place them on top of the dry ingredients in your pan.  Put the pan into your bread maker, and turn it on.

For my bread maker it was set to basic bread with a medium color crust.  Total bake time start to finish is 3 hours and 10 minutes.  Once the bread is done you just pop it out of the pan, and cool for 15-20 minutes before eating.  Then just slice, butter and enjoy.

I have made six or seven loaves of bread in the last couple of weeks.  Travel Man and I enjoyed some audacious french toast made with this bread for breakfast.  Since we have all gotten back on our calorie counting recently I will only be making bread once a week now.  Otherwise we just eat way too much.  My next experiment with the bread maker will be to make homemade pizza dough for our wood grilled pizzas.  Updates on that in a week or so.

Happy bread baking everyone!

Have you made Mini Donuts yet?

One of my Christmas presents from Travel Man was one of those little mini donut makers.  He loves getting me new kitchen gadgets, and this one was at the top of my list.

The mini recipe booklet that came with my new gadget had a few recipes, and I just wanted to try the basics.  Here’s the recipe I used:

Basic Donut Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. flour 
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 Tbsp cooking oil

Directions:

  • Stir dry ingredients together.
  • Add egg, vanilla, and milk and beat 1 minute with electric mixer or vigorously by hand.
  • Add oil and continue to beat for 1 more minute.

Now you’re ready to plug-in the donut maker, and get those goodies going The donut maker just plugs into the wall, and heats up like a waffle iron.  Once heated, you spray the top and bottom with some sort of non-stick cooking spray, add the batter, close the lid, and bake until the “ready” light comes on.

Once they are baked place the little goodies on a plate or cutting board to cool.  At my house you have to guard treats like this with your life, so they don’t disappear instantaneously!

You can also frost the donuts, and dip them in sprinkles, or some other sugary delight.  For our very first round of donuts I just wanted them plain so I could tell how this recipe tasted.  The donuts were very light and delicious.  Like little cakes, but not too heavy.  Just the right amount of sweetness for me.  Left plain these little snacks would freeze very well.

The mini donuts disappeared quite quickly after I sounded the alarm that they could be eaten. I think I might try something with pumpkin next, or maybe lemon poppy-seed.  Those would be my two favorite flavors to experiment with.  What’s your favorite donut or muffin?  Have you tried the mini donuts?

10 Reasons why I couldn’t sell my iPad…

There are not many times in my parenting/adult life where I have treated myself to a gift.  However, in December 2010 I did.  There was this new-fangled gadget on the market called an iPad, and I just wanted one.  So, with my Christmas bonus from work I cautiously spent the money on my own iPad.  This purchase took quite a bit of convincing from Travel Man to complete. “You deserve it honey” and “You never do anything for yourself”, are the words from my husband that ring in my head.

When the iPad was new, I used it a lot at work and not so much at home. When I walked away from my job last year, and my status changed to Domestic Goddess I thought I would have used it more than I was.  So, the iPad was sitting on my desk collecting some dust, and I had this fleeting thought that maybe I should just sell it.  And then logic and reason set it in, along with some teasing from my family.

After spending a few months debating with myself and really paying attention to the use on my iPad I came up with this list:

10. Evan, my grandson, and I like to play checkers and tic-tac-toe on the iPad.  Where would we play our games on the go?

9.  When someone in the house says, “Google it”, where would we go to become informed?  The iPad is usually sitting right on the coffee table or kitchen counter for anyone to grab and look something up on the web.

8.   The DJ capabilities with iTunes, the iPad and the Remote app are amazing.  How would we play all that fine music at the Party House during family parties?   How would the assigned DJ skip to a new song right in the middle of one that’s already playing?

7. I love to play word games on the iPad.  How could I possibly keep up on all my games of Words with Friends, and Scrabble in a timely manner?

6. Amazon shopping is my favorite form of shopping, along with a Prime membership of course.  How could I check on my Gift Lists?  How would I get my Christmas shopping done?

5.  There is always some movie that I want to watch on Netflix, and I find using the iPad is the best way to dump movies into the  Netflix Instant Que.  How would I search for movies on Netflix, or reserve a movie on Redbox?

4.  The iPad has become a phenomenal tool for cooking.   The ability to view the recipes on-screen while preparing a meal, etc. is awesome.  How would I view all of the Pioneer Woman recipes that my family has grown to love?  Check out this cool iPad holder I got for Christmas from my hubby for using it while I cook.

3. I have learned to use WordPress to write posts to my blog in the last few months.  How would my blog posts get shared with the world at a moment’s notice? I can take it with me wherever I go.

2. I can essentially have a mini computer with me wherever I go.  When I am with Travel man on a mini-vacation I don’t have to wait to use his laptop.  I have my iPad.

1. The number one reason I couldn’t sell my iPad is that it is  the first time in my working career that I used a bonus to buy something just for me.

Thanks to my family members, particularly Travel Man, who have encouraged and teased me through this decision.  I will forever love my iPad.

Merry Christmas to all…

Hello dear friends – I hope everyone has been enjoying a festive and happy holiday season with friends and family.  The Party House has been a bevy of activity for the past week or so.  I am anxious to get back on my blogging and share my pre-Christmas stories with you all.  Looking forward to sharing all of my crafting activities, baking stories, and how the big day turned out.

We were fortunate to have Travel Man home with us for the entire Christmas week, and even though he was battling a bad cold it was great that he was home to share all of the activities with us.

Here’s a picture of all the wonderful kids in the family.  From left to right we have our grandson, Evan; our sons, Zach & Bryan; our niece, Mary; our daughter, Hilary; our nephew, Jim, and our oldest daughter Naomi. This is the group that makes the Party House rock!!  What a group!

We are still enjoying lots and lots of Christmas cookies, candies, and some leftover ham.  It’s just a delightful, plethora of good eating.  Stay tuned for more Christmas activities from the Party House.  Hope your holidays have been as great as ours!

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