Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Honey Oat Bread (Bread Machine)

Oh my...we are on our 3rd bread machine recipe...anyone gaining weight accept me? 

This bread is lovely and without a doubt is one of my family's favorites. It's a bit healthy with the oats (ignore the oil and 2 cups of flour), a touch sweet with the honey and sooooo good with a touch of butter while warm right out of the machine. If you are like me, I can't wait for a homemade loaf of bread to cool before cutting because 
(1) it's usually not ready until right before dinner is about to be placed on the table (or tv trays, whatever...don't judge!) or 
(2)...WHO in their right mind can resist that warm breadly smell of goodness wafting through the house long enough?

I was making dinner for both my family and a friend last week who just had surgery so I split the loaf (saving me some additional tummy bulge).  Sharing a loaf when cooking dinner for a friend is perfect.  The bread won't get moldy (like it has the chance around my house!) and besides potatoes, what food is better for comfort than home baked bread?  And most of us who have had meals delivered after surgeries, babies, etc...usually end up with waaaayyy to much, right?  This cuts down on leftovers for your friend too :-)

Ok, enough jabbering!  Here ya go.
Honey Oat Bread
~makes a "large" loaf, 2lb on my machine~

Add the following ingredients in the order they are listed:
  1 c water
1 Tbs canola oil
1/4 c + 1Tbs honey
1 tsp salt (I use fine sea salt)
1 c oats
2 c bread flour
2 1/2 tsp rapid rise (or bread machine) yeast

~I use the basic, 2lb, medium crust settings on my bread machine~

I have made this with 1 c bread flour and 1 c whole wheat flour as well but had to let it stop after the "rise" cycle was finished to rise for another hour

And a note about bread flour...I started using it devotedly a couple of years ago and I really think it makes a difference.  I buy Gold's Better for Bread when I can find it.  And I can't encourage you enough to go ahead and splurge on the jar of yeast instead of the packets.  Keep it stored in the door of your fridge and use as needed :-)
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Friday, July 27, 2012

Grandma's Apple Pie on Sale! (& Freebie AND recipe, of course!)

Dawn, with Daybreak Scraps, has created a kit that makes my mouth water, literally...for apple pie. Or any fresh baked pie, truthfully. Of course, I'm a sucker for homemade treats of any kind. 

Grandma's Apple Pie kit comes with solid linen papers, gingham papers,
(Click on any of the images for links to the Scrappity Doo Dah store!!)


patterned papers, adorable elements,


some extra flowers,


three alphabets


 and a set of recipe cards to type up and print out!

After posting my LO (above) for the plum jam I made a couple of years ago, I had a few requests for the recipe.  It's nothing special, but I do reduce the sugar a bit from the typical recipe.  That's a trick I learned from my Dad, so you can taste the fruit more than just the sweet.  My hubby prefers his jellies and jams this way too :-)  

And here is a freebie for you :-)  Just some word art using Dawn's fun kit elements and Amanda's awesome fonts!
Click on the Image to download.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bread Machine Beer Bread

I love the flavor beer adds to bread and yes, we have been known to keep a few Coronas in our refrigerator drawer.  We have also been known to have those same Coronas for 6+ months in that refrigerator drawer.  We just forget they are there sometimes!  

This bread is quick to put in the machine, has few ingredients and comes out warm, yeasty and yummy...and trust me, it's divine with butter and honey.

Beer Bread 
 (for the Bread Machine)
~This is for a large loaf, my machine gives me 1.5 a 2lb options, I go with the 2lb~

Add the following to your machine loaf pan in the order listed:
1 12oz beer (or 1 1/2 cups if you have a giant beer on hand)
3 Tbs canola oil
2/3 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 c bread flour
2 1/2 tsp rapid rise or bread machine yeast 

~My settings for this bread are Basic 2lb loaf, light crust, rapid cooking if you have that option...takes about 1hr 50min.~
You'll have to ignore the not so cleaned up blender in the background, but the loaf was just so pretty I had to take the picture right away! 
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Daybreak Scraps CT and Freebie :-)

I am so excited, I have now been asked to be a part of Daybreak Scraps Creative Team.  
Dawn's designs are right up my alley and I love them!  
Here are my first layouts...
Please do NOT pin this image
You can pick up this fun spaced-out kit that I used above HERE

And here is a small freebie for ya... 
Click on the image to Download

And here is another fun LO I made using her Pool Party Palooza collab kit, I LOVE the colors!!
Please do NOT pin this image

You can pick up this summer fun kit HERE!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Surgery LO and Free Quickpage!

Oh, I am loving helping other designers showcase their kits!!  
It's not near as stressful as designing was for me and I still get to be creative and scrap at the same time so it's a win-win :-)  

Seeing as how our oldest has now had 7 surgeries and our youngest seems to fall, trip, scratch and bruise himself on a daily basis by just being a very active little boy...this kit was right up my alley :-)

Scraps de Yas created this adorable kit that can be used for hospital visits, doctor visits, minor cuts and scrapes pages, even if your child takes their doll to the "doctor" and you capture that memory!  You can find her kit HERE.
Here is my LO with it

Please do NOT pin this image.  Template from Andrea Boyer aka Lifescapes

And here is your Freebie :-)  Click on the image to download!
I know Yas would love to know you are using her kit, head to her blog to say hello (or Bonjour!)

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Monday, July 16, 2012

The Company - Book Review & upcoming contest!


It's no secret to my friends and family that I am a HUGE fan of Ted Dekker's writing, so when I was offered the chance to review a book by Chuck Graham whose writing is similar, I jumped at the chance.

The Company is definitely more in tune with the genre of writing I have come to enjoy.  It's not mainstream, but that is not a negative!   I will admit that for the first couple of chapters I wasn't sure it would keep my attention, but once I started getting the underlying story, I was caught up.

The Brigons think they are the only people who survived a meteor hit that brought complete darkness to the world.  They hear a voice in the darkness one day asking if they want help and they accept.  This help comes in the form of light and power supplied by one source through three companies.  However, as it is with people, over the years, they begin to work towards independence, even from each other in separate villages.  This was not a part of the original "Plan" that was brought to them with the light and power years ago.

Seventy years later, a group of Brigons are brought to a conference far away from their village, where they begin to learn how far their people have strayed and what, if anything, can be done to bring them back on track with the Plan. Through characters such as the main, Sam, who is just an average working man with a wife and child, who doesn't think he is anything special and Ellington, an older employee who remembers the power and light being brought, you are pulled into the story, feeling what you think the characters themselves are feeling.  As well as with the three senior managers, each with agendas of their own for their companies, are brought in to see just how far they have strayed from the Plan and if they have ever even read it.  And of course, Mme. Couteau, the eldest of the group, who has vivid memories not only of the voice but of tragic events from the dark times. 

One thing about the book I really enjoyed was the list of names used throughout the story and where Mr. Graham received inspiration for each name, whether biblical or simply related.  I encourage you to read this book, I expect more from Mr. Graham in the future, especially a hopeful sequel to this book :-)

About the Book: 

A meteor strike plunges the world into darkness. A stranger to the village of Brigos Glen restores power and light, supplied by three businesses, known as “The Company,” located beyond the forbidden mountains. The stranger reveals a plan so the Brigons can maintain the power and share the light with outlying territories, which remain shrouded in darkness.

Now, seventy years later, The Company summons six Brigons, including the young engineer Sam Mitchell, to attend a conference in the mountains of the forbidden Outlands. 

Responsible for compiling a report about Brigos Glen from his five companions, Sam learns how managers and villagers largely ignored the plan or compromised it to self-interest, forsaking their duty to share the light. They also took for granted The Company responsible for generating and transmitting the power.

In an ordeal fraught with failure, revelations, and judgment, Sam discovers the true identity behind The Company and learns the fate that may befall Brigos Glen . . . that is, unless he can stop it.

About Chuck: 
Chuck Graham's legal career as an attorney in private practice spanned more than thirty-one years. He represented many local, national, and international clients, acquiring intricate knowledge about the often-overlapping structures of the corporate world. He also worked against those seeking to create racial division, including the Ku Klux Klan. He has served as a member of the state bar of Georgia since 1979 and an instructor to attorneys and judges through the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE). He received the Medallion of Appreciation from ICLE.

Chuck is also a speaker and the author of Take the Stand (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996) and the compilations, A Year of Encouragement (Xulon Press).

In 1997 he founded Ciloa (Christ Is Lord Of All), a ministry devoted to sharing God’s encouragement with the world and teaching those who follow Him how to encourage others. Today Chuck serves as executive director and principal author of A Note of Encouragement, a weekly e-zine reaching 175 countries.

He and Beverly, his wife of thirty-four years, have lived in Lawrenceville, a suburb of Atlanta, for fourteen years. God has blessed them with three children. In his free time, Chuck enjoys backpacking and hiking (especially on the Appalachian Trail), playing the guitar, dabbling in photography, and reading extensively about the Christian faith. 

Check back tomorrow for information on the 
CONTEST with this book!!

Blog Tour Schedule
Here is a link for the whole blog tour schedule!  If you have been enticed by my review, I encourage you to check out some others :-)

Disclosure : I received this book free from WinePress Books through Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review, the opinions expressed above are my own.
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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Smart Apps for Kids - iPad 2 Giveaway!

Do you have an iPhone, iPad or iTouch?  Do you have children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews who play with one of the above?

Then you need to visit Smart Apps for Kids!  They not only review and provide descriptions of amazing apps available for kids, they also provide links to free ones each day.  

Currently they are giving away...are you ready for this?...a FREE iPad 2!!!!!  Click HERE to enter, there are many ways to enter and the more you enter, the more chances you have to win :-)

You're most welcome.
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Friday, July 13, 2012

Beach Treat Buckets

We are heading down to South Padre Island this weekend for a very short but anticipated day and 1/2 at the beach with my parents, sister-in-law, nieces and nephews.  My oldest LOVES the beach and even though we live within 3 hours of one it seems we never make the time to head down to it.  So we can't wait!

And being the kind of mom and aunt who likes to give small gifts to the kiddos sometimes just because I can, I decided to make them each a beach treat bucket.  Cheap, easy but will definitely be useful in and around the sandy beach.

I found the buckets (which came with shovels) and the sand shapers for $1 each at the dollar store.  I took an old paint pen and wrote their name with the date on the buckets just to personalize things a bit.  I then added different fun and practical snacks that would be easy in the car and on the beach for kids from 1 year to 13 years of age (homemade rice krispie treats and cookies not pictured those are more for me than the kids!), along with one special candy treat for each child and a chapstick (99cents at wallyworld). 

Useful, inexpensive and if it breaks or gets left behind, no biggie!

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'm a Princess Quickpage Freebie!

So excited because not only was I able to make a page for Elaine Therese (previous post!) this last week but I was also fortunate to be able to create a LO with a really cute GIRLY kit (I NEVER get to use these!!) by Alexx's Designs called I'm a Princess (yellow). You can get it HERE (or click on the image to be lead to the store also), and it's on sale! 

I had the perfect photo from Christmas 2009.  I had given my nieces some fun dress up clothes (found after Halloween on sale, don't ya know?) as an extra gift to use at Grandma's house.  They were in and out of them all day :-)
 And Alexx graciously allowed me to create a Free Quickpage for you from her kit :-)  
Click on the image to download!

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Apricot Oat Bread (Bread Machine!)

My first son was born 3 months early and since the hospital closest to us at the time didn't have a Level 3 NICU, we were driven as quickly as possible to a hospital in Houston that could better attempt to save both of our lives.  
(It worked, Praise the Lord!).

We ended up in Houston for almost exactly 3 months (usually preemies will stay atleast until their "normal" due date) and while there, became fairly familiar with the medical center area.  

One place my mom and I discovered had amazing sandwiches, really big cookies (oh yea), wonderful tea and best of all...bread.  Loaves of wonderful, wonderful bread in many flavors.  
We experimented regularly :-)  

Our favorite by far was their apricot oat bread.  Sliced and heated with butter in a toaster oven?
  A.MA.ZING.  A hearty breakfast bread.  

So a few years ago, I was looking through an old bread machine cookbook and happened upon an apricot bread that I realized I could easily adapt to try and remake that wonderful bread (of which I cannot get where I live).  Success came quickly and easily!  Gotta love bread machines.  Well, gotta love bread, I mean come on!  
So, in a first of what I hope to be several Bread Machine Recipe posts...here is my version of Apricot Oat Bread.  Go make some now, I just did ;-)

Apricot Oat Bread 
~ this makes a "large" loaf.  I use the 2lb setting if your machine has these variations~
(Add the following in order as they appear to your bread machine)
1 1/3 c milk/water (I usually do 1 c milk, 1/3 water)
3 Tbs canola oil
3 1/2 Tbs honey
1 egg (lightly beaten then pour in)
2/3 tsp fine sea salt or table salt
1/2 to 2/3 tsp grated lemon peel
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c quick cooking oats
2 c bread flour 
2 tsp bread machine (or rapid rise) yeast
1 c diced dried apricots **(see instructions below!!)

I use the "Fruit and Nut" setting (yours might be Fruit Breads, Raisin Breads, etc...).  
Since my machine kneads first, I go ahead and add the apricots in right away.  If your machine doesn't say "kneading" when it starts up, wait until the first beep and then add the apricots. 
Oh, and go ahead and invest in the $4 jar of bread machine yeast at the store, trust me, we'll be using it this fall!!

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

All Boy Quickpage Freebie!

Oh the joys of scrapping for my family :-)  
It is one of my passions and ever since my good friend GFG introduced me to the ease of digital scrapbooking, it's become an even larger passion...one that I still don't always have time for, but when I do, it just brings me happiness.

I had the privilege this week of creating a LO (stands for "layout" for all you non-digi scappers!) with this amazing kit, All Boy, by Elaine Therese Designs.
How perfect is that for my boys?  I can see so many uses for this kit, it's too cute :-)  If you click on the image, you will be taken to her store, she has great designs!
So here is my LO.  It practically made itself, what with the fun elements, papers and that adorable little boy ;-)  
And as a thanks for visiting my blog, Elaine has given me permission to create a Free Quickpage for you to download made from this kit!  (To use a Quickpage, just open up the file into your scrapbook software and place your photos under the page in the open areas.  Add some journaling and a title and you are done!)
Just click on the image to download.

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