Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Holiday favorite…the mail.

I love the mail this time of year.  Christmas photo cards are my favorite. I love seeing our friends and their families grow from year to year.  I like them so much that I made an “Our Christmas Cards Album” where I save our photo cards.  IMG_0675 IMG_0683-Edit 
Our friends, the Meyers, have been sending some really unique cards every year and their card is usually the first one I receive.  I know what it’s going to look like because Kent creates them, but it is always a sign of the new holiday season.  This is their 2010 card.card
This is their 2009 card.
Do you look forward to photo cards too?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Using Pesto - Recipe {6}

Kent’s pesto bread is always a crowd pleaser and of course is megasimple to make. It’s a take on focaccia, but is a little sweeter and cakier in texture than a traditional focaccia. Kent says in terms of a focaccia it’s not his favorite and he is in continual search of a better recipe.  Whatever this bread is…I love it.IMG_1498
3/4 c. + 3 T. Warm Water (90-100 degrees)
3 c. white flour
2 T. Dry Milk
3 1/2 T. Sugar
1/2 c. Pesto
2 T. Melted butter or margarine
1 pkg. active dry yeast

1.  Measure lukewarm water in a measuring cup and add the sugar. 
2. Add the yeast.
3. Stir until completely dissolved.
4. Pour yeast mixture in a bowl.
5. Add the remaining ingredients: flour, pesto, butter and dry milk and combine ingredients with your hands until it is mixed enough to pour out on kneading surface.IMG_1384
**The above picture shows that I took the pics for this recipe. See my reflection in the measuring cup?! See Kent in the left of the reflection directing me?! This explains why there were 181 pictures to sift through just for this recipe. Ok…back to cooking.IMG_1396 IMG_1400   IMG_1406
6. Remove mixture and knead the dough for 10 minutes.
7.  Until it looks like this.
8. Place dough back in bowl (spray with oil or pam to prevent sticking) and cover with towel to  let it rise for 15 minutes. We typically let it rise in the oven, but the oven is off.
9. Remove from bowl and spread out on pan in a circle that is 12-15 inches wide.

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10. Cover and let rise in cool oven again for 20-30 minutes.
11. Use handle of wooden spoon or brush and make indentations about every inch.
12.  Brush with olive oil.
13. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
14. Cut into strips.  It is perfectly good plain, but we like to dip it in olive oil and parmesan cheese.
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Making Pesto here.
Pesto Recipe 2 here.
Pesto Recipe 3 here.
Pesto Recipe 4 here.
Pesto Recipe 5 here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I’ve been wanting to learn how to make churros since our last trip to Chicago when I tried my first churro ever.  This recipe is so megasimple and they were really good.

1 c. water
2 T. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. butter
1 c. flour
2 eggs
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. cinnamon

Combine sugar and cinnamon in bowl or plate at set aside for dusting later.
Mix eggs and vanilla with mixer and set aside.
Combine first four ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a good boil.  Remove from heat.
Add flour to saucepan and stir until combined.
Add flour mixture to mixing bowl and mix until combined with eggs/vanilla.
Fill pastry gun with dough.
Heat vegetable 1 1/2 – 2 inches of vegetable in a saucepan to 375 degrees.
Press 4-5 4 inch churros in the oil and cook for 1-2 minutes per side.
Remove churros with slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to absorb some of the oil.
Dip churro in cinnamon and sugar mixture while still warm!

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IMG_0577    IMG_0582  IMG_0584

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The only tip I have for this recipe is that you may need to adjust your burner to keep the oil close to 375 degrees.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wifetastic {2}

I lose things. I used to lose things a lot, but I’m getting better and I think it’s down to a little. St. Anthony (Patron Saint of lost things) and I are total BFFs.

Last week, Kent laughed uncontrollably while watching Modern Family because the clip below is a conversation that we have had…twice. It was the line “Somebody came in here and stole them!” that had him rolling because I’ve used that one before.  Just watch…

See, I knew other people said and did wifetastic things too.

Monday, November 22, 2010

megasimple money saving tip {7}

#7 My friend taught me how to make laundry detergent last week.  It is super megasimple and will save us a ton of money.  This recipe makes almost 2 gallons of detergent and takes less than 20 minutes. 

1/2 c. 20 Mule Team Borax
1/2 c. Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 bar Ivory Soap (can also use 1/3 bar of fels naptha soap)

Directions: Grate the soap with a cheese grater.  In a pot add 6c. of water and the soap and stir until it is melted.  Add 1/2 cup of the borax and 1/2c. of soda and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Add 4c of hot water to a large bucket. Add the soap mixture to the bucket and stir.  Add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water. Stir and pour in storage containers.  I used a recycled milk and orange juice jug. Let it sit overnight to gel. The detergent may get a little chunky, but you just need to give it a good shake before using if it’s chunky. 

Use 1/2c of detergent per load.  It’s safe for high efficiency machines too.

See megasimple money saving times 1-3 here and 4-6 here.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Glass Pieces Arts Studio

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I’ve been wanting to go to this art studio for some time and they are having an open house this weekend and next weekend.  They are having glass blowing demos, refreshments, blow your own ornament opportunities and musical entertainment.  Check it out on Sat. and Sun. Nov 20-21 and 27-28 from 11am-7pm.  Located at 106 North LIncoln in West Unity, Oh.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up

We made a last minute decision on Friday to head to Cincinnati for the Sanctus Real, Leeland and The Afters concert.  When we walked in my nephew said exactly what I was thinking, “Where are the chairs?”  Even though we stood for four hours it was totally worth it.  All three bands were really good! The lead singer from Sanctus real, Matt Hammitt, has a newborn son who was born with a heart defect.  You can follow his progress here.IMG_3356-Edit
Right before the guitar player from Sanctus Real went on stage, Sammy got his picture taken with him. It was definitely a high point of the evening.  It made me feel slightly redeemed after my Aunt faux pas a month or so ago.  I saw on Sanctus Real’s facebook page that the drummer was holding a drum clinic that night. It was free and for all ages.  Sammy loves to play the drums.  I quickly called my sister and told her about it.  They drove an hour to take him to the drum clinic only to get there and find out it was actually the day before!  Apparently I missed the fine print on facebook under the status that showed the status update was “yesterday”.  Lucky for me this little guy is very forgiving.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

100th Post Giveaway Winner

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Congratulations to commenter #19, Jo Michelson!


And…In the spirit of giving and because it’s going to get really cold next week I randomly chose three additional commenters to receive a small container of Stella Leona Hot chocolate.

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Thanks for all the great comments and ideas! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!