a recipe: daily bread 

I make a homemade something each week for munching on for breakfast and in between meals. It’s usually something carb-y and delicious. Muffins, granola, banana bread, breakfast bars, or a not-too-sweet cake when I’m feeling especially needy. Through the summer, I do my baking first thing the morning just after Mike leaves for work when the heat doesn’t seem too unbearable. The school year is upon us though, which means my baking is usually shifted to early on Saturday mornings with NPR on in the background and Mike hemming and hawing about yard work and chores that need to be done. Flour gets tossed with abandon and whatever happens to be on hand gets made into our counter decoration and snack for the week.

We lost our weekend to wedding fun, so I was feeling a little out of sorts with my routine. Something that’s hard to deal with on a normal week, let alone the very first week of school! Pebbles of granola left in the jar, snacks desperately needed for school, and feeling like I had no time to do anything about it. Truth be told, I had nearly forgotten about a new little recipe that I tried a couple weeks ago. When I remembered the jar of dough sitting in the fridge waiting to be made into a loaf of cinnamon bread, my mood brightened considerably. It brought me right out of my snack-less, breakfast-less funk. This recipe can be played with a lot. I went with a cinnamon sugar mixture folded in, but rosemary and sundried tomatoes could be mixed in for a dinner loaf instead. The bread will still come moist and delicious.

DAILY BREAD, adapted from here

Makes 4-5 loaves of bread, depending on the size you choose. 

What you need:

  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 6 1/2 cups flour

What to do:

+ Pour the water into a large bowl. I chose to use a large storage jar.

+ Add the yeast, and then the salt to the water. Mix well.

+ Add the flour and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

+ Leave the bread dough in the bowl and cover loosely. Let rise for 2 hours, or until doubled.

+ The dough can now be stored in the fridge, covered loosely (I used a coffee filter with a rubber band) for 2-3 weeks, or you can use the dough to make a loaf of bread immediately.

+ If making immediately, remove however much you would like to make and knead with floured hands for about a minute on a floured surface. Now would also be the time to add any mix-ins you would like to the dough.

+ Shape the dough and place in your parchment paper lined baking vessel. Cover loosely and let rise for another 20-30 minutes while the oven preheats at 450 degrees.

+ Bake for 30 minutes at 450.

+ Remove from the oven when nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the underside. Cool on a rack and then enjoy!



a parfait party for two

parfait party.JPG

The other night, we were sitting on the couch, like most nights. Dinner was in our bellies. Dishes were washed and things were put away. We’d been relaxing for a little bit, doing nothing much.

Too hot to be outside, too early to go to bed.

Nights like these, I tend to get the little urge for something sweet. “You want a little ice cream?” I asked innocently.

Mike’s response: “There isn’t any.” Truth be told, I’d been thinking about having a scoop of ice cream since right after dinner. Maybe even during. We (I) usually make sure to have a carton in the freezer for such urgent needs like this night’s.

“What?? We don’t have any ice cream? I don’t remember finishing it.” Me – Outraged.

“I finished it while you were in Denver.” How dare he have ice cream without me? And he didn’t even tell me!

“Ughhhhhhh, but I really want some. I’ve been thinking about it all night.” Drama queen. A foot stomp wouldn’t have been out of place.

“I have an idea! Let’s go out and pick something up.”

I was immediately suspicious while hesitantly excited at the same time. “Go get some ice cream? Like go downtown to Hoffman’s?” Going out for ice cream is usually a weekend reserved event.

“Well…I just have a little idea. We’re going to go to the store.”  I knew it was too good to be true, and it didn’t sound to me like we were going to the store to get ice cream.

“Ok, but I really want ice cream.” I said with a raised chin. We threw on shoes, grabbed the keys while I was still harping on my ice cream needs. Dreams of Cookies & Cream and Moose Tracks were running through my head. Mike was being suspiciously quiet.

“Alright, so seriously, what are we getting? I’m going to be really upset if we don’t get ice cream.” My thoughts were racing: I’m pregnant and he doesn’t even care! Pregnant women need ice cream sometimes!! If he doesn’t get me ice cream, I’m going to cry. It’s not like I ask for it every night! He’s being so unsupportive. I know, I’m rolling my eyes too at this point.

We drove up to the store, and it was revealed by my dear, sweet, nutrition-minded husband that we were going to have a parfait party at home. Vanilla yogurt, fruit, chopped m&ms and nuts, topped with homemade whipped cream. “Doesn’t that sound good? And it’s so much healthier for you and Charlie than ice cream!”

“I guess that will be okay as long as I get to pick out the fruit,” I grudgingly said with crossed arms and furrowed brow. Thoughts of Mint Chocolate Chip drifted away.

I can just blame the hormones, right? How he puts up with me, I’ll never know. I’m not going to say that we’re never buying ice cream again, but this was a pretty delicious and healthy alternative. I didn’t even shed a single tear.