Thursday, April 01, 2010

Baking Bread

Whole Wheat bread, made with this recipe on RecipeZaar....slightly modified to use honey rather than sugar.

Step 1: Make the sponge

Mix 4 tsp yeast
1 cup whole wheat (I use white whole wheat)
3/4 cup warm water


Let sit for 45 minutes until it gets all bubbly


In stand mixer (if using one) or bowl that sponge is in, add:

2 cups water
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup dry milk
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten (you can often find this in the bulk section)
1 Tablespoon salt
1/3 cup sugar (I substitute honey)
1/4 cup oil (I use olive oil)


Mix it up


Now start adding flour, a 1/2 cup to a cup at a time. You're going to use anywhere from 2 to 4 additional cups of flour. I always use the full 4 cups, I'm guessing because I use a liquid sweetener (honey). You may use less. You want the dough to be slightly sticky but not runny. Too much flour and your dough will be too hard and dense. This will get easier the more bread you make!

Not ready yet...


Getting there, but still not quite yet...


That's it!


Now knead the dough for 10 minutes in the mixer or 20-30 minutes by hand. If kneading by hand, go ahead and call to book a massage for tomorrow afternoon- you're going to knead it (haha......knead it. Get it?)

After dough has been kneaded, stick it in an oiled bowl and roll it around a bit to coat it.


Then let it sit in a warm spot until doubled. I didn't get a picture of this, because by this time the baby was crying and I had spitup on my shoulder and was doing things one handed. Just pretend you see a picture of it doubled.

Then split the dough into two even loaves (if they're not perfectly even I won't tell anyone, but I am so anal that I usually whip out the scale a la Alton Brown to ensure evenness).

Form into loaves and place into greased loaf pans (I also preheat the oven at this time, to 375*F):


Let sit until the dough has risen about an inch above the pan. You want it to look like a loaf of bread at this point, as it won't rise any more in the oven.



Now stick them in the oven for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, lower your oven temperature to 350*F and cook for an additional 20 minutes until golden brown and beautiful:


Take them out of their pans and allow to cool a bit before slicing and enjoying a piece of your delicious homemade bread!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

GroBaby Bio Soakers

GroBaby is doing a giveaway for their new Bio Soaker system. Here's some info about it:

Bio Soakers are plastic FREE, fragrance FREE, Dye FREE, Chlorine FREE and only contain 3 grams of SAP gel compared to the 10-20 grams found in other disposables.
They have super soft NON latex, elastic leg gussets that are guaranteed to keep messes in their place. These also have a proprietary biofilm backing that is both waterproof and breathable. It meets all AS...TM6400 (USA), EU13432 (EU), and BPI standards for biodegradability and commercial compostability! Wheew!

Now GO! Check them out!

Now personally, I don't like that they still have the gel. BUT, 3 grams compared to 10-20 in conventional diapers really rocks. I can't see myself using them, but they look like a great option for cloth diaper users that aren't hard core, for camping and vacations and such.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bit of Whimsy Dolls

Bit of Whimsy Dolls is having a daily giveaway on their blog- cute stuff, go check it out (who doesn't like free?!)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tiny Bubbles!

Right now I'm a Charlies Soap fan- that stuff is fantastic! However, Tiny Bubbles is doing a giveaway for their soap and I'm open to trying new things, especially if they're free. I'll post an update with my thoughts after I actually try it, but here are the specs:

Tiny Bubbles
The detergent of choice for cloth diapers and baby apparel.

* Dye & Fragrance Free
* Completely Biodegradable
* Completely Phosphate-Free
* No Optical Brighteners or Fillers
* Gentle for Sensitive Skin
* Low Residue Formula
* Ultra-Concentrated
* Low Cost-Per-Wash
* Recyclable

Safe to use with Gro Baby™ and all other cloth diapers brands. Not tested on animals. No animal by products. ($0.22 per Load)

Phosphate Free - Phosphate detergents are a major cause of pollution in our lakes and streams. Even biodegradable phosphate detergents are harmful to water life. Tiny Bubbles contains no phosphates and is completely biodegradable.

60 Loads - Front Load Washer
Net Wt. 60 Oz. (3.75lbs)

U.S. EPA Designed for the Environment
The Design for the Environment (DfE) Program works in partnership with a broad range of stakeholders to reduce risk to people and the environment by preventing pollution.

Sodium carbonate, Sodium sulfate, Sodium percarbonate, Sodium alkyl aryl sulfonate, Linear alcohol ethoxylate.

Front Load Machines – 1 scoop
Top Load Machines – 2 scoops
Hand Laundry – 1 to 2 teaspoons/basin

Monday, March 23, 2009


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Saturday, March 21, 2009


Jib got his glasses today. He looks like a miniature version of me LoL. I'm a bit cheesed that I got sucked into getting the pair that the guy suggested- they're too big and why did the guy think that a toddler's glasses would actually last more than a year? Durrr. I'm wondering if we can return them, or if we're even going to have him wear them. We keep encouraging him to leave them on but he gets a great deal of pleasure from putting them in their case. Toddlers!

Friday, March 20, 2009


We took Jib to the optometrist today. I haven't noticed anything huge- I've seen him squinting a couple of times, but that could just be normal goofy toddlerisms; but both Gadgetman and myself wear glasses so we figured better safe than sorry. Well, turns out he has a very slight prescription in both eyes. At first she said only one eye, but then she rechecked and said it was both eyes. She suggested glasses since I had mentioned the squinting, only she said "Since you've noticed him pulling away" which totally isn't what I said. I trust her, and get the glasses? Do I forego them? On one hand, I feel like we should get them because better treated early so as to fix the problem. On the other hand, I'm worried that glasses are like a crutch and will worsen his vision. Anyone have experience with toddlers and corrective lenses? What would you do? If it matters, Jib will be 3 next month. We picked out a pair of glasses and they'll be ready tomorrow at 1, we figured we'd get them filled since the insurance is paying for it anyway. Thoughts?

Thursday, March 19, 2009


$5 free, for you! Use the code HOB764, no minimum order!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

So it's been a while

I've been paying more attention to my other blog This [eggstra]Ordinary Life. Heh, get it? It's about chickens? So here's what's new- chickens! (28 of them), business is going a heck of a lot better now that we've got the advertising down (Bushelbutt Boutique), my grandpa has cancer. We made an impromptu trip to Chicago (14 hours, there and back all in one night with me driving the entire time). What did I take from that? People who drive in Chicago are INSANE!!! Anyway, we went there to pick up my Godchild's daddy, who met her for the first time. The family is settled into their new apartment now, but daddy is sick- not surprising after traveling from California to Michigan via bus.

I kind of fell of the raw bandwagon but I'm working on getting back on. I'm at least 80% raw right now, and I am okay with that. The reason I was doing raw was mainly to get rid of my anxiety and panic attack issues, which it did. I found out that the problem is with milk, so as long as I stay away from that I'm fine.

So yeah, stay tuned for more blogs, I'm trying to keep up but sometimes life gets the best of me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Still eating raw

Still going strong with the raw, though I've started to have one non-raw meal every two weeks. This week it was pizza, Jet's to be exact. Mmmmmm....Jet's pizza.....BUT I can definitely feel it in the way I'm incredibly sluggish. Back to fruits and veggies!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Moving the chickens

So I figure that everyone is probably sick of me talking about chickens, my family definitely is. So if you're interested in hearing about it, please be sure to check out my Chicken Blog spinoff, called This [eggstra]Ordinary Life. It's got a TON of pictures and I hope to get some video up, especially when the eggs hatch. Hope to see you over there (I'll still be posting here also, but probably not as much until the chicken stuff has calmed down).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

One thumb up to Decorah Hatchery

Woot! They have a whole thumb up from us so far......we got a call this morning saying that the chicks will ship out tomorrow. They should get here Thursday or Friday. YAY! Now to scrounge up some living quarters for them.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

A tentative thumbs up to Decorah Hatchery

I'm pretty sure this is a good sign- I received a handwritten receipt in the mail as well as the printout from the credit card. The Mr. had to phone the order in since they don't do online ordering, so I'm pretty impressed so far.

Friday, March 06, 2009


Not much happening chicken-wise, so here's a funny for you:

Getting a little worried about what we're going to use as a brooder. The Mr. called Sears and they've got a dishwasher box but I'm fearing it won't be big enough. I was really hoping for a refrigerator box, but maybe they'll get one in by the time the chicks outgrow the other.

Nothing going on with the eggs- still hand turning them by manually maneuvering the auto-turner. They'll be sleeping to the right tonight.

2 Thumbs Down for Welp Hatchery

Two big hairy man hand thumbs down, two short stubby fingernails bitten woman hand thumbs down, and two toddler thumbs down to Welp Hatchery. If you've been reading, you remember my post that Welp made me change my order.

Well, today my husband gets a call (after leaving them a message wondering when to expect the chicks) stating that they're not shipping until April 1st, as they all sold out while they were busy screwing with our order. On top of that, I got an email stating that they had charged my credit card ABOVE what I had authorized. I didn't realize that the slow broilers were more expensive, gave them the go-ahead to change the order and they neglected to okay the new charges with me.....mmmkay, not cool.

On a good note, I'm getting 6 Silkie fertile eggs shipped from a farm a couple of hours away, so they should be here in a couple days. I'm a little worried since they'll have different hatch dates from the first batch, but the lady assured me that it wouldn't be a problem. They're coming from Destiny Farms, I'll update with my review of them when I get the eggs.