Thursday, January 28, 2010

Happy 11th Birthday Luke!

Our oldest boy turns 11 today!

Luke has been such a blessing to us. God sure knew what He was doing by giving us Luke first! He is a wonderful son and great big brother to the other three boys. He is smart as a whip, and a great cook/baker. He can build a campfire in any condition, and is just an all around great kid!

We had Birthday part 1 this morning at breakfast. Here are some pictures.

His gifts from the family were a canteen, pellets for his gun, and a camping knife,spoon,fork utensil.

As per birthday tradition, Luke picked all of the meals for today.

Breakfast: Blueberry half wheat pancaked, mini long john doughnuts, and hard boiled eggs.

Lunch: Meatloaf and corn

Dinner: Bierrocks

Dessert: Strawberry Pie and vanilla ice cream


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pita Bread

A few weeks ago Bri went went out to dinner with his parents. They went to a favorite Greek restaurant. He came home excited about the different foods they had eaten.

As you know, I like to take favorite foods from restaurants and try to make homemade versions. I started out looking up a hummus recipe and then decided to make the pita bread to go with the dip.

This recipe comes from the Food Network. I chose it mainly because it made the most pitas from one batch of dough. (16)


* 1 teaspoon dry yeast
* 2 1/2 cups warm water (approximately 105 degrees F)
* 2 cups whole wheat flour
* About 4 cups unbleached all-purpose or bread flour
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil


You will need a large bread bowl, a rolling pin, and unglazed quarry tiles or several baking sheets, or alternatively a castiron or other heavy skillet or griddle at least 9 inches in diameter.

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bread bowl. Stir to dissolve. Add whole wheat flour, one cup at a time, then 1 cup white flour. Stir 100 times (one minute) in the same direction to activate the gluten in the flour. Let this sponge rest for at least 10 minutes or as long as 2 hours.

Sprinkle salt over the sponge and stir in the olive oil.

Mix well. Add white flour, one cup at a time. When the dough is too stiff to stir, turn it out onto a lightly floured bread board

and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Return the dough to a lightly oiled bread bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Let rise until at least double in size, approximately 1 1/2 hours.

Gently punch down. Dough can be made ahead to this point and then stored, covered, in the refrigerator for 5 days or less.

If at this time you want to save the dough in the refrigerator for baking later, simply wrap it in a plastic bag that is at least three times the size of the dough, pull the bag together, and secure it just at the opening of the bag. This will give the dough a chance to expand when it is in the refrigerator (which it will do). From day to day, simply cut off the amount of dough you need and keep the rest in the refrigerator, for up to one week. The dough will smell slightly fermented after a few days, but this simply improves the taste of the bread. Dough should be brought to room temperature before baking.

This amount of dough will make approximately 16 pitas if rolled out into circles approximately 8 to 9 inches in diameter and less than 1/4-inch thick. You can also of course make smaller breads. Size and shape all depend on you, but for breads of this dimension the following baking tips apply:

Place unglazed quarry tiles, or a large baking stone or two baking sheets, on a rack in the bottom third of your oven, leaving a one inch gap all around to allow air to circulate. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Divide dough in half, then set half aside, covered, while you work with the rest. Divide dough into eight equal pieces and flatten each piece with lightly floured hands. Roll out each piece to a circle 8 to 9 inches in diameter.

You may wish to roll out all eight before starting to bake. Cover rolled out breads, but do not stack.

Bake 2 at a time (or more if your oven is larger) directly on quarry tiles or baking sheets. Bake each bread for 3 or 4 minutes, until the bread has gone into a full "balloon" or until it is starting to turn lightly golden, whichever happens first.

If there are seams or dry bits of dough - or for a variety of other reasons - your bread may not go into a full "balloon". Don't worry, it will still taste great. The more you bake pitas the more you will become familiar with all the little tricks and pitfalls, and your breads will more consistently "balloon." But even then, if you're like us, it won't always "balloon" fully and you won't mind because the taste will still be wonderful. When baked, remove, place on a rack for about five minutes to let cool slightly, then wrap breads in a large kitchen towel (this will keep the breads soft). When first half of the dough has been rolled out and baked, repeat for rest of dough, or store in refrigerator for later use, as described above. You can also divide the dough into more, smaller pieces if you wish, to give you smaller breads.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What's New?

I haven't been a very good blogger have I? I tell myself I'll post more often , but as you can see that's not happening. I check it a lot to read other friends' blogs. Looking for inspiration, but come away feeling worse. I don't take a lot pictures, or spend much time sewing. I cook the same foods that I've already posted about.

Basically we lead a pretty boring life. But we like it. It is what God has blessed us with and we are content. Changes could be coming up, but for now we are just waiting on God to lead and praying for wisdom to follow wherever He leads.

The only thing out of the ordinary that's happened is that sickness has hit our house lately, but the boys are just about over it. If they don't regerm each other!!

As most of you know I love learning and trying new home/natural remedies. So their colds/flu gave me some great opportunities to try out things I've been reading about.

I've been wanting to get into essential oils for quite awhile. Last store day I used some birthday $ and bought 6 bottles. Some of the uses I have done are to warm a little olive oil then add 1-2 drops of eucalyptus EO and rub it on the boys backs and chests. I also put drops in hot bath water and in boiling water to breathe in the steam.

We have gone through two batches of GOOT. Rubbing this on the bottoms of feet helps control coughing and gets the garlic into the bloodstream to help fight the bad germs.

Mustard poultices seemed to work well on Nathan and Luke. I warmed up a bit of plain yellow mustard. Rubbed it on their chests,and then laid a wash cloth ran under as hot of water as possible and rung out on top of the mustard.

We have drank large amounts of garlic tea. This is actually a very tasty drink. You boil water in a pan with 2-3 cloves garlic cut in half. Off heat stir in lemon juice and honey.

I made a homemade honey cough syrup that was given to me by a Well Tell Me friend.

It is basically pouring a good amount of honey in a canning jar, add juice of 1/2 a lemon, pieces of fresh ginger root,smashed garlic, and dried grapefruit peel. Let sit a day or so and strain out chunk stuff. Take a tsp of the flavored honey as needed.

What else. Oh yeah, the grapefruit peel tea. God put something wonderful in the peel of grapefruit that helps reduce fevers. At Christmas, I saved a few GF peels, cut them into small pieces and left them to dry on newspaper for a few days. To make the tea bring some water to a boil. Off heat, stir in a few pieces. Let steep about 15 minutes and drink. You can look up all the science of it by googling grapefruit peel tea.

Of course there is the old fashioned Homemade chicken broth for soups.

Basically that's what's new around here. I'll try not to let another month go by without reposting. :)


Monday, January 4, 2010

My New Year's Wishalutions

Ah, it's that time again. Make a big list of things I wish to accomplish in this a new year. Like most people, I know most will get laid aside, some sooner than later. But, maybe just maybe THIS time will be different. Maybe This time I'll stick with them long enough to make it a habit.

Here is one of the boys favorite riddles:

Why should you never tell a secret to a clock?

Because time will always tell!

Ok, please pick yourself up off the floor where you fell out of the chair laughing so hard. Better yet, just manage to get to your knees and pray for me and I'll pray for you. We'll stick to most of our wishalutions together. :)

On to the list.

1. Spend more than 5 minutes a day in the Word. Not just read and walk away, but read and meditate, listen for that still small voice.

2. Be a better wife and Mom. Not just go through the motions. Be there in the moment, enjoy my husband and children, spend more time playing with them,reading with them.

3. Only drink coffee on the weekends. I've gotten into a coffee habit. The trouble is I have to doctor it up too much. I have to have sugar and 1/2 & 1/2. A tsp of sugar here, a tsp there; it's adding up (& out!). By the way here & there are my tummy and bum. So, I'm switching to green tea. Which brings me to wishalution #4.

4. Do an exercise dvd or exercise in SOME way at least 30 minutes every day. Along with this comes the drink more water. I need to drink a lot more water.

5. I think I am most excited about #5. Soon I'll be ordering some heirloom seeds and starting a herb garden on my kitchen counter top! I've been thinking about it for a couple years. I get intimidated easily if I think on something too much,but this year I think I'm finally ready to take the plunge.

So there they are. My 2010 Wishalutions. Remember don't just wish me luck! Let's pray for each other!