Best Blueberry Muffins

I love a good muffin. I think they can be healthy but still tasty. And they are perfect for breakfast on the go, with or without a smoothie. They can be made a head and frozen. And they are great for after school snacks or even as an addition into the lunch box. All around great!

BA Best Blueberry Muffins | Just Rhonda

I have tried a LOT of muffin recipes. I’m constantly trying them out to see which one I like best. And I can say i LOVE This one. I found it from the great Bon Appetit Facebook page. They share a lot of really great recipes. I love following them on Facebook!

BA Best Blueberry Muffins | Just Rhonda

Norah was my little helper in adding in the blueberries.

BA Best Blueberry Muffins | Just Rhonda

Bon Appetit's Best Blueberry Muffins

12 Muffins

Ingredients

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries, divided
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, beaten to blend
  • 1½ cups plain whole-milk yogurt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Lightly coat cups of a standard 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray. Whisk all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl to combine. Add 1½ cups blueberries and gently stir until evenly distributed.
  2. Whisk eggs, yogurt, butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla in a medium bowl until combined and creamy, about 30 seconds. Gently fold egg mixture into dry ingredients just to combine (be careful not to overmix).
  3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Top with remaining ½ cup blueberries, gently pressing to adhere (you should have 4–5 berries per muffin). Sprinkle with raw sugar.
  4. Bake muffins, rotating pan halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 25–30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let muffins cool in pan 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and let cool completely.

From http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/bas-best-blueberry-muffins

https://rhondasteed.com/best-blueberry-muffins

So helpful right?! 🙂

BA Best Blueberry Muffins | Just Rhonda

So so yummy, with just the perfect amount of sweetness.

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Cook’s Country’s Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread

I found this recipe through my membership with America’s Test Kitchen. It gives me access to Cook’s Country and Cook’s Illustrated. And I debated for a while about getting a membership. But now that I have one I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. And one of the first recipes I tried off there was this magical bread. We love love love it around here. I first tried it just over two weeks ago and I’ve already made over 10 loaves. That shows you how much we love it around here!

Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread |  Just Rhonda

It has just the right amounts of cinnamon and raisins. And the bread has a lovely consistency.
Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread |  Just Rhonda

And I got to try a new way of braiding. Which was awesome.

Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread |  Just Rhonda

America’s Test Kitchen’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Ingredients

    Cinnamon Sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Bread
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, heated to 110 degrees
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons melted
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Instructions

  1. For the cinnamon sugar: Combine ingredients in small bowl, breaking up clumps. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.
  2. 2. For the bread: Spray large bowl with cooking spray. Whisk milk, melted butter, and yolks in large liquid measuring cup. Mix 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar, yeast, sugar, flour, and salt in large bowl of standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn mixer to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl, 5 to 6 minutes. (If dough seems too sticky, add up to 1/4 cup more flour during kneading.) Turn dough out onto unfloured counter and knead raisins in by hand until evenly distributed. Knead to form smooth, round ball. Transfer dough to greased bowl and turn to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (Do not place in warm oven, or sugar in dough will melt.)
  3. 3. Spray 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. On lightly floured surface, press dough into 20 by 8-inch rectangle, with short side facing you. Using spray bottle, lightly and evenly spray dough with water. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar over dough, leaving 2-inch border along top edge. Lightly spray cinnamon sugar with water until damp but not wet. Starting at edge nearest you, roll up dough, then pinch seam and ends closed. Place loaf seam side down in prepared pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until 1 inch above rim of pan, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  4. 4. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt remaining tablespoon butter and brush over top of dough. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar and bake until top is deep brown and center of bread registers 185 to 190 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 45 to 60 minutes. Turn bread out onto rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Slice as desired. (Bread can be kept in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.)
https://rhondasteed.com/cinnamon-swirl-raisin-bread

Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread |  Just Rhonda

I doubled it last time I made it. And I was even going to share some but then we ate it all. HA! It’s sooo good toasted in the morning for breakfast! Or as french toast? soooo good!!! And it’s pretty too.

Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread |  Just Rhonda

So now all you who I said I’d give this recipe too…. here it finally is! 🙂

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Five Grain Bread

Five Grain Bread | Just RhondaI love bread. A lot. And I like to try different recipes to test out the crumb and how fast it gets dry, and the flavor and all of it.  Well today’s recipe I’m sharing comes from Bred World Canada (although I printed the recipe in 2008 and I can not find the link to it now!) But that’s where I got it!Five Grain Bread | Just Rhonda

This bread has 3x the Fiber content of white bread. And that is awesome!

Five Grain Bread | Just Rhonda

Five Grain Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup oats, quick cooking
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ
  • 1/3 cup unprocessed bran
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup barley flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg

Instructions

  1. Heat water, yogurt and butter to boiling. Stir in oats, wheat germ and bran.
  2. Set aside until cooled to very warm (120 - 130 F) about 30 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine 1 - 1/3 cups all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and barley flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
  4. Stir in cooled bran mixture.
  5. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping the bowl occasionally.
  6. Add 1 egg and 1 cup all purpose flour, beat 2 minutes at high speed.
  7. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
  8. Knead on lightly greased surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  9. Cover, let rest 10 minutes.
  10. Divide the dough in half and form into loaves.
  11. Place seam side down in 2 graded 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pans.
  12. Cover, let warm, draft free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  13. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until the brown is golden brown all over.
https://rhondasteed.com/five-grain-bread

Five Grain Bread | Just Rhonda

Lots of fiber and pretty tasty!

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Pain Au Chocolat Aux Amande

There are lots of things I had read about and wanted to try when we went to France. Besides all the lovely architecture and the museums and art and the history, really I went to eat. And I did. And I could talk a LOT about why I loved all the food and all we ate. It really did live up to all of its hype. And the funny thing was we didn’t spend a lot of time at the super high end places. We did eat at one really fancy place the night before we came home (at my request) just to try it. And it was SO good. So, so good.

And then there was that time when we were in the town called Valance and there happened to be a fancy food street market where they were celebrating food in France. We were walking around meeting high end chefs (and taking pictures with them) and trying some crazy expensive food that was so out of this world! Oh my heck, I was literally in pain when we were walking away because I had eaten so much. And I didn’t regret any of it 😉

Pain Au Chocolat Aux Armandes | Just Rhonda

Yesterday after I had made a salad inspired by France for lunch and given it to Regan, he turned to me and said “I guess it did change things.” I have always loved good food. And I do spend more time in the kitchen than some other moms, I know. I do it in part for my kids, but really in a lot of ways its totally selfish. I love good food. I like making it, I like reading about it, I want to eat it and feed it to my kids. And trying so many different things there opened my eyes even more to good food. Regan learned french as a missionary years ago. And missionaries do not eat out at fancy french restaurants. So some of the food was really a surprise as to what we were getting. And that was totally part of the adventure of our trip.

While we were there I noticed a few things about their food.

  1. They used local, fresh, unprocessed ingredients. (Benefits you can read about here and see a chef who is trying to start movement for more of this) More real food. More of what actually grew in the ground onto our plates. And lots of their dishes were not complicated. Some of it was really simple food. But it was made with yummy ingredients. I think this totally makes a difference. When you buy those strawberries at Costco that were flown in from wherever around the world in December, think of those and then think of the ones picked at a local U-pick place. Completely different taste. All the way. Ingredients matter.
  2. They aren’t afraid of intricate things either. I don’t know if I will ever be able to think about bread and pastries the same way. Oh my heavens, biting into a freshly baked warm pastry from the local boulangerie. Unexplainable tastiness. Like amazing flaky loveliness. The breads and baguettes and boules and all the other lovely things in the beautiful windows. Those are not made in one day. They are all made from good ingredients and then folded and cooled and then done over and over, rolled out by skilled hand. It was not bread baked from a mix. It was good butter and good flour and 2 days of work. And in the end SO WORTH it.
  3. Eating is an event to be enjoyed, not a rushed stuff your face. The courses of salad and cheese and appetizers and entrees (which over there an appetizer is called an entree and an entree is called a plat – which totally messed up my brain for a few days ;)) They want you to sit and talk and eat and enjoy the food and the atmosphere. It is something to be savored. I think there is value in that. With our kids (as long as you can do it), with friends and co workers and family. Eating and being together and enjoying it together. Now I don’t know how it works in their homes obviously. Our dinner table is not always a peaceful place. It is some days a war zone with crying and fighting and someone peeing on the chair. But there is value in being together and savoring your food for our bodies and our relationships.

Pain Au Chocolat Aux Armandes | Just RhondaOne of the things I had made in the past with some frozen puff pastry from Super store were called Pain Au Chocolat (chocolate bread). It was my attempt at something that Regan had loved in France. Our first morning in Paris, we go out of our apartment and cross the busy street filled with bikes and busses and crazy drivers into a clean, cute little boulangerie. There were people lined up getting things ahead of us. On the back of the wall was a row filled with breads of all shapes and makes. Ones I had read about and some I had attempted to make myself and so many I had only seen in books. French chit chat was going on around us, a few people sat on stools eating their morning pastries and drinking their morning chocolat chaud or cafe. I was mesmerized by the beautiful counter covered in amazing pastries I had only read about. I had no idea what to pick. I could have pulled up a stool and eaten all day until I was sick. Regan thankfully helped me pick a pain au chocolat and i LOVED it. First bite and I realized the things I had been making at home weren’t even in the same atmosphere as the gold I was eating.

Almost every morning in Paris after that we did the same thing and I tried so many different varieties. And one of my very favorites was the Pain Au Chocolat Aux Amandes. Our whole trip I was making a mental list of foods I was going to research when we got home and after eating one of these it definitely made the list! I already owned a few cook books about french food before we went and one of them is a total baking book. I’ve tried some things in it along with other baked goods in other books. Low and behold there is a recipe for Croissant aux Amandes. And an explanation about how they came about:

“The almond croissant is an example of the patissier’s ingenuity. A bakery invariably has croissants left over. So, how to sell those the next day? Turn them into something almost better than a fresh croissant. Split the croissant, fill them with almond cream, and top them with more almond cream and sliced almonds then bake them. So good.”

Pain Au Chocolat Aux Armandes | Just Rhonda

Well I gave them a shot and they worked out. And I’ve had a couple people ask me about the recipe. Now it’s long. But its not really that complicated. Its more of a time commitment, but in the end I can not stress enough – it is so worth it. I’ve thought about it since we gobbled the last ones up. These are totally gonna become our Christmas breakfast treat. Something for a special occasion. Although I plan to make them on Saturday for thanksgiving so my mom can try some. I might eat one or two myself. 😉

I found a few recipes online to try out and ended up combining of a few of them to make what I tasted in France. The ones we tasted in France were all shaped in rectangles like this. Which I liked more than wasted the corners of the labour intensive dough that took 2 days when I made the croissants. (I made those the first day and then the immediate next day I made the pain au chocolate ones.) The ones Savuer shares are the croissant variety.  And the first recipe I found online for the almond ones was from Chocolate and Zucchini. Which then made me think of the cookbooks I owned where I had I already had one. I used parts of that and then mostly the Martha Stewart one.

Go read those links and see if you want to give it a try. I promise they are soooo worth all the work. I’ll dream of them tonight and think about making them this weekend for my family.

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Italian Hoagie Rolls

So last Wednesday I shared a tasty Italian Pork sandwich  and this week I’m sharing the recipe I found for the buns.

Spiedie: Pork Sandwich | Just Rhonda

They were super easy and quite tasty too! Obviously you could use these for the Spiedies or just use them for regular sandwiches instead. I found a couple of recipes that looked quite tasty but the one I loved was on The Fresh Loaf. They have great bread recipes! I’m a big fan of their blog!

Italian Hoagie Buns | Just Rhonda

Next time I would shape mine longer and thinner.

Italian Hoagie Rolls

14 hours

Makes 6 rolls, 9" long

This recipe comes from The Fresh Loaf (http://www.thefreshloaf.com). Go check out all their great bread recipes!!

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp dry yeast (+ 1 teaspoon for fast rise)
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • ½ cup water at 100°
  • 14 ounces (2 ¾ cups) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 6 ounces (1¼ cup) High Gluten flour
  • 2½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ascorbic acid, available as Fruit Fresh
  • 2/3 cup whey*
  • 2/3 cup water at 100°
  • ½ cup extra flour for bench work
  • 2 Tbsp of cornmeal or semolina to coat pans
  • Necessary for producing high-rising rolls:
  • 2 heavyweight cookie sheets or jelly roll pans
  • 6 quarry tiles to line oven rack, or a pizza stone
  • A good spray bottle to create steam in your oven
  • A humid 80° environment

Instructions

    *To make whey:
  1. 32 ounces of plain low-fat yogurt will yield 2/3 cup whey in about 2 hours. Line a strainer with paper towels or several layers of cheese cloth and set it over a pan or shallow bowl. Pour in the yogurt, cover lightly and set it to do its stuff in the refrigerator. The whey will drain from the yogurt and collect in the bowl. Measure carefully before adding.
  2. Make the dough:
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together yeast, sugar and ½ cup of warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes until foam forms on the mixture. Add 20 ounces of flour, salt, ascorbic acid, whey and water and mix to form a cohesive mass, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as necessary.
  4. Knead for 10 minutes, using as little extra flour as possible to keep the dough from sticking to your counter and hands. Clean out the mixing bowl.
  5. First rise:
  6. You can start these rolls in the morning (using an extra teaspoon of yeast in the dough) and let rise, lightly covered, for 4 ½ hours at room temperature. In order to have the rolls ready for lunchtime, however, it's best to make your dough the evening before and let it rise, covered, in a 55° environment overnight. Set the dough at room temperature for an hour or two in the morning before continuing. By this time either method will yield dough that has roughly tripled in bulk.
  7. Second rise:
  8. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Push the dough into a fat snake and fold it into thirds. Gently push the dough into a fat snake shape again, letting it rest for a few minutes as it resists. This method will elongate the gluten, yielding the best rolls. Fold in thirds, put back in the mixing bowl, cover lightly and let sit at room temperature (70°) for 1½ hours, until nearly doubled in bulk.
  9. Shape the rolls:
  10. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently shape into a snake again, tucking the long outer edge over itself and squeezing in to the bottom seam by using your fingers. Your emphasis from here on out is to create a gluten cloak, a continuous skin on the top and sides of the rolls.
  11. When the snake of dough is about 2 feet long, cut it in half. Form each half into an 18" snake and cut it into three equal pieces. You will now have 6 portions of dough, each weighing between 6 and 6½ ounces. Tuck into cigar shapes and let them rest for 15 minutes.
  12. Sprinkle cornmeal onto the cookie sheets or jellyroll pans and have them handy. Warm your 80° humid environment. (See Creating an 80° Environment at the bottom of Aunt Marie's Dinner Rolls.) Your environment should include a pan of hot water.
  13. After your rolls have rested, flatten them somewhat to expel the largest gas bubbles, and then fold them gently into torpedoes of dough that are 9" long. Pull the gluten cloak over each roll evenly and tuck into one long seam. Put three rolls on each pan, seam-side down onto the cornmeal.
  14. Third rise and preheat:
  15. Let finished rolls rise for 1 hour to 1 hours 10 minutes in an 80° humid environment. Line the center rack in your oven with a pizza stone or quarry tiles and preheat the oven to 450° a half hour into this rise. Have a good spray bottle with water in it beside the oven.
  16. Bake with steam:
  17. Put a pan of the fully risen rolls directly on the quarry tiles or pizza stone and quickly spray the hot sides and bottom of the oven with 6 or 7 squirts of water. Clap the door shut to keep in the heat and the steam. Bake rolls for 10 minutes without opening the oven door. Turn oven off for 2 more minutes, and then remove rolls to a rack to cool. (As oven temperatures and spray bottles vary, your results may as well. Rolls are ready when the crust is medium brown.)
  18. Repeat with the other pan of rolls.
  19. When rolls have cooled, split them and pile on your favorite sandwich ingredients.
https://rhondasteed.com/italian-hoagie-rolls

They take a while but the more I bake bread the more I realize that a long fermenting stage the tastier the bread. And really it’s just a whole lot of just letting it sit around! Don’t be afraid! Just plan ahead and try it!

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Butterhorns

So when I went to high school I met a girl and we quickly became best friends. She was short and blonde. I was tall and dark. We were opposites in a lot of ways but we hit it off. One thing that we both had in common was our love of cooking. Her mom was a great baker and cook and so was my mom. We graduated high school (after spending a lot of time together through out it – and her teaching me things like steering a car from the passenger seat while she put on her mascara in the driver’s seat) and we were roommates for a while too. Love her a lot. She made a big impact in my life. Among other things, she first introduced me to Butterhorns. It was something her mother made. And I LOVED them. Fast forward 20 years and she posts a picture of a butter horn on  Facebook and I immediately remember how much i loved her mother’s butter horns. So I promptly asked her for the recipe and permission to share it. So here it is.

Butterhorns | Just Rhonda
Butterhorns | Just Rhonda

Now lately I’ve been experimenting with natural yeast. I went to a class a few weeks back from the lovely Kelsey at Modern Healthy Mom all about Natural Yeast. I love it and in some ways it hasn’t been that hard of a change for me because I was already using breads with long rising times and a poolish or a leavin. I even tried making my own sour dough starter before. So taking this class and get a real live starter that is 200 years old was AWESOME! And now Kelsey and I can text about bread (and then Regan has to hear less about it. hahahahaha)

So I was making this lovely Honey Molasses bread the same day I was making these butter horns and so I thought I’d try them with the natural yeast.  And they worked out great. I’ll add in the regular recipe so that if you are using commercial yeast (no judgement here) then you can still enjoy these lovely treats!

Butterhorns | Just Rhonda

These beauties are straight from my friend Jolene’s mom. And they are delicious. I promise. Totally a kind of flakey yeast dough. I think it is from the cold butter that you add in and using a sponge.

Butterhorns

Butterhorns

Ingredients

    For Regular Butterhorns
  • 2 pkg (or 2 Tbsp) quick rising yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup butter (plus more for spreading)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 cups flour
  • For Natural Yeast Butterhorns
  • 1/2 cup starter
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup butter (plus more for spreading)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 cups flour

Instructions

    For Regular Butterhorns
  1. Soak the yeast in lukewarm water for 10 minutes.
  2. Add all ingredients except 3 cups of flour to make a sponge.
  3. Let rise for 1 hour.
  4. Add remaining flour, knead and let rise 1 hour.
  5. Roll out 1/2 inch and spread with more butter.
  6. Cut into strips and place on sheet.
  7. Let rise 20 minutes.
  8. Bake 20 minutes.
  9. Bake at 425 for 20 mites.
  10. Brush with butter.
  11. Ice while warm and dip into chopped nuts, if desired.
  12. For Natural Yeast Butterhorns
  13. (Setting up the dough: At least 8 hours before baking.)
  14. Combine all ingredients except 3 cups of flour to make a sponge.
  15. Let rise for 2 hour.
  16. Add remaining flour and knead.
  17. Place in a greased bowl, cover with greased plastic wrap and let sit overnight to rise. (8-12 hours)
  18. Roll out 1/2 inch and spread with more butter.
  19. Cut into strips and place on sheet.
  20. Let rise 20 minutes.
  21. Bake 20 minutes.
  22. Bake at 425 for 20 mites.
  23. Brush with butter.
  24. Ice while warm and dip into chopped nuts, if desired.
https://rhondasteed.com/butterhorns

Butterhorns | Just Rhonda

With just a little bit of changes you can make them with natural yeast.

Butterhorns | Just Rhonda

Thanks to Jolene for sharing them with my 22 years ago and reminding me of them all these years later.

Focaccia Bread

Focaccia

I love good bread. And I have gotten quite a few different recipes that make good but different bread. For example Naan bread and this basic white bread. A few years ago I did a personal challenge where I baked every recipe in the Baking Handbook by Martha Stewart and in there I found another bread  recipe I just love. Last night for our Back to School Feast  I wanted to have bread with the spaghetti and meatballs. So I made this wonderful bread! Every time I make it I love it. It seems like a long recipe, but it is really quite easy!!
Focaccia Bread 3I love the salt on top. Yum!

RLS_4714

Focaccia Bread

35 minutes

This recipe comes from Martha Stewart.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 pounds bread flour (about 7 cups), plus more for dusting
  • 3 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt or other coarse salt, for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Whisk together flour, water, and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until tripled in bulk and full of sponge-like bubbles, about 2 hours.
  2. Add salt. Attach bowl to a mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. When dough begins to cling to and almost climb sides of bowl, raise speed to medium; mix 15 seconds. Dough will be wet, slack, and very sticky.
  3. Using a plastic bowl scraper, turn out dough onto a well-floured work surface. (The dough will be hard to handle, but resist the urge to add flour to the top; instead, keep your hands and tools well floured.) With the bowl scraper (and, to a lesser degree, your fingertips), gather and fold bottom edge of dough about 1/3 of the way toward center. Pat down to deflate slightly and dislodge any extra flour. Fold top edge down 1/3 of the way toward center; the 2 folds should overlap slightly. Repeat with left and right sides, until all edges meet and overlap in center. Tap off excess flour as you work. Gently scoop up dough and flip it over, seam side down. Place dough in a lightly floured bowl, smooth side up. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  4. Return dough to a well-floured work surface. Repeat folding process, making sure to brush off excess flour. Lightly flour the mixing bowl, and return dough to bowl, smooth side up. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk again, about 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. with a rack in lower third. Coat a 17-by-12-inch rimmed baking sheet with 1/2 cup oil; set aside.
  6. Place dough on prepared sheet. Flip dough over, and coat both sides with oil. Push dough out toward edges of sheet. Cover with plastic wrap; let rest 10 minutes. With plastic wrap still on top, press out dough to fill sheet. Remove plastic (dough should be very bubbly and supple). Drizzle remaining 1/4 cup oil over top. Sprinkle generously with sea salt.
  7. Bake, rotating halfway through, until evenly browned on top and bottom, 25 to 30 minutes. Immediately slide focaccia onto a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet; pour any oil left in pan over top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

When I make this I do all the steps up until step 3 and then I leave it. I have left the dough a long time, just letting it rise. And really it just makes it more airy and light when you finish it. So if I want to make it for supper, then I will do the first three steps at around 9am and then leave the dough sitting out until 4pm then do step 4 and I leave it again until 530 and then I finish it off so that it comes fresh out of the oven around 6 when we eat. It works great!

https://rhondasteed.com/focaccia-bread

Focaccia Bread 2

I promise you’ll love this fabulous recipe from Martha!

RLS_4711

Great with Minestrone, Gourdian Angel, Silly Greek Chili,  or a lovely pasta dish.

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20 Fabulous Muffin Recipes

muffinrecipes

I love muffins! I think they are perfect for mornings. I think they are perfect to drop off at someone’s house if you want something a little more “healthy” (although certainly not all muffins are healthy!) I’ve tried out lots and lots of kinds. But we have a few favorites around our house. I thought I would compile a list of my favorite muffin recipes kinda similar to my downloadable 40 meals you can make with a Rotisserie chicken.  Now any of the quick bread recipes can easily be adjusted into muffins, just scoop them into muffin tins and then cook for a shorter amount of time!

 

 1. Apricot Yogurt Muffins from Sugar Apron

  2. Aloha Muffins

RLS_91753. Churro Muffins from Brown Sugar

 Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 8.52.31 PM

4. Strawberry Bread 

strawberry-bread

 5. Monkey Muffins by the Pioneer Woman

 6. Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Banana Blueberry Lemon Muffins

7.  Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread by the Daily Dish

8. Sweet Potato Muffins by Runner’s World 

9. Orange Sour Cream Muffins by Damn Delicious

10. Strawberry Cheesecake Strudel Muffins by the Recipe Critic 

11. Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins

12. Glazed Blueberry Doughnut Muffins 

13. My favorite Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips of course!

 Banana Bread

14. Raspberry Lemon Muffins by How Does She

 15. Pecan Pie Muffins by Love Grows Wild

 16. Cinnamon Rhubarb Muffins from Baker’s Daughter

 17. Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins from Averie Cooks

18.  Lemon Coconut Pound Cake Muffins by Will Cook for Smiles

19. Chocolate Chip Cookie and Sea Salt Muffins by The Simple, Sweet Life

 20.  Poppyseed Grapefruit Loaf by me via Lollyjane

 Now doesn’t that list want you make to bake some muffins???

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Very Berry Scones

I love muffins and quick breads. They are tasty, easy and yummy! I’ve tried a few recipes before but I found one that is fantastic!! I adjusted it a tiny bit but mostly it is the same. Give it a try, you’ll love these!

very_berry_scones_w

 

Very Berry Scones

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries and chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cps all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a cheese grater, grate your frozen butter onto a sheet of parchment paper. Then place it back into the freezer.
  3. Whisk milk and sour cream together in a medium bowl and place back in the fridge until needed.
  4. Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest in another bowl. Add frozen grated butter and toss together with your fingers until butter is coated.
  5. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and fold with rubber spatula until just combined.
  6. Transfer dough on to a really floured counter. Sprinkle top of dough with flour and with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together.
  7. Roll dough into 12 inch square. Fold dough into thirds like a business letter. Lift short ends again so that it folds into a 4 inch square. Transfer dough onto a lightly floured plate and put into your freezer for 5 minutes.
  8. Transfer dough back to the floured counter. Roll into a 12 inch square again. Sprinkle blueberries and chopped strawberries on top of dough. Press down slightly with your hands to embed the fruit into the dough.
  9. Roll the dough up into a cylinder, pressing to form a tight log. Put log seam side down and then pressing lightly into a 12 by 4 inch rectangle.
  10. Using a floured bench scraper or knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Then cut each diagonally to form 2 triangles and place onto prepared baking sheet.
  11. Bush tops with 2 melted tablespoons of butter and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp sugar. Bake until tops are golden brown about 18 - 25 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving
  12. If you want to add a little glaze, combine a 1/4 cup icing sugar and 2 Tbsp of water, mix well and pour over top after they have cooled for 10 minutes.

https://rhondasteed.com/very-berry-scones

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I’ve made them a few times already. First with just Blueberries like the original recipe calls for and then with both berries.

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I added the icing too…. cause i’m like that.

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Naan Bread

Even though most of my kids have gone through picky eating stages I like to try new things. We try new things a lot. One day Regan was laughing about how I was lamenting again that my kids weren’t enjoying the crazy thing I made for dinner. He told me I should just give in and make “normal” meals. No way 🙂 I love food and there are so many tasty things to try. One way that I get my kids more interested in eating other foods is try add a bread with the meal too. So when I made butter chicken I added in some Naan Bread too. None of these pictures are anything fancy… I did them all on my phone.

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This recipe is adapted from the cookbook Mastering the Art of Baking by Anneka Manning

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Naan Bread

45 minutes

15 minutes

6 - 10 inch

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 2/3 cup + 2 Tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked

Instructions

  1. Combine the milk and sugar in a small bowl, sprinkle over the yeast and set aside for 5 -6 minutes or until foamy.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture, oil, yogurt and egg. Stir with a wooden spoon to form a coarse dough.
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven 475 degree. Preheat a large, heavy-based baking tray in the oven.
  5. Knock back the dough with just one punch to expel the air and divide it into 6 portions. Roll each portion into a ball, place on a lightly greased baking tray and over with plastic wrap. Working with one ball at a time, use a rolling pin to roll out onto a lightly floured work surface into a rough oval, about 10 inches long and 5 inches wide.
  6. Working quickly, remove the hot baking tray from the oven and slap 2 naan onto it. Immediately place in the oven and bake for 3 minutes or until puffed. Transfer to a large dish towel to keep warm. Repeat to cook the remaining naan.

Naan are best eaten on the day they are made.

https://rhondasteed.com/naan-bread

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The recipe sounds a little ing but it is pretty easy! Just give it a shot!!

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Aloha Muffins

We recently going to Hawaii for the first time, I fell in love with it! It is amazing! The scenery – wow. Mountains, rivers, waterfalls, the coast line, snorkeling, the warm wind. All of it was just lovely. Since coming back home I wanted to try and  bring some of the flavors home.

They are sweet but not too sweet and the pineapple and juice really adds moisture and flavor. I feel like they bring back a little bit of the flavor of Hawaii.

Aloha Muffins

10 minutes

12 minutes

22 minutes

24 muffins

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup softened margarine
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 2/3 cup coconut
  • 1- 14 oz can crushed pineapple, juice and everything

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare 2 muffin tins with muffin liners.
  2. Cream the margarine and sugar. Add in eggs and beat well.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in flour mixture into creamed mixture.
  4. Gently stir in pineapple and macadamia nuts.
  5. Scoop muffin mix into prepared pans.
  6. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until the edges are browned.

https://rhondasteed.com/aloha-muffins

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Leprechaun Loaf

When I was little one of my memories was of green bread for Saint Patrick’s day. Often there was green scrambled eggs too. This was pre Pinterest. (It was pre Internet…. hahahaha) Often lately I am more and more amazed at the things my mom did. So this year I’m sharing this fun little idea with my kids and with you too.

I have a bunch of mini loaf pans (they were my moms too… so she was probably using the same pans). I made one big loaf but most of the loaves were small. Just use your favorite bread recipe and add some green food coloring. I used the paste food coloring so I added it right into my liquid and then added the flour as usual.

 And we had enough to share so I made some little printable tags that could be attached, wrapped them in plastic and sent my kids off to deliver them to neighbors. I made these little printables you can download and attach to your loaves if you’d like.

Go here to download a page of them and then I just added some cute Washi tape along the bottom.

We really don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day usually. But this year, I thought it was fun to introduce something small but fun that my mom did for me when I was a kid. On the actual day I’ll send some sandwiches made out of the bread.

And what would a leprechaun have in their sandwich? Chocolate of COURSE!

I like doing things for my kids that my mom did for me. It makes it more special in my mind. 🙂

Do you do anything to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Pizza Buns

I grew up with my mom making these pizza buns. She would make these and keep them in the freezer and then pop them into our lunches and they’d be thawed by lunchtime.

I used this sweet dough that is my staple for cinnamon buns, donuts, pizza crusts, etc…

 

Roll out the dough flat onto a greased counter top so it is about 2-3 inches thick and then cut it into 3 inch circles.

Take each circle out and flatten in in the middle with your hands.

Add some pizza sauce in the middle of the circle.

Add some cut up ham, pineapple and grated cheese in the middle.

Then pull the edges out and fold it together and pinch together the edges.

Keep pinching the edges together so that they stick together well.

Just make sure all the sauce and toppings are tucked up inside. Then roll it over and put the seems down.

Pop them into the preheated 350 degree oven on a greased baking sheet and bake them for 15 – 20 minutes or until they are golden  brown all over.  Then they end up like this.

You can fill them with ham and pineapple or pepperoni or my mom always did cooked ground hamburger mixed with pizza sauce and some marble cheese. You can keep them into the freezer and pop them out into your kids lunches and they’ll be thawed by lunch tine.

Pizza Dough

One of the things I get asked for the most is a pizza dough recipe! I have two different ones that I like. One is more for a thinner crust and the other is more not so thin crust 🙂

Thin Pizza Dough

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 6 cups all purpose flour (* approx.)

Instructions

  1. Mix the warm water, sugar, salt and yeast and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Then add the flour and knead for 5 minutes.
  3. Roll into a ball and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  4. Roll out into pizza pans.
  5. Top with favorite toppings and cook!

https://rhondasteed.com/in-the-kitchen-pizza-dough

Thick Pizza Dough

Ingredients

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup melted margarine (or of oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Flour

Instructions

  1. Put your water and salt in a large bowl and stir to let the salt dissolve. And set it aside.
  2. In a different bowl mix the eggs and sugar until frosty.
  3. Combine into the biggest bowl.
  4. Add 1/2 of the melted margarine (or oil). Stir well.
  5. Start adding flour until it gets hard to stir with a spoon.
  6. Sprinkle yeast on top and stir it in.
  7. Now start adding flour until the dough comes together and you can handle it.
  8. Knead it a bit with your hands.
  9. (If you are using a Bosch or a kitchen-aid it will start to pull away from the sides.)
  10. It should be a nice clean dough that you poke your hand into and it just leaves a dent that pops back out.
  11. Turn the dough over so the smooth side is on the top.
  12. Then pour the rest of the margarine (or oil) over top and grease the sides of the bowl with it too.
  13. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled.
  14. Roll it into your pans.

https://rhondasteed.com/in-the-kitchen-pizza-dough

 

Our Favorite topping combos lately?

  1. Hawaiian and Pepperoni (my kids favorites and I make them every time plus some for us)
  2. Basil Pesto + chopped cooked chicken  mozzarella
  3. Fresh basil + fresh tomatoes + fresh mozzarella
  4. taco: hamburger (with seasoning on it) + cheddar + onions served with lettuce + tomato + sour cream
  5. veggie: fresh tomatoes + bell peppers + mushrooms + goat cheese
  6. Italian sausage + mushrooms + purple onions + mozzarella

Strawberry Bread

This fabulous recipe is from my friend Jill.

She is SUCH a good cook. And so funny. Always lots of laughs to be had with Jill around!!! I am sure I will probably share some other recipes Jill has shared with me on here!

strawberry-bread

Strawberry Bread

15 minutes

1 hour

2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 1/2 cup strawberries, chopped (can use fresh or frozen. If using frozen, thaw and drain beforehand)

Instructions

  1. Mix flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and baking soda in large bowl.
  2. Make a well in centre.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix eggs canola oil and the strawberries.
  4. Add into well in centre of flour mix. Combine but not overmix.
  5. Grease and sugar two loaf pans, coating the inside. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

You can sprinkle tops of loaves with sugar before baking to make it crunchy

https://rhondasteed.com/in-the-kitchen-strawberry-bread

I made this a couple weeks ago and I didn’t have any strawberries, frozen or fresh. But I did have some of these freeze dried strawberries from Thrive.

And they worked really well. I ended up letting them sit in water first and then draining them. And I added more like 3 1/2 cups. But worked out so good! So if you have
Thrive products in your home try some of those in this bread! Enjoy!!

Strawberry Bread

 

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Banana Bread

My current favorite banana bread recipe.

Banana Bread

Jen Wilde’s Grandma’s Banana Bread
3 TBSP butter softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup milk + 1 TBSP vinegar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 mashed bananas
1 TBSP lemon juice

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and milk/vinegar mixture. mix dry ingredients and add alternately with bananas to sugar/ egg mix. Add lemon juice. Bake in floured loaf pan in 350 oven for 50-55 minutes.

I always add in a half cup of oatmeal and one half cup of coconut.

Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe comes from a great cookbook all about baking from Sarabeth Levine called “Sarabeth’s Bakery”, From my Hands to Yours.”

It is a great cookbook that I want to buy now that I’ve made a few things out of it. A few recipes that have caught my eye already (besides the pumpkin muffins!) Pains au Chocolat, Chocolate Babka, Banana Streusel Muffins, Maple Muffins, Rosemary Focaccia, Mrs. Stein’s Chocolate Cake and Lemon Raspberry Cake.

Now on to the muffins! Here’s a snapshot of one in yesterday’s morning sunlight coming into my kitchen.
Pumpkin Muffins

3 2/3 cup pastry flour, sifted
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
4 large eggs at room temperature, beaten
One 15- ounce can solid pack pumpkin (which is almost 2 cups)
1 cup seedless raisins
1/4 cup hulled unsalted sunflower seeds

Preheat over to 400. Brush insides of 12 muffin cups with softened butter, then brush the tops.
Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt together in a medium bowl. Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating, scraping the sides often until the mixture is very light in color and texture, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in eggs. Reduce the mixer speed to low, Beat in pumpkin, the mixture may look curdled. In thirds, beat in the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, and mix until smooth. Add the raisins. Increase the speed to high and beat until the batter has a slight sheen, about 15 seconds longer.
Fill muffin tins. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.
Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 375 and continue baking until tops of muffins are golden brown and a wire cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Note: I shortened the writing (since I’m lazy and a slow typer) the the basics. And using lots of softened butter on the pans gave a nice crispy outside to the muffins!

Banana Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Banana Blueberry Lemon Muffins
Found here
Ingredients:
2 1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease muffin tin.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of the lemon rind.
3. Beat together bananas, eggs, brown sugar, butter, lemon juice and vanilla until blended.
4. Stir in dry ingredients until blended. Stir in blueberries just until combined. Spoon into prepared muffin cups, dividing batter equally.
5. For the topping, combine sugar and remaining lemon rind in small dish. Sprinkle evenly over the muffins.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden.

Baking Bread

You’ll have to forgive all the cooking posts lately, and not so many craft or sewing posts, but my sewing machine is on the fritz and had to take a trip to the shop.

Lots of people have asked me for my bread recipe. So I thought I’d share it here. AND I actually measured all the flour this time so I could TELL you how much 🙂 Wasn’t that swell of me??? 🙂

I do mine in my bosch that my lovely inlaws bought me our first Christmas. If you aren’t lucky like me you can make this by hand (I used to before my lovely inlaws spoiled me!)

1. Combine 2 Liters (or 8 cups) warm water with 3 Tbsp salt in a Bosch and mix to combine.
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2. Melt 1 pound (2 cups) of margarine (or you can use 2 cups oil)
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3. You are going to pour HALF of the melted margarine into your salt water along with 1 cup white sugar. And mix it up a bit.
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4. Add 10 cups of flour (I do half white and half whole wheat) while mixing. (if you were doing it by hand – you would be mixing it with a spoon until this part)
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A close up so you know what the dough should look like here. A sloppy mess. That you could stir with a spoon but it would be hard to do.
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5. Sprinkle 3 Tbsp of instant yeast on top and the mix it in. (NOT active dry yeast)
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6. Put your lid back on and turn on your machine
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and start adding flour while it’s running. You want to add 8 cups or until your dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
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7. Dump your dough into a big bowl
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8. Add about 2 cups of flour on top (one cup at a time)
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and knead it in until it makes a smooth dough. When you press your fingers into the dough it should softly bounce back to you. If you live in a more moist place that southern alberta (which is most of the world!) you would need more flour.
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9. Turn your dough over so the smooth side is up
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10. Take the other half of the melted margarine and pour it over top of your dough, using your hand also spread the margarine so it coats all over the inside of the bowl (including underneath the dough). As it rises this margarine will seep into the dough making a very moist light bread. Just do it even though its a big bunch of fat!!! 🙂 (as Homer would say, fat is the vehicle by which taste travels)
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11. Cover dough with a tea towel and place in a warm spot until it doubles in size.
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Do some other things while you wait….. like dishes
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12. Once it has risen to doubled in size, punch it down and let it rise to doubled again. Then it is ready to use
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13. Put it into pans and let rise. Cook at 350 for about 30 minutes (or until it is golden brown on top and sounds a bit hollow when you knock on it.
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14. Enjoy!!
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If you need any clarifications on anything (or if I missed something which I often do!) then let me know!!

Banana Bread

I was gonna post the last well, week. But life got busy!! Which made me think of something some one said to me yesterday.
“how to you do everything Rhonda?”
Oh I soooo do not do everything!!
Lots of things I get done happen at night or during nap time. Both are highly important to me!
I’ve got a mile long to do list. And many things I wish to do.
But well I don’t.

The whole past week I was gonna do some more baking and other stuff but it was busy.
Last week’s evenings went like this.
Monday – Regan was on call. Solo with the kids.
Tuesday night – As soon as Reg got home I was off to YW. And got home at 8:45 or so. Then did my blog post 🙂
Wednesday Night I went to a Love and Logic Parenting seminar. Which was good and interesting. Some stuff I really liked, other bits felt a bit…. um degrading to kids. And not at all in line with Gospel teaching. So some good. Some not.
Thursday Family Home Evening Kit Group I am in met together.
Friday Reg was on call again and We went out to dinner with some of my family to Boston Pizza and then I had my niece sleep over so I could go out to a girls night.
Saturday night I went to a dinner and RS broadcast.

Needless to say it was busy 🙂

Anyway, my point in sharing all this was….. that sometimes life runs away. And I’m not always on top of things. In fact more the opposite most of the time! But I’ve been asked by people how i get all this stuff done.

I don’t watch TV much. As in haven’t seen anything for over a week or more. And if I do watch I like to do something while I do. Like make invitations or cards or fold laundry or whatever.

I try and do things while my kids play around me. If they want to be in the backyard, I fold laundry down stairs or read a book in the backyard or make phone calls or whatever I can down there. If they are happy on the deck I load the dishwasher or edit a few pictures. Eli makes all this harder. HE is a lot more high maintenance than either one of my first kids were. (And despite what some people say I do not agree that he is normal. He spent from 3:45 pm to 7pm crying on and off the whole stinking time. And that’s a good day lately. That’s not normal) I’m still getting used to accomplishing as much as I like to with him around. Perhaps God is teaching me to sit down and enjoy my kids.

Each night I write down my to do list for the next day. I have all kinds of to do lists. To do lists for house projects. Sewing tutorial to do lists. Blog post idea lists. I am a list kinda girl. I love a good list pad 🙂

I have a crazy calender with all my dates an deadlines and all that written all over it. It is kind of looking crazy for September. crazy fun 🙂 I’ve started highlighting Regan’s on call days too. So I can see at a glance all those when I am planning or scheduling things. I should have taken a picture of it but I didn’t know I was even posting about this til I sat down and started to write and now it’s too dark out. 🙂

I think it’s funny that women are so comparison driven. The fact is everybody’s life is sooo different. And I don’t think it’s even able to compare vague things like what you get done in a day. It’s my opinion that more people get more done than they think, that everyone wastes more time than they realize AND that most people are not as busy as they think they are.

Just a few of my somethings that need to be done….
1. Logos for my brothers’ company (need to finish the final draft)
2. a blog header for a friend
3. Preparations for Lucy’s B-Day party on Friday
4. a few photo shoots that should have been edited already (right Christine??)
5. bills paid (did that tonight)
6. prep for having a bunch of girls from church over tomorrow night to make hair pretties (which means making my house is kind of clean hahahaha)
7. laundry (did 4 loads today – but still more to do…)
8. Type out a few recipes that I’ve been asked for by a few people.
9. Actually finish my photography blog photo shoot give away (which I posted about entirely tooo long ago eeekkkk!)
10. Scrapbook. It feels like it has been entirely too long since I did that! (a week or so)

The thing I’ve been thinking about is a quote I heard the other night at the RS broadcast. Which basically said that a wise person knows how to distinguish between the things that need to be done and the things that don’t and then leave some things undone by eliminating the non essentials. Now it sounded much prettier when they said it, but you get my point!

This is an insanely long rambly post.
If you actually read my thoughts then let me hear what you think! 🙂
And I’ll get back to editing those pictures….
And since no post is fun without photos…
here are some of the current editing crop.
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And here is the banana bread recipe that was asked for from the last post.

Banana Nut Bread
from Martha Stewart Baking Handbook
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups veggie oil
2 Tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3)
1 cup coconut
1 cup walnuts, pecans (or chocolate chips)
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350. Coat two 9 by 5 inch loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and oil on medium low until combined. Beat in the flour mixture. Add the vanilla, banana, coconut, nuts (or chocolate!) and buttermilk. Beat just to combine.

Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely. Bread can be kept at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic for up to 1 week or frozen up to 3 months.

Now I am off to bed to rest my foot (i’m currently suffering from Plantar Fasciitis which my handy hubby doctor diagnosed for me but there isn’t so much you can do for it except stretch your calves and roll your foot on a frozen bottle of ice (which I am doing right as I type this) and be in pain.)