Sunday, February 28, 2010


We try to keep Nude-y magazines out of the house.
But apparently one slipped in.
At one of our excursions to D.I., our favorite thrift store, we found the most amazing collection of National Geographic magazines.
I think they were just trying to get rid of them because they were priced at 10 for $1.00.
That's right, just 10 cents each.
I could not resist. I grabbed a cart and went to town.
The photos are amazing.
Some of them are more than a decade old, but most of the information still seems relevant.
Take the January 1997 issue.
There's a fantastic article called Beneath the Tasman Sea.
Some of the creatures there look like fantastical monsters. We just stared with our mouths gaping open page after glossy page.
How they got those shots I'll never know, but I'm sure glad they did.
It is very unlikely that I'll ever see the bottom of the Tasman Sea in person, but I feel so lucky to have seen a glimpse of it.
Thank you National Geographic!
Their web site is amazing as well.
National Geographic was there for us when we were studying ancient Egypt and King Tut.
We had read books and seen pictures, but National Geographic was there with their cameras rolling as they took the mumified body from it's centuries long rest in the tomb.
We saw King Tut's remains as if we were there first hand.
It was gross, but the kids and I were enthralled with the discovery.
And just this morning we were all relaxing in the living room, each parent and child holding his own wondrous magazine when Beano pipes up, "Look dad!"
Dad looked and saw our ever so small boy looking at a naked lady.
Oh dear!
Then we decided National Geographic really is Geographic.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Hello Blog, sorry I've neglected you.
To show how sorry I am I thought I'd share one of our family's favorite recipes.
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
I use my basic bread dough recipe for this.
I make 99% of the bread we eat.
Doodle says my bread is better than any other bread, she hates it when she has to eat store bought bread.
I agree. It fills the house with its warm, toasty aroma. There are few things I enjoy more than a fresh loaf of bread with melty butter (and drippy honey if I'm feeling really naughty). My mouth is watering at the thought.
So without further delay, my most used recipe, hands down.
Warning: I don't usually measure all of the ingredients, so these are my best guess. I really hope it's about right.

Honey Whole Grain Bread

1 cup luke warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup honey
2 1/2-3 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour ( I use spelt flour for our family because of allergies and I end up using 3-3 1/2 cups of spelt flour)
3/4 Tablespoon yeast
2 Tablespoons olive oil (optional)

1. When I make bread I make 5-6 loaves at a time, so I multiply the recipe and throw everything in my Bosch (sweet Bosch of love, how I adore you!). I turn the Bosch on medium speed with the dough hook and let it knead for about 7 minutes, adding more flour as needed to give it the right consistency. If you are making bread by hand I would not do more than 2 loaves at a time, it can get really hard to knead. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl, stir to combine, then knead for about 10-12 minutes or until it has the nice stretchability of bread dough.

2. For regular bread, oil the bread pan , shape the dough into a nice rounded loaf and place dough into pan. Some people let it rise once and then punch it down and then put it in the pans to rise again, I don't do that. I simply let it rise once and bake.
For cinnamon raisin bread roll the dough out on a lightly greased counter top. Sprinkle cinnamon and raisins to your hearts content (the more the better, in my opinion). Roll the loaf like you would for cinnamon rolls. Place the whole roll, seam side down, in the prepared pan. Cover your bread pans with a light, clean cloth and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

3. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 20 minutes. You'll know your bread is done if you tip the bread out of the pan and the bottom of the loaf is golden as well. If it's not golden yet the middle of you loaf will still be doughy. There's nothing worse than doughy bread, so just pop it back in until the bottom is done.

4. Try not to inhale the entire loaf all by yourself. It's best to have people around to share with as to avoid this unwanted behavior.

Happy eating!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Love Bug

Valentine's Day was a huge success.
We decided to keep it really low key this year since we all took turns being sick.
We did not want to infect a poor unsuspecting babysitter with our nasty virus.
You're Welcome!
We decided to stay home and celebrate the day as a family.
It turned out to be one of the best Valentine's days ever.
We made homemade personal pizzas shaped like hearts, heart shaped pancakes, heart shaped pb&j at lunch time and homemade heart shaped ice cream sandwiches for dessert.
Doodle woke us up bright and early in the morning with 5 Valentine's each for all of us. She has been crafting in secret for months creating little loves for her family.
She made her brothers love bugs.
They had heart shaped bodies with pipe cleaner leggs and antenea. She made black spots on them and they were the cutest little love bugs I've ever seen.
She had such a good time and was thrilled to give away her gifts.
She is such a loving little girl.
The kids went around all day saying that this was the best day EVER.
I think they were just excited about all the hearts everywhere.
They even said that I'm the best mom in the whole world, several times.
I'm not gonna lie, that felt really good!
Jay even brought me some gorgeous roses, my favorite.
Best Valentines day ever.

This year I participated in a Valentine's exchange on the blogosphere.
In January I was reading Domestic Dork's blog and I loved the idea of a blind Valentine's Exchange, so I signed up!
After a few mix ups, Kimberli and I met on valentine's Day morning to exchange our valentines.
She is such a cute girl and I really enjoyed meeting a fellow mommy blogger.
Thanks Kimberli, you are so sweet!
I forgot to take a picture of the candle holder I made for Kimberli, but look at the cute, cute wooden block she made for me.
I am in love with it.
I am trying to figure out a way to keep it out all year long.
Maybe I'll just have to make a copy cat that will match my kitchen decor.
Something with apples and red...hmmmm