Monday, June 29, 2009

We Have a New Friend

I am excited to introduce you to our new friend! We first discovered him when my hubby was out back mowing and he hopped out of some tall grass. We suspect that this little guy is hanging out under the A/C compressor, and he comes out at night to eat bugs with his gecko friends. He come up to the patio when it gets dark and the lights from the house attract lots of bugs. When we scare him, he hops over and hides under the A/C. I figure he probably likes it under there with all the condensation and whatnot. So, here he is for your viewing pleasure - Mr. Toad!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


I have always wanted to make my own bread, but thought that kneading was some sort of intricate and tricky process that I just wouldn't be able to get right. I finally decided to tackle my fear, and the hubby and I set out on a breadmaking adventure. We thought it would be fun to have a pictorial documentation of the process, so here it is for your enjoyment!

This is the recipe we used, from my Joy of Cooking cookbook:

Here I am mixing the yeast with warm water. I opted to buy the jar of yeast instead of the packets, because it is actually much cheaper in the long run:

While the yeast dissolved, I worked on mixing up some other ingredients in my trusty Kitchenaid mixer. Apparently I had some sort of weird ponytail thing going on that day:

Adding the melted butter! Actually, it's margarine, but that works too:

And a little salt:

And the yeast! Without this, it would have been a breadmaking disaster:

Now just add the flour and mix:

Mix until it looks like this:

And get ready for some kneading fun! It actually turned out to be super easy, so I don't know what I was afraid of for all those years.

Here it is, all kneaded and ready to rise. See you in a little while, ball of dough!

It grew:

And now I get to punch it down - Take, that ya big ball of dough!

Forming it into mounds for each loaf:

And forming it into loaves:

And here are all my pretty dough loaves all lined up in their pans and ready to rise:

Get on in there and cook up into some tasty bread!

Hmm... Somehow I thought it would turn out bigger than this...

Ok, I know that was cheesy, but we just had to do it!

Here's what it really looked like:

So I put it on the cooling rack to cool before I sliced it up.

After much impatient waiting, we finally got to slice it!

Let me tell you, this bread was so good, I don't ever want to buy store bought bread again! As a matter of fact, I have another batch ready to go in the oven right now.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I think this speaks for itself. I like it.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Cleaned Out The Refrigerator Today

It was due a cleanout since there was no place to put the new food because all the old food was in the way. There was lots of stuff to toss in there. I actually cleaned it out about a month or so ago, but I didn't do as good a job as I could have. So there was stuff I had neglected to take care of during that cleanout as well as the stuff that had built up since then. Fun things like the remnants of our New Year's Day dip fiesta. Uh-huh, you read that right. New Year's Day. It's June now. There was the remnant of a cheese ball that was even on a Christmas plate to add a little holiday spirit to the fridge. There was also the hardened chunk of cream cheese with crusty jalapeno jelly o top of it. Appetizing. Then, of course, there were the requisite bowls of leftovers that didn't get eaten. Then there was something unexpected.

Cheese! Yummy! Not much left in there, but a little cheese is better than no cheese, right? Hmm... Let's check the date...

April 27, 2008. I guess we shouldn't eat this cheese. With it being June of 2009 now, I don't like the chances of still being safe...