Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Item of Interest

Okay gang, here it is: This old girl is going to hang up her blog for a while. I don't know how long it will be, but I'm just taking too much time out of my day to spend on the computer. I had no idea how much time writing blogs and keeping up with all my blogging friends would take. Don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed it, but at the same time I feel pressured by it and right now I can't take the pressure. I haven't been feeling quite up to par lately and I just need to sit back and relax without having a care in the world (is that even possible?) . I will most likely come on occaisionally just to read your blogs, but won't make comments or even try to write a new blog on my own. Maybe I'm burned out, but I just find I can't do this for a little while. I am certain that I will be back when I feel totally rested which doesn't seem like it will be for a couple of weeks or so because we are going to be gone this next weekend. We finally got an invitation to come and see our new (well, not quite so new by now) great granddaughter. I am so very excited though to see her at last. She is two and and a half months old now.

I will certainly let you all know when I feel stronger and ready to take it all on again. I want to thank all of you for being so faithful staying with me right from the start. I really do appreciate it and I feel that I really did get to know you all pretty well. I promise I'll be back.

My love to you all.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Final Bread Recipe

It was supposed to be cloudy and chilly today, but it is just beautiful outside. The sun is shining brightly and the sky is cloudless. So much for weather reports. I was getting nervous about having to go outside and do my pool exercises this afternoon. Even though we have the pool heated, if I get out of the pool and get chilled, I always get asthma. I have kept this ailment in such good control for the last few years that I don't even feel that I have the problem any more until something like the pool and chilly weather happens. I do take my Advair every night and day though, so the attacks are not very serious ones and I have learned to just relax and deep breathe. They pass in just a few minutes, so all in all, it isn't too serious when they happen, but I hate to have them anyway.

I am feeling pretty well now-- back to my "new normal" so to speak, so can't complain very much, although I am sure Dick would tell you otherwise. I just don't know how my mother could keep her aches and pains to herself. I don't remember her EVER complaining. Even when asked how she was feeling, she would always have a positive answer and I knew she hurt a lot because lots of times I would get up in the night and look in her room and she would be sitting up in her chair holding her stomach. I just guess I am not as strong at keeping my ailments to myself as she was. I try not to complain too much to my friends, but poor Dick gets the worst of it.

Well, anyway, here is the last of the Bread Recipes. I never had a recipe to go by when I was younger because I just learned to make it the way my mom did, by the feel, eight loaves at a time. So when I became an adult, I decided I would get a recipe for it for a much smaller batch, because I knew that my children would one day want one. I did this by measuring every single tablespoon of anything I put it. It took a long time to do this, I might add. (none of them, even Rich, my baker, has ever made it,however.) So I would be very happy if at least one of you tried it to let me know how you liked it!!

2 Loaves White Bread:

1) Soften one pkg yeast in 3 tablespoons warm water, add one tablesppon sugar and set aside.

2) In medium size bowl put l cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water, add 3 tablespoons potato
flakes. Stir well and add 2 large ice cubes to cool. Add the yeast mixture and then beat in
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour.

3) Cover with a cloth and set the mixture in a warm place and let it get good and bubbly. 30
to 40 minutes.

4) Meanwhile put 5 level cups flour in large bowl, add 2 1/2 tablespoons powdered milk, 2
tablespoons sugar, 2 1/4 teaspoons salt and 3 tablespoons Crisco (no need to melt)

5) When sponge mixture gets real bubbly, add to dry mixture in large bowl.

6) Add 1 1/4 cup warm water and mix.

7) Grease sides of bowl with crisco or oil and knead well until dough is smooth and elastic,
about 5 0r 6 minutes if doing with a dough hook, or about 10 to 12 minutes if doing by hand.
Add about a cup of flour during kneading.

8) Cover with cloth and rise until double in bulk, (about 60 minutes)11

9) Punch down and rise a second time (50 t0 60 min)

10) Form into loaves, put in well greased pans and rise until very light. Bake 10 minutes at 450
degrees, reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 30 more minutes. Remove
from pans and let cool on wire racks.

I always prepare my pans before hand by rubbing well with crisco, putting a small amount of oil (a couple of teaspoons ) in the pans and coating well with the oil, then when I put the loaves in the pan, I put them in upside down and when I turn them right side up they are perfectly coated with oil. Otherwise you should coat the tops with it after putting in pans. Also preheat the oven about ten minutes before putting the loaves in.

Another great thing you can do with the dough that my family loves and expects, is to roll the dough fairly thin , then cut them in squares, strips, or any shape for that matter. I use my electric frying pan for this as the temperature is even. I set my pan on the highest setting. Just drop the pieces in the hot oil and brown on one side, then turn and brown on the other side. We call them scones. They are good with butter and syrup, sour cream and raspberry preserves mixed, or my son likes them with syrup and peanut butter. Anyway, they are delicious and every one I have ever made them for absolutely loves them . It actually doesn't use much of the oil (I put about a half inch or so on the bottom) and I save the oil for a coupls of other batches by putting it in a jar in the refrigerator.

Good eating!!

Final Bread Recipe

Monday, March 14, 2011

Crazy Day

This was to be the day that I posted the last of my bread recipes, the white bread. Unfortunately, this day has turned out to be one that I don't remember ever having before, and one that I hope I will never have again ! I guess I will have to set the scene, which started after church yesterday.

We had invited some close friends of ours to help us eat the last of the bean soup, made my husband, who incidentally makes the best ham and bean soup you've ever tasted in your life. He doesn't do it by recipe, he just throws it together. We all feasted and unfortunately I ate a little too much. I don't usually eat that much in the middle of the day. Maybe I should because I certainly wasn't hungry in the evening. I've read that it is much healthier to eat your big meal for lunch and just a small portion at night. But, I digress. We had been invited over to some other friends house to an open house given for their son, who was one of our speakers at church. He is on his way Thursday to his mission, which will be in Agrgentina. It was a fun affair with lots of our friends there. So much food everywhere. They have a HUGE house that is perfect for entertaining and there was dinner on the patio, and food everywhere in the dining room/kitchen area. I just couldn't eat so I sat by Dick while he was eating his dinner and one of our friends was eating one of those little miniture quiches (Is that the right spelling?) and it looked pretty tasty, so I told Dick he could get me one of those. He came back with two for me and two for him. I ate them, and thought at the time that they didn't taste quite like the ones that come from Costco that I had eaten a couple of times before. When Dick finished, we went into the house and were visiting with people and all of a sudden I started to sneeze and my nose started to run like a seive. Soon little bumps started to be felt in my throat and the roof of my mouth and I knew I was having an allergic reaction! I have had these many times in my life, being the allergic person that I am, but I hadn't had one like this for years and I didn't have my emergency grey zipper bag that I used to take with my everywhere I went. I had grown too complacent. I told Dick we had to leave NOW, which we did. When I got home, I rushed to the place I keep all my medicine (by my chair in the living room) and quickly took two benedryl tablets. I then remembered that when I used to get these, I always took the chewable kind that are for children, because it gets into the blood system more quickly, so I looked at them to see how many mgms they had and it said 12.5, which is about half of one of the tablets I took.
So, dummy me, that didn't seem like that much, so I took one of them too. It wasn't long before the bumps, itching and stuff went away in my mouth, but also until I was asleep. At 1:00a.m. Dick woke me up and told me it was time to brush my teeth and go to bed. I am not sure just how I got to the bathroom, or how I went through the routine we go through for bedtime, but I managed to do it all, plus say our prayers, since it was my turn. Dick tells me, the prayer was short, but do you know I don't remember doing any of that. It was like I was totally drugged out like a druggie, or a drunk that doesn't remember what happened. I went to bed and right back to sleep. Dick woke me at noon today to tell me what time it was and asked me if I didnt' want to get up. I just said no, and went back to sleep. He got a bit worried at 2:15 this afternoon and woke me up and told me I had better get up or I wouldn't sleep tonight. It was a stuggle waking up and getting up and I have to say, it was really strange having missed breakfast, lunch and half the afternoon. By the time I got back to the living room, it was almost 3:00 and only two hours before dinner!! Wow! I have never had that experience before in my lifetime. I am okay now, still a big groggy, and I do hope that I will be sleepy enough to go to sleep right now. I don't think I will have a problem, because I am a bit sleepy right now and it is only 7:23p.m. Talk about losing a whole day.

Needless to say, I will not be posting my white bread recipe today. Maybe in a couple of days I will do it. I am just not one of those people who can post a blog every day. I do well to get in a couple, or at most three in a week. I am so appreciative of my loyal blogging friends that do come on whenever I post. Thanks again. It's so fun to have you all for my friends.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Whole Wheat Bread

I have been engaged in a rather distasteful task the last two days. It has kept me so busy that I am nigh onto exhaustion. The task? Cleaning out cupboards, drawers, closets, and the thing I am going to do tomorrow, re-arrange the linen closet. I don't know where all the throw blankets came from. I am sure that all of you have had to do these things at one time or another. I still haven't figured out where all the stuff comes from that keeps getting put into places that are already too full to hold it. I am trying desperataely to weed out the stuff that I don't really need to keep. What to do with it? It's either too good to throw away, or I hate to donate it because it has been in my family for years. There are just too many reasons why I hate to get rid things. Oh well, I will at least try to make a dent in it.

Trying to figure out which bread recipe to do this time (I still have the white bread to do) has kept my mind occupied as I was sitting in my chair relaxing and promising myself that I would do this post in the morning. But, I do my best physical work in the morning so I decided to do it tonight so that I can get an early start tomorrow. Here goes:

100% Whole Wheat Bread: This recipe makes four loaves, you may want to cut it in half

14 cups whole wheat flour
6 1/2 cups luke warm water
1 Tablespoon salt
3/4 cups honey (If it is solid, it will need to be melted.)
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 packages yeast and one teaspoon sugar dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water

1. Get out all the ingredients to be sure nothing is left out.
2. Prepare a warm place for the dough during resting and raising periods.
3. Put the 6 1/2 cups of luke warm water in large mixing bowl. Add salt, honey, eggs, oil
and yeast solution, then stir well.
4. Add 6 cups whole wheat flour, stir and let rest 10 minutes in a warm place.
5. Stir well again. Use big spoon or one blade on mix master. Let rest in warm place until
many bubbles appear. 30 to 45 min.
6. Stir in 8 more cups of whole wheat flour, one at a time.
7. Grease top of dough and sides of mixing bowl and let raise double in warm place. 45 to 60
8. Stir down and let raise double again. 30 to 40 min.
9. Stir down and put on floured board. Knead very slightly with hands greased with peanut or
mazola oil.
10.Cut and mold into 4 loaves and place in greased pans. Rub oil on top of loaf*
11.Set oven to 400 degrees while bread raises 10 min by the clock.
12.Put bread in oven. Bake 15 min at 400 degrees, then turn oven down to 350 degrees and
continue baking for 45 more minutes. (Total baking time one hour)
13 Take bread out of oven and remove from pans to cool on racks.

* Note: I always prepare pans by first greasing with crisco and then coating well on all sides
with oil, then when I put loaves into pans, I put them in upside down then turn right side
up which coats the tops with oil.

If you are using a bread maker like a Kitchen Aid, after the liquids are in the bowl, you don't need to hand stir it, just put the dough hook on first setting until mixed well, then turn to the knead setting, which is the second setting on my mixer and then just follow instructions as they come.

I hope that at least one of you tries this as it is delicious and really healthy. Be sure to let me know how it turns out, okay?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Karmel Korn, or Darlene's Most Luxuriant Caramel Popcorn Ever

I did have a bit of a hard time deciding which of my recipes to publish this morning. Dick and I are trying very hard to actually lose some of the weight we had put on before the family came. Unfortunately, we didn't do too well, so instead of losing the three pounds I had threatened everyone they must do, we put on three pounds on top of the ten pounds we should have lost since the first of the year. Darn, now we have to lose 13! The amazing thing is that we weigh exactly 100 pounds apart. We gained the exact same amount and he is still just 100 pounds heavier. We decided we really must get on the stick and just DO IT. So, with that in mind, I decided to post the most fattening of the three things left to post. I will say though, that this carmel corn isn't quite as fattening as other recipes for the same thing is. One I have, which I don't really think is that much better calls for cream which you cook slowly with the sugar to carmelize. It also has butter, and lots more than this one, so it could be worse. At any rate, the other two I still have to do are the white bread, an old recipe I tried to recreate from the bread my mom made when I was growing up. Of course she never had a recipe so I just learned from the "feel" method. You know, the one that if it didn't feel quite right, you add more flour or liquid until it felt right. When others began asking me for the recipe, I decided I had to write down approximate measurements, and then I just measured every addition before I put it in. That is why you will see some Tablespoons listed in the bread recipes that will be forthcoming. Maybe I can do one a day for the next two days. Anyway, here is the Carmel Corn one:

3 quarts freshly popped popcorn
1 cup unsalted roasted cashews (I have used salted ones when I was out of the unsalted)
1 cup salted roasted macademia nuts
1 cup pecan halves (you can use almonds, if you prefer)
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
l teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (be sure there are no lumps in it or they wont dissolve well)

Preheat oven to 225 degreees. Butter a large roasting pan. (I use a large lasagna pan which I line with foil---not so messy a clean up.) Combine the corn and nuts in the prepared pan, mixing well. Place in heating oven while preparing the glaze.

In a large heavy saucepan, over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup and butter. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Boil for 4 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and mix in the vanilla and baking soda. Stir well and gradually pour the glaze over the popped
corn mixure, stirring to coat well.

Put pan in the oven for about 15 minutes. Remove and stir really well, making sure syrup on bottom covers drier corn on top. Do this two more times and then put back in oven for the final 15 minutes. It should bake about an hour total. Remove from oven and pour onto a large clean surface. You can spread waxed paper down if you want. I have a large table in the middle of my kitchen that I use and I don't need any waxed paper. Try to spread the corn as thin as you can breaking up any clumps that are overly large and just let it dry thoroughly. Store in an airtight container.

I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. The only problem is that if you start to eat it, it is very hard to stop.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Well, everyone has left and my family get together to meet our daughter in law (and sister in law) to be was truly a great success. A great time was had by all, and we were in complete agreement that Stacy was a perfect fit for our family, as well as for Rich. We all loved her a lot and it was so nice that we could get so well acquainted in such a short time. It was lots better than if we had just met her cold at the wedding. We are all looking forward to the August 13th wedding date in Lake Tahoe!

Of course we all managed to gain a few pounds, some of us more than others. The food was plentiful, tasty and very fattening, I'm afraid. Still, it was memorable and I reassured everyone that Dick and I don't eat this way all the time.

I did mention some of the things we were going to be eating and a lot of you expressed interest in having some of the recipes for things such as bread and carmel corn. The recipe I had called it Karmel Korn for some reason. I think I will change it just so you don't all think I don't know how to spell. I also think I will just do one a day, since that will make it easier for me and I am sure you won't be making bread every day for three days as I did anyway. So here goes:

Honey Oatmeal Bread---Two loaves

2 packages of yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 cups warn water--one cup for yeast, 1 1/2 cups for dry ingredients
1 cup honey (I usually only use 3/4 cup because I personally don't like it as sweet)
4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in one cup of warm water with l teaspoon sugar.
In large bowl put flour, salt, and oatmeal. Add 1 1/2 cup water, honey, oil and yeast mixture.
Stir until blended, then flour hands and knead until dough really comes together, about five minutes. (Those of you who have dough hooks can use it to stir liquids into dry ingredients and as soon as it is mixed, set the mixer to kneading position (with Kitchen Aid's it is number 2) and knead for five minutes) grease hands with a bit of oil and knead a couple of times and turn the dough over so that top has a bit of oil on it and won't dry out) Cover, put in warm place and let it rise until double, usually 45 to 60 minutes.

Punch dough down and let it rise for another 45 to 60 minutes until doubled. Remove dough to a lightly floured board and knead for a minute of two. Cut into two pieces and form into loaves. Place in greased pans that have a little oil in the bottom so that you can put the top of the loaf in pan, turn over so that oil is on top, then pat loaves to form a smooth loaf. Cover (I usually use a dish towel for this) and let rise for about 45 minutes or so until double. I turn on the oven about 15 minutes before putting it in so it will be at the right temperature when it's time to go in the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.


Instead of honey, add 4 tablespoons of white onion grated fine and add 1 cup grated cheddar cheese. Proceed as above.

For those of you who make it (Honestly, it is really easy--just takes a little time with all the rising etc. but it is worth it) I would really like to know how it turned out and if you liked it, so be sure to let me know!!