Monday, May 31, 2010

Being Versatile

     Well, tonight for dinner we had pizza!  Votes are in and it was a HUGE success.  With the same dough recipe I made breadsticks and a loaf of bread.  Tomorrow I am excited to make cinnamon rolls with my niece for her 4-H project, still using this same very basic dough recipe.  It amazes me that one simple recipe can make so many yummy treats.  I think there is two important lessons to be learned about life in there.  Keep it simple and be flexible.
     When I think about the way I have lived my life, I rarely keep it simple.  I over book and over commit.  That is what I like best about my new projects.  It is encouraging me to simplify things. Versatility is a strong suit of mine.  I am the youngest of four children.  As the youngest, I learned quickly that naps could be taken other places besides cribs (once in my plate at a restaurant), an afternoon snack was served often in a baggie (Cheerios were my favorite), and homework can be done in the car waiting to pick up an older sibling.  These early lessons served me well.  I generally roll with the punches fairly well.  I love being spontaneous, creative, and versatile, just like my dough recipe.  Lessons in the dough.  Who would have thought?  But, I am probably over thinking breadmaking, complicating things.  I guess old habits die hard!  At least I have a different way of looking at it!  How versatile of me!
     Please enjoy the pictures.  Visit Recipe of the Day blog for the dough recipe.  I use spaghetti sauce instead of tomato paste.  Both pizzas have the same ingredients, has veggie shreds instead of cheese.  As my 12 year old son has a dairy allergy.  Just another reason why I love this dough.  It uses no milk or butter!  My son can eat pizza again!  Other ingredients are fresh green peppers, pepperoni, and ground beef.  Mmmmm...simply delicious!!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010


     Such a productive day on our farm!  My darling husband was so busy outside.  Mowing, planting garden, weed eating...well actually the goats eat the weeds.  He just trims.  Oh my, really bad joke!  I was busy inside.  Laundry, baking and cleaning kept me busy most of the day.  I did get to share my blog with my mother.  Mom and Dad don't have internet at their home.  So I took my notebook and let her read my post.  She laughed and told me I should give up this domestic diva stuff and become a writer.  I was a little worried, as I have been sharing much of the product with her and dad.  She quickly explained she just found the post to be very entertaining and that my food was great.  Good thing because I am really amazed by the amount of fun I am having.
     Kitchen duties varied today.  I didn't get everything accomplished I had hoped.  No noodles today.  They will have to wait until Monday.  I was creative with the bread today.  I made 4 loaves of wheat, a pan of cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, monkey bread, a strawberry filled loaf, and I attempted bagels.  I am not so sure about the outcome of the bagels.  I will post more tomorrow, once the critics taste test (my husband and kids).  Please be sure to check out the recipe of the day blog too!  I will be adding my third recipe tomorrow.  It is sure to be a yummy one!  Have a blessed Sunday!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Knock first, even in a down pour!!!

Well, today we did no baking but I did want to post a quick story about being an unexpected guest. Well, we were on our way to pick up our farm fresh eggs from my friend when a sudden pop up shower started. Now when I say shower that is way too mild. It was a relentless down pour. The sheets, the buckets, the dogs, and the cats were all involved. This is how the weather can be in Indiana. BEAUTIFUL one second and horrifying the next. To make a long story short, I sent my 12 year old son to my friend's door. What 12 year old boy minds getting wet? So he goes up to the door and the rain is really coming down with avengence now, because it is a friends house, my generally polite and well mannered young son, opens the door and starts to go in...until he hears a scream. My friend had gotten caught in the same pop up monsoon and had just put away her animals in it! She had run into the house to grab a towel and dry off. WELL, no towels were left in her bathroom so she was evidentially streaking to the second bathroom when my son started to come in. The good news is she screamed fast enough..."Ahhh, I'm naked!" as my son describes it. So he shut the door without seeing anything and he remains innocent to the build of my friends body! Although scared enough to stand on her front step getting soaked from head to toe. He did how ever learn a valuable lesson. Even in the worst of conditions maintain the best of your manners! He came back to the car. I got out, got soaked as well and got the eggs. Oh, after my friend got redressed!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fresh Strawberries!

Well, a new adventure again today, strawberry shortcake. Oh my, was it good. I am hoping to post some pictures. Possibly even the recipe!!! What do you think? Would you like the recipes to some of the products I am making?
This recipe is a find. About a month ago I started searching for the perfect rolling pin. You can't find the nice big ones anymore. If you do, they are at kitchen stores and coat an arm and a leg. So, my husband's grandmother has been in the nursing home for 5 years. He decided to call his aunt and ask if Grandma had a rolling pin. Well, what a blessing his aunt was. She not only offered the rolling pin but anything else that would help me with my new cooking adventure. So, we picked up some pans, a wonderful large bowl, the rolling pin, some measuring utensils, and most importantly two binders filled with recipes grandma had collected. My daughter treasures this find. She searches through the pages and finds things that she would like to bake like great grandma. She so far has made the short cake and crunchy cookies. I have to admit the recipes are my favorite too. Most are clipped out of the newspaper. Grandma has marked many of them good or very good. Some are hand written by other people. One is even written on a guest check from a restaurant. The ones we find especially pleasing are the ones written by grandma. These are the ones that connect my daughter to her heritage. To where she came from. I imagine a few were passed from a few generations. Several nights I have flipped through the pages, carefully rubbing my hand across the page. It is as if I am trying to "channel" what was going through her mind when she collected a section of about 12 zucchini recipes. I smile and think to myself, it must have been a bumper crop that year. I think of other things too. Like what legacy am I leaving for my children. I dare say that this special time my daughter and I are spending in the kitchen will be forever some of her favorite memories. When I think about what connected me to my parents and grandparents it isn't the big moments that always come to mind. It is what they were doing when they didn't even realize I was watching. It was sitting in my grandpa's easy chair watching "Little House on the Prarie" together. Even when Alzheimer's had taken most of his memories away, when I walked in his hospital room before he died he perked up and said there is my 1/2 pint. I remember watching as my other grandma would tad. She tried to teach me once. I so wanted to learn. I now wish I would have had the patience. She died the summer before I was married. But, not before she had finished the hankerchief for my wedding bouquet. It is those little things I want my daughter to remember about our family. I want the other woman in our family to share these memories too. I think a cookbook honoring Grandma is in order for an upcoming Christmas. I can't think of a more suiting gift then a little piece of your heritage.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Today was a light baking day. Because my youngest was up in the night getting sick, I was thankful to have previously prepared noodles ready to be combined with last night's pot roast leftovers. Then I added a slice of homemade bread and WOW, what a meal! Tonight for dinner we had tacos with handmade tortillas. It all was very quick and easy. We put in some of our garden finally! I am truly looking forward to the vegetables. The kids have been busy picking strawberries so tomorrow I am going to attempt my first pie crust. I am running low on wheat so I will need to mill some more tomorrow! I must share that I am pleasantly surprised about how much I am enjoying the baking. I really do feel it is a labor of love for my family. They all gather in the kitchen to see what I am up to. I am hoping to find a simple waffle recipe and be able to report the outcome of that tomorrow! Meanwhile my daughter would like to collect all your favorite cookie recipes. She is preparing for her 4-H fair exhibit and wants the best cookies ever!

Cinnamon Rolls

Well, I must say it is great to wake up to freshly made cinnamon rolls. The smell alone feeds me! My daughter and I made the rolls and baked them Saturday night. Then Sunday morning we reheated and added the icing! Mmmmmmm, were they good! The funny thing about all this dough making is that I am able to use the same simple recipe for my bread, pizza crust and cinnamon rolls. We were so impressed that we made smaller versions for our Sunday night church service which offers a coffee hour first! My daughter also made two types of cookies to share. She was practicing for 4-H. The flour worked great in her cookies as well. I wondered how to handle cookie recipes that called for self rising flour or unbleached freshly ground flour did the job! After service we came home to the biggest mess! I stayed up and cleaned. I can't stand to wake to a dirty kitchen! I am wondering how to tackle the mess caused by all this baking. There is a flour film covering almost every surface in my kitchen! It doesn't help that my workspace is under the ceiling fan! I guess at least people who drop by won't know if it is dust or flour! Just another benefit to my simpler daze!

Friday, May 21, 2010 it begins!

I have never blogged. I wonder how many bloggers start with that first sentence. Well, I bet few follow up with this one. I know very little about the topic I will be blogging about! Oh no, don't stop reading yet! I didn't even tell you what I know very little about. Well, all things domestic. There you have it. I am not a domestic diva. Martha is in no danger here. The title Simpler Daze is not a spelling error. It is very accurate. I am in a daze. There is so much out there on nutrition. I am no expert. I am however very interested in what my family is putting into their bodies. Therefore, I have made it my personal mission to set forth a new path, for me. I am going to become a modern day pioneer woman. I want to take you all along for the ride. Hang on. I am sure it will be bumpy. I am trying to improve my family's health NOT drive them crazy. So, it will be a slow process. Oh, who am I kidding. I don't take anything slow. Both feet is the way I prefer to jump in. So there you have it and here we go...ALL ABOARD!!!!