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Autumn Free Printable

Everybody love’s free printable’s, I do!

Here is one that I got from jonesdesigncompany.com/decorate/autumn-essentials-freebie-art-print/

She has a great blog with lots of cute ideas. I like her style and free printable’s. I put mine  in this black frame and tucked it into a corner. Don’t you think this would  make a cute Hostess gift, wrapped up with some Candy Corn. That’s my idea for the day, cause I would think that was special. Sometimes it’s the simple cute little things that are fun.

Autumn Sampler

Thanks Emily and Happy Autumn!

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October 1, 2013 Let the fun begin!

Pumpkin Lineup

Yay, It’s 10.1.2013. I think this is my favorite month.Partly due to where I live, out in the Desert where when October hits we finally get a break in the weather and because I love fall and all it brings with it. Holidays, football, fall food and the decorating with pumpkins. So by the way, do you know where your decorations are?

If you’re a early bird they are up and your family is already enjoying them, if not you have time if you act now!

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Let’s start the month off with “Pumpkin Buying Tips”: They  say “buy early and locally”. Well that’s a good tip if you live where this is available. For me I rely on the Grocery stores and Wal-Mart. Here are some good tips that I found on the Internet that will be helpful to us all:

Select a pumpkin that is completely orange. Partially green pumpkins might not ripen any further.

Size is an important factor. Medium pumpkins are best for pumpkin carving. Small pumpkins are better for cooking.

Does the shade of orange matter? If so, there are hundreds of varieties, with many different shades of orange.

Selecting the shape is a matter of personal preference. Some like ’em tall. Others, like ’em round.

Often, people select shapes to fit the carving patterns they will use. Pick your pattern before you go.

Do not lift or carry a pumpkin by its stem. The stem will likely break. The stem gives it character.

A ripe pumpkin has a hard shell that does not dent or scratch easily, when pressing on it with a thumbnail. Do this on the back or bottom of the fruit…….never on the face.

Examine the entire pumpkin carefully for soft spots. If you find even one soft spot, go on to the next pumpkin.

Check for cracks and splits. If you find one, examine it to be sure it is not turning into a soft spot or has mold inside of the crack.

Look for bugs and insects. Specifically, look for holes in the pumpkin, which are indicative of insect problems.

Pumpkin Patch Picking Tips:

Bring a small wagon with you. It’s easier to haul tired kids and pumpkins.

Wear boots or old sneakers. It could be wet and muddy in the pumpkin patch.

Pick a pumpkin that you can carry back with you.

If smaller children are carrying pumpkin, pick smaller pumpkins. Remember those little arms will probably get tired before reaching the car.

Bring a sharp knife or pruner.

Cut the vine on either side of the stem. After you get it home, you can trim off the remaining pieces of vine, and cut the stem at the perfect spot.

I have already purchased 8 pumpkins and that is only the beginning for me due to so many varieties being brought into our stores.

On this pumpkin I wrote a Pumpkin Pie recipe and displayed it in my kitchen. I think this is a cute idea that I got off Pinterest. 🙂

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This site has some cute ideas and FREE printables, check it out.

 www.bhg.com/halloween/crafts/free-halloween-printables-projects/?sssdmh=dm17.692599&esrc=nwdc091813#page=26

Happy Pumpkin Picking!


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No Knead Artiasan Bread Loaf

Homemade Bread

This picture of this bread loaf is my little baby loaf. I think it turned out great and was really easy. She says somewhere in the article that it’s a “No Brainer” and its true. I just dumped the ingredients into my mixer bowl,mixed lightly to combine ingredients. Let sit for 2 hours then put into refrigerator.I have had it for two weeks with one more loaf left. Even my Mother-in-law (who is an AWESOME cook) loved it and wanted the recipe.

I found this recipe on http://theitaliandishblog.com. Nice blog with great pictures and detail to recipes. I tried it, it worked and tastes great. I am excited to play with the recipe and add in spices and fresh herbs. I followed her recipe and directions exactly.

Her recipe below is very informative and easy to follow. I suggest if you are interested to go directly to her blog because not all her pictures transferred over and they are very helpful.

Hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Amazing Artisan Bread for 40 Cents a Loaf – No Kneading, No Fussing, No Kidding
February 26, 2010

What if I told you that instead of buying bakery bread for four or five dollars a loaf, you could make delicious handmade bread whenever you wanted, at a fraction of the cost and it is so easy a kid could do it? Well, read on because this method of making artisan bread at home will change your life.

You can make incredible bread without having to do all the usual time consuming tasks of breadmaking :

no need to make a new batch of dough every time you want bread
no need to proof yeast
no need to make starters or prefermented dough
no kneading!
In the last few years, several methods for making easy no-knead bread doughs have crept up on the internet and gained popularity. Among the most popular have been Jim Leahy’s No-Knead Bread and Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois’ Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. These breads drastically cut down the amount of time and work that it was always assumed had to go into artisan bread making. Even the Zen Master of bread making, Peter Reinhart, has jumped onto the bandwagon, admitting that these no knead methods have made him rethink everything he knew about breadmaking:

“The results have forced me to reconsider all of the premises I once held sacrosanct”.

So what is going on here?

Boules Rising and Boules after Baking

The key is mixing up a high moisture, or “slack” dough, and letting it do a long fermentation in the refrigerator. It’s long been known that a long fermentation contributes flavor to dough but it seems it also develops gluten and eliminates the step of kneading. The advantage in using refrigeration is that you can control the fermentation and you can make up a large batch of dough, enough for four loaves, and keep it in the fridge. If you make a very wet dough, it will be able to last in the refrigerator a long time, gaining flavor as it ferments and allowing you to make bread whenever you decide. This is not to say there is not a place for multi-stage, time-consuming bread making techniques which require 15 minutes of kneading – I love making my homemade focaccia, which takes three rises every time I make a batch. But this bread is absolutely a no-brainer. You mix up a big batch of dough in one container, a process which takes only a couple of minutes (remember, there is no proofing of yeast or starters to make). When you want bread, you cut off a hunk of dough and shape it. You can make various sizes and shapes: boules, batards, rolls or baguettes. It’s just so convenient and makes such a beautiful bread with a crackly crust, you won’t believe it. I’ve even shaped the dough into rolls. Peter Reinhart points out that the home baker has an advantage over the commercial baker with this technique – the commercial bakery does not have the refrigeration space to use a method like this. As a home baker, we can make up small batches of dough, refrigerate it and enjoy fresh bread whenever we want it. If you are buying fresh bread three times a week at $4.00 per loaf, you are spending about $50 a month on bread! This bread is only about 40 cents a loaf to make. And, since bread is best the day it is made, you don’t have to drive to the grocery/bakery to get it every time you want a loaf.

To see how easy it is to get a loaf ready, you can watch me form a loaf in about 30 seconds:

This bread is very versatile, also. In both Peter Reinhart’s book and Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois’ book, they give you many variations of breads made with the master bread recipe in each book. You can make whole wheat breads, cheese breads, herb breads, breads stuffed with sun dried tomatoes, Challah, Semolina Bread and on and on. Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois have come out with another book, “Healthy Breads in Five Minutes a Day”, for people who would like more whole grain recipes and gluten free breads. This is a great book, too, and has lots of wonderful ideas in it. I have all three books and strongly recommend them if you want to try easy bread making. It’s nice to be able to make bread whenever the whim hits you – I have several types of doughs in my refrigerator, happily fermenting away.

In these recipes, instant yeast is used, which eliminates the need for “proofing” the yeast. Everything is simply mixed together. If you are interested in learning more about yeast, my recent “Yeast Explained” post may be of interest to you. Instant yeast is sometimes labeled “fast acting yeast” and is sold under the names of “Rapid Rise” and “Quick Rise” yeast. Also, Bread Machine yeast is simply instant yeast. I like to buy my yeast in the little jars instead of the packets because I can use only as much as I need out of the jar and it tends to be cheaper.

One way of letting the dough rest and rise is to place it on a pizza peel, dusted with some cornmeal. This works well when we make pizzas and pop them right into the oven. However, for this the bread seems to stick because you have to let it sit so long on the pizza peel and rest. So I place a small square of parchment paper on the pizza peel and put the dough right on that. When I slide it into the oven, it goes in along with the parchment paper and bakes up beautifully. If you want an extra crispy crust, just remove the parchment paper halfway through the baking time and return the bread to the pizza stone – this is what I do.

The dough can be stored in any plastic container with a lid or a bowl with plastic wrap placed over it. You want the gases to be able to escape as the dough rises, though – so wrap the plastic wrap over the bowl tightly and then puncture a little hole in the top. It is nice to have a dedicated plastic container, though, in the fridge for your dough, because you are going to just keep it in there all the time. Although these containers are recommended by the authors and the King Arthur Flour website has these nice dough rising buckets, I bought a square plastic-lidded container at my local grocery store because I thought it fit in my fridge better. You can see it in the photos below. I place the lid on tightly, but I punched a small hole in the top. This is important to do.

So get out a bowl if you don’t have a plastic container, mix up a batch of dough and have your first loaf tomorrow. You won’t believe it.

No Knead Artisan Bread

adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

for a printable recipe, click here
makes four 1 pound loaves.

Ingredients:

3 cups lukewarm water
1-1/2 tablespoons granulated fast acting (instant) yeast (2 packets)
1-1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt
6-1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached all purpose white flour
(My favorite way to make this bread now is to use half bread flour, half all-purpose flour and throw in 3/4 cup wheat bran into the dough.)

After baking, if your bread is gummy on the inside, try either increasing the amount of flour by 1/4 cup and/or increasing the baking time by 5-10 minutes.

Also, If the dough is just too sticky for you to work with comfortably, increase the flour in your next batch.

Instructions:

Mixing and Storing the Dough

1. Warm the water slightly. It should feel just a little warmer than body temperature, about 100 degrees F. Warm water will rise the dough to the right point for storage in about 2 hours.

2. Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5 quart bowl or a plastic container with a lid.

3. Mix in the flour – kneading is unnecessary. (Note: I dump all this in my KitchenAid mixer, let it mix it for just about 10 seconds and then put it in the plastic container. I just find it easier to let the mixer do this part). Add all of the flour at once, measuring the flour by scooping it and leveling it off with a knife. Mix with a wooden spoon – do not knead. You’re finished when everything is uniformly moist, without dry patches. This step is done in a matter of minutes. The dough should be wet and loose.

4. Allow to rise. Cover with a lid (not airtight). Lidded plastic buckets designed for dough storage can be purchased many places. (I used a plastic square food storage container at my local grocery store. I just make sure that the lid is not snapped on completely). You want the gases to be able to escape a little. Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (or at least flattens on top), about two hours. Longer rising times will not hurt your dough. You can use a portion of the dough any time after this period. Fully refrigerated wet dough is less sticky and is easier to work with than dough at room temperature. So, the first time you try this method, it’s best to refrigerate the dough overnight (or at least 3 hours) before shaping a loaf.

Baking

5. Shape your loaf. Place a piece of baking parchment paper on a pizza peel (don’t have a pizza peel – use an unrimmed baking sheet or turn a rimmed baking sheet upside down). Sprinkle the surface of your dough in the container with flour. Pull up and cut off about a 1-pound piece of dough (about the size of a grapefruit), using scissors or a serrated knife. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball as you go. Dust your hands with flour if you need to. This is just to prevent sticking – you don’t want to incorporate the flour into the dough. The top of the dough should be smooth – the object here is to create a “gluten cloak” or “surface tension”. It doesn’t matter what the bottom looks like, but you need to have a smooth, tight top. This whole step should take about 30 seconds! Place the dough onto your parchment paper.

6. Let the loaf rise for about 30 – 40 minutes (it does not need to be covered). If it doesn’t look like it has risen much, don’t worry – it will in the oven. This is called “oven spring”.

7. Preheat a baking stone on the middle rack in the oven for at least 20 minutes at 450 degrees F. Place an empty rimmed metal baking pan or broiler pan on a rack below the baking stone. This pan is for holding water for steam in the baking step. (If you don’t have a baking stone, you can use a baking sheet, but you will not get the crisp crust on the bottom. You will still have a great loaf of bread. Baking stones are cheap and easy to find – Target carries them – and are a must for making pizzas, so go out and get one as soon as you can.)

8. Dust the loaf with a little flour and slash the top with a knife. This slashing is necessary to release some of the trapped gas, which can deform your bread. It also makes the top of your bread look pretty – you can slash the bread in a tic tac toe pattern, a cross, or just parallel slashes. You need a very sharp knife or a razor blade – you don’t want the blade to drag across the dough and pull it. As the bread bakes, this area opens and is known as “the bloom”. Remember to score the loaves right before baking.

9. Bake. Set a cup of water next to your oven.* Slide the bread (including the parchment paper) right onto the hot baking stone. Quickly pour the water right into the pan underneath the baking stone and close the oven door. This creates the necessary steam to make a nice crisp crust on the bread. Bake at 450 F for about 30 – 35 minutes, depending on the size of your loaf. Make sure the crust is a deep golden brown. When you remove the loaf from the oven, you will hear it crackle for a while. In baking terms, this is called “sing” and it is exactly what you want.

* update: I have recently begun skipping this step with the water. I believe it caused my oven window to eventually crack and I have found that my bread is still great even without the water. If you want an extra crispy crust, though, it is worth doing once in a while

10. Cool. Allow the bread to cool for the best flavor and texture. It’s tempting to eat it when it’s warm, and that’s fine, but the texture is better after the bread has cooled.

11. Store the remaining dough in the refrigerator in your lidded (with a hole punched in the top) container and use for up to 14 days. Every day your bread will improve in flavor. Cut off and shape more loaves as you need them. When your dough is gone, don’t clean the container. Go ahead and mix another batch – the remaining bits of dough will contribute flavor to the next batch, much like a sourdough starter does!

Bread is best eaten the day it is baked. Leftover baked bread is best stored at room temperature, unwrapped. Simply place the cut side of the bread on plate or counter. If your bread is gummy on the inside, try either increasing the amount of flour by 1/4 cup and/or increasing the baking time by 5-10 minutes.

Check out the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day website – Jeff and Zoe have great tips and recipes over there.

Homemade Bread

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Eat @ Ralph’s

Fish Fry

My Dad Ralph fries up the best Fish & Hush Puppies ever. So last time we were down visiting he cooked up a feast. Please click on the lick below to visit “Ralph’s” for recipes and pictures.

Ciao!

Eat @ Ralphs

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Spring Mantle Banner

I worked on my Spring Themed Mantle yesterday and this is what I came up with…

Spring Mantle Banner

I got the idea for the Banner from a blog I follow called “A Diamond in the stuff” she always has cute ideas.It was super simple and pretty cheap. I bought the Moss from Hobby Lobby, it comes in a roll in the floral department for $20.00 bucks so don’t forget your coupon.I made the template for the banner out of card stock to match the size of my letters, which were also purchased at Hobby Lobby ($4.99 for the box with 40% off).

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I glued the moss banner piece onto the card stock template with spray adhesive. I then took my letters to spell “SPRING” and put a layer of Mod Podge onto them and sprinkled with glitter.

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This is where you can make it your own and maybe spray paint them any color you want or spell out any other word you may want. I shook off excess glue and hot glued them onto the moss banner pieces,got some twine and glued the moss pieces onto it, and there was my finished banner.

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Simple, cheap and I can leave up all spring and enjoy.

“Happy Spring”

 

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Bunny Luv

Homemade Bunny
Homemade Bunny

Enjoy my little “Bunny Luv”.I am not a big Easter decorator but I must have a little something about the Holiday around and I saw a bunny like this on another website ,so I took him and made him my own.

Bunny Luv Pattern

I drew out a silhouette of my bunny on card stock, easy pease really just try it, I wish I was smarter at this blog and I could give you a pattern, (probably type in bunny pattern on search and you will find one) laid it on some material I had and drew him out. Sewed him up on my sewing machine, turned inside out and stuffed with some stuffing.

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To make him my own I hot glued this little “Rosette” that I made onto his little tail area.Really this is where you could get creative and glue almost anything there.

Buttons,pins,crocheted flowers, silk flowers, Oh my it just gets cuter, do you get my drift on what you could glue or sew here. Oh what about  a Harley Davidson Pin, that would be cute to man him up a bit.My husband is a Harley rider so always thinking!

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On his back side I took my Ultra fine point Sharpie and wrote this: “Bunny Luv” cause that’s what I thought of after I made him. So there is my Easter decor for now, I hope you love him and can make some of your own, and please share.

♥ Use any material to make him your own, Burlap, Checks, Pastels, whatever to match your Decor. I think it makes it special when you think outside of the box and make it your own! Oh my it just came to me, what about Book Pages, you probably can’t stuff him but put it in a picture frame! Ok gotta go and make one.

♥ What about  writing all over him, Easter sayings, favorite Bible Psalms, let the kids sign there names…

I loved making him and hope this inspires you to go make some “Bunny Luv”

Happy Easter

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Love Story Lampshade

Love Story Lampshade IMG_1979 IMG_1980

I purchased this lamp at Crate n Barrel a few years ago and I have always thought, “this lampshade is just so white”. Its been moved around in several rooms and made its way into the garage until further use. Further use day came when I decided to re-do my entry way table. The lamp found its way there and looked ok, but once again I was telling myself, “it’s just so white”. I had to do something to it and it had to be simple and fast (or I wont do it). Looked on Pinterest and searched Lampshades. This is what I came up with. The one I found had favorite Quotes written all over it which was cute but I decided on my “Love Story”, grabbed my fine point Sharpie and started writing my husbands and mine story in brief. From how we met to where we are now. It took about 15 minutes and was very easy. I did not write it down first just dove right in.I was so pleased that I am excited about doing some more and maybe little lamps for gifts and customize them to the reciever.You can buy new replacement shades at Target for around $8.00 or watch garage sales and thrift stores because an old one could add some character. So favorite quotes,favorite lines from songs or I think this one would be cute, a small lamp in your kitchen tucked in the corner with a fun recipe wrote on it.

What would your Lampshade say?

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♣Super-Lucky-Superbowl-S’more Cookie Bars♣

Smore Cookie Bar

These are wonderful, gooey goodness. I know it looks a mess and it is, but worth every bite. Better than the campfire S’mores and I’m going to make some more (guess that’s were they got their name) on Super bowl Sunday cause they brought us luck. I used Hershey’s with Almonds cause that’s what I had. I guess you could experiment and put in lots of different candy bars. I used 3 medium-sized candy bars.They said King Size on the wrapper, but I think this recipe means those great BIG ones. I could have almost used a 4th one to break up and put around the edges. Was really good without it. Super easy, super good. Hope you enjoy as much as we did.I prepared these while watching my 49’ers win the game to head to Superbowl. So maybe the are “Super-lucky-Superbowl-S’more Cookie Bars”

Forty Niner Fan

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 king-sized milk chocolate bars (e.g. Hershey’s)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low-speed until combined.
Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together).
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Makes 16 cookie bars.

❤ My tip: To make the top layer I placed the pan I was using down on a piece of parchment paper and traced it. Then took my dough and patted it down to fit into the square that I just traced. Placed aside and when ready for top layer I just turned parchment paper with dough upside down and placed onto marshmallow layer. Baked,cooled maybe 15 minutes and we ate. Mike and I had the same response, “YUMMO”

Ciao

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What will you be ?

We wonder what will you be? A musician , traveler around the world, baseball player? Will you run off with the circus or fight fires, will you be tall or short, talkative or shy? Brown eyes or blue, wild with energy or quiet and true.Your parents have named you “AXEL EUGENE” as for Grandma you will be my little “SUGAR BEAN”