Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Raisin Bread

My dairy allergic family loves Raisin bread but everything on the grocery store shelf has milk or whey or casein so I went searching for a good recipe to make it myself. Finally altered one just right.

Raisin Bread

2 cups Golden Raisins
1 1/2 cups water
2 pkgs active dry yeast
1 cup warm raisin water (110-115 degrees)
1/2 cup warm milk (110-115 degrees)
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted (I use extra light olive oil)
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 egg white
2 Tbl cold water

Boil 2 cups raisins in 1 1/2 cups water. Cool and reserve 1 cup of the liquid.

In mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the raisin water, milk, butter, honey, salt, cinnamon, eggs, and whole wheat flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough all-purpose flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. (I just use my kitchen aid mixer with the dough hook throughout the mixing and kneading process).

Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with the raisins and knead in. Divide dough in half, and shape into loaves. Place into 2 greased, 9x5x3 inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Beat egg white and cold water; brush over dough. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. cover loosely with foil if top brown too quickly. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sweet Dreams/ Zebra Print(ce)

So I dreamed a strange dream (surprise, surprise), and in this strange dream I was waking up with my husband beside me. When he got up out of bed, I looked up, and noticed he was painted like a Zebra from his knees to his shoulders and half-way down his arms. I was surprised to see such a thing and had not yet commented when a family friend, Todd Thompson, came into our room, looked at Ray, was surprised by the Zebra look also, but got what he came for and left without saying a word. I said to Ray, "Um, maybe he thought you were wearing Zebra print clothes and not paint," because you know, I guess I was thinking that a man wearing Zebra Print Spandex is sooooooo much better to believe than having painted himself. (rolling eyes)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

I have been looking for a sweet potato dish that used sliced instead of mashed potatoes. Found this recipe in today’s newspaper and thought it sounded wonderful.

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

Butter, for greasing
2 cups heavy cream (I will use coconut milk)
½ cup light brown sugar
Zest from 1 orange
½ tsp nutmeg
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 pounds fresh sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup pecan halves

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a gratin or shallow casserole dish with butter.
In a medium saucepan, heat cream, sugar, orange zest, nutmeg, salt and pepper, stirring frequently, just until steaming, about 5 minutes. Do not let mixture come to a boil.
Layer sweet potato slices in prepared baking dish. Pour hot cream mixture over potatoes.
Bake 30 minutes. Spoon cooking liquid over sweet potatoes to moisten top. Sprinkle evenly with pecans and return to
oven and bake until sweet potatoes are tender and browned, about 30 minutes more.
Makes 6-8 servings

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Honey gOatmeal Bread

The original recipe I found called to make 2 loaves, but it always needed more flour and ended up making 2 incredibly tall oven busting loaves or 3 normal loaves. I altered the recipe to MY reality. Here is today's bread ready to go into the oven.

Honey gOatmeal Bread

6 ½ -7 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or Better for Bread flour)

1 ½ cup gOatmeal (quick or not) Add Image

2 tsp salt

2 packages active dry yeast

1 ½ cups water

½ cup honey

1/3 butter, margarine or butter flavored Crisco

2 eggs

1 Tbl water

1 egg white


Place 5 cups flour, oats, salt and yeast in bowl. (I have the Kitchen Aid Mixer so the directions will be as though everyone in the world has a bread mixing mixer).

Attatch dough hook to mixer

Combine water, honey and shortening in a bowl, heat in microwave till water is warm, about 90 seconds in my microwave(technically 120-130 degrees.) With mixer on a low speed, start mixing and add liquids to flour mixture. Add eggs and mix for about a minute.

Start adding remaining flour, ½ cup at a time (adding more as necessary to get desired texture) until dough cleans sides of bowl. Continue to knead dough for 7-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover, let rise in warm place, about 1 hour.

Punch down. Shape into 3 loaves and place in greased bread pans. Cover and let rise about 1 hour again.

Combine water and egg white. Brush tops of loaves with mixture. Sprinkle with gOatmeal. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Homeschool art project" Turning newsprint into Christmas wrap

Katie spray painted some Christmas Bats

Patrick and his Jackson Pollack-like creation (AFTER Buddy did his. I was scrubbing the back wall by this time from Buddy's enthusiasm. The splatter boards weren't tall enough for Buddy's strokes)

Emily's spray painted box and pretty bow made from pre-spray painted newspaper, spot painted in gold and red. Dana taught us how to make the bows.
Emily making a bow.

Dana stamped boxes and later you will see how she finished them

Rachel and Nick getting started on boxes they brought.

Darienne and me. She chose a ready-painted background to work with.

Darienne's finished product

Mattison chose a rose, silver and gold ready to paint background and added LOTS of orange! She had fun.

Darienne modeling her finished product.

Katie and her Christmas Bats

Intense concentration required. Bandana required, also.

Darienne and Rachel

Spray painted creation. Unsure of artist. Michael? Jake?

Patrick, Jake and Michael's hand doing their doings on the tarp with the spray paint.

Discussing the wonders and deep impressions of spray paint art.(Jake, Michael and Patrick)

Michael's gallery worthy sprays

Patrick and Jake discussing the next project..

Michael "in the zone."

Buddy modeling his Jackson Pollack-like creation

Darienne's box top

Emily's box top

Mary and Rachel making an origami star
out of newspaper sale fliers

Rachel's star

Dana took her boxes to the spray painting area to add a little zip! Wow!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

My sister, Sharon Kennick, of facebook fame and divineshestudio fame (click on the art blog of Sharon Kennick link) made this for us repeatedly when she and Kris came to visit one Christmas. I didn't get her recipe, but this is what I came up with. 


2 cans Bush’s Black* beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans sweet corn**, drained and rinsed
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
¼ c herbed cider vinegar (more or less. I make this and it makes a difference in flavor. Recipe follows)
1/3 c virgin olive oil (more or less.)
Fresh ground sea salt to taste (your grocer carries this in small jars)
Fresh ground multicolored peppercorns to taste (A must!! Ordinary black pepper will *not* do. Your grocer carries this in small jars also)

combine all ingredients and enjoy with tortilla chips or in burritos or in 7 layer dip or……..

* I use Bush's black beans for their firmness. Store brand, generic brands are too soft and mushy

**I use a name brand white shoe peg, or a name brand two toned sweet corn mix

I learned to make herbed vinegars from Linda Rieder at a "home making" meeting years ago.


1 glass bottle with a cork or screw cap (a lovely glass bottle of vinegar from the store will be fine, just pour it out into a measuring cup to store it while you add herbs to bottle. I like the specialty vinegar bottles at wal mart in the vinegar section)

enough cider vinegar or red vinegar to fill bottle with herbs

6-8 multicolored peppercorns
2 cloves of garlic, may need to cut down to size to fit into mouth of bottle
sprig of fresh oregano
smal spring of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh rosemary

In your lovely glass bottle, drop your peppercorns in first. Then add whole cloves of garlic if they will fit through the neck. If they are too large, cut them lengthwise and drop them in. Then, artfully and attracrively place your herbs in the bottle. If you can't, just jam them in there somehow and it will look good in the end, anyway. Cut springs down to size to fit your bottle. If you have them, it helps to use those wooden kabob sticks to move herbs around. If not, whatever. Cap with cork or screw cap and place in a sunny window for 10 days to 2 weeks. (see note)

Use in Black Bean and Corn Salsa and homemade salad dressings. ( I have recipes if you want

Note: When it is ready, store it wherever. Some people store it in fridge, I store it on my counter, some people store it in their kitchen window because it is pretty. Whatever. Refill it as you use it. Should be good for a few months- start checking flavor at about 3 months depending on where you store it -herbs will probably sour and wilt faster stored in a sunny window. You will know when it is too sour to use. Will taste bitter from the soured herbs.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Goatmeal Banana Bread

Goatmeal Banana Bread

(makes 3 loaves)

1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c white flour
1 c goatmeal
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1 c Turbinado sugar (raw sugar)
½ c extra light olive oil
4 eggs
1 c mashed banana (1 large and 1 medium banana, not gonna say where it came from....sweet little monkey)
1 c mashed pears (I 15 oz can no sugar added, drained and pureed)
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1 12-oz bag semi-sweet Ghiradelli Chocolate Chips

Combine flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a bowl. In mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, and eggs until mixed. Add banana, pears and applesauce and mix well. Add dry ingredients one cup at a time until well mixed. Add Chocolate chips. Pour into 3 greased bread pans and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.

I have to bake at 325 because my oven bakes unevenly at regular temps (hot bottom, cool top), so it ended up taking about 90 minutes to bake all the way through.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Katie Rocks On! Painting Rocks

Our resident artist, Katie, picked up her paint brushes again today, and decided to create.

It takes intense concentration to get the details just right

A dot here, a dab there

Even the back must be perfect

And we have a pet Rock Raccoon


We have milk allergies in our household, and are fudge lovers, so we modified recipes to come up with what works for us


2 sticks margarine w/o milk (blue bonnet light is all we can get in our area)
1 13.5 oz can coconut milk (found in oriental food section in our grocery stores)
1 Tbl good quality extra virgin olive oil (to make up for "light" margarines)
4 cups sugar

Place margarine, milk, oil and sugar in a heavy pot, combine well, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer to soft ball stage, stirring frequently. I do not recall the temperature on a candy thermometer, but I start to test it when the mixture starts to thicken up a little and turns a golden color. In a small bowl of cold water, drop a couple spoonfuls of mixture , then shape it into a ball. If it holds, it's ready. I prefer to catch it early, just as a ball can form, so the fudge will be creamier and smoother.

Remove from heat. Add:
1 carton of marshmallow creme
1 bag of semi-sweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla (or 1/2 tsp butter and nut flavoring)

Mix well and pour into a lightly greased (sprayed with Pam) oblong pan. Refrigerate till set. Enjoy!!