Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I've been baking a lot of bread lately. The last batch was cinnamon raisin bread (made using the buttermilk bread recipe paired with the cinnamon raisin bread recipe, both from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book).

First, the dough. All the ingredients have been stirred together and it's ready to set aside to rise.

Risen and ready to either refrigerate or roll out (this makes 3 loaves of buttermilk bread, so 2/3 of it will go into the refrigerator while I use the other 1/3 for the cinnamon raisin bread).

The dough is supposed to be a rectangle, but I'm never that precise.

The brown sugar and cinnamon has been added, and I'm ready to sprinkle on the raisins.

The raisins have been added, I've rolled up the loaf, put it in the pan, and it's ready for the final rise..

Now, to pop it into the oven (yes, it's a bit lopsided).

All done baking.

And ready to eat.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Dear Kitten

I know that these videos are ads and they're so popular that you may have already seen them, but they are fun. I've missed a few, so in case you have, too, here are a couple of my favorites:


Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Catch Up Time (Books, TV, Movies)

So sorry for my long (8 day) absence. Life just got too busy. But now I have some play time, so here's what I've been reading, watching, etc. (just in case you're looking for something to read or watch).

First, books:

Something by Mary Balogh, one of my favorite authors:

A Matter of Class, book by Mary Balogh

Something that combines science and humor:

Science: Ruining Everything Since 1543 (science themed comics - book)

In addition, I've always liked cooking shows, but I think I love The Great British Baking Show (on PBS in the U.S., but called something else...The Great British Bake Off, I think, elsewhere). I have to say that I love the fact that we get so many of the best shows from the U.K.. I've always been a Masterpiece Theater fan, Doctor Who is great, and there are so many more. At any rate, this show is so much better than those awful reality shows where people yell at each other. I would happily just watch people bake without eliminating anyone. That kind of takes the fun out of things for me. 

Movie-wise, I can't make up my mind what to see next, The Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game, Selma or Mr. Turner. At any rate, I'm glad that there are so many choices. There have been months when I didn't have any movies I wanted to see.

So what books, television shows, or movies are you watching or recommending these days?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Cute Love Story

They starred in their first wedding as ring bearer and flower girl. Who knew what lay in store for them?

Don Tillman, an Unusual Hero

I'm becoming a total fangirl for the Rosie series and Don Tillman. Don has never been diagnosed, but he is definitely a unique man. Empathy may not be his strongest suit, he is more honest and less tactful than most people like, and he has an unusual way of approaching problems that might make readers cringe at times. But...there's just something so awesome about Don, his methods and his devotion to his Rosie that makes me (and obviously a lot of other people) want to cheer. If you haven't read either of these books, I urge you to pick up The Rosie Project. And if you like it, The Rosie Effect is finally on the shelves. They're both winners.

Book - The Rosie Project

Book - The Rosie Effect

Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Bread Making...Again

I've been very good these past 9 months and have lost enough weight that I recently enjoyed buying some new clothes for the new, slimmer me. I'm sticking to my guns, diet-wise (although the extreme cold is messing with my walks).

But it's winter, and I love bread, so I'm tiptoeing back into baking bread (maybe). As long as I limit my intake, all should be well.

Here's the recipe I want to try next. I like his delivery, his methods and the sheer simplicity of the recipe. He also has more recipes on his YouTube channel as well as a book I just purchased (available in print and ebook versions). (There are other books by him, but I haven't tried them yet).

My No-Knead Turbo Bread Cookbook by Steve Gamelin

I also want to try the recipe on this page, part of the Alexandra Cooks website. The bread looks great and easy, and I covet those Pyrex bowls. Not that I'll be buying new bowls. I have my own and they're very practical and serviceable, but I do love clear ones, especially these with the pretty design. 

Pyrex Colonial Mist mixing bowl

So what fun new hobby (or fun old hobby) have you been trying lately?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Proof That Age is Just a Number (in Some Cases)

Joanna Quass competed for the first time before World War II, she's 89, and she can outperform many people much younger than she is. Amazing and inspiring!

By the way, yes I have been away since just before Christmas. This year both of my sons were able to be here and we all had a long visit, so I stepped away from lots of things just to enjoy having my family around me. I hope you all had a wonderful, wonderful Christmas and are enjoying the beginning of the new year!

Best Wishes,


Monday, December 22, 2014

Downton Abbey, George Clooney and Selfridges Team Up for the UK's Text Santa

Text Santa supports charities in the UK at Christmas. This year, a special (and humorous) story line featuring the Downton Abbey cast, Clooney and Jeremy Piven in his Mr. Selfridge role is making the rounds in support of Text Santa. Check it out.

Part 1:

Part 2:

I'm not in the U.K., but this sounds like a great cause. I hope they bring in lots of donations!

Have a great day, and if I don't get back here before Christmas, have a wonderful holiday!


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Gifts and Wrappings For Christmas and Beyond

Christmas is coming, so of course, I'm wasting time watching videos on how to make things and wrap things. The ones below are not short, but I found them interesting.

How to Make an Amazing Package Shaped Like a Purse
(This is long, and it looks complicated,but it's mostly cutting and folding and a bit of gluing).

If you can sew just a bit (nothing fancy), you can make an easy tote bag or reversible hat out of fleece.

For the hat, I clicked through to the YouTube page to make sure that I could actually download the pdf pattern. I only tried the adult size, but it worked. and I was able to print it out.(There are numerous fleece hat how-to videos on YouTube, and while the numerous "buy fleece at" notices on this one might not appeal to everyone, I liked the reversible effect of the hat, the fact that the instructions were clear, and she provided an easy pattern).

How are your holiday preparations going? 

Have a wonderful day!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Soothing Sleep or Relaxation Aids

If you can't afford a white noise machine or just don't want another appliance cluttering up your house, consider listening to The Honest Guys videos. They're just soothing sounds and images (but you can just listen if you don't want to watch). Turn one on, kick back and relax. Here's one of them. This runs for 8 hours (it says), but a few seconds should be enough to get the idea across:

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