Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"I Wanna Wish You Merry Christmas"

As many of you already know, Dave and I are big fans of The Killers. Well, despite the temperatures outside, our love does not wax cold during the Christmas season.

May I present to you reason #77 we love The Killers:

Annual Christmas Singles. 

Oh, yes. You read that correctly. Annual Christmas singles. Beginning in 2006, The Killers began releasing a Christmas single each December. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the singles are then donated to charity, specifically Product Red.  The songs touch upon several aspects of the holiday season that we love, from the nostalgia of childhood memories, to the faith of the man who would serve as Jesus Christ's earthly father, to the redemptive power of the Atonement.

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!



Our boys' current favorite is "Don't Shoot Me, Santa!"

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Best Bread Pan

Dear Sisters,

I have a variety of bread pans. Some are SUPER old and some are somewhat newer. However, I was so displeased with them all, that I went in search of better pans.

Enter the Norpro 10-inch non-stick bread pan. I LOVE THESE PANS. Your bread slides out effortless, no need to grease your pans! They bake perfectly without burning. And I love the size…long and narrow. The size and shape is more similar to a grocery store loaf…no more giant slices.

I love them. Truly. Do yourselves a favor, let Santa know that these are on your list this year.

Love, Kate

Baking, Baking and More Baking…My Favorite Bread Recipe

So, I’ve been busy putting my new Bosch mixer to the test. I’ve tried Dayna’s favorite bread recipe (which is delish and I hope she’ll share it here with everyone!) and a few others in search of a good standby recipe.

I came across this recipe and made a few changes. It is really, really good. The bread is light and soft…great texture and not too dense.

Slice o'bread

Best Bread

  • 1/2 c warm water

  • 3 pkgs or 1.5 T active dry yeast

  • 1/4 c unbleached, all-purpose flour

  • 1 T white sugar

  • 4.5 c warm water

  • 1 c old-fashioned oats

  • 1 c wheat bran

  • 1/2 c flax

  • 2 c whole wheat flour

  • 1.5 T salt

  • 2/3 c brown sugar

  • 1/3 c olive oil

  • 1/3 c melted butter, cooled

  • 1/2 c vital wheat gluten

  • 9.5 c unbleached all-purpose flour

  • In the bowl of your mixer, add together first four ingredients. Mix on lowest setting until combined. Let sit 5 minutes to allow yeast to grow. Meanwhile, in a blender, blend together oats and flax seed until very coarsely ground.

  • Add to mixing bowl: water, oat/flax mixture, bran, wheat flour, salt, brown sugar, olive oil, butter and gluten. Mix on low speed 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of flour at a time until dough pulls away from side of bowl. Amount of flour will depend upon humidity. Dough may be sticky.

  • Place dough in oiled bowl and turn to coat surface. Cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm spot or on an oven mitt in a 150-degree oven. Allow to rise until the dough doubles in size or about an hour.

  • Divide the dough into 6 small sections (8“ pans) or 4 large sections (9” pans). Slap each section on the table to remove air pockets and form into loaves.

  • Place the loaves in greased bread pans and allow to rise another hour or until the dough is about an inch above the rim of the pans. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 minutes or until brown. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn loaves out of pans onto rack until cooled.



Enjoy! Let me know what you think! Happy baking!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fun Saturday Outing

Hi sisters,

Have any of you ever heard about the art projects that the Home Depot does for kids on the first Saturday of the month? I'm pretty sure that it is every Home Depot that does this. So fun! It is free and the kids get to take home an apron and what they make. Alex took the girls for the first time in November and has decided to do it every month. They really have a blast. They went this past Saturday and brought home these cute snowman napkin holders.

Obviously, Eliza needed a little thumb sucking break. :) Hope you are all enjoying this Christmas season!