Thursday, October 23, 2008

School Pictures

Here are the end results of Katelyn and Taylor's school pictures. If you would like a copy, I have plenty or I can send you the link to order some.

Taylor - Kindergarten
Katelyn - 2nd Grade

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Recipes: How To...Make Whole Wheat Bread with a Mixer

I got this recipe/tutorial from

Go ahead and grind some wheat. You want freshly ground wheat flour for this recipe. Not only does the bread taste best when the wheat flour is fresh, the heat from the wheat flour will help the yeast rise.
Ingredients: Freshly ground wheat flour, canola or vegetable oil, white sugar or honey, salt, yeast, warm water and dough enhancer.
Pour your warm water into your mixer.
Add the oil
Add your dough enhancer now too. Dough enhancer helps enhance the dough. Haha. You can find dough enhancer in Utah or online. Maybe in some specialty shops, I haven't tried.
And six cups of freshly ground wheat flour.
Mix it together on low speed until it has the consistency of pancake batter. Stop mixing.
Now add your instant dry yeast. If you don't have instant yeast, then save a cup of your water from the beginning and add your yeast to that. Let it develop while you add the other ingredients and add it here. That's what I used to do. But now I buy instant dry yeast.
Add three more cups of wheat flour with the yeast and turn on the mixer.
Keep the mixer on low speed for the next few steps.
Add wheat flour a half a cup at a time while the mixer is running. The amount you will add here is will be different each time. How hot it is, how humid, all those things will affect it. So don't have any preconceived notions.
What you are looking for is the dough pulling away from the side of the bowl.
When this happens, stop the mixer and poke the dough with your finger. If you get dough on your finger then it needs more flour. Start up the mixer and keep adding. What you want is the dough to be tacky, but not sticky.
It may take you a couple times to get the feel of it. You don't want to add too much flour. That will dry out the bread. So be cautious but not afraid of adding flour. On some days it seems like I'm adding cups and cups and cups!
When your dough is tacky, turn the mixer back on low and set the timer for 12 minutes. Walk away from your dough. The mixing will develop the gluten in the wheat flour. Otherwise you would have to allow for several risings. (Raisings?)
This is when I get my pans ready. I can make two large loaves, two medium loaves, two small loaves and one large baguette out of this recipe. It makes a lot of bread.
Use a cooking spray to coat your bread pans. And do a good job. The last thing you want is half your bread left in the pan because you didn't spray enough Pam.
Also clean off a surface and spray it with cooking spray. We won't use any more flour. Put it away, resist the temptation.
When the timer goes off, dump, or um, lightly place the dough on your oiled surface.
You want to handle this dough as little as possible. Using your forefinger and thumb, pinch off a lump of dough. Keep the size of your pan in mind when you're doing this. It helps to have the pan right next to you so you can size the dough you'll need.
Look for the smoothest side and use that as your top.
Roll it gently into a loaf.
And using the sides of your hands, shape the ends in and under. and the sides up. Basically you are trying to shape your loaf of bread into a pretty shape. Because how it looks now will be how it looks when it's cooked. Although it will taste the same regardless, so it doesn't really matter. But if you are gifting the bread, it's nice to have it look nice.
Place it gently in your pan. This was a bad estimation: too much dough. I'll show you later what I mean.
Keep shaping and making loaves until the bread dough is all used up. Remember to handle the dough as little as possible.
And try not to use your fingers as much, use the flat of your hands, it won't leave marks.
See how in most of the pans the bread doesn't fill the entire pan? This is what you want---the dough will really expand and fill the whole pan.
Cover your dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for about an hour. You want it to rise so pick a warm place. And yes, I realize there is a snowman on my towel.
Here they are after an hour. Look how they've filled out their pans.
Here's the one from the top, that I put too much dough in. Poof! Oh well, it happens to the best of us.
Preheat your oven during the last few minutes of the rising time. Put all your loaves in at the same time. I leave my baguette in for a few minutes after the rest of the bread comes out to brown the top. The back of my oven is hotter than the front so I put my larger loaves in the back.
Cook for 25-30 minutes. The tops should be a golden brown and when you knock on the loaves it should sound hollow. Whatever that means, it always sounds the exact same to me.

Turn the loaves upside down and if you used enough cooking spray, the loaves should just fall out. Set them right side up and let them cool. If you leave them in the pans, the bottoms will get soggy from the heat.
The bagette, on the other hand, has a nice crust on the bottom. It's delicious to just tear off and eat with soup. Yum.
Leave your bread on the counter in a bag. Storing it in the fridge will dry it out. Remember there are no preservatives in the bread so it will go bad in a matter of a few days. So eat it up or freeze it. I slice my bread......
and then double bag it and toss it in the freezer. To defrost just place on the counter. Or when I want a piece of toast I just pull out a slice and stick it in the toaster. Or make a sandwich for a lunch from two frozen pieces of bread, then by the time lunch rolls around the bread has defrosted. Perfect. I use bread and food bags, but you could save your sandwich bread bags and reuse those. Just remember to at least double bag it so freezer burn doesn't rear its ugly head.

If your bread does go stale, make croutons or bread crumbs out of it. It works great!

Enjoy--it's delicious and chock full of whole wheat goodness!

Whole Wheat Bread Homemade
in a mixer with a dough hook

Grind 9-10 cups of wheat

Add to bowl of mixer:
5 c. warm water
2/3 c. canola oil
2/3 c. sugar (or 1/2 as much honey)
2 T. salt
2 T. dough enhancer
6 c. freshly ground whole wheat flour

Mix on lowest speed until consistency of pancake batter - just until moistened. Stop mixing.

3 heaping T. instant dry yeast
3 additional cups of flour

Turn mixer on lowest speed and add flour half cup at a time until the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl. It should be tacky not sticky. When the dough reaches this consistency, let it knead for 12 minutes.

Remove dough from mixer, divide and form into loaves, and place into greased loaf pans. Cover with clean towels and let raise in a warm place until double about an hour.

Bake at 325-350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and brush tops with shortening or butter for soft crusts. Store bread in plastic bag on counter or freeze until ready to eat.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Drum Roll Please......

We went to the doctor's office this afternoon for our ultrasound. It was a lengthy wait to say the least, we were waiting for 1 hour and 20 minutes before actually seeing the doctor. Zack and I brought all the kids. I don't recommend bringing children to the doctors.
Well everything looks great! HE is a very healthy baby BOY!!! We are going to welcome our fourth boy into this world this upcoming March. Katelyn was rather devastated, she was so hoping for a sister. We had the doctor check a few times to make sure but it was pretty obvious! The doctor, nurse, and I made sure Katelyn knew that this was completely her dad, I am not at fault for not giving her a sister. She has plenty of time to adjust to it before the baby's arrival, she'll love him the moment she sees him. We are thrilled for the upcoming arrival of our baby! The ultrasound, though rather fuzzy as they are, makes things seem so much more real. To see the little face and body, we even counted his little toes! Aaah!! Children are such a huge blessing in our lives!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Homemade Wreath

I decided to be a little festive for the fall and spent this early afternoon being crafty! Here is the finished product. I think it turned out rather well, let's see if it stands up to the test!

Pine View 30 - Snow Canyon 3

Last night we went to the Pine View football game for the second and last home game of the year! They slaughtered Snow Canyon by 27 points, it was obvious by the middle of the third quarter that Pine View was going to win. The only thing that was frustrating to me is how one person seems to be making all the shots including making themselves the hero of the game! Our quarterback spent the majority of the time running the ball. It was rather frustrating as it was obvious he was trying to show off! The other team's quarterback was worse but I think that is their coaches fault. He switched off playing quarterback, wide receiver and even kicker for the whole game! At one point one of our Pine View Panthers decided he had had enough and sent the guy flying through the air after he had already thrown the ball. The refs didn't seem to notice but I'm sure their quarterback and #55 did!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Recipes: 30 Minute Breadsticks OR No-Fail Deep Dish Pizza Crust

2 1/2 C. Medium Hot Water
5 tsp. SAF Instant Yeast*
2 Tbsp. Sugar
3 Tbsp. Oil
1 tsp. Salt
6 C. Flour (you can do half all-purpose and half white wheat or 100% whole wheat)
1 to 2 Cubes of Butter

1. Pour medium hot water in mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top and allow to dissolve.
2. Add sugar, salt, and oil. Gradually add approximately 6 cups of flour.
3. Melt 1-2 cubes butter on cookie sheet in oven as it is heating to 400 degrees and melt in oven. 4. Place dough on cookie sheet and press to fill pan, make sure butter gets on top of the dough.
5. Allow to double in size (About 10-15 minutes)
6. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until desired browning is accomplished.
7. Cut into strips or top with favorite pizza toppings.

* When using regular yeast change amount to 2 Tbsp.

I made this recipe with homemade clam chowder for dinner last night. We had enough bread sticks with just half the recipe, but no harm in putting the left overs in a ziploc bag for later. This recipe is from It is so GOOD!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Food Storage Websites

Due to the major changes in the economy, I have decided that I really need to start getting back to the basics. I figure that using staples (wheat, sugar, flour, oil, etc.) that we store in our food storage is a good place to start! I have been doing a little bit of research to help me improve on this. Instead of buying pizza maybe I should make a good dough. Last night we had pizza pockets but of course I had bought already make pizza dough so next time I am going to get out the flour, oil, etc and get the task done with my own two hands. Maybe I'll be able to figure out the whole bread making thing as that is what basically started my downfall. So I've found some really great blogs/websites that devote their attention to food storage, most have lots of recipes worth trying too. Here is the list for now:

Hey, if you know of any other great websites devoted to food storage let me know and I'll add them. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Halloween Party Game Ideas

The Mia Maids are going to put on a Halloween Party for the Activity Day Girls the week of Halloween. I have been searching the internet and these are some of the ideas that I found. I thought it might be helpful as Halloween is quickly approaching!

  • Broomstick Relay Races - Set up an obstacle course and the participants have a broomstick that they ride through the course
  • Face Painting
  • Cupcake Decorating
  • Cake Walk - you can use the cupcakes that were decorated as the prizes and some lively Halloween music
  • Pumpkin painting, carving or just plain decorating - this can be made into a competition
  • Musical Tombstones - musical chairs decorated like tombstones with Halloween music playing
  • Taffy Pull - find a good recipe and let them take theirs home as a treat!
  • Mummy Wrap Game - split the group into 2 teams, each team picks a mummy from their group which they wrap in one roll of white crate paper (not covering their face) as soon as they are done, the mummy has to hop over the finish line
  • Boo am I? (Halloween version of charades) - Prepare white balloons with a piece of paper inside each with a Halloween character written on it and blow up, divide the group into two teams, each team picks one person who has three minutes to pick out a balloon, pop it by whatever means necessary, read the clue inside and act it out until her team guesses it correctly. They keep going until each team member has a chance to participate. The team to finish first wins!
  • Witch's Stew Game - Using construction paper cut out Halloween shapes about the size of a silver dollar. Place shapes in a pile beside a small bowl. Using a straw as a vacuum, each contestant tries to pick up a shape and place it in the bowl to create the witch's stew. Time the players to see who gets it done the quickest. Side note: we've played a game similar to this using skittles and let them keep the skittles that they get in their bowls and it changes turns when someone rolls doubles with dice.
  • Halloween Bingo - either use pictures or words
  • Ring the Witch Hat - Using a witch hat and paper plate rings painted toss the rings over the witch hat
  • Apple Bobbing
  • Donut on a string - using only your mouth try to eat a donut hanging from a string
  • Ghost waiter - Using white balloons draw a ghost face on it, divide the children into teams, and set up a course for the race. Each child has to balance their balloon on a paper plate while walking the course, if they drop their balloon they have to walk it backwards, when they get from point a to b and back again the whole team shouts "Waiter, there's a head in my soup!" The next person goes and so on until the whole team finishes. The first team done wins!
  • Pin the nose on the jack-o-lantern - post a jack-o-lantern on the wall, blindfold the participant and hand them a nose to put on the jack-o-lantern, the closest wins!

Work Party

Last night we went up to Highland Park for a BBQ with some Cowboy Entertainment put on by Pine View for the staff and their families! If it wasn't for the cold breeze it would have been a great night but when the tempature drops by 30 degrees it's pretty tough to take. We were the crazy ones eating ice cream up there so I guess it wasn't that cold!
The food was good and the kids had a blast especially with the hula hoops as you can see Katelyn enjoying. Here is how I found Joshua who was refusing to take a nap!
He is inside of his sister's closet all comfy cozy!