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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Perfect white bread recipe (for bread machine)

This post was originally published in the winter of 2011, however I've adapted it slightly since then, making it worthy of republishing.

This recipe is geared specifically for white bread in a bread machine. I use a bread machine several times a month for making pizza dough, and baking basic breads like this one. I also make a no-knead artisan bread with a crusty, flaky crust using this recipe

Without further ago, let's talk bread.

...

I had a divine revelation about a year ago. And it all happened as I was making a tuna salad sandwich with some whole wheat bread from our local supermarket.

Curious, I read the nutrition label on the bread. Then it hit me.

The second ingredient in the whole wheat bread, that I assumed was full of nothing but nutritious, wholesome goodies, was actually chock full of high fructose corn syrup.

A few weeks later my parents bought me a bread machine for Christmas, and the rest is history. Except that I couldn't master a perfectly moist, fluffy sandwich bread recipe. After many, many attempts and adaptations to both my favorite bread machine recipes and the white bread recipe that was published in my bread machine user manual, I finally found a combination that suits us perfectly.
White Sandwich Bread (for bread machine) 
1 1/3 cups of warm water
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons of sugar
3 teaspoons of yeast
1/3 cup of olive oil
4 cups of flour (2 cups should be bread flour)
2 teaspoons of salt
2 eggs 
Set on 2 pound loaf, white bread setting. I cook mine on a light crust color. I recommend not over baking. This is also a GREAT dough for cinnamon rolls!  

Editor's Note: I am not a bread snob. In fact, I am a bread freak! We love carbs and eat all sorts of breads without discrimination. If you don't find yourself impressed by the use of all-purpose flour, that's totally cool. I won't hold it against you. But I won't share my buttered bread with you either ;)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mostly Homemade Mondays - Week 94

Oh boy, did we have a wonderfully relaxing weekend. We spent some time out on the motorcycle: 


Loved on the chickens: 


And had some delicious home-cooked meals. Really, the eventlessness (is that a word?) of this weekend was exactly what I needed after two long weeks of training for my new job. Expect me to be a wee bit silent on the blog this week as I navigate some of the processes for this new journey BACK into education. However, I'll be on Facebook a lot, since connecting with you there is pretty easy. 

Anyway, on to the party:



Mostly Homemade Mondays is a series for people that are on a journey to better living, via healthier eating and a more natural lifestyle. We realize that there are different paths that we all take to get to that place, and this bloghop celebrates that. Whether you’re a seasoned raw foodist who has banned all things unnatural, or a rookie who is starting out by cutting out junk food, we’d love to hear from you! Link up with your favorite recipes, projects, crafts, or rants and raves.

The Hosts:

Jess from Scratch Mommy

Homemade Mondays will open every Monday. You have until Thursday to make your submissions. We will share our favorite posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and shout it from the rooftops.
  • Link up. Use the submission form below to add your blog posts to our gallery below. You can add as many links as you’d like, as long as they’re on topic. 
  • What’s eligible? Recipes, crafts, DIY projects, gardening, fitness, green ideas or just plain old advice. We’re pretty open.
  • Tell us about yourselves. Leave a comment telling us a little about your site and what you’ve shared. Of course this isn’t mandatory, but it’s a good way to stand out.
  • Link back. Share the love by adding a link back to this party with your readers so they can see all of these great ideas as well.
  • Follow our Pinterest board. Remember to check out our Mostly Homemade Mondays Pinterest board where we're pinning some of our favorite posts from the week.
Here was our favorite post from last week: 


A special thanks to Mom's Sunday Cafe for linking up Carrot Top Pesto to Mostly Homemade Mondays! Feel free to grab this "I've Been Featured" button and share the great news with your readers, family, and friends: 

<a href="http://s1333.photobucket.com/user/TheSustainableCouple/media/TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1333.photobucket.com/albums/w637/TheSustainableCouple/TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg" border="0" alt="I Was Featured button for MHM photo TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg"/></a>


AMAZON DISCLOSURE: The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for bloggers and sites to earn advertising fees by promoting and linking to Amazon properties. Rest assured that I only link to products that I use, recommend, or covet :) Clicking on or purchasing something I have recommended from Amazon does NOT increase or impact your cost in any way.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Turkey Broth Dog Treats

This post was originally published for the Iowa Food and Family Project "Join My Journey". Each month Kristin Porter from Iowa Girl Eats will be visiting family farms and businesses to learn about the Iowa ingredients that make their way to our plates at home and in restaurants. She and the Iowa Food and Family Project have invited Iowa food and lifestyle bloggers to contribute to this journey. In August, Kristin and the gang are exploring turkey. Here is my contribution to the journey.




Our pups mean the world to us. They are truly part of our little family, and we want to give them the best.

Yeah, yeah - that sounds cliche, but it’s true! We take our dogs with us on trips, hire a fantastic pet sitter to come to our home when they can’t travel with us, have memberships at our local dog park, and even make homemade dog treats for our pooches.

Here are Manny and Bruce:


They LOVE homemade dog treats - especially the peanut butter treats made by our pet sitter and these turkey broth treats that I’m sharing with you today.

After I roast a chicken or turkey, I always toss the carcass in the slow cooker with some herbs, veggie scraps, and water and let it cook all day (or overnight) to make a rich, nutritious, flavorful stock. Then, I simply let it cool in pint jars in the fridge before moving the jars to the freezer for long-term storage. When I have a recipe that calls or chicken or turkey stock, all I do is thaw out a jar.


This particular recipe I am sharing calls for about a cup of turkey stock, as well as other easy-to-find pantry ingredients, and makes about one gallon bag of treats. Plus, the treats keep for 4 weeks on the counter or in the fridge, or 6 months in the freezer.

Homemade Turkey Broth Dog Treats

You’ll need: 3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup of cornmeal
3 T. of canola oil
3/4 cup of turkey stock (bonus points if you use stock you’ve made yourself!)
3 eggs

Directions: 
Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, then let firm up in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.


Roll out to your desired thickness, and cut into shapes using dog bone cookie cutters. You can also simply use a pizza cutter and cut into squares, which is much easier than using a dog bone cookie cutter.


I totally recommend the cookie cutter if you’re giving these treats as a gift, though. They look pretty special. 

Then, bake at 375* for about 30 minutes. The dog treats should be brown and crunchy. You don’t want soggy treats here; crunchy is better!


The next time you make turkey or chicken, don’t throw that carcass out! Make yourself some delicious, nutritious stock to use in these dog treats and more.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Mostly Homemade Mondays - Week 93

After one week of on-boarding for my new job as an Induction Coach, I am left feeling tired. Physically and mentally. I know the feeling will go away once I get the hang of my new responsibilities as a mentor for beginning teachers. In the meantime, however, I've been relying a lot on a handful of essential oils to calm my anxieties and relax my body and spirit after these long training days. 

Here's what I've been using: 
  • Valor - I wear it like perfume on my wrists and neck each morning to give me confidence and balance my emotions. I apply this in the morning before I leave the house, but also keep it in my purse in case I need a mid-day pick-me-up. 
  • Stress Away - I applied this to the back of my neck twice a day when we had our morning and afternoon breaks at training. I didn't know my new colleagues very well, so rather than them think I'm a dirty hippy, I applied this when I was in the bathroom stall. Is that weird? Yeah, I thought so. 
  • Lavender - I used lavender like a triple-threat every night. I rubbed it on the bottoms of my feet, diffused it in our bedroom on 30-second intervals all night, and rubbed a few drops between my hands then all over my pillowcase before hitting the hay. I wasn't sleeping well because I was nervous, but after this bedtime routine I slept like a rock. John thought someone was runnin' a chainsaw in our bedroom, 'cuz I was sawing logs, people!
I don't know how many of you are into oils, so rather than totally bore you, I'll continue to briefly and sporadically share how we're using them in our daily lives. 

However, if you're interested in purchasing any of the three oils I mentioned above, you can easily order them online. Just use my member ID when you checkout: 1880846. You can also email me if you want information on setting up an account to get wholesale pricing - johnkellilane@gmail.com


Anyway, on to the party:



Mostly Homemade Mondays is a series for people that are on a journey to better living, via healthier eating and a more natural lifestyle. We realize that there are different paths that we all take to get to that place, and this bloghop celebrates that. Whether you’re a seasoned raw foodist who has banned all things unnatural, or a rookie who is starting out by cutting out junk food, we’d love to hear from you! Link up with your favorite recipes, projects, crafts, or rants and raves.

The Hosts:

Jess from Scratch Mommy

Homemade Mondays will open every Monday. You have until Thursday to make your submissions. We will share our favorite posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and shout it from the rooftops.
  • Link up. Use the submission form below to add your blog posts to our gallery below. You can add as many links as you’d like, as long as they’re on topic. 
  • What’s eligible? Recipes, crafts, DIY projects, gardening, fitness, green ideas or just plain old advice. We’re pretty open.
  • Tell us about yourselves. Leave a comment telling us a little about your site and what you’ve shared. Of course this isn’t mandatory, but it’s a good way to stand out.
  • Link back. Share the love by adding a link back to this party with your readers so they can see all of these great ideas as well.
  • Follow our Pinterest board. Remember to check out our Mostly Homemade Mondays Pinterest board where we're pinning some of our favorite posts from the week.
Here was our favorite post from last week: 


A special thanks to Ten at the Table for linking up a recipe for fresh pasta that doesn't require a bread machine to Mostly Homemade Mondays! Feel free to grab this "I've Been Featured" button and share the great news with your readers, family, and friends: 

<a href="http://s1333.photobucket.com/user/TheSustainableCouple/media/TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1333.photobucket.com/albums/w637/TheSustainableCouple/TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg" border="0" alt="I Was Featured button for MHM photo TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg"/></a>


AMAZON DISCLOSURE: The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for bloggers and sites to earn advertising fees by promoting and linking to Amazon properties. Rest assured that I only link to products that I use, recommend, or covet :) Clicking on or purchasing something I have recommended from Amazon does NOT increase or impact your cost in any way.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The BEST All-Purpose Meat Marinade


I've waiting long enough.

I can't possibly wait any longer.

must share this meat marinade with you.

Now that John and I have officially kicked off grilling season - which, to us, means cooking outdoors about four evenings a week (I'm not kidding, we love grilling) - I rekindled my love for a good meat marinade.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mostly Homemade Mondays - Week 92

I feel like it's time for a little Life Update. Lately on the blog, we've been sharing lots of recipes (like this one), a few projects (like this post), and how our urban homestead is progressing. However, we haven't been sharing anything uber personal. This is partly because we don't have much personal news to share. 

However, in honor of making this Life Update quick and dirty, here are a few interesting nuggets of information we'd like you to be privy to: 

1. I start my new job today. I will be an Induction Coach at our local AEA. An Induction Coach is essentially a mentor for 15 beginning teachers in our consortium of schools. I served as a mentor before (as an additional assignment to my regular teaching duties), but this will be full-time work for the next one to three years. I applied for and accepted this job on a bit of a whim, so I am pretty nervous about how all of this will shake out. Say a little prayer or send some good vibes for calmness and courage, would you? 

2. John is home until after the 1st of the year! He will be working on commercial electrical jobs around Eastern Iowa for the next few months. My heart is singing! Sometime in January it is likely that he'll head back to Arkansas for about two months to work on a nuclear facility. Nothing is set in stone yet. 

3. We are becoming essential oil freaks. I have mentioned this a few times before, and keep saying that I am going to share some personal testimonials with you. I promise, this will be a feature on our blog soon. 

4. Our chickens are doing great! No eggs yet. They'll begin to lay this fall, hopefully. But, I almost killed them on Friday. No lie. I left them to roam in their run, which was located in FULL SUN, for about 3 hours. They were in a shady area in the morning, but as the day progressed the sun moved. Obviously. Two had heat exhaustion, which meant I had to catch them and dip their feet and bodies in a bucket of cool water to cool them off. It was scary. Their combs and feet where pale; a common sign of heat exhaustion. They recovered well, and are just fine. I feel like a horrible chicken mom. 

Anyway, on to the party:



Mostly Homemade Mondays is a series for people that are on a journey to better living, via healthier eating and a more natural lifestyle. We realize that there are different paths that we all take to get to that place, and this bloghop celebrates that. Whether you’re a seasoned raw foodist who has banned all things unnatural, or a rookie who is starting out by cutting out junk food, we’d love to hear from you! Link up with your favorite recipes, projects, crafts, or rants and raves.

The Hosts:

Jess from Scratch Mommy

Homemade Mondays will open every Monday. You have until Thursday to make your submissions. We will share our favorite posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and shout it from the rooftops.
  • Link up. Use the submission form below to add your blog posts to our gallery below. You can add as many links as you’d like, as long as they’re on topic. 
  • What’s eligible? Recipes, crafts, DIY projects, gardening, fitness, green ideas or just plain old advice. We’re pretty open.
  • Tell us about yourselves. Leave a comment telling us a little about your site and what you’ve shared. Of course this isn’t mandatory, but it’s a good way to stand out.
  • Link back. Share the love by adding a link back to this party with your readers so they can see all of these great ideas as well.
  • Follow our Pinterest board. Remember to check out our Mostly Homemade Mondays Pinterest board where we're pinning some of our favorite posts from the week.
Here was our favorite post from last week: 


A special thanks to Whole Fed Homestead for linking up Using Vanilla to Protect Chickens from Insects to Mostly Homemade Mondays! Feel free to grab this "I've Been Featured" button and share the great news with your readers, family, and friends: 

<a href="http://s1333.photobucket.com/user/TheSustainableCouple/media/TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1333.photobucket.com/albums/w637/TheSustainableCouple/TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg" border="0" alt="I Was Featured button for MHM photo TSCIWasFeaturedButton_zps18158259.jpg"/></a>


AMAZON DISCLOSURE: The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for bloggers and sites to earn advertising fees by promoting and linking to Amazon properties. Rest assured that I only link to products that I use, recommend, or covet :) Clicking on or purchasing something I have recommended from Amazon does NOT increase or impact your cost in any way.

Friday, August 1, 2014

'First Days of School' GIVEAWAY!

You guys know that I was a high school teacher for a while, right? 

Yep. I taught language arts and journalism for six years, and it was an awesome experience. In fact, after a year of traveling with John, blogging, and a little bit of substitute teaching, I still believe those six years were huge in my personal and professional development. 

One of the most rewarding parts of teaching was actually a non-teaching responsibility of mine was mentoring beginning teachers during their 2-year 'probationary' period. 

In honor of that, I'd like to give away a super valuable book by Harry Wong called "The First Days of School". This resource is great for a first-year teacher who is seeking guidance on a variety of professional teaching topics. We used this text in seminars for all of our beginning teachers, and they all found it useful. 


To enter to win this book for yourself or for another beginning teacher in your life, just go to the Rafflecopter form below. I'll have random.com select a winner in one week.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Squeaky clean with Dial's Coconut Water body wash #GetNoticed

While it may seem like everything around our little homestead in the city is sunshine and sunflowers, it couldn't be further from the truth.


To be real with you, things get dirty around here. We might not have a huge acreage with livestock and gardens abound, but we work really hard in our small backyard. There's a lot of dirt, weeds, and bugs.


And chicken poo.


Lots of chicken poo. Even some dog poo.


There's also a lot of sweating in our backyard, due to said gardens and chickens. At the end of an afternoon in the backyard, we're in desperate need of a refreshing shower.

Enter Dial Coconut Water body wash, a hydrating soap perfect for the whole family:


John and I both used this fresh body wash after a long afternoon of working in the garden (me) and garage (John). It was lightly scented - not at all overpowering, making it a great family body wash for all ages and genders. What I liked in particular was that my skin didn't feel tacky or dry like with other soaps; my skin felt healthy and moisturized.

Just a little fun fact for you: Coconut water is rich in antioxidants and electrolytes. It provides extra hydration, and this particular blend is the first of it's kind to contain coconut water. 

Because I'm a giver, and I care about you not being a smelly urban homesteader like me, I have vouchers for a FREE full-sized bottle of Dial Coconut Water body wash for THREE readers! All you need to do is enter with the Rafflecopter form below, and then in one week I'll have random.com select three winners.


AMAZON DISCLOSURE: The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for bloggers and sites to earn advertising fees by promoting and linking to Amazon properties. Rest assured that I only link to products that I use, recommend, or covet :) Clicking on or purchasing something I have recommended from Amazon does NOT increase or impact your cost in any way.
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