Monday, April 26, 2010

Making fresh bread everyday.

I know some of you read this title and got nervous and sweaty. Being a mom of two little ones I would normally be right there with you. Making fresh bread everyday sounds wonderful... for someone else that has lots of time and maybe for me when my kids are grown and I have nothing better to do than bake lots of stuff for the grandkids (Can't wait for those fun days too). But wait, this is something you can do! I promise!

And guess what.... you don't need a breadmachine and you don't have to knead anything! I'll give you a little background first before I give my secret away. Since moving to Macon a mommy group has formed out of people I have met through different circumstances and I have been so blessed by them in so many different ways I can't even describe. They were my saving grace especially when Chad was working non-stop. One of the ladies is a beautiful Italian girl with a grandmothers heart. She is always baking things and bringing them to the group. Everything she cooks is soooo good. One day she told us about this great book called "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day." I was a little skeptical at first but she let me borrow the book and I gave it a try. I had thought many times about getting a bread machine because there is nothing like fresh bread and it is way more cost effective to make your own.

So I gave it a try. Now my first boule loaf was not pretty needless to say, but it was sooo yummy and after a few tries I was getting beautiful loaves and it was so easy. Since then every time I have guests I bake them fresh bread. It takes no time and I can use the dough for boule bread, pizza, stromboli, flat bread etc etc. It's wonderful dipped in spinach dip! When my girl friends came down to visit we put away a whole loaf with some spinach dip.... YUMMMMM!

There's a couple tricks that make it so easy but mainly it's because you mix it ahead of time and then store it in your fridge for up to two weeks. Everytime you need a fresh loaf, you just cut off a chunk, let it sit while you make dinner and then throw it in the oven. Beautiful bread everytime! You can find the recipe for the basic bread online HERE. Give it a try! If you like it, get the book - there are so many wonderful recipes you can make. You will impress your guests everytime!

Who needs a bread machine and who has time to knead??? NOT ME!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Beach

Last weekend was my brothers wedding in Charleston so we decided to make a vacation of it. So we rented this house on Seabrook Island for Friday through Monday. We were originally going to rent a hotel but found that a house was about the same! We booked it a week before and didn't know much about where we were staying. We just wanted to be near the beach and that's all we needed to know.

It turned out to be a wonderful family area to stay. It is a private island so no fighting crowds for beach space and there was so much wildlife. It was just gorgeous. The island had horseback riding, biking, tennis, restaurants and a little "town" area with beach shops and a soda fountain in the drug store. We had a blast. While on the beach I captured a shot of someone riding a horse on the beach and a beautiful sailboat going by. Wow. I think next time we'll have to do the horseback riding thing!
Unfortunately it was really windy. So we only stayed on the beach for a few minutes. So the rest of the time we enjoyed biking the island with bikes that were provided for us, and just being lazy and enjoying our kids!

The town area had some wonderful restaurants and a grocery store so there was no need to leave the island for anything. It was sooo nice. We ate at a wonderful authentic Italian place (I know we are at the beach and we should eat seafood, but I'm just not a big seafood person). But I LOVE italian food. Their pizza was out of this world.

The rest of the days we just ate simple meals in the kitchen and then had a big brunch for John's wedding. Which was gorgeous. They got married at a gazebo right on the pier in Charleston. I wore my BIG hat and felt like a real southern lady :).

To be honest I didn't know how a vacation would be with two small children but after a little bit of adjustment the first day, it was great. So our first family vacation was a success... now I'm ready for the next one!!!
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