Friday, January 28, 2011

Life, excuses, and bread!

I know, I know. I keep saying I won't slack on this blog. I keep posting statuses on Facebook to discuss what I'm cooking, then fail to share the recipe. That's what happens when you get busy. I keep my phone charging next to the stove. So I can spare a minute to let you know what I'm cooking, while I wait for water to boil or butter to melt or for my daughter to dump a cup of flour into a bowl. I can't always spare the time to come share some heartfelt back story to how or why I came up with the recipe that sounds good in my status, but may have actually end up burnt or lacking salt because I was actually too busy to keep an eye on the food.

So, yes, I'm busy. For those of you who don't know, we just spent the last 2/3 of a year building a brand new house. We moved in a week before Christmas. Let me state for the record, moving into a house the week before Christmas when you LOVE a decorated house and have 3 little kids is a task. It barely leaves time to breathe, let alone find time to share the recipe for the awesome rib roast you pull off for Christmas dinner or the Christmas cookies that surprising turned out really well at an altitude of 7000 feet.

We had enough time to move about 85% of our belongings and get the tree up. Then I spent hours unpacking so I could find the necessities to live life and have a nice Christmas. Once Christmas was over, we had 6 days --- 6 very short, very busy days --- to get everything out of our rent house and get it cleaned up so we could surrender the keys by the 31st. Unaddressed Christmas cards sat on the desk (where they still yes, if you didn't get a card from me and were expecting one, I haven't forgotten you!!) and my new house got stacked floor to ceiling with boxes that I had no desire to unpack since I had just spent countless hours taping them up. My cooking least the the point where I didn't feel anything I made was special enough to share the recipe. (Of course, now I need to go back and rethink that since in my intro post I told you that one reason I wanted to do this blog was to share all my quick & easy meals for those of you who think you don't have time to cook!)

Then the new year hit. I realized I hadn't actually sat down except to drive between the new house & the rent house, or to eat a meal with my family. My body longed to just sit, but my brain was too sleepy to form coherent sentences. In fact, it was still too sleepy to come up with fancy recipes. School was back in session and it was time to get used to our new schedule. Our schedule that actually allowed me 3 extra hours a day to think about what to cook. And blogging about what I cooked. But more importantly, time to unpack, organize and think about paint colors. Three things I'm still doing and obviously, by the look of my house, not doing enough of. Because those were also 3 hours a day that I could allow myself time to do the stuff that I needed to be doing in my life the last 5 months but didn't have time. Like sit down and do puzzles with my 5 year old. And plan & make healthy after-school snacks instead of grabbing fries in the McD's drive-thru since school doesn't get out til almost 4 and we still had the long car ride back to the rent house. And write......

Yes, I've been cheating on this blog......errrrr....writing something else. A story. No clue if it will become a novel, or a movie, or simply just my random thoughts on paper where I can sit down and re-read them when I'm 80. But hopefully someday I'll have something more than recipes to share with you all. Maybe. We'll see. But that's a tangent I'm not ready to discuss.

Back to food. I've statused (is that a real verb yet? LOL) about my honey-oatmeal-flaxseed bread quite a bit recently. I LOVE fresh bread. And I really love it when I come up with a good bread that is both good broken into pieces and either covered in butter or dipped in a good soup AND also works as a good sandwich bread. And I have found it in this bread.

Several of you (and yes, I still know who each of you are!) have asked for the recipe. I apologize for not immediately taking time to just comment on my status with it, but I knew it would work as a good recipe for this blog.....when I found the time. And hopefully, I will finally get back to blogging regularly! So without further delay.......

Honey-Oatmeal-Flaxseed Bread
(Bread Machine Recipe)

1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp canola oil
2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup whole, dry roasted flax seeds
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

Place ingredients in order into your bread machine pan. Back on basic (or regular) setting.

Please note, getting the dough right at this altitude and/or dry climate has proven difficult. I've tried following a few exact recipes and have needed a good 1/2 cup extra liquid. I'm posting this one because I have now had it work out perfectly several times and the quantities are still somewhat close to other recipes I have success with at normal altitudes. Hopefully it works for you. But please remember to check the dough after 5 minutes for consistency. You may need an extra teaspoon of flour or water.

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