Friday, February 25, 2011

Easy Bread Recipe

This is an easy, healthy and delicious recipe that is fool-proof and doesn't have any kneading!

"Wonder Bread"

Combine in a very large bowl:
4 tablespoons canola oil
4 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons salt

8 cups warm water and 2 tablespoons yeast
Stir and wait 5 minutes, until yeast is dissolved.

Stir in:
7 cups white flour
7 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups rolled oats (of if you prefer any combination of soy flour, rice flour, wheat germ, oats, or bran)

When dough is well-mixed (use your hands or a wooden spoon for this), scoop half of it into another large, oiled bowl, and let the dough rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. At this point you can punch the dough down, divide it into loaves, and place into seven greased pans. Or you can punch it down and let it rise in the bowls again. Just make sure you punch it down well after each rising.

Allow the bread one final rise in the pans. Bake the loaves at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped, rotating the pans midway through the baking to ensure even browning.

I usually divide the recipe in half or even by 2/7 and make 2 loaves, rather than 7! The recipe is from this book:

Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry
Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry

Monday, February 21, 2011

A New Role Model... and a New University Center

How can you not love a man at age 95 a. plans to outlive his long-lived relatives (100 and 107) and b. has given to the university every year since he graduated... in 1937. Thanks Tink Veale II for making the new university center at CWRU possible.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Choosing A Book Challenge (or 2)

My friend Dawn over at The Flying Chagall suggested in a comment to the first half of my 101 in 1001 list that I include some book/reading challenges on the second half of my list. This is an excellent idea so I started researching reading challenges other people have undertaken. Here is some of what I learned (no sense including ones I have no interest in).

I learned about the first three from DewDrops:

What's in a Name, hosted by Beth Fish Reads

  1. A book with a number in the title: First to Die, Seven Up, Thirteen Reasons Why
  2. A book with jewelry or a gem in the title: Diamond Ruby, Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Opal Deception
  3. A book with a size in the title: Wide Sargasso Sea, Small Wars, Little Bee
  4. A book with travel or movement in the title: Dead Witch Walking, Crawling with Zombies, Time Traveler's Wife
  5. A book with evil in the title: Bad Marie, Fallen, Wicked Lovely
  6. A book with a life stage in the title: No Country for Old Men, Brideshead Revisited, Bog Child

2011 Global Reading Challenge, hosted by Dorte

This one has easy, intermediate and expert levels, in which the reader attempts 1, 2, or 3 books from each of the seven continents. Since Antarctica has few authors, the seventh one can be a "´seventh´ setting, eg the sea, the space, a supernatural/paranormal world, history, the future – you name it)"

Foodie's Reading Challenge, hosted by Margot at Joyfully Retired

1. Decide how many food books (A food book is a book which is centered around food and/or drinks. That could be a cookbook, a food biography or memoir, a non-fiction book focused around a specific food, wine, chef or restaurant. Also allowed is a fictional story in which food plays a major role.) you want to read in 2011 and choose your level of reading.  Keep in mind this is a challenge – a throw-down. Go a bit beyond what you think you can really do. Levels:
  • Nibbler: 1 to 3 books
  • Bon Vivant: 4 to 6 books
  • Epicurean: 7 to 9 books
  • Gourmet: 10 to 12
  • Glutton: More than 12
2. Grab the challenge button and write a post on your blog so we can spread the word. 
3. As you read each book for the challenge, come back here and tell us about it. 
From Auxiliary Memory, I learned about these challenges:
The Art History Reading Challenge (there's one for us, Dawn!)
This year there will be four levels of participation:
  • Curious - Read at least 3 books about art, either fiction or non-fiction.
  • Fascinated  - Read at least 6 books about art, either fiction or non-fiction.
  • Enamored- Read at least 9 books about art, either fiction or non-fiction.
  • Utterly enchanted - Read at least 12 books about art, either fiction or non-fiction.
11 in 2011 Challenge
  1. Read a minimum of 11 books first published in 2011. You don’t have to buy these. Library books, unabridged audios, or ARCs are all acceptable. To qualify as being first published in 2011, it must be the first time that the book is published in your own country. For example, if a book was published in Australia, England, or Canada in 2010, and then published in the USA in 2011, it counts (if you live in the USA). Newly published trade paperbacks and mass market paperbacks do not count if there has been a hardcover/trade published before 2011.
  2. At least 6 titles must be fiction.
  3. Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
  4. You can add your titles as you go, and they may be changed at any time.

What do you think? Which ones sound best?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentines Day = Generosity Day!

Saw this post from Katya this morning and loved it so much I had to share/participate!

Say yes to Generosity Day on Monday: It’s good for everyone, including you

For one day, you devote yourself to unfiltered, unfettered generosity. You will say yes to every request for help. What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Why do this?
1. It is a nice thing to do for others on a day when not everyone feels loved.
2. It will be make you happy. (There is plenty of proof that helping people makes you happy.)
3. It will make you approach your life and work from a place of abundance rather than scarcity. (It’s a good idea to be generous when you’re hungry.)
4. It will make you better at the work of inspiring generosity in others.
When someone asks you for money, give it to him or her. Pay someone a compliment. Say yes to having coffee with someone who needs help networking. Do someone a favor.
Then spread the word! If you do so via Facebook or Twitter, please use the hashtag #generosityday to spread the word.
The project started with Sasha's post from Friday:

 This Monday, Valentine’s Day, is going to be rebooted as Generosity Day: one day of sharing love with everyone, of being generous to everyone, to see how it feels and to practice saying “Yes.”  Let’s make the day about love, action and human connection – because we can do better than smarmy greeting cards, overpriced roses, and stressed-out couples trying to create romantic meals on the fly.
The goal is to spend Valentine’s Day being more generous, giving more money, sharing of yourself, being of service.  All acts of generosity, small and big alike, count.  But you have to say YES to everything that’s asked of you, all day long! It’s about creating more generosity in the world, and becoming a more open person along the way.

What do you say? Are you in?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Genealogy Junkies Unite

I got hooked on the show Who Do You Think You Are last winter after Ashley tweeted that she loved it. And now it's back for a second season! It airs on Friday evenings so I usually watch it online over the weekend. Here's the trailer for tonight's episode:

This is the somewhat over the top official description of the show:
"NBC's acclaimed alternative series "Who Do You Think You Are?" follows some of today's most beloved and iconic celebrities as they embark on personal journeys of self-discovery to trace their family trees. From the trenches of the Civil War to the shores of the Caribbean, and from the valleys of Virginia to the island nations of Australia and Ireland, each episode will reveal surprising, inspiring and sometimes tragic stories that are often linked to events in American and international history."

The best part is stories they uncover about the families featured in the series. In last week's episode, Vanessa Williams learned one of her ancestors joined the Union Army during the Civil War, lived through the war, and then helped emancipate slaves. The historian even found a tintype photograph of him in his Army file. Watch it here. It reminds me a lot of the old PBS series African American Lives that used genealogy and DNA studies to delve into the ancestry of famous African Americans. Fascinating stuff.   

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Meatless Monday

One of my 101 in 1001 items is to have 8 Meatless Mondays at our house (on days when we're all 3 home for dinner). I'm happy to report that we're off to a good start. To be honest I had no idea it was such a big deal. I have seen the hashtag on Twitter [ #meatlessmondays ] and thought "that sounds like a smart idea," but the official website is really in-depth and full of tons of information - news items, celebrities, recipes, starter kits, and even cute graphics:

Our first meatless Monday was February 7; we had Nutrient-Rich Potato-Bean Soup.

And here's a video that explains the whys of Meatless Monday: 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Trying New Apps: Weatherbug

I downloaded a new app to my phone this morning and really like it. I've been wanting easy access to the weather and haven't found an app I liked - until today, when I downloaded weatherbug.

Best feature is that it loads the current temperature into the tool bar at the top of the screen (I have an Android phone).
Hopefully you can see the blue 36 degrees at the top left of the screen:

The forecast page and current conditions page are both easy to read and easy to navigate. And, yes, it really was 36 degrees here this morning!

Do you have a favorite weather app? 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Etsy Shopping

I knocked another item off the first half of my 101 in 1001 list when I found this adorable housewarming present for Britain on etsy:
from crzybaglady on etsy
B is in love with her new red Kitchen-Aid mixer (who wouldn't be?) so I thought this would be fun to wear when she uses it.
Fun, right? 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Greek Letter Cookies

I am now the proud owner of a complete set of Greek letter cookie cutters (thanks to Britain xoxo), which means my cookies for the Tallahassee Alumnae Panhellenic silent auction were even more exciting than usual. (see last years here.) 

To give you an idea what the cutters look like here are three of my favorite letters:

Here is a tray of cookies, straight from the oven. Thanks to my friend (and fellow Alpha Chi alumna) Jennifer O who came over to help with the baking on Thursday!!

And here are the cookies, packaged up and ready to go to the auction. All 17 groups attended the luncheon, isn't that great? 

Next time I make them, I will try frosting them. Some of the letters turned out a little fragile, particularly the Pi and the Xi. I'll have to experiment with some different doughs as well as the thickness of the cookies. But overall I was really happy with the inaugural batch, and they were a hit at the silent auction!

You might also like this post from our Tallahassee-Thomasville Alpha Chi Omega blog: Gifts for Alpha Chi Omega Bakers.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Custom Stamps

I started working on my 51 in 1001 list in the easiest possible way: by shopping. Here are the two custom stamps I ordered last week:
The first one will have all three of our first names and the second one my name and our address. 

If you decide to shop from this vendor, be sure to click on the special offers button at the top of the page. I got 30% off my order!

1 down, 50 to go! 
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