Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pioneer Woman I Am Not

...but I have had success with another one of her recipes!.  I have her cookbook and use it all the time, but this one is from her website.  It's for Homemade Cinnamon Bread, and just like everything from PW, it's delicious.

This is my scalded and cooled butter and milk, with the yeast sprinkled on.  That would be the shadow from my head at the bottom there.  See?  Told you I don't do Pioneer Woman very well. 

The dough was pretty straightforward and easy.  Although it didn't look like it was going to turn out for a minute there:

But after the 10 minutes of kneading she recommends, with the dough hook on my mixer, it looked like this:

Much better.

In an oiled bowl to rise for two hours...

 ...then rolled out and dressed with butter, sugar, and cinnamon.

I had already gotten it into my head to make this bread, when I realized that my loaf pan is missing.  I was hoping this bundt would do the job, and it did.  I just made the roll a little longer and skinnier, and wrapped it around.

It was at this point that I realized that the recipe called for another two hours of rise time in the pan, before the 40 minutes of baking.  It was already pretty late on Friday night, and I ended up leaving it on the counter and going to bed.  A little bit of pregnancy insomnia saved us though, as the bread actually got baked sometime around 2:00 am, and it was perfect for hungry bellies by morning.

Sliced, toasted, and smeared with a good helping of butter... delish!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pinning it Down: A Quilted Table Runner for Lent

I finally Pinned something Down! 
 I came across the blog Diary of a Quilter not too long ago, and immediately fell in love.  Amy's fabric and color choices are right up my alley, and she has some great tutorials.  She seems like a low-fuss quilter, and that makes me feel like quilting is attainable.  Attainable is good.

She has this table runner tutorial on her home page and I knew it was something I could tackle.  I was starting it around the second week of February, so I decided to go with purples for Lent.

It was so much fun to work on!  I'm planning to pick up some Spring-like colors and patterns to make another one for after Easter.

We have our simple crown of thorns (that the kids made by coloring toothpicks, breaking them in half, and sticking them into a grapevine wreath) sitting in sand on a plate as a centerpiece for Lent.

Our table is so massive that it's nice to have something to break up the expanse of it a little bit.  And this is wonderfully washable (Trust me, I've already had to wash it twice.  First spaghetti sauce, then a stray marker.)  Washing it seems to just add to the quilty softness.

Thank you, Pinning it Down Ladies, for giving me some motivation to act on one of those lovely pins!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lent, So Far

Well so far we're having a beautiful Lent.  It seems simpler, more natural this year, for some reason.

The plan is essentially the same as last year, only perhaps with more attention to the big picture than the details.  One thing I've been enjoying immensely is our daily Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3:00pm.  I have no idea why it's been so long since I've prayed this prayer, but leave it to Lent to remind me.  I know we at least intended to pray it last year, but with our Lent-ish Lent, maybe we didn't commit to it fully (or maybe I blocked out last year's Lent entirely?!).  I prayed it continuously throughout my pregnancy and labor with Sebastian, so it feels like a natural fit with my growing belly once again.

Speaking of the growing belly... the nesting urges have kicked in.  Oh my, I couldn't comprehend how terrible I was feeling until I started to feel normal again.  Even at that, I've found a new normal every day, feeling better and better and with more energy.  It seemed so bad for so long, I had started to doubt my ability to take care of this house and these people!  Thank Goodness for second trimester loveliness.
Also:  Nesting and Lent get along swimmingly well ;).

Monday, February 20, 2012

An Anniversary

 The two of us... (not a single picture together, have to work on that.)

The fruits... (a chilly day of fresh air at the park.)

The dinner... (mexican carry-out for just the grown-ups, yum.)

The gift... (at last.)
Thirteen years of blessings.  
I pray for many, many more.
I love you, Mr. Smith.