Thursday, February 21, 2013

Braided Bread

A huge thank you to my fabulous sister-in-law for falling upon this recipe. It looks impressive, and tastes even better than it looks. Here's the link to the original recipe here. I made both the plain bread and the cinnamon bread. We ate the plain bread for dinner, and the cinnamon bread was our dessert. We definitely fell in love with it!

Braided Bread
Makes 2 loaves

1/4 cup warm water
1 yeast packet (2 1/2 tsp)
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup hot water
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter

2 1/2 cups flour
1 egg
1 3/4 - cups flour

In a small bowl stir the warm water, yeast and sugar. Let it sit for 10 minutes and let rise. 

In your  combine the hot water, salt, sugar and butter. Once the yeast mix has risen add the the mixer. Then add in the egg and 2 1/2 cups flour. Mix together using the paddle arm. 

Add 1 3/4 cups flour and mix until the dough pulls away from the bowl and into a ball. If the dough is too sticky add more flour. Take off the paddle arm and put on the hook arm. Turn mixer on to level "2", and let it knead for 7 minutes. 

Spray a large bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Put in the ball of dough and cover with a clean towel. Put it in a warm place and let it rise for a few hours. Punch the dough and let it rest for a few minutes. 

Use a knife to cut in half. Then divide into three pieces and roll out to about 14 inches. Pinch the top of the 3 pieces together and braid, then pinch again at the end. Place on the baking sheet, cover and let it rise for about an hour. 

In a small bowl, whisk an egg and 1 Tbsp. of water. Use a paper towel to brush the top of the bread. 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until golden brown. Let the bread sit for 5-10 minutes, and enjoy! We just tear it apart, it was wonderful. 

Cinnamon Loaf
1 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Spread over the three pieces as you are braiding. Try to keep it all in the middle. Bake at 350 degrees for 16-19 minutes. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Homemade Playdough

My daughter was at a friends house last week and every day since then she's been talking over and over again about playdough. She is beyond obsessed with pink, so naturally, we made pink playdough. It was to fast and so easy. I had to to keep this recipe somewhere where I can easily find it again. It took 10 minutes, and she's already played with it for a total of 2 hours today. Lovely. 

Homemade Playdough
1 cup flour
1/3 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
Food coloring

In a saucepan, mix the flour, salt and cream of tartar. Turn on to medium-high heat and add the water, oil and food coloring. Constantly stir, and let it cook for about 3 minutes. You will see it slowly harden and not be as liquidy. Once it starts looking more like playdough, and pulls away from the pan then turn off the heat and remove from the pan. Let it cool. Knead the playdough until smooth. Play with instantly, like we did, or keep it in an airtight container. 

recipe from:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Toddler Valentine Exchange

There are so many little toddlers in our neighborhood, and I wanted an excuse to all get together with them and their moms! We I threw a little Valentine Exchange party. Everyone brought their own decorated box, and enough Valentine's to share. It was the cutest thing ever. 

Heart-shaped PB&J's

Fruit Dip:
8 oz. Strawberry cream cheese
7 oz. marshmallow cream
Whisk together until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve. So yummy with any fruit. We had strawberries, apples and pineapple. 

My daughter's Valentine: with a little box of taffy. 

Heart-shaped brownie bites. Made a pan of brownies, then used a cookie cutter. 

 The very best sugar cookie recipe you will EVER have I posted here

We also had a bunch of candy, and a few salads for the mom's. The kids loved giving and receiving their Valentine's. 

It was a definite success.