Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"Dad's White Shirt"

   Here is the poem I wrote for my dad for Father's Day. I put it in a little 4"x6" photo album and added pictures of me and my sisters' weddings, baby blessings, and baptisms. My dad is very involved in our church, and he's always willing to do whatever is asked of him. I'm very fortunate to have such an awesome Dad! Happy Father's Day, Dad!

“Dad’s White Shirt”

My father has a special shirt
It’s white as white can be.
He wears it for those special times
Like when he blesses me.

He wears it on each Sunday,
As we take the sacrament.
He wore it when he baptized me,
And for his own Endowment.

He wears it to home teach
The many families in his care.
He wore it on his mission,
So the gospel he could share.

He wears it as he serves the Lord
Whatever task he’s given.
He wears it whether doing work
For the dead or for the living.

He wore it to the temple
On the day he wed my mother.
And on that day he promised her
That there would be no other.

This shirt is very special
To my family and I.
It is a symbol that my dad
Is one terrific guy!

∼ by Kim Bennett ∼

   This would be so cute with the Origami white shirt and tie!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Donuts for Dad

   I'm always looking for cute ideas for Father's Day! This is one I came up with to give to all the Father's at church. I wrote the poem myself, and the sweet owner of LDShandouts.blogspot.com took my poem and turned it into a cute tag!!

   I wish I had taken a picture of the finished product, as they were so cute! We punched a hole in the tags with a 1/8" hole punch, and used some green or burgundy raffia to attached the tags to our package of donuts. We used the individual packages of the Little Debbie powdered sugar donuts.

   Please feel free to use this idea for personal, non-commercial use only. Please refer any posts or pictures of this idea back to my blog post! Just click here to download or print the tags.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Best Whole Wheat Bread

I am a very lucky woman! I grew up in a home where my mother made everything homemade. Yes, including bread! There were 11 in our family, so we used a ton of bread each week. I remember my mother making 6 loaves at a time at least twice a week just to keep up. My grandfather, her dad, was a wheat farmer, so he kept us supplied with plenty of wheat. I truly didn't know how lucky I was until all these years later!

For Christmas, my husband got me an electric grinder. I began making homemade bread as soon as it arrived. My family was hooked right away, and I no longer buy bread from the store. It is definitely more work, but the 10 minutes of kneading is quite worth it! The only thing better than the smell of homemade bread coming out of the oven, is eating it hot from the oven with lots of melted butter on it!

Here is my mother's tried and true recipe with only two modifications by me... I use butter instead of shortening and honey instead of brown sugar. Also, she always made it using half wheat flour and half white flour because it does rise better and tastes much better too! I make it the same way. You can make it with all whole wheat flour, but it will be more dense and won't rise as much.

Whole Wheat Bread

1 package (or 2½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
½ cup honey (or light brown sugar)
1 Tablespoon salt
¼ cup butter, cut into small cubes
1½ cups hot water
1 cup warm tap water
3½ to 4 cups whole wheat four
3½ to 4 cups all purpose four

Place salt, honey (or brown sugar), and cubed butter in a very large mixing bowl.

Place yeast in a separate small bowl. Add just a little honey (or a pinch of brown sugar) to the yeast in the small bowl.

Add ¼ cup warm water to the yeast mixture and stir. Place in a warm place to allow yeast to rise. While yeast is rising, add 1½ cups of boiling water to the large mixing bowl, and stir until sugar and salt is dissolved and butter is melted.

Add 1 cup warm tap water to the large mixing bowl.

Stir 3½ cups of whole wheat flour into mixture in large bowl.

This mixture should now be warm, but not too hot. Add yeast mixture and stir well.

Add 3½ cups of all purpose flour.

Stir until mixture is mostly dry.

Use hands to knead the flour into a nice dough. I usually begin kneading in the large bowl,

...and then turn dough onto my lightly floured counter top to really knead it well.

Knead the dough for 10 minutes, adding flour as needed. The dough should be a little sticky, but should not stick to the counter or your hands. If it is too sticky, add more flour. The kneading can also be done with a stand mixer and dough hook. It will not take 10 minutes on a stand mixer. Just add enough flour so that the dough is not sticking to the sides of the bowl. When it is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl, it is done kneading.

Now grease the large bowl with some shortening, and place dough in greased bowl. Cover with a clean dishtowel and let the dough rise until doubled in size. I found a great way to help my dough rise quickly! I have two rice heating pads that I made. I place these in the microwave for 2½ minutes on high heat. Then I place my bowl of dough in the microwave on top of the heating pads and close the door. My dough rises nicely in 1½ hours. If it is a really cold day, I reheat the rice pads after 45 minutes. I came up with this technique because my husband likes a cold house, and yeast needs warmth to rise!

When the dough has doubled, punch down the dough and divide dough in half. Form a ball out of each half. You are now ready to shape each ball into a loaf. There are many ways to do this, but my mother taught me a special way to do this. Her method eliminates almost all air bubbles and produces a loaf that holds together very well. You can see a video of her method here. I have typed up, as best that I can, written instructions for this method.

Place ball of dough onto a lightly floured counter top. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a nice long rectangle that is about a foot wide. Be sure you roll it until there are no more air bubbles. Now beginning on one end of the rectangle, roll the dough just a little toward the opposite end. Pinch down the dough all along the seam. Roll dough one turn again, and pinch down the seam again. Repeat this process until the dough is all rolled. Be sure to pinch all seams together. This helps minimize the air bubbles.

Now fold both ends of the roll under, so that they meet in the middle of the underside of the loaf. Again, pinch all seams, holes, etc. together on bottom and sides. Now place dough in pan with ends on the bottom. Press dough down in loaf pan evenly. Repeat for second loaf.

Again, I heat my rice pads and place the loaves on the rice pads in the microwave to rise. Don't forget to cover the pans with the clean dishtowel. This should take 35 minutes. I usually set my timer for 30 minutes. When it goes off, I preheat my oven to 350 degrees and reset the timer for 5 minutes. When my timer goes off, the bread and oven are both ready.

If you have regular pans, cover each loaf with foil and bake 30 minutes, and then remove the foil and continue to bake another 30 minutes or until tops are golden brown. If you are using pullman pans, put lids on the pans and bake for 35 minutes. (See notes regarding pullman pans.) Cool on wire rack. Makes 2 loaves.

Be sure you have a long serrated knife to cut your bread! The bread is much easier to cut after it has cooled. Be sure to store your bread in a bread bag away from moisture and heat.

After much research, I found the perfect bread pans! They are called pullman pans. They make perfect loaves every time, and the bread fits in all the sandwich/bread containers for my kids' lunches!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Carrots Anyone?

Carrot shaped sugar cookies
These are the best tasting carrots you will ever have!
This year instead of making "egg" cookies for Easter, my kids wanted something different! They decided on "carrot" cookies! They did turn out quite cute! Check out the "egg" sugar cookies we usually make and get the yummy recipe!

Peep Pops

Peep Pop BouquetI saw the cutest Peep Pops in the store! But they were $1.78 each, so I decided that I would try to make my own for a lot less money!

Items needed:
   Yellow chick peeps
   Blue chick peeps
   Pink chick peeps
   Purple or green chick peeps
   8"-12" sucker sticks
   2¾” x 2½” x 9" Gusset Cellophane bags
   ⅝” sheer pastel ribbon
   Cute tag

Take one of each color peep being sure that one of the peeps is from the end of a row with white marshmallow showing on only one side.
Line the peeps up side by side so that the sides with the white marshmallow showing are touching. They will stick together nicely.
Now insert a sucker stick so that the “end” peep will be at the top of your sucker. The stick should go all the way through each peep except the "end" peep. It should go into the end peep, but not all the way out the top.
You can use your fingers to spread the peeps out a little, as they are now kind of squished together.
Insert peeps into a gusset bag.
Tie with your ribbon and add your cute tag.

Finished Peep Pop
Now make several and you have a gorgeous Peep Bouquet!!

Peep Bouquet
Look online for cute tags to go with your Peep Pop! There are many cute ones to choose from.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Creepy Crawly Spiders

   This idea came home with my daughter from an activity she attended at church. They used big Tootsie Pops and four full size chenille stems. My daughter wanted to make them for her class, so we modified the idea slightly by using mini Tootsie Pops (because I already had a lot of them) and two chenille stems each cut in half.

Things you will need:

Things you neeed
  • Mini Tootsie Pop
  • 2 chenille stems (same color as Tootsie Pop)
  • Scissors or wire snips
  • Clear tape
  • White craft clue that dries clear

First, fold both chenille stems in half.
Step 1Cut in the middle.

Step 2Now you have four halves.

Step 3Place the sucker in the middle of chenille stems.

Step 4Fold the chenille stems on one side of sucker up and around the sucker stick.

Step 5Fold the chenille stems on the other side of sucker up and around the sucker stick.

Step 6After folding both sides up and around, you have four chenille stems on each side of your sucker stick.

Step 7Top SideNow, with one hand, hold the stick and chenille stems in the middle. With the other hand, shape one set of chenille stems to make spider legs.

Step 8Legs shaped properlyRepeat the process to shape the other side of legs.

Step 9Still holding the middle, separate the spider legs on one side.

Step 10Step 10Repeat for the other side.

Step 11Now, see that funny piece of sucker wraper that sticks out of the spider's head.

Wraper sticking off headUse a little piece of clear tape to tape it under the head. (I did find that this step can be done first, and it is probably easier to do it first.)

Step 12Now, cut off that ugly white part of the sucker stick off.

Step 13You might notice that the sucker can slide quite easily out of the chenille stems. To prevent this, turn the spider upside down and place some white glue right by the chenille stem and stick.

Step 14Leave the spider on it's back to dry overnight.

Step 15In the morning, you have a cool, fuzzy spider that stays together!

Finished SpiderYou can make them in a variety of colors!

Colorful SpidersMy children's classmates enjoyed playing with these cute treats!