The Bread of the Matter

So here’s a look at my current situation:

That’s right, a snowstorm and it’s still a comin. What’s a girl to do, cooped inside while snow and frigid wind siege outside? Bread! Fresh, homemade bread. The smell, the warmth, the comfort…you really can’t go wrong with bread.

Now, I have my own recipe for a hearty wheat bread BUT, with the storm raging outside I couldn’t go and buy the wheat flour I needed 🤷 so I had to go search for a white bread to make and I chose one with few ingredients and very little sugar.

Thats it, those are the only ingredients (water not shown). I’m going to post the recipe at the end of the post, but I want to point out that I switched out canola oil for olive oil for a healthier choice and it turned out lovely. I also mixed everything by hand because I don’t own a mixer, so if you’re like me then rest assured it turns out just fine!

This is a quick and easy recipe but there is a lot of rising time, so it’s probably best to make this on a day off (I mean, it’s not hours and hours, but still). Another quick note, I only baked mine for 32 so I would suggest not baking it for the full 35 min without checking it. Here’s the finished product! It turned out amazing. Firm outside, soft and dense on the inside. It’s a very filling bread. I froze one loaf and kept the other out for sandwiches and for dipping in stew( I made hamburger stew for tonight. I love me some stew on cold nights 🌨️❄️☃️).

P.s. a good way to freeze bread, if you’ve never done it before, is to put a piece of wax paper behind every two slices. That way you can just pull a couple out at a time without thawing the whole loaf. This is especially good if you live alone or with just one other person. I hope anyone who tries this enjoys it!

Basic White Bread:

  • Prep: 20 min. + rising Bake: 30 min. + cooling

    2 loaves (16 slices each)Ingredients:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 C warm water (110-115* F)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil ( I used olive oil)
  • 6 1/4-6 3/4 C flour

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
  • Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough in half. Shape each into a loaf. Place in two greased 9×5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, 30-45 minutes.
  • Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
  • Be careful that your water isn’t too hot when proofing yeast. Learn
Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 102 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 222mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

Here is the link if you’d like to visit the website https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/basic-homemade-bread/

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Things I’ve Learned With a Baby

I’ve only been a mom for three months, but it’s been jam-packed with learning. The list I’ve compiled is just a short insight…

  • How to basically do anything one-handed.
  • How to transport a sleeping baby without waking him
  • That having a bad day is OKAY
  • Babies like to poo at really inconvenient times
  • Once you’re a parent you’re kind of invisible for the foreseeable future
  • My desire to be healthy so that he’s healthy seems to be going well… if you don’t count my sugar or caffeine intake
  • Having a baby doesn’t mean you should ignore personal hygiene
  • Letting your baby cry for a few minutes won’t hurt them
  • Babies are manipulative little creatures
  • Toootally understand why moms are never ‘in the mood’
  • Their little hands wrapping around your finger is one of the sweetest moments in life
  • So is their smile that’s just for you
  • I can no longer watch things involving children being hurt
  • On that note, I’m also way more emotional and corny 😂
  • I thought I loved my cat’s, but Ive found I could tear their heads off if they hurt my kid
  • I STILL don’t have a good morning routine to get me out of the door in less than 2 hours. What the heck
  • Being a mom is everything I never knew I needed

I may just add to this list every week and make it my weekly feature, haha. I learn new things constantly! We have good days and bad days and in between days, but I love all of them. I never wanted to be bored, and now I’m not. I can only imagine the toddler years 😂🤦

On a side note, tomorrow I’m making hamburger stew and homemade bread. I’ll post recipes!

Positively Challenged

    Lately, I’ve been attempting to think and act more positively which, for me, is admittedly difficult (I’m an old, crotchety person at heart). I’m generally more of a dark humor, sarcasm loving fool whose outlook on life consists mostly of “ew, people.” Cheery, yeah? I’m impatient and fairly quick to irritate on a good day, and downright black-hearted on my worst days. Well, ok, that’s only one side of my personality; I’m quirky, adventurous, great at taking care of others, and I care very deeply about a select few (and now I sound like I’m listing my personality traits on a job application, ha). Anyway, back to staying positive: it’s hard, and I apparently chose a bad time to initiate it. Isn’t that how it always goes?
    Here are the main things I’m having a hard time staying positive about (really, I have more but who likes a Debby Downer?):

  • Feelings of isolation

  • Body image

  • Finances
    Let’s talk about isolation first. Other women have told me that was the hardest part about being a new mom and I never really listened. I kind of just thought to myself ‘well, why didn’t you just go out more?’ But I’ve come to discover that it’s not always quite that easy. The baby has to eat, settle for a bit, get changed, and then y’all can head out (assuming you’re already dressed to go). It’s been 3 months and I’m still really slow with this 😂 I also never took into account people’s money situation. If you’re on maternity leave and only getting one income for the time being then that hinders you too (that’s currently the biggest issue for us). But even little trips to the store or gas station get put off because it’s no longer a quick in and out trip, you’ve now got to lug a car seat everywhere. I’m sure there are moms who don’t care, or who have multiple kids so they’re seasoned pros, but I’m just not there yet. I prefer road trips and taking him to visit people; we do that fairly often. Anyway, what was my point? Oh! Being positive, right…Here’s what I’ve been doing to kind of stave off my impending insanity:
  • Making and baking from scratch–so much healthier and cheaper, especially once you’ve built up your base products. I’ll eventually share some of those recipes

  • .Making money from home. I’ve sold things to de-clutter the house, and I’ve submitted articles to various websites that pay you for your work. I like writing so I figured I’d give freelancing a try.

  • Organizing the home. It’s not something I enjoy, exactly, but now that I have the time it’s really nice to be getting it done. Most importantly, I get to spend all kinds of time with Liam 💕
    Moving on to the hardest thing to be positive about…body image 🙄 It’s really hard looking in the mirror and seeing marks and dimples and divets where none existed before. It honestly makes me not want to put clothes on or leave the house. But here are some things I’ve been attempting to try and counteract those thoughts.
  • Exercise– I’ve only recently begun to do this, but man I had no idea how out of shape I’d gotten. I had to resort to GIRL push-ups. Ugh. It has been making me feel better tho

  • !Getting dressed. You’re probably thinking that’s a given, so how can it be a positive spin on this? Well, I WASN’T getting dressed every day. Breastfeeding all day and getting spit up on were not motivating factors for me to get dressed. It seemed pointless, but my self-image suffered from that and it took me a while to see it. A shower and fresh clothes will do wonders for you. Feeling good about yourself starts with the little things.
Okay, my last topic, financial issues. Ugh. Nobody likes talking about that. But here’s what I’ve learned while living on a budget (aside from the fact that I should have been on one all along 🙄😂):
  • How to actually make a budget. Super helpful if you’re unorganized with money like I am

  • Learning new recipes from scratch. I love food. A lot. So having this extra time before I go back to work has been awesome for learning new recipes. It’s much cheaper this way, too

  • Organizing our bills. Also something I never used to do. Huge time and energy saver. Helps with the anxiety as well.
    So, that’s it. That’s how I’ve been trying to see things in a positive light. It’s a daily struggle and I fail a lot, regardless of how lifesaving some of these things have been. Like I said, I’m negative by nature. But that’s ok, I’m just going to keep on keepin on. Besides, I can still yell at people as I drive to get any frustrations out 😂

So I became a mom



    Being a new mom is strange, and I honestly didn’t think I’d adjust as well as I have, nor did I truly believe I’d bond with my son. That was my biggest fear throughout the entire pregnancy (aside from being told I might have a girl). I’ve been moody my entire life, and have dealt with depression and anxiety since I was a teenager, so I was worried I’d suffer from postpartum depression and hate my child. Not only that, but I never wanted kids…not ever. So during pregnancy I was trying to undo 31 years of thinking and you know what? I couldn’t. I couldn’t undo those thoughts, I couldn’t convince myself that having this baby would be great and happy or any of that nonsense. I tried…On the surface my thoughts were positive, loving…fake. Because lurking just under that surface was everything negative that I tried not to think about because I felt guilty: all the time I would have to give up, the reading that wouldn’t get done, the shows that wouldn’t get watched. I tried not to think about how much the idea of schools and PTA meetings horrified me because I hate all of that. I tried not to think about all the alone time I would never have again, and how annoyed that thought made me. I LOVE my alone time. I tried not to think about how much harder a simple trip to the store would be. Or the bank, or the library, or…Bottom line: I wasn’t sold on this whole mom thing and I tried to hide it. I tried to hide how terrified I was of giving birth. I despise pain, and how could dirty, bratty, annoying children be worth all of that? Sigh*
    On the other end of the spectrum I was also trying to hide how much I might love this child, because what if something went wrong during pregnancy, or after he was born? What if he died? What if I did? Hard to get attached when you’re worried about death (that would be the anxiety). And then? He was here, and those 9 months of worry and anger and indecision were finally over and none of it even mattered anymore. Now, I’m not gonna lie and say I was instantly bonded with him. I wasn’t. But I did love him right away. The actual bonding probably happened over the course of the first month. I loved him right away, I thought he was beautiful (another worry of mine), and I didn’t want to let go of him. I was wholly unprepared for the flood of emotions that consumed me from the beginning and have only gotten stronger since. Cheesy, right? The old me would have certainly thought so. I thought most mother’s were cheesy and a bit too into their kids, but I get it now. Sorry, other moms.
     I used to say that spouses should love one another just a tiny bit more than they love their kids but…I digress. It’s just not possible. Sorry husband’s, though maybe it’s not that we love them less than the baby, just differently.
     Now I can’t wait for all the things we can do as he grows older, the games we can play, the things we can learn. I’m still not excited for the school years, mostly because schools these days are a joke. Not to mention other parents…So many parents are extreme these days and I can barely stand it. Kids aren’t allowed to get hurt anymore, or dirty, or fail..at anything. It is absolutely ridiculous. I won’t go down that road though, it’s too long of a detour.
     It’s been 3 months now since Liam was born and I’m already such a different person…I thought I was a pretty selfless person before but pregnancy and being a mother has taught me that I had so much room left to grow in that area. I don’t get up and eat breakfast first anymore (although you can bet I start the coffee), I feed HIM breakfast. And then I change him, talk to him, play a little bit and THEN go get myself something to eat. I honestly thought I put myself last before he came along, but now I’m finding out what that really means. And it’s not because I spoil him or refuse to put him down or make him play by himself (because he gets plenty of experience with those two things), but it’s because he’s little and he doesn’t understand why he’s hungry, only that it’s uncomfortable. Unlike me, he doesn’t understand how to deal with feelings of discomfort, nor does he know that they will go away or be satisfied shortly. So his needs are met first because of those reasons, and that’s something else I didn’t understand before. This blog post is mostly an apology, but it’s also a thank you to God for allowing me to be Liam’s mom. That little boy is my whole heart, and I intend to show it. However, being a mom is also hilarious and ridiculous so there will be plenty of posts dedicated to those moments. Not to mention my book thoughts and yummy recipes! So grab a cup of coffee and happy reading 💕