Saturday, January 30, 2010

Making homemade pretzels

There is nothing like homemade bread of any kind... won't you agree with me? *grin*
For 7 years now we mill organic wheat such as spelt and red wheat . We also have soft white for our pastries . This wheat are the best tasting wheat ever, not to mention - it is healthier !
When freshly milled the flour is warm and makes the best breads.
Today kate told me she wanted to make some pretzels . We used white flour instead and they turned up wonderful.
It is snowing ... a lovely day for us. We knew it would be snowing today so yesterday Mark placed hay bales for the animals and they all seems to be fine. *grin*
I will post some pictures later on.... there is something *very* special about the snow .... my children , of course, are the first ones to show the excitement.... they spent almost all day sliding on the snow ... grin... I love to see them entering our farm kitchen for a small break and seen their red cheeks and shine eyes .....
well..... Kate and I stayed in most of the day... I painted and work on a polar bear and only wish he was ready for pictures ... would had been perfect ,no? *grin*
Soon, we will have a our supper and then practice our marionette play.*grin*
This was a new recipe that I got online and we found surprisingly good.

The girls and I rather have our dough very soft because it produces the best breads!

Yum! I am counting my blessings today.... so many.....smiling...
1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt
Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

watercolor and a... little bird!

Last week I did this drawing. I love to draw people , particularly children .My main medium has always been oil paint but for few years now I have been in love with the *dance and flow* that watercolors provides. Few years ago I thought to try but like every thing else in life , it is important to be dedicated to improve and find my own style. I have been really shy about it mostly because of the time and effort that is require in order to learn to paint with this medium ; however my heart really desires to spend some time ...some quite time doing just that.... so here it is .... and yes ,I will be showing you my goods and bads *grin* .I also plan to show you dear reader , what I use and perhaps you are like me ... just starting ...grin!

Soooo.... here I am i showing you my drawing that I did direct on the water paper.... I had the picture sketched on my mind but I should had sketched on a paper first because I had to erase my mistakes and I mess up the paper ...sigh... but I decided to continue anyways...grin.
First layer... very watery and soft... still ,the harsh pencil marks were not forgiven around the arms...

second layer....

Third layer ... I took this shot while the painting was wet.... it was late night and the artificial light was not good enough...

Then today , at afternoon , my little Ben asked me to go to the pond since he had finished his school work. I can not tell you how thankful I am that my children are home schooled. All our school work is done by 1 pm and there are always time for music, art and play.
Well... Ben had a surprise for me....*grin*

He found a little bird that perhaps felt out from it's nest... not sure yet.... Ben picked him up from the ground as he followed him and noticed that he could not fly.

I checked to see if he was hurt and could not find any sign .... the I got some water and bread and set him in a small box next to my table...... he gave me company and watched me work on my painting... thoughts were then in Lord and how often I am like this bird... unable to take care of me.... how glad I am that HE has chosen me and takes care of me every minute of my life.smiles...

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? "Matthew 6:25-27

Then I finished my little picture.... I had erased the pencil marks and used a water proof pen and add my highlights.... I changed her hands position a little bit too.

In this close up you can see a little better the details....smiles... I have another drawing to show you soon .... tomorrow will be another lovely day and I am anxious to see what what it will bring ... I know it will be wonderful because of Jesus.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Today I want to share with you where I do some of my work. I am so blessed to have several work places here at my farm. God is gracious in deed!

This is my favorite spot to paint anything that is small. When ever I have very large paintings to do I go here , and for my miniature work and sewing I come here.

This is our baking room. It is very cosy . It is a room next to the kitchen. I use as an addition to our baking needs.

Below is a shot from where I sit. The gas stove is from 1920 and I use all the time.

I am thankful for teh light that comes from that window. I also can view the pond from my chair... early in the morning I listen to the birds and the farm animals and it makes me think that they too are thankful to the Lord and are telling Him just that with their sounds.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Trip to Florida

Last Thursday Kate, Gabby , Becca and I drove to Miami . Kate had an audition for the Frost School of Music at University of Miami.
I had much planned in my mind but once again the Lord provided the best for all of us....

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

We arrived late Thursday and on Friday morning my wonderful mother in law, Judy, had already packed a lovely picnic for us for after our walk at the Everglades!!*grin*

Before we left ,I walked around her cosy home ... many fond memories came back to me...I thanked God for his mercies and for loving me so much. I smiled when I saw this painting that I did long ago... it was the front door of my in laws home.... through that door I learned much about been hospitable and loving the Lord....

Some have been changed through the years but not the open and willing heart of my dear Judy and Efrain!!*grin*

Their home have always made me feel welcome and loved. I think this is true to all who visited here.

My lovely daughter ( minus one- Sthefanie) and I....
I must confess that although I so enjoyed to be there , I was missing my sons and Mark.

" Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate. "Psalm 127:4/5

Again, I felt the blessing of God this day. The weather was beautiful and the gators were out swimming ....

I am only sharing few of many pictures I took ... it was such a delightful morning!

This bird must was calmly standing so close to Becca... he too must know how sweet and kind she is .*grin*

I thank our Heavenly father for a safe trip , for wonderful family , good audition and return home.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hershey dairy cow

I walked to the main barn this afternoon to take a look on Hershey, our dairy cow, she hurt her left foot and she is not doing to well... I am so sad. I moved her to the main barn so the vet can take a look on her tomorrow......The single thought of loosing Hershey makes my stomach sick.... she has been with us for 6 years and have served us so well with a wonderful and healthy milk in which I make fresh and hard cheese, yogurt , ice cream and so much more....
Would you pray for her tonight if you read this post?
The ground has been so wet lately from this strange weather that I wonder if she slipped and fell.... I will find out tomorrow...thank you!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New year's resolutions

I have always been curious in read about what people like to write at the beginning of the year. I think most people have a tendency to want to get healthier and lose weight. I too, I am guilty of that, grin, I have start to walk on my thread mill because It is too cold to go to the park and the last few months I have been lazy; but I don't mean to talk about this type of resolution in this post because what I *really* want to say and share with you is this video on my right side of the bar.
This video is hosted by and because is not mine, I was unable to upload on my post but you can click to go to the site or just watch here ( a little smaller,grin*)
No matter how many times I watch this video I still cry. yes, I am happy for the man in the wheel chair and of course the love that his father has for him is something that touches me deeply but what really moves me to tears is to think the Love of my Heavenly father over me. Our human love is *nothing* compare to God's love for His children .
This video is an amazing remind of God's perfect and unchangeable love , in which I need daily.
My resolution for this year is around one single word - Obedience.
To be obedient is not easy... My children will agree with me, grin, and I too want to be more Obedient to my Heavenly father and my Lord and saviour's Jesus Christ.
Alright , alright , I still want to lose weight! *smiles*
**** please , before you listen to the video, go down on my page and pause my playlist box*****
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