Archive for February 2010

For my daughters — Focaccia Bread   Leave a comment

In a large bowl put:

3 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp sugar

1 T. yeast

Mix well —

then add:

2 T. Olive Oil

1.5 cups warm water

Knead about 2-3 minutes

Let Raise for 30-45 minutes

Spread dough onto oiled cookie sheet of backing stone

Dimple dough with your finger tips slightly

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with  parmesan cheese, Italian spices, olives

Bake  at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned slightly

Posted February 24, 2010 by joyfulhouse in Kitchen Life

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Posted February 14, 2010 by joyfulhouse in Family, Kitchen Life

Walking among the dead!   Leave a comment

Today has been a very different day than I had planned.  It must have started last Wednesday when our church families all gathered for a dinner and valentine making craft time.  We had a wonderful time and Rick even joined in with making some valentines as well!   We left having had lots of fun and laughter.

But…… someone brought a bug to the dinner and our family got hit yesterday with Melly getting sick in the morning.  I did not recognize it as the flu because she seemed just fine despite some rather bad moments.   So, I sent Annie off to her good friends 16th birthday party.  After supper Kristi started being sick.    That’s when I started to wonder what was going on. I went to bed with two on the couches adn  I woke to my cell-phone playing Toby Mac early this morning.  It was Annie calling from the sleep over saying she  was sick.  I stumbled out of bed realizing that Rick’s side was empty.   I found him out by the fire sleeping on a very small couch and not feeling well at all.   I started praising the Lord that I was fine as I drove off in the dark to pick up Annie.

I got home in time to stop Rick, who had dressed, and thought he was going to go driving over 2 hours away to pick up a part for his race car.   “Oh no no” I said to him, and when he listened I knew that man was not feeling well at all!!!    🙂

So I have been spending the day doing laundry, baking, working on taxes but mostly serving water, tea, Sprite and crackers to my people here.   None of them want the tea and by 2 o’clock they were starting to ask for fried chicken (which I NEVER make) or basil pasta…. things that they could in no way have after being so sick.  My sister Laurel called who is a nurse and I ran those past her and she confirmed my decision much to my daughter’s dismay.

I have continued with the dry food but I try to make it pretty.  I always like to serve them on antique plates and very antique china cups from Germany.   I want them to feel special even though they feel so miserable.   Actually it has been quite nice as I confiscated the TV remote and actually watched a Hallmark movie while I knitted next to them in the living room.   I flipped to the Olympics now and then and due to their being so sick they hardly complained.     Usually I get called bad names like “remote-contol amateur” as I do not have the 450 channels memorized and sometimes forget how to get back to the last channel viewed.

Well, I got them last week.   I changed the password and locked down the setting to PG with blocks even then.  Hey Hey Hey, let’s see who the amateur is now!   All of the sudden everyone needs their Mom!    I know my time is limited with this new found power.  I am married to a command man and he is not going to put up with his house improvement shows being blocked for much longer.  Enjoying it while I have it!!

Anyway…. back to the people laying all over the living room.

I did let Annie have a whole can of Sprite and just now I made some Macaroni and Cheese which is a huge treat in our house.  It is the only thing that sounded good to them.

Rick continues to hang out in our bedroom, on our couch, bundled in blankets, cooperating with what I offer him to take and drink.  Man!………….  he must be really sick!     “)

Caring for my family,


Ok………. she is just plain cute! We were given this little outfit for her and since we are in the north woods it is fitting to have something on her when she heads outside. She is so adorable and actually innocent looking…. she fools you!   Leave a comment

Posted February 14, 2010 by joyfulhouse in Around the house, Family

Kefir process   Leave a comment

I am enjoying so much the learning process with kefir.   Below are the pictures to show what things look like, but  I will explain the process here first.

The first thing to deal with in the morning is straining the kefir.  I use a plastic strainer over a larger bowl to strain the kefir from the grains.   I shake it well to get all of the grains out and then I rinsed the grains.  I have started to rinse the grains about once a week and have seen a huge acceleration in the production and quality of grains.  They are now larger and starting to make a type of web off of the grain, all of which is good.   After rinsing the grains I put them back into the kefir jar and add milk in ratio to the amount of grains I have.  I have read many different ratios but for me it has been working to use about 1/4 cup grains to 2 + cups of milk.   I use a loose fitting top on the jar and leave it to sit on the counter.  Every now and then as I pass through the kitchen I give the jar a swirl to stir up the mixture.  Never shake….. it is a loose fitting top remember!!!!

This morning I was making bread and so my kefir all went into the bread.   My kefir has taken six weeks to become really good but some mornings like this morning when everyone is sick I use it for other needs.   I have used it in waffles and have found it to give the waffles and incredible texture which we enjoy but I guess leaves the birds wondering!  See post below about that!

We have made smoothies but that was weeks ago and there was still a strong yeast scent which put off the girls.  The last week that scent has left and I think I am finally on to a good tasting ( and smelling) kefir.   The health benefit of this drink is so beneficial and I am looking forward to using it daily as a drink and then using the leftovers for baking.

I will keep you updated on my progress with kefir!

Posted February 14, 2010 by joyfulhouse in Kitchen Life

Kefir photos.   Leave a comment

Posted February 13, 2010 by joyfulhouse in Gardening and Canning, Kitchen Life

Rick practicing to be a grandpa. We are SO ready……… :) Mia was not sure of his hat!   Leave a comment

Posted February 13, 2010 by joyfulhouse in Around the house, Family