Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bread Bonanza

At some point I grew weary of paying $5.99 a loaf for Dave's Killer Bread. My friend turned me on to "the bread store." The one closest to us is the Franz outlet. They have organic whole wheat bread 5 loaves for $7. Unfortunately, while it is very close it's just on a path I don't travel often. So I go infrequently, stock up and freeze. This plan would be awesome except the 5 for $7 shelf isn't always stocked. I could always buy 2 for $4, but it irks my soul when I know I could get 5 for $7 is I went at the right moment. Also they are closed on Sunday and I feel like I want to buy bread on lots of Sundays. We tear through the bread and Reese refuses to eat the crust or the accompanying 1/2 inch. So we tear through the bread AND waste bread. While I have not thrown myself into making the perfect bread I've dabbled and been left wanting. Until now...which will forever more be known as the Benza family Bread Bonanza.

First I emailed Jessica seeking advice for making "crustless" sandwich bread. She advised a Pullman Pan would best deliver the results I've been seeking. She advised she had yet to perfect a recipe. Second I emailed JessieLeigh asking for a recipe. She recommended her tried and true bread recipe that has been her go to recipe for some time. Third I fired up my Amazon Prime Smile account I bought myself a pullman pan with 2 day shipping. It arrived today. A day with a break in the heat wave we've had in this record breaking summer. So it was baking day!

The recipe makes 3 9x4x4 loaves. The directions seemed to allow for baking all 3 together though it didn't explicitly say.  As Scarlet had an eye doctor appointment I decided to go ahead and risk it being wrong and bake them simultaneously. So I used a Pampered Chef Stoneware Bread pan, a cheapie from Walmart dark metal baking pan and my brand spanking new Pullman Pan.
 The recipe specified to "grease" the pan. Normally I'd use a baking spray that has the flour mixed in, but I am completely out.  I also have no crisco solid type stuff so I used a Safeway Organics Canola Oil spray, no added flour to grease all 3. All 3 popped out of their pan with ease. No sticking to the sides or broken off pieces at all. I like the appearance of slight browning all over on the 2 open top pans, but...
You can see both of the traditional bread pans produce bread that looks like banana bread or zuchini bread, kind of short and squat, not "sandwich" bread, a lovely square. The pullman pan produced the coveted sandwich size and shape!!! Miraculous!! And really have you noticed that even though all modern wheat bread is jumbo sized all the sandwich packing tools for lunchboxes are still square shaped. 
The taste test met with approval. Even the 2 open top pans produced a crust thin and light enough for Reese to agree to eat it and declare I am the best cook in the world. ;) The pullman pan's shape is so loved Kyle wanted to know why on earth I hadn't purchased 3 so we could bake 3 square loaves at once. Why indeed? Next up, firing up the amazon prime smile account again.

***Amazon SMILE allows you to donate money to your favorite charity everytime you make an amazon purchase. There are lots of options, of course, but please consider choosing the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation. I went to college with Catherine's mom. Jenny continues to amaze me with her grace and strength since losing her daughter in the Sandy Hook tragedy. The Hubbard family has found a beautiful way to honor their daughter. My SMILE goes to her foundation.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Playing Catch Up

I lost my camera on Vacation in August 2012. So I lacked photos. So I stopped blogging altogether. I will now attempt to get us caught up. 
2013 began with out "traditional" birth of the new year cake. I think this is the second year...maybe 3rd that we did this.  In January I was on at home bed rest.

Because I just could not go down to the basement for diapers I forced Gus to potty train by lying about having no diapers. I let him wear sweat pants with no underwear. He cried and carried on and eventually fell asleep on the couch. Feet on the floor, body on the couch, pants around his thighs, wanker hanging out. When he woke up he agreed to pee on the potty. The training took forever!

Since I had gestational diabetes with this pregnancy I had to check in the night before to have my glucose checked through the night. To save a day of leave, Kyle went to work. I went out to eat my last meal with my friend, Anya, and then she dropped me off at the hospital. This is how giant I was!!

On Friday February 1st Scarlet was born!

Luckily her brothers are really happy to have her! Kyle took off of work for three full weeks. Woo Hoo!  We settled in much more easily than when Gus arrived. Adding #2 is much more overwhelming than adding #3.

Scarlet was surprisingly an itty bitty 5 pounds 10 ounces. Since she was 39 weeks and I had gestational diabetes we were all expecting her to be a it heavier. 

On February 16, 2013 Reese turned 6. We had a birthday party at home with just the grandparents. I believe this was the real beginning of Legomania if memory serves.

One Month Old! 

Two Months Old!

Three Months Old!

Four Months Old!

June 26, 2013 Gus turned 4!

Five Months Old!

Happy 4th of July! I hope you enjoyed the fireworks as much as these boys did! 

Reese, 6; Gus 4; Scarlet SIX Months Old!

First trip to the aquarium, Seven Months Old!

 Eight Months Old! This is before she broke Reese's super glasses! SO sad he only got to wear these about 3 months. 

Happy Halloween!!

Nine Months Old!  Solo and with the bros.

 Happy Thanksgiving!

Ten Months Old!

Sunday, January 6, 2013


 At some point soon I'll go back and bring the blog up to date, but my shower was today and since it was totally awesome I need to blog about it RIGHT NOW!
35 weeks and 2 days! So nice of people to stick with the pink and orange theme for the gift bags in the background.
 My dearest friend, Anya, hosted and she made the most fabulous decorations!!!
Do you see the cuteness???? That is a canner rack holding quart sized jars filled with orange and pink tissue paper and tissue paper flowers! Love it!!
 This was hanging above the food and pink tissue paper puff balls and SUPER cute girl outfits on the clothes line!!
 Here's a wider view of the mirror I was standing in front of and the "flower" set up on the coffee table.
  The menu board on the chalkboard door.

 I look kind of hideous...I think I was asking how I should stand for the photo. But I want to show you the food table. I'm right next to the adorable quilted mason jars wrapped in pink with a cup of super cute polka dot straws and the pitcher of pink lemonade.

 The game set up...instructions and the sign up sheet. They had to guess how many TP squares would fit around my belly.
 This cute little station is a table wearing an apron!!!! So cute!!! Everyone wrote a sweet note on a little birdie to hang on the string tree on the wall.
 Then we did the games...
 I really hope these ladies did not understand the you see how many squares of toilet paper they guessed would fit around me???? Take a look at your tp roll and then you'll get a better idea of how giant they think I look.
um.....the correct answer was 11, if you were wondering.

 They had to draw a baby on a paper plate on top of their head...
 ...this is harder than you may imagine...
 ...she was too quick for my camera.

Then we did presents!!
 One friend made some really cute lovies, burp cloths and a coming home hat!! I LOVE them!!!
 I got really good gifts, but these gift opening photos are the ones where I personally look the best! I want to be the least gross on my own blog that I can get, ha ha!
 More guests.....
...and the host getting her baby fix with the youngest guest and only boy. I think He was craning his neck to look at the cake being eaten nearby. 

We had such a fun time! I am so lucky to have a great bunch of friends!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

 The costume issue this Halloween was much more difficult than usual as Gus now has an opinion. Reese decided ages before Halloween to be Hawkeye (an Avenger). For the Library party he was Hawkeye and Gus was Spiderman. Gus listened intently to the stories.
He also sand along with the songs and followed the hand motions. We were supposed to make some kind of Zombie craft, but Reese suddenly told me he was too tired and wanted to go home. I felt really sad for Gus, who was a great time, but he was pretty agreeable to it was a quickie party.

We had some apple cider while Daddy carved the pumpkin. Reese hated it.
 They opted for a spiderman pumpkin this year. We just couldn't pull it together to do all the fancy pumpkins we found on pinterest!
 See that big chunk? A squirrel tried to eat our pumpkin!!!
 Cuties during pumpkin carving.

 For the big event we'd been REALLY talking up the other Avengers. I wanted Gus to be another Avenger so people may understand that Reese was Hawkeye...he's not exactly the most well known character. Well, after all the Hulk, Captain America and Thor hype...Reese changed his mind and decided to be Thor! ha ha! Luckily we've had this costume in the dress up bin for ages.
 Gus decided to be Scooby Doo. Once he saw the costume he could not be swayed.  He looked adorable, but I could not get him to smile for a photo.
It rained, HARD, on Halloween so we decided to go to the mall for Trick or Treating. What a crazy mad house!!! It was a huge, slow moving, line around the mall. Almost all the stores were "out of candy" by the time we got to them and quite a few had lame stickers. OH it was a monster disappointment for Kyle and I, but given the choice to leave and head to Walmart to pick out candy of their choosing Reese was adamant that he wanted to keep trick or treating...ugh, it was misery. 

I really hope next year it doesn't rain!