Thursday, January 27, 2011

One Year Ago.

One year ago today we were boarding a plane for one of the most amazing trips of my life.  We were headed to INDIA!!  If you want to read about it, I did blog about our experience as we traveled, updating with photos from our point and shoot camera.  Here are the links in order:

From Gujarat to Uttar Pradesh
From Agra to Paradise in Rishikesh
Happy Holi!
From Jungle to Jungle
I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts!

Please come look at all my favourite photos from the trip:
Part 1
Part 2

Here's just a taste...
ps: all the animals photographed here are wild! If you read the blog entries I tell you all about the times in the jungle!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I Heart Whole Wheat Bread.

On Christmas I received bread pans! Three in fact. Perfect! Since being back in Toronto I have been sort of obsessed over baking bread. There's many reasons why you should bake your own bread.
1. It's cheap
2. It's easy
3. It's healthy or healthier
4. Fresh baked bread tastes incredible
5. The smell! To have your whole place smell like a bakery is just THE BEST!!!

I was under the impression that making your own bread was rather difficult and time consuming, when in fact, it's the opposite. I know that it takes anywhere between 1 hour to like 5 days to make a loaf of bread, but there's very little work involved. Most of the time is spent unattended. I also discovered how a food processor is the best for making the dough in. Seriously, food processors are incredible. Over the past few weeks I have made white breads, whole wheat breads and cinnamon raisin breads. My fave...the whole wheat. It's plain, I know, but oh so useful. Fresh out of the oven you could lather it in butter and jam, or even just butter. Or garlic and butter and eat with pasta! Have it for breakfast lunch or with supper. Mmmmmmm. Anyway, you get what I'm saying. It's also the one I have mastered. So from here, I will branch out making different kinds involving seeds and flax and oats and who knows what else...maybe poppy seeds?! And as I master other types, I will post the recipes as well.

Okay so what you're gonna need is:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons (or a bit more) honey
2 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
1 to 1 1/3 cups warm milk

Now place flour, salt and yeast in the food processor. Mix for about 10 seconds. Then while the food processor is still mixing, put down the shoot the butter, honey and milk. Then mix for another 30 to 40 seconds. The dough should be barely sticky. If it's too dry, add milk about a tablespoon at a time and then mix for another 10 seconds...or add flour if it's too dry (very unlikely). Now take it out and knead it for a few minutes. Grease a large bowl with oil or butter. Shape the dough in to a ball and then place in the greased bowl.

Cover the bowl with a damp towel and place the bowl in a warmish place...maybe need a radiator or heat vent. Let the dough rise for 6-12 hours.

Then deflate the ball of dough and reform back into a ball and let sit on a lightly floured counter top for 15-20 minutes.

From there, pat down the dough into a rectangle shape.

Place in a oiled or buttered bread pan and pat down with the back of your hand.

Then cover with a damp towel and let sit for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the top of the loaf lightly with water. Bake for about 40-45 minutes. It's done when if you tap the bottom of the pan it sounds hollow. Remove from heat and cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes or more before you eat the best bread ever.

This is a very forgiving recipe, so if you want to let it rise longer at either rising point, go ahead, or if you don't have time to let it rise so long, don't worry. Just remember, the longer it rises, the more flavourful and fluffy it will be. If you want to let it slow rise for up to 5 days, just put it in the fridge.
Good luck!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Isn't this a great photo taken by my husband?
We've been home (Toronto) from home (Winnipeg) for over 2 weeks now and it feels like forever ago. Maybe because so many things have happened in this time (some good friends had their baby, there was an adoption in the family, we had a battle with Wynn Family Properties because we had no heat - btw NEVER rent from this company) and Adelaide has grown significantly and has learned so much! As of January 5th, she was 10 pounds, so I am sure she's well in to her 11th going on 12th pound. It's incredible how fast she grows out of clothes. She'll wear it one day and then by the time I do laundry and she goes to wear it's too small.

Since we've been home Adelaide has put herself on a schedule. I just followed her lead. I demand feed of course and let her sleep as much or as little as she wants. It's so amazing having a bit of routine and completely effortlessly on my part. She takes 3 or 4 naps a day and sleeps through the night!! Like she goes to bed at 9:30ish and sleeps until noon the next day, waking up 2 or 3 times very briefly for a top up! Since we have a family bed and I breastfeed, I just pull her closer to me so it's completely effortless.

During the day I play music all day and have the curtains open so it's bright and sunny and I go on with my day making noise as I need to and she sleeps through it all. Here's me folding laundry as she naps.
But at night time I close the door and turn off the lights. I've been consistent with this from the beginning so she could differentiate between night and day. I thought going out would be difficult with the schedule she likes, but she's just so flexible. When we go out she just carries on with her thing, sometimes feeds or socializes or sleeps, and then when it's time to go home, she falls asleep in her baby carrier and we just put her in to bed when we get home and she carries on sleeping until the morning. I cannot believe how delightful she is. I feel like somethings gonna change soon...right? Either way, I am so enjoying this. So content and rarely fussy.

I can't believe almost 10 weeks have past since she was born. I feel so much more confident now and things just come naturally. I am so loving being a Mum! My day is spent cleaning, playing, reading and baking bread. I accomplish this while she's napping and thanks to my cousin Fiona who lent us her Over the Shoulder Baby Holder sling, I can get things done AND hold baby at the same time.

Sometimes she sits in this bouncy chair that we got from my parents and she watches me bake as she cheers me on.

She's so strong now too! She loves standing and sitting. She has such great neck support and control.

She shows more interest in toys too, so I made a little play area which we hang out in several times a day.

It's just incredible HOW fast she's become this little person who's so full of emotions! When she cries there's real tears and when she smiles or squeals it's not followed by a fart or poop!

The smiles are so incredible though, one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen, (and I'm pretty well traveled so I've seen a lot of things, lol.)

Heather Bays | Promote your Page too