White Bread Recipe Step By Step

This recipe is for a basic white bread. This dough can be used as a base for just about anything. Add raisins and you have raisin bread, add blueberries and cinnamon brown sugar and roll it and you have a wonderful breakfast bread or braid it and top it with pepperoni and cheese and you have pizza bread. Or bake it just as it is and have an amazing turkey sandwich for lunch.

This recipe makes 2 large loaves and 1 smaller loaf. Start off with 4 cups of warm water then add 2 tablespoons of yeast, 2 tablespoon of salt, 1/4 cup of sugar and a 1/4 cup of shortening.

Either by hand or with a mixer with dough attachment, mix the ingredients together for about a minute to activate the yeast.

Next add in about 4 cups of all purpose flour or bread flour. Mix to incorporate. Keep adding more flour a cup at a time (you’ll need 9 to 11 cups) until a soft ball forms in the center of the bowl or the dough is no longer sticky. If mixing by hand, knead the dough for about 5 minutes adding flour when needed to keep it from sticking. If mixing with a dough hook and mixer let the mixer do it’s job and knead for 5 minutes.

Beautiful and fully risen!
Loaf fully risen and ready to go into the oven

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the bottom is golden brown. You can pop the bread out of the pan to check the bottom and then slide it back in the pan if it needs more time.

Hope you enjoyed this bread making tutorial. I’ll be adding the recipe to my new recipes page soon. Have a great week! -MM

Getting Rid of our Junk Week 4 of 54

For week 4, I pulled a Joker. This is the highest card to pull and thankfully there are only 2 of them.

Oh did I have fun with this card. Last Saturday with it being so gloomy I turned my phone off, turned on Blue Bloods in the bedroom and spent 3 hours going through all of my clothes, linens, closet, dresser and bedding. Then I added in my son’s bedding and the clothes he wanted to donate. In all I collected 11 bags of clothes and linens to put in the collection box at the Methodist church. I also washed a couple of winter coats and have 2 quilts in the car ready to go to the dry cleaner. The beds were stripped, linens washed and put back on both beds.

Paperwork wise I went through a few things from my Rotary Club notebooks that I didn’t need anymore and recycled all of it.

Upstairs I packaged up and returned a set of dishes to someone that hadn’t gotten a bite on my Estsy site, which is too bad because they were pretty Wedgwood and another covered dish went back to another friend that didn’t sell.

Lastly I went through screenshots on my phone and deleted 263 photos. And that completed my Joker card for 500. Whew! That was a lot!

It was a fantastic day of going through and purging. I hope to duplicate that day again soon. I love how clean and organized our bedroom is now. Absolutely amazing feeling!

For week 5 I have pulled a Queen. Sheesh! What are the odds?

Thank you all so much for the encouraging words about this year long purge. Many of you have jumped aboard and started purging too. I love that! See you all next week -MM

Project – Joyce’s Rose

I have been a stitcher for over 35 years and have completed so many projects. Some I have given as gifts and some I have kept for myself.

The project I am currently working on is very special to me. Both my mother-in-law and father-in-law have dementia. It’s been very hard because there is no real caregiver with both of them suffering fromΒ  it. We live 2 hours away and my husband goes to see them almost every weekend now.

I was poking around in my mom-in-law’s china cabinet one day and I found the dishes she used for special occasions. It’s an older pattern from the 60s but it has such a clear, distinct rose design. I photographed it and scanned the photo into my WinStitch pattern maker PC program. After a few adjustments and removal of any background color I had a very big and very stitchable pattern to work from.

Here is the original dish and the photo I took and finally the pattern I made.

I have since divided up the pattern into 12 sections so I can get one section done a month (or more if I have time).

I have completed 3 sections and am almost done with the 4th. Here is my progress so far.

I was a little nervous about making my own pattern especially with a project this large but so far I think it is turning out nicely. I hope to get the rest of section 4 done in the next 2 days which means I will be a quarter of the way through! Believe me there is a lot more to stitch 😊

I am stitching on 32 ct beige linen which I have already had to frog a couple of times because if I am off a half a stitch it throws everything off…sigh.

Finally for this post here are my lovely in-laws Bob and Joyce who have been married since 1960. The project is called Joyce’s Rose and I would very much like to finish it by the end of the year in her honor.

I’ll keep you all updated on my progress each month. -MM

Week 17 – What We are Eating and How Much We Spent on Groceries

It’s been a few weeks since I posted what we are eating and grocery costs. In week 15 I spent about $200 on all kinds of fun stuff so for weeks 16 and 17 I haven’t spent much at all. Week 16 was $48.96 and this week I spent $49.17.

The only meat I bought this week was a pack of 6 Italian sausage links and last night we had 4 of them with corn and green beans. Tonight we are going to have big salads with the other 2 leftover sausages and some leftover pork tenderloin. I won a frozen turkey at a meat raffle a couple of weeks ago so tomorrow with it being 30 degrees I’ll roast that for our dinner. That turkey should carry us through the rest of the week!

For breakfasts the boys have just been eating their Eggo waffles but I have been really enjoying the quiche so again this week I’ll use up the rest of the bacon, plus add broccoli and cheese to it. Quiche are great for using up those extra leftovers in the fridge.

I also want to get some baking done to use up some fruits and such in the freezers and some of the jam before the new years canning season starts. I even have a quart of grape juice in the freezer that I need to make jelly with.

The goal the rest of the year is spending less than $100 a week on groceries until the garden is in full swing then from June till fall my goal is to spend less than $55 per week. Think I can do it? I am pretty sure I can πŸ™‚

There is one more thing before I sign off today…I would love to blog about more things each week. There are so many things like recipes, cooking, baking, stitching, gardening, canning and preserving that I would like to write about but I guess I have been overly cautious about overwhelming everyone’s inboxes. If you don’t mind then I’ll go ahead. I guess I’ll let you decide which posts you have time and want to read right?

That’s it for now! Have a fantastic week πŸ™‚ -MM

Getting Rid of our Junk Week 3 of 54

I had an interesting response from a reader after last week’s post. The reader loved the idea of clearing the clutter in her own home but didn’t feel that they really had that much stuff and she would struggle with the high cards such as the Kings which would be 100 items.

I want to explain my philosophy with this card game and clearing clutter from my life. The large number cards I reserve to go through my filing cabinets and get rid of paperwork and the small number cards I generally reserve for larger items like furniture and small appliances.

But remember this whole project’s goal is to declutter and clear out the stuff that is taking up space in our lives so that could also mean emotional mind space. You could delete 100 emails that you have been procrastinating on or trash 500 photos from your phone that keep you from feeling organized because it takes an hour to find what you are looking for.

We all individually set what the number on the card means for us. You could even use the cards to finish certain projects. (Example: Paint one chair for 50 which would be a Queen).

For week 3 I pulled a 3. I have to admit I struggled because I wasn’t ready to get rid of any more large items so I decided to do something else with the 3 card. I have been procrastinating about getting some things done with the Farmers Market stuff I needed to do. I am the Market Manager for our Town’s weekly summer market. This stuff has been weighing on me and for the purpose of this card game I decided to use the 3 to get this stuff done and off my mind.

I completed 3 things for the Market this week:

  • Completely updated the market’s website with current info for the 2022 season.
  • Filled out and submited the market’s paperwork to NY state
  • Updated the Market’s info on Local Harvest which hadn’t been done in over 10 years.

I am happy to say I got all of that done in only a few hours and off my mind for the year. See how that works? That emotional mind space is now clear of to-do list clutter.

For Week 4 I pulled a Joker. Yikes, that means a 500! That’s ok…I have lots of paperwork to toss 😁

If you would like to check out the LeRoy Farmers Market’s updated website please click on leroyfarmersmarket.wordpress.com

Happy decluttering! -MM

Getting Rid of our Junk Week 2 of 54

It’s already week 2 and I pulled a 4 for this week. A small card means large items need to be hauled out.

The smaller the number on the card means the larger the item I get rid of. 😁

We have a usable attic in this house and in the past it was my grandfather’s train room. From one side to the other were train tracks and the walls were decorated with landscapes. I have been working to clean it out so my husband can use it for a train room too but there were some larger items in there that I was procrastinating on removing.

The highchair has been in my family for multiple generations and it always had a prominent spot in the kitchen. I feel a little bad about it leaving but modern highchairs are much more comfortable for little ones and if I need a highchair for my future grandchildren I’ll use the one my mom has. The orange 60’s chair I am sure can be recovered and cleaned up by someone, the Christmas tree is just something I don’t use anymore and the half painted black chair is an old school desk chair and is really heavy duty but again, needs a fresh coat of paint and we don’t need it.

All four of these items will be going to the church sale.

One thing to note…there are two steps to this cleaning out operation, one is identifying and boxing up the items for removal and two, actually getting them out the door to their new homes. The key to the success of decluttering a home is the follow through. All of these items so far are indeed out of the house.

Total items decluttered and out of the house = 79

Card pulled for week 3….a 3! Imagine that!

That’s it for now! Join me next week to see what goes πŸ™‚ -MM

New Blog Series – Getting Rid of our Junk Week 1 of 54

Welcome to my newest blog series! This series has been something I have thought about writing for a while. Last week when the Hubs was gone on vacation I looked at all of our stuff and I had a mini break down.

For some people, having lots of stuff is a comfort to them but for others, like me it is suffocating.

Over the course of 54 weeks I will be getting rid of our excess stuff. Whether we donate it, give it away or throw it out, one way or another all of it will be out the door in some permanent form.

How am I going to accomplish this you ask? I am going to use a game I played as a child which I still use to this day to motivate myself each week. It involves playing cards. I know this sounds a bit strange but hear me out.

A deck of playing cards is 52 cards but with the jokers the deck totals 54. Each week I will draw a card from the deck and whatever the value of the card is, that will be the amount of stuff I get rid of for the week. Cards 2 through 10 will be face value but Jacks are 25, Queens are 50, Kings are 75 and Aces are 100. The Jokers? Well they are 500!

I plan on drawing a card each week and I will give myself until the following Wednesday to accomplish my goal.

This last Friday I pulled a King. Wow, right off the bat 75 items to gather and heave- ho…easy peasy right? Here is what I came up with:

Lots of bowls! Now that I don’t have a bakery I don’t need so many
I have always hated that red oven mitt and the rest were all stained and I had way too many.
I have never used the big tube pans, I don’t like the blue mugs, I don’t need 3 cheese graters and I had lids for pots I didn’t have anymore. All out of here!
I also started getting rid of stuff in my canning drawer but got to 75 so I will work on this later
I got rid of so many pot holders that I can probably combine what’s left with another drawer and free up more space!

By the end of the 54 weeks if all goes as planned this project will successfully remove over 2000 items from our home that we don’t need, want or use anymore. I am not saying this is going to be easy and I suspect that I will get some push back from the other person in the house but I am betting it will truly make a big difference in how we feel about our home.

Now time to pull a card for week 2…

The smaller the number on the card means the larger the item I get rid of. 😁

That’s it for now! Join me next week to see what goes πŸ™‚ -MM

Week 14 – What We are Eating and How Much We Spent on Groceries 2022

Wowsers did prices go sky high in just over a week. I hadn’t really noticed that large of an increase until this week’s shopping trip. Eggs and butter seemed to be the biggest jump for me. $4/doz for eggs and $5/lb for generic butter. Yikes!

I asked the guys about the price and Mr. Chris said their cost for eggs was $3.03/doz. That’s COST. Apparently supply chain and the bird flu are pushing egg costs up and sounds like it will stay that way for a while. Seriously I can get eggs cheaper from my farmer guy up the street, which I have been doing anyways.

Rising costs on everything makes me just want to go local as much as possible. I have never been a person who relies solely on grocery stores for my food. If I am going to pay that much for meat and eggs I might as well get them directly from the farmer here, right?

These rising costs really concern me when it comes to the small mom and pop stores though. These prices will drive people to the large chain stores like Walmart. That’s a big deal for them. Even losing 10% of their sales could really hurt them big time.

I paid $90 this week for 2 bags of groceries. The most expensive thing I bought was a chuck roast for $17.50 and 90% ground beef for $6.21.

I am keeping our meals lighter on meat this week. It’s better for us anyways.

On the menu this week:

Dinners: tacos, pot roast, soup, breakfast for dinner, grilled sandwiches, big salads

For breakfast: I plan on making another quiche and blueberry muffins. We also have lots of eggo waffles, cereal and toast.

Lunches are sandwiches, salads, pasta and leftovers

In the green house (the basement) look at the peas! Aren’t they fabulous?! I am really pleased with the grow lights so far.

How are you doing with your meals and keeping your costs down?

That’s it for now! Have a fantastic week πŸ™‚ -MM

Week 13 – What We are Eating and How Much We Spent on Groceries 2022 and the “Kids” are Up!

I spent a lot on food in general this week. I needed supplies and I have been spending way too much on baking essentials so I broke down and went to Walmart for baking stuff. Walmart is not my jam but in this instance it saves us a boat load. Here is what I bought at Walmart yesterday:

  • 30 lbs Gold Medal Flour – $5.14 for 10 lb bag
  • 10 lbs sugar – $5.34 for $10 lb bag
  • 8 lbs Confectioner’s sugar $1.62/bag
  • 6 Duncan Hines white cake mixes $1.24 ea
  • 4 Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mixes $1.24 ea
  • 2 containers of Crisco $6.44 ea
  • a gallon of vegetable oil $7.27
  • Total $59.79

I also bought 10 doz eggs from the farmer up the street, he even delivered them. $30 for those.

At the grocery store I spent approximately $111 dollars (I forgot to save the receipt). I can’t say I bought anything very expensive there. The meats were all between $5 and $6.

Total spent on groceries this week was right about $200 but I will have supplies for quite a while.

On the menu this week:

Dinners: Roasted whole chicken with cheesy rice and veggies, loaded baked potatoes, boneless ribs in the crockpot, lasagna rolls which I didn’t get done last week, pizza, potato bacon soup and the rest of the time we will wing it.

For Breakfast: Mango smoothies (I keep forgetting this one), bagels with cream cheese and quiche and oatmeal and fruit, cereal and toasted St. Joe’s bread.

Lunches are tuna cold plate, deviled eggs, and leftover soup, and big salads

In other parts of the house the kids have sprouted! I planted 100 peas and a bunch of cold weather stuff like cauliflower and broccoli. So far my new grow lights seem to be doing an adequate job but the jury is still out on them. I don’t think they are bright enough. It may seem strange that I started my peas indoors. In past years I have struggled with getting peas to germinate by direct sow. Usually the red squirrels will get to the peas I planted before they even have a chance to germinate and starting them now gives me at least a two week jump on the season. I am determined to grow enough peas to harvest and freeze for the winter next year.

It’s snowing today here in WNY and all we want to do is be outside gardening and taking walks. We hope it will be soon because winter needs to be moving along.

How are you doing with your meals and keeping your costs down?

That’s it for now! Have a fantastic week πŸ™‚ -MM

How Many Pounds of Food We Grew in 2021

Every year my goal has been to grow 1000 lbs of food out of our home victory garden. Each season I get a little closer to that goal!

2021 was a wonderful growing season for us. The peaches from the 2 trees we have were so plentiful they broke the branches. The tomatoes were overwhelmingly productive because they just loved being planted up against that pallet wall. The onions, beans, potatoes, cauliflower and don’t get me started on the zucchini all went above and beyond.

We had some misses too. Our peppers did not do well being planted next to the overbearing zucchini plants. The peas did not produce enough and the cucumbers and pumpkins just didn’t produce at all!

I tried to weigh everything we grew last year but I know there was a lot that didn’t get into the log book.

With all that said the grand total of what I entered into the harvest log book was a whopping 664 lbs of produce harvested in 2021! Not bad right?

I wonder what the average price per pound is for produce. Probably at least $2.49/lb maybe? So that works out to $1653.36. That’s huge.

Do you keep track of how much you harvest each year? I vow to do better but I am pretty darn happy with 2021’s harvest. God is good! -MM

One Hundred Dollars a Month

I am your typical housewife living in high maintenance suburbia. I have a handsome husband, 2 kids and a flock of pet chickens. I try and feed my family with $100 a month. With the help of coupons, gardening and bartering I am able to squeeze the most out of our grocery budget and still manage to have a little fun along the way.

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