Tuesday, January 31, 2012


My friend, Maggie, sent me an adorable dinosaur sandwich cutter.  I'm starting to accumulate a nice little collection of lunch box tools and accessories.  To (somewhat) organize my pantry and drawers, I use these large, glass, screw-top containers.  They're great because I can easily find what I'm looking for.  These were bought to separate and store the kids' Halloween candy (I've been using them for myself since before Christmas so that gives you an idea of how long it took to devour candy that acually filled these massive jugs.  See grandparents?  The children are not that deprived).  ; )  I found these at a discount store for about $5 each.  It's a great investment due to the time it saves me when searching for specific items to turn ordinary lunches into SUPERSTARS {drop to one knee, extending both arms overhead}!  You may notice one is filled with lots of cookie cutters.  For some insane reason, I can't resist a cute cookie cutter shape.  Why do they have all those shapes for every season, occasion and celebration?  Why do I have to buy them for the 'just in case' chance I think I will need it?  How often do I make cut out cookies?  Ne----ver!  I hate making them.  It takes forever and then you have to ice them and decorate them.  By then, my clothes are out of style.  My mother is the Cut-Out-Cookie Queen.  Everyone loves her cut-outs and it is her signature cookie.  I'm not going to compete with that.  As for my shopping problem, I don't know what else to say about that.

Jurassic Nutrition
PB&J on homemade wheat bread with wheat thins over baby spinach, bacon wrapped asparagus, brocolli and blueberries

I use my cookie cutters for lunches.  I'll cut out shapes from bread and cheese and I use them to shape sticky rice.  Save the scrapes for making bread crumbs or for a dinner recipe if it calls for cheese.  I also cut out shapes from fully cooked pancakes and french toast for a change of pace.  You can buy metal shapes, with handles, for the griddle to create fun pancakes.  Fortunately, I can resist those, which makes total sense, since I make a lot of pancakes *sigh.*

One way to cope with the long, winter season is by baking bread in a cozy, warm kitchen.  I found and slightly modified this recipe for wheat bread on allrecipes.com.  I like it because it calls for honey.  This bread is easy to make although you have to let the bread rise and that can takes some time.  The kids enjoy helping knead the bread.  I do too.  It's very therapeutic.

Simple Whole Wheat Bread
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 3 Hours
Servings: 36
3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45
degrees C)
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
5 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1.In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
2.Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
3.Punch down, and divide into 2 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
4.Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely
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