Dr. Seuss Day 2014

Mark your calendars, March 2, 2014 is NEA’s Read Across America Day.  In honor of Dr. Seuss, here is a great recipe for Dr. Seuss Bread originally found here.  I took a very good bread recipe and made it in my bread machine on the dough cycle.  (If you don’t have a bread-maker recipe can visit Sandwich Bread Recipe  to see  a fabulous FRUGALICIOUS recipe).

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Dr Seuss Bread 1

Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces, using a dough scraper or knife {just eyeball it}.  Mix in the food coloring to each dough ball to get the colors of the rainbow; since the food coloring is liquid you will probably need to mix in a bit more flour with the coloring to keep a nice, not too sticky dough {make sure you keep them separate and you probably don’t want to set them on your counter, they may stain it with the colors}:
RED: red food coloring
ORANGE: a combination of red and yellow food
coloring
YELLOW: yellow food coloring
GREEN: most basic packages of food coloring
have green in them, although if yours doesn’t mix a combination of yellow and
blue
BLUE: blue food coloring
VIOLET/PURPLE: a combination of red and
blue food coloring

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To assemble the RAINBOW, lightly grease your work surface and your rolling pin. Roll the red out to a roughly 11 x 14 inch rectangle, then place it on another greased surface {I used a 11 x 14 inch cutting board}Repeat the rolling process for all other colors (oil surface and rolling pin before each color to prevent sticking); layering them on top of each other in the order of the rainbow. (Stretch as needed to make them as close to the same size as you can; the oil makes them easy to move if needed.) Layer in any order you feel called to.

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Roll the dough out into a larger rectangle; about 1/2 inch thick.  Grease  (9 x 5) loaf pan very well and Carefully roll the rectangle dough into a “log”.

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Place the dough rolls in the prepared loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place loaf pan on the top of the oven, cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise about 30-45 minutes(the heat from the preheating oven will help the dough rise).  Bake loaves in preheated oven for about 30 minutes.

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Wait 5-10 minutes and remove bread from pans, place on wire rack to cool completely (cool completely before cutting, to be able to cut nice slices).

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This is Kinely’s lunch today!  The kiddos LOVED eating every bite!  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

Watermelon Look-Alike Raisin Bread

One of the most exciting things about life is trying new things right?  After making this Dr Seuss Bread a few months ago, I came across this recipe for Watermelon Look-Alike Raisin Bread and couldn’t resist…  You can find this recipe and helpful video for Watermelon Look-Alike Raisin Bread by going to yoyomax website. Instead of using the bread recipe she listed, I used Two Frugal Gals Sandwich Bread recipe It was super fun to make.  You can also use chocolate chips instead of raisins if your wanting something a little sweeter.  Enjoy!!

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What you’ll need:

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 tbsp white granulated sugar

1 cup milk

1 egg yolk 3/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened (I used salted butter, not enough salt to make a difference)

2 1/4 tsp instant active dry yeast (1 envelope or 8g)

3/4 cup raisins

Mix milk, butter and egg yolk together in a large bowl and place in microwave for 40-60 seconds until mixture feels very warm to the touch.  Add sugar, salt and yeast and mix together. Blend in one cup of flour with a spoon or whisk. Blend in second cup of flour with spoon, dough will pull away from sides, You want the dough to be wet and sticky but firm enough to cut it into halves or quarters. Divide the dough in half. Cut one of the halves into two pieces. Place the smaller pieces into individual bowls. Leave the whole half in the big bowl.  Add red or pink (or both) food color to the largest portion of dough and stir until combined, add in about 3/4 of a cup of raisins.  Stir until raisins are incorporated into the dough, Then add small amount of flour and stir until you can’t stir any more. Turn out onto a counter and knead the bread dough, sprinkling small amounts of flour onto the counter if the bread dough sticks. Continue to knead for about 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Poke any raisins that fall out back into the dough ball. Either coat the dough ball lightly with oil or flour and place in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size.

Repeat the above procedure with one of the small pieces of dough by adding green food color to it and then enough flour to be able to knead it. Knead until smooth and elastic and place in a covered bowl and allow rising until doubled.  Repeat same process with last small piece of white dough. Only add flour and knead (no food color required).Once dough balls have doubled in size (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours) do the following.  Place the red dough ball on the counter lightly dusted with flour. Punch down to remove large air bubbles and roll into a log shape, making it as smooth as possible. The length of the red log should be the length of the bottom of your bread pan.  Roll out the white dough ball with a rolling pin until large enough to completely cover the red log. Brush some milk on the red log and on the white piece of dough and then wrap the white piece around the red log. Make sure all the red is covered and pinch the seams firmly to seal. Roll out the green piece of dough large enough to cover the now white log shape. Brush with milk and wrap completely around the white log, covering it completely and pinching seams to seal.  Place the completed dough log into a greased loaf pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap (I greased my plastic wrap lightly so it wouldn’t stick to the dough) and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about an hour).Bake at 375 for about 20-25 minutes.  Bake it until the outside is nice golden brown and when you tap on the loaf it makes a hollow sound.  Let cool slightly in the pan and then remove and let cool on a wire rack. As much as you might want to cut it right away, wait until cool. A hot loaf releases lots of steam when cut and this is moisture that you want to keep inside the loaf, it will help the bread stay moister longer.

A Word about Thrift Shops…..

Fryer

I have been looking for a small dresser or nightstand that I want to re-purpose for my bathroom.  What that really means is that I have spent LOTS of time visiting thrift shops.  This week I found 2 GREAT finds!

You all know about my shameless love affair with my bread machine.  (Yes…I need therapy.)  Well….it works fine, but often times I have to unplug it in order to get the buttons to function correctly.  So when I came across one that is almost the EXACT same as mine in the thrift shop for $9, I snatched it up and skipped to the check out counter.  (Seriously….I practically started a flash mob right there in the store!!!!)

THEN….in the very next store I went into, I found a deep fryer for $9.  Every now and then I think to myself, I need a fryer!  You know…like when you want to make homemade doughnuts!

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(I think I just gained 5 pounds!!!)

Anyways….I wanted to take the time to tell you how much I love thrift stores.  Whether it is a local one or Goodwill or Salvation Army.  I. LOVE. THEM.

You always need to be careful when shopping.  You don’t want to over pay for things.  If I am shopping around and I find something that I THINK is a good deal, I put my phone to good use.  Look it up and see what it goes for new.  If the gap is significant…..go for used!!

I love old furniture.  It is made of quality wood.  The new stuff I have purchased over the last few years may look nice when I bring it home, but it scratches easily and gets wobbly.  The older stuff doesn’t do that.  I am making it my new goal to learn how to re-finish furniture.  (In other words….I will be posting my newest projects soon!!!!)  Thrift shops are a GREAT place to find old furniture.

Costumes, kitchen items, small appliances, and toys are always good second-hand.  (Last year I bought a HUGE tub of lincoln logs for $4.  Those things are like $30 retail.  My kids have built some stellar cabins with my cheap find.)

Many thrift shops have even better sales.  With Goodwill they try to turn over their stuff in 30 days.  Each week when new items are brought into the store they are assigned a color.  That color changes every week. After four weeks, they put everything in a certain color on sale for 30% off.  (If it makes it 30 days….it goes on sale.)  Make sure you check out the signs at the front to see what the specials are for the week!

Most Salvation Army stores around Houston have half-price clothes days on Wednesdays.  My girls have lots of brand name jeans that I paid a buck or two for on sale!  They also have specials every week.  Check out signage at the front of the store when you go in.

Lastly…..don’t be ashamed!  By being a savvy shopper and saving money…..you are blessing your family.  We are trying to save up to take a vacation to New York at the end of the year.  Every time we find something for a bargain, my kids cheer about how the savings can go into the vacation fund!    They LOVE saving money!

What are your Thrift Store success stories??????

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

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This bread makes the BEST french toast.  A frugalirific favorite in our house!!!!

I start this recipe out in my bread machine on the dough cycle.  I just throw the ingredients in the machine in this order:

3 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup oil

2 TBS sugar

1 tsp salt

2 1/4 tsp.  yeast

(If you don’t have a bread machine, mix the ingredients and knead until the dough is no longer sticky.  Then let it rise in a bowl for about an hour.)

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This is what the dough looks like when the cycle is complete.

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Roll out the dough.

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Spread 2 TBS of butter over the dough.

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Sprinkle with cinnamon.

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Roll the dough and tuck the ends under.

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Place in a greased bread pan, cover and let rise for 35-45 minutes. Then bake on 350 for 25 minutes.

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Remove from the pan and let it cool.

ENJOY!!!!

Bread Machine…. I LOVE YOU!

photo(3)I have a confession to make.  I. Love. My. Bread. Machine.

This has not always been the case.  It was a wedding gift that I used once and then it sat in the box for about twelve years.  About a year ago, I was cleaning out the garage and came across it.  I carried it to the kitchen determined to put it to use.

Here is the thing, I NEVER actually cook bread in it.  It makes funny shaped loves and it is too crunchy for my taste.  But what it does have is……….. a dough cycle.  Oh, the wonderful little handle at the bottom willing to slave itself away so I don’t have to knead bread.

Of all my small kitchen appliances, this one is at the top!  I make sandwich bread, hot dog buns, hawaiian bread, dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, garlic loaves and pizza crust.

Making your own bread products is incredibly easy with a machine, and it saves you a lot of money.  It will cost a minimum of $2 to buy any one of those items.  That is not too much, but in the course of a week you could make all of them combined for just a little more than that!  For our family of 7, I can shave about $10/week ($520/year) off my grocery bill simply by making my bread products rather than buying them.  It honestly only takes about 2 minutes of my time to throw the ingredients in, take them out, shape them and put them in the oven.

These machines can be pretty pricey.  It is an investment up front to buy a new one, but in the long run would be worth it.  If you want to be FRUGAL-RIFIC, you can pick one up second hand.  I have seen them in many garage sells, discount shops, and even at good will for about $10!

What are some of your favorite homemade bread products or recipes?  I would LOVE to try them 🙂

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