Merry Christmas!



Enjoy time with your family today!

Book Review - Happier At Home by Gretchen Rubin

Happier at Home book review by Tea in the Morning Too


My sister-in-law gave me this book to read when she was finished with it. At first I thought it was a book about Stay At Home Moms. Far from it! The author does work at home, but is unlike most stay at home moms in my circles. She lives in an apartment in NYC, send her children to school, and gets up at the crack of dawn to write.

The author, Gretchen Rubin, has previously written a book called The Happiness Project that you may consider reading first, as she refers to her first book often in her second book. I haven't read the first book yet, but I plan to add it to my reading list soon.

My reading time is in spurts while I rock my littlest one to sleep for a nap in the afternoon and sometimes in the evening. Happier At Home is easy to read in short periods of time.

The author, Getchen Rubin, is a married mother of 2 young children and an author who lives in an apartment in New York City. She had decided to spend an entire year on happiness projects that would affect specifict areas of her life - as a mother, a wife, in her work life, and her own personal happiness. She wants to fill her home, and then all that revolves around her home, with greater simplicity, comfort and love. She works hard and succeeds to get her family involved with her projects themselves.

She writes with a  light touch towards self help with plenty of research, timely advise and personal tips thrown in.

Each chapter of the book is dedicated to a specific month of the year and area of her life in which she focuses on to increase her happiness.

For example September's theme is Possessions - finding her true personal simplicity. The author and I don't agree on the minimalism concept, but she does have a valid point or two. She thinks that if a whole shelf of clutter makes you happy looking at it, then you shouldn't get rid of any of it. What makes one person happy isn't the same thing that makes another happy - it's an individual matter, no de-cluttering necessary!

The author continues to focus each month on herself and her family - her children, her husband, and then her family as a whole - trying to incorporate ideas and activities to increase the happiness in each area. After focusing mainly on her family, she ventures out to her house, her time, and then her neighborhood and community.

By then end of the book she has learned a lot about herself and what she values - what makes her happiest - and created numerous memories that she can continue to enjoy for a long time.

While this is an interesting book, it's probably not on my top 10 list. It hovers between light reading and a book I feel I should be taking notes from.

I gleaned a few new ideas for myself, so I appreciate the book for that.

One idea is to make an effort to spend one on one time with each child, doing something that they enjoy. I also loved her idea of having a project that you and your husband work on together - they chose Organ Donation.

If you've read the book, let me know what you thought.

Preemie Hats - Donation to the NICU



We started this past Spring donating crocheted hats to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital's NICU in Memphis, TN.

In the Fall we made about 20 pumpkin hats that we took to the hospital ourselves to donate for their little babies in the NICU.

We had a nice thank you note from the hospital with a request for as many Christmas hats as we could crochet for them.

Amid the busyness of the season and practicing for her piano recital, Hannah and I were able to crochet 26 holiday hats to send  to Le Bonheur.

After Christmas, donations to the NICU will drop off dramatically. Consider spending your down time between Christmas and New Year's crocheting a few preemie hats for the NICU babies in your local NICU. A perfect project for a snow day too!

Here's a cute pattern to get you started. Let me know if you have any questions. Please comment on how many you make and where you send them.

They will be very much appreciated, I promise!

Larger sizes of this pattern and many other crochet patterns are available on my Etsy shop LittleMonkeyShop.


Preemie Scarlett Hat
 
 
 
Materials
 
Yarn - Worsted 4: Medium                            

Crochet Hook – Size H

Abbreviations:                              

ch – chain

st – stitches

sl st – slip stitch

sc – single crochet

dc – double crochet

hdc – half double crochet

 

Note: Work hat all in color A except use color B for the row that creates the X in the pattern.

 

Size: Preemie 4-5 lbs

Head circumference: 11.5” – 12.5”

Hat circumference: 12”

Hat height: 5”

 

Rnd 1: Magic Ring, ch 3, 10 dc in the ring, join with sl st to top of ch 3. (10dc)

Rnd 2: Ch 3, 2 dc in each dc, join with sl st. (20dc)

Rnd 3: Ch 3, *1 dc in next dc, 2 dc in following dc*, repeat around, join with sl st to top of ch 3. (30dc)

Rnd 4: Ch 3, *2 dc in the first dc, 1 dc in the next 5 dc*, repeat around, join with sl st to top of ch 3.  (35dc)

Rnd 5-6: Ch 3. Dc around, join with sl st to top of ch 3. (35dc)

Rnd 7:  Ch 3. Working in front of the ch 3, dc in the last dc from the previous row (to the rt of the sl st) (X made), *sk dc, dc in next st, dc in skipped dc (X made)*, repeat around, join with sl st to top of ch 3. (18 X)

Rnd 8: Ch 3, dc around, join with sl st to top of ch 3. (35dc)

Rnd 9: Ch 1, hdc around, join. (35hdc) Fasten off and weave in the ends.    

5 Hour Beef Stew

This is one of the easiest and most requested fall and winter dinners I make for my family.

Ingredients

1.5-2 lbs beef stew meat - I usually cut it into bite size pieces

2 cups chopped carrots

3-4 chopped potatoes

1 chopped onion

1 can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 TBL salt

3-4 TBLs Tapioca - if I have it. Otherwise I toss in a little flour

3-4 generous splashes of Worcestershire sauce

Sprinkle of Oregano or Thyme

optional - chopped bell peppers

Directions

Do not brown meat. Mix all ingredients together in a large Dutch oven or crock pot. Bake at 250F for 5-6 hours or on high in crock pot for 4-5 hours.

Enjoy!

I Want to Make a Snowman!


I saw these snowman posted online and I had to try them out. I knew my almost 2 year old little boy would love one! Plus they would look really cute sitting on my mantle - adding a little seasonal touch to the decoration.

My nine year old daughter agreed to be my assistant. We had everything on hand that we needed accept for the socks. I finally found all white tube socks at the Family Dollar store.

Supplies

White Tube Socks
Rubber bands
Rice - optional
Polyfill stuffing
Buttons
Snaps or eyes
Glue gun and glue sticks
Scrap fabric

Directions


Cut tube sock in half thru the heel area.



Take the top of the sock and turn it inside out. Put a rubber band around the cut end.


Turn the sock piece back right side out.


If you want the snowman to stand up on it's own, put 1/3 cup rice inside the sock. Then fill the sock with Polyfill and close the top with a rubber band.


Put another rubber band around the upper third of the sock to create a head and body of the snowman.


Use a glue gun to glue on what you have chosen for your eyes and nose. We used black and silver snaps as we had lots of those in our sewing box. Plastic eyes or buttons would work as well. Glue on colorful buttons down the front of your snowman. You will want to coordinate the colors with your fabric piece.


Take the toe piece of the cut sock and turn it inside out. Turn a portion of the cut end inside the sock to form a nice edge.


Place the turned edge over the top of your snowman to create a hat. Use your glue gun to glue the hat on all around the head.
Cut a 1.5" by 12" fabric piece and wrap it around the snowman's neck for a scarf. I folded my fabric piece in half lengthwise and tied a square knot so that only the right side of the fabric showed.





One happy little boy!





Southwest Chicken and Rice

Another Crock Pot family favorite! This dish taste a lot like enchiladas without tortillas.
Serves 8

Ingredients

8 Chicken breast, frozen is fine
2 cans Rotel - tomatoes, chilies, onions
Mexican seasoning blend
8 oz cream cheese
3 cups brown rice
2 cans pinto beans
optional - shredded cheese, avocado, salsa

Directions

1. Put chicken breasts in crockpot. Pour cans of Rotel over the top. Sprinkle with Mexican Seasoning blend of your choice.
2. Cook on high for 5-6 hours, less if using fresh chicken breasts. At some point during the day cook your rice and beans.
3. Using two forks, shred the chicken while still in crock pot. Be careful not to burn your hands or arms.
4. Add cream cheese to chicken mixture and cook with lid on until cream cheese is melted. Stir gently.
Dish up over brown rice with beans mixed in or on the side. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and avocado. Chips, guacamole, and salsa make excellent sides.



Smoothies in the Morning


My husband, John, doesn't like eggs, so often it's hard to find  healthy, real, whole foods for him to eat in the morning for breakfast. He does like oatmeal, but he doesn't want it every morning.

Most cereals are off limits because off all the additives they contain. Just look at the ingredients of any so called "Healthy Cereal".

His preference for breakfast is a smoothie of spinach, frozen fruits, water, ground flax seed, chia seeds, and a protein powder mix. That last ingredient is where we fall off the band wagon of whole foods.

When you start your journey into eating all whole foods, give yourself the liberty of choosing one or two not-quite-a-whole-food items to include in your diet. It makes it much easier to start. Then once you're on your way, you can find substitutes for those items.

For the protein powder, you could use any high protein food item - Greek yogurt, peanut butter, cottage cheese.

I have made up some of my own smoothie recipes that I will post about in the future. As I learn, I am loving the smoothie recipes at Simple Green Smoothies.

What's your favorite whole food smoothie recipe?






Southwest Chicken Bake

When I created this dish and made it for the first time, my husband's comment was ....
 
"Please put this on the keeper list!"
 
In our family, that means we like it and would like to have it on the dinner table on a regular basis.
 
It's a good feeling when you know dinner is going to please all 7 people at the table!
 
And it's a one pot meal!
 

Southwest Chicken Bake

feeds 7-8 people
 

Ingredients

8 chicken breasts
2 onions
3-4 peppers, various colors makes it pretty
shredded cheese
Marinade
Optional: rice, avocado, chips, salsa, beans
 

Marinade recipe 

 inspired by the Pioneer Woman, but not exact
 
1/2 cup olive oil
2 TBL Worcestershire sauce
3 tsp minced garlic
1 TBL ground cumin
1 TBL chili powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
 
 
 
Put chicken breast in a baking pan and cover with marinade. Marinade for a few minutes to hours, whatever works for you. I usually start with frozen chicken breasts, so I let them thaw a bit first.


Slice your onions and peppers.
 
 
Set your oven on 350F. Arrange your veggies on top of your chicken. Don't throw out the marinade, let your chicken cook in the marinade.

 
Top with shredded cheese and put in the oven for about an hour.
While the dish is baking, cook up some rice to serve it over.

 
It's ready!

 
Delicious!
 
Serve the Southwest Chicken Bake over a bed of rice and top with a few slices of avocado.
 
Chips, salsa, and seasoned black beans make great sides.
 
 


Cyber Monday Sale

I'm having a Cyber Monday Sale on my Little Monkey Shop Etsy store

CYBER MONDAY - Buy 2 items and get free shipping - enter coupon code ShipFree at purchase - domestic only.

Come visit my shop and see if something has your name on it!

Little Monkey Shop

Create Your Own Crochet Chunky Cowl


A way to a make a quick scarf or cowl is to use chunky (thick) yarn and a large hook.

This week I'm working on creating several different pattern for chunky cowls for men.

It seems easy to make a more feminine scarf, but harder to create a more masculine crochet pattern.

To add texture to the chunky cowls, I've being playing around with some fun stitches - front and back raised double crochet stitches.

Here's how to make them:

Frdc (front raised double crochet) – yo, insert hook from the front around the stem of the dc in the row below from right to left, then complete the dc in the usual way.

Brdc (back raised double crochet) – yo, insert hook from the back around the stem of the dc in the row below from right to left, then complete the dc in the usual way.

How to Create Your Own Cowl Pattern:

I use chunky yarn - there's several varieties you can buy - and a N Hook.
1. Start with a chain of stitches the length you want your cowl - it will stretch a little as you add stitches to it, so start a little on the short side.
2. Connect your ends together to create a circle.
3. Make a row of double crochet stitches as a base.
4. Create your own unique pattern with Frdc and Brdc in an number and order that you like. For example - 3 Frdc, 2Brdc repeating (example 1).
Or mix it up even more - 3 Frdc, 1 Brdc, 2 Frdc, 2 Brdc (example 2). Play with it until you get the look you want.
5. Then repeat that pattern for each row until you get the height you want for your cowl.
Note: To get your pattern to come out right, your beginning number of stitches needs to be a multiple of the number of stitches in your pattern. For example 1 - your beginning chain needs to be a multiple of 5. For example 2, your beginning chain needs to be a multiple of 8.

Here's a few cowls I've made recently

                         Ribbed Chunky Cowl

 

Textured Cowl

 

Unique Stitches

This cowl doesn't use Frdc or Brdc - I just mixed up a bunch of easy fun stitches to create a unique pattern.
If you want a written crochet pattern to follow or you aren't a crochet-er and you want a cowl crocheted for you, visit my Etsy shop:



 

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Butter and Cream

I see all the exquisite squash at the Farmers Market in the fall and wonder what to do with them.

On a whim, I tried this soup and it was delicious! Light and nutritious, while also being sweet and savory.

Served with a slice of homemade bread, it is perfect for a cold fall or winter evening dinner.

This soup with quick and easy to make. I blended it up in our Ninja flood blender, but having an immersion hand blender would make it much easier and quicker.

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Butter

Ingredients

1 butternut squash
2 TBL butter
1 onion chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
4 cups vegetable broth
cream - heavy or 1/2 and 1/2

Sage Butter

1/4 cup butter
6 sage leaves

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400F. Slice the squash in half and clean out the seeds. Lay the squash in a baking dish. Bake for 1 - 1.5 hours, until a fork inserts easily into the squash. Remove from oven and let the squash cool. Then scrape the squash out of it's skin into a bowl.
In a heavy pot, melt your butter over medium heat. Add your onions and garlic and saute till soft, about 5 minutes.

Add your roasted squash and broth. You can see that some of my broth is still frozen in the picture.

Simmer for 20 minutes to blend the flavors. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree soup in a blender. An immersion blender would work as well.

To make your sage butter, melt the butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Add the sage leaves and cook until the butter browns and the sage is very aromatic - 3-4 minutes.

Pour soup into a large serving bowl.

Serve the soup, drizzled with browned sage butter, 1-2 sage leaves, and a swirl of cream.
Enjoy with a salad and a slice of homemade bread.


Best Gift Exchange Ever!

Image courtesy of Idea go at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Gift giving this time of year can get out of hand! After a while, if you're like me, you're more stressed about what to get everyone on your list, than enjoying the winter season.

Our family tackled this monster several ways, and have finally come down to a simple and intentional gift giving solution.

First, we went to kids only gifts. Each family bought only gifts for all the kids in the family. After all, kids are a little easier and less expensive to buy for. That worked well for a few years as our families were young and just beginning to grow. Then we looked up and realized we now each have 14 children to buy gifts for! Yikes!

Not so good on the budget or stress level!

Next, we went to family gifts. Each family gives one gift to each of the other families. That kept the clutter down in each household and was easier on the budget. The problem we ran into after doing family gifts for a few years was that the age spread of the kids in each family got further apart. Our family has an almost 18 yr old all the way to a 22 month old, both boys, with 3 girls in the middle. How do you buy one gift that would make all 5 children happy?

It didn't work too well.

Now we do something different with each family within our extended family.

One of my sisters lives in Dubai. It is very expensive to send packages to the UAE.

So, we don't.

When they come back to the States for a visit, we have a big Cousins Birthday Party. We've had all year to keep our eyes out for a perfect gift for each of my nieces and nephews. That's half the fun. Then, we get to see them open it!

No last minute shopping stress, high mailing fees or busy post office runs!

My sister-in-law and I just decided together to call quits on all the gifts at Christmas time. Instead we get together and do something fun as families, Maybe a weekend trip somewhere or an outing to a museum or other exciting place halfway between us.

It works for us and them and is about as simple as you can get, yet intentionally fun and relationship building!

With my grandparents and a few other family members, we've taken a different road.

We play a version of a $5 gift exchange. In the fall we all draw names. We each buy a gift that cost $5 for the person whose name we drew. Notice - I didn't say a $5 gift!

The point of the game is to see who can get the best present for $5. In other words, who can get the best deal, while still getting a gift the person will enjoy!

 You have to be on the lookout for sales, specials, and coupons.

My grandmother is a shopper and usually wins!

Last year I drew my oldest daughter. I found a $20 watch, marked down to $10 at JCP. I also had a $10 reward coupon at JCP, so I bought the watch for FREE! But the gift has to be $5, so I was able to look for other fun items to add to the gift - a chocolate candy bar, a package of gum, some funky socks.

This $5 gift exchange makes you really think, not only about what the person would like, but also about how to spend your money. Getting the best deal often means watching and waiting, and learning some patience, while looking for clever ways to get the most for your money.

This is a practice we really should put into every purchase we make all year long.

What has your family done to tame the gift giving monster that likes to clutter our house, wreck the budget, and stress us out?

My Baby is 18???

Today my little boy turns 18 years old! Where did the time go?

Having a toddler in the household too makes it really hit home how fast children grow up.

This young man has taught me so much in life - not just about parenting, but about life in general.

When comparing my 18 year old son with my toddler son, it makes me realize how much children learn by copying us.

The toddler learns to do everything in life by mimicking what he sees around him, good and bad. Of course, his curiosity gets added in there too!

It reminds me of a phrase I heard this fall and have really taken to heart  -

 "We can't out-talk our example."

No matter what we say, children are going to follow our example before they heed our words.
And all the right words to a child can't make up for a wrong example set before them.
This teenage son of ours has taught me that I can talk all I want and say as much as I can, but my example is going to "speak" the loudest to him.
He may not remember all the directions I gave him loud and clear, but he'll remember when I don't live up to what I ask of him.
Hopefully he notices when I do set a right example before him too.
 I can look at his life and see by his example to his siblings that he's picked up some good characteristics.
I've learned that often times the best thing to do in a situation (or really, in life in general) is to say less and do more.
It's as simple and as intentional as you can get - setting a right example for children to follow makes a much greater impression on a child than anything we can say.

Easy BBQ Dinner

Ingredients

1 Pork Roast or Shoulder
1 Bottle of BBQ sauce
2 cups Water
Seasoning - optional

Directions

Set your oven on 350F.

Put water in the bottom of a large dutch oven or other lidded pan.

Add your pork roast, season as desired - I use a dry rub seasoning. It's fine without any too.

Pour half the bottle of BBQ sauce over the top of the roast.

Cook for several hours, until the roast is done and shreds easily with a fork.



Use 2 forks to shred the roast into pieces as desired, incorporating the sauce in the pan.


Add more BBQ sauce if necessary, or serve sauce on the side.

Dinner Ideas:

Serve with green beans, a salad and cornbread.

Bake potatoes and make stuffed BBQ potatoes.

Toast some buns and have BBQ sandwiches.


Note - You may also use this same recipe and cook it in your crock pot on high for 6-8 hours, depending on the size of your roast/shoulder. 

How to Make your own Broth


During the winter we eat a lot of soups. They are easy and nutritious and perfect for a cold evening. A slice of warm homemade bread is the only side you need, though a salad goes well too.
With all the soup we eat, I go through a lot of chicken and beef broth. The past few years I have been saving money and boosting the nutritional value of our soups by making my own broths.
It's not hard!
Chicken or Beef Broth

Ingredients

Chicken or Beef bones - I use the leftover bones and skin from cooking and deboning a whole chicken or beef bones from the butcher.
Water
Optional - onion skins, carrot tops, other leftover veggie pieces

Directions

1. Put chicken bones and skin and any veggie pieces into a crock pot.
2. Fill crock pot with water.
3. Cook on high for 12 hours.
4. Turn crock pot off, remove lid and let cool for an hour.
5. Strain broth through a colander into a large bowl.
6. Discard bones, skin and veggie pieces.
7. Put bowl of broth into the refrigerator for several hours or over night.
8. Once cool, skim off fat from top of broth.
9. Pour the broth in containers to store in freezer until needed.
If you are using leftover bones from a chicken or beef dinner, this is virtually free broth!

13 Non-Toy Gifts for Children



With the holidays coming up, our de-cluttered, simplified homes are in danger of becoming cluttered with new toys that will often only be interesting to the child for a short while.
In a matter of days the children will be back to playing with their favorite toys, leaving the new toys lying where they left them last.
Probably not in the toy box!
Between my sisters and sister-in-law we have 18 children to buy gifts for. That's ridiculously expensive and time consuming. Plus if we travel, we can't fit all those toys in our vehicle and us too!
Our solution - family gifts. Then I only need to come up with 3 ideas/gifts.
 Family gifts really helps to simplify the holidays!
I've made a list of non-toy items that would be great gifts for the children in your life. A lot of the ideas would work for adults as well.

Non-toy Gift Ideas

1.Gift cards - could be to a favorite store, restaurant, or online shop.
2. Special Meal - ingredients to make their favorite dish or dessert together. Or go out to a favorite restaurant, together.
3. Classes- pick something that interests the child/ren such as art, soccer, music. It could even be a tutoring class such as a math or ACT study class.
4. Membership - at an art, science or history museum. A gym membership is a good idea for teenagers. A membership to a local attraction would work as well. A membership to a American Science and Energy museum will get you into science museums all over the world for one small price. YMCA is a good idea too.
5. Weekend trip - pick somewhere everyone would like to go and go together. It could be a local place you've never been to but always wanted to go, or a destination that requires a short road trip. Planned together  - where to stay, where to eat, what to do at the destination - makes it something fun to do and look forward to as well. Family Fun has given us lots of family travel ideas.
6. Tickets - to a local amusement park, a musical or opera, a basketball game to see a favorite player.
7. Day trip - ice skating, roller skating, National park.
8. Camping - what child doesn't like sleeping out under the stars!
9. Books -  a series, a classic, or a popular new book. Once read, books can be shared or donated to the library. A cookbook could go along with idea #2. Goodreads has a great list of classic books.
10. Subscription - to a favorite magazine, or online educational site.
11. Art and Craft supplies - clay, play dough, glue, scissors, papers, markers - anything to bring out a child's imagination.
12. Outdoor activities - supplies for fishing, gardening, playing ball games.
13. Pet - either a real one - with permission - or an adoption of a pet at a zoo.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread in Minutes



If you've ever looked at the ingredient list of supposedly "healthy whole wheat" bread, you've noticed that there is a lot more in that loaf of bread then whole wheat.

My limit on packaged foods is 5 recognizable ingredients. Anymore than that, and it tends to be fairly processed.

It's hard to find a loaf of bread at the store that fits my parameter. And it's pretty hard to find store bought bread that beats the taste - or smell! - of homemade bread!

It's really not that hard to make healthy homemade bread. The hands on time is minimal if you have a heavy duty mixer. I love my Bosch!

Ingredients

Makes 2 loaves

3 cups warm water                 
5 TBL olive oil                        
1/2 cup honey                         
1 1/2 TBL yeast                       
8-9 cups of whole wheat flour  
1/2 tsp salt                              



First, I put my warm water, oil, honey and yeast in my mixer. If you'll measure out your oil in the measuring cup you plan to use to measure out the honey - and swirl it a bit - it'll keep the honey from sticking to your measuring cup. Turn the mixer on a minute to combine ingredients.


Add your flour and salt. Put 8 cups of flour in to begin with, and you can add the rest of the flour as needed.

This dough is too wet so I added 1/2 cup more flour at a time until the dough cleaned the sides and center of the bowl. Don't add any more flour after this or your bread will be dry.


Perfect!


I let my mixer mix the dough with a dough hook for 10 minutes. I have to set the timer or I'll forget it.


I let the dough rise for 30 minutes or until it doubles in size.


Then I butter my pans and my hands. I divide the dough into 2 pieces. I roll each section of dough into itself, creating a log and put it into a pan.


I set my oven on the lowest temperature it will go - 170F. I let my bread rise for 30 minutes again - this time in the oven. I have found that if I let it rise on the counter top I have a habit of bumping it on the way into the oven to bake and it falls. This prevents that mishap.
Plus it rises much quicker in a warm oven.
When it's almost to the height that I want it, I turn the oven up to 350F and set the timer for 30 minutes. It will rise just a little bit more as the temperature rises before it starts to bake.



As it starts to brown, I put a piece of tin foil over the top of the loaves to keep them from burning.
Once they are finished baking, I let the loaves cool for a minute on the baking rack before taking them out of the pans.
If you leave the bread loaves in the pans to cool completely, you will have soggy bread!

Let the bread cool completely before slicing. If you slice warm bread, it will tend to gum up on you as the bread actually continues to bake a bit inside as it cools.

Note: I was a little distracted making this bread - cleaning, cooking, and baking for company coming this afternoon, plus overseeing homeschool work of 4 children and chasing a toddler out of the pantry! So, I accidently put too much yeast in the dough. That's why the bread is so tall. When I checked on the bread just a few minutes after putting it in the oven to rise, it was so tall, I was really afraid it was going to fall! It didn't! So Happy!!

I love these bread pans I use, as they make the bread the perfect width for sandwiches. When I ordered the pans, I ordered a lot of them! Let me know if you are interested in one. I think the cost was about $8 each.

I ordered so many because we made bread to sell at the time.

I also thought it would really save time to make 6 loaves of bread at a time - the number that will fit in my oven.

This is a mistake unless your family can eat 6 loaves in 2 days.

Homemade bread, without all the preservatives, will dry out quickly, even wrapped up well.

As quick and easy as this bread is to make, my family is much happier with me making fresh loaves every other day.

Enjoy!