I’ve Been Baking…

With school barely over two weeks away, I realized I had better be getting into gear and filling the freezer with some easy breakfast and snack items. The last thing I want is to be in the kitchen trying to fix breakfast those first couple of weeks.

It always takes a while to get back into the routine of getting up earlier and getting everybody ready to go out the door. Since the kids usually like to keep it simple anyway, I had several freezer friendly options to start the year off, including muffins, waffles and sweet breads.

Also, I figured since I was going to be in the kitchen all day, I might as well make some other bread items while I was at it. Here’s what I got accomplished this week.

Baking Day #1


Baking Day #2


Well, the freezer is looking mighty fine with all this yummy food inside. This was my first time doing this much baking in two days, and I have to admit, it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Yes, my feet were hurting a little at the end of the day after standing on them so long, but I’m sure it will be worth it though in the long run.

What homemade foods do you like to keep in the freezer for quick fix meals or snacks?

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Posted on July 29th, 2011 in Food and Entertaining | 2 Comments

Week Seven of Our Summer Travels: Australia


Photo By Lauri Vain

G-Day Mate!!

Yep, we’ve been to the Land Down Under. The kids really seemed to enjoy learning about Australia more than any of the other countries we’ve explored.

This could be partly because I was able to find better books at the library for their age group about Australia than I was able to find for some of the other countries. I think they also liked learning about Kangaroos and Koalas.

Speaking of books, we were definitely busy reading this week.

We Read:




Why Koala has a Stumpy Tail

A Pocketful of Pets

We Made:

Kangaroo Paper Bag Puppets

kangaroo1You can’t really go wrong with paper bag puppets. They are always a hit with the kids, and you can make almost any animal you want with them.

Koala Wreath


I don’t recommend this craft for young children. It was very frustrating trying to glue all the green pieces into circles, and then onto the cardboard ring. We ended up using scotch tape to get the circles to stay closed and then also to attach them to the cardboard.

Actually, I ended up doing most of that part, and it took forever. Oh, and can you tell I need new ink for my color printer? We have a striped Koala.

We Ate:

Australian Meat Pie

I’m not even going to show you the picture of this one. First off, the recipe I found had pretty vague instructions. Then, I kind of messed up the ingredients. You see, I wanted to half the recipe so we would only have one pie instead of two (the recipe made two pies).

Well, I realized as I was putting the pie in the oven that I had halved only part of the ingredients, but not all of them. Not my best moment in the kitchen….Although the pie was edible, I think it is safe to say, I won’t be making it again.

Anzac Biscuits


These biscuits (Australian cookies), on the other hand, were very tasty. They tasted like a cross between an oatmeal cookie and a sugar cookie.

The only problem I had with them was that the instructions said to cook them for 15 minutes and they turned out a little on the hard side. Of course, dip them in a little milk, and you’re good to go :)

We Watched:

Kangaroo Jack

Chuck and I had never even seen this movie before, but we all thought it was pretty funny.

Finding Nemo

This is another great movie to watch for Australia week. We didn’t get a chance to watch Finding Nemo this week, but we talked about it taking place around Sydney, Australia. Believe me, we have watched it plenty of times around here.

Well that wraps up last week’s adventure. It’s hard to believe, but we only have three weeks left before school starts backs.

This week we’ll be watching a kid’s movie starring a lion and a zebra. Can you guess what country we’re visiting?

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Posted on July 25th, 2011 in Kids and Family | No Comments

White Whole Wheat vs Regular Whole Wheat Flour


We’ve been eating mostly whole wheat breads for a while now, and we enjoy most of them. I say most of them because there are times I really miss the softer texture and milder flavor of white flour in some baked goods, such as muffins, cookies and biscuits.

As most of you probably know, 100% whole wheat flour produces a stronger flavored and coarser textured product than all-purpose white flour produces.

Well, a while back I noticed my grocery store selling bags of white whole wheat, but for some reason I thought that it was not totally 100% whole wheat flour like….well….like 100% whole wheat flour.

Maybe I thought it was some kind of clever marketing technique to sell a mixture of white flour and wheat flour. All I know is that I wasn’t too sure about it.

Is it as good as regular 100% whole wheat flour?

After doing a little research, I found out that white whole wheat has the same nutritional benefits as regular whole wheat, but produces a milder taste and a softer texture.

So, what is the difference?

The only real difference between the two flours is simply the type of wheat that is ground to produce the flour. White whole wheat is made from white wheat and regular whole wheat is made from red wheat.

That sounded like winner to me. So, I picked up a bag of the white whole wheat to try.

What do I think of white wheat?

Now I can have my cake or muffin or biscuit…. and eat it too…. 😆

I have been buying King Arthur wheat flours, and they are very good. That being said, I spotted a store brand at my grocery store that I may give a whirl, especially considering it’s about a dollar cheaper per bag.

We have learned to enjoy eating most breads with regular whole wheat.

However, for someone trying to make the transition between white and whole wheat, or missing the white flavor and texture in some recipes, white whole wheat is a great option.

Lately, I’ve been using white whole wheat to experiment with some of our favorite white flour recipes. I’ll be sharing some of those with you soon.

Have you tried white whole wheat? What do you think about it?

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Posted on July 21st, 2011 in Food and Entertaining | No Comments