“In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have
a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him.”

--Dereke Bruce

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Little Things"



Trying to stay sane (in this busy, crazy world!) is not always easy.

I try hard to keep perspective... maintain balance... and not "sweat the small stuff". Our lives are not a competition - or a destination- and one of the secrets to happiness is, in my opinion, learning to celebrate the small things in life.

With that in mind, I'd like to share one of my favorite writings. Originally an ad from United Technologies Corporation, and I've always loved it. Enjoy!

LITTLE THINGS
Most of us
miss out
on life’s big prizes.
The Pulitzer.
The Nobel.
Oscars.
Tonys.
Emmys.
Grammys.
But we’re
all eligible
for life’s small pleasures.
A pat
on the back.
A kiss
on the cheek.
A four pound bass.
A hole in one.
A full moon.
An empty parking space.
A crackling fire.
A great meal.
A glorious sunset.
Hot soup.
Cold lemonade.
A smile from a friend.
Don’t fret
about
copping life’s
grand awards.
Enjoy its
tiny delights.
There are plenty
for all of us.

Friday, July 9, 2010

"Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day"

Ohmygosh, is there ANYTHING more delicious than warm, homebaked bread... fresh from the oven, buttered lightly? Oh, YUM! I think I could LIVE on it! Honestly, just the SMELL of bread baking makes me happy! (Really!)

Up until recently, though, I have not been much of a bread baker. I love to cook, I like to bake... but baking bread? (From scratch? With yeast and kneading and rising, ohmy?) Um, not so much!

That is, until a dear friend turned me on to this book:
ARTISAN BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY



The premise of this technique is that in just a few minutes you can mix up a big batch of basic dough (only 4 ingredients... flour, water, yeast and salt) and store it in your fridge. Thereafter, you just pull out, when you need it, enough dough for a loaf; quickly flour and shape it, let it sit for a few minutes, then bake. (Really, that's all. No kneading, rising, punching, re-kneading, re-rising, re-punching...it's fool-proof -- without angst!!!)

Thirty minutes later you have a rustic loaf of fresh, warm, DELICIOUS homemade bread. It really is just 5 minutes (at the most) of active "working" time.

In my humble bread-loving opinion, fresh, warm homemade bread takes simple weeknight meals to a new level. Even something basic and easy like spaghetti and meatballs is just so much more delicious and *FUN* with a slice of warm bread (or 2... or 3...) on the side!

So... here are photos of my first loaf. What do you think?!





(I wish I would have gotten a few pictures before I cut into it, but I couldn't wait... sorry! It really is THAT good!)

I've been experimenting a little bit... using different flours (I like whole wheat)... different salts, etc. The recipes are basically idiot-proof, and every single time I have ended up with a wonderful, delicious loaf of bread.

The book is fun and chock full of recipes and ideas. I have only scratched the surface of possibilities. I totally recommend it!

(Thanks, Steph!)