Friday, September 30, 2011

Easy Little Bread Recipe

I was perusing Pinterest recently and found a link to this recipe. The bread is like a quick bread with yeast, or at least that is how I would describe it. If it was suppose to rise up like a beautiful yeast bread then I did something wrong because my bread came out without a dome shape. In any case the bread is easy and wonderful. I am going to make it again this week and add some nuts and perhaps some cranberries.


1 1/4 cups warm water (105-115)
2 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
1 tablespoon of honey
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup of rolled oats, not instant
11/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
2 tablespoons butter melted for brushing

1. In medium bowl sprinkle yeast onto the warm water and stir until the yeast dissolves. Stir in honey and set aside for a few minuted until the yeast blooms and swells, about 5-10 minutes.

2. Mix flours, oats,and salt in large bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix well.

3.Brush a loaf pan with melted butter, turn dough into tin, cover with a damp cloth and let raise for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 350 with rack in the middle. Bake bread for 30-40 minutes, until golden and pulling away from the sides. Remove from oven, turn bread out onto cooling rack. Serve warm with lots of butter.

This bread is delicious with seasoned butters, like honey butter, or something savory like rosemary butter. In fact, I made some honey butter for this bread, basically I softened butter and added some honey, then molded it and put back in the refridgerator to harden.

Linking here:

Modern Country Style

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Milwaukee House For Sale: House Love

I love to look at houses that are for sale, I peruse The English Home magazine for the perfect place in the Cotswold's, or a small cottage on a Loch in Scotland(which is my dream), or attend charity open houses, and the idea houses from Country Living, or Southern Living. I simply cannot get enough of the architecture, the moldings, the design, the layouts, the gardens, the art and of course the furnishings.

When I was in Milwaukee recently perusing my favorite area, and driving on my favorite street, Lake Shore Drive, which runs through Milwaukee, Bayside, Fox Point, Whitefish Bay and Riverside and Mequon, this house was for sale.

The gardens and the houses are so beautiful, they remind me of a manor house in England. If you are interested the house is 11,544 sq feet and has 8 bedrooms and 6.5 baths.

This house sits across from some other stunning mansions that are on a cliff overlooking Lake Michigan. Many of these mansions go up for sale and have not been updated in many years, unfortunately the costs of updating the electric, the heating, the air conditioning( usually non existent), the kitchens, the baths, etc are cost prohibitive, so unfortunately little pieces of the history of Milwaukee are torn down. 

Maeve Binchy, Kate Morton, Cecelia Ahern and More Great Reading

This post contains affiliate links. 

I have been meaning to post about these summer reads but I guess summer and time got away from me. In any case, some of them are great books so I thought I would post anyway and perhaps now these books can entertain you this Fall.

1. Light a Penny Candle: This book has it all, war, peace, love, hate, divorce, marriage, birth, death, and much more. It follows the lives of two women who meet when Elizabeth is sent from London during the  war  to a small town in Ireland to keep her safe, where she meets Aisling who becomes her best friend in life. Like all Binchy books you will be so taken in that you cannot put the book down.

2. Almost French Sarah Turnbull: I loved this book, it was funny, entertaining, light and a fun read. Sarah is an Australian journalist who meets Frederic while traveling in Bucharest. He invites her to visit him in Paris and she takes him up on the offer. The rest is history as they say, and the readers are treated to life in Paris. The real Paris...what it's like to fit in with your French boyfriends reserved friends, the sophisticated dress of the Parisians compared to the authors laid back Aussie style, and the food. I love when they move from just outside of Paris to an apartment in the city center where the Marais, the Tuileries gardens, the Louvre and the Left Bank are all within walking distance and there are all sorts of local characters and the neighborhood is full of colorful adventures.

3. Acts of Love Emily Listfield: This is a book about a dysfunctional family to say the least. Ted and Ann  Warring who are getting a divorce. Ted visits Ann one last time to try to reconcile and ends up shooting her...the only witness is their 13 year old daughter who claims it was murder. This book pits sister against sister and friends, family and an entire town against one another. I did not really like this book, too depressing and way too much going on for my taste.

4. The Forgotten Garden, Kate Morton,: A little girl is found abandoned on a ship headed for Australia, after being taken in and raised by the dock master and his wife she learns on her 21st birthday that they are not her parents. Nell leaves Australia and travels to the Cornish coast to Blackhurst manor to find the secrets of her life. Unfortunately it is not until her granddaughter Cassandra take up the search for Nell's past that all sorts of secrets are unraveled. I love this book, it is full of mystery, family, romance, intrigue. It is a great read.

5. The Book of Tomorrow, Cecelia Ahern. This book was left by some guests who thought it was an amusing beach read. It is chick lit, and a fast read. The book is about a young girl from a wealthy family who's life is turned upside down when her dad dies and leave her and her mother with a mountain of debt. They end up in a small English village living with her eccentric aunt and uncle and that is where the story takes an interesting turn. The mother is pretty much out of the picture for most of the book because she is depressed and is languishing in bed. Tamara the young girl is left to her own devices; she meets a young man who runs the local library, or bookmobile I should say, and it is here that she finds a magical book that basically writes the future and helps Tamara to learn about her past.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rain, rain, and more rain...

"The best kind of rain, of course, is a cozy rain.  This is the kind the anonymous medieval poet makes me remember, the rain that falls on a day when you'd just as soon stay in bed a little longer, write letters or read a good book by the fire, take early tea with hot scones and jam and look out the streaked window with complacency."

Susan Allen Toth, England For All Seasons

It has been raining forever, OK maybe only 7 days but I am still growing weary from it. Not only that, Fall has disappeared. It is hot and humid, again, and it is a strange gloomy color outside. I feel like I am in the Wizard of Oz, when it goes from a black and white to color, but the reverse. The bright spot of the day was the rain letting up enough to take a few photos of the falling leaves.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Living Room Redesign


Talk about design challenge, this room has two windows, two sets of French doors, and two huge openings flanked with columns. There is one wall with nothing on it, but it is short(Armoire is placed there). The only long wall has the two windows. This rooms had been moved around so many times, for awhile every time my husband came home from work the room was different. Now, just so you do not think I am a complete nut, I did change it and then try to live with it, for a bit, but something always seemed off. Until now. Finally I think this is the way it will stay. Although I love the look of neutrals, and burlap, I was going for something more like an English library and more traditional, as that is the style of our home. Oddly enough when we came to look at this house the only piece of furniture in this room was a grand piano.

Top painting from Brazil, bottom from England

Top painting from Russia, bottom from England, same artist as the other but a different year.

Marble lamp, small oil, feathers and quills, and books

Bird Feather, and porcupine quills my husband brought home from Africa

Old family books, and a jade pot

Antique Chinese wedding chest

Antique floats from my trip to Irrvington, VA
One old violin from my husbands family, one from mine and a third to complete the pair. One of the violin's has mother of pearl inlay on the reverse.