welcome to our farmhouse…life is good

Thursday, February 25

no-knead bread...

This recipe has become one of my all-time favorites. It's an easy, fuss-free way to have homemade bread in almost no time at all. The kids had a scheduled late start at school this morning, so I baked a loaf for breakfast. We all agree there's nothing like bread, warm from the oven, drizzled with butter and honey. Mmmm...

4-1/2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 c. sugar
1 T. salt
2, 1/4-oz. pkgs. dry yeast
1 c. water
1 c. milk
1/4 c. oil
1 egg, beaten

Sift together 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast; set aside. Combine water, milk and oil in a saucepan over medium heat until mixture is 120 to 130 degrees. Using a heavy-duty mixer, combine flour mixture with warm water mixture; add egg. Blend on medium speed 3 minutes, then stir in remaining flour. Cover and let rise 50 minutes, or until double in size. Stir down; dough will be sticky. Spoon into a greased 9"x6" loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

Friday, February 19

is that sunshine?

Winter has blessed us with a morning of sunshine. A day that's clear and brilliant with gently drifting, swirling snowflakes. A day of quiet beauty...




Welcome...to another day filled with possibilities.


Thursday, February 18

good old-fashioned neighboring...

It's official as we read:

"Snowfall for the month of February as of 7am today was 37.8 inches. That breaks the record of 25.8 inches set in 2007. The seasonal total of 65.9 inches as of 7am today makes the 2009-2010 season the 6th snowiest thus far."

It's days like this when we are so thankful for good neighbors. You know the kind...those who seem to know just when to show up and lend a hand.


And another neighbor called...they have farm-fresh eggs to share. Snuggling in for a snow day, the kids ask for homemade hot chocolate. Little Man says, "You know...the real kind that's made with love. "  Ahhh, it's a good life indeed.

Monday, February 15

an engagement!

On a frosty day like this, there's nothing like getting news that warms the heart...


we're so excited for you Joanna,
and absolutely can't wait for the big day!


Saturday, February 13

happy hearts day...


For our dear friends across the miles who share so much inspiration, laughter, support, and love...we are so fortunate
to have you in our lives.

And to new friends who have been kind enough to drop in here and say hello...thank you! 

We wish you all a happy hearts day.


Wednesday, February 10

"I lost my tooth!"

Gotta love this...little man just lost a tooth!

enough time...

The kettle is steaming gently on the stove and I've tossed several pieces of wood into the fire. It's so nice having a fireplace in the kitchen...everyone seems to gather here to keep me company when I'm cooking. On this frosty February morning I'm baking cinnamon rolls, and the aroma has pulled kids from the blissful warmth of flannel sheets and cozy quilts. Paired with a glass of
icy milk, ooey-gooey homemade rolls are a good way for sleepyheads to begin the day.

With yesterday's snowstorm, we have several more inches of snow on the ground, school has been cancelled again, and it seems as if our little farm is in a deep sleep.  It's the rare day when, for once, there seems to be enough time. Delighting in it, it's a day for snowmen and snow tunnels, hot cocoa and homebaked cookies, watching old movies and popping popcorn. It's a day when there is plenty of time for making sweet memories and enjoying every minute.

Saturday, February 6

oodles of snow!

Yay, the snow came as promised! We woke up to 16 inches of freshly fallen snow around the house, with drifts by the barns almost twice that! What fun we had sledding and enjoying the beauty that surrounded us. These pictures tell why we think winter is truly one of the best simple country pleasures.







Ahhh, we'll all sleep well tonight...and we hear there's more snow on the way!

Friday, February 5

how to "guarantee" an early dismissal!

Okay, so we know the secret to achieving a snow day from an earlier post. Now, when you're in elementary school, this is a very big deal. So, with the announcement from the weather radio of a Winter Weather Warning and the possibility of 10 to 14  inches of snow, the idea of a snow day was making the kids very excited! Snowmen, snowball fights, sledding, snow ice cream...the ideas were tossed out with abandon.


Fast forward to bedtime and we're all tucked in.
"Oh no, we forgot to do the Snow Dance!" Well...maybe not.
"Can we put our jammies on backward and dance on the bed?" was the question. And to squeals of delight, that's exactly
what we did.

So...did it work? Well, I just received a call that afternoon kindergarten is cancelled and school will dismiss
2 hours early. Yay! Bring on the snow...we can't wait!

Wednesday, February 3

best-ever sugar cookie recipe!

Shared with me by a good friend (thanks Carol!) this sugar cookie recipe is, in my humble opinion, the best ever. When rolling the dough, I like to keep it nice and thick, and then bake the cut-outs only until lightly golden. This will give you a batch of soft cookies just right for sharing on Valentine's Day!

Cookies:

1 c. butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. salt
2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour

Cream together butter and sugar; blend in egg. Add remaining ingredients stirring until well blended. Chill dough, covered, 3 hours. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thick; cut with cookie cutters. Arrange cut-outs on an ungreased baking sheet; bake at 350 degrees 8 to 10  minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool before frosting. Yield depends on cookie cutter size.

Frosting:

1 T. butter, melted
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1 T. milk
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. lemon juice
food coloring as desired

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Makes about 1/3 cup.


A quick trip to the flea market will find you coming home with lots of oh-so pretty vintage plates and teacups. Arranged on a sweetly flowered dessert plate or tucked inside a cheery teacup, your home-baked cookies will be a heartfelt gift friends, neighbors and teachers will love receiving. Hmmm, on second thought, you'd better double the recipe!
 
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