Earthy Whole Wheat Baguettes

I am not a baker. I can cook, but baking is just a niche I have not perfected. That does not mean I don't keep attempting it though. With the weather turning cooler, I find myself thinking of the unique smells of fall in my kitchen like pumpkin, apple, cinnamon and so on.

The other day I turned 38. It was cloudy and wet outside and I craved some earthy, wholesome bread like the kind you find at Panera, but without the Panera price. Well, I think I have found the perfect bread to make at home. And guess what? It's perfect for us "not baker" types. It is so easy, I think my 8-year old could make it. So here it is for you. It went wonderful with a bowl of vegetable soup. Our family has also been eating this bread toasted with a little bit of strawberry jam.

Earthy Whole Wheat Baguettes
(adapted from Good Life Eats)

3 cups of water (110 degrees)
1 1/2 T of active yeast
1 1/2 T of sea salt
2 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour (I like King Arthur flours best when baking)
4 cups of unbleached bread flour

In a very large mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast and salt. Stir and set aside.

Mix the two flours together in a medium size mixing bowl with a wire whisk and carefully pour into water/yeast mixture. The mixture will get very thick and "gunky" (that's the only word I know to describe it!), but hang in there. Just mix with a wooden spoon until it is completely mixed. If it is too hard to mix with spoon, lightly wet your hands and mix. It may still look "gunky", but that is A-ok ~ it will still turn out great... trust me!

Cover with a damp hand towel and pop it in your microwave (don't turn it on!) for 2-3 hours. I don't like things on my counter and I don't like waiting so when I don't see the bowl, I'm not as inpatient.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a stone baking sheet on middle rack and an empty broiler pan on lower rack.

Next, with floured hands, separate the dough into three equal balls. Lightly flour your working surface and shape each ball into separate loaves, approximately 2 inches wide and 14 inches long. Now let them rest for 25 minutes.

After they have rested, using a pastry brush, paint each loaf's surface with water and then score each loaf with three diagonal slashes using a serrated knife.

Carefully slide all three loaves onto the hot baking stone. Pour 1 cup of water into the broiler pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool before eating... if you can wait!



My Little Corner of the World...

There are very few times during my day that I am able to stop
and enjoy the beauty all around me.

I know, it's my fault.

No, I'm really not talking about the coral roses that I can see out my dining room window.
Or the beautiful red-tailed hawk that comes to my backyard looking for an afternoon snack... those things are amazing, but...

But there are more important things. Questions about what Halloween costume I like best out of the new catalog. "Look at this, Mom!" as my 9-year old points to his new Lego creation. There are meals to prepare. Scrapes to nurse. Stains to scrub. Sticky tables to clean.

Sometimes I forget those are the beautiful things around me.

Life feels like it is speeding forward... and I want it to slow down.

But I've realized for it slow down, I must slow down first. Being fully present
to this life as it plays out... just as God orchestrated.

So for now, the beauty I will choose to see may be:
a bathroom sink uniquely designed with toothpaste art
my son singing, "My God is so Big" to his little brother on the way to the a soccer game
coins under my other son's pillow who is saving up for just the right moment
a pile of clothes to wash and an even bigger one to fold
dried tear stains on my cardigan from where I held my crying toddler

This is real beauty. I just need to slow down to appreciate it's worth.


WB Meal Plan - Foodgawker Inspired

I am loving my new, online guilty pleasure... foodgawker. It is a "mouth watering photo gallery by food bloggers from around the world". This week all the meals are inspired by what I like and see on foodgawker. But as always, it will be healthy and clean!


General Tso's Chicken
with broccoli, brown rice and fruit salad.


Herbed Turkey Meatloaf
Roasted Parsnip Puree (same link as above)
Cranberry Spinach Salad


Herbed Salmon
Steamed veggies (carrots, cauliflower,
Quinoa with Corn and Scallions


Chicken Noodle Soup
Light Whole Wheat Bread
Cinnamon Applesauce


Pumpkin Pancakes topped with warm maple syrup (I will be tripling this recipe... 4 boys!)
Turkey Bacon
Clementine slices
Blueberry Crush Smoothies


The Disease You Can Really Fight Against

Are you afraid of things? Are there things you avoid so you don't have to face unsettling situations? Or are you one of those people that just faces things head on?

I guess you could say I am an "avoider" of things that scare me. I will do just about anything I can do avoid scary or potentially hazardous places or occurrences.

I'll just put it out there... I am scared to death of one disease. Well, there are several. But one in particular that just sends chills through my body at the thought. It is... Alzheimer's. With other diseases I feel I would at least try to alter my diet diet, lifestyle and use other natural methods to help or control the disease... with Alzheimer's, it goes out of your control.

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people, symptoms begin to appear after the age of 60. Research states that damage to the brain begins at least a decade before symptoms appear.

Current research states that although Alzheimer's disease may be genetically to blame, but there are studies that are proving abundant routes to prevent it as well.

Along with exercise and keeping your mind active, here are my simple strategies on how to do your part to fight Alzheimer's...

Consume fish oil. The DHA in fish oil is found to increase the production of LR11, a protein that is found at reduced levels in Alzheimer's patients. LR11 is known to destroy the protein that forms the plaques associated with the disease. Best methods to consume DHA is either through wild salmon and tuna, ground flax and hemp seeds or supplementation.

Eat Berries. Berries contain a cocktail of chemical compounds including anthocyanins and polyphenolics. These antioxidants have been proven to inhibit oxidative stress in the brain to protect against age-related diseases, mostly Alzheimer's. They are also known to "mop up" and recycle certain cells blamed for memory lapses and other mental decline, keeping the mind sharp into old age. Choose deep or bright colored berries such as strawberries, blueberries, boysenberries and blackcurrants.

Eat a diet low in saturated fat. According to the Natural News website, "people with high cholesterol, high blood pressure and who are obese are far more likely (600% more) to lose healthy brain function and be diagnosed with Alzheimer's than people who maintain a healthy body weight, and who eat a healthy diet."

Embrace Indian food (ie: turmeric). Turmeric is the deep orange-yellow colored ingredient found in curry spices and has been used as a powerful medicine in the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine for centuries. A characteristic of a brain diseased with Alzheimer's is a build-up of the protein amyloid which causes inflammation. The oil in tumeric (curcumin) crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to amyloid protein fragments, preventing them from aggregating together into plaques. According to the Livestrong website, "a study investigating curcumin's effects on amyloid plaques in the brains of mice demonstrated how effective it can be by reducing 30 percent of the plaques in a single week".

Avoid aluminum. Let's just cut to chase...

  • In 1993, the World Health Organization said, "There is a suspected link between Alzheimer's disease and the toxicity of aluminum."
  • The Agency for Toxic Substances and & Disease Registry reports that "Exposure to high levels of aluminum may result in respiratory and neurological problems.
Aluminum is most commonly found in cookware, beverage and food cans, some foods, prescription and over-the-counter medications and deodorant. Inside the body, dementia is seen when a brain has a plaque substance in it - and aluminum is often at the center of these plaques.

Ways to Avoid Aluminum:
Find aluminum-free deodorants. I love Jason's.
Use cast-iron cookware.
Choose fresh or frozen fruits/vegetables over canned.
Avoid canned beverages.
Be an avid food label reader.

What are you presently doing to avoid disease and illness?



Sunday. A day of prepping our hearts to worship. To experience community. To get instruction from God's Word. To grow.

Sunday. A day of slight chaos. Boys. Diapers. Puppy messes. A broken ceramic lamp. Rain. Coffee, ahhh... ohhh, not strong enough. Five people squeezing into a compact car because the bigger one has clinks... lots of them. Rain. Wrong words. Strife. Hurt.

Sunday. Walk right into this sign at church. Slight sting.

Sunday. Doxology. Words run deep of God's love and forgiveness. A quick smile... forgiveness. Doxology. Thankfulness in knowing there is always forgiveness.


Blueberry Crush Smoothie

Blueberries are magical. Blueberries are repeatedly ranked in the U.S. diet as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings. Blueberries also have potential benefits for brain health. They also aid in immunity, have a low glycemic index value and added fiber.

My new favorite blueberries are from Trader Joe's... Wild Boreal blueberries. They are tiny, but packed full of sweetness. You must try! Here is a simple, delicious smoothie recipe. It has quickly become another favorite smoothie in our house.

Blueberry Crush Smoothie
1 VERY ripe banana (outside brown and super soft)
1 c. Trader Joe's Wild Boreal blueberries
3/4 c. almond milk (original flavor)
6 ice cubes

Blend until smooth.


Welcome & a Recipe

Well, the day is finally here...

Welcome to my NEW blog home. Feel free to look around. I think this place is gonna be easier to navigate much better than before.

So I couldn't resist posting a recipe to kick off the new blog.

Here is a great granola bar recipe for school lunches.

WB Homemade Granola Bars
(adapted from Joyful Abode)

2 cups old fashioned oats

3/4 cup wheat germ

3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup agave nectar

4 T. coconut oil

2 t. vanilla extract

1/2 t. sea salt

1 c. cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix oats, wheat germ and nuts together. Spread onto baking sheets and toast for approximately 10 minutes; stir occasionally so it doesn't burn.

Line a 9x13 baking dish with wax paper and lightly spray with non-stick spray.

In a medium saucepan, add brown sugar, agave nectar, coconut oil, vanilla and salt. Stir and bring to a simmer.

When the oat mixture is done, add to mixing bowl and pour sweetened liquid over top and mix well. When oat mixture is coated well, add cranberries.

Add granola to prepared baking dish. Spread out the mixture with greased hands. With another sheet of wax paper, firmly press all of the oat mixture until it is tightly compacted and pushed into the corner and edges.

Let cool for 1-2 hours.

Carefully turn whole mixture onto cutting board and cut into desired bars. Individually wrap with plastic wrap for quick and easy snacks or for school lunches.