Welcome to 'Attic of the Heart'!

Welcome from north-central Connecticut! In this blog I will share whatever is in my heart, on my mind, or something interesting I've found to share. Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, August 28, 2009

Whole Wheat Brown Bread with Bran

I tried a new bread recipe this week in my breadmaker. I combined a couple of recipes and added to them. The bread turned out really nice!

Here's the recipe:


1 2/3 Cup Milk
2 TB Butter
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
3 TB Molasses
2 C. White Flour
2 C. Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 - 1 C. 100% Bran Cereal
2 TB. Unprocessed Bran
2 tsp. Sugar
2 tsp. Active Dry Yeast

Measure milk and butter into 2 cup glass measure. Micro on high for 1 min 50 sec to 2 minutes.
Pour into breadmaker pan.
Add rest of ingredients in order given.
Process in breadmaker on dough cycle. This is 1 1/2 hrs on my bread machine.
Remove dough from breadmaker pan, punch down and knead 3 or 4 times on lightly floured counter. I found that I barely needed to knead this dough, it was just about perfect as it was.

Grease 2 bread pans, or one long loaf pan. Divide dough, plan in the 2 pans, or end to end in long loaf pan.
Cover with a tea towel, let rise in a warm place (usually on my stove top) until double, about 30 - 40 minutes.
Bake in preheated oven on 375 F. for about 25 - 27 minutes. Remove from pans onto tea towel, brush tops with butter, and let cool.

NOTES: I used 1/2 cup of bran cereal, but want to try 1 cup next time.
You may be able to omit the extra sugar and get the same results, but maybe try it this way first.
If you like, you can fill your breadmaker pans with hot water while you warm your milk mixture in the microwave. Helps to heat the pans, especially if the room is cold, and you won't lose the heat from your milk mixture so fast.

I would love to hear from you if you make this recipe and let me know how it turned out. Any suggestions? It does have lots of flavor. I am thinking I might try maybe 2 TB of molasses next time, but don't want to sacrifice the tenderness or moistness of this bread. Maybe sometime I will use 3 cups whole wheat and 1 cup of white and see how that turns out. I am trying to incorporate more whole wheat flour into my baking, and get away from all white flour, except when it's really necessary. You can also make this recipe using honey instead of molasses. It will probably be lighter in color, and a bit different flavor. I'm going to try that sometime. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Happy Baking!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's a Good Day today.

I am celebrating today. A knock at the front door announced the arrival of my hubby's passport. Woo Hoo!!!
We had to apply for a Canadian passport from here in the U.S. to Gatineau, QC, where the passport office is located. The paperwork was much more extensive than applying for a U.S. passport.
I downloaded the required paperwork off the Internet, filled it out, had it notarized, and made a copy for my records. Thank the Lord we have a notary public at work who's known him for over 2 years, as that is one of the requirements. It had to be someone in a very limited list of professions, and this person was the only one who fit the bill.
The photos were done at MotoPhoto. Bless her heart, she had to put up with my anxiety over making sure they were perfect, as the Canadian passport photo requirements are very exacting and different from the U.S. requirements. I was so anxious about the photos after reading online about other people having theirs' rejected. Warnings were made about finding a good professional photo studio and not to use Wal-mart, JCPenney, etc, because they weren't really set up for the Canadian specifications and had a high rejection rate. MotoPhoto was recommended on one site and I was thrilled to find one locally.

When I got ready to send them in, I realized there was no place to put the credit card information, as that was easier than getting a certified check. So I called their office in Quebec.
Thank goodness I did! I had the wrong form filled out. The difference was subtle - I needed form 041 rather than 040. It was a bit confusing on their web page. So I downloaded the correct forms, filled them out, had them notarized again, copied again, and this time decided to include a photocopy of my husbands' Alien card, which he received when we moved here, as well as the copy of his driver's license. I am thinking that this was the kicker that helped get everything approved so quickly.
I rechecked everything at least three times, and decided to send it overnight courier, as the mail to Canada is slow, about 8 days.
The current processing time is 4 weeks after they receive it. Since we were leaving on the 5th to go up north, I put that date as the date we wanted to go to Canada. We figured there was no way to get the passport back in time for the trip, so we just planned on staying on this side of the border this time.
Well! It arrived TODAY! Exactly 10 DAYS from the day I sent it out. Isn't that wonderful?! I just couldn't believe it when the FedEx guy showed up at the door. After my happy dance and a call to my hubby with the good news, I started reflecting on the process and it's expedient arrival.

I remembered that I was so anxious on the way over to the courier, that I started telling myself that I had done everything I could to make sure it would be accepted. That at this point, all I could do was pray, and that it was up to them.
So I did. I just prayed over that package, asking the Lord to please make it acceptable to them. I was willing for it not to be if I had made a mistake. That couldn't be helped. After that, I tried to relax and not obsess over something I couldn't change at that point.
I am trying to be more conscience about my thought process, as I tend to obsess over stuff like this, and it just takes so much energy and time over something I really can't control. I need to just do my best, and trust Him more.
This point was really driven home when I thought about the fact that I had first filled out the wrong paperwork. It had to be Him that prompted me to call and not just go to the bank for a certified check. It had to be Him who prompted me to include the copy of the Alien Card, which I just didn't think of the first time. I thought the driver's license would be enough. And maybe it would have been. But I am glad I included it anyway.
I am thinking how much He must love us, if He uses such a small thing like this to drive home the point that I need to TRUST Him more, even in the little things. Sure would save a lot of anxiety on my part. And I would be thrilled to spend less time being anxious. :0)
What some would call 'coincidence', I see God's hand in it. After all these years of being a Christian, I am still learning about trust. And today, I am so thankful that He is still teaching me...after all these years.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

East Grand Lake - northwest end
I am so excited!!! We've rented a cottage on East Grand Lake. We are going up north Labor Day weekend for a week.
We've talked about this for years. We've hemmed and hawed, because we just didn't want to spend the money when we could always stay with family. But this year, we were late in applying for our passports, so we can't go across to Canada. And my hubby needs a vacation badly. So we said, let's do it! And I am so looking forward to this.
East Grand Lake is about 25 miles long, and is on the border of Maine and New Brunswick, Canada. The cottage has all the comforts of home. Plus a canoe, kayaks, and row boat. Hopefully I will be posting pictures when we get back. I am really looking forward to fishing, boating, campfires, and there is a screened gazebo by the water- great for reading or stitching!

Our family all lives within a couple of hours, so they can come visit and stay for the night. It will be so relaxing and fun.
Oh yes, there is a wood stove in the living room, which is great, because it will be quite cool at night up there in September. I love the autumn with the crisp temperatures and turning leaves.

Ok, you can see how excited I am about this, especially after the warm temps and humidity we've had recently. Although it's been cooler and drier the past couple of days, partly due to the fact it's been a full moon and the wind has swung around to the north. But that will change on Tuesday - they are calling for 90! Yikes!!

I was ready to go yesterday, sigh...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

How to convert an oatmeal bread recipe to brown bread...

I recently wrote an article on eHow entitled: How to make Oatmeal Brown Bread with your bread machine. I didn't actually include a recipe, as you are going to use the Oatmeal Bread recipe that came with your machine. This way, if your machine only uses 1 to 1 1/2 lb. loaf recipes, my 2 lb. loaf recipe won't overflow your bread pan. The oatmeal bread recipe needs to contain honey. To find out more, just click on the above article link. Thanks for visiting!