We've been better.

Every couch and chair in this living room is occupied by a sickling. We've come down with the respiratory virus that Andy had... and is still not 100% after a week.

Chloe seemed fine this morning so we forced ourselves into the car to take her to gymnastics at 9 a.m. Although the roads were a bit treacherous after another snow storm, we made it. But, after much crying and emotional stress, Chloe chickened out of staying at class without her brother.

So back in the car. We were hungry, but nothing sounds good. Maybe a bagel at Panera bread? I pull up to the door and Leyla vomits down the front of herself. Lovely. I run in and get 4 bagels and a coffee. Homeward.

This day began suddenly with Andy bursting into the bedroom groaning in pain. He had smashed his finger in our neighbor's garage door after snow blowing. It's an old pull-down door and his finger was in the hinge of one of the panels. It was a struggle to get the door back up to get his finger out. His nail was already black and the tip of his finger swollen.

This is especially unfortunate since the thumb on his other hand has a pulled ligament from skiing. The doc said his cast/brace must be worn for 6 weeks.

Like Father like son: Yesterday Caden thought it would be a good idea to use a knife to cut his banana open, but instead sliced the tip of his finger. Lots of blood, I hope it didn't need stitches, I don't think it did. Poor baby.

We are a mess. Please don't drop by for a visit.

But! The sun is shining and the snow is glistening today! That is a definite mood lifter.


From Sullivan Street to IA

This is the easiest bread I've made. Yes, it has to sit around for 14-20 hours, but there is maybe 10 min. worth of actual work. I mix the 4 ingredients the night before to bake it for the next day's dinner. (FYI: My slowcooker's pot worked great to bake it in.) See recipe below.

I must not be with it because this bread was a big hit in '06 when the NY Times did this article on it.

It is SO delicious! A perfect addition to the Pioneer Woman's spicy shrimp.

The Secret of Great Bread: Let Time Do the Work
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.


Where would we be without LOVE?!

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God!
1 John 3:1

It's a great day home after a romantic get-away with my husband. This heart pasta is on the menu tonight. It will surely prompt some smiles from the kiddies. And maybe, "I love you Mommy" kisses.

Happy Valentine's Day!