Friday, March 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Mason!

Today is my husbands birthday! I am grateful and blessed that the Lord has given him to me as my soul mate for these 29.5 years! I tried my hand at baking challah bread for Shabbat dinner tonight as a treat for him. We will be taking him to a restaurant for dinner but will take our challah with us. He said I was mean for baking bread that he couldn't have until tonight. I was inspired to try baking bread by my sister who does often with great success.

The first of her recipes that I tried was her "Easy Bagels". They were not pretty but they were good! Next time they will look like they are supposed to be. So, next I tried the challah and it worked beautifully. The recipe is at the end of this post, so you can try it for yourself. I didn't use my sisters recipe this time but will next time. Also you can visit my sister's blog with more great recipes, it is at: . I have started my list of other blogs that I like also.
It is grey and overcast here in Houston today and my veggie seedlings aren't getting much sun. I have posted a pic of them and the first rose of my flower garden, the pink one graciously bloomed first, my favorite rose color. This is my first veggie garden and I pray that I can tend it well. Once a month I am going to add the devotionals that I have written and new ones after that. Comments are welcome so please do!

My first challah!

Challah Bread Recipe
Makes 2 loafs

2pkgs (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
(+ 1 teaspoon sugar for proofing yeast)
1 cup warm water (110 - 115 degrees)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
4 eggs
6 to 61/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon cold water
1 Tablespoon sesame or poppy seeds, optional

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water (*I add 1 teaspoon sugar to proof the yeast according to the directions on the yeast pkg.). Add the oil, sugar, salt, eggs and 4 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough. Turn onto a floured surface: knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour (*I turn my oven on and heat to 200 degrees then turn off. I put my dough in the oven with the light on for warmth and let my dough rise there.)

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Divide each portion into thirds. Shape each piece into a 15" rope. Place three ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Beat egg and cold water; brush over braids. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to racks to cool.

(*You can add cinnimon and raisins for holiday challah. I have wrapped the second loaf in plastic wrap after the first rising and braiding and put it in a ziplock back in the freezer to use later. Just let thaw and rise the second time and brush with the egg and bake as usual. Sonya's tips in parenthesis)

This recipie is taken from the "Taste of Home Heartwarming Soups" 2008 edition magazine

My first veggie seedlings!

My first rose of the season!
Ah, Spring is comming!


I'm Toni said...

Hi Sonya!
Saw your post on "Quillers" and thought I'd visit your new blog. It's looking good! Always nice to more quilling!
Drop by mine if you'd like - I post about my quilling, other art endeavors, and life in general..
I have relatives in Houston - my husband's (of 27 years!) brother and his wife.
Happy Birthday, Mason!
Have a great weekend!

GemStateMom said...

At least you have seedlings started...we just got another 5" of snow yesterday. :(
I'm longing for spring and warm sunshine...I have 40 packages of summer bulbs to plant to make the yard lovely for my daughter/son-in-law's wedding reception in July.

Thanks for visiting me!

JoAnnC. said...

So I'm checking my SiteMeter on my blog and see someone has visted me from Mexico. I click on their locale to see how they found me and I see they came to me via your blog! Of course I had to check it out! I LOVE it! Your challah looks awesome and the seedlings are coming along great! Look forward to keeping up with all the fun things in your lives through the blogs (yours and Cassandra's!) Glad I stumbled upon it!