Cozy – Homemade Bread


When I saw the word Cozy today I immediately thought of fresh homemade bread.  There are few things like it.  It is warm and tasty, especially smothered in butter.  It definitely makes you smile and it makes the house smell absolutely fabulous!!!

I always thought making bread was the penultimate of home cooking.  That if you could successfully pull off the magic of making bread – you were a truly excellent home cook.  I had tried to meet this lofty goal several times to no avail.  There were tears, hockey puck like sad little loaves that smelled like bread, but were only useful as a trencher.

Then one magical, wonderous day I watched the America’s Test Kitchen episode “Let’s Make Bread” (Season 15 Episode 1523).  I must have watched the episode 2-3 times before I could believe making bread could be that easy.  I even made my husband watch it.  I remember looking at him and saying, “What do you think?” in regard to me trying my hand at it.  His simple response was “Absolutely you can do it.  You are a great cook!”  With those words of encouragement I thought I would give it a whirl.

Here is what makes the recipe so easy.  The mixer does all the work and the increments are timed and specific.  There is no guess work.  Now I won’t lie and tell you the first loaf of this bread was perfect, because it wasn’t.  It was still a little flat, still tasted great though.  There is a bit of an art in finding a good spot in your house to let it rise and how long to let it rise (for example it takes longer in our chilly house in the winter).  Finding the right pan helps too – the first one I was using was too big.  (I have a small 4×8 nonstick aluminum pan I use and it works great.)

After about 3 not so perfect loaves, each one progressively better, I finally figured it all out.  Every loaf of bread I have made since has turned out wonderfully.  (And yes I am knocking on wood to make sure I don’t jinx myself.  😊)  The other excellent thing about this recipe is it only takes a few hours once you get used to it.  So you can make it and bake it the same day.  My family absolutely loves it and would prefer to never buy store bought bread again!

This recipe gave me the confidence to try my hand at other recipes that peaked my interest.  If you have wanted to make homemade bread and have been hesitant, give this recipe a try.  I think you will be quite pleased and sitting down in a cozy kitchen of your own with a nice, toasty warm piece of homemade bread.  Be careful though, because you will be shocked how fast your family will go through it!!!

Many Blessings – DHG

Easy Sandwich Bread Recipe:


On a Path to a Magical Life

A few things happened within the last year that woke me up to the person I have become – a sad zombie.  My husband and I went to Disneyland for our Wedding Anniversary.  We had the best vacation we have ever had.  I felt like a little kid again.  My husband encouraged me to meet Ariel and get her autograph.  I felt ridiculous, a fluffy, unpolished middle-aged woman getting an autograph and her picture taken amongst children 10 or less.  However, when Ariel gave me a hug and told my husband and me “Happy Anniversary,” I too felt what I saw in the faces of the children around me – elation.  It connected me for a moment to something I had lost touch with a long time ago.

A few months later, after my 43rd birthday, I was staring out the window of our home, lost in thought.  I have no idea what I was thinking about, probably something work related.  A hummingbird came into view, I was aware of it but I didn’t really see it.  Then it landed on a nearby branch.  I then took note, because I rarely see them still.  They are always busy, wings working furiously in a gorgeous spray of color.  The moment seemed to stretch on.  Then the beautiful little bird became a blur of color once more and I lost sight of him or her.  I was awed by the special moment.  It felt that I had been given something precious.

I realized life is full of these magical moments that I have become oblivious to or too busy to notice.  I decided I wanted to change that, I want a magical life.  I want to get in touch with that little girl who chases butterflies and looks for fairies.  I want to bring the happiness that comes with those feelings to my family and friends.  I also don’t think I am the only one who feels that way.  So I wanted to start this blog – to give others inspiration and to keep me on track.

I actually started to do this last May.  It feels like yesterday and yet it is almost January of the next year.  I want to be awake through life and aware of the passing of time, instead of a zombie.  So if you feel the same, join me on this journey.  New things will be tried, some silly and some serious.  It is time to do the things that bring my family and me joy – cooking, sewing, make-up, kittens/puppies/horses, science, and the yet to be discovered.

So here’s is to a fresh new year – full of joy and magic!!!  Many Blessings – DHG