My Grandma's Bread Recipe
Most of my childhood memories were made in the kitchen with my grandma, especially in the winter months when beside crafts and cooking was not much to do. My grandma is the best cook and then my mom (I had to add this for safety reasons :D ). Early in the morning my grandpa would make the fire in the wood burning oven while my grandma made the coffee…and couple hours after, full of laughter with them and half of our street neighbors, the day started off with preparing meals and delicious recipes.
So many good memories !
Once a week with lots of love and lots of flour my grandma baked lots of breads. I remember how she used to give me a piece of dough and show me how to knead it and then carefully she helped me to place the dough in a little blue pan and then to the oven. Let me tell you I was thrilled and never bored !!!
Bread was something I’ve craved ever since I’ve moved to U.S . I tried many recipes, asked around but not even once bread was close to the one my grandma made. Couple years ago I went back for Christmas. I spent mornings with my lovely grandma, ate all her prune compote (back then I was pregnant and spoiled) and asked for the bread recipe. The recipe I'm about to share with you is very simple. Not fancy at all and easy to make. But before we get started I wanna share with you one more thing.
One day I asked myself what makes a recipe good ??? I mean gooood !!! Are the ingredients ? The recipe itself ? The process? The taste only?... I meditate on this and soon enough after making my grandma’s bread recipe the answer was clear and loud in my heart and mind. I made the bread and after taking a crunchy bite…I was back, back in time in my grandma’s kitchen ! The taste was delightful, just like home, just like grandma’s!
Moms let’s keep our daughters close to us while we cook! The good part in my recipe is the strong bond that was created between me and my lovely grandma. While cooking let’s build strong bridges, healthy relationships and amazing little ones ! ! !
Let’s take every cooking experience to another level that will keep the recipe, the mom, the grandma,the children in our hearts forever !
1. In a mug add the warm water and yeast, mix with a small whisk. Sprinkle flour on top and let them sit for few minutes till the yeast is activated.
2. Shift the flour in a big bowl add the salt the activated yeast. Start to knead adding slowly the 2 cups of warm water. Knead for about 5-7 minutes. This is a very good exercise for your arms :) keep going !!! You can do it !!!
3. After you knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes start pouring the oil (I used Sunflower oil like ma grandma did but you can use Olive oil as well) and knead again for 15 minutes. Remember this is my grandma's bread recipe :) But if you have a standing mixer with a dough hook attachment let him do the job. Follow the consistency and texture from the gallery and you are good to go (wink wink) !
4. Give the dough the shape of a ball and place it in a big bowl (I found mine here) or just cover a normal bowl with plastic wrap. Then put it in a warm draft free place (I put mine in the microwave). Let it rise for abut 50''- 1 hour, till the dough doubled in size.
5. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. And place the Dutch oven pan ( with lid) inside, let it sit for about 10 minutes. Play a little bit with the dough give it a nice round shape and sprinkle over flour. Score the bread with a sharp knife. Let it sit for 10 minute .
6. Take the Dutch oven pan out, place the dough inside VERY CAREFUL !!!! That thing is HOT HOT HOT (don't ask... :D ). Place it back and after 15 minutes take the lid out. Turn the temperature to 400 degrees and let it sit till your house is gonna smell like fresh baked-homemade-bread and everybody is gonna go crazy !!! About 15 minutes till the crust is golden and your mouth is watery :D
Allow it to cool completly...(If you can) !
And then ENJOY !!!
I spread on mine some butter and honey just the way I used to have it...Just like home!
Back in my grandma's kitchen !!!
How to resist the temptation of not feeling pretty.
Les femmes sont belles ! Las mujeres son hermosas! Le donne sono belle! Femeile sunt frumoase! Women are beautiful!
They just are ! From the little chubby baby girl who just arrived to wrinkly Granny, different color, different sizes, different shapes, different ages, culture, nationality, different anything-
W O M E N S A R E B E A U T I F U L !
In our house, I was the first granddaughter to live with the whole family. I mean the grandparents, my mom, even uncle and aunt for a while. My dear aunt Lidia often tells me how bad I terrified them while I was teething ! Ha ha that must have been hard!
I was surrendered with people who loved me and saw me as anybody sees their own child perfect, beautiful and flawless! Now that a nice complexion to start life with!
But then I've got exposed...in kindergarten ! In the beginning was nice, all the colorful toys hours to play with, oh sweet heaven but one day some smart pants question my freckles!!! How wuud (rude) is that!!!
That was a easy fix for me, my grandma has freckles so does my mom, it's just the way we are and I taught is beautiful-cuz I never heard different!
My mother was never a skinny girl. All her life she tried different diets. Some of them worked most of them did not. Often I saw her straggle but most likely those were ''moments''. Instead I will always remember the way she encouraged me when I had my ''moments'' . She told me : ,, My dear when I did not felt pretty, the way I looked, weighted or whatever it was I always told myself out loud : Ester you are beautiful, you have a beautiful body, shape, you are feminine, you are beautiful ! After all the most important thing is for you to know how beautiful you are. Remind yourself that often ! ''
Today ''beauty'' has so many different meanings, dimensions. From person to person beauty can variate. Some will call something beautiful some will not. And is true we are not the same but one thing I'll tell you, and I am sure of it : God does not make mistakes !
It's almost like beauty can not be defined by something natural, divers but most likely skinny (anorexic), flawless (full coverage makeup) or feminine (hot, sexy). And if this is what beauty means for us today...we are not less pretty but poor! Poor in knowing the true deepness of the authentic beauty.
Like every woman I have my own battles. There are moments when I just don't feel good in my own skin. And probably most of those moments have nothing to do with ,,my skin,, but the sleep deprivation I'm going thru right now (just saying)!
If you are still with me, if you feel me, here are five thoughts I remind myself to keep those moments as their ale called!
See what you can see.
Go straight to the mirror, just make sure is not the one in the living room, some talking will be involved ! Take a look and please try to ignore that pimple, crazy hair or whatever bothers you at the moment. Look in your eyes, they are unique- and you can see it ! Look at your body if you have what it takes to walk and grab stuff, you are in business and overly blessed. Then say it out loud : I am beautiful ! My eyes are beautiful, I can hear, I can walk, I can talk. I can smell, I can see well ! You are beautiful !
Understand what you are.
We are women and beside the whole hormotional part we are unpredictable, better then forecast. Sometimes for real, depends on the day we can go yeey or nay ! We have emotions, we express and live them to the max. We are a beautiful bouquet of everything, colorful and glittery.
We laugh and cry over every single thing. Till this day my dear husband can't understand how one (aka me) can burst into tears over a wrong come out of my kitchen back splash's grout color ! ! !
Often we are driven by our emotions and this may not be good 99.9 % of the time. Sometimes we just have to loosen up, let go and let God !
Know who you are (In Christ).
And this is my secret. Ladies right here is the most important of all ! To know our identity, who we are, where are we coming from and where are we going . Many years i struggled trying to figure out my identity. I had all the love i needed but my father's. And that impacted my life in many ways, and make the most of my battles.
But once I discovered my Heavenly father's love my life changed for the good and forever ! Indeed took me years to really accept God's love...such a love that I find it impossible to describe in words. Once you know who you are, haw valuable you are, how precious, how unique...you are still gonna feel the wind but you are never gonna be moved by it !
Check your diet.
When we wanna eat healthier one step we do is what I like to call, decluttering our pantry. And usually first to go are the unhealthy items. Declutter your thoughts and beliefs ! Many times we get ill because the water we are drinking from is not clean. Ask yourself who said you are not beautiful. Who told you? Maybe was a commercial, a TV show, or even a ,,friendzie,,. Whatever it was is time to declutter!
Negative thoughts, attitudes, and sometimes as harsh it sounds, even bad friends ! Time to go ! On the other hand when was the last time you've read the Bible and you felt less pretty? It's time for us to connect, re-connect with the TRUTH ! And then - P.A.S Pray and Stay to see what God has to say ! After all He is our Creator, our Father ! He knows the best, we are His!
Be beautiful !
Beautify the journey. Spread the love. See the bouquet in my hands above, few flowers yet all different and so beautiful just like us women ! Be different appreciate the value inside out, the true beauty in every soul. Make the difference do good and trust God.
You are beautiful and wonderfully made !
5 ways to make it on February 14th.
We all love LOVE, right? And what is the best day of the year to celebrate love if not ‘’The Valentine’s Day.’’ Now an explosion of mini hearts, big hearts, reddish, pinkish, sparklish occurs!!! That’s if you have a special someone to celebrate with ;) if not … here comes Netflix and a big bowl of ice cream!
I remember the first time I celebrated Valentine’s day before being married. And it so happened to be with the one I now call my husband. It was special, beautiful, and most of all unforgettable. It feels like it was yesterday, we were both in school and poor, so my dear boyfriend found himself facing quite a challenge. But somehow he managed to organize a romantic dinner in the school’s library. The table décor was enchanting, satin table cover, flowers, candles, more candles with romantic music playing in the background, and a skylight above our heads. We had 3 courses … cake, chocolate, and then of course candies. It was unforgettable especially the moment I realized that those beautiful candles were the ones you would place on someone tomb at the cemetery ! And that’s the ‘’unforgettable” part but please don’t tell my husband (wink wink).
But that was then and now is now. 5 Years later, a toddler and a baby, full time jobs, some gray hair, lots of sleepless nights, more diapers, somehow Valentine’s Day got lost somewhere in the unforgettable memories. We have our hands full, we are busy and if we are not, all we want to do is catch up on sleep! If that is ever going to happen!...
Yet my husband and I are still married, love each other very much, love our kids, Marriage, Lizzy and Junior. We find it difficult to have quality time, Valentine’s Day or not.
So here are 5 ways to make it on February 14th:
1. Stick with the reality.
In La-La land, everything is possible, beautiful and perfect. In reality, things are a little different Runny nose, constipation, or a molar can occur just like that! My baby boy got his first two teeth on Christmas!!! As a result, I ended up with a delightful vertigo. Sometimes Valentine’s day is not going to happen. Period!!! But stay tuned, love is taking over daily. Enjoy the journey and don’t take it hard on the other half. Next year is going to be different ! Don’t compare, remember then was then and now is now. Make the most of it, with what you have and how you can!
2. Go after them.
If you are blessed to be surrounded with family, take all the advantage you can! If you have to search the address book to find the available aunt Jemima, uncle George. Find that cousin and have SOMEONE, whom you can trust to babysit your children. We do have family here, but see they have children as well. So if I want to meet Jesus sooner it’s a matter of asking them to babysit our kids.
3. Go after Nanny.
PLAN AHEAD and hire a baby sitter. We never hired a baby sitter but that’s only because we surprisingly realized that we needed one like yesterday. So then big trust issue happened with this mamma. Mmmm-mmm no bueno. And if that’s the case hire two, or three, or four …. Hire as many as you need in order to get 3 decent hours for you and your love at the restaurant!
4. Make peace.
Make peace with yourself and the stage you are in now. First years with babies, toddlers, and small kids are very challenging. Understand the stage and be creative. If February 14th is not going to work, make it a 15th, 16th, or 20th they are 364 days out there waiting for the celebration of L.O.V.E. Do whatever work best for you. After all is not about the date itself but two people who take time to remember how much they love each other! And don’t worry about the kids, time is flying before you know they are going to start college!
5. Take over.
I am the CEO of my house. That being said it is not easy but let’s not forget about our dear husbands that work and carry a lot of responsibility. Sometimes they forget too. Helloou they are humans !!! We forget that Valentine’s Day is not a celebration of us or our husbands but rather the love that we create and share together. So while waiting for disaster to happen why not take charge and surprise our husbands. Last year we were still in the teething stage. We were tired and exhausted. Then I decided to be creative. I ask my husband to put our daughter to sleep, no Benadryl involved ;) Mean while I put together a beautiful surprise Valentine’s day dinner. This time we had real good food ;) also the right candles, but most of all we look in each other’s eyes, and expressed gratitude for all God did for and in us. Oh all that good stuff…And you know what my beloved one loved it! So go ahead be creative, surprise yourself and your husband!
I would love to hear from you, does anybody had a shugar crush after a Valentine dinner??? :):):)
I would love to hear new ways, new tips. Leave a comment below and make the best of Valentine’s Day!
For some reason, my whole life I thought cupcakes are only very good looking little creatures. Well I was wrong! Deeply wrong.
Actually first cupcake I ever tasted was on US ground. One of my girlfriend's husband bought some cupcakes for us and of course its not nice to say NO, right?! Well I can say one thing, thank God I was on the back seat of the car! It was a mini carrot cake cupcake and I almost ate the liner paper as well. Then with my mouth full (like a chipmunk) I declared : OMG Cupcakes are soooo good!!!
Back then I had a full time job, no kids and truth but hilarious not that much time for baking!
Later on I incorporate them in my recipe index, because I believe it's a great way to bond with the little ones around the kitchen . :) So while I was searching for some delicious recipes, I came across Laura Vitale's Red Velvet Cupcakes. As far as now I haven't tried anything better, or even close to this simple and delicious cupcake. The only difference is that I skipped the food coloring part (just personal preference) and this is how my cupcake became a vanilla bean one. But if you want to try the original recipe, l will add the link below.
Honestly this is my to go recipe. I received so many compliments even from people who did not liked cupcakes before ! (BIG smile). So lets get started and convert some more !:)
For the frosting
Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe - Laura in the Kitchen - Internet Cooking Show Starring Laura Vitale
My name is Lilian:) I'm a proud Romanian mother of two (Elizabeth,3 and Mathias,17mo). Even though I consider myself a novice in most things, I'm very Passionate about raising my family, writing and cooking. I look forward to sharing my journey with you while waiting for whatever life brings my way!
P.S- novice is just a fancy word for beginner :)