I’m ba-aaaaack

Allow me to introduce you to a secret breadmaking method. It turns out delicious loaves and is absolutely easy. No yeast. No rising. Certainly no kneading.

Beer Bread

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12oz bottle of beer, room temp
  • 1-2 tablespoons melted butter

Preaheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all the dry ingredients together.  Pour the beer in all at once and stir until everything’s moistened.  Drop this mixture into a loaf pan and brush with melted butter (or just pour the melted butter over it if you’re that lazy).  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

I generally use a regular beer that’s on the light side, like a Sam Adams.  The beer you choose will change the flavor of the bread.

By on December 3, 2007 · Comments ( 4 )

The end

Don’t worry, it’s just the end of my NaBloPoMo experiment. Apparently you all want me to keep it up. As of this writing, 60% want updates more than twice a week and 40% want updates twice weekly. Go vote if you haven’t already.

I am prepared for Baby Cain’s arrival. I have my ‘It’s a Boy!’ banner and bottle of champagne at the ready if he arrives while I am on this coast. My co-workers are on alert to celebrate if I am in the library when the call comes in (right?). I have advice from my friends and loved ones. I have directives from his parents.

Some of you have expressed surprise/amusement at how seriously I am taking my aunthood. I will respond by saying this is one of those things that trumps other things in life. There’s going to be a human that I have above normal access to and influence on and I plan to make the most of it.

If he ever gets to see some of this project in the future, I want him to know how excited I was for his arrival and I want him to feel special. He’s going to have the greatest parents on earth (next to mine) and be a very lucky little guy.

So stay tuned for pictures and stories. Also stay tuned for 2 to 3 posts a week (hopefully?) on this site.

I already love you nephew and I can only grow to love you more.

By on November 30, 2007 · Comments ( 2 )

Almost over

Tomorrow is the last day of my November blog month experiment. It was much easier than writing a novel in 30 days, but not as satisfying.

I would like to give more attention to easysticks once it’s over, but I’m not quite sure how much. So help me out, wouldja?

{democracy:4}
By on November 29, 2007 · Comments ( 1 )

Last word

I think the mother of the nephew deserves to be my final guest speaker. So here it is.

Here are a few thoughts on my upcoming Momness.

It’s a mysterious thing, having a baby in your belly. He is with me
all day and night, wiggling around and hiccuping, but I don’t get to
know what his little feet and hands look like or if he’s a serious
bean of more of a joker. So needless to say, I’m dying to get my hands
on the little guy. I think he’s going to look exactly like his dad,
and act like him, too.

I don’t have experience as an aunt, but I have had some long-distance
aunts in my life, and I can’ stress enough the importance of gifts. I
know that Annie Jo is a champion gift giver, so no worries in that
department. Since the peanut won’t be old enough to really appreciate
presents for a couple of years, though, we hope for lots of visits.
Also: Webcams! And on a less material note, irreverence. Sneak him
treats, keep him up past his bedtime, let him wear his PJs all day.

I must say I’m relieved. I was hoping to be a rule breaking candy feeding bad girl aunt and now I’ve got written permission. Also I think gift giving might be my Language of Love.

Regarding the nephew acting just like my brother, I will say that I hope the Marika genes interfere on some of the more unpleasant actions as I already lived with a young Ben and I was glad to say goodbye to that when he moved away for college.

By on November 28, 2007 · Comments ( 2 )

The other side of Christmas

Gift giving. I am making good progress and I just thought I’d highlight some of my strategies. While yesterday was officially Cyber Monday, the deals online continue and you can’t beat the crowd levels. Here’s a couple deals I’ve seen:

If you are shopping online, be sure to check out RetailMeNot before submitting your order. There have certainly been coupon sites before, but this one is easier to use and you can read success (or failure) stories from others attempts to use a coupon code. I’ve gotten free shipping and money hacked off my order.

Happy shopping and may the order confirmations and shipping notices pour in.

By on November 27, 2007 · Comments ( 0 )

Humbug no more

Christmas was so awesome when I was little.  The cookies, the lights, the presents of course.  The spirit has kind of slowly slipped away in the past few years, but I’ve realized that I don’t wanna be a scroogy aunt.

So my iPod is loaded with holiday tunes and my Santa socks are on my feet this very day.  I even cut out some of those paper snowflakes.  I remember the ones I did as a kid being way better looking so I might need to practice a little, but you get the idea.

If you’re looking for some enjoyable, affordable and positive-impact seasonal music, check out the $7 Peace on Earth charity album.  Proceeds go to Toys for Tots and there are some real gems on there.

By on November 26, 2007 · Comments ( 4 )

Attention span

I used to be able to watch armloads of movies and read piles of books. It seems that lately I cannot focus on any one thing at a time. I watch a show while futzing around on my computer. I have to pause movies in the middle to take a break. I read a few pages of a book and then move on to something else.

This is a bit disturbing.

This long weekend has been a little different, though. It could be due to my many hours spent lounging around the house. Perhaps the long stretch of time off has relaxed me into my former state of mind. I do think the holiday has helped, but I also must credit Dexter.

It’s an amazing Showtime series about a serial killer who only kills bad guys. I found it an intriguing premise, but the show has proved to be of high quality all around. Even the opening sequence has me watching every time. I downloaded it from iTunes (Dexter, Season 1), but the first season is also on DVD. Michael C. Hall (formerly of Six Feet Under) does a real bang up job.

By on November 25, 2007 · Comments ( 0 )

Hello, my name is _________.

The poll results are clear.  The winner is:

Auntie Annie

I agree with this choice.  Now we’ll see what the nephew has to say about it.

Anybody get any good deals this weekend?

By on November 24, 2007 · Comments ( 0 )

Annie Jo’s Pizza Doughs

A long weekend.  Time on your hands?  Make up a batch of pizza dough.  One night it’s a pizza, one night it’s calzones.

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 package yeast
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl.  Dissolve the honey in a small bowl with the 1/4 cup hot water.  Sprinkle yeast over the honey and water mixture.  Let it sit about 5 minutes.

Pour 3/4 cup room temperature water into the yeast mixture.  Add the olive oil, stir lightly and pour into the flour mixture.  Mix until combined and knead until smooth.  Cover and let rise in a greased bowl for about an hour, until doubled or so.

This makes two pizza’s worth of dough.  Spread onto pizza pan or cookie sheet, cover with toppings and bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Dough will keep a few days in the fridge or longer in the freezer.

By on November 23, 2007 · Comments ( 0 )

Gobble gobble

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone stuffs themselves and enjoys a nice day off. I have many things to be thankful for and I won’t bore you with the details, but if you’re reading this you’re most likely one of those things.

By on November 22, 2007 · Comments ( 2 )