Tuesday, November 8, 2011

DIY Earings

Simon and I found a really neat little place in downtown little rock with a lot of random eclectic beads and things.  I really like to make jewelry so places like that are a lot of fun to look around and get ideas.
It was really different because there were just bowls here and there of one type of bead. It was kind of overwhelming, something different wherever you turned, but if you like that kind of "shopping" or are in to jewelry making i would definitely point you in that direction!   
You can find them on facebook too. Argenta Bead Co

Here is a picture of the countless bead bowls I was talking about.  

So anyways, I found some cute flower beads with rounded backs which makes them perfect for making beads into earrings. 
I feel like these days everyone is into dangly earrings and my ears don't do dangly earrings anymore (one too many pairs of those ridiculous oversized hoops in junior high I would suspect).  So anyways, I stick to studs and I can never find cute ones that I like.  
This is one really easy and inexpensive way that I can have stud earrings that are exactly what I am looking for.  

 Okay, so here's what I used.  Those little empty earring posts are so so cheap.  I think they were 5 cents apiece.  They came with the backs too, somehow those didn't make it into the picture.  
That LOCTITE super glue is wonderful!  The twist top is the best I've ever used.  Most super glue allows for one time use because after that the top is glued shut.  Not this one though!  

This process is pretty self explanatory but just put a dab of glue onto the post and press it tight into the center of the earring for 10-15 seconds and then let it dry untouched for about 10 minutes.

Here is the final product up close.  The backings have stayed on great so far.  They are sturdy and the glue dried clear.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sandwich Bread in Bread Machine

We've been looking for a bread recipe that would take the place of our store bought sandwich bread.  The our first attempt was with a Honey Oat Wheat Bread.  The bread was good but not at all ideal for sandwiches because it was really crumbly and unstable.  
So I literally googled "sandwich bread in bread machine" and a blog came up by a girl who is on a low budget and wanted a good sandwich bread that didn't fall apart.  Perfect!  So I tried it and it really is the best sandwich bread.  I mean we were looking for something that was similar to the typical kinda squishy, lightly browned sandwich bread from the store, not necessarily the ideal bread for every occasion.  So I thought I would share my discovery.  

1 1/3 cups warm water
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil.  (Not the same with veg. oil)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp and 2 tsp sugar
3 tsp yeast

In bread machine combine water, salt and oil. 
Add both flours atop liquid ingredients- 
spread it out so it is a barrier between the liquid ingredients and what you will add next  
In one corner of bread machine add sugar
Make a little well or whole in the middle of the flour surface and place yeast in the whole

[[I like making the dough in the machine and then baking the bread in a bread pan in the oven so that is how these directions are aimed.  If you prefer to make the whole thing in the bread machine-which is how the original blog post recipe was done- just set the bread machine to bake and select light ]]

Back to the recipe::
Set bread machine to dough cycle.  
After the cycle is complete (about an 1 hour and 20 minutes) remove dough and put into a lightly greased bread pan and allow to rise for about 1 hour.
Then, bake for 30-40 minutes on 300 degrees.  

From bread maker to bread pan-Don't let the clumpy texture fool you, the rising will fix that.

Risen bread before it goes into the oven.

The bread dumps right out of the pan, no hassle!

Here is a picture of the "perfect sandwich slices" that we are so excited about!!
We are on our second loaf.  Between breakfast toast and sandwiches the two of us went through a loaf in less than a week.  But I'm going to try and keep up with one a week so we probably need to slow down on our bread eating.  The blog post had an update saying she tried it with sunflower oil rather than olive oil and she thought it was even better.  I don't have sunflower oil so I decided to just go with EVOO until I was sure I would be making it regularly.  So, I can't speak for the update yer but that is the baker's tip.