Sunday, November 20, 2011

Haunted Dollhouse: Bathroom & B-Day Gift Update

I was reminded by my good friend that I haven't posted in a long time.  "Every time I look all I see is the same Italian bread post," she commented.  I know I haven't been on for awhile, other things have had my attention.  I made sure to make time today to work on another room, the bathroom.  My friend offered some ideas for this room that I would like to incorporate.  So far I have the walls done and a clawfooted tub.  Blue, to me, is the color for a bathroom.  Not sure what to do with the floor, maybe grungy tile...?  I need to think of how to do that.  Vintage Tub & Bath has some great images of tubs, vanities, and other household furniture items.  Do you think the tub is too big in comparison to the witch?  I think it might be slighly to big but not sure...

Also, this is the completed b-day gift I posted about earlier here.  It is a bottle of dragon's breath.  My friend loves dragons and also loves the color cobalt blue.  I got this gift idea from A Fanciful Twist.  The idea is to place living flowers and greenery in a jar and seal it.  Moisture, or "breath" is produced.  Most of the weeds are dried up/dead in the Chicago area so I couldn't produce my own moisture so I added a little water, but it was either absorbed or evaporated.  In the bottle I inserted dried weeds and flowers, different types of glitter and stretched out cotton balls to resemble smoke.   I placed a wine cork in the mouth of the bottle and spooned wax from a melted candle over it to produce the look of a sealed bottle.  The label I found on Graphic Fairy, and I glttered wooden stars that I had leftover from another project.  My friend likes her gift very much and added it to her spice shelf.  I can't think of a more suitable place!

One of the other gifts I included was a candle.  I got the idea from The Polka Dot Closet.  There is a great project on how to add an image to a candle.  I didn't have a rubber stamp of a dragon, instead I printed an image onto tissue paper.  You just need to tape tissue paper to a piece of paper so it will feed through your printer.

Sometimes homemade gifts can make the best gifts!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Recipe: Italian Bread

I've seen recipes for Italian Bread and always wanted to try making a loaf -- a good Italian bread with a soft inside and a crisp, chewy crust.  I found a recipe and adapted it to make one loaf.  It is an easy recipe, and it doesn't take much time to prepare except for the time to rise twice.  Bread is especially good with soup, may I suggest Butternut Squash Soup from Our Best Bites.  I also made the soup over the weekend and it is wonderful!


Italian Bread

1 c. warm water
1/2 T. yeast
1/2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 T. sugar
2 3/4 c. flour

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water (check water temp on yeast packet) in a large bowl to proof or foam (about 10 minutes).
Add oil and 1 1/2 c. flour; beat for 2 minutes.
Stir in 1 1/4 c. flour to make a stiff dough.
Knead until smooth and elastic; about 10 minutes.
Place in oiled bowl, turn dough to coat all sides; cover and let rise until doubled.
Punch down and shape until a long, slender loaf.
Grease a cookie sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal.
Place loaves in an and cut diagonal gashes on the top of each loaf.
Cover and let rise until double.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes (maybe 30 minutes).
Spray with water during baking for a crunchy crust.

(Please ignore the dirty oven!)
Ohhhh... The anticipation!  Can't wait!
The recipe suggested spraying the loaf with water during baking for a crunchy crust.  I did it after placing the loaf in the oven and three more times at 5 minute intervals.

Oh, yea, that's the good stuff!

Put way too much butter on my slice!
Mmmm....  warm bread with melty butter....

Italian Bread & Butternut Squash Soup

The bread is very good.  The inside is soft and moist while the crust does have a crispness to it.  It is not like a good Italian Bread that is bought at a bakery or at some grocery stores.  I would love to know the secret to creating the bread with a crisp and chewy crust.  Does anyone have any ideas?  Do you know a good Italian bread recipe?  If so, please post the link and ideas.