Spring Wreath....

I am SO ready for SPRING! (Especially since it snowed at our house yesterday!)
I wanted a new wreath for our front door, but I wanted something that I could leave up past Easter and I wanted something with a BRIGHT BOLD color. This was SUPER easy, a little time consuming, but not bad.

What you need:
I used 4 Forsythis Bushes from Michaels
One Large Grape vine wreath
Hot Glue Gun and Glue
 What I did:
The Forsythia bushes I got made it really easy to take apart. Each stem just pulled off. So I pulled them all off so I had a lot of small sticks.  Then I dabbed a pit of hot glue on the end of one stick and stuck it unto the grape vine wreath. I worked around the wreath layering the sticks until the entire thing was full and beautiful.


Great Deals this Week....

I just wanted to let you know that there are some GREAT deals this week at Smith's. 
2 Free Gallons of Milk with the purchase of 4 Kellogg items
American Beauty Pasta .49 or Free with Coupon
Ronzoni Garden Delight Pasta, Healthy Harvest, Smart Taste Pasta .49 or FREE with Coupon

Use Grocery Smarts to make your list and get your printable coupons.
Click on the link, then click START to highlight the spreadsheet, simply select the items you want to add to your list and when you are finished click SHRINK and PRINT. You will have your own PERSONALIZED grocery list. Remember to get your coupons from Sundays paper and use the links from Grocery Smarts for printable coupons.
If you have any questions email me at: magenkeller@Hotmail.com

the creative family....

"Ever child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."
-Pablo Picasso

Last week I got to spend some time with my little sister and we both LOVE books, so when we heard that the Borders in Logan was going out of business (sad, I used to spend a lot of time there when we lived in Logan) we made the trip to see what we could find.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to spend a lot of time browsing or anything because we had my two boys with us and lets face it, anyone with children knows how shopping can be without a cart and with two tired children can be. Anyways, I was trying to look at some books and so I told my 3 year old to see if he could find a book that might be good. I was just hoping to distract him for a second, but he grabbed this book (The Creative Family: how to encourage imagination and nurture family connections) off the shelf and began flipping through the pages. But he fell in love and would not put it back. I tried everything to get him to put it back and he wouldn't, he "needed it". I quickly glanced at it and decided why not.... (my 1 1/2 year old was in my other arm throwing a world class fit because I wouldn't let him run to the back of the store to play in the drinking fountain) let's just get out of here.

I ended up buying it and I have already read it and am reading it again. I LOVE this book. I have gotten so many ideas for our family. She has projects, ideas, and encouragement about how to allow your whole family to express themselves creatively. I really am in love with it. I checked out her website today and I found out she has written another book: Handmade Home. I think I will have to get too.

Somethings that I have picked up from this book:
1. Everyone is an artist (even me)
2. I should use my imagination more and encourage my children to use their imagination
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand."
-Albert Einstein
3. I should not be afraid of experimenting or letting my children experiment with creativity


Using Yeast

I have never had much luck when it comes to using yeast. That is until I sat down and read all I could about yeast to figure it out. I am still an amateur at best but I thought I would share my tips and tricks to inspire any of you out there that are also afraid of yeast.

I found this little bit of random info about yeast interesting..."Yeast... is used in baking as a leavening agent, where it converts the fermentable sugars present in dough into the gas carbon dioxide. This causes the dough to expand or rise as gas forms pockets or bubbles. When the dough is baked, the yeast dies and the air pockets "set", giving the baked product a soft and spongy texture. The use of potatoes, water from potato boiling, eggs, or sugar in a bread dough accelerates the growth of yeasts." -Wikipedia

Mel's Kitchen Cafe has an awesome tutorial on baking with yeast and it helped me sooo much! Go HERE to see that. I highly recommend it. I also found good tips at The Reluctant Gourmet.

Some of the tips I have learned and found most useful from these places and from my own practice are the following...

1) Instant yeast is a good option for beginners. I love not having to wait for my active dry yeast to proof before adding it.
2) Get your water at the right temperature. If it's too hot, it will kill the yeast. If it's too cold, the yeast won't work. My rule is to test using my wrist... I like it to be warmer than bath water but not hot enough to burn.
3) The amount of flour used in a recipe is just a basic guideline. I always thought you should follow the recipe exactly but when it comes to bread, it's important to not over flour your dough.
4) Good supplies for bread making... If you plan on making bread a lot, a mixer is a lifesaver! I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Bosch. I never knew just how wonderful it really was until I made bread. I also think that having silpat liners are wonderful.
5) Kneading the dough is very important. It takes a lot of kneading to develop the gluten. That's why the bosch is so handy! Kneading by hand can be quite therapeutic though.
6) The main ingredients for bread are... Water, yeast, flour, salt. Many recipes call for extras like eggs, milk, and vital wheat gluten. Want to know what happens to your bread when you add these? Go HERE to find out!
7) Let your bread rise in a warm place. Ben used to warm up our oven on the lowest temperature and stick it in there... it was way too hot and started cooking the bread. I put mine in a sunny place in my house with no drafts.
8) I make a batch of bread that is usually 4-6 loaves and then place the rest in plastic bread bags and freeze.

Since learning to use yeast, I have made the following: Lion House Rolls (my favorite!), bagels, bread bowls, another roll recipe, three different recipes for whole wheat bread, breadsticks, and pita wrap bread. Can you tell how much I love Mel's Kitchen Cafe? :) I loved all these recipes and have decided to try making all of our families bread items from now on. No more expensive old bread at the grocery store for us! Yay! Baking bread has become one of my favorite new hobbies. I hope these tips and tricks helped inspire you to try it out as well. Happy Baking!


Spring Bird Wall Art and Decorations!!!

I am so in LOVE with these adorable birds! I saw the tutorial on Studio 5 yesterday and I had to share. To get FREE downloadable pattern and tutorial go to:

I can't wait to make this this afternoon!

Photos courtesy of Simple Kelly B


Grilled Caesar Chicken Salad

Last month sometime, I was able to get French's Honey Dijon mustard for 49 cents (regular price $1.49). I am not a fan of mustard, but I use it occasionally in recipes and sometimes sandwiches. Anyways, this recipe was actually on the bottle of mustard.

Orginal Recipe from the Honey Dijon Mustard Bottle:

2/3 Cup Caesar Dressing
2/3 Cup French's HOney Dijon Mustard
4 Medium Boneless Chicken Breasts
Tossed Salad

Mix Dressing and mustard. Pour 2/3 cup sauce over chicken. MARINATE chicken in refridgerator for 30 min. Grill or broil chicken 10- 15 min. until donw. Cut into strips. Drizzle remaing sauce over chicken and tossed salad.

I thought why not I will try it, but I will change it a little, for one it is still snowy at our house and I don't want to be running in and out to check the grill and my kids aren't really that excited about eating salad. So, for our dinner I did this:

1/3 Cup Caesar Dressing (I got salad dresssing for 49 cents too)
1/3 Cup Honey Dijon Mustard
4 Chicken Breasts
Slices of Medium Cheddar CHeese

Mix Sauce. Pour over Chicken. Pre heat oven to 350. Marinate in the fridge for 30 min. (or so) Spray or line a 9x13 baking dish. Place chicken into baking dish. Pour sauce over chicken. Layer slices of cheese over each chicken breast. Bake for about 25-30  minutes. I also use a meat thermometer to check doneness... I believe for chicken it needs to be over 173 degrees, I usually like 180 ish to be safe. Towards the end of cooking I turned on the broiler so that the cheese got all bubbly.

 I served this with rice and a veggie. My family loves it, even my kids.