Sourdough Bread and other things…

What a weekend!  Here where I live, Ohio, we experienced our first major snow storm this weekend.  Last year, we had snow all winter…more snow than we had in a long, long time.  We have been pretty fortunate this winter in that we were having a mild winter…until Sunday morning.  It started snowing at about 12 am Sunday morning and it snowed all day….and all night until about 10 am today.  All together I think we received about 12-14 inches.  Thankfully today, I was able to work from home! This is a picture from Sunday morning when I work up:


So, I took myself to the grocery store (which I loathe) and got a few things.  One of them was a 4 pound beef chuck roast.  I came home and put it in the oven to make barbeque beef.  Three hours later on 350 degrees and it was falling apart.  Then Sunday morning I put some premade (store bought) meatballs in my crock pot with a jar of spaghetti sauce and a can of tomato soup for later in the week to have meatball subs.  Well–I didn’t think about what I would eat the bbq beef sandwiches or meatball subs on, so I ended up making these sourdough bread rounds/buns:


They are glorious, so good…and if you wanted to make regular bread you can.  It’s a simple recipe and always turns out great.

Sourdough Bread Starter

1 package active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

2 cups warm water

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water.  Add flour, salt and sugar; stir in 2 cups of warm water.

Mix well.  Cover bowl, stir often for the next 72 hours.  After 72 hours, store in an mason

jar in the refrigerator and occasionally shake jar to mix.

Sourdough Bread

2 packages active dry yeast

1 1/4 cup warm water

1 cup sourdough starter

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon salt

2 eggs

1/4 cup oil

5 1/2 – 6 cups flour

Mix yeast, warm water and starter, let it get bubbly.  Add sugar, salt, eggs, and oil and mix well.  Add flour, knead until

smooth and elastic.  Put dough in a greased bowl and cover, letting rise in a warm place.  Punch down and make

bread as desired, letting rise again covered until double.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 – 35 minutes.

Add 1 cup flour and 1 cup water to starter mix to replace the starter you used for bread, mix well and put back

in refrigerator.

I also decided to try my blueberry muffin recipe in another way:


I made it into a bundt cake instead of muffins, and it turned out way better, although I had to bake it a lot longer, almost an hour.  You can find the recipe here.

I have been in a cooking mood lately!  I also made crockpot lasagna for a coworkers birthday, and it turned out fabulous, even though I don’t have a picture.  Here’s how I made it:

Crockpot Lasagna

1 1/2 pounds ground beef, browned and drained

1 large container cottage cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 jars spaghetti sauce

1 can tomato soup

1 package lasagna noodles (regular kind)

Mix cooked beef, spaghetti sauce, and tomato soup together.  Mix cottage cheese and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese together with Italian seasonings (garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano etc).  Layer as follows: meat mixture, lasagna noodles (uncooked), cheese mixture (repeat 3 times) and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.  Cook on high for about 1 1/2 hours and turn down to low for 2 1/2 more hours or until done.

I have to admit that this recipe gave me anxiety, because you have to work and adjust the noodles to fit.  I didn’t like it.  But it tasted fabulous and it was a big hit!!!

Keep Simply Delighting!!!






Saturday Musings…

I realize that this post is going to be a bit off of what I normally blog.

I really, really love my life.  Are there things I wish I had and things I long for, yes.  But overall, I am very content with my life and all that it includes.  I have wonderful people (my family and friends) that surround me with great blessings in the forms of love, connection, support, and laughter.  I have a job that provides my needs and occasionally my wants.  I have intelligence and creativity that brings my passions to life and allows me to experience satisfaction when I see the things in my head come to life in multiple ways. 

The thing I love most about my life is that I have a Savior, and His name is Jesus.  And especially right now, this season, we celebrate His birth.  Tonight, after a day of productivity, I was sitting at my dining room table, eating dinner, and I was listening to some instrumental Christmas music, and the song Silent Night began to play.  And as I sat there, in the glow of the Christmas tree, my home spelling like freshly baked bread, I reflected on this season and how I had spent the day working on Christmas presents for my Mom.  And I thought to myself, thank you Lord, for this season, not only to celebrate with family and friends, not only for the pretty packages and twinkling lights, not only for the amazing goodies and wonderful family dinners and parties, but for Your Son.  So I say now, again, thank you Father, for Your Son.  Your Son that became flesh so He could become the Savior of the world, that He would bear on His body our sin, our inflictions, our wounds, our sickness, our selfishness, our everything, so we could be reconciled to You, Father, and for those who accept You as Lord and Savior, have the gift of eternal life.  To me, there is no better gift.  I just had to get that out and off my heart.  

So…on to what took place today!

P.S. I love that I made a decision when I moved into my new place that Friday nights were gonna be cleaning nights.  Now when I wake up on Saturday, I have the whole day to do whatever I want!  No pressure to clean.  Trust me, it’s so worth it to clean on Friday night.

Here’s what my Saturday looked like:

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  I baked some homemade bread.  From scratch.  Here’s the recipe:

6 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

3 cups lukewarm water

Stir all ingredients in a bowl until just combined.  Cover with a piece of foil or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  Let rest for 2-5 hours.  Divide dough into 3 pieces, cover with flour as you shape into a ball.  Place on baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray and let rest another 30 minutes.  Bake at 450 degrees for 30-35 minutes. 

I only baked one loaf and froze the other two.

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I made a sunglasses case for a Christmas present.  It was super easy to make and only took about an hour.  I was so impressed with myself. 

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And I made two 12 x 12 throw pillows for my Mom’s quilt/sham set.  The last picture is of the back…it should be very easy for her to slip in the pillows she already has on her bed to change them when she uses the quilt I made her.  I am happy about the way they turned out.  And it was a great way to use up some scrap stash. 

Keep Simply Delighting!

“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?”  Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Matthew 16: 15-16


Zucchini Bread Recipes

These are the recipes from my post on Sept. 2.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

3 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3 eggs

1 cup oil

3 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1 8 ounce can unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and baking powder.  In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in remaining ingredients.  Bake in greased pans at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes and remove to wire racks to finish cooling.  Makes 2 loaves.  Keeps well in freezer.

Lemon Zucchini Bread

4 cups flour

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 package (3.4 oz) instant lemon pudding mix

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 1/4 cup milk

1 cup oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cups shredded zucchini

1/4 cup poppy seeds

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil, lemon juice and vanilla.  Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in the zucchini, poppy seeds and lemon peel.  Bake  in greased pans at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes and remove to wire rack to finish cooling.  Makes 2 loaves.  Freezes well.

Pie Pumpkins

Today my Mom and I processed pie pumpkins to be used to make breads for the holiday season.  The pumpkins were from my Dad’s garden. 

Pumpkins washed and ready to be gutted.

First, cut the top out of the pumpkin (about a 5 inch circle)–just like you would if you were going to carve it for Halloween.  Remove the seeds and pulp.

It is easier to cut the pumpkin in half and use a serving spoon to remove the pulp. 

After the pumpkin is completely cleaned, place skin side up on a baking sheet, and bake at 325 degrees for 90 minutes. 

Cool on a wire rack until the pumpkin is cooled down enough to handle.

After it has cooled to touch, peel the skin off of the pumpkin pieces.

Puree pumpkin in a food processor until it is baby food like consistency.

Package 2 cups of pureed pumpkin in freezer safe containers.  When you want to make pumpkin bread, just thaw and it is ready to use!


So many things….

Today has been a busy, productive day.  We (my Mom and Dad and I) did a lot of projects…too many to list in detail on Simply Delighting, but instead check out the photo highlights of some of the projects!  Enjoy!

Canning homemade spaghetti sauce

Tomatoes fresh out of my Dad’s garden. 

More tomatoes.  My mom does all the cutting of the tomatoes…

My Dad does the juicing.  This juicer seriously had been around since I was very young.  It’s my Dad’s job to set it all up and get it ready.  I can’t tell you how many summer weekends I remember standing on a chair dropping tomatoes in the funnel and pushing them down with the plunger while he turned the crank on the juicer. 

This is the stuff we are after.  It’s unbelievable how many tomatoes it takes to get a kettle full of juice!

Adding the other ingredients…that was my job.  We, of course, used herbs that my Mom grew in her herb garden.  After cooking the sauce down pretty much all day, my Mom then pours it into the jars.  She won’t allow anyone else to do it, even now.  Altogether she made 7 quart jars. 

Zucchini Breads

Lemon Zucchini Bread–I had to break in my Mom’s super beautiful Kitchen Aid Mixer.  This bread made the whole house smell so yummy lemon-y!!!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread-this recipe also has crushed pineapple in it.  YUM!!!!!!!

Bread ready to freeze.  My Mom freezes a lot of this bread for the holiday time.   Altogether we had 7 mini loaves of chocolate chip zucchini and 5 mini loaves of lemon zucchini.

If anyone one wants the recipe–leave me a comment and I will post it!


Amish Friendship Bread

Amish Friendship Bread is a tasty dessert bread that goes well with a cup of coffee or tea.  It is made from a starter that is meant to be shared.  It takes 10 days for the starter to be ready to be used to make the bread.  Here is the starter recipe:

Amish Friendship Bread Starter

1 package active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 cup milk

Day 1: soften yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water, set aside for 5 minutes.  Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and 1 cup milk.  Stir in yeast.  I put mine in a ziploc bag and store in the refrigerator.

Day 2-4: Stir or squeeze once a day.

Day 5: Add 1 cup sugar, 1 cup flour and 1 cup milk to the mixture.  Stir.

Day 6-9: Stir or squeeze once a day.

Day 10:

This is what the starter looks like on day 10.

Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk.

Mix well and add to starter mixture.  Remove 3 cups and give 1 cup each to 3 friends.  Save 1 cup of starter for yourself to make bread.  The remaining starter is used to start the 10 day process over.

Amish Friendship Bread

Note: Be sure to use a non-metal bowl and non-metal utensils when making this recipe.

Add 1 cup of starter mixture.


Add 1 cup sugar and 2 cups flour

Add 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 cinnamon and 2 teaspoons vanilla and 2/3 cup vegetable oil.

Add 3 eggs, beaten (I always beat my eggs before adding them to anything.)

Combine all ingredients.  Mix well.  Batter will be thick.

Spray 2 bread pans with cooking spray.  Pour batter into pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes.

Super Yummy!!

This bread can also be frozen after it is baked and cooled.  It makes great housewarming or Christmas gifts, especially if made in the mini loaf pans.  It could also be made in muffin tins as well.  Be creative!!

Sour Dough Bread

This is a recipe for bread that my mom used to make a lot of the time.  It takes a little bit of time, but it’s well worth it.  Before you make the bread, you have to make the starter and let it work for 72 hours or more.  Here’s the starter recipe:

1 package active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water (about 110-115 degrees)

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sugar

2 cups warm water (about 110-115 degrees)

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup water.  Let rest 5 minutes.  Add flour, salt, and sugar; stir in 2 cups water.  Mix well.  Cover loosely.  Stir often for 72 hours.  Cover and refrigerate.  *When I did this, I completely disregarded the cover loosely part.  I put it in a sealed tupperware container, and about 3 hours later, the lid had popped off the container and the starter was oozing out of it and all over the shelf of the refrigerator.  I ended up tranferring my starter to a ziploc bag.  My mom keeps her in a sealed jar. 

This is how the starter will look:

I keep the bag in a flat dish in the refrigerator.  After using some of the starter for bread, add 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm water.  Mix well and add to remaining starter, mixing well again.  Refrigerate until next time you make bread.  Below is what the flour and water mixture will look like.

Here’s how to make the bread:

Dissolve 2 packages of active dry yeast in 1 1/4 cups warm water.  Let it rest for 5 minutes.

Add 1 cup room temperature starter.

Add 1 1/4 cup sugar.

Add 1 tablespoon salt.

Add 2 beaten eggs.

Add 1/4 cup oil.  Stir together. 

This is premix.

Slowly add 6 cups of flour.

Add 2 cups of flour at a time, mixing well after each addition.

This is what the dough will look like after all the flour is added.

On a floured surface, dump dough and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Put in well greased bowl (I use cooking spray), and spray the top of the dough with cooking spray.  Cover with a towel and let rise until dough is double in size. 

Look!  The dough has doubled in size!  Punch down the dough and shape into 2 loaves. 

Let rise for an hour.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Finished product!  I can’t wait to cut it and taste it!