Thursday, February 9, 2012

Smile

If you only have one smile in you, give it to the people you love.

~Maya Angelou

My Family, my life!

Isn't it amazing when you have those moments out of the blue that make you smile. It is even better when those moments are with the people you love.

The simple things like my husband last night giggling over something silly on t.v.
I smiled clear down in my heart. 

Talking to the preschooler on the bus waiting to travel 15 miles to school. As you get on the bus some of them look scared to death, very few smile, but if you talk to them and give them a smile, maybe tease them a little, it can make them smile. Which can fill your heart.

A rough and tough boy who wants his mommy! A little snuggle time can always warm a heart.

Our little small town recently had a tragedy. When you are from a small town you know everyone, maybe not well, but you know them or their family. You know the people who were there trying with all of their heart and soul to save a man from the community, a son, father, brother, husband, co-worker, friends and I am sure so much more. 
In situations like this it hits the whole town and for some it is hard to find a way to move on and to find a way to smile. There is no answers and sometimes it is even hard to find something to be thankful for, but WE HAVE TO REMEMBER WE ALL HAVE SOMETHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR!
We all have the same reaction to say I'm sorry, but I was recently told by someone involved I'm sorry does nothing, so what should we say...
Again no right answer for situations like this, all I could say to them was I will pray for them. 
I pray that they will find something simple to smile over and the pain will slowly start to fade.

What makes you smile an the hardest of days or the best of days?
I will leave you with this quote,
“Let us make one point, that we meet each other with a smile, when it is difficult to smile. Smile at each other, make time for each other in your family.”
Mother Teresa


Friday, February 3, 2012

Snowy Day Pretzels

Nebraska is getting snow! Before the storm had even hit I think half the state had cancellations and closings. We usually get snow, but it is the first for this winter. I don't like snow, but I always like to see one good snow. As long as I don't have to go in it!

 My kids decided to go out and play in the horrible wind. I think we need new snow gear, both their coveralls are getting small and their gloves. But they both had fun and that is all that matters.
 While they were out in the snow I was looking through cookbooks and of course Pinterest trying to decide what to cook, because if it snows you must cook and bake. 
I LOVE soft pretzels! If I see some I must get them! So when I came across this recipe Hot Buttered Fluffy Pretzels from Fifteen Spatulas I had to try to make it!

Dough Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
21/4 tsp instant yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
Topping Ingredients:
1/2 cup warm water
1 tbsp baking soda
vegetable oil for greasing the sheet pan
coarse sea salt or kosher salt, for sprinkling
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

NOTE: This recipe only makes 8 pretzels. I would highly recommend at least doubling this recipe! 

Directions:
Mix all the dough ingredients until combined. Take out and knead for 5 minutes. The dough should be soft and smooth, not sticky.


 Let the dough rise for about 30 minutes or until doubled.

 I am going to admit I have to cheat. The house I live in is very cold in the kitchen, even with the oven running. It always seems to take longer than it should for things to rise. SO, I found a little trick on the Internet, put a heating blanket around the bowl. It works for me and helps speed things up.


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Grease a baking sheet.
Remove the dough and put onto a oiled counter-top.  Cut the dough into 8 pieces, and let rest for 5 minutes.

 While you are waiting combine the warm water and baking soda. Then roll each piece into a long rope, and shape into a pretzel.    To make the shape of the pretzel make a loop:

 Then take the other end and pull it through the first loop!
 Making snakes with dough was a perfect job for my son!
Next dip each pretzel into the soda wash and place onto the greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt, then let rest for 10 minutes.
 Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until the pretzels are golden brown.  Brush the pretzels with the melted butter while they are hot out of the oven.
 My eight pretzels did not last long, but wow were they delicious!

Hope you are staying warm next to your fire wherever you are at, the snowing is really starting to fall here! Look back the the more it snows the more I want to cook. There goes my diet, lol!