Monday, November 26, 2012

Favorite Things {With Pages}

Happy Post-Thanksgiving and Pre-Christmas everyone! This Monday finds me a bit bleary-eyed and exhausted from much traveling and much food and two weeks of sickness that will not leave. I've no intention of being brilliant or deep or productive today, so I'm dishing up a favorite things post {and continuing to try not to stress about getting my holidays just right.}

My pockets are not exactly deep right now {as if they ever are} so I'm not planning any Cyber-Monday  craziness. But I do look forward to Amazon's $5 magazine subscriptions this time of year. I love getting and giving magazine subscriptions. It's like unwrapping a little surprise gift that arrives in the mailbox once a month. 

Another recent favorite purchase is this book: Reflections for Ragamuffins by Brennan Manning. 

He's one of my favorite writers. The Ragamuffin Gospel and Abba's Child have both been such important books in my life. Reflections for Ragamuffins is a devotional, one reading for each day of the year. I love it. Here's a quote from the preface:

Reflections for Ragamuffins is a series of meditations written over a span of twenty-two years--years of joy and suffering, fidelity and infidelity, intense commitment and serious relapses, muddling and struggling to be faithful to Jesus. I share these reflections with a specific purpose in mind: not to transmit inspiring thoughts, but to awaken, revive, and rekindle radical, ruthless trust in the God bodied forth in the carpenter from Nazareth.

See why I love his writing? It's not about striving and perfectionism; it's about real rest in the only One who can save us.

On a different note, it was a little over a year ago that I began baking this bread: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. But I call it "Bread for Dummies." I love to cook and bake but bread has always intimidated me. It's so fussy and condescending with its demand for exactness and precision. Prior to the "Dummy Bread," I had ruined at least as many loaves as I'd successfully baked. 

No more. This bread is delicious, free from preservatives, and nearly foolproof. Did I mention it takes 5 minutes? Here's the basic premise: You dump yeast, flour, salt, and water in a large plastic container. You let it rise. You refrigerate it. You pull out a hunk of dough when you want fresh bread for dinner. You let the dough rise {no kneading or anything} for 40 minutes. You bake the bread. You eat the bread. You delight your family and friends. You wonder where the extra five pounds came from but decide not to sweat it because the bread to so worth it. 

Anyway, I've been making this bread regularly for many months and thought it was worth mentioning again, especially since it's the perfect season for hot, crusty, comforting bread. I linked the recipe above if you want to try it out but I finally bought each of the actual 5-minute bread cookbooks last Christmas {after checking them out repeatedly from the library.}

Here's the first cookbook and the one I use the most.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking

Here's the second cookbook which has lots of healthy breads and gluten-free options.

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients

Okay, so these next favorite things do not have pages but I feel compelled to tell you what I'm watching these days as I tide myself over until Downton Abbey resumes: The new version of Upstairs, Downstairs and Call the Midwife. The former takes place in at 165 Eaton Place, London, during the late 1930s and 1940s. The latter also takes place in London but in the East End during the 1950s. 

Oh they are such good shows! {Dramas, both of them, on Masterpiece Classic.} The actual seasons have ended but I think you can watch them or stream them on PBS online. {And while searching for that Downton Abbey link I saw that you can buy Season 3 on-line already! What?!? 'Tis the season for not shopping for oneself so I will patiently wait for January. Hopefully.}

Any favorite things you're loving lately? {with or without pages}


*Amazon links are affiliate links.

1 comment:

  1. Hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving. Andrea and June were with us. It was 70s and gorgeous here. Miss you. Sending my love....


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