3.31.2013

Cadbury Mini Egg Easter Bread


Easter Bread (source)



Ingredients


  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature, plus 1/2 tablespoon, melted
  • a handful of Cadbury Mini Eggs (or any other candy-coated chocolates) 


Preparation

  1. Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave until an instant-read thermometer registers 110°–115°. Transfer milk to a 2-cup measuring cup; stir in 1 Tbsp. sugar. Sprinkle yeast over milk and whisk to blend. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Add 2 eggs; whisk until smooth.
  2. Combine remaining 4 Tbsp. sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add milk mixture. With mixer running, add 1/2 cup room-temperature butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Knead on medium-high speed until dough is soft and silky, about 5 minutes.
  3. Brush a medium bowl with some melted butter; place dough in bowl. Brush top of dough with remaining melted butter; cover with plastic wrap.
  4. Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, 1–1 1/2 hours.
  5. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down dough. Divide into 3 equal pieces. With lightly floured* hands, roll each piece on a lightly floured* surface into a 16-inch-long rope with tapered ends. (If dough begins to bounce back, cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes to allow dough to relax.)
  6. Arrange ropes side by side lengthwise on prepared sheet. Pinch top ends together. Braid dough. Pinch bottom ends together to secure (braided loaf will be about 12 inches long). Tuck candy coated eggs between braids, spacing evenly. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until puffed but not doubled in size, 45–50 minutes.
  7. Arrange a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 375°. Whisk remaining egg with 2 tsp. warm water in a small bowl. Avoiding eggs, brush dough all over with egg wash. Bake until bread is golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of loaf registers 190°, 20–25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.



 
*Note: Instead of flouring hands and work surface, I sprinkled cocoa powder on my hands and parchment paper. 

Have A Happy Easter! 


3.30.2013

Easter Egg ~Rainbow~ Nails





It was hard to find colors in Window's Paint program that actually looked like my nail polish, but you get the gist! My rainbow nails are so happy and fun! I can't wait to show the kids at work~



3.29.2013

Dressy Dinner Date







I have come to treasure the random blocks of time I get to spend with my husband lately. Abe has been working 40-50hrs/week during the day and evening. I am working the overnight shift this month so I sleep until 3pm or so and then work all night. We have days were we just don't see each other!

We knew this week would be hectic, so we scheduled a date night where we went out to a new restaurant and just enjoyed each other's company. The food wasn't even that good, but that didn't matter.

How do you stay connected with your loved ones during a busy day/week/month?




Coat: Ellen Tracy via Marshall's
Dress: Tocca via Gilt
Belt: Target
Tights & Boots: Old Navy

3.27.2013

Hay There









I took a visit to this local field yesterday. I always pass by the huge stacks of hay on my drive to work and thought they'd make a nice backdrop! I also felt like randomly straightening my hair yesterday for no reason. I never do it, so why the heck not. I actually like it straight, but I think since I'm used to it being wonky and wavy that I felt like I had no idea how to style it this way! It was very strange.

It started to sprinkle when I was finishing up taking my photos, so I packed my gear up and as I was stepping into my car, I slipped and fell on the gravel rocks that make up the little access road. Ouch! I landed on my bum but thankfully I and my dress are alright!





Cardigan: Old Navy
Dress & Clutch: thrifted
Shoes: Chelsea Crew via Ruche

3.26.2013

Currently ~Hibernating~



Someone needs to get Punxsutawney Phil's eyes checked. We've had more snow this "Spring" than we did all winter! I'm currently hunkered down in over-sized blankets and sweaters, drinking {homemade} white chocolate cocoa and baking cookies. Don't forget the double layered socks!

But there is something so pretty about falling snow... Snap out of it!






Photo sources: 1, 2 & 3

3.25.2013

Mixed Up






Mixing prints and seasons in today's look. I learned to hide behind the walls to escape the wind. Gosh it's bitter! It also helped that by hiding from wind, I was hiding from onlookers when the wind blew my skirt up!! All in a day's work!





Coat: unknown department store in NYC (old)
Shirt: Ross'
Skirt: Charlotte Russe
Shoes: Target

3.24.2013

Jello Cookies


I SHOULD HAVE MADE THESE FOR ST. PATRICK'S DAY! I'm seriously kicking myself for not making these a week ago. They're like happy little radio-active sugar blobs. Appetizing! Actually they're pretty good. And I think I might go to the store soon to get blue-raspberry jello! Seriously any flavor jello will work. I just happened to love lime.

Jello Cookies (adapted from here)

Yields 40-48 cookies

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 packages jello, divided (any flavor, not sugar free)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp milk (I used soy, any should do)

Directions:


Preheat oven to 400°F.

1. Whisk together flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Beat butter in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Add sugar and 1 package gelatin; beat until light and fluffy. Blend in egg and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture.Mix will look like a bunch of crumbs. Slowly add milk until resembles dough. 


2. Pour remaining jello package into a small bowl or ramekin. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in dry jello. Place jello coated balls onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. You may choose to flatten dough balls with your palm or bake in ball form.

Rounded vs. Flattened balls

3. Bake for 8 minutes if you flattened cookies or 10 minutes is you left them as balls (or until edges are lightly browned.) Cool on baking sheets 3 min. Remove to wire racks to cool slightly. Eat right away and they're nice and chewy/fluffy. Or wait until cool and they get slightly crisp on the outside. Store in air tight container.


Baked flattened cookies

Baked rounded cookies
I preferred the rounded version, they are puffier!

These would be perfect for any occasion because you can make them any color! Baby showers come to mind. Cute lil pink or blue cookies :)
~Naomi




3.23.2013

Weekend Warrior




Well we've made it. We made it to the point in my (blog's) life where I feel comfortable enough to show you a lazy day look. Even though it might look nice and sunny, it was like -50 million degrees and I only had to venture outside for my annual TB test for work. On my day off! On a weekend!

So I hid my tired eyes under my sunnies and put some lipstick on to make it look like I tried. After that silly errand, I took a nap. I deserved it! Haha. Welcome to the life of a nurse on her day off.
~Naomi




Vest & Jeans: Gap
Sweater: Polo Ralph Lauren (thrifted)
Purse: TJ Maxx
Sunglasses: eBay
Boots: Avon

3.21.2013

Bargain Pleats






If I were to add up this whole outfit, I think it would have cost me around $30 total. I picked up this cute pleated skirt with it's faux leather waistband at Target for $2.68! It was a returned online item and on clearance! I didn't even try it on.

And while we're on the topic of things I bought but didn't try on, that cute pink tank top. I had bought it at H&M when it was crowded from some sale last summer. I got the size 4 when I should have got the 6, it was too tight! So I had to wait until I lost some weight to wear it! Hooray now it fits!

Happy Thursday ya'll. The weekend is dead ahead!
~Naomi



Sweater: hand-me-down
Tank top: H&M
Skirt: Target
Tights & Necklace: unknown
Shoes: Deb Shops