Tag Archives: Great Gifts for the holidays

Valentines Day – Homemade No Knead Bread.


I wanted to share this with you all, I made a recipe for Homemade No Knead Bread for Valentines week. This is not a quick bread, by any means, it is made with Yeast (not baking powder or baking soda… nor is it quick, but it’s easy!) This fortunately makes 2 loaves, the first loaf is half gone and I just finished making this No Knead Bread late last night! lol I received this little booklet as a gift and I finally made a recipe from this yesterday.

Homemade No Knead Bread
Yummy yummy!

While I was thinking about the success I had with this Homemade No Knead Yeast Bread, I thought about how much my husband loves homemade bread and that it is indeed the perfect baked good for Valentines week. And the ingredients were all in my kitchen already, so I didn’t have to shop special for the recipe I used.

I wore my Flirty Apron while making my bread:
Women's Apron Very Cherry

I warn you, though it’s easy, next time I would make it a day or two before I plan to bake it, it takes a long time for this bread to “Self Knead” and It took about 11 hours before I could bake this delicious bread.

I love homemade bread, but suffering from Chronic Pain, kneading can drive you to use up all your spoons if you are a spoonie like me (follow this link, if you don’t know what a spoonie is. The link shows the Spoonie Theory, and other posts dealing with Spoonies, like adding a spoon to your profile pictures.)

Anywho… I wanted to share this recipe with you and let you know my experience & the results from this strange new way of making yeast bread.

A personal Review, the book with this recipe in it is:

“The breadbreakthrough”(yes one word) and the subtitle states: Easy Recipes. Dough Kneads Itself

Now this little paperback booklet was a gift to me, from my Mother who, along with my Dad love the no knead recipes for homemade bread.

The results are a dense, crunchy exterior crust and a super moist, dense crumb (interior of the bread). And eaten hot from the oven it is simply to die for, especially if  you use real butter on top! 🙂

Here is the Recipe I used:

What is left of one of the two loaves of bread that I made. Nummy!  Only half the loaf remains.
What is left of one of the two loaves of bread that I made. Nummy! Only half the loaf remains.

Easy Oat Bread (No Knead Bread)

Yield: 2 Medium Loaves


key: C = Cup(s), tsp = teaspoon(s), T = Tablespoon(s)

5 1/2 C (27.5 Ounces) – Unbleached All Purpose White Flour or unbleached white bread flour, plus more as needed.

1 C – Old Fashioned rolled oats or quick-cooking (not instant) oats, plus 4 Tablespoons for Garnish.

3 T – Granulated Sugar

Scant 2 3/4 tsp – table salt

1 tsp – Rapid Rise Yeast

1/4 C – Clover honey or Light (mild) Molasses

1/4 C – Corn Oil or Other Flavorless Vegetable Oil, plus extra for coating dough top and baking pans. (I used Canola Oil, coated the pans with Crisco and used Canola Spray for the top of the loaves while rising)

2 1/4 C plus 2 T Ice Water (yes you read that right), plus more if needed.

In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together the,  all but 1 Cup of the flour, oats, sugar, salt and yeast. (I say all but 1 Cup of the flour because the original recipe had you use all the flour… making the dough impossible to stir, and later on it said to incorporate the flour a bit at a time.)

In a medium bowl or measuring cup, thoroughly whisk the honey (or molasses) and oil together. Add the honey/oil mixture into the ice water. (now I had made the mistake of adding the ice water to the honey and oil, without mixing the honey and oil first… big mistake, I ended up with the honey stuck in a semi solid clump to the whisk. So I changed this to read the way it worked best for me.)

Add your water, oil, honey mixture to the flour mixture in a large bowl until thoroughly blended. Make sure you have all the flour mixture coated and at this point, if needed, add more water. You will have a dough that is thick and difficult to stir, but still you should be able to stir this… don’t over moisten.

Brush or spray the top of the dough with oil. Cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap. For the best flavor, the author of this recipe recommends, refrigerating the dough for 3 to 10 hours. Then let rise at cool room temperature for 12 to 18 hours; if convenient, vigorously stir once during the rise. Since it seemed to hint at this first rise not being necessary, I only let it rise in the fridge for 3 hours, then set it out for about 30 minutes to warm up a bit and make it easier to stir (then straight out of the fridge). 

Vigorously stir the dough. If needed, stir in enough more flour to yield a hard-to-stir consistency.

Generously oil two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pans. My loaf pans are slightly larger, it still worked but the rise of the bread was slightly lower then the recommended height for the second raising. I also used Crisco (yeah, I know, so bad for you, but it’s thicker then the oil and worked great for the oats that go over the pan coating).

Take your 1 T of Oats and coat the bottom and sides of the 2 pans (I actually used more so it coated all over nicely).

Use well oiled kitchen shears or serrated knife to cut the dough in half. Put the dough portions in the prepared pans. Press down the dough and smooth oiled spatula or hands. Sprinkle loaves with Oat and press down to imbed. Made a 1/2 inch deep slash length-wise down the center of both loaves (again using your well oiled kitchen shears or serrated knife). Tightly cover the loaf pans with well oiled plastic wrap.

Let Rise Using Any of the Methods Below:

For a 2 – 3 hr regular rise, let stand at warm room temperature, for 45 mins to 2 hrs.

Accelerated rise – let sand in a turned off microwave along with 1 cup of boiling water.

Extended Rise (what I will use next time) – refrigerate, covered for 4 to 24 hours, then set out at room temp.

With all Rise options: Continue to rise until the dough gets near the plastic wrap. Remove the plastic wrap and continue to let rise until the dough reaches 1/2 inch above rim. If you are using slightly larger loaf pans, like I did, I let it rise until it just reached the rim.

Lower Oven Rack to about the lower 1/3 of the oven, then Preheat your oven to 375.

Bake for 50 – 60 mins, until the tops are well browned. Cover the tops with foil. Then back for 10 to 15 mins more, until a skewer inserted in the thickest part comes out with just a few particles clinging to the bottom. (now I used the traditional, knock on the bread and listen for the hollow sound, that I was used to… either way, the loaves turned out great!)

Now, remove from pan and once cooled a few minutes, slice a piece off and butter it and say mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! 😉


I hope you like the recipe, I have altered it for what I did when I made the bread (along with the original options). All in all the recipe was easy, however next time I make this, I will do a majority of the work a day ahead of time. But what a wonderful way to a mans heart, but through baking some yummy homemade bread and why not give the No Knead Yeast Bread a try?

Women's Apron Sassy Black

Oh and I found a the exact apron that I was gifted a couple of years ago, so cute! Personally I would not have chosen the black and white one, but I love love love it and the ties are soooooooo long, these aprons could fit anyone that I know, big or small!

Comments, or questions (as always) are welcome! 🙂

Disclaimer: I was gifted the book that this recipe was from, by my family. I am sharing this recipe (altered to show the way it worked for me). and I did not receive this recipe, book (or the mentioned aprons for a review,) these were gifts that I wished to share with you all.

Lean on this Tower for your Holiday Shopping List – Review and Giveaway

Deck the Halls Snack Tower

This Tower doesn’t lean, in more ways then one!

This tower of goodies, won’t help you lose weight, but you won’t lose sleep either when you think of what to get for those hard to buy for treat lovers on your list.


I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to try out the “Deck the Halls Snack Tower” of Goodies from GiftTree.com, for our holiday List of Reviews and Giveaways. How sweet it is too! And a wonderful cure for the Holiday Shopping List Woes!

Measuring the "Deck The Halls Snack Tower"

This impressive tower stands about 14 inches high. With boxes that are sturdy and nicely decorated for the Winter and Holiday Season. The box with my tower in it arrived in excellent condition to my home, and it was fully assembled, complete with a nicely tied Silk Ribbon to hold the boxes all together. The Tower came perfectly ready for gift giving, no assembly required, so it could be shipped straight to the gift recipient. The outside of the box has an area that lets the recipient get a gift message from the sender, and when you open your box you see a notice to look at that outside label and peal off the top to reveal your gift note.

How nice is that, a gift that keeps on giving (and I am not talking about partaking in the treats from the gift box and the calories you may later need to burn off either)…

Inside the box I not only found the tower but a little folded envelope that has the words “Complementary Scissors” on it, when you open that up there is cute but sturdy little pair of scissors so that you didn’t have to go dig up a pair to open and enjoy your treats! I will save these scissors for my embroidery work, when I get the time to get back to the tons of crafting projects I plan to do “someday.” The tower package also came with a little card stating that “it’s a privilege to be part of your special occasion” and it is not just a card folks but a gift card! This little gift card is for $10 off your order of $50 or more from Gift Tree, this one expires December 31, 2013, so plenty of time to use it!

The Deck the Halls Snack Tower in my Livingroom
The Deck the Halls Snack Tower in my Livingroom

Just what you’ve been waiting for…the treats.

The boxes are full of a different goodies in each and every box. Here is what I found in my boxes, from smallest to largest box:

Smallest Box to Largest:

BBQ Almonds (just a palm full, but might good!)

Malted Milk Balls

Candy Fruit Slices (like gumdrops in fruit flavors) – the site says candied berries but that is not what mine had in it.

Peppermint Divinity (I love making Divinity, it used to be my one of my Christmas jobs as a teenager, along with making Fudge for gift giving)

Red Velvet Cookies

“Confetti” Dark Chocolate with Almonds Caramel Corn

Okay so we sampled all of the goodies here and ate them up:

We started out with saving the Red Velvet Cookies ( I tried them they were good) but hubby loves Red Velvet Cake so he wanted a naughty Breakfast of them with his coffee for one morning, he is saving it for Sunday Breakfast.

I personally thought that the BBQ Almonds and the Candy Fruit Slices were my favorite.

It is hard to beat homemade Divinity, and this is really good stuff for pre-made but I still intend to make my own for gift giving… but I love the idea of crushed candy canes on top like these have. The malted milk balls were good, however not enough malted flavor for me.

And the Dark Chocolate With Almonds Caramel Corn? Well, I was so very excited by it and I don’t believe I am saying this to much of the Dark Chocolate and while chocolate coating on it, you couldn’t get all of the taste of the caramel corn with it smothered. I love chocolate but I also adore caramel corn, I would have loved to taste both at once with just a drizzle of the chocolate. Also with this one, please take out the “Dehumectant” packet in it, I went to finish off the popcorn that I had started days before and yes it kept the bits of caramel corn crisp but I didn’t take it out and with my numb hands (from nerve damage in my neck) I put it in my mouth and gasped as I pulled it out! Not good… take that out before letting the kids at it please!!!!

Natures Best Gift Tower from GiftTreeIdeas for the towers on their site (not just the one I reviewed):

If it’s not for you, why not gather one or two together with your own ribbon and add to a homemade gift basket or to go with another gift you’ve picked out for your recipient(s) and spread out the tower? Why not?

If you are going to enjoy it yourself or at home with your family, why not open up the packages in the boxes, put the goodies in nice little bowls etc, saving the boxes. These boxes are nicely decorated and sturdy, they would work well for gift giving and you wouldn’t even need to wrap the gifts up, just get some ribbon and tie it around the box, making a beautiful little box with a gift in it for your recipients and if you give gifts in it you won’t have to worry about picking up all the messy wrapping paper and the boxes all nest nicely together for storage and reuse. 🙂

Champagne Gift Basket Happy New Year!Turning the subject away from the Tower and looking at the Gift Tree Site,

I have looked around the gift tree site several times and even purchase from them before for gift giving for any time of the year. The prices are comparable and sometimes even cheaper then other places like this online and they have a great assortment to choose from. The gifts are easy to navigate through, as they list occasions as well as types of gifts, who they are for and even price ranges. You are sure to find something that fits to bill for your gift giving needs here.

Happy Holidays Friends, this is part of our Holiday Gift List/Christmas List so one of you can win this yummy tower for yourself… what are you waiting for enter to win now! 🙂

Good Luck!

Disclaimer: Mariah Lockwood personally reviewed this product. I received The Deck the Halls Tower for this product to test. I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return.. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. The photo’s used in this review were provided by GiftTree and Myself

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