Homemade Bread from Scratch

Makes 2 medium loaves.

Best Homemade Bread recipe. No breadmaker.

In a large bowl whisk together:

2 1/2 cups hot water (I usually put the kettle on, and let it cool a bit before getting started).
1/3 cup veggie oil
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tbsp salt

Then add:
3/4 cup flour and whisk for 30 seconds.
When that is whisked so that it looks like a paste, add 1 1/2 tbsp of yeast and whisk for another 30 seconds.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add 2 - 3 cups of flour and mix with a spoon. Once the flour is all mixed in, add another 3-4 cups of flour. Mix with a spoon until you can't work the dough anymore, and then stick your hands in and knead. Keep doing this for about 10 minutes, until all the flour is mixed in. The dough should be soft, but it shouldn't be sticky. If it is sticky, add pinches of flour until it isn't anymore.

Move the dough to a separate greased bowl (cooking spray works well). Cover with a teatowel and set on top of the stove to rise. I usually let it rise on an element, so that it can soak in some of the heat from the preheated oven. Let rise for 1 hour.

When it has finished rising (so that it is roughly twice the size of the original), knead your dough on the counter or flat surface to get all the air pockets out.

you can see that the dough has risen to twice the size!

Separate the dough into two even sections, forming into an oval shape and place in greased bread pans.

Let rise on the stove again for about 30 minutes, covered, so that they begin to fill the baking pans.

Then pop them in the oven (still at 350 degrees) for 30 minutes.

Take them out, and enjoy.

The original recipe came from Bunny's Warm Oven (you can click the blog name for the original), but I have tweaked it a little bit to make it easier, and to cut down on the amount of flour in the recipe.

I typically freeze the additional loaf until I am ready to use it, taking it out the night before to defrost on the counter. You can freeze them in giant freezer bags, or appropriately sized containers. I typically reuse my freezer bags for the bread once I have emptied them. When my freezer is empty, I start the breadmaking process over again. It's so easy!

Today, I had banana muffins and chocolate chip cookies on the go while the bread was rising. So, after 2.5 hours of baking I had:

- 2 loaves of bread
- 1 dozen banana chocolate chip walnut muffins (tweaked recipe from my momma!)
- 2 bakers' dozen chocolate chip cookies.

Looking for a healthier alternative? Try adding whole wheat, gluten free, or all natural flour instead of the all purpose stuff.

Be warned. Once you start making homemade bread, you will NEVER go back to the store bought stuff.


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Monday Mentionables: Simple Pleasures

Be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong. 

This is my wish to you, today.

Happy Monday!

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Style Post: That Spring Dress

Happy Sunday, Readers!

I'm actually writing this post quite late on Saturday evening (late enough that it is actually Sunday, and the Maritime snowplowers have already probably begun their morning routes). I have to brag, today in BC land it was a solid 10 degrees celcius, sunny, and feeling like spring is around the corner. 

In Ontarioland, it is -26 degrees celcius, snowing, and feeling like winter will never end.

Today I might have fallen in love with BC.

... Until it starts raining again. Then I'll be back to longing for my hometown and seasons. 

You might recognize this dress from an Instagram post of mine circa summer 2013. I was standing in the dressing room of The Gap yaying or naying at this blue and white striped sundress. It was end of season, there was one left in the whole store, and it just happened to be my size. 

I just wasn't sure if I loved it. 

Instagramers are honest. If they like something, they'll tell you. If they don't, they will tell you that too.

The dress (summer version, pictured below) is a v-neck cut, with 2 inch thick straps. I legitimately couldn't decide if I liked the neckline. I always fear that v-necks are just a tad too revealing, and, if/when worn loosely, there's the chance they make me look a little frumpy.

Obviously, the dress was added to my wardrobe (Nick liked it on me, and so it got worn for a subsequent date).

However, after moving to BC, I discovered something spectacular about this dress.

It has pockets.

And I suddenly felt as though I had a whole new and exciting item of clothing in my wardrobe.

Have you ever had that? The moment of sheer astonishment when you realize that the piece of clothing you've had the ficklest relationship with has transformed itself from being on the 'meh' list to the 'holy crap I love you more than sugar' list?

That happened.

And it was a good day.

Now these photos, I do realize, do not show you the pockets of the dress, I do assure you they are there. 

Being awesome.

So, because they are awesome, I was clearly going to pull out that spring dress for that spring weather.

Because pockets are cool. 

And spring weather in January is great. 

dress // the gap
cardigan // suzy shier
belt // thrifted
tights // suzy shier
boots // le chateau
scarf // clothing swap

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Recipe Day: Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Welcome to my first ever recipe post! I am so excited to share this one with you! 

Because I am a student, living in the most expensive part of Canada, I have made it my New Years resolution to feed myself for under $100/month. Because of this, I have resorted to making my own bread and cookies, cutting down on my coffee intake, and substituting a glass of wine with some lemon water.

For this reason, I have also become really inventive with my cooking: purchasing mostly fresh produce and finding interesting ways to cook it. I have no need to be gluten free, so I won't be (because it does happen to be expensive), and I can't afford all the meat that goes along with the newly popular paleo diet. 

Thus, we have another new instalment to the world of Lipstick&Yarn: cheap and delicious recipes.

Please note that all prices (and measurements) are in CAD, not USD.

what you need

2 sweet potatoes
1 large onion
seasoning salt
extra virgin olive oil
garlic powder (or minced garlic, up to you)
chipotle chili pepper

tin foil
large baking pan/sheet

serves 4

\\ 1 //  
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Stab sweet potatoes and place them in the microwave on high for 2 minutes. This will soften them up so that they are easier to chop.
While they are in the microwave, place foil in your baking pan (easier clean-up) and cut your onion into long strips. I cut mine into quarters.

\\ 2 //
Peel the sweet potatoes before you chop them into strips about an inch thick. If you don't, the skin will just end up coming off in the oven anyways, and they aren't great to eat. 

\\ 3 //
Toss onions and sweet potatoes into your baking dish and lather them with olive oil. Make sure they are all covered. You don't want any of them sticking to the foil.

\\ 4 //
Season to taste using the garlic, salt, pepper, and chipotle chili pepper. Be warned about the chipotle chili pepper though, it's potent, so if you don't like your sweet potatoes to be super spicy, go easy on the spice.

\\ 5 //
Put in the oven for an hour to allow the potatoes to roast thoroughly. If you want them a little crunchier, leave them in an extra 15 minutes. 

Dish onto plate and enjoy!

Everything on this plate was oven-roasted, and purchased as loose, fresh produce. So,
super healthy and delicious! The beans are glistening a little because they were sweating
out their own juices as I took this photo.

Total cost of dish:

2 sweet potatoes // $0.79/lb = approx $1.50
onion from bulk bag of 6 onions // $2.49/bag = $0.50
Salt, pepper and garlic was already on hand.
Chipotle Chili Pepper // $5.99 for 52g.

Total: $8.00 CAD. 

Note: Since I am only feeding myself, the fries were divided up into containers for 3 subsequent meals, meaning that the total cost of this per person/portion is only $2.00 - and that's only if you don't already own the spice! If you do own the spice, then the portion cost becomes a mere $0.50 CAD/portion. 

Happy cooking! 

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Style Post: Earrings el-Cheapo

Hey guys!

Sorry for the radio-silence on the blog this week. My schedule on Wednesdays and Thursdays this semester doesn't really allow me a whole lot of time on those two days to focus on getting up posts. Luckily, I happen to have Fridays off (and by 'off', I mean that I don't have to be at the University, and instead get to read countless pages of literary theory and history in the comfort of my own chair...). 

Today's post came to me as I was shaking out my jewelry bag this morning trying to find a matching pair of earrings. It's a common problem for me. I don't have the will-power to try and organize all of my  stud earrings on one of those fancy-pants earring organizers, so, once upon a yesteryear, I started throwing all my earrings in a small shear bag that pulls tight at the top. It was designed to hold jewelry, so I thought, ah, what they heck.

However, I have the classic problem of losing earrings. Just as dryer gnomes seem to take one of each matching pair of socks (leaving me with virtually no matches), so the vanity gnomes steal single earrings. The result has been my increasingly steady dependence on el-Cheapo bulk-buy earrings from women's clothing stores in the mall.

The good news is, though, that el-Cheapos are actually, slowly, becoming constructed to be more durable, and if you're willing to part from the pre-teen (albeit inexpensive) Ardene's world, there are some lovely finds which can absolutely be added to accommodate many of your daily accessory needs. And if you're like me, losing earrings to the gnomes on a weekly basis, el-Cheapo alternatives may be just what you need!

1. teal butterfly studs // 7 pack assorted. $8.99 CAD. Suzy Shier

2. inch-wide pink flower studs // 5 pack assorted. $4.00 CAD, sale price. Dynamite.

3. art-deco swirl stone studs // 2 pack (blue also). $2.00 CAD, sale. Suzy Shier.

4. cluster pearl high-back studs // 7 pack assorted. $7.99 CAD. Suzy Shier

5. metal-based inch wide faded teal flower studs // 7 pack assorted. $7.99 CAD. Suzy Shier

The last two are actually from the same assorted pack of earrings which I purchased from Suzy over the holidays. They were blowing out their end of season accessories to make way for 2014 styles. Which means that el-Cheapo was el-Cheapest!

Which is your favourite?

Do you have earring gnomes, too?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Tuesday Link Up - Toria's Treasures

Toria, beauty and fashion blogger over at Toria's Treasure Chest has begun a new themed Tuesday link-up!

This Tuesday the theme is purple.

Toria's Treasure Chest

I am so excited to actually have purple to contribute... seeing as I am not really a purple kind of gal. 

Pantone has named a purple hue "Radiant Orchid' the 2014 colour of the year - meaning we are going to be seeing a lot more of this delightful theme! 


Isn't it lovely?!

1. Old Navy's Rockstar Jeggings in magenta.
2. L'Oreal Studio Silk&Gloss hairspray.
3. Covergirl Lashblast in very black, waterproof.
4. Thrifted purple scarf in floral.
5. Revlon nail polish in 'Devil's Lure'.
6. Bath and Body Works' 'Brown Sugar and Fig' body wash (this is my roommate's, but I had to include it because I just ADORE the smell of it!). 

Have a lovely Tuesday, everyone! And don't forget to stop on over to Toria's blog for the complete list of Tuesday Treasures links! 

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Monday Mentionables: Tomorrow

And this, readers, is how I feel today...


Hope your Monday is a little less mystical land and a little more productivity!

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Style Post: Stripes and Skirts

So before we address the three most amazing thrift finds that make up the better part of this outfit, I would like to draw your attention to the absolutely hilarious and fantastic and utterly irresponsible circumstances surrounding today's outfit.

1) I forgot my lipstick. I had this amazingly perfect shade of vibrant red Maybelline lipstick that I was going to apply before these were taken. But, in typical Brittany fashion, I left it at home. The shade I was wearing totally came off before these were taken. It was a lovely pink shade and wouldn't have shown up anyways.

2) Let's talk about the curls that DIDN'T STAY IN MY HAIR. 

When I left the house this morning, I had this wonderfully curled 'do that just completed this look. Unfortunately, it did not survive my walks around campus amidst the very VERY damp (and warm!!) British Columbia air. So while I left the house with hair that looked like this:

I also magically grew out my bangs. And dyed my hair.
Just kidding. JLaw... she's my fav... and that's totally cliche.
I ended up with this:

I'm such a lion.

Hopefully my tentative inability to function as a human being doesn't take away from the fabulousness of the three thrifted items in this outfit.

1. The fantastic Nygard striped slouchy t-shirt. 
2. The *real* leather vintage belt.

3. These ecentrically awesome shiny gold and silver flats. 

I am about 90% sure that I purchased all of these at Talize. However, there is a solid chance that the belt came from Value Village - which is basically Talize, just a little more expensive and not as selective in their stock. They even have the same company colours - royal blue and orange - blinding you as soon as you walk in the door. 

The difference between the two thrift giants is this: Talize supports the Children's Wish Foundation. Value Village supports various local not-for profit organizations. So, in the kingdom of Thrifty, it really comes down to which specific store you're shopping in, and what part of the city it is located in.

I've never, ever struck out at either of these two places. The VV in London, ON is leaps and bounds above the Kitchener, ON location with regards to selection and clothing names, but, again, that's simply because it has a different league of donators than the other location. 

So, skirts and stripes it is. And because, well, when a well kept Nygard tee, regular priced between $50 CAD and $100 CAD can be added to my closet for a mere $7.99 CAD, I am one stoked blogger.

Shirt: Nygard, thrifted - Talize
Belt: thrifted - Talize or VV
Skirt: Suzy Shier
Tights: Suzy Shier
Flats: thrifted - Talize

Photos by Natalie.

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