Easy 90 Minute Bread Recipe

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Easy? YES. Can anyone make it? YES. Do you have to be a baker in order to whip it up? Absolutely not. This is a quick, easy recipe that makes gorgeous round bread with only a mixer and a cookie sheet, cast iron pan, or pizza stone.

I originally came across this recipe here, and they have beautiful pictures of the bread. Please stop by and see what you think!

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I usually do half wheat and half white flour, and it turns out beautifully. You will need:

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups of warm water
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2¼ tsp active-dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 4 cups=bread flour (I do 2 cups of white and 2 cups of wheat)
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  1. Put warm water (warm enough that it gives your hand a little sting), honey and yeast in your mixing bowl. Stir until the honey dissolves and then let it feed the yeast for about five minutes. Then add flour, the coconut oil (or melted butter, if you’d prefer), and salt.  Knead for ten minutes on low using a dough hook (or with your hands if you don’t have a mixer. No big deal!), then cover the dough with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
  2. Flour a flat surface and put your dough on it. Knead it a few times by hand, shape it into a ball, and cover it with the towel to rise again for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If you’re using a pizza stone or a cast iron pan, put them in the oven and let them preheat inside.
  4. After the dough rises for the second 30 minutes, put it directly on the pizza stone, cast iron skillet, or cookie sheet. Cut two slits in top for steam to escape. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees for the stone or cookie sheet, and 35 minutes if you’re using a skillet. After you pull it from the oven, run some butter over the top to keep it soft.

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This is wonderful with my Easy Crock Pot Potato Soup Recipe or my Easy Zuppa Toscana Recipe. (See a theme here? If it isn’t easy, I’m not making it.) I hope you enjoy!

Please Help Us Find Missing Las Vegas Man! UPDATE! He Was Found Safe!

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UPDATE! He was found safe and is resting in a hospital. Thank you so much for your help!

Chico Ebat from Northern Las Vegas went missing this morning. He’s a dear man with dementia and is presumably searching for his sweet wife who is in the hospital today.  Chico has a small build, glasses, and a gray beard. He is most likely wearing his black cowboy hat and a dark brown suede jacket. The police have been notified, so if you see him, please contact the police. He was last seen around Washington and Jones last night or early this morning. Please keep an eye out for him, and share the information if you can. Chico and his family are friends from church and we want him home as soon as possible. Thank you so much, my friends!

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I’ll Be Speaking at the LVWG on Thursday!

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I love speaking at the Las Vegas Writers Group meetings. They’re a lot of fun and I actually met my writer’s group, the Illiterati, at the LVWG. Please join us on Thursday, January 19 at 7:00. We’ll be talking about critique groups. We’ll discuss the pros and cons, how to give and receive feedback, and answer any questions you may have. The LVWG is friendly to novice and veteran writers alike. Please join us! I’ll also be selling and signing books afterward. It’s five dollars to attend, and you can either RSVP here or simply walk in. Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

The Tap House

5589 W Charleston Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 

The popular Mercedes Murdock Yardley is returning this month to give us her take on joining and using critique groups. (Hint — she’s in favor of them.) Last time Mercedes presented her talk was very well received, and she has been invited back virtually by popular demand.

Here is Mercedes writing about herself:

Hi. I’m Mercedes. I have two broken laptops, three kids, a husband and no time to write, although I try my very best. I like to write stories. I like to write poems. I like to write essays and sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they aren’t. I’m the author of the short story collection Beautiful Sorrows, the “serial killers in love” novella  Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, the BONE ANGEL trilogy, Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy, and the Bram Stoker Award winner Little Dead Red. I specialize in the dark and beautiful.

We meet in the non-smoking meeting room. Door opens at six, meeting starts at 7. Come early to order a bite to eat and network with fellow Las Vegas writers! New members at any stage of their writing career are always welcome!
It costs just $5 at the door! Come early to meet old and new friends and sample some fine Tap House food!

Miss Murder’s Easy Zuppa Toscana Recipe

I know. “Easy” and “Zuppa Toscana” don’t seem like they should go hand-in-hand, but they do. This is our weekly Sunday dinner because it’s delicious, simple to throw into the crockpot, and nourishes the soul as well as the belly.

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Ingredients

1 pound ground spicy Italian sausage

4-6 potatoes, chopped (I prefer golden for the mellow flavor)

1 chopped onion

2 TBLS minced garlic

1/2 pound bacon

32 oz chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup kale

3 TBLS flour

Brown sausage. Cook and chop bacon. Add sausage, bacon, chopped potatoes, garlic, broth, and onion to crockpot. Add water to cover vegetables, then cook on HIGH 3-4 hours or LOW 5-6 hours or until potatoes are soft.

30 minutes serving, mix flour and heavy cream together until smooth. Add cream mixture and kale to the crockpot, stir, and let cook for 30 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

I hope you enjoy one of our favorite recipes! This is amazing with bread, breadsticks, or rolls, and it’s easier than you’d think. Have a wonderful day!

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The Inaugural Issue of Gamut is Live!

I can’t believe it! This has been a long time coming. Gamut magazine is now live!

If you have a subscription to Gamut, feel free to log in and read the wonderful first issue. It’s simply beautiful.

If you bought ebook format, you should have already received those.

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And if you’re simply curious to see what we have to offer, come check out the sample stories on our site. Might I suggest you start with the very first story submitted, chosen, and published, Love Story, an Exorcism by Michelle E. Goldsmith.The art was created by Luke Spooner.

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2016 Reading Lists!

There are few things cooler to me than seeing somebody’s favorite reads of the year. I’m always trying to catch up on super cool books. But I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to actually end up on somebody’s list!

Apocalyptic Montessa

Apocalyptic Montessa was mentioned on The Baked Scribe.

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Detritus in Love was mentioned on Char’s Horror Corner and Gingernuts of Horror.

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Little Dead Red was mentioned on Wag the Fox.

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Water Thy Bones (Gutted) was mentioned on James Everington-Scattershot.

If you have a minute, please stop by and see the other wonderful books that made these lists! Thank you. 😀

Miss Murder’s Easy Lemon Melt Cookies

I can’t get enough of these delicious, flavorful, but surprisingly light lemon cookie sandwiches. I make them all of the time.

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Ingredients

I cup  room temperature unsalted butter

¼teaspoon salt

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1½ cups flour

½ cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Zest of one lemon

Frosting

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature (50 grams)

Juice of one lemon

For the Cookie

Preheat oven to 300°F. In a large bowl cream the butter, salt and sugar. Mix in vanilla and lemon zest. Stir in flour and cornstarch. Roll the dough into balls and place on a baking tray lined with wax paper. Press down with a fork to leave a design. Bake for 20 minutes.

 For the Frosting

Beat sugar, butter and lemon juice until incorporated. Ice the flat side of the cookie and then sandwich them together. You can also ice one side of the cookie and leave them open-faced.

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I hope you enjoy one of my favorite cookies, and that you find it easy enough to add to your rotation. Enjoy!

A Different Kind of Christmas Present

Niko, my darling boy, is 13 this year. He has Williams Syndrome, and like a lot of kiddos with WS, he’s difficult to buy for. One year he asked for an escalator, and Santa pulled a few tricks out of his bag for that one. He doesn’t attach to typical things, generally. He doesn’t particularly care about gifts, and that hurts people’s feelings sometimes. They want to express their love through things that he’ll love and value, and unless you’re giving him a dryer or a washing machine, he isn’t really going to care. It’s an aspect of having a child with special needs that we don’t think about until it happen. Christmas isn’t supposed to be a time of ultra-sensitivity and despair. We’re not supposed to feel that gap between us widen.

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So Niko’s main present this year was a stay at the Excalibur hotel here in Vegas. It was a night all about him. We bought his favorite foods, which are grapes and goldfish crackers, and ordered pizza.

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We rode elevators, escalators, and caught Pokemon. Tomorrow we’re checking out the laundry room before strolling over to New York, New York to watch the roller coaster. It will be a perfect day for our sweet son. I’m so glad he has such great little sisters who are willing to support Niko Day. I know it isn’t easy for them to watch him struggle with day-to-day issues, but they’re good kids who love each other.

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There’s something even better. My parents are coming down for Christmas and are inviting him to stay in their hotel with them. He gets to do this TWICE. You haven’t seen joy until you’ve seen Niko jump in the air, laughing and flipping his hands. His delight is so contagious! I can’t wait to see it again. 🙂

2016’s More Realistic Holiday Newsletter

A few years ago I started the new tradition of sharing a more realistic holiday newsletter. You can read the first here and the second here. Now it’s time wrap up 2016. Hoo boy.

Hey, friends! Let’s be honest and admit 2016 sucked in almost every way possible. Somehow the Yardleys managed to soldier their way through it, because we’re not smart enough to lie down and quit after we’re knocked over. LUKE spent pretty much the entire year with allergies, an inhaler, and breathing treatments. He borrowed our daughter’s Sammy the Seal nebulizer and was simply adorable. MERCEDES won a cool haunted house but lost DAVID BOWIE. It wasn’t a fair trade and she wants her Glitter God back. NIKOLAI got into this weird Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez phase. Yes, it is too late to say you’re sorry.  NINA takes turns being delightful, turning sullen, and bursting into noisy tears. We think she’s most likely possessed by imps. LILIA is afraid to go into the bathroom because she thinks giant tarantulas live in there. We assure her that no, we only have deadly scorpions, but she refuses to quit screaming.

This year a dirty, starving, flea-bitten cat wandered upon our property and immediately claimed us as his humans. Now he’s our fat, sassy Lord of All. His true name is far too awesome and terrible to utter, so he deigns that we call him Marsh. Also, he hates you.  So bad. He’s absolutely wonderful and I’m grateful for him every day.

We hope you had a great year and that 2017 will be even better. Let’s do this thing!

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These truthful newsletters are so much fun to write, and make me chuckle when I look back on the year. Please let me know if you write one. I’d love to read it!