Celebrate National Bread Month with No-Knead Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Thursday, November 19, 2020

No comments

 This post is sponsored by Sun-Maid, but all opinions are my own.

I can't believe that we have already made it to holiday baking season and one of our favorite times of the year!  This year has flown by for us, even considering we have been in our house for most of it.  For many of us, this holiday season looks a little different from others.  We are still going to make the most of it and continue many of our holiday baking traditions.


Did you know that November is National Raisin Bread month?!  We love a good raisin bread (especially using our favorite Sun-Maid Raisins) and this simple No-Knead Cinnamon Raisin Bread is a favorite of mine to bake up in the kitchen with my girls.  It's simple, rustic and delicious.  We've baked this up a lot and it never disappoints.  It's a great recipe to make for any time of the day and although we won't be enjoying this bread with our extended family and friends, we will be wrapping it up and giving to our neighbors as gifts this season.


I love including my girls when being in the kitchen, whether it be cooking or baking.  It's a great way to not only make some fun and messy memories with them, but it's also a great math lesson, a lesson on sharing and taking turns and a little responsibility when cleaning up.  Thankfully this recipe doesn't require a lot of clean up, but it does require some patience when proofing, which is also great for them to learn!

 

I always love to save a little dough for them to play with while waiting too!  Besides eating the bread, this is probably their favorite part.  I bring out some small rolling pins, cookie cutters and we snack on leftover Sun-Maid Raisins that didn't make it into the bread ;) They will play with this for hours (no kidding!) and I enjoy watching how creative they get when playing with the leftover dough.


I love how incredibly versatile Sun-Maid Raisins are- from baking to snacking to using for counting...as moms, we have to get creative as well!  It also doesn't hurt that they are whole fruit with 0g added sugars and are naturally sweet.  Naturally made with nothing but grapes and California sunshine, Sun-Maid Raisins’ timeless and trusted goodness has been a healthy snack for kids and grown-up kids alike since 1912. You can't go wrong with that!

 

This bread is seriously delicious as is, smothered in apple butter or even as French Toast the next morning!  I encourage you all to get in the kitchen this holiday season and bake with your little ones.  I promise you, despite the messes you make, the memories you are going to have are worth it! 

 

For more holiday inspiration, tips and advice be sure to follow Sun-Maid on social via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can purchase Sun-Maid California Raisins from Walmart here .


 No-Knead Cinnamon Raisin Bread
 Yield: 1
Prep Time: 9 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 9 hours 55 minutes 
 

Ingredients:

  •     3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
  •     2 teaspoons salt
  •     3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  •     3/4 cup water
  •     3/4 cup whole milk
  •     1 cup Sun-Maid Raisins
  •     2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  •     1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

Instructions: 

Place the flour, salt, yeast, brown sugar, and raisins in a large mixing bowl.

Combine water and milk and heat briefly until luke warm. You can either do this in a small sauce pan over low heat or in a heatproof glass measuring cup in the microwave for a few seconds. It should be lukewarm to the touch but not hot.
 

Add luke warm mik mixture to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until it forms a shaggy dough. The dough will be very rough, not at all smooth. --> My girls love this part!
 

Sprinkle dough with 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon and use a spatula to roughly "cut" the cinnamon through the dough. You want it distributed but not completely mixed in.
 

Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let it rise on the counter for 8 hours. Make sure you place the bowl in a warm place, away from any drafty windows or direct sun. The dough should double in size and become bubbly after 8 hours. I like to put mine in the oven where I know it will rise undisturbed.  My girls take this time to play with leftover dough!
 

Once the dough has proofed, turn it out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Quickly turn the dough over a few times, shaping it into a round loaf. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour more.
 

PRE-HEAT OVEN! 30 minutes before the dough is finished proofing, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place a Dutch Oven (with lid) inside to heat on the center rack.
 

Using the parchment paper to lift, carefully transfer the dough (still on the paper) to the preheated Dutch oven. If desired, score the top of the dough with a sharp knife so that the bread can expand while baking. This isn't necessary but it makes a loaf pretty!
 

Use oven mitts to cover and bake for 30 minutes. Careful, the lid is very hot!
Remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes more to brown and crisp up the crust. If the loaf is looking too brown you can keep it covered for part of this time.
 

Carefully remove the bread to a cooking rack and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes but up to 30 minutes before slicing.
 

Tips for Proofing No-Knead Bread
Plan Ahead – calculate the entire time it will take you to proof and when you want to bake and eat this bread before you begin! It will take an entire 9 hours to proof (total) plus an additional 45 minutes to bake. It seems like a lot, but this truly is the easiest bread to make...I promise, it's worth the wait.
Warm Spot – find a warm spot to proof your dough. You don’t want a cold drafty area or direct sun!
Cover tightly – When proofing you want to cover your bowl tightly with plastic wrap so that no air can get in and dry out your dough. For the second proof, you will want to cover completely with a light weight dish towel. Don’t use anything that will deposit fuzz however. I like cotton or linen for this.

ENJOY!

Read More

Lunchbox Love with Sun-Maid Raisins

Thursday, August 20, 2020

1 comment

This post is sponsored by Sun-Maid, but all opinions are my own.

 

 

I still can't believe that we are already heading back to school! It feels like it was yesterday that we were finishing out the last school year virtually, and now here we are planning our back to school outfits, lunches and more!

 

Back to school looks a little different for us this year as we have opted for virtual learning, but I really wanted to stick with as much of a routine as possible, including getting up early, getting dressed and packing a special lunch (like this ladybug peanut butter sandwich) for my girls.  They have loved still being able to grab their lunch boxes and head outside for lunch or have a pretend picnic in the living room.

 

 

One of my favorite things to do last school year was write little lunch notes to my daughter to show her that I was thinking about her.  Sometimes it would be a funny joke or sometimes it would just be a simple "I love you".  No matter what, the days I wrote notes to her she always came home and told me how much she loved it!

 

Now, I don't know about you, but my girls are obsessed with Sun-Maid Raisins.  We go through a ridiculous amount and they aren't even sorry about it ;)  I love the boxes that they come in because they are the perfect size for lunch boxes, fit perfectly inside Bento boxes and also the perfect size for attaching my little lunch love notes on.

Naturally made with nothing but grapes and California sunshine, Sun-Maid Raisins timeless and trusted goodness have been a healthy snack for kids and grown-up kids alike since 1912.  Sun-Maid Raisins are whole fruit, 0g added sugars and are naturally sweet.  They are incredibly versatile and easy to add into recipes or eat as a stand-alone snack.


It takes no effort on my part to grab a box of Sun-Maid Raisins, a mini sticky note (they come in the cutest shapes) and write a little something on it before throwing it in my daughter's lunch box.  Trust me, we too have those mornings where we are in a rush, so these are great for on the go!

When we aren't in a rush, I like to find ways to make their lunches just a little more fun, yet still keep it simple.  I'm still a mom of four and if I'm being honest, not a food artist! Ha!  This ladybug peanut butter sandwich was a hit with my girls, super easy to make and would make any back to school lunch ladybug-erific!

 


What you'll need for Lady Bug Sandwiches:

  • 2 slices of bread
  • Your choice of nut butter
  • Apple slices
  • Grapes
  • Sun-Maid Raisins
  • String Cheese

I made a peanut butter sandwich ( we typically leave out the jelly, but you're welcome to make it however you like. You could even use turkey and cheese if your kid has nut allergies.  Then cut the sandwich into a circle using a biscuit cutter, sandwich cutter or in my case a wine glass ;)

After that, add the apple slices for wings decorated with Sun-Maid Raisins for the polka dots,  half the grape for the head decorated with string cheese for the antennas and eyes.  As my oldest daughter would say, easy peasy lemon squeezey!

If you have cookie cutters, the options are endless and Sun-Maid Raisins are perfect for adding decorations to different shapes.



Here are some of our favorite jokes to write on our notes...enjoy!

What do you call a bear with no teeth?

-A gummy bear!

Why did the grape stop in the middle of the road?

-He ran out of juice!

You are my sunshine

I can't wait to hear about your day!

What are some of your favorite ways to show your kiddos your thinking of them while they are at school?


Read More

The Ridge Hotel at Lake Geneva, WI

Saturday, March 28, 2020

No comments

If you caught my previous post about the Ice Castles in Lake Geneva, then you know what a great time we had and how beautiful it was there.  When planning our trip, we knew we wanted to make the most of it and stay somewhere nearby.  The Ridge Hotel was just the place and we can't wait to go back.

Even though it's off the beaten tourist track, it's still a quick drive to downtown (which is beautiful too).  I loved that we were far enough away to get that vacation feel, but close enough to grab breakfast and support a local spot nearby the next morning.

The Ridge Hotel offers numerous accommodations, so you don't have to leave during your stay at all if you don't want to.  

We had unlimited hot chocolate and coffee at the Bean and Vine Coffee Bar located there in the hotel lobby and they serve lunch.  Their soups and sandwiches were so good and perfect for enjoying before heading out to the Ice Castles.  There were no complaints from any of us and we even got to take our souvenir travel mugs with us for hot chocolate at the Ice Castles too!


The Ridge Hotel is also home to Crafted Americana were we had a beautiful view of lights during dinner and they had the perfect spot for warming up, lounging and making smore's, which they offer nightly.  Dinner did not disappoint either, even our girls devoured their food and a delicious cocktail was a great way to warm up for the night after being inside a big mound of ice for the last few hours.  Crafted American is also right next to the Biergarten, which is open for late night snacks and good beer.


The Ridge Hotel even offers a really cool Igloo Experience outdoors!  My husband and I would love to go back and do this when we have a kid-free weekend.  Of course, it is only offered during the winter months, but this is something you need on your travel list!  Who wouldn't want to have yummy apps, drinks and warm blankets to cuddle with an incredible view of the lake?




My girls also enjoyed a visit to The Ridge Hotel's indoor swimming pool before all passing out from an incredible day and visit to Lake Geneva, WI.  You can click here to learn more about The Ridge Hotel, what it offers and Summer activities for your next trip.

Read More