the trick to reviving “dead” bread (one of the best tips i got in 2014)

have you ever bought baguettes or french bread and couldn’t finish the whole loaf, then stored it in the paper bag it came in, only to find it  disappointingly stale and stiff the following day? guess what?!  i learned how to revive dead bread.  here’s the back story:

since this past spring we’ve been getting a constant stream of visitors, friends, and family staying at our place.  in may, a family stayed with us to attend their son’s graduation and help him move home.  while they were here they went to visit boudin bakery in sf.  they came back with more bread than what three families could possibly consume in one sitting.

some of the bread went into ziploc bags but some of the bread stayed in their paper bags.  i was sad to think that all this beautiful bread would end up in the trash in a day or two.  but the father prepared fresh bread for us every morning (they stayed with us for a week)!  i was baffled how we got warm crunchy-on-the-outside-chewy-on-the-inside-bread every morning–even when the bread had been sitting in the paper bags for 4 days.

apart from fresh bread in the mornings for a week, the father was gracious enough to share with me his secret to reviving dead bread (this works for bagels too):

  1. *pass bread quickly under running water from the faucet two or three times.

    *very important! pass it QUICKLY under the water, don't just hold it under running water.

    *very important! pass it QUICKLY under the water, don’t just hold it under running water.

  2. vigorously shake the excess water off the bread. (also a key step, because too much water will make the bread soggy.)
  3. bake in oven (uncovered) at 350-400F for 4-7 minutes depending on size of loaf and your oven.
  4. ta-dah! your bread is now resurrected and is as good as new, just like when you bought it from the store…or maybe even better since you might not have purchased it right out of the oven.
  • this trick works best if the entire loaf of bread hasn’t been cut or has as little of the soft bready center exposed (but i’ve also tried it with a half loaf–just don’t get the inside wet).
  • this works for bread that either has a shiny or matte crust.

since learning this trick i have saved many loaves of bread (and money too!).  so this was one of the simplest and best tips i got in 2014.

hope you have a wonderful new year and spare many loaves of bread from being prematurely tossed into the trash in 2015!

revived bread

update, 21 march 2015:  this works for naan too! (and if it works for naan i think it might work for pita bread too!)  if you’ve tried this trick on other kinds of bread and revived it let me know!

my favorite month & give-away winner

DSC_0189my favorite month of the year is probably september because it’s the start of fall.  when i used to live in new jersey i would always anticipate for that one morning, some time in september (after the new school year starts), where the warm late summer air suddenly turns crisp and has a frosty bite!  then i know autumn has arrived and it’s time to bring out all the cozy sweaters, scarves, hats, coats, and boots.  then the leaves would start showing their fiery colors, and shortly after that i get to start stomping on dry leaves that would crunch and crinkle under my shoes.

so without further ado, the random generator has selected eileen as the new owner to the canvas calendar!  thank you, everyone, for stopping by my blog…it’s always fun to have give-aways, because that means i have more room to do other crafts!  for those who didn’t win the calendar, you can try making your own!  there’s still eighteen days left in 2014.

2015 calander on canvas tutorial (& a give-away!)

the baby took a long morning nap after miss e went off to school, and now BOTH kids are taking a nap!  what are the odds of this happening again? maybe i should go buy a lottery ticket…or better yet i’ll have a give-away–just in time for the new year (details at the end)!

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i’m participating in a giftswap, so for the gift that i’m making my swapmate i needed to test how washable kids paint would handle on canvas surface.  the canvas handled the kid’s paint beautifully.  as i was covering the canvas with experiment strokes, colors, and washes the test run evolved into a do-able project (even for preschoolers).  it’s a fun, practical, handmade gift for the coming new year!

basic supplies:DSC_0048

  • 11 x 14 canvas (if you get a smaller canvas you’ll have to write smaller)
  • watercolor/acrylic paint
  • sharpie marker
  • water
  • brushes
  • paper plate (or some sort of flat surface to mix your paint)
  • 2015 calendar

1.  pick a few colors that you would like on your canvas (or one color would work too!)

2.  mix your paint with water to thin the paint out so it’s somewhat transparent.  you don’t want your paint to be too think or heavy.  when you write on the canvas you want your writing to show.

3. now apply the paint on your canvas however you like.  create a background for your calendar.

4.  have fun experimenting with different amounts of paint and water!  you don’t have to cover the entire canvas with paint either, some white showing through also makes it interesting.

6.  set the canvas aside to let the paint dry.

7.  after the paint has dried you can start writing the months and days on the canvas with the sharpie pen.  (you might want to practice writing a month or two on scrap paper so you get a feel for how big or small to write the dates.)

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this is the canvas calendar that i am giving away.  to participate in the give-away please leave a comment below and…(now CLOSED)

1.  in your comment please answer: what is your favorite month out of the year?

2.  and briefly explain why it’s your favorite month of the year.

3.  leave your comment before friday (12/12) 11:59pm and i’ll announce the winner (drawn randomly) saturday morning.

DSC_0050this is miss e’s rendition.  she said she doesn’t want the numbers.

here’s a sneak peek at what i’m making (or rather, what i messed up) for my swapmate (this is another variation on the canvas calendar.  i got the mini canvas and easel from blicks–and they’re having a canvas sale right now!).

do you see the mistake?

update, dec 29: she changed her mind…

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tuesday

it’s the first tuesday of december…yes, i’ve taken a long hiatus.  i haven’t had much my-own-hear-myself-think time for the past few months.  i used to despair about that.  i don’t anymore, i just take it when i get it.  i’ve learned that those times will eventually come around again.  maybe not as often as i’d like, but they’ll come.

yesterday, i finally had a window of my-very-own time–and i didn’t need to do laundry or the dishes, or answer emails, or wait for service people, or get groceries, or go to doctors’ appointments–i really just had a do-whatever-i-so-desire moment, so i opened up “tuesday snippets” for the first time in months and finished many of my half written snippets that had just sat in queue.

here i am, today, baby is napping on his own again…so i’m going to write a fresh entry, and i’m not going to leave it dangling.  i’m going to finish it before baby wakes. *fingers crossed*  i don’t think there’s going to be a driving point to this entry…i’m just commemorating the fact that i finally get to add a new entry.

baby is 7 weeks old so i think we’re heading into a more definite routine of wake, feed, and sleep.  he’s also sleeping longer stretches through the night so we’re also getting longer sleep through the night.  and i think–it’s not certain–but i think he gave me a little social smile yesterday afternoon after i nursed him.