Showing posts with label inspiration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inspiration. Show all posts

How to Make Home Made Bread

I love to make home made bread, it warms the heart and the home.  When the girls were little, on cold foggy Winter days I used to meet them after school with warm buns of Pain Au Chocolate, wrapped up in a linen napkin.  Now with my littlest in High School, she would be horrified to have Mama waiting with warm bread.  It makes me giggle to think of doing it.  If I were home with my family in California out at the beach house I would be making tons of little "panini" to be served warm with Thanksgiving dinner.

The thing about making bread is you can't really go wrong and you can add whatever you might like to the recipe to make it special.

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Here is my basic recipe:
It only takes about 5 minutes to mix and four hours to rise.
This recipe also works for Pizza dough.

5 to 6 cups of fine white flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup of warm water mixed with half a bag of dry yeast or 1/2 a cube of fresh yeast.
(I think in America it is often called beer yeast.  I like the fresh cubes best and you can get them in the refrigerated section of the market near the yogurt.  In Italy I use Lievital fresco)

Dissolve the yeast with your finger in the warm water
Add to your flour mixture

Then I get another cup of warm water put it to the side and add it as needed to the mound of flour mixture till the consistency looks and feels right.  See photos

Mix the dough into a ball with your hands
You can knead it in the bowl or on a wood cutting board or marble slab, adding flour sprinkled on the board.

Then once the dough seems good I put it in a deep bowl, cover it with a cotton or linen napkin and leave it to rise 3 to 4 hours.

Once the dough has risen you knead it down again and form your rolls or loafs as you choose.

Here is the Fleischmann's dry yeast that I use in the US.

Here is the dough mixed into a ball waiting to rise

The dough covered wit a cotton cloth waiting to rise

Sorry the photo is blurry but you can see how much the dough came up

Here is the fun part, you can add dark chocolate (70% cocoa makes it a super food) a chunk to each roll, push it in the bun and cover with dough.

Glase the top with egg yolks to give a pretty golden effect.

Cut the loaf open on the top and add fresh olive oil and rosemary.

Sky is the limit now.

Have fun Happy Thanksgiving to those of you dear readers in the U.S.

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With affection,

Fifth Anniversary Sette Design Blog

It is crazy to think that  5 years ago today I started this blog.  Happy Anniversary Sette Design Blog!  I remember the day clearly, because I was living here in Italy and we had just had the first snow fall on the mountains that surround our city.  Now 5 years later with climate change, it seems there is no snow insight for who knows how long.  My girls were 9 and 13 compared to now 14 and 18, huge difference.

To celebrate today I thought I would give you some advice, this I secretly find funny because if you knew my life more intimately you would say (or quietly think) Nat you really are not in any position to give advice.  But when you hear the advice you will see that actually is is common, simple, pure and obvious.  Plus this way we can look back on some pretty photos I have taken in the years past.

Here we go life advice from Sette Design.

Make home made bread, it will make your friends and family so happy it is ridiculous and strangely it will also make you feel good about yourself.  The house will smell amazing.

Light candles it makes everything look and feel good.

Flowers add color and joy.

The sky is the limit.

Go for walks alone,

and with family.

Change is something we can count on.

Paint something white, it will reflect light into a dark space, of course paint something colored too.  I love colored walls.

Too much at times can be splendid.

Just as simple and empty is pure and lovely.

Paint something it deepens our souls, or play music, cook, write, sing or dance.

Home is where you make it.

If possible make love on vintage Italian sheets.

Embrace whatever kind of creativity you have that makes you purrr.

If something feels wrong run for it.

Rest assured you are not the only one who is crazy.

Drink lots of coffee and remember love is what matters most of all.

Now I will leave you with a good quote and a cool scene I came across years back.

"Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder."

E.B. White

 With affection,

Houses Covered in Vines - Napa Valley

Structures covered in vines.

Here we are in Vine City.
There is too much going on for this little simple life of mine.

Create Something Pretty- Blue Wall Heaven

Another rainy day in gorgeous Napa Valley, mustard fields glowing day glow yellow, black tar country roads with the white lines polished and wet.  I always believe when life gets crazy and overwhelming it is a good time to take 5 minutes and Create Something Pretty to look at.  Then when the house is a complete mess, like backpacks, dirty Converse sneakers in the middle of the doorway, and even my contribution an electric drills plugged in, sitting on the kitchen floor – ahhgg! It is definitely time to Create Something Pretty

Here all for you I created a glimpse at a fabulous piece of Blue Wall Heaven in my Sister’s home.  The funny thing is, this wall is actually dark Teal Blue, Not Robin’s Egg Blue or Sky Blue as we see here. It is insane how the light changes this color!  Does it make you want to paint something blue?

For this stilllie  I used, pruned and fading pomegranate branches, daffodils, and a delicate Wisteria blossom and a little Whiskey.

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Happy Weekend my darlings, go Create Something Pretty.

Mexican Aztec Goddess Coatlicue replica done in styrofoam By Artist David Garden

With affection,

The Game of Peace

Buon San Valentino.

I love stones.  You may  have heard me mention this before.  I do not love games, but today for Valentines I'm going to tell you about a Game of Peace that I have created.  It is really simple and fun (classic Sette Design stuff). Secretely and openly I'm hoping all the cousins, sisters, daughters that live on our compound here in the gorgeous Napa Valley will join in and play too.

Mid January

I like to watch inspirational videos on TedTalk.  I love all of it makes me feel smarter just to take part in it.

I also find it shocking and funny hear that by January, 15 most people have already failed to keep their New Year's Resolutions.  I think resolutions can just be picked up again at the point of failure with new resolve and that sometimes we have to force ourselves, through failing again and again to accomplish what we set out to do.


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See You Next Year!

I love to say "See You Next Year", it is something we said when we were children and it always makes me giggle.  It will be a New Year. I still can’t believe we are now almost in 2017.  Do you remember when it was 1999 and we were moving into a new century, seventeen years have past since then!

It Is Christmastime

I don’t believe in PERFECT.  It was never something that I wanted to achieve.  There are many cultures in the world that believe if you make something perfect you are trying to imitate god and that imperfection lets the soul in.  In creating art they would intentionally make one color woven off or one imperfect form.  When I look at the wall motifs in Italy, each hand painted motif is not the same as the next.  I love that.  It frees us up to have fun.

Patina II

One photo today.  This is our courtyard floor with the rain dripping and the leaf shapes stained into the stone.  The squirrels ate the grapes that hang above the granite tiles, and the grape remnants fell and then the sun and air and dew caused the stone to patina purple-black.

Just gorgeous!


Abandoned Garden

Do you love an Abandoned Garden, we have one right out our window here in Spello.  The view from the window is magical because it doesn’t look like Italy it feels like some other place I have never been too.
Sette Design  here are the public outter steps to get to a side enterance to the garden

Do you find that with gardens left alone you want to go and fix them up or just sit among the chaos of nature.  I find that when I look at the huge swaying palm trees I waver between wanting to trim the dead furans off and then the next moment I relish in the beauty of the neglect.   It is silly because my mind has battled with these thoughts all summer long.

Adriatic Sea

A couple quotes today to make you think.  Two serene photos of the Adriatic Sea, note the splendid blues and greens.  This is inspiration enough for me, oh how I love blues and greens.

I hope it inspires you today to do something with calm and courage.

My Walk to Work

The Simple Life

Recently while working in California I have been getting jobs where I need drive out of Napa Valley and into San Francisco or the county before.  It takes about an hour and a half and there is often bumper to bumper traffic.  Leaving the Valley early in the morning I drive through the vineyards and feast my eyes on spectacular views of the valley floor, sometimes I will even see a fleet of hot air balloons. I don’t mind the time driving because it is alone time when I can be in my own mind….ahhh.