Entries from April 2012

instagram weekend

April 30, 2012

hello friends, how was your weekend?  for the most part, ours was pretty magical.  we packed up the family, dog and all, and went to Portland for a short weekend.  we ended up with so much more than we bargained for…we found a sweet place on vrbo.  i could tell from the photos that it would be perfectly nice, but i had no idea that our getaway to the city would also be a charming weekend in the country…

can you believe that this place is right in the middle of the city?  i love surprises!

i went bonkers with instagram, in case you couldn’t tell…no time for a list today, but a special one tomorrow and maybe some extra portland pics to boost.

xo mrs. french

a nice week.

April 27, 2012

it’s friday!  i had a very nice week and i thought i would share a few things that made me smile this week…

some pretty bulbs in my neighborhood,

this tranquil bedroom,

a blog dedicated to my favorite do,

melissa’s grandmother’s rug,

heidi’s flowers,

the prospect of visiting this shop this weekend,

this blog and the beautiful photographer behind it,

seeing my baby sitting in a big chair,

the catalogs here,

and my refound need to take photographs everyday.

nice right?  have a beautiful weekend. xo mrs. french

blissful eats with tina jeffers: Hazelnut honey oat bread

April 26, 2012

There are some things that you should really try to create in your kitchen from scratch at least once.  Bread is at the top of my list; I know that it can be an intimidating process full of potential disasters and wasted ingredients.  However, the pleasure of pulling a warm, fragrant loaf of bread out of the oven and slathering it with sweet creamy butter is one of life’s great pleasures.  Bread made by your own two hands is always infinitely more delicious and memorable than anything you can buy in the store. 

I’ve had my share of bread baking disasters.  Once I spent 2 weeks cultivating a sourdough starter then another 1 ½ making a dough and letting it rise, shaping it, resting it numerous times and then when I was trying to warm up the kitchen to get it to rise a final time I had the loaf sitting too close to the back of the stove and it ended up baking on the stovetop into a crusty horrible mess and I had to scratch the whole thing.  Now if I can bake bread after that debacle than you should try it to and this is infinitely more simple and enjoyable.

If you’ve hesitated trying bread baking before this is the perfect loaf to start with, it’s practically foolproof.  There is no yeast so there’s no time waiting around for it to rise and you can have it ready to pop into the oven in a matter of minutes. 

It’s ideal for a last minute addition to dinner, delicious paired with a nice steaming bowl of soup or perfect for breakfast lightly toasted with a drizzle of honey.  If you don’t have hazelnut meal you can just use 2 cups of whole wheat flour instead or experiment with almond, spelt or millet.

If you’ve always been convinced that you can’t bake bread give this loaf a try, if you love it like I do freshly baked bread can always be at your fingertips any time you like.  If you would like to see some more of my recipes visit me at www.scalingbackblog.com

Hazelnut honey oat bread


•  4 tablespoons olive oil

•  1 cup whole wheat flour

•  1 cup all-purpose flour

•  1 cup hazelnut meal

•  1/2 cup rolled oats

•  1/2 teaspoon baking powder

•  1 teaspoon baking soda

•  1 1/2 teaspoons salt

•  3/4 cup buttermilk

•  1/4 cup water

•  2 tablespoons honey

•  a little bit of buttermilk for brushing

•  2 tablespoon oats



Heat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.  

Put the flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix to combine the ingredients.  Add the four tablespoons of oil, then the buttermilk, half of the water, and the honey.  Mix the dough until it comes together and forms a well-defined, barely sticky ball.  If it’s too dry, add the remaining water 1 tablespoon at a time until it comes together.

Form the dough into a round and put it on the baking sheet.  Slash a deep cross into the top of the dough 2/3 of the way through.  If desired, lightly brush the top of the loaf with one tablespoon of buttermilk and sprinkle with a tablespoon of oats.  

Bake the loaf for 35-40 minutes or until the loaf is golden and crusty on the top and bottom and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let cool completely before serving.

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