February – It’s Freezing Outside but Warm in the Kitchen!

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Not a whole lot new this February as it tends to be a slow time for us. We are getting some orders but generally slow. One thing that is relatively new is a few months ago we opened a merchant account and now except both Visa and MasterCard. When we first started back in 2005 we used PayPal and then Google Checkout for quite awhile. We are pleased how well this is working.

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Life in IL has sure been cold this year. We haven’t even hit 32 F for the last few weeks. The majority of our temps have been below zero during the night and highs in the teens during the day. We have also got quite a bit of snow as seen in the picture below. This was actually about a month ago and the piles are higher now.

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One project that worked out well is our Proofing Box that Craig made. With the cold temps that we have had and trying to make bread it’s been a challenge. This solves a lot of problems. Based on this article we created our own version. We searched and found a bin that was big enough that it would hold both the bucket that I use and also half sheets for when we rise bread. We bought at Menard’s a Programmable Thermostat the Win 100 made by Lux. We are seeing that we really don’t need all the different days since we are using it for bread. It is accurate and lets you know what the temp is inside the box. Also has a plug in as you can see in the pic. We are using a 40 watt bulb. We bought at Ace Hardware the housing for the light bulb socket. Below is a montage of what it looks like. It sure is helping!

bread, proofing box,diy

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In the kitchen we have found a really great recipe for Yeast Doughnuts from Alton Brown.  They are delicious. Since it’s just the 2 of us after the first rise we cut out the doughnuts and then freeze all but a couple of them which we fry. What we have found that works well is if you know you want doughnuts the next day take a couple out of the freezer and put them in the fridge. A few hours before you want to fry them put them on a plate on the counter to bring to room temperture. They really puff up when you put them in the oil. Sorry no pics since we ate them :)

That’s all for this month and visit us at IB Designs, USA

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27 thoughts on “February – It’s Freezing Outside but Warm in the Kitchen!

  1. Thanks and glad you like the new look. I am having lots more fun with this and blogging once a month. Yes, have heard about your lack of rain and hope it gets better soon!

  2. Thanks so much Yvonne! I am happy with it also. Yes, after 6 1/2 years of weekly posts it does seem different. Liking it though since when we get busy with orders hard to keep up at times. Thanks for staying with me ♥ You stay warm, also.

  3. I know, I know…I dropped off the face of the earth again but don’t give up on me! That proofing box is a great idea.I have had a heck of a time getting breads and rolls to rise here. I hope all is going well with you.

  4. Glad to see you back here on earth :) Thanks and glad that you like the proofing box. With our cold winters the box keeps everything free of drafts. With the light bulb generating heat the average dough temp is close to 90 after rising a hour. All is well here.

  5. Hi, Kathy! What a great blog! And where I live the weather has been brutal, so I am empathetic with you. This has been one of the longest and coldest winters ever that I can remember. Just yesterday I hunted for signs of spring, anything!, and though I had to look really hard, I managed to find a tiny sign of spring. Even the crocuses in my neighbor’s garden that were coming up, died back due to cold and snow. (sigh) I will never be happier to see GREEN and my flowers!

    Have a great day!! Love, Amy

  6. Hi Amy, Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog. I am glad that you understand about this winter. For my blog post for March went outside looking to take a picture of anything spring like. Couldn’t find anything yet, here. Some of the snow is melting down and sure that Green has to be close. Wishing you a great day also, ♥

  7. I found a TINY and I mean TINY sign of spring. I posted it today on my blog. I used a dime for comparison to show the viewer just how tiny my HOPE of spring is, yet it is here! xxoo, Amy

  8. Great and will check it out. I am in the middle of putting a blog post together and will see what I can find. We are close to 50 today which is so much better. xoxo Kathy

  9. Lucky you! Another snow storm is forecasted to come here. GROAN! I will be yipping and yeahing when 50’s get here. OH! I am just looking out my window and I see sparrows taking a bath in a puddle. Another sign for me that spring, no matter what else I really see, IS HERE. xxoo, Amy

  10. Enjoyed today but tomorrow we will be back to Winter. They said about 2 inches of snow tomorrow evening. Agree that signs of Spring are showing up, though :) Kathy

  11. I live in WNY. Hubs is getting a list together and going to the grocery store while he still can. Today it is beautiful out, sunny in the mid-40’s. I am getting off of here, for my two posts for the day are done, and I am going out to get SUN! What is so heart breaking, finally it looks like Spring and here we are getting slammed again. (sigh) One sure thing, insects will be down this year! Love, Amy

  12. Kathy, I am about to go out to lay on my picnic bench just to soak up some Sun. Just for today it looks like Spring and for this I am very grateful. When it begins to snow here, it is not supposed to stop for one entire day and with the winds that are predicted, it is going to be quite the mess. But that is not today. Today is Spring. (smile!) Love, Amy

  13. Howdy! I understand this is somewhat off-topic however I needed to ask.
    Does managing a well-established blog such as yours take a massive amount work?

    I am completely new to running a blog but I do write in my diary on a daily basis.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can share my own experience and views online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or
    tips for new aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!

  14. HI! Thanks for visiting my blog. It does take time to get established but it is worth it. Since you write daily you are use to writing. One thing that really helps in my opinion is to be passionate about the subject and theme of your blog. As a example I love nautical items.

    Visiting other blogs and liking and commenting help build your audience also. All the best!

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