Saffron Raisin Bread

Bread. It’s pretty high up on my list. But I’m particular. I like FRESH bread. Bread right out of the oven. Chewy, tender, warm, crusty, thick sliced bread with real butter on it. Whoa! Who does that anymore? Me.

This Saffron Raisin Bread recipe I found in an old issue (Dec 2003) of Cooking Light has been a delight. I couldn’t find a link to it on their website (gosh, too old do you think? Ha!). So I’ve listed the recipe below, but the way I make it (not as the original recipe says to make it), is way easier because I throw all the ingredients into my bread machine.

I’ve made it probably ten times in the past few months. I was buying my saffron at Trader Joes, and as much as I love TJ’s, their saffron wasn’t the best. So I went online and found Saffron Vanilla Imports. Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice, but you don’t need very much to have a wonderful effect both in fragrance and color.

I promptly purchased a small quantity of saffron and could see the difference in quality in the fragrance and color. So I went back into the kitchen and made some more saffron raisin bread. Gosh have I been going through bags of raisins! It takes 1 1/2 cups of raisins per recipe, so that ends up being a lot of raisins. No matter. It’s worth it.

Saffron and Raisin Breakfast Bread

  • 1 1/3 cups warm fat-free milk (100-110 degrees)

  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads crushed

  • 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast

  • 1/2 cup warm water (100 – 110 degrees)

  • 5 1/4 cups bread flour (I use all-purpose flour)

  • 1 1/2 cups raisin

  • 1/4 cup sugar + 1 tsp sugar

  • 3 tblsp melted butter

  • 1 tsp salt

I put the whole kit and kaboodle into my bread maker (wet ingredients on the bottom and dry ingredients on top) and turn it on to the “dough” cycle. When it’s done, I take it out, cut it in half, and shape two small loaves. Let is rise about 30 minutes or almost doubled in size (if it’s smaller, you just get a chewier loaf). Heat your oven up to 375 degrees. Bake for about 30+ minutes until hollow when tapped. Cool on wire rack.

Or heck, don’t cool it at all and slice into it and smother with butter and eat! That’s how I roll.

Oh, and it’s NOT just for breakfast. I eat it for dinner too. Enjoy!



Fire Hydrants for Local Firehall

The quilt group I am a member of, the Pine Needlers, made these really cute Fire Hydrant quilt blocks for our local Firehall. The pattern can be found on and was designed by MC Simard. The Dalmatian block was the exception….but oh so cute! And of course very appropriate for our Firehall.

Once the ladies turned them in, I pressed and pressed them and then turned them over to my husband who spent HOURS attaching the fabric quilt blocks to pieces of insulation in a very precise way! So these are little pieces of art work. Each block is signed on the back by the quilt artist in our group.

Back in December, we had one finished which we proudly gave to our Fire Chief at our annual holiday community dinner and he hung it up right away in the Firehall. And yesterday we left these outside his office door. Boy is he going to be surprised when he comes to work this week!

So many ways to participate in our communities! So I ask you, what have you done lately for your community? Get involved in one way or another. Even the smallest things matter, and you never know what positive outcome you might create.

Happy quilting!


Where have I been?

2014 Spring Towerhouse

My rhodies last year….looking forward to spring!

Not quilting much, that’s for sure! As many of you know, I took a job at my local county as a property appraiser. Hey, someone has to figure out values for tax purposes,  and it might as well be me! Many years ago I worked for the county doing property tax appraisal work and really enjoyed it. So I decided it was time to go back, and I was thrilled to accept a position there in early January. So that’s where I’ve been. Working full-time in town.

But my quilting studio isn’t gathering dust as I am still quilting a few quilts now and then and will continue to do so. I enjoy it and my customers seem to enjoy what I do, so it will always be part of my life. I’m just doing a tad less of it than I used to.

So I imagine the tone and content on my blog will change over time as my life changes with this new position. Less quilting, more life stuff. Who knows? I still am planning to stay involved in the quilting world to some degree and hope to bring you new and interesting products, patterns, and happenings as I find them. So stay tuned (if you dare!) to what happens next……….

And as always, happy quilting!