Monday, September 22, 2014

Wheat Bread – Finally a Success!

There’s nothing like fresh baked bread, and since we’ve left the land of delicious, freshly baked bread available at every store or bakery for just pennies (A.K.A Morocco), I’ve been playing around with my bread recipe.  The arrival of my KitchenAid Mixer helped to speed this process along, as I don’t have to take days off of kneading to let my tendinitis heal.

Homemade Wheat Bread Recipe

Last week, while doing a search on different bread recipes, I read that 2 tablespoons of wheat gluten will help the bread to be less dense – which has always been a problem with my bread.  So, off I went to the grocery store to buy a bag of wheat gluten.  $8 for a bag – wowzers, but with only 2 tablespoons needed, I shouldn’t have to buy it that often.  Even if I do, it truly makes all of the difference.


This week, our bread turned out so good, that we ended up going through an entire batch in one day and I had to bake more the next day!  Luckily, it’s a nice easy recipe:


Put 2 cups of luke warm water into the KitchenAid Mixer bowl (or a regular old mixing bowl) with 2 tablespoons of sugar (or 1/4 cup of honey) and 2 tablespoons of dried yeast.  Let this set for about 15 minutes, to “proof” the yeast.


Next, add 4 cups of white flour and 2 teaspoons of salt.  Knead with the dough hook (or a good old wooden spoon), and let sit for 30 – 45 minutes.  The mixture will rise quite a bit as the yeast activates.

Homemade Wheat Bread Recipe

Now we add the wheat gluten – two heaping tablespoons, as well as 4 cups of whole wheat flour.  I also had about 1/4 of a cup of milk, as yeast LOVES milk and this increases the fluffiness of your bread too.  Knead with the bread hook attachment (or by hand if you don’t suffer from tendinitis) until the dough comes together and there is no flour left in the bowl.


Time to let the bread rise!  If you’re using the Kitchen Aid, you need to take the dough OUT of the mixer bowl.  You can oil the mixer bowl and put it back in there to rise if you’d like, but be sure to add a tablespoon of oil, or the dough will stick to the side and you will lose your air pouch when you remove the bread – making for a much harder, denser bread.  I prefer to use my large, stainless steel Pampered Chef mixing bowls, because the size is just perfect for rising dough.  Cover the bowl with a towel to keep the flies away and place in the sunshine if you can – this will cut down on rising time.  If there’s no sunshine, just pick a dry, warm spot and the bread will rise in no time. 

Warning – don’t let your dough rise on the stove if you’re cooking on the stove.  I had a whole bowl of dough “bake” in the bowl on my because my lovely Stainless Steel Bowl got too warm!

Homemade Wheat Bread Recipe

Once the bread dough has at least doubled in size (generally 1 – 2 hours), punch the bread down with your hands and form it into the types of loaves you want.  I generally make one “sandwich loaf” in my Pampered Chef Stoneware Bread Pan and then make the rest into round, Moroccan style loaves.  I can get 2 – 3 small rounds or 1 large round out of the remaining bread.  (In the picture below, I didn’t make a sandwich loaf.) Once the loaves are made, leave them to rise again.  I leave mine to rise right on the pans I cook them on.  I even put them in the oven while they rise, which saves me from having to jostle them too much or even cover them with a towel!  Of course, if it’s a warm, sunny day, the bread will rise faster in the sun.

If you are needing to move your loaves before you bake them – be sure to put them on a cotton sheet where you won’t break an air pocket if you move them.  (My Moroccan mother – in – law taught me this trick and it makes all the difference!)

  Homemade Wheat Bread Recipe


After the bread has risen four about 45 minutes, it should be the right size to bake.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes, depending on the size of your loaf, or until the loaf is golden brown.  If you want a more golden crust – coat the crust with an egg white or a few tablespoons of melted butter right before you bake.

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

Friday, September 12, 2014


What did the goose say to the car? HONK! Did you know that baby goose is called a goslings or that Canadian Geese migrate all the way from Canada to Georgia? Keep reading to find out more.


Do you know what happens inside an egg? Well let’s find out. Before the female goose lays her eggs the sperm and egg combine. Then she lays he eggs and makes a gosling. The gosling take time to form and create, think about it as Legos. You are trying to make something amazing, but it takes hours, days even months to create. That’s how a gosling forms, it takes 4 to 5 months to form and hatch from the egg. Hatching is not an easy thing.    It can take days to hatch and once you hatch an adventure is put in front of you.


During winter, when the hatchlings grow up and are old enough to fly they migrate to someplace warm. For example Canadian Geese travel to Georgia for the entire season! Migrating is not easy at all. There are storms, prying eyes,DSCF7042 tornadoes etc that can easily kill a goose. They must keep their eyes and ears on the lookout for creatures, plants, weather and other dangerous things. I learned most of this information from watching geese at our campsite. At our campground (Holiday Harbor Marine Resort, GA) we can experience the life and nature of Plants, Animals and most importantly EARTH!




Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Campground Review – Allatoona Landing Marina Resort

We just finished a one month stay at Allatoona Landing Marina in Emerson, Georgia which has to be one of the best campgrounds in the state of Georgia.  The campsites are large and shady, with lots of trees, and are very well maintained. 


The campground is right on the lake – but if you want a site that opens up to the lake, be prepared to pay for a premium site.  We chose the cheaper rate, but could still see the lake from our site, and it was just a quick stroll to go fishing, swimming, or sit and watch the ducks.

Campground Review - Allatoona Landing Marina Resort, Emerson, Georgia - RVing with the Rakis

Each day, we were visited by ducks and geese, including a growing duck family.  This gave the kids a chance to watch the ducks grow and learn respect for the natural habitat.  We also had lots of squirrels to watch as well.

Campground Review - Allatoona Landing Marina Resort, Emerson, Georgia - RVing with the Rakis

In addition to lake access, Allatoona Landing Marina has a fabulous outdoor swimming pool and a nice playground.  These amenities were a little walk from our campground, but we made good use of them, visiting almost every day of our 30 day stay.

Campground Review - Allatoona Landing Marina Resort, Emerson, Georgia - RVing with the Rakis

All of the roads at this campground were paved, which allowed the boys to ride and skate daily, and the campground is secured with a code gate, so I felt secure letting the boys wander pretty independently.

Campground Review - Allatoona Landing Marina Resort, Emerson, Georgia - RVing with the Rakis

Our site did was not a full hook up site – although those are available, but are farther from the lake and more expensive.  Because we did not have hook up, we used the bath house daily for bathroom and shower needs.  The bathrooms were always clean, well lit and felt very safe.  In addition, there was a laundry room located at this bath house, which was also quite clean.


Since I homeschool and my husband usually takes the car to his student teaching location, the boys and I are at the campground ALL DAY long.  Because of this, we got to know the staff very well, and they were also lovely.  Security monitors the inside and outside of the park and the desk clerks were very helpful any time we needed them.


This was our first “long term” stay, but I have to say that my only complaint with this campground is the rule that you can only stay for 30 days.  We are staying stable in Georgia until January, and would have loved to have spent the entire time at this campground.  However, after 30 days out, we can and will return for an additional stay at this campground.  I have high hopes that our second visit will be just as pleasant as our first.



Monday, September 8, 2014


One time I found a duckling lying on its back. It was attacked.  On that day  my brother  got a ranger to help the duckling.  The duckling is called Runaway becouse he ran away from  his mom. The next day the ranger got Runaway  back to his family. 

Meeting the duckings - from Zaiyd Raki of RVing with the Rakis

Ducklings always  come to our campsite.We call a brown duckling Broune.  A duckling that aolways has his tong sticking out is called Tonger.  If you want to see these ducklings find a campground called Alatoona  Landing in Emerson, GA.

Meeting the duckings - from Zaiyd Raki of RVing with the Rakis

Have you seen  ducklings?  Do not totch or feed ducklings!! If you totch ducklings the moma duck will attack you or the ducklings.

Meeting the duckings - from Zaiyd Raki of RVing with the Rakis


Saturday, September 6, 2014

How’s Homeschooling Going?

From full time teacher to homeschooling mom - how it's really going to school three kids in an RV.  RVing with the Rakis

 Recently, I’ve gotten some sweet e-mails asking me, so “How is homeschooling going?”  We have just finished our second week of homeschooling, so this is a fair question.  After 9 years of teaching in a classroom, homeschooling is quite different than teaching in a classroom.  Here’s a few observations from our first two weeks.

1.)  I was never the type of teacher who spent a ton of time standing in front of the classroom lecturing, but anytime you have more than 3 kids, it seems that you need to spend at least a few minutes a day talking to the whole class, being in the spotlight, the center of attention.  The way we are homeschooling, there is NO time like this.  The boys work at their own schedule, they plan out how and when and where they are working, and any talking time is one on one. 

From full time teacher to homeschooling mom - how it's really going to school three kids in an RV.  RVing with the Rakis

2.)  Headphones are our second most important school supply (after pencils)!  With three kids in an RV, working on three different things (and me often working on my own stuff), it is easy for someone to get distracted (normally my 2nd grader).  So, we bought each person a pair of headphones and now my older two listen to music while they work and the youngest (He’s only 3.) can watch his French morning songs over and over if he wants to!From full time teacher to homeschooling mom - how it's really going to school three kids in an RV.  RVing with the Rakis

3.) Learning, real learning, happens everywhere and all the time.  Living in the RV gives us lots of time to observe ducks, geese, squirrels, bugs, trees, etc.  We talk about what we see, and random things they think about.  We talk A LOT, and often by the end of the day I am asking the kids for a bit of “don’t talk to me” time.  However, I really love the insights they have at the lunch table or walking to the bath house, and I truly love seeing them connect those things to their “formal lessons”.

From full time teacher to homeschooling mom - how it's really going to school three kids in an RV.  RVing with the Rakis


4.)  I’m also not around many other adults, so I am learning to make sure I take time for my own socialization each day.  As an elementary school teacher, you think you don’t get any socialization, but those minutes first thing in the morning, passing people in the hallways, in the cafeteria, and after school are a lot more than what I get these days! 

5.)  We don’t have to do everything at once!  When there’s no official start and stop time, it’s easy to simply keep on with “we need to do…..”  I have learned to pull back, not try to fit in everything, and realize that the school day needs to end eventually.  I am also allowing for more time breaks in the middle of the day.  Oh, that’s right, we can go for a bike ride at 10:30 a.m., no big deal.  Swimming at 2:00 p.m. – sure!  Takes awhile to get used to, but it’s nice to have control over our schedule.

From full time teacher to homeschooling mom - how it's really going to school three kids in an RV.  RVing with the Rakis

6.)  We’re doing okay!  The kids are getting used to working at home.  They LOVE having control over their schedule and they LOVE being able to take brain breaks when THEIR brain needs it.  They’re happy and they’re learning, so that’s all that really matters.From full time teacher to homeschooling mom - how it's really going to school three kids in an RV.  RVing with the Rakis

7.)  Oh, and I learned that this takes a lot of time!  Not as much as being in a classroom, but pretty much only b/c I have no commute, so if I when I fall behind in blogging, or getting those resources to other teachers on my Teachers Pay Teachers store, I have to tell myself that homeschooling IS teaching full time too!