A Special Sunflower in Honor of Baby’s Namesake

Sunflower Watercolor 11x14 140lb Saunders Waterford

Sunflower Watercolor 11×14 140lb Saunders Waterford

A Special Sunflower in Honor of Baby’s Namesake.

Last Wednesday I posted a Yellow Rose Watercolor and told you about a special baby we just welcomed into the world and our extended family who is named after her two great grandmothers.

One great grandmother’s favorite flower was yellow roses.   The other’s favorite was sunflowers.

I tried to create this sunflower in a similar style and using many of the same colors as the yellow rose so they might look nice hanging together in baby’s room.

I hope her mommy likes this one and our little girl will have these as keepsakes throughout her life representing her special name and a special love I have for her and her family.

Though I sell most of my art in prints and note cards, these two paintings will be be one of a kind for this little one, with the exception of one print being made for each grandmother in remembrance of their mother.

Welcome to the world our newest little McHendy!  Love and be Loved!

Cheers & Hugs,


Interested to see other art?

Berry Vine Gifts Artisan

Five-Minute Homemade Rustic Artisan Bread


Five-Minute Homemade Rustic Artisan Bread.

Aren’t these loaves beautiful?!  I recently found this recipe that makes homemade bread so easy!


You can mix this dough together in five minutes.  Then it just needs to rest for two hours while you go about doing something… anything else.  After that, throw it in the fridge – for up to 14 days!  Whenever you want a fresh loaf of bread, grab a hunk of dough, and bake it.  Super simple, super delicious!


So… disclaimer… you obviously can’t make it from start to finish in five minutes, but that really is all the longer the dough takes to mix together, and there is no kneading, so it really is a simple way to make warm, fresh, delicious homemade bread quickly and easily with just a few simple staple ingredients!

Five-Minute Homemade Rustic Artisan Bread

  • Servings: 4 1 lb loaves
  • Print


  • 3 cups lukewarm water (approx. 100 degrees F)
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp coarse salt (I love using Maldon Sea Salt Flakes)
  • 6 1/2 cups flour


Pour water in large bowl.  Sprinkle with yeast and salt, and mix until dissolved.  Add flour all at once, and mix until completely incorporated.  That’s it!  Five minutes.  No kneading.

Place a clean kitchen towel over the bowl and let it sit for two hours.

After two hours, cover bowl with saran wrap (but not too tight as it needs a little vent for gases to escape), and throw it in the fridge.

Your dough is ready to use at anytime in the next 14 days.

When you are ready to bake a loaf, preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Grab a hunk of dough with floured hands.  Do not punch it down, and do not knead or overwork it.  Gently shape as desired into a ball, loaf, rolls – whatever you like.  Place on a baking stone. (I bake absolutely EVERYthing on baking stones – cookies, bread, roasted vegetables, meatloaf, french fries – they are all I use in the oven – and the results are awesome!) You can let it rest for 30-40 minutes or bake right away – depending on the density you desire.  Dust top of dough with flour (and salt if desired).  Slash a few cuts in the dough with a serrated knife.

Place an empty metal broiler pan on bottom rack of oven and fill with warm water right before placing dough in oven.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until the crust is a rich brown color and firm to the touch.  Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.


Cheers & Hugs,

*original recipe found at Leite’s Culinara

Homemade Rustic Crusty Bread

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Do you think computers, iPads, smartphones will ever have scratch ‘n sniff available?  Perhaps “smell-a-vision,” “smell-a-phone,” “smell-a-computer?”

Oh how I wish you could SMELL this homemade rustic crusty bread!

And you know what is even better?!?!?!  It is SOOOO simple!


I have been having bread-making envy from a couple of folks I know (ahem – Oh Rob and Nancy), who have been talking so much about baking bread, I couldn’t take it anymore – I HAD TO BAKE SOME BREAD!

But, alas, I am not a bread baker, so I searched for the simplest rustic crusty bread to start with – thinking – is there such a thing?!??

THERE IS!  Thank you Mel – from Mel’s Kitchen Café for this amazing recipe that was apparently adapted from a New York Times article  about “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007).


There are THREE ingredients.  That’s it!  Well – ok – four – if you count tap water.

It is simply:


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast (equivalent of 2 envelopes)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

Talk about easy – talk about cheap!

This recipe does NOT require a mixer, does NOT require a bread machine, does NOT even required kneading.  I was skeptical, but thought it was worth a try.  I had time while I was doing other things to let it sit, so what the heck!

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Here are the instructions I adapted from Mel:


  1. In a large bowl mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover lightly with a kitchen towel but don’t seal the bowl airtight. Let the dough rise at room temperature 2-5 hours until doubled.
  2. Divide the dough in half to form two loaves (or you can make 3-4 smaller round loaves if you prefer).  Turn the dough in your hands to lightly stretch the surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put the dough on floured baking stone, and let it rest for another 40 minutes at room temperature.
  3. After the dough has rested and is ready to bake, dust the dough lightly with flour, slash the top with serrated or very sharp knife three times, and sprinkle with a little bit of coarse sea salt if desired.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Place a broiler pan on the bottom rack of the oven.  Pour one cup of hot water into the pan and shut the oven quickly to trap the steam.
  5. Bake the bread until well browned and it sounds a bit “hollow” when you knock on it –  about 20-28 minutes depending on your oven.  (Mine is an electric convection oven and only took about 20 minutes.)
  6. Slice when cooled and ENJOY!

br w pepWe enjoyed ours for Sunday dinner with spicy sausage stuffed banana peppers from my garden.  It was perfect for cutting the heat and soaking up the juice.

I think I’ll be baking some more of this soon, and maybe branching out to try some others.

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Homemade bread that is easy and inexpensive, has no preservatives, and tastes OUT OF THIS WORLD!

You are going to want to try this!

Cheers & Hugs,