Monday, April 25, 2011

Make a Resuce CD for Your Computer Now!

I have posted info on some ways to access your hard-drive should your computer become incapacitated for some reason, via a Linux live CD. Today I want to talk about something less intimidating... hopefully something that everyone with a computer should be able to do: Making a FREE AVG Anti-virus Rescue CD. Everyone ought to have something like this on hand. Should your computer ever become compromised, you can use this CD as your first line of defense to check for viruses. Just slip a live anti-virus CD in your computer and boot from the disc. AVG will automatically update virus definitions before it preforms a full system scan.

So, getting the free CD is easy:

1. Head to

2. Download the rescue CD

3. Burn the image onto a CD. This is the ONLY part that I think would be hard for newbies, but not insurmountable. Burning an image is not the same as burning the files to a CD. You have to expressly select the option "burn image" or "burn iso image" (depending on your burning software) in order to burn the image correctly.

4. There. You have a rescue CD. Now, label it and put it in a place you'll remember. Hopefully, you'll never need it, but chances are pretty high that you'll at least have a friend who might!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Okay, background: My kids went to a peanut-free school. They bring their lunches to school... so no PB&J. What is a Mom to do with picky kids? If they don't like what I pack, they just don't eat their lunch. That is really frustrating. They come home famished. And I'm irritated. I came upon making this Cinnamon Swirl Bread to help remedy the issue. I make it with white whole wheat flour so that it can be as nutritious as possible, yet tasty enough that my kids will eat it. We spread cream cheese frosting on it and have a yummy Cinnamon sandwich ready for lunch. But it very good as toast with butter on top too.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread
2 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 brown sugar
1 T yeast
1/4 cup canola oil
1 T salt
2 T lemon juice (helps make bread soft)
5-6 cups of white whole wheat flour (enough to make a soft, not sticky dough.)

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients but flour. Let yeast bubble. Next, add flour, cup by cup, stirring as you go, until it gets to hard to stir, then use your hands unless you have a nice mixer. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Allow to rise (40 mins). Punch down divide dough into two equal parts. For each piece of dough, roll out, spread with a thin layer of butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Allow to rise until double in size (40 mins to 1 hour). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins. Makes 2 loaves.

I like a nice swirl in the bread, this is how I got it:

1: shape enough dough for one loaf into a loaf.

2. Next, roll it out so it's nice and looooonnnnggg.

3. Spread a very, very thin layer of butter on it, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Too much of any of these ingredients and your bread will separate at the swirls. Practice makes perfect.

4. Starting at one of the short ends, carefully roll up the dough, pinching on the sides as you roll. And now, it should look like the loaf you started with at the beginning, expect it's filled with yummy stuff.

5. Delight in the perfect swirl inside.

Cream Cheese frosting

5 oz cream cheese
2 T butter
2 c. confectioner sugar
1/2 t. vanilla

Mix ingredients, adding sugar slowing on medium speed until thick and smooth. Top on cakes, cinnamon rolls, etc.

The end of the story. We have moved (hence my blogging hiatus) and now my kids go to a school that is no longer peanut-free! This has been wonderful! It was one of the first things I inquired about when I was registering my kids at the new school. The lady at the school said, no, it wasn't peanut-free, but they do have lots of kids with lots of different allergies and they deal with them on an individual basis. I know I'd be opening a can of worms if I say too much about this peanut-free thing (google it, people on forums and message boards can get pretty feisty), but I did just want to say, that it can be done: a child can go to school and have a peanut allergy without making the entire school peanut-free. There, I probably opened a can of worms anyway...