Braid and Breathe

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DMV was a nightmare this morning.  Two hours of my life that I’ll never get back.  I’m not sure if this is surprising factoid or you’d expect it, but I’m actually really disorganized with paperwork.  Anytime I have to find something important, it becomes a hour-long search of insanity. 


We got to the front counter of the DMV and were told our Florida registration was expired.  We have all the right tags, but I guess I tossed the paperwork last year… or it’s buried under other important documents in a drawer far, far away.  Who knows.  Should’ve checked the date before we left the house, I guess!  One meltdown, one call to Florida DMV, and two calls to our lien holder later, we walked out of the DMV without our North Carolina tags.  Oh DMV, we WILL be back.  I will win.  🙂


As the Husband says, “The stress will not control me.”  I really needed to do some work but knew it was fruitless because I was so worked up.  So instead, I decided to bake.


Kneading dough is so therapeutic.


I saw Rachael from La Fuji Mama’s guest post on Eat Live Run and knew I had to make this recipe.  I had nearly all of the ingredients on hand, and it seemed labor-intensive enough to get my mind off the DMV madness. 


I followed the recipe exactly, with the exception of using 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 white. I’ve found you can normally do 1/2 and 1/2 without screwing up the texture too much (wheat is so heavy and dense!).


I used a food processor to thinly slice the apples.


The braiding part was fun – this is when I thought, “Hey, this recipe might actually turn out!”  I don’t normally have much faith when baking with yeast. 🙂


Finished product was OMG good.


Rachel claims this recipe makes 12 servings, but I just ate 1/4 for lunch.  I have a sneaking suspicion this isn’t going to last long in my house…


Now, I feel ready to tackle that To Do list!  And, you know, eat some more apple braid…



  • Mindy April 19, 2011, 12:17 pm

    I saw that recipe this morning and cannot wait to make it! Glad to hear it’s as good as it looks! 🙂

  • Brittany (a healthy slice of life) April 19, 2011, 12:18 pm

    I agree that kneading dough is such a great tension relief! I don’t think that deliciousness would last long around my house either- yum! :)o

  • Freya April 19, 2011, 12:18 pm

    Ohmygosh, that looks awesome!! Very pro! And I like how you call it braiding, not plaiting 😛
    Call me dim, but what on earth is DMV? Is it a car thing?

    • Caitlin April 19, 2011, 12:20 pm

      Dept of Motor Vehicles! What do you call it in England?

      • Freya April 19, 2011, 12:38 pm

        DVLA – department of driving and … um…vehicle licensing authority!? Something like that :p

      • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday April 19, 2011, 1:20 pm

        In Canada it’s MTO (ministry of transportation)

        • Baking 'n' Books April 19, 2011, 1:57 pm

          Really? I’m from Canada, but we still refer to it as the “DMV”…maybe it’s just me??

          Caitlin – that looks so awesome! I need to remember that phrase about stress – that is integral right now and it helps that I’m not the only one. It really, really detracts from my ability to do ANYthing (work especially)…hmm, must bake bread? 😉

        • kimmy April 19, 2011, 2:40 pm

          Ministry of Transportation sounds like something from Harry Potter! 🙂

        • Abby April 19, 2011, 6:10 pm

          Ministry of Transportation…maybe that is an attempt to make it sound like a pleasant place to go? lol 🙂

        • Caitlin April 20, 2011, 10:36 am

          The Ministry of Transportation DOES sound like something out of Harry Potter! LOL

  • McKella April 19, 2011, 12:26 pm

    I don’t know what it is about baking, but it makes everything better, doesn’t it? My favorite thing is to bake cookies when I’m stressed, have a taste and give the rest away to the neighbors, because making people happy is also therapeutic. My neighbors love it when I have a bad day.

    • Caitlin April 20, 2011, 10:36 am

      Hahah cute! I want to be your neighbor.

  • kate April 19, 2011, 12:26 pm

    I was thinking of doing the same exact thing when I headed home from class!

  • Rachel @ The Perseverance Diaries April 19, 2011, 12:30 pm

    That bread is so pretty! Would make a perfect appetizer/dessert for Easter. I bet it would be good with peaches too, yum.

    the DMV is the worst. I avoid it at all costs if I can. I now live in NYC with a 2-year expired Florida license because it’s so awful there! I feel your pain, haha.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey April 19, 2011, 12:32 pm

    That looks insanely good! I love baking bread. Definitely theraputic!

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table April 19, 2011, 12:36 pm

    I love they way braiding looks but it is so intimidating! The apples look great, but I also love how versatile this can be – I’m all about berries and chocolate chips.

    Sorry about the DMV. 🙁 Thank god we don’t have to that often!

  • Lauren @ Sassy Molassy April 19, 2011, 12:37 pm

    This looks amazing! Would be fabulous with a little brie in the middle with the apples. Yummers.

  • Carolyn April 19, 2011, 12:37 pm

    Saw this on ELR this morning, and was considering bookmarking it. Now I KNOW I have to make it, it looks so good! And I’ve been to the NC DMV too, so I totaaaaallly feel your pain there!

  • Cait @ Beyond Bananas April 19, 2011, 12:38 pm

    I hate the DMV. I avoid going there at all possibilities. I really need to get my address changed (still in the same state though_ and have been putting it off for… 8 months

    • DadHTP April 19, 2011, 6:39 pm

      check your DMV site – when I lived in Colorado (cough) all I had to do to change my address was go on line and fill out a form – AND WRITE MY NEW ADDRESS ON MY DL! HOW STUPID IS THAT?

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg April 19, 2011, 12:44 pm

    Too bad about the DMV – you’ll get them next time 🙂

    I’m super jealous that you made the apple braid already! I saw it this morning and totally want to make one.

  • Julie (A Case of the Runs) April 19, 2011, 12:46 pm

    Ooh, lovely!

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me April 19, 2011, 12:54 pm

    Yum, that looks crazy good!!!

  • Kari April 19, 2011, 12:54 pm

    The DMV IS the worst place in the world.

    I love how you mentioned the labor intensity as a selling point in the recipe – sometimes that’s exactly what I look for when I’m making something new. It looks great!

    • Caitlin April 20, 2011, 10:37 am

      Yes! Sometimes an easy recipe is great, but a labor intensive baking recipe cures all stresses.

  • Mary April 19, 2011, 1:05 pm

    UGH! the NCDMV sucks so bad! I remember I had a TERRIBLE time when I first moved here from NY with them. They want every piece of paperwork that has your middle name on it plus a stool sample just to make sure it’s you I feel like.

    good luck with them, show them who is boss!

  • Marina April 19, 2011, 1:10 pm

    Making something delicious as that is definitely a stress reliever!

  • Kelly April 19, 2011, 1:11 pm

    Oh you are so awesome that you made it!! I am sorry you had a bad morning at the DMV but I am sure your stomach is happy! 🙂

  • Natalie April 19, 2011, 1:16 pm

    I just saw that braid this morning and instantly printed out the recipe!

    One little tip on the whole wheat flour thing–if you buy whole wheat PASTRY flour you can usually sub it 1-1 for white all-purpose without ending up with dense, heavy bread/cookies/cake. 🙂

    • Caitlin April 20, 2011, 10:37 am

      Ah ha! I need to keep an eye out for pastry flour!

  • Karlee @olivewineandfood April 19, 2011, 1:20 pm

    wow that apple bread looks really good. and i think kneading dough and chopping vegetables is therapeutic!

  • faith @ lovelyascharged April 19, 2011, 1:22 pm

    I saw that this morning – definitely going to be making that for the family for easter!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) April 19, 2011, 1:27 pm

    Our house is really neat and organized…me however, I’m a mess. I am a stacker, so when I need something, I have to search in stack after stack after stack. It is a miracle I find anything. Your braided bread looks amazing! I need to bake now after all the stress I’ve dealt with this past week. Have a great afternoon!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat April 19, 2011, 1:27 pm

    OMG I saw the recipe this morning too!! Love the braiding technique – I never would have thought that that’s how it’s done. I think your recipe was a massive success! 🙂

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss April 19, 2011, 1:29 pm

    I’ve been having an issue with stress controlling me these past few days. I think sometimes it’s ok to let it overcome you sometimes as long as we come out strong in the end- we can’t *always* be upbeat agaqinst it!

  • Johanna B April 19, 2011, 1:43 pm

    It took me a full two 8 hour days to get my car licensed in Louisiana once. The DMV there is a nighmare of inefficiency so I can relate.

    • DadHTP April 19, 2011, 6:41 pm

      laissez les bon temps rouler!

  • Joanna@ Drizzle of Sunshine April 19, 2011, 1:47 pm

    The DMV is a nightmare. I try to come prepared with magazines and stuff but I’m always bored out of my mind. And not to be judgemental, but there are some odd people there!

    The braided apple bread looks insanely good!! It reminds me of apple strudel!

  • Natalia - a side of simple April 19, 2011, 1:49 pm

    Not only do I consider kneading a good therapy session for tension relief, I also always consider it an upper body workout 🙂 Or maybe that’s just my justification for eating way more than the usual “serving” sizes. Because let’s face it…they don’t really measure those right…

  • Brandi April 19, 2011, 1:58 pm

    In Alabama, we technically don’t have a DMV….but I work in the vehicle registration office and people hate to come see me. But I will go on record to say, I am the happiest “DMV” clerk in the whole US of A. I love my job.

    • Caitlin April 20, 2011, 10:38 am

      I want YOU to be my DMV clerk 🙂

  • Ely April 19, 2011, 2:00 pm

    I’m in the same boat as you with paperwork disorganization… I’ve been meaning to find some important tax info for like 3 weeks, but I have no idea where to start. I really should start a proper filing system… But there are just so many more fun things to do! 😀 P.S. – That bread looks amazing!!

  • Michelle @ Living Learning Earning April 19, 2011, 2:02 pm

    Sometimes baking is all it takes to de-stress. The DMV is such a pain!

    That bread looks seriously good. I may have to give it a try myself. Maybe this weekend, for Easter?

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) April 19, 2011, 2:05 pm

    Ugh… the DMV is awful! Hate it hate it hate it! Technically I can get a new drivers license since I just turned 21 (I can get a horizontal one verses the vertical one for those under 21), but I DON’T want to deal with them, so I’ll just wait until next year when my license expires. 😉

  • Lili April 19, 2011, 2:12 pm

    I want to try this bread recipe too! I’ve never baked bread!

    • Caitlin April 20, 2011, 10:38 am

      Key is to mix the yeast with warm water in a separate bowl and let it stand for 10 minutes! Then add to flour.

      • Lili April 20, 2011, 1:51 pm

        Thanks for the tip!!

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels April 19, 2011, 2:13 pm

    although I’m sure that braided lunch was delicious, I think I’m going to go the nap route before digging in to my afternoon work 😉

    and I’ll see your DMV and raise you my University Admissions office blahhhhhhhhh!

  • Amy April 19, 2011, 2:18 pm

    Paperwork solution – Scanner + Evernote. (

    Also, get a small fireproof safe for your birth certificates, social security cards, passports, and wills. Other stuff will find its way in there, and that’s ok.


    • Caitlin April 20, 2011, 10:39 am

      I need to start scanning paperwork – it would be so much better.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife April 19, 2011, 2:22 pm

    That apple braid looks simply delicious!! Must make this asap 🙂 P.s. SO sorry about your DMV woes–the govt has no incentive to work fast, more efficiently, or help people b/c they have no competition. UGH. So sorry 🙁

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul April 19, 2011, 2:25 pm

    It’s great to see your good attitude through it all~and this braid is soooooo amazing!!! I really want to try it now.

  • Ashley @ Thefitacademic April 19, 2011, 2:31 pm

    Sorry about the nightmare at the DMV! Baking definitely helps me, too! : )

  • Lucy @ The Sweet Touch April 19, 2011, 2:31 pm

    Nothing like a little kneading and braiding to take your mind off stress!

    I am horrible with paperwork too. I buy things to help organize and just end up with a pile next to the organizational device, oops!

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope April 19, 2011, 2:33 pm

    The DMV always seems to be a stressful experience, but glad everything worked out in the end! And definitely the perfect treat for you when you got home!

  • Ashley (The Vegetable Life) April 19, 2011, 2:39 pm

    holy smokes that apple braid looks delicious!

    … I hate the DMV too, I literally dread having to go….

  • Ashley @ Feeding Ashley April 19, 2011, 2:50 pm

    That looks really delicious. Baking with yeast kind of scares me too.
    I’m sorry about the DMV. It can be so stressful and frustrating. Which I’m sure you now know. Better luck next time!!

  • gabriella @ embracement April 19, 2011, 2:53 pm

    Holy crap that looks delicious

  • Christine April 19, 2011, 3:05 pm

    Thanks for linking the recipe. I’m in an impatient/bad mood today and I need a baking project.

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) April 19, 2011, 3:11 pm

    I haven’t had a really bad experience with the DMV yet… unless you count hitting a pole and failing my road test, haha!

  • Lynette April 19, 2011, 3:20 pm

    Gosh, that picture of your hands really makes your waist look small!

  • Caitlin @ The Caitie Experiment April 19, 2011, 3:27 pm

    Post like this make me so sad that I’m allergic to apples (and almost all other birch-mimicking pit fruits). I laughed out loud at the comment on the serving size — I had the same thought when Jenna wrote that the jalapeno-cheddar hummus served 12 and I ate roughly a quarter of it straight from the processor on a spoon. Whoops!

    • Caitlin April 20, 2011, 10:40 am

      Hehehhe there is no such thing as a 12-serving tub of hummus, unless it is a ginormous tub.

  • Fuji Mama April 19, 2011, 4:06 pm

    LOL, it doesn’t feed 12 people if I get my hands on it first either!! So glad you had success–phew! 🙂

  • Allison @ Happy Tales April 19, 2011, 4:14 pm

    Ughhhh i feel like I’m reliving my experience with the NC DMV thru all of your hassels! I had to go back about 4 times two years ago to get everything with my new car setteled (I had just bought it from my neighbor in FL… he had been deported to The Netherlands.. so it was an absolute MESS getting all of the paperwork signed/in hand for both parties. On top of that, I had to get the Ohio DMV involved b.c. that’s where I’m originally from. *complete mess*!!!!!! I totally feel for you, Caitlin… gah!

  • Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} April 19, 2011, 4:20 pm

    Aaaaah that apple braid looks so good! I’m drooling!

  • Clarissa April 19, 2011, 4:45 pm

    I love baking when I’m stressed! It’s so therapeutic!

  • Charlie April 19, 2011, 5:29 pm

    That apple braid looks sooooo good! Need to make it!

  • tia April 19, 2011, 5:50 pm

    All I could think about when reading this post was that Parking War show lol! I hope it wasn’t THAT bad.

    The baking looks devine! I got so good at braiding bread when I worked at Subway, it’s fun 🙂

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) April 19, 2011, 6:03 pm

    Ugh the dreaded DMV (or Motor Registry as we call it in Australia!) Sounds like they are just as painful whatever country you are in!

  • Briana April 19, 2011, 6:14 pm

    This looks so delicious, thanks for sharing!

  • Molly @ RDexposed April 19, 2011, 6:52 pm

    I thought I was having deja vu seeing that apple bread from ELR.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 19, 2011, 6:58 pm

    Ugh, anything involving paperwork and cars is bound to be stressful. Good idea to channel your stress into that bread. It looks amazing! 😀

  • Heidi - apples under my bed April 19, 2011, 7:24 pm

    What lovely braiding you did! How fun 🙂 V therapeutic indeed.
    Heidi xo

  • Jeni April 19, 2011, 7:36 pm

    Unfortunately, I had a bad DMV experience and it is truly evidenced on my DL picture. Lucky for me, I get to live with that picture for 10 years. Awesome.

    • Caitlin April 20, 2011, 10:41 am

      hahahh that is awesome. i want to see that pic!

  • Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out April 19, 2011, 7:39 pm

    That braided apple thingy looks AMAZEBALLS!!

  • Kristy April 19, 2011, 8:00 pm

    That looks AhhMazing! The DMV visit sounds miserable and I feel your pain! We have moved a few times – and cannot say getting a new licence (drivers or licence plates) has been easy either place!. I have had multiple DMV meltdowns! I still have my previous state DL because I am afraid I will go back for the 3rd time still missing something. I swear they add another thing to the list each time I go! 😉 Good luck on your next visit! Until then.. enjoy that braided apple goodness!

  • Erin @ Big Girl Feats April 19, 2011, 8:03 pm

    Baking totally helps any situation. Except the after effects of baking, which for me, always equals too much of the eating. Ugh, DMV’s everywhere are insane. Hopefully the second time you go back will be better!

  • Errign April 19, 2011, 8:25 pm

    I’m not sure if the NH DMV is just super cool or what, (maybe it’s because NH is the size of a thumbtack) but I don’t have any DMV horror stories like most!

  • salah@myhealthiestlifestyle April 19, 2011, 8:43 pm

    that bread looks awesome!!!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit April 19, 2011, 8:48 pm

    Very pretty! Baking can be a stress reliever for me too, and not only when I want to eat some cookie dough 🙂 Good luck with your car stuff- I hate going to the DMV too.

  • Kelly April 19, 2011, 10:28 pm

    I think your nails are the same color as my toe nails. My sister in-law had her toe nails painted that color for my wedding and I immediately bought the color when I returned to the States a couple weeks later. Love it! The trick to DMVs in NC is to drive out of your way to one located in a rural area. You might drive 30 minutes, but you’ll only wait 10.

    • Caitlin April 20, 2011, 10:41 am

      I love gray nail polish!

  • Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf April 19, 2011, 11:29 pm

    I can almost always get away with using 100% whole wheat pastry flour in my more ‘delicate’ baking. It’s made with white wheat instead of red, and is just as ‘whole’, though it’s finer in texture. 🙂

  • Kristen April 19, 2011, 11:34 pm

    this looks amazing and my familiy loves braided breads, and this is healthier!!

  • Khushboo April 20, 2011, 1:30 am

    Can we swap lunches?

  • Presley April 20, 2011, 6:40 am

    Ah, one of my favorite restaurant salads is a warm spinach salad with huge fried goat cheese medallions… It’s so creamy it doesn’t even need dressing!

  • Presley April 20, 2011, 6:41 am

    commented on the wrong post! haha 🙂

  • Sarah April 20, 2011, 7:30 am

    The DMV ALWAYS gives me problems, your not alone!!
    I saw that apple braid recipe yesterday and knew I had to make it! It looks AMAZING! I cant wait to give it a try myself!

  • megan @ blackberries for jam April 20, 2011, 7:49 am

    Random: I love your nail polish! What color is it?

    • Caitlin April 20, 2011, 10:42 am

      It’s called Fog something – I can’t remember the brand but I think it’s Miracle Grow or something like that by Sally Hanson.

  • Dory April 20, 2011, 10:11 am

    The NC DMV has always been a hassle, in every experience I’ve ever had, small town, big city, hasnt made any difference. I know they do appointments now, I have to get my driver’s license renewed this month so I am trying to go that route. If the next time you go and win please share your secret with me!

  • Amber K April 20, 2011, 12:17 pm

    I’m lucky that I live pretty close to two DMVs. One is the one you go to if you want your entire life sucked away from you. The other one is a bit of a drive, but at most you’ll have two people in front of you in line. Totally worth it!

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