Monday, December 15, 2014

Basic Bread/Cinnamon Bread/Whole Wheat Bread

This is my friend Laura's bread recipe.  I'm going to just copy and paste it here exactly the way she gave it to me because it's perfect.

It is a large recipe as it makes 3 loaves.  I don't have a KitchenAid mixer (yet) so to make it work in my 11 cup food processor I made the following changes:
I cut the recipe in half and processed them separately then combined the dough to rise and still got 3 loaves, or just did half and either had 2 small loaves or 1 large one.
In the food processor I added nearly all the flour (3 cups if doing a half batch) right away.  Otherwise the food processor gets gummed up.  Then add wet ingredients slowly while processing until it forms a ball.  Usually I'll need to add about another 1/2 a cup of flour here to make it the right consistency.  Your mileage may vary.

I do the glaze differently too. I do a 1/4 c. melted butter and 1 tsp vanilla to 2 c. powdered sugar.  If it needs to be thinned I add a T of milk or 2.

Otherwise I follow the recipe.

Basic Bread recipe

2 cups warm water
2 tbs yeast
1/3 cup sugar or honey
Let proof 5-10 minutes

Add to yeast mixture
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs- beaten
1 tbs salt
4 cups flour
*to make cinnamon rolls, add 2/3 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream and 1 extra egg
Mix till smooth

Add 2-3 cups of flour till the dough forms a ball and pulls clean from the side of the bowl.
Leave in the mixer bowl and cover with plastic wrap or towel. Let rise till double-1-2 hours depending on the room temp.

When doubled, turn mixer on and kneed dough for 5-10 seconds.

For basic sandwich bread:
Turn out dough onto floured surface and divide into 3 equal parts. Form into loafs. Let rise till double in greased bread pans. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Butter the top while hot for extra flavor and calories.

*Flour grains can be adjusted for unique results as long as they total a minimum of 6 cups. For example: 3 cups white flour, 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 cup ground flax seed.

Cinnamon loafs:
Turn out dough onto a floured surface and divide into 3 parts. Using one part at a time, roll out dough till it measures about 12"x18". Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup of brown sugar and dust evenly with 3tbs cinnamon.  Starting with the long edge roll dough to form a long tube. Twist each end of the tube till the middle twists onto its self and doubles over. Place in greased bread pan and let rise till double. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from pans promptly to cool.  Butter the top while hot.  Frost when cool.

Cinnamon rolls:
Divide dough into 2 equal balls. Using one at a time, roll out till it measures about 8"x12".  Sprinkle surface with 1 cup brown sugar and 2-3 tbs cinnamon. Starting at the long edge, roll into a tube. Cut the tube into 2" rounds. Place in a greased 9"x13" pan and let rise till double. Bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes. Butter when hot. Frost when cool.

2 cups powered sugar
1 tbs vanilla

Mix till smooth and adjust to desired consistency.

Pizza crust or focaccia:
Eliminate the egg from the dough mixture and use olive oil in place if vegetable oil. Let rise once and divide in half. Roll out and add desired  toppings. Skip the second rise and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. This is defiantly a soft crust pizza, but that's the way my kids like it.

This is my go to whole wheat recipe. I cut it in half because a full recipe is too much for my mixer. Halfing the recipe make 2 nice sized sandwich loafs. 

Whole Wheat Bread

Grind 9 cups of wheat (hard red, hard white, or combination) This will grind into about 14 cups of flour 
3 T. yeast
5 cups warm water
¼ cup sugar
Combine; let sit for about 10 minutes. 
8 cups wheat flour
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup honey
2 T. salt
½ cup vital wheat gluten*
2 T. dough enhancer** (optional; will increase shelf life) 
Mix for a minute or two. (I use my Kitchen Aide mixer, but you can use electric beaters)
Then add about 5 ½ cups more wheat flour, or until it leaves sides of mixing bowl.  If mixing by hand, add enough so it’s not too sticky.  Knead for about 7-10 minutes
Shape into 4 - 5 loaves.  Put in greased pans.
Place in cold oven to rise for about 45- 60 minutes.  Leaving pans in the oven, turn oven on to 350. 
Start timing and bake for 30 minutes. For easiest slicing, cool completely.

Source:  Laura S.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Update:  If you've tried these before and they didn't turn out well, there's a reason for that.  I left off an ingredient.  Baking powder!  Without it they turn out really flat.  My husband made them once off of this blog and I insisted he must have read the recipe wrong because they were just off.  After checking it out this morning I realized the baking powder was missing.  It's corrected now, so happy cooking!

I did a post about waffles a few days ago, so it follows that pancakes should make an appearance too.  Again, these are done by scratch, but take just a few minutes.  I double this recipe for my brood of 6, which gives us some left over.

If you have don't have a griddle or griddle pan, I highly recommend this double burner reversible griddle.  It makes making pancakes super fast.

I'm including some variations at the bottom as well. 


1 egg
1 c. flour
3/4 c. milk (I usually add about another 2 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. (level) baking powder
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. salt
cooking spray or butter

1. Preheat griddle or skillet.  Spray with cooking spray or grease with butter, if necessary.
2.  Beat egg with whisk;  Add all other ingredients;  Beat until smooth.
3.  Pour 1/4 cup batter onto griddle or pan;  Cook until top is bubbly and edges are dry, then turn and cook till edges are cooked. 

Variation 1: Buttermilk
This is my favorite way to eat them, but I don't always keep buttermilk on hand.
Substitute 1 c. buttermilk for the 3/4 milk.
Decrease baking powder to 1 tsp.
Add 1/2 tsp baking soda.

Variation 2:  Add-ins
Add in 1/2 cup mashed or chopped bannana, apple, berries or chocolate chips.

Variation 3:  Pumpkin Pie Pancakes
Using the above recipe (or a mix, if you are so inclined) add about 1/2 c.canned pumpkin (I use about 1/2 a can when I double the above recipe) and 1/4-1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice according to taste.  Serve with chopped nuts and whipped cream--trust me!

source:  Betty Crocker's Cookbook

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cheesesteak Sandwiches

My husband likes this sandwich so much that this is the meal he chose for Father's Day this year.  I must admit that the first time I made it did not go well.  It tasted great, but I hadn't thoroughly read the sidebar on the cookbook.  If I had, I would have realized that the best way to slice the meat thinly was to freeze it for about 2 hours and then slice it thinly using my food processor and its slicing blade.  Instead I tried to slice it with a knife, unfrozen, and ended up with something that was like eating fajitas on a sandwich.  Still tasty though.
If you can remember to put the meat in the freezer 2 hours early, this really is a quick prep.  Also, make sure you use quality hoagie rolls.  A hot dog bun will not do at all.  As for the meat, it is less important which cut you use, since you are going to slice it really, really thin.

Cheesesteak Sandwiches

1 lb. boneless steak, sliced very thinly (see above)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
salt & pepper
hot sauce/Tabasco
sliced provolone cheese
4-6 Hoagie rolls

1.  Melt butter in large skillet over med-high heat.  Add steak, stirring constantly.
2.  When meat is halfway browned, add onions and peppers.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and hot sauce.  Continue stirring until meat is cooked thoroughly and onions and peppers are tender.
3. Spoon meat filling into sliced rolls.  Top with provolone cheese.  Place under the broiler on a baking sheet for 1-2 minutes to lightly toast the bread and melt the cheese.
Serve immediately.

source:  Our Best Bites Cookbook

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

I must admit, that once or twice I've cheated on this one and used store-bought meatballs when they were on sale.  Beef prices being what they are, I'll usually go for the cheaper option.  Given a decent price for ground beef, however, these are pretty easy to do.
When I've done them with the cheap frozen meatballs, I've just prepared the sauce and put it with the frozen meatballs in the slow cooker for a couple of hours.  When making them from scratch I usually prefer just to do it on the stovetop since it is relatively quick to make.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
2 Tbsp. minced dried onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 egg
1/4 c. bread crumbs

3/4 c. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 c. pineapple juice
1/4 c. white vinegar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce

1.  Spray a foil lined baking sheet with cooking spray.  Combine meatball ingredients.  (This is best done with your hands.)  Shape meat mixture into 1 inch balls and place on on the cooking sheet.  (For this you can use a small cookie scoop.)  Place under the broiler 5-7 minutes or until brown.
2.  Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients in a saucepan and whisk together over medium heat.  Bring to a boil.  Add the meatballs, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve over rice.

source:  Our Best Bites Cookbook

Friday, July 13, 2012

Teriyaki Pulled Pork Sandwiches

What to do with a pork shoulder and you just don't want to dump a jar of barbeque sauce on it again?
That was my dilemma when I stumbled upon this recipe from Six Sisters Stuff.  It is still that yummy texture of juicy pulled pork that you get with barbeque, but with a nice flavor twist.  They recommended eating it with a slice of pineapple and I wholeheartedly agree.  The only real addition I would make is to be sure to toast your buns first.  The pulled pork is really juicy and can make your bun soggy if not eaten right away.

Teriyaki Pulled Pork Sandwiches

1 2-3 lb. pork shoulder (boston butt roast)
1 med. onion, diced
1 bottle teriyaki sauce (not marinade)
1 can pineapple slices

1. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.  Place roast in slow cooker.  Drain pineapple juice from can and pour over the roast.  Add diced onion to the slow cooker.  Pour 1/2 c. teriyaki sauce over roast.
2.  Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours or on high 5-6 hours.
3.  Pull the cooked pork into shreds with two forks.  Add in more teriyaki sauce to taste and stir to combine.
4.  Serve the pulled pork on toasted buns with a slice of pineapple.
optional other suggessted toppings, provolone cheese, sliced jalapenos, sliced red onion.  (I just like it with pineapple or cheese but not both.)
Note to self:  photos taken with my phone do not make the food look as good as it tastes.

source:  Six Sisters Stuff via Pinterest

Ginger Cilantro Swai

Yet again, we chose to substitute yummy swai for tilapia, which we hate.  Did I say that backwards?  It was supposed to be tilapia and we used swai.  You can use whichever you like.
This recipe has such a bright, delicious flavor.  I absolutely stuffed myself on it, and so did the least the ones who weren't bothered by it being pretty green.  (Sorry no photo, but if you like you could check the original Pinterest recipe, though your fish will never ever have lighting that good. )

Ginger Cilantro Swai

2 lb. swai (or tilapia) fillets
salt & pepper
3 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
1 jalapeƱo pepper, roughly chopped (optional
1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. soy sauce 
1 tsp. sesame oil
Scallions, chopped for garnish
Extra cilantro, to garnish

1.  Spray a baking pan or 9x13 glass pan with cooking spray.  Salt and pepper fish and lay in the pan.
2.  Combine garlic, ginger jalapeno, cilantro, lemon juice, water, soy sauce and oil in a food processor.
3.  Pour the sauce (though sometimes it actually is almost like a paste) over the fish and gently rub it in a little.
4. Bake at 475 for 8-10 minutes until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily.  Garnish with extra cilantro and scallions and serve over rice.

source: The Kitchn via Pinterest

Italian Fish Skillet

The recipe for this was originally for tilapia, but my husband and I don't like tilapia.  We think it tastes like dirt.  Instead, we used swai.  It is another very affordable whitefish with a mild flavor and texture. (I get it at Aldi.)
Even if you don't use fish, I'm pretty sure this veggie mixture would go great over chicken, but it wouldn't be nearly as fast.
This recipe is perfect for the summertime, because it makes great use of summer garden vegetables, and is on the stove for a relatively short time, so as not to heat up the house.

Italian Fish Skillet

4-6 Swai or Tilapia fillets
1/4 Italian vinaigrette dressing
1 Tbsp. pesto
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, cut in quarters lengthwise, then sliced
1 c. grape tomatoes
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

1. Spray skillet with cooking spray.  Brush fish fillets with half of the Italian vinaigrette dressing on both sides.  Cook on medium heat in skillet, 3-4 minutes on each side.  Transfer to plate and keep warm.
2.  Add pesto, 2 Tbsp. of dressing, and vegetables to the skillet.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are tender and heated through, about 5 minutes.
3.  Spoon veggie mixture over fish.  Sprinkle with chopped basil.
Serve immediately.
The veggies before spooning them over the fish.
source:  Kraft Food & Family magazine