Saturday, January 31, 2015

Honey Oat Wheat Bread

100% Whole Wheat by JL_7978, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  JL_7978 

Is there anything better than the smell of homemade bread baking in the oven?

I remember visiting my Auntie Laura as a little girl.  She would greet us with floured hands, her apron tied about her dress and her hair pinned back.  I would sit on the stool next to her at the kitchen counter and watch her knead the bread and pat it into loaves as she would hum hymns in between conversation.  At lunch time we were welcomed to the table with thick, warm slices of honey-oat bread accompanied with butter and jam, it was glorious.

Here is that recipe from oh so many years ago.  Enjoy!

Auntie Laura's Bread (yields five to six loaves)

6 cups warm water

6 Tbsp yeast

6 tsp salt

1 cup honey

1 and 1/4 cup oil

16 cups flour 

2 cups oatmeal

Mix yeast and water.

Add honey, oil and oatmeal.

Mix in salt

Mix in flour with your hands until all combined.

Cover bowl with towel and let rise for one hour.

Knead dough.

Cut and shape dough into six loaves.

*At this point you can freeze the dough if you desire.  Just wrap each loaf with greased plastic wrap and place in freezer bags.  When ready to bake, thaw in greased loaf pan and let rise.  Then bake as directed below.*

Put into greased pans and let rise for 40 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when knocked on.

Remove from pans, butter tops lightly and let cool. Mmmmm. Freezes beautifully!

Do you have a favorite bread recipe?  Please feel free to share it below in the comment section.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Homemade Yeast Rolls

I love bread.  I had to fast it for four months while I was getting over an allergy and I think I missed bread more than chocolate.  Is there anything like fresh, warm bread out of the oven slathered with butter?  Mmmm.

Here is a recipe that has been in my family for years, I hope you enjoy it.

Thanksgiving Dinner Rolls by advencap, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  advencap 

Aunt Donna's Yeast Rolls
2 cups warm water
2 packages dry yeast
Mix the above and then stir in:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup soft shortening or oil (I use butter)
1 egg
6 and 1/2 cups of flour and stir until easy to handle.
Lightly knead on a floured surface.  Put dough into a greased bowl and let rise
for one hour.  Punch down dough, shape into rolls and place in a greased pan.
Bake at 375 for 15 - 20 minutes, or till golden brown.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

As the cool air ushers Autumn our way and the forest beyond our meadow boasts colors of red, gold and orange I get ready for the season.

Wearing my flannel pajamas, red knit cap, and peering through frost kissed window panes, this time of year beckons for me to bring out my Dutch oven and make soup and loaves of crusty bread to feed my rosy cheeked crew when they come in from outside.

Butternut Squash Soup
3 to 5 lb butternut squash
1/2 onion, diced
2 to 4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup Half and Half
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds.  Place on a baking pan... I used a 9x13 pyrex glass dish but you could use a cookie sheet too.  Drizzle squash with olive oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper.  Roast, flesh side up, for 25 minutes, or till tender.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Sautee onion in fry pan with a little butter or olive oil.  Toss in cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.  Stir and then remove from heat and set aside.

Scoop cooked squash and put into blender.  Add onion and spice mix and your chicken broth.  Start with 2 cups.  Blend!  Add more broth as needed.  Just before serving stir in half and half.

SO delicious!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Crockpot Caramel Apple Butter

Crisp, autumn apples BEG to be simmered for hours with cinnamon and sugar and turned into a delectable treat to top toast, pancakes, muffins, scones, yogurt or whatever your heart desires, with.  This recipe is easy peasey lemon squeezey because it utilizes one of my favorite appliances... the crock-pot.

What you need:
5 and 1/2 pounds of apples - peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup of white sugar*
1 cup of brown sugar*
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt

* I like to start out with just the two cups of sugar.  Depending on the type of apple you are using you may want more sugar.  I suggest letting it cook for a while then tasting it.  You can add more sugar if you would like it to be sweeter. I would add it slowly though... maybe 1/2 cup at a time, let it cook for a bit, taste, and then add more if needed.

Optional: blender or food processor
If you want a finer apple butter you can run your chopped apples through a blender or food processor until they are smaller bits before proceeding with the recipe (not completely pureed like applesauce) or if you like it a bit chunkier then skip this option and carry on.

1. Dump apples into crockpot.

2. Mix sugar and spices into bowl and dump over apples.  Give a good stir.

3. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.

4. Reduce heat to low and cook for 12 more hours, stirring occasionally. Go ahead and taste it when you stir it... if you desire more sugar then add some in.  If I am going to let the apple butter cook overnight I use my "keep warm" setting.  The longer your butter cooks the deeper in color it will get... do not worry about the dark brown hue it is taking, it just means it is going to be delicious!  :)

5. For the last hour of cooking I remove the lid to let it thicken up.  Once it is the desired thickness go ahead and either put it in jars to freeze, refrigerate or give away OR you can process it.

To process in a hot water bath:

1. Make sure your hot water bath is ready and boiling and that your jars are warm and lids are hot.

2. You want your apple butter to be hot.  You can put it up to high in crockpot for 10 to 15 minutes and that should do the trick.

3. Ladle butter into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Wipe rims/threads with damp cloth.  Cover jars with hot lids and screw on the rings.

4. Process half pint jars in water bath for 10 minutes and pint jars for 15 minutes.

This recipe makes about 8 half pint jars.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Homemade Pop Tarts

Homemade Toaster Pastries with Driscoll’ by mealmakeovermoms, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  mealmakeovermoms 

 , my kids, get a little excited over pastry covered in frosting... so I decided to whip up some homemade pop tarts on a whim.

Here is what you need:
Double batch of your favorite pie crust
Filling of your choice (jam, brown sugar and cinnamon, pumpkin pie filling, Nutella, ect.)

For Brown Sugar Cinnamon I combine:
 1/2 cup brown sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon
I brush melted butter onto the rectangles and cover the rectangle with brown sugar mixture.  Then top with another pastry rectangle.  :)

For jam fillings mix 1 cup of jam with 1 Tbsp of tapioca starch that has been mixed with a 1 Tbsp of cold water.  This will help your jam thicken as the tarts cook.

Prepare your dough and divide in half.  Roll out each half into a large rectangle and cut into small rectangles roughly the size of a pop tart.

On one half of the rectangles you will want to brush the dough with a bit of water, a beaten egg, or some butter.  This is what will help adhere the top of your tart to the bottom portion.

Plop your filling into the center of half of the rectangles leaving some space on all sides.

Place another rectangle over the top of your filling and press down on all sides to make a good seal.  I use a fork to make cute hash marks all around my tart.  It looks more authentic that way.  :)  Poke a few holes with your fork, into the top of each tart so the steam can escape.

Place your tarts on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Serve as is or drizzle some icing on each tart once they have cooled.

For icing:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  •  2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Mix ingredients and drizzle over pop tarts.  Dot with rainbow sprinkles to add a bit more sugar and extra smiles to your day!  :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Perfect Pumpkin Muffins

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License
Pumpkins by tibbygirl, on Flickr
   by  tibbygirl 

With Autumn comes my obsession for pumpkin everything... these muffins make the perfect accompaniment to a pumpkin latte and they are HEALTHY for you! It's a win, win people.  The whole family LOVES them.  In fact, my son requested these to be served at his birthday party instead of cake.  We did add chocolate chips to make them more cupcake like... oh, so good!  Enjoy! 
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins by Sarah Cady, on Flickr

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  Sarah Cady 

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-grain pastry flour (I  use white wheat)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsulphered molasses
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, molasses, oil and 1 egg until combined. Add the other egg and whisk well. Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of one of the muffins comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack.

yields 12 delectable muffins.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Homemade Foccacia Bread

Wanting to make something different for sandwiches and to use with our alfredo dinner, I decided to try my hand at focaccia bread.  The recipe is incredibly easy and is yummy, the whole family was smiling.

I found this simple video on youtube by Laura Vitalie... click and enjoy.  I used Grampa's Pizza Crust, recipe to whip up these rolls. Wow those you love today with a bit of something savory... these make your kitchen smell amazing!