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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Simple French Bread

I searched for a really long time for a French bread recipe that didn't require a bread maker! The loaves would either be too skinny and baguette like, didn't have good flavor, or would come out as hard as a rock!  My search is now OVER! This recipe is perfect, and similar to what you would find in the bakery at the grocery store but minus the preservatives.  It's so simple to make and very inexpensive. If you don't have a stand mixer you can use a hand mixer for mixing and knead the dough by hand. Don't be intimidated by the bread!

Makes 1 loaf
2 ¾-3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
1 package or 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (120 degrees F)

In a stand mixer, mix 2 cups flour with the salt, sugar, and yeast. Add water and beat for 3 minutes. Beat in enough additional flour to make a soft but kneadable dough.

Place dough on a floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes, until smooth and elastic (you can use a dough hook on a mixer for this step if you have one).

Place the dough in a bowl, cover with towel, and let rise for 45-60 minutes.

Punch dough down and roll into a long rectangular shape.

Starting from the long end, roll the dough into a loaf shape.

Place seam-side down on a greased baking sheet, cover with a wet towel to let rise 30-45 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make an egg wash by mixing one egg with one tablespoon of water. Brush loaf with the egg wash with a pastry brush. Using a sharp knife, make 3-4 diagonal slashes on top of the loaf.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

For the printable recipe click here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Puppies in Cardigans or Pigs in a Blanket...

I don't know if it's the croissants or what but something about these bad boys just seems more grown up then regular pigs in a blanket!

1 Pack of Nathan's hot dogs, or your favorite brand.
1-2 Packs of refrigerated dinner Croissants  (the big ones!)

Preheat oven as directed on the croissants label.
Unroll the croissants from its prepackaged roll form.  

Roll each dog up with one triangle. (If you get the little croissants you will need two per dog and roll each dog with a rectangle shaped croissant.)

Bake in the oven as directed on the croissant label or until golden brown and delicious! Enjoy!

For the printable recipe click here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chicken Pitas


Raspberry Vinaigrette
Grilled chicken breast (seasoned with garlic, pepper and basted in raspberry vinaigrette)
Cherry Tomatoes
Pita Pockets (warmed on the grill)

Shred chicken. Mix all the ingredients together and stuff it inside the pita. ENJOY!
Raspberry vinaigrette not your thing? Try it with a bag of Caesar salad mix and grilled chicken.

For the printable recipe click here.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Monkey Bread

A few months ago our friend and neighbor Gabby taught me how to make homemade Monkey Bread.  This is nothing like store bought! This is a 100 times better the store bought! It's pure amazing with a little caramel crunch added!

 4 cans of refrigerated  biscuit dough (about 40 biscuits)
 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
 1/2 cup butter
 1 cup white sugar
 1 cup brown sugar, packed
 1/2 cup pecans, raisins and/or coconut (optional)

Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces.

Pour white sugar and cinnamon into a plastic bag and mix.

Add biscuit pieces, shake to coat well.

Place pieces in a buttered tube or Bundt pan until all are used.

Sprinkle layers with nuts, raisins or coconut. (optional)

Bring brown sugar and butter to a boil in a saucepan.

Cool  for 10 minutes, then pour over top of biscuits.

Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool 15 minutes before
removing from pan. Turn upside down to serve.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

My daughter, Charlee hates milk so I have to make her chocolate milk everyday! I always feel a little bit guilty giving her the bottled stuff from the store because we try not to eat that many preservatives and the bottled syrup is loaded with corn syrup and other artificial ingredients! So this time when the bottle was done I looked up a recipe for my own! I was shocked at how simple it was to make and I don't know why people buy it from the store!

½ cup cocoa powder
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla

In a large saucepan whisk cocoa and water on medium heat until the cocoa is dissolved. Add sugar and whisk until dissolved. Make sure the sugar is dissolved our it will make your syrup grainy. Boil for 3 minutes over medium heat. Make sure and watch it or it will boil over and you will be cleaning up a huge mess like I did! Add salt and vanilla. Let the syrup cool completely before pouring into a clean glass jar. Store in the fridge. ENJOY!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pizza Crust

My family loves pizza and buying a pizza can be expensive, so I make my own! Here is the recipe for my pizza crust, don't be intimidated it's super easy!
2 ½- 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package of yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup very warm water (120-130 degrees)
Makes 2 pizzas.
In a large bowl mix 1 cup of flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add olive oil and water. Beat with a mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes. With a spoon, stir in enough flour until it forms a soft dough and leaves the side of the bowl . On a floured surface knead for 8 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and springy. Loosely cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease pizza pan. Cut dough in half. Pat one half down to form your pizza. Add toppings of your choice. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden. ENJOY!
For the printable recipe click here.