Saturday, January 29, 2011

Simple White Bread

I love homemade bread, there is just nothing like a thick slice slathered in butter and watching it melt and drip down your fingers as you take a bite.

Amish White Bread

Baking bread at home does not need to be intimidating or difficult, matter of fact, all the bread recipes I use are easy and always turn out well.  Trust me, anyone can bake bread.

The recipe I'm sharing with you is not for a bread machine.

Amish White Bread

Simple White Bread

1 cup water
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tbsp (or 1 packet) of quick rise yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cups flour (plus more for kneading)

1. Mix together the water, yeast, and sugar in a bowl.

2. Add the salt to the 3 cups of flour in a large bowl.

3. Mix the liquid and the dry together and then add the oil.

4. Mix until it comes away from the sides of the bowl, sprinkle some of the last cup of flour on a wooden surface, and knead. Keep adding flour as needed, kneading for about 10 min.

5. Scrape the big bowl clean and coat it with a small bit of oil. Add the dough and cover with a clean tea towel. Place it in a warm spot to rise till doubled in bulk, 1-2 hours.

6. When it has risen, punch the dough down and tip out onto the counter. Roll it out into a rectangle. (about 9 inch x 18 inch)

7. Roll it up, tuck in the ends, and place it into a greased bread loaf pan or glass baking dish.

8. Cover and let rise again, till doubled in size. 45 min - 1 hour. (it takes time!)

9. Once risen, brush the top with a bit of beaten egg, and bake for 30 min at 375 (f).

10. Once cooked, remove the bread from the pan immediately and place on a rack to cool.

Amish White Bread

Simple Apple Crumble

It's such a simple dessert, pure comfort food.

Simple Apple Crumble

I wanted something quick and easy for after dinner tonight and this is what I picked.  Using a can of apple pie for a shortcut because I didn't have the time to make the filling myself, but I'm giving you the recipe for the apple pie filling in case you don't like the canned stuff.

Simple Apple Crumble

Simple Apple Crumble

3-4 good baking apples

1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 packed cup light brown sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Peel and core apples, then chop in roughly 1/3 to 1/2-inch chunks. Place apples in a glass pie plate.  Stir together sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle over apples.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and rub it into the flour with your fingers, mix well with a pastry blender, or pulse the dry ingredients and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles crumbs. Mix in the brown sugar until blended.

Simple Apple Crumble

3. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the apples.

4. Bake until the topping is crisp and golden, which should be 25-30 minutes. Serve warm.

Simple Apple Crumble

Friday, January 28, 2011

Garlic Chicken Panini

Garlic Chicken Panini

It's been a pretty busy week and today was just one of those days, you know, when time seems to slip away and you find yourself in the kitchen at 5pm realizing that you have yet to start dinner.

So, I quickly made some homemade fries and some garlic chicken panini's.  Delicious and quick.

Garlic Chicken Panini

Garlic Chicken Panini
Adapted from: Panini Happy

1 Garlic Bread Baguette
2 packages pre-cooked grilled chicken
Swiss cheese

Cut the baguette into fourths, layer the chicken pieces on and top with a slice of swiss cheese.

Grill the sandwiches for 4 to 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted, slice in half and serve immediately.

These make 4 huge sandwiches, or 8 smaller ones.  Enjoy!

Garlic Chicken Panini

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Best Chili Ever

So many recipes for chili, I think we've all tried numerous variations on this dish, but this is one I always turn to when I have a full day ahead and no time to be in the kitchen.

With my little Nicholas having pneumonia,  and then between homeschooling and laundry and all the other housework needing my attention, I've been counting on my slow cooker to help me this week.

Just dump all this into the cooker in the morning, turn it on and you've got yourself a delicious, filling meal.

This recipe I'm using was shared on one of my Slow Cooking Thursday posts, years ago.  I don't even remember who shared it cause I jotted it down on a piece of paper.   I'll look it up though and come back and let you know :)


Best Chili Ever

1 pound ground beef 1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can Bush's Best chili beans (in medium sauce), with liquid
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans drained
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 (14.5 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers
1 package taco seasoning mix (dry)
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch mix (dry)

1. In a medium skillet, cook the ground beef with the chopped onion until the beef is browned (over medium heat). Drain and add to slow cooker.

2. Add chili beans, kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, green chile peppers and both packets of seasonings to the crock-pot. Mix to blend and cook on low for 8 hours

Note:   If you don't have the dry Ranch Mix, you can substitute with some from the bottle, I've had to do that before and it still tastes great.  

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crockpot Pulled Pork

There are a gazillion different versions to this recipe and really it comes down to, whatever your preference is.

Crockpot Pulled Pork

Me, I usually go for the easiest and nothing is easier than throwing in a pork roast and dumping a full bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce, then cooking it on low for 6 hours.

But then there are other variations that I don't mind trying once in a while, just a little twist on the basic recipe, a little pinch of this a little swig of that.

Here's one of those slight variations on a good puller pork sandwich.

Crockpot Pulled Pork

Crockpot Pulled Pork

Put a sliced onion in the bottom of the crockpot.
Add whatever pork roast you want.
Pour over the top - one bottle of beer
And approx. 2/3 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce

Cook on LOW for 6 hours.  Pull apart with two forks and serve on buns.  I like to dip my top bun into the sauce in the pot.  YUM!

Crockpot Pulled Pork

Monday, January 24, 2011

Crazy Pizza Bread

The first thing that came to my mind when I saw this recipe was "WHY didn't I think of that?".

Crazy Pizza bread

The picture itself made me drool and I knew that I had to make it, there's no way my kids would ever forgive me if I didn't and honestly, kids and pizza go together like beer and brats or peanut butter and jelly.

So here's a super quick, easy, DELICIOUS meal to throw together.  I'm thinking this would be perfect for sleep overs and get togethers with friends and family.

Crazy Pizza bread

Crazy Pizza Bread
Credit:  The Ivory Hut

1 teaspoon yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup Lindsay Chopped California Ripe Olives or 1/2 cup Lindsay Large Pitted Black Ripe Olives, sliced
1 1/2 cups favorite toppings, chopped
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil

Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a bowl. Let it sit for 3 minutes until foamy, then add in flour and salt. Mix (using a mixer, spoon, or your hands) just until it comes together. Add in the olives and toppings and combine well.

Dough will be tacky, but feel free to dust with a bit more extra flour if it feels too tacky. Let rise for about 1 hour, then put in the refrigerator for another hour.

Crazy Pizza bread

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and flour a Silpat or waxed paper. Roll out into a rectangle about 11×17”. Sprinkle cheese over top. Then, using the Silpat or paper, fold along the long side, like an envelope. Seal sides so cheese is not exposed. Let rest while you preheat oven to 450 degrees. Let oven stay at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.

Crazy Pizza bread

Bake the bread, either on a pizza stone or baking sheet, for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. About 3 minutes before taking it out, lightly brush the top with olive oil and let it finish baking.

Let rest on a wire rack to cool slightly before slicing.

Crazy Pizza bread

It was gobbled down by the family, multiple compliments on how good it was and has been requested for tomorrow again.  My husband actually asked me to make him one to take in to work as well.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sicilian Meatloaf


I love a good meatloaf and while there are a ton of variations on this dish, once in a while I run across one that I just have to try.

Like this one.....Sicilian Meatloaf.  Filled with ham and cheese and rolled jelly roll like, the minute you cut into it all this gooeye melted cheese pours out.  So delicious.


I'm thinking of making it next time and trying different fillings, maybe crispy bacon, provolone cheese or spinach leaves.  Oh yeah.


Sicilian Meatloaf
Adapted from Onceamonthmom

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup tomato juice
3 tbsp. fresh parsley
italian seasonings
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
slices of ham
slices of mozzarella cheese

Mix first 9 ingredients in a bowl.

On a sheet of aluminum foil form meat mixture into a 10×12″ rectangle.


Line with ham and cheese. Roll and seal seam otherwise the cheese will just ooze out all over the place.



Place on baking sheet and bake 1 hour 20 minutes at 350 degrees.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Taco Pasta

Simple, quick and filling.  Thumbs up from the family for this one, I do think that next time I will add a little bit of a water to the meat mixture just to make a bit more sauce.  Other than that, wouldn't change a thing :)

This is another great recipe from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures, go on over and take a look, I'm sure you will walk away with at least one if not more recipes to try. 

Taco Pasta

Taco Pasta

1 pound ground beef
1 package (1-1/4 ounces) taco seasoning
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 package (8 ounce) shell macaroni, cooked and drained
can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a skillet, brown ground beef over medium heat. Drain and add taco seasoning, tomato sauce, and green chilies. Stir in cooked macaroni. Place in a 9×13 pan. Top with cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until heated through.

Taco Pasta

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef)

Yes folks, I'm totally going there today.  Why?  Because I know I can't be the only one that loves Beef Bulgogi but yet never made it because it looks intimidating.


My family and I love this dish, so when the craving hit us we went down the street to this tiny little Korean Sushi Bar behind McDonald's and indulged.  But truthfully, we couldn't indulge very often because it IS pretty expensive.

Which brings me to reason #2 why you should try it yourself.  If I tell you that it uses the simplest of ingredients, you will probably laugh your head off and think that I'm just saying these things, in an attempt to lure you to the dark side.

So let's make some, let me show you just how easy this recipe is and when your family taste it, they will no doubt say what mine did "Oh my gosh, this is so good it's better than the Korean place we go to".  Makes me smile because it's SO much cheaper to make.


Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef)
Credit:  Closet Cooking

1 pound beef sirloin (thinly sliced)
5 cloves garlic (grated)
1 inch ginger (grated)
1 small onion (grated)
1 Korean pear (grated)
1 Fuji apple (grated)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 green onions (chopped)
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Mix everything in a freezer bag and marinate over night.
2. Cook the meat on a barbecue or in a pan on the stove.


Note:  Next time I'll use light sodium soy sauce, it was just a tiny bit salty for our taste, but that's because I hardly ever use salt when cooking. I also didn't have sesame seeds on hand, but will most definitely include those too.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

We all love a good cinnamon roll drizzled with cream cheese frosting, don't we?

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

Well I've been making these for years and when I have the time I make the bread machine dough but when I don't I use a shortcut by using frozen bread dough instead.

I had 3 loaves sitting in my freezer and they needed to be used up, so I sat in the kitchen this afternoon making pan after pan of delicious cinnamon rolls. 

You can too by using this quick recipe.  Now I knew what I wanted to make with the bread, but I didn't know what I wanted for the filling or the icing, so I went in search and found that Southern Plate had posted a recipe for exactly this, using frozen bread dough to make cinnamon rolls.  Yay!  I love her blog, so I'm using her recipe.

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

Quick Cinnamon Rolls
Credit:  Southern Plate

1 loaf frozen bread dough (thawed, just let it sit out for about an hour or so)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened (for the filling)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 T ground cinnamon
3 ounce cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened (for the icing)
1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla or maple extract

Once the dough is thawed, roll it out on a floured surface until you get a pretty big rectangle. I don't measure, I just eyeball it but I would say about 9x13 inc which is about the size of the baking pans.

For the filling, combine the softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well and then spread over the dough but not to the edges, leave about a half an inch edge, it will make it easier to seal once we roll it up.

Start rolling the dough up carefully, press the seams a little to seal.

I usually use a bit of thread or fishing line to slice it up, it makes it easier and gives a much better clean cut, but if you want to use a knife, use a serrated one.

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

Slice into 1 inch slices and place into round baking pans. You can also put them in a 9x13 inch. pan, but I prefer the round foil ones. They're pretty cheap and make clean up easier too.

Let rest for about 30 minutes.

Pop into a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes until done and nice and brown.

In the meantime, mix 3 ounces of softened cream cheese, the confectioner's sugar and the vanilla or maple extract, with an electric beater. Spread over the cinnamon rolls.

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

Note: I like making huge batches of these and freezing them. I either bake them all and then freeze, or a bake only what I need and wrap the rest in press n seal wrap and pop in the freezer until ready to bake.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Menu Plan

Alrighty, just got home with all the groceries so it's time to put up the Menu Plan for the next two weeks.

A few family favorites and a few new recipes that I'll be trying out and sharing with you all.

MENU PLAN  - 01/17 to 01/31

Monday 17th
Bangers and Mash

Tuesday 18th
Taco Pasta

Wednesday 19th
Beef Bulgogi w/ rice

Thursday 20th
Crab Ragoon w/ Fried Rice

Friday 21st
Sicilian Meatloaf w/ Mashed Potatoes
Credit: Debbidoesdinnerhealthy

Saturday 22nd
Crazy Pizza Bread

Credit: The Ivory Hut

Sunday 23rd
Pulled Pork Sandwiches


Monday 24th 
Garlic Chicken Panini's

 Credit: Paninihappy

Tuesday 25th 
Breakfast for Dinner - Sausage, Biscuits and Gravy, Pancakes

Wednesday 26th
Shepherd's Pie

Thursday 27th
Best Chili Ever

Friday 28th
Chicken a la King with Rice

Saturday 29th
Frango Entalado (Portuguese Chicken w/ cream sauce)

Sunday 30th
Bacon Carbonara Spaghetti

Monday 31st
Homemade Pizza