English Muffin Bread

wpid-storageemulated0Download2012-12-30%2012.21.21.jpg.jpg wpid-storageemulated0Download2012-12-30%2010.19.06.jpg.jpg

 

 

Ok, this recipe for English Muffin Bread is wonderful!  I love to make it and freeze some for later.  It really tastes just like English Muffins, only better because you know you made it and you are amazing!  You don’t even a Kitchen Aid to make this.  You do however need a REALLY big bowl.  The recipe makes 4 loaves but you can cut it down to whatever works for you.  I will say if you make all 4 loaves, don’t use your Kitchen Aid.  You will be right at the top of the bowl.  This is where I found the original recipe.

http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/02/moms-english-muffin-bread.html

 

I do need to point out that is is a great blog as well!  I find lots of great ideas here.

Here is the recipe

5 1/2 cups warm water
3 packages RAPID RISE yeast
     (I have been using regular yeast with no issues)
2 Tablespoons salt
3 Tablespoons sugar (I use local honey instead of sugar, you can use either)
11 cups flour (I use all purpose, but you can use bread flour as well)

Mix altogether, then spoon into 4 greased loaf pans.  Let rise in pans until dough reaches the top of the pans, and bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. 10 minutes before done, brush with melted butter. Makes 4 loaves. Bread will be moist at first. Allow to COOL COMPLETELY before cutting, it will break apart if it is still warm. Makes terrific toast.  I like to toast it and put a fried egg on top, but try it how you like it. Jelly, peanut butter, the possibilities are endless.

Advertisements

Homemade Pizza

 

Lynns Phone 682Lynns Phone 683

 

When you have 2 people working full time in the house, eating out can become a easy solution.  Then you realize that half of one paycheck goes towards meals that you can make at home.  Personally, I would rather take a little time and make the effort to eat at home.  I’d like to buy a house someday.  I think that’s a bit more important than the ease of eating out.  Another bonus is that I know what we are putting in our bodies.  I’m not too happy knowing how much crap we put in our bodies, so I had to give in and give this a try.

Growing up in Massachusetts Krista and I LOVED linguica pizza.  It’s a Portuguese sausage that we grew up on.  I never knew you couldn’t buy it everywhere.  Until I moved to Iowa ;( . Thankfully we can still order it and have it shipped!  It can be pricey which is why we use it sparingly, and grinding some up for pizza makes a little bit go a long delicious way!  If you haven’t tried it, you really should.  It is amazing.  Great with just about anything.  http://www.famousfoods.com/linguica.html is where we have found the best price.  Shipping is killer because you have to get 2-3 day shipping since it is a food product.  I cannot say enough how much it is worth it!  I will also share a few more recipes that we use it in just so you will get good use out of it.

 

 

Ingredients
For the dough:
1 1/4 cups warm (100 to 110) water
2 packages dry yeast
4 tablespoon honey (I use local honey from the farmers market)
Good olive oil (put the olive oil in before they honey so the measuring spoon is well greased and the honey will come right out)
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading

Combine the water, yeast, honey and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. When the yeast is dissolved, let stand for 10 minutes to let the yeast activate. Once the yeast is foamy, add 3 cups of flour, then 2 teaspoons salt, and mix on medium-low speed. While mixing, add up to 1 more cup of flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with the flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the bowl.

Knead by hand: When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead it by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic. (I have skipped this step when I don’t have anyone to help the lady with the bad hand and I haven’t noticed a difference.)

Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover it lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Once the dough has risen, punch it down and separate into 2 large, 3 medium or 6 single size pizzas. Place your dough on pizza pans with parchment paper.  I don’t use a recipe for the sauce, whatever I have on hand works.  Usually its leftover spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.  How much you use is really up to you.  Some like tons of sauce and cheese, some don’t.  Since you are making it at home, you can have it any way you want!  If you purchased your linguica ground then you can just sprinkle it on top.  If you bought the links, you can run it through the food processor or slice it like pepperoni and put it on that way.  Bake 25-30 min or until cheese is melted and slightly brown.  Enjoy!!

 

I did get the dough recipe from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/white-pizzas-with-arugula-recipe2.html#!

You are of course welcome to try the toppings from her post, but in my house, we don’t get to try those things.  My fiance is way too picky!  Either way, I hope you enjoy the pizza and let me know how you like the linguica!!

The Wonders of Baking Soda!

Hi everyone!  Sorry I’ve been absent for so long! Hunting for a new position has taken up all my extra time. 😦 But I’m back 🙂 lol.

Anyway I went yard/estate saleing over the weekend and found this great cast iron sauce pan! For only $1!! I don’t know how many other people passed it up – it was pretty disgusting looking. The baked on grease and old food….

Image

But add a little baking soda and a little elbow grease and its almost as good as new!

Image

I know that it still needs a little work but I can use it until I get another chance to go at the outside 🙂

Another place in the house that I regularly use baking soda is in the kitchen sink. The house that I live in is OLD and more than a little run down and the sink isn’t in much better shape. Everything that goes into it leaves some kind of stain. 😦  But a little baking soda and it looks 100% better in 2 minutes! 🙂

Image

ImageImageImage

So there you go! get out that baking soda and a little water and bring your old, dirty, stained items that you might otherwise throw away and bring back the shine.

And the best part – No harmful fumes and its a natural deodorizer!

Until next time

With Love

Krista ❤

Brownie Cheesecake

ImageImage

Yep, that’s right.  Chocolate and cheesecake.  Twist my arm.  This is beyond sinful.  Oddly enough I looked for this recipe after my brother suggested it to me as something he made for a Superbowl party.  If my brother could do it, I had to be able to pull this off right?  Right!!  As you can see from my pictures I did not make any topping.  This is so incredibly rich that I just couldn’t handle it, but I know someone out there can!  This was really easy and came out wonderful.  I look forward to hearing about your take on it!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I was raised on the East Coast where easy access to really good Chinese food was a way of life.  Then I moved to Iowa.  The only 2 Chinese places where I live are buffet style.  They are not really anything to write home about.  To get to any major city from where I live is a min. 90 minute drive.  Kinda sucky, but these are the things we do for love!  I do actually enjoy the small town life I have here, but sometimes I just NEED some good Chinese food!  To be honest, this recipe is very time consuming, but so very worth it!  I have a super picky fiance and he actually loves this dish so much that he is always willing to help me make it (bum hand, I always need help of some sort).  This man does NOT know how to cook without me there to reassure him he wont burn down the house 🙂 but really he does quite well.  There is nothing bad about this dish.  Also, the leftovers are amazing!  I hope you decide to try it.  Be sure to let me know!

http://www.joyouslydomestic.com/2013/01/sweet-and-sour-sesame-chicken.html

Moms Potato Salad

Lynns Phone 306

I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait for spring and cookouts and bonfires and family gatherings and, WARM WEATHER!!!!  I have never been a fan of potato salad mainly because I don’t like mustard.  I know, I know, I must be insane.  Still, it is just gross to me.  Recently we ended up with far to many potato’s and eggs.  Mom decided she would make a potato salad.  Shocking enough I like it(of course she doesn’t use mustard!).  This is such a basic recipe, but something about it just tastes so good.  So if you have a picky no mustard eating family member, this is for you!

Ingredients

6-7 potato’s

6-7 eggs

1 medium onion

green olives

salt

Helmans Mayonnaise

Cut potato’s into small pieces and boil with  eggs.  Slice onion into very thin pieces and add to the boiling water.  Salt the water.  Chill eggs and potato’s in the fridge until cool.  Mix eggs and potato’s with Helmans Mayonnaise, reserving a couple eggs if you want to decorate the top.  Slice eggs and olives into pieces and decorate the top if desired.

Of course if you don’t like olives or prefer mustard you can always add or omit as you choose.  The onions boil down to almost nothing and even my super picky fiance doesn’t notice they are in there.  As always please let me know if you like the recipe!  Enjoy!

Mulitgrain Bread

Image

I don’t know about any of you guys out there, but I am finding it difficult to afford to eat better.  I have made some changes and found that making my own bread is a huge savings!  Not to mention that it tastes so much better than store bought.  I try to make this on Sundays and since it makes 2, I trade a loaf with a friend who has chickens and eggs.  Easy peasy!  I tried a few different recipes but this one from http://www.ourbestbites.com is by far the best.  You do need to devote a afternoon to this process but for the most part its just waiting.  The stand mixer does almost all the work, which for me is essential since I have very little use of my right hand.  There is very little kneading to do, and that small part is done for me by my amazing fiance who has gotten quite good at being my kitchen helper!  I really hope you enjoy this recipe.  I have not had one person tell me they are not in love with this bread.  Have fun and please let me know how it turns out!

Image

Multigrain Bread

Multigrain Bread

Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup (6 1/4 ounces) seven-grain hot cereal mix

2 1/2 cups boiling water

3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose flour (not bread flour, I used white whole wheat flour)

1 1/2 cups (8 1/4 oz) whole wheat flour

1/4 cup honey

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled*

2 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast

1 tablespoon salt

Optional : 3/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds (I used 1/4 cup each of slivered almonds, unsalted sunflower seeds and pepita seeds)

1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz) old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats

*If you’re using salted butter, just decrease the additional salt by just a bit.

Instructions

Place cereal mix in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook and pour boiling water over it; let stand, stirring occasionally, until mixture cools to 100 degrees and resembles thick porridge, about 1 hour.  Whisk flours together in separate bowl.

Once grain mixture has cooled, add honey, butter, and yeast and mix on low speed until combined.  Add flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, and knead until cohesive mass starts to form (*note: some at high altitudes have noted they have not needed all of the flour, go by look and feel and stop adding flour if you need to!) 1 1/2-2 minutes; cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 20 minutes.  Add salt and knead on medium-low speed until dough clears sides of bowl, 3-4 minutes (if it does not clear sides, add 2-3 tablespoons additional all-purpose flour and knead until it does.  Don’t add more!) continue to knead dough for 5 more minutes.  Add seeds (if using) and knead for another 15 seconds.  Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand until seeds are dispersed evenly and dough forms smooth, round ball.  Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl; cover tightly with plastic and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 45-60 minutes.

Grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans.  Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and divide in half.  Press 1 piece of dough into 9×6 inch rectangle, with short side facing you.  Roll dough toward you into firm cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go.  Turn loaf seam side up and pinch it closed.  Repeat with second piece of dough.  Spray loaves lightly with water or vegetable il spray.  Roll each loaf in oats to coat evenly and place seam side down in prepared pans, pressing gently into corners.  Cover loaves loosely with greased plastic and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size 30-40 minutes.  Dough should barely spring back when poked with knuckle.

Thirty minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake until loaves register 200 degrees, 35-40 minutes.  Transfer pans to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.  Remove loaves from pans, return to rack, and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before slicing and serving.

Storage: Bread can be wrapped in double layer of plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.  Wrapped with additional layer of foil, bread can be frozen for up to a month.

For those without a stand mixer, Cook’s Illustrated recommends:  “Stir wet and dry ingredients together with a stiff rubber spatula until the dough comes together and looks shaggy.  Transfer the dough to a clean counter and knead by hand to form a smooth, rough ball, 15-25 minutes, adding additional flour, if necessary, to prevent the dough from sticking to the counter.  Proceed with recipe as directed.”

King Cake

Image

Ok, lets just start off with me saying I know Mardi Gras is over.  However, I have a niece who just loves these king cakes!  My brother in law came down to visit yesterday so I decided to try my luck with this recipe.  Now normally I am not the best at following directions, but for this recipe I followed to the letter and the result was great!  Everyone loved the cake and went on and on about how much better it was than the store bought ones.  This really is not a hard recipe, just a lot of steps.  I wish I had taken more pictures for you guys but I was trying to fix my laptop on the phone with my brother in Albany, NY and fielding multiple phone calls from work!  So while you only get one picture of the finished product, I now have a working laptop and can post again!!  YAY!  I looked over many recipes on Pinterest while trying to decide how to make this and here is the one I chose.  The directions are very detailed and easy to follow.  If you decide to try it, please let me know what you think!

 

http://www.barbarabakes.com/2011/03/mardi-gras-king-cake/#_a5y_p=1166494