by Jamie Hinckley on Feb 21, 2012
Fresh from my Grandmother’s own recipes is a the most delicious english muffin raisin bread. I always get a craving for it on cold winter days. I dont know what it is, but the smell of freshly made bread floating through your home gives such a wonderful comfortble feeling… for me it really is the feeling of home itself.
Im sure I’ve said it before but, my mom is the master of homemade breads and rolls. She has her own recipes, most of which were passed on to her by her mom. I love that kind of history with recipes. It is so fun to know I am baking recipes that my mother and grandmother grew up making. Although I will never be able to bake as well as them, I do like to try. I found with baking any breads or rolls… it really is an art.
You have to get a feel for your dough and know when to stop adding flour and when your dough is done rising. I can tell I am getting better with each batch. When I first starting making rolls and breads I added way to much flour and had dense/thick bread instead of fluffy and soft bread. The trick is to add as little flour as you can get away with without it being too sticky to be able to form your bread/rolls.
This is what it looks like before it starts to rise
This is the dough after it has been left to rise
So I am going to share my grandmother’s recipe with you, but keep in mind I did modify it. My mom and Grandma can practically make this in their sleep so whenever I am using their recipes I have to sort of fill in the blanks. Also, my mother had seven children and my grandmother had six so all of their recipes have been meant to feed a crowd. Since I very rarely need to make 6 loaves at a time, or 5 trays of cinnamon rolls, I have to trim them down. I know it sounds easy, but if you saw their recipes written down as I do you would know what I mean.
Bread in the pans before rising
Bread in the pans after rising
English Muffin Raisin Bread
Makes 2 loafs
3 cups warm water
2.5 Tb dry yeast
1/3 cup cornmeal (whole grain if possible)
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tb salt
2 cups raisins
6 – 8 cups flour
1. Sprinkle the dry yeast across the surface of the warm water in your mixing bowl and let sit for a few months until the yeast is mostly absorbed and a bit frothy around the edges of the bowl.
2. Add the cornmeal, sugar, and salt and mix briefly
3. Add 3 cups of flour and then your raisins and mix using a bread hook
4. Gradually continually adding flour until your dough is soft, but still slightly sticky (not sticky enough that you can’t work with it).
5. Knead dough for 5-6 minutes using your bread hook (Yes grandma, I cheat and no longer Knead by hand… hope you still love me) :)
6. Put about a capfull of vegetable over the soft surface of the dough making sure to coat the bottom of the dough as well. Let rise until double (about 30 minutes).
7. Punch down, divide dough in half and form dough into two loaves. Coat pans with non-stick spray before putting dough in.
8. Let rise again until double (about 30 minutes)
9. Bake on 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes. I put tinfoil over mine the last 10 minutes so the tops do not brown too much. Remove from pans immediately and let cool completely on wire rack before wrapping up. Brush to tops with melted butter for better presentation.
This is bread is absolutely delectable with honey butter or even cinnamon and sugar toast! The key to honey butter is equal parts butter to honey. :) Enjoy! I know you will be making this one for years… it is a keeper.
by Jamie Hinckley on Feb 17, 2012
So it’s my Dad’s birthday and I am in charge of bringing the cake. Yeah! Good thing, because I have really been craving some peanut butter chocolatey goodness and I am certain no ordinary cake would quench it. So how to encompass all the baked yumminess into one cake? Well, just that…. combine it all! Peanut butter, chocolate, cookie dough, brownies… did I miss anything??? Oh wait, lets make that chocolate chip cookie dough! I think we got it now!
And here it is in all its goodness! It is essentially, chocolate brownies with chocolate chip cookie dough balls, frosted first with fluffy peanut butter frosting and then lathered over with yummy chocolate frosting. Hold on while I wipe the drool from my chin… you might want to do the same!
- Can you blame me for being tempted to eat it just likes this and skipping the baking altogether???
Oh and don’t hate on me for using mixes… remember how I have three adorble, yet completely out of control
monkeys boys hanging on me constantly! I just don’t always have the time to make up the real deal from scratch.
PB Frosted Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies (Wow, that’s a mouthful!)
Improved on, but inspired by bettercrocker.com
1 package brownie mix (or if you are cooler than me, make them from scratch)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (use your favorite recipe or cheat and buy premade dough or a mix)
Whatever ingredients you need to make your brownies
Chocolate frosting (again I used a Betty Crocker container…. don’t judge)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 Tb milk (or as needed)
2 cups confectioners sugar
*Mix the brownie batter as directed and pour into 9 x 13 pan. Drop rounded teaspon balls of cookie dough evenly into your brownie mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out almost clean. Mine was done in less than 40min. Let cool for 30 minutes or so on a wire rack.
*Make the PB frosting by beating peanut butter and butter together. Add sugar and mix again. Add milk as needed to get desired consistency. Make sure to beat for at least 3 minutes to get it nice and fluffy!
*Frost the brownies first with the PB frosting then cover it with the chocolate frosting. Doesn’t’ get better than that! It gets a little gooey spreading the chocolate, but it looked nice and smooth when I was done. So good!
You should have heard and tasted the compliments I got on this from my family while celebrating my Dad’s 57th birthday! So good… It is definitely a keeper!
by Dana Patterson on Feb 06, 2012
I always take something to anything we are invited to. I feel like the host has gone through so much effort to make it a great evening, the least I can do is bring something. Most of the time it’s either a dessert or appetizer. If I don’t have a lot of time, I usually make this. It’s so delicious and EVERYONE asks for the recipe. This past weekend, I helped host my friends bridal shower. I brought this spinach dip and homemade hummus (recipe to come later). This is Hidden Valley’s recipe. Look at how cute it is:
The Hawaiian bread makes it look really good!
All you need is:
16 oz. Sour Cream
Box of Chopped Spinach (thawed, rinsed and completely drained)
Ranch Dressing Packet
Kings Hawaiian Bread
All you need is spinach, diced water chestnuts, sour cream, ranch dressing packet and Hawaiian bread.
Dice up water chestnuts.
Make sure spinach is completely dry.
Mix all together and put into bowl to let sit for at least 30 minutes (I did mine over night).
Cut out hole in bread and serve. Wahhhllaaaaaa
I should have made this post before Super Bowl. It would have been something perfect and easy you could have taken to a party. Lay off all the store bought stuff when you go places, it just makes you look lazy!!!
by Jamie Hinckley on Feb 03, 2012
So have I mentioned that I pretty much love anything from the Lion House Bakery? This bakery is most famous for its breads, pies, and desserts. Anything you get from here is going to be good! I recently posted a crepe recipe from the Lion has as well that my family has been using for years and years. Anyway, I had a friend in my neighborhood get really sick this past week. I wanted to make something to cheer her up and feed their family. So I made this Challah bread from the Lion House Bakery to go with Alice Springs Chicken.
It turned out really yummy! I made a loaf for my family and a loaf for my friend. It is delicious pull apart bread that is soft and fluffy on the inside!
Challah Bread (makes 2 loafs)
From the Lion House Bakery Cook Book
1 Tb dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (not too hot)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
2 eggs beaten well
4 1/2 to 5 cups of flour
1 egg yolk beaten well
1/4 tsp water
poppy seeds (I added this to mine as well)
1. Place the warm water in your bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let sit for a few minutes until is is slightly dissolved and frothy on the sides of the bowl.
2. Add sugar, oil, salt, beaten eggs, and 2 1/2 cups of flour. Beat well. Add enough remaining flour to make soft dough and knead until smooth.
3. Grease your dough and bowl with a cap full of vegetable oil.
4. Cover and let rise until double (about 30 -40 minutes). P
5. Punch down and divide in half. Then take each half and make three long ropes. Braid the three ropes together and then repeat with the other three ropes. Place on a greased cookie sheet.
6. Mix egg yolk with 1/4 tsp of water and brush over the braids. Sprinkle with seeds.
7. Cover and let rise 30 minutes.
8. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.
***I baked mine for 30 minutes and it was a little browner than I would like. I had to run out for a minute and asked the hubby to keep an eye on it. He didn’t do a great job. Haha… apparently men (at least this one) doesn’t have the eye for checking on bread! I would recommend checking it at 20 and 25 minutes. So yummy and fancy looking but such an easy recipe!
The bread just ready to bake after being left to rise the second time
by Jamie Hinckley on Jan 24, 2012
Crazy day today… isn’t it always though?!?! We are always on the go making it harder and harder to get in a decent healthy lunch. I have been trying really hard to eat more raw veggies lately, mostly because they are just so good for you. I read all the new year resolution on veggies (yeah I know, I know! You are all sick of hearing about new year resolutions), but the fact that eating large quantities may reduce your risk of cancer is awesome and gave me a raw veggie kick. The problem is that I don’t really like raw veggies and either do my kids!
We are learning though! I have found that it is all in the presentation. For example, try buying carrot chips instead of regular carrots. I don’t know what it is, but something about calling it a chip and the thinner crinkle cut is more enticing than a thick carrot stick. My kids will gobble it up! Throw in some interesting and yummy Hummus and we will all down and tray of raw veggies.
So I am a little obsessed with Hummus lately since being on my veggie kick. It is such an easy and healthy lunch. I have been keeping a different variation of it along with fresh cut veggies in the fridge for the last several weeks. If is is ready and you just have to pull it out… you will eat it! It is easy to grab and when you just want a quick snack for you or the kids it is a great healthy way to go.
So here is the latest Hummus variation I have made lately… So good!
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup of cooking liquid if you use dry beans or chicken stalk (I actually just used water here)
- 2 medium cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup of tahini
- 1/2 tsp salt
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 avocado
- 2-3 cups fresh spinach
- I like to garnish with Tomatoes and cilantro
Add the ingredients to a food processor or blender and mix well. I needed to add more liquid to get the right consistency. Serve with a variety of raw vegetables (I recommend carrot chips for kiddos). I am sure this would be great with a yummy pita as well. Enjoy… I sure did!
by Dana Patterson on Jan 23, 2012
This works great!!! Here is what you need!
borax, baking soda, salt, 2 lemonade kool-aid packets, lemon juice
1 cup borax
1 cup baking soda
1/4 cup salt
2 lemonade kool-aid packets (I used store brand, almost half the price as kool-aid brand)
30 drops of lemon juice
Mix together in a sealed container and wahlaaaaaaa.
I had to run to Wal-Mart to return something for my daughter, so I decided to pick up the ingredients there. They had all the ingredients and it cost about $8.00 and I can probably make it 10 times for that total. I would say it cuts your price to about 1/10th of the average dishwasher soap. It is SO easy! It made me feel great and my dishes turned out just as clean or even cleaner than if I used Cascade or Finish.
Couple of side notes:
Borax is found with the laundry detergent.
I also found the big baking soda in the laundry detergent aisle.
Must use lemonade kook-aid mix, other flavors could stain your dishes.
Use about a tablespoon in each compartment.
Have fun and get happy when you’re saving so much money!!!!!!
by Jamie Hinckley on Jan 17, 2012
Pinterest has caught my attention again! I can’t get enough of it! It has the best of everything! I saw these cookies and cream cookies floating around on pinterest a lot lately so when we got invited over to a friends for dinner I immediately thought of these cookies as something fun and different to bring along.
They were yummy and fluffy, but I must admit that the dough was just as good as the baked cookie! So good… I am such a sucker for cookie dough! It was a great compliment when I had no cookies to take home at the end of the night… I think that speaks for itself.
So good... I love the dough!
How could you not love a cookie full of Oreo bits! MMMmmmm!
Cookies and Cream Cookies
(makes about 30 cookies)
1/2 cup butter, at room temp.
6 Tb sugar
6 Tb. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 Oreos broken into pieces
***Preheat over to 350 degrees. Cream together sugars and butters. Add egg and vanilla. Wisk dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then slowly add to sugar mixture. Mix slowly until just combined. Gently stir in oreo bits. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and bake 8 to 10 minutes.
Cool completely on a wire rack
by Dana Patterson on Jan 16, 2012
I have to give credit where it’s due. I got this amazing recipe here from Pinterest (if you haven’t joined pinterest, do it like NOW). My in-laws were in town this past weekend and this is a great meal to serve. It’s easy, quick and delicious.
What a great meal!
It’s very easy!! Here is what you need:
Start of an amazing meal!
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, I cut them through the middle to make them half the thickness
- seasoning salt
- 6 slices bacon, cut in half
- ¼ cup regular mustard
- ¼ to 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
- 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
- 2 cups shredded Colby/Jack cheese
Sprinkle and rub the chicken breasts with seasoning salt. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon. ***Do not discard grease.*** Saute chicken in the bacon grease for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned. Move chicken to a 9×13 pan.
In a small bowl, mix the mustard, honey, mayo and dried onion flakes. Apply the honey mustard to each breast, then layer with mushrooms, bacon, and shredded cheese.
Bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chicken is done. (Be sure to cut into a breast to see that it is fully cooked before serving to guests who will find raw meat in their main dish. Ask me how I know…)
Serve with honey mustard sauce.
Side note: I used 6 breasts and doubled the sauce. There were four adults and I didn’t have to worry at all about having enough, in fact we had leftovers.
by Dana Patterson on Dec 19, 2011
It's so yummy!
Soups are just so delicious in the winter! I got this recipe off food dot com. I love this recipe because you just throw everything into the crock pot. There is no before cooking.
Here’s what you need:
The ingredients needed for the delicious stew!
- 2 lbs stew meat (no need to brown)
- 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
- 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1 package Onion Soup Mix
- 1 cup red wine
- Extra veggies (I used peas, onions and chopped carrots)
Directions (can’t be any more simple):
- Put all ingredients into crock pot (I kept my frozen peas out and put them in 30 minutes before we were ready to eat it).
- Eat and enjoy!
by Dana Patterson on Dec 08, 2011
Beautiful and fresh bread crumbs.
I recently posted a crock pot Chicken Parmesan recipe. I never buy pre-made bread crumbs for a couple of reasons. I only eat whole wheat and I haven’t seen 100% whole wheat bread crumbs at the store and I would much rather have something more fresh. So, I make my own and it’s SO simple.
bread of your choice
I toasted two pieces of bread and pulled them apart and stuck them in my mini food processor (another favorite kitchen gadget that I believe we got on a black Friday for $5).
After your bread is toasted, throw it in the food processor.
Process it up and you are finished!
This is what they looked like in the processor.
Most recipes call for what you want to add to the bread crumbs, but you can also be creative with spices and parmesan cheese!