Sunday, September 27, 2020



 MAPLE OATMEAL HONEY BREAD


I watched The Kneady Homesteader make this bread and it looked scrumptious!  I have the cookbook, and it's one of the recipes I had marked way back in 2003, when I bought it, that I wanted to try.

Finally...124 years later, but who's counting...better late than never!

Instead of maple sugar, I followed her lead and used 1/2 cup regular sugar plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup.  For the topping I mixed 1/4 cup warm water with 1 tablespoon honey and carefully brushed that on the top, then sprinkled on some quick oats just before it went for it's oven nap.

The house smelled FAB.U.LOUS!  There really is nothing better to love your family with, than fresh, home-made bread.  Do yourself a favor...make some!




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2 1/4 cups boiling water

1 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon maple extract (optional...but, YUM!)

1 tablespoon honey

4 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon instant yeast

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

4 cups all purpose flour (may need a little less...or more, depending)

.

In a large mixing bowl, or Kitchenaid stand mixer, add the boiling water, oatmeal, sugar, maple syrup, maple extract, honey, and butter.  Allow to sit until lukewarm.

Stir in the salt, cinnamon, and yeast.  Stir in whole wheat flour and all purpose flour.  (If using a stand mixer, you can put all the dry ingredients in at once and mix on level 2.  If mixing by hand, add the flour incrementally so that it's easier to handle.)

By hand: remove dough to a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes - adding flour when it gets sticky.  

By stand mixer: on level 2 (I use a Kitchenaid) knead for 5 minutes, adding flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough ball starts sticking to the sides of the bowl. 

Place a tablespoon or so of oil in the mixing bowl and swirl the dough ball in the oil to completely coat.  Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and set in a warm place to rise for about an hour.  The warmer the place is, the quicker it will rise.  (I barely heat my oven and then turn it off and place it in there with the light on.)

Punch down and form into two loaves.  Place in two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch greased loaf pans. Cover, and again, let rise in a warm place for about 40 minutes or until almost doubled.  

Preheat oven.  If you want the topping mix 1/4 cup warm water with 1 tablespoon honey until dissolved.  CAREFULLY brush over the top of the raised loaves.  Sprinkle with oats.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until deep golden.  When you take it out of the pan and turn it upside down, tapping on the bottom, it should sound hollow.  Cool for at least an hour before cutting.  

Have a LOT of  butter on hand...you're gonna want it!!




Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Caramel Oatmeal Bars


CARAMEL OATMEAL BARS

This recipe came from one my mom's friends, Mrs Caddock...I've got it in her handwritting and it's special to me, even though I've never met her!  

These are oooey, gooey, and crispy at the same time.  She originally made them as oatmeal cookies, but I've done them in a pan, and added the caramel bits - and a splash of maple syrup, just 'cause.

It works best with old fashioned oats, but quick oats will work...they will just be more cakey and less flaky.  Either way - your family will not complain!

(You can make them into cookies...but my patience wears thin after a few pans, so I like to make them bars.  Same taste and satisfaction...easier, quicker...just my preferred way, these days!)

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1 cup shortening (I like the butter-flavor kind)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 package caramel bits (Kraft makes one...little balls of caramel...!! See photo below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 10x15 inch aluminum baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl cream together the shortening, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, vanilla, and syrup.
Stir in the salt, baking soda, flour, oats, and caramel bits. 

With your hands pat them, evenly, into the prepared pan.  Bake for about 30-35 minutes...may take a little longer...just until when you life up a bit in the middle with a knife, it's not looking raw, but that sort of un-done cookie-middle that will finish cooking as they cool.  (CLEAR AS MUD. See photo below!)

Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes and cut while still warm.  These are quite crunchy on the edges and will stick to the pan if you don't remove them while warm.  Store in an airtight container.

This is how the warm inside will look: 











Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Quarantine Comfort...


CARAMEL BREAD PUDDING

Cleaning out the fridge or using up ingredients that may go to waste is a perfect time to make bread pudding.  So, comforting - so homey - old fashioned and easy...your family will thank you for taking the effort (although there really isn't any!).


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3 1/2 cups cubed day old bread (I like french WITH the crust)

3 tablespoons butter
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup caramel sauce, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a medium sized shallow
casserole with cooking spray and set aside. (One that will
fit inside a 9x13 baking pan.)

In a large bowl microwave the butter, milk, sugar, vanilla,
and salt until butter is melted, but mixture is not hot.

Whisk in the eggs.

Add in the bread cubes into the egg mixture and stir to
coat all pieces, but don't break them up. Pour into prepared
pan.

Drizzle HALF of the caramel sauce over the top.

Place in a 9x13 baking dish and pour in hot water to come
halfway up the inner casserole.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean - or
when you lift up a bit in the center it's not still wet looking.

Drizzle with remaining caramel sauce and dot with softened
butter. 

BEST when served warm!!


Monday, November 12, 2018

Up Your Game...



 ONION-DILL HAMBURGER BUNS

This originally was supposed to be a braid, but I needed some hamburger buns for company - whatcha gonna do?  These turned out to be perfection, albeit slightly rustic...no matter, they really are delicious.

Make them as big or small as you want, these fluffy buns stand up to the toppings of that beautiful burger!  And, if you are a fan of onion...prepare for your house to smell like heaven!

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Print Recipe


.
1 (1/4 ounce) pkg active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup sour cream - ROOM TEMP
1 egg
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup finely diced onion
1 teaspoon dill weed (add more if you prefer)
2 1/2-3 cups all purpose flour (I used 1/2 c of that as whole wheat)

.

In stand mixer (like a Kitchenaid with dough hook) or big bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water.  Give it a few minutes to see if it foams up, then add the sour cream, egg, butter, salt, and 1 cup of flour.  Mix for two minutes.  Add in the onion and dill weed until well mixed.  Mix in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.  At this point you can turn it out on a floured board and hand knead for 6-8 minutes, or continue in the mixer (adding flour if it gets too sticky) for another 2-3 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise until doubled.

Punch down and form into either a braid/loaf or buns.  I got 10 fairly good sized buns out of this batch. Let rise until almost doubled.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.  I always run a stick of butter over them hot out of the oven - just because.


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

New Gadget - Old Favorite!


INSTANT POT MAC & CHEESE

Finally got an Instant Pot.  After much I-don't-need-one-itis I succumbed to the pressure (see what I did there??!!...anywaaaaaaay...) and did the deed.  It's nice and I do like it.  And for making pasta - it's fast and I LOVE that.

This recipe is a mix between this one, and because I adore a baked version, Paula Deen's with some of my extras added in.  What I love about this is that the chicken broth you cook the pasta in adds so much flavor that I didn't know was missing!  You don't "taste" it - as in "WOW this tastes like chicken broth" but it gives such a rounded, flavorful loveliness, I will always do it this way, from now on. 

Comfort food is always welcome...make it a little faster and you've got the best of both worlds. 

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16 ounces uncooked macaroni

4 cups (32oz container) chicken broth (OR vegetable broth)

4 tablespoons butter, in chunks

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2  teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1  teaspoon sugar

 .

4 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese combo)

2 cup milk or evaporated milk

1 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

More cheese to sprinkle, optional


Place macaroni, broth, butter, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, black pepper, nutmeg, and sugar in the Instant Pot.  Turn on high pressure for 5 minutes.  Release QUICKLY. Do not drain.

Immediately stir in cheese, milk, sour cream, salt, and eggs.  Spread in a greased long baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until bubbly.  Sprinkle extra cheese and bake until melted and golden.






Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Kiss, kiss, love, love...!




RED VELVET CAKE

True love in cake form...so gorgeously scarlet with a pillowing, creamy-soft frosting that isn't too sweet, but perfectly compliments the beauty it's sitting on!

Make this for your lover...or for yourself...or for anyone you need to impress - they will not soon forget it!

~~~~


2 1/2  cups cake flour (such as Softasilk)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 ounces red food coloring (two small bottles for a deep red, one, if you want a lighter shade)
1 cup buttermilk
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat two 9 inch round or square cake pans with vegetable cooking spray and dust with 1 tablespoon, each, cake flour, tapping upside down to remove the excess, and set aside.
In a medium bowl sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and unsweetened cocoa powder.  Set aside. 
In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, at least 2 minutes.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Carefully beat in red food coloring, scraping bowl frequently.
Beat in 1/2 of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk; then the remaining flour mixture.  In a small bowl combine the vinegar and baking soda and quickly stir into the batter.  Immediately pour into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out still moist, with large crumbs – or almost clean, but not wet/raw.  Do not over-bake!  

Allow to cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove cake from pans by placing the wire rack on top of the cake and invert; allow to cool completely.  (To ensure that your cake stays nice and moist, when the cake is out of the pan and on the rack, lay plastic wrap loosely over the top as it cools.)  

Frost with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting.  (This needs to be kept in the fridge and actually gets better a day later. I put toothpicks on the top to keep the plastic wrap from ruining the frosting.)

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
3 cups heavy whipping cream
Two 8-ounce pkgs. cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium bowl beat the whipped cream until stiff peaks form.  Set aside.  In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.  Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla.  Gently fold in whipped cream.  (This makes a lot of frosting, but it’s worth it!  You may not use it all on the cake, but it’s great on other things, too.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

If you love peanut butter...you might, maybe, sorta like this...


PEANUT BUTTER PIE

It's not a secret that I'm in love with peanut butter - seriously, dangerously, in love. Swooooooon.

The posts all over the FoodBlogLand in response to the death of a husband/father/friend and his wife's request for everyone to make a peanut butter pie and feed it to those we love, reminded me of a recipe I'd not made for a long while.

I can't imagine...and don't want to. I have no words - I don't know her, but my heart goes out to anyone dealing with this kind of loss. So in the kinship of bakers, bloggers, wives, and friends, here's my entry.

The photo is ancient - taken long ago for another forum. Doesn't matter - the pie is fab and those I love love it.

I do have a no sugar added version of this recipe HERE.

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Crust:
1 1/2 cup vanilla wafer cookie crumbs OR graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In microwave-safe bowl melt peanut butter and butter. Add to crumbs and mix until well combined. Pat into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden. Cool completely.
Filling:
One 8-ounce pkg. cream cheese
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups sweetened whipped cream (1 1/2 cups whipping cream, 2-3 T sugar)
Chopped peanuts or cookie crumbs
Stir together cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla until well mixed. Fold in thawed whipped topping or whipped cream. Pour into prepared pie crust and carefully smooth to edges. Sprinkle chopped peanuts or cookie crumbs on top for garnish. Cover tightly and chill overnight.
Mostly I freeze this in individual portions...you know...for PORTION CONTROL!! This stuff is dangerous!