Honey Whole Wheat Bread

I have a confession to make… I don’t like store bread. You know the type that lasts for weeks and comes in a plastic bag. Not only is this bread filled with preservatives, it also does not compare to home-baked bread.

When I studied abroad in Italy I became spoiled by great bread. We could get a baguette at the super market for a very low price. It was always fresh and baked daily. Since being back, it is very difficult to get bread like that. Some grocery stores have some awesome freshly baked bread (such as Harris Teeter) but they can cost $4.50 a loaf and they are only good for a day or two.

I just got back to my house at school yesterday and have little food around. I did however have a lot of flour and some yeast so I decided to make a loaf of bread. I have to admit it is a bit time consuming, it took over 3 hours from start to finish but the active time is very short, only about 20 minutes. While the dough was rising I ran some errands and cleaned up the house, so it did not seem long at all!

Honey Whole Wheat Bread (Makes 1 Loaf)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • .25 ounce package active dry yeast
  • 4 tablespoons  honey
  • 1-2/3 cups whole wheat bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup and 3 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons butter, melted

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 2 tablespoons honey. Add  bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
  2. Mix in 1 tablespoon melted butter, 2 more tablespoons of honey, and salt. Stir in whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky – just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take some additionalwhole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  3. Punch down and place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the top of the loaf with some melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely

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Red Beet Egg Salad

Have you ever tried Red Beet Eggs? They are a delicious and healthy way to enjoy eggs. Red Beet Eggs are traditionally a Pennsylvania Dutch food, but they are so yummy everyone should enjoy them!

These eggs are delicious to eat on their own but they are also good in egg salad. Both recipes are below.

Red Beet Eggs:

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 2 cans of pickled beets with juice
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 drops red food die
  • 1 drop blue food die

**Modify sugar and vinegar to taste

Directions:

1. Hard boil eggs. When eggs are warm enough to handle peal and place in a large bowl.

2. Mix together beets, sugar, and vinegar and add eggs when peeled. Place covered in the fridge and enjoy after 24 hours but better after 48 hours. Eggs keep for 1 week.

Eggs after 24 hours:

The eggs are best after 48 hours because the purple seeps through the entire white part of the egg. The eggs turn out sweet and tangy. I like to eat them plain or in an egg salad:

Here I crushed up the egg and diced the beets. I mixed them with 1/2T. light mayo and 1/2T. juice from the eggs. I served it with greens on a poppy seed bagel. It was so good

Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

More Cookies!

I love all things peanut butter, as a matter of fact I consider pb one of my favorite foods. I found this recipe for soft peanut butter cookies online and just had to try them! They are soft and crumble apart perfectly.

Super Soft Peanut Butter Cookies adapted from bakespace.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

Combine margarine, peanut butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla. Blend together very well.

Add flour, baking soda and salt with mixer.

Chill dough 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Roll into balls by hand.

Place on sprayed cookie sheet.

Using a fork, press down the balls and create a criss cross pattern.

Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until edges very lightly browning (about 7 to 10 minutes).

Don’t overcook.

Look how yummy they are!!


Commissary Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s cookie time!

Commissary cookies has been a family favorite cookie recipe for years. This recipe comes from The Frog Commissary Cookbook. Frog Commissary is a restaurant and catering service located in Philadelphia, PA.

cookies and milk

This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe because the cookies turn out perfectly chewy yet crunchy at the same time. Give them a try, you won’t be dissapointed.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (Makes 4 dozen)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until the mixture is light in color.

butter and sugars

3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the milk and the vanilla extract.

4. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Either by hand or with the mixer at low speed, gradually beat the flour in to the sugar mixture until just incorporated.

5. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips by hand.

cookie dough, yum

6. Drop 1-inch balls of dough onto the cookie sheet, placing about 1 1/2 inches apart so they have room to spread.

7. Bake for 10-13 minutes, until golden brown at the edges and light golden at the center.

8. Let cool for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

A Casual Christmas

This year was the first year where we could really enjoy Christmas day. I lounged around in my PJs until 5:30 this evening and we watched movies, it was wonderful. We didn’t realize we were  making dinner until today and we did not feel like going to the super market. We took a look to see what ingredients we already had in the house. We settled on Christmas Taco Chicken using red and green tortilla chips along with roasted corn and salad. For a thrown together meal it turned out wonderful!

Look how well the chicken turned out!

Red Velvet Cake

Merry Christmas! Nothing says Christmas like a delicious red velvet cake. We have not yet had the chance to try this cake but I will update more about it tomorrow. **(We did cut into the cake! The picture is below)   I decided to try something different and ice the cake with rosettes instead of traditional frosting. Although I have not mastered the rosette technique, I say it is still a nice, festive look for the holidays.

**The cake came out delicious, it was incredibly moist and dense, and the perfect amount of sweetness. We ate it along with my Aunt’s cheesecake which was an amazing combo. Red Velvet Cheesecake anyone?

Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Adapted from Art of Dessert

3/4  cup butter, softened to room temperature

3/4 cup oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1 ounce red food coloring (liquid or gel)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract*
3 1/4 cups flour
3 Tbs. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans or line three muffin pans with cupcake liners.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, oil, and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Combine yogurt, red food coloring and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl.

Alternate adding the yogurt mixture and flour mixture into the large bowl. Pour batter into prepared pans or lined muffin pans.

Bake for 30-35 minutes (15-20 minutes for cupcakes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely.

Dried Beef Gravy

A staple in our home growing up was Dried Beef Gravy. It is similar to biscuits and gravy except that we dredge potato bread in our gravy instead of biscuits and we use dried beef instead of sausage.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to find quality dried beef in all parts of the US. Here in Pennsylvania, we have a pretty good supply that is reasonably priced. The most important factor of dried beef gravy is the dried beef. It is important that it is high quality and has a smokey flavor.

DBG as we call it has such a comforting appeal that reminds me of home and my childhood. It is creamy, thick, and delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 T. Butter
  • Dried Beef
  • Milk
  • Flour
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

1. Place 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and cook dried beef for about 2 minutes.

2. Add flour to pan and stir.

3. Add milk and bring to boil. Continue cooking until it has thickened to the right consistency. Pour over bread and serve.