Sunday, April 3, 2011

Honey Oatmeal Bread

I’m going to be very, very, very honest with you. This was my first attempt at real bread. And I was terrified. What if it was doughy? What if it didn’t rise? What if it was TOUGH???!! And I was pleasantly surprised with how easy this recipe is!! I will offer a few tips (from my mama).

When letting your bread rise, mom always turns the oven on, 200 degrees for about 15 minutes, then turns it off. When you place your bread in here to rise, it’s nice and toasty to help the yeast activate; but remember, too hot – and you’ve killed your yeast, AND IT WON’T RISE. Also try not to over knead or over work the bread, that also contributes to tough bread….. I try think loving thoughts into my fingers as my kneading, really begging the bread gods to help me out.

Ok, give it a shot, worst case scenario, you’ve wasted less than $5 in ingredients and you never have to make bread again. If it does work however, mmmmmm girl, you’ve got fresh cinnamon toast coming in the morning. OR, could you imagine french toast with homemade bread??? YUMMMYYY.

One last note – it makes two loaves. Give one to a neighbor, share the gift of food. Or, freeze for a rainy day.

~Peace, Love, and Breaking Bread Ya’ll!

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Honey Oatmeal Bread

Yield: 2 loaves

Ingredients:

4-½ teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
½ cups Honey
4 Tablespoons Butter
2-¼ cups Water
1 Tablespoon Salt
2-¾ cups All-purpose Flour
4 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup Quick Cooking Oats
1 whole Egg

Directions:

In a medium bowl, melt your butter and honey in the microwave. Add your water, and test with a meat thermometer - the mixture should be between 110-120 degrees. Remember, too hot = dead yeast, too cold = inactive yeast. Both equal bread that won't rise people! Stir in your yeast and let it sit until it's happy and forming happy yeast bubbles, approximately ten minutes.

Take out your favorite wedding present, your red kitchen-aid stand mixer, and get out the DOUGH HOOK! How exciting! Combine yeast mixture, salt, 2 cups of whole wheat flour, and 1 cup all purpose flour. Keep the mixture on low. Blend until just blended. Increase speed to medium (when using the dough hook, my mixer instructions said don't go over speed #2.), mix for two minutes, and occasionally scrape your bowl. Slowly add the egg, and one cup whole wheat flour. Mix for two more minutes. Then mix in oats, 1 cup whole wheat flour, and 1 cup all purpose flour, mix until the dough forms a ball. You may need to add more flour if the dough is too sticky - I added about 2/3 cup more flour.

Grease one large bowl, place your warm dough ball in it, and cover. Let the baby rise in a warm place (this is where the slightly warm oven comes in) until doubled, usually about one hour. I'll be honest, mine didn't exactly double, and I was worried, but it all turned out fine in the end.

This is where it gets fun. Now, punch the dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; cover with the bowl again and let rise for 15 minutes. Shape into two loaves (this means kinda working it in a circular motion/kneading it a little to have a smooth appearance) and let rise for 1 hour in greased 9 x 5 loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 35 to 40 minutes.

 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hot Fudge Puddin’ Cake

Must. Make. This. Recipe.

This will now officially be my go-to chocolate fix recipe. Or your best friend just broke up with her boyfriend recipe. Or the cat died? Or I can’t correctly install the vacuum bag? Or oh my gosh taxes are due in two weeks and I can’t find my W-2? Or I can’t find my car keys! You get the picture. You’ll find a reason to make this recipe at least once (or thrice) and not feel guilty about it.

Ha, on a side note I went to see a Shakespeare play last night (hence my usage of “thrice”), and it was great fun. It was on a farm. And eleven years after high school, I still don’t get Shakespeare. The only thing I understood in the play was the sarcasm. And the chickens. Moving on.

I hope you find many good reasons to enjoy this recipe! Love you people.

~Peace, Love, and Ridiculous Chocolate Ya’ll!

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Hot Fudge Puddin' Cake

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients:

1-¼ cup Sugar (divided Use)
½ cups Cocoa, Divided Use
1 cup All-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
¼ teaspoons Salt
½ cups Milk
⅓ cups Butter, Melted
1-½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
½ cups Brown Sugar, Packed
1-¼ cup Very Hot Water
Whipped Topping Or Vanilla Ice Cream

Directions:

Another one of those dangerously easy recipes. First, preheat oven to 350ºF.

Next, in a medium bowl whisk together your 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt. Easy right? Stir in milk, melted butter and vanilla. Don't worry, you're almost there, combine until smooth. Pour batter into a greased 9 inch square pan. See? It makes a nice small amount, not too dangerous. Although I would recommend a brisk 30 minute walk while this is baking.

In the same mixing bowl (because who needs more dishes?) whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa. Sprinkle evenly over batter. Pour hot water over the top and DO NOT stir. I know it sounds crazy, but the result is magically amazing.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until center is almost set. Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes. The cake will be soft and moist, with a hiding pudding layer underneath. MAGICAL!! And it refrigerates well! Just warm up the next serving in the microwave!

Top with whipped cream, or vanilla bean ice cream.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Firehouse Spaghetti

Well….. I don’t really have a clever story for this dish, but it’s delicious! It will definitely become a regular in this household, and I got to use up some deer meat, and it didn’t taste like deer meat! It’s a great creamy, cheesy spaghetti, with a little heat….mmmm. We can always use more heat in Texas. Ha.

I also like this recipe because it’s one of those “dump” recipes, where ya’ just DUMP the whole can in. It’s especially therapeutic when you’re irritated, lazy, or short on time. Maybe I should start a cookbook on “dump recipes”…. hmmm….. My brain’s gone to thinkin’ again.

~Peace, Love, and Noodles Ya’ll!

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Firehouse Spaghetti

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 pound your choice of ground meat
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
salt/pepper to taste
2 jars of Old English cheese
2 cans rotel
1 can of cream of mushroom
12 oz spaghetti sauce
parmesan for garnish

Directions:

First, if you've never heard of Old English cheese (nor seen it in Grandma's fridge), it is a processed cheese product found near the Velveeta - it comes in small glass jars, perfect for a pimiento cheese sandwich.

Brown your ground meat over medium heat, add in your diced onion, garlic, and salt/pepper. I do believe I add garlic to every savory dish I make. It cleans the heart, you know! Sautee for 5-6 minutes until the onions are soft, and the mixture is fragrant. Add in your liquids and cook for another 20-25 minutes, slow and low baby.

Meanwhile, boil your water, and cook your noodles. I chose to balance out my creamy sauce with WHOLE WHEAT noodles! They're delicious I think, a little "nuttier." (he hee, I said the same thing about my crock pot oatmeal)

Once you drain your noodles, return to the pot, add your sauce, stir and serve! Garnish with (lots) parmesan! Molto Bene!! (that's Italian for "very good")