Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Subway Bread

I made the subway bread and it was great.  Very easy and tasted great too :)  I made it in my bread machine and make into 2 loaves.  I find you don't need the extra 1/2 cup flour.

Homemade Subway Bread Recipe
Yield: Makes 4 9-inch sub buns
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 T. yeast
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
In the bowl of your stand mixer add the water, yeast, sugar, salt, and olive oil. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of flour and mix with the dough hook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add an additional cup of flour and mix until well combine. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until a soft dough is formed. The dough should still stick to the bottom of of the bowl, but pull away from the sides. Let the dough mix for around 8 minutes total.
When the dough has come together but is still sticking a bit to the bottom of the bowl, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. The dough should be very soft. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for a half hour.
After the dough has risen turn it out onto a clean surface and divide it into 4. Roll each piece of dough into a long skinny loaf that is about 9 to 10 inches long. Place the rolled loaves onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a baking mat. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Allow at least 2 inches in between each loaf on the pan. Cover the loaves with a greased piece of plastic wrap and allow the loaves to rise until doubled, about an hour.
Towards the end of the rising time preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When the loaves are ready, bake them in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
When the loaves come out of the oven rub to tops with a stick of butter and cover them with a dish towel to cool. Let the loaves cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting down the middle and topping with your favorite sandwich fixings.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Chicken Noodle Soup

I made homemade chicken soup over the weekend and it came out well.  I put about 4 chicken thighs in a pot and covered them in water. I added onion, celery, carrots, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and some thyme to the pot.  I boiled the chicken in the water for about 1 hour.  Then, I took out the chicken shredded and put the broth in the refrigerator to cool.  The next day I strained off the grease and kept 1/2 cup of the broth aside and added carrots and celery and chicken and a few noodles and boiled them until the noodles were cooked.  I added another tsp salt and a flavor boost packet however, I felt it was a little too salty so next time I don't think I would add this.  After it was done I stirred 3 tbsp of flour into the 1/2 cup broth and added to the soup and simmered it for a little.  It was delicious.

French Toast Bake & Bear Claws

I made pioneer woman's french toast bake for christmas morning and it was delicious.  I used half of the crumb topping because I didn't think we needed that much. 

FRENCH TOAST - from Pioneer Woman
  • Butter, For Greasing
  • 1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread
  • 8 whole Eggs
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • Topping
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • Freshly Grated Nutmeg, Optional
  • 1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces
  • Warm Syrup, For Serving
  • Butter, For Serving
  • 1 cup Fresh Blueberries, For Serving
  • Preparation Instructions

    For the French toast: Grease the baking pan with butter. Tear the bread into chunks, or cut into cubes, and evenly distribute in the pan. Crack the eggs in a big bowl. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread. Cover the pan tightly and store in the fridge until needed (overnight preferably). Or you can make it and bake it right away---delicious no matter what!
    For the topping: Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and some nutmeg in a separate bowl. Stir together using a fork. Add the butter and with a pastry cutter, and mix it all together until the mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.
    When you're ready to bake the casserole, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the casserole from the fridge and sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture or for 1 hour-plus or more for a firmer, crisper texture.

    Bear Claws
    This was delicious and SO easy.  I used 1 sheet of puff pastry.  I thawed it out and then spread one can of almond paste over it  and rolled it as if I was making cinnamon rolls.  I baked it at 375 for 25 minutes.  Then I make powdered sugar icing and used almond extract.  I poured over the pastry, sprinkled with sliced almonds and cut into pieces.  I will definetely be making this again.

    Monday, December 16, 2013

    Eggnog Meltaways

    These were very good.  They really do "meltaway".  I wonder if the addition of some vanilla or rum extract would make the flavor a bit stronger.  I rolled them right out of the oven in sugar and then again once they cooled.

    Eggnog Meltaways
    1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
    1/2 cup cornstarch
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    1 cup butter, softened
    1/4 cup eggnog
    1 cup powdered sugar for rolling the cookies

    1. Mix together the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
    2. Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggnog.
    3. Add the flour mixture gradually until well combines. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or until the dough is firm.
    4. Preheat the oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
    5. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
    6. Bake 12-14 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and cool for about 5 minutes and then roll them in powdered sugar. Makes about 3 dozen.

    Wednesday, December 11, 2013

    Veg'd Out Pumpkin Chili

    This was really good.  I did like it although I think I prefer a more tomato based chili.  I agree with the reviews in that you don't taste the chili.  It had really good flavor.

    Vegged Out Pumpkin Chili

    from Libby's Pumpkin


    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 5 green onions (white and light green parts), thinly sliced (slice dark parts and set aside for later)
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 2 cans (15 oz. each) black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
    • 1 can (14.5 oz.) no-salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 can (14 fl. oz.) vegetable broth
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to taste


    HEAT oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add white and light green parts of green onions, bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in cumin and thyme; cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add beans, pumpkin, tomatoes and juice, broth and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook for 10 minutes. Stir in salt and cayenne pepper. Top each serving with dark green onion tops.

    Cookie Swap - Maple Oatmeal Cookies

    I participated in the Cookie Swap this year.  I sent cookies to three individuals.  Only one box got returned to me because the post office read the wrong side of the box.  So I had to resend them, I hope they were still fresh.  Anyways, this is the recipe I sent.  The cookies were good.  I would make them again.
    Maple Oatmeal Cookies
    from Family Circle Magazine
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick)unsalted butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
    • 1 egg
    • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
    • 1/2 cup raisins
    • 1 cup confectioners sugar


    1. Heat oven to 350 degrees . In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat butter, sugar and 1/4 cup of the maple syrup for 3 minutes. Beat in egg until just combined. Pour in flour and beat on low until just combined. Stir in oats and raisins.
    2. Drop scant tablespoon-size rounds of batter onto baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes, until golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
    3. In a bowl, beat confectioners sugar, remaining 3 tbsp maple syrup and 1 tbsp water on low until well combined. Drizzle with a spoon over cooled cookies.

    Monday, December 9, 2013


    These came out very well.  I like molasses cookies better than gingerbread because I don't like the "ginger" flavor.  I had more gingerbread dough than snickerdoodle dough so I made a few just gingerbread.


    Snickerdoodle Dough

    1/2 cup shortening

    3/4 cup granulated sugar

    1 egg

    1 tablespoon vanilla

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon cream of tartar

    1 tablespoon cinnamon + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar for rolling cookies in

    Cream together shortening and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix well, until creamy. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar and mix until combined. Dough will be a little of crumbly, but it'll come together when you roll it into balls.

    Combine cinnamon and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl and set aside for rolling dough in.

    Gingersnap Dough

    3/4 cup shortening

    1 cup granulated sugar

    1/4 cup molasses

    1 egg

    2 cups all-purpose flour

    2 teaspoons baking soda

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon cinnamon

    1 teaspoon cloves

    1 teaspoon ginger

    1/4 cup granulated sugar for rolling cookies in

    Cream together shortening and sugar. Add molasses and egg and continue beating. Add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

    Put 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl and set aside for rolling dough in.

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease baking sheets with no-stick cooking spray and set aside.

    Roll a small amount of gingersnap dough into a ball and toss in granulated sugar. Roll a small amount of snickerdoodle dough in a ball and toss in cinnamon-sugar.

    Place both doughs together and gently roll or squeeze together (it worked best if I kneaded the snickerdoodle dough in my hand a few times before rolling both doughs together since it's a thicker consistency).

    Place on baking sheets and bake for 9-11 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes before moving to cooling racks.

    Apple Struedel

    Now that I've bought the box of puff pastry dough, I've got to find ways to use it.  This turned out very well.  I used 3 small mcintosh apples.  It could have used a little icing on the top for a little more sweetness.

    Apple Struedel

    1 egg
    1 tbsp. water
    2 tbsp. granulated sugar
    1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
    1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
    2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
    2 tbsp. raisins
    1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
    Confectioners' sugar (optional)
    1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Beat the egg and water in a small bowl with a fork. Stir the granulated sugar, flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the apples and raisins and toss to coat.
    2. Sprinkle additional flour on the work surface. Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 16 x 12-inch rectangle. With the short side facing you, spoon the apple mixture onto the bottom half of the pastry sheet to within 1 inch of the edge. Roll up like a jelly roll. Place seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Tuck the ends under to seal. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture. Cut several slits in the top of the pastry.
    3. Bake for 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let the pastry cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the confectioners' sugar, if desired.
    4. For best results, make sure to toss the apples and raisins until they're evenly coated with the flour mixture. The flour helps to thicken the juices released by the apples as they cook.

    Tuesday, December 3, 2013

    Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies

    My grandma had a signature chocolate chip cookie.  Everyone loved them.  So I decided to make them for thanksgiving.  I have to admit, I didn't get to have any because they were all gone.  But I don't think I will switch from my normal recipe I use.  These seemed too tough for me.  Like way too much flour.  Needless to say - they were gone, so I guess that says something:)

    Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies

    3 cups all purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup shortening

    1 cup light brown sugar
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    2  large egg
    1  teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 pkg of semisweet chocolate chips

    Combine first 3 ingredients.  Beat shortening and sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Stir in flour and chocolate.  Bake 375 about 8-10 minutes.

    Apple Pie

    I have a couple of versions of apple pie that I use, however I think I finally perfected this one.  When I used to make it, it always came out soupy.  But the past two times I've made it it was not soupy and also it baked the bottom crust.  I've been baking the pies on my stone in an aluminum pan.  Seems to help make a nice crisp crust.

    Apple Crumb Pie

    Here is the recipe that I followed.  I will note my changes:


    • 1 refrigerated ready-to-bake pie crust (from a 15-oz box) [I made my own crust]
    Crumb Topping:
    • 1/2 cup(s) plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup(s) packed light-brown sugar
    • cup(s) granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
    • 1 stick(s) (1/2 cup) cold butter, cut in small pieces
    • 7 medium to large tart apples (about 3 1/4 lb), such as Granny Smith, Pippins or Greenings I used about 7 small to medium apples, 2 were green and the rest macintosh.
    • 1 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup(s) granulated sugar
    • 3 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour I used cornstarch instead of flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg I eliminated this
    • I added 3 tbsp of tapioca

  • Have ready a 9-in. pie plate and a baking sheet. Place oven rack in lowest position in oven. Heat oven to 450°F.
  • Make Crust: Line pie plate with pie crust as package directs. Flute or crimp edge.
  • Make Crumb Topping: Mix flour, sugars and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or rub in with fingertips) until mixture forms moist, coarse crumbs that clump together easily.
  • Make Filling: Peel, quarter and core apples. Cut in 1⁄8-in.-thick slices by hand (or with slicing disk of a food processor). Put into a large bowl. Toss with lemon juice to coat. Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle over apple slices; toss to coat.
  • Layer apple slices in pie shell, mounding them higher in center. Pat topping evenly over apples to form a top crust.  I also added some of the crumble into the apples.  It is way to much to fit on top without it all going all over the place.
  • Place pie on the baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake 45 minutes longer or until a skewer meets some resistance when center of pie is pierced (apples will continue to cook after pie is removed from oven) and topping is golden brown. If topping is browning too quickly, drape a piece of foil over pie. Cool pie completely on a wire rack before serving. I baked an additional 10 minutes.

  • Read more: Apple Crunch Pie at WomansDay.com- Dessert Recipes - Woman's Day

    Cherry Almond Shortbread Cookies

    I finally started my holiday baking.  These were my first to make.  They came out well, however, I had to add cherry juice to the dough to get it to come together.  They were much to dry and crumbly as stated in the recipe to hold together without any moisture.  I also baked them probably closer to 12-15 minutes.

    Cherry Almond Shortbread Cookies

    * 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped
    * 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    * 1/2 cup sugar
    * 1 cup cold butter
    * 12 ounces white chocolate baking squares with cocoa butter, finely chopped
    * 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    * 2 drops red food coloring (optional, but puh-leeze, you want these to be pink, right?)
    * 2 teaspoons shortening
    * White nonpareils and/or red edible glitter (optional)
    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread cherries on paper towels to drain well.
    2. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in drained cherries and 4 ounces (2/3 cup) of the chopped chocolate. Stir in almond extract and, if desired, food coloring. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball.
    3. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten balls to 1-1/2-inch rounds.
    4. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
    5. In a small saucepan, combine remaining 8 ounces white chocolate and the shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. If desired, roll dipped edge in nonpareils and/or edible glitter. Place cookies on waxed paper until chocolate is set. Makes about 60. (Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.)