Friday, October 7, 2011

Milk and Honey White Bread

This bread is up there on my list of favorites!

Taken from:

4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packets)
2-1/2 cups warm milk (110° to 115°)
1/2 cup honey
6 tablespoons butter, melted + 2 tablespoons reserved for greasing bowl and butter top
1 tablespoon kosher salt
7 cups all-purpose flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add yeast, warm milk and honey.  Swirl with your fingers or a spoon to dissolve the yeast.  Allow to sit until the yeast starts to bubble and becomes aromatic, about 5 minutes. 

Add butter, salt and 4 cups of flour, mix on low using dough hook, until smooth.  Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down and shape into two loaves. Place in greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350° for glass and dark pans (375° for light metal pans).  Brush tops with melted butter.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. 

Makes 2 loaves.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Refrigerator Pickles

Fresh, crunchy pickles are my absolute favorite treat.  Make sure to use Persian, French or Kerby cukes -- their skin is soft and they are seedless -- as regular garden cukes have a tough skin and do not make a nice pickle.

15 Persian cucumbers, sliced in rounds (I get mine at Trader Joes)
2 quarts water
1 cup white vinegar
1/3-1/2 C sea salt

1 onion, sliced
1 bunch of fresh dill or 1 Tbsp dried dill
4-5 cloves garlic - peeled and crushed, but not chopped
sliced jalapenos - optional

In a saucepan over high heat, combine water, vinegar and salt.  Bring to boil and turn off heat.
While waiting for liquids to boil, take out quart sized canning jars OR heat safe containers.

Place garlic, dill and sliced onions in the bottom of each jar.  Place cucumber rounds on top of the onions.  Fill each container to the top with the pickling liquid.  Top the containers and place in refrigerator for at least 24 hours before eating.  Pickles will last for 2 weeks.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chipper Bars

Taken from

These bars come with a WARNING:  You can't just eat one.  You'll eat an entire row....or 2....not like I know anything about that.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 c. oatmeal
1 c. flour
1 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 c. butter
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c. peanut butter
1 c. chocolate chips

In large bowl, mix oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, butter, soda and salt. Mix until crumbly. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mix; set aside. Press remaining crumbs on bottom of greased 13 x 9 inch pan. 

In small bowl, stir milk, and peanut butter. Pour evenly over crumb mix in pan. 

Sprinkle with chocolate chips. 

Put reserved crumb mix on top. 

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Cool and cut into bars.  


Friday, April 22, 2011

Monkey Bread

Make this.  No seriously,  Make it.  

Recipe taken from Smitten Kitchen - the best food blog out there.

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, divided (2 tablespoons softened, 2 tablespoons melted)
1 cup milk, warm (around 110 degrees)
1/3 cup water, warm (also around 110 degrees)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package or 2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise, instant or bread machine yeast
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
2 teaspoons table salt

Brown Sugar Coating
1 cup packed light brown sugar (CI advises against dark brown, which they feel imparts too strong of a molasses taste; I suspect it wouldn’t bother me)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick or 4 ounces), mleted

Cream Cheese Glaze
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus extra if needed
2 tablespoons milk, plus extra if needed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Get oven and pan ready: Adjust oven rack to medium-low position and heat oven to 200°F. When oven reaches 200, turn it off. Butter Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Set aside.

Make dough: In large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast.
To proceed with a stand mixer, mix flour and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. (The dough should be sticky but if it is too wet to come together into anything cohesive, add an additional 2 tablespoons flour.) Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form smooth, round ball.
To proceed by hand, mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make well in flour, then add milk mixture to well. Using wooden spoon, stir until dough becomes shaggy and is difficult to stir. Turn out onto lightly floured work surface and begin to knead, incorporating shaggy scraps back into dough. Knead until dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes. Shape into taut ball and proceed as directed.
Coat large bowl with nonstick cooking spray or a tablespoon of neutral oil. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough with more cooking spray or oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in warm oven until dough doubles in size, 50 to 60 minutes.

Make brown sugar coating: Place melted butter in one bowl. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a second one.

Form the bread: Flip dough out onto floured surface and gently pat into an 8-inch square. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut dough into 64 pieces. I found it helpful to immediately separate them from the rest of the “grid” or they quickly reformed a big doughy square in 64 parts.
Roll each piece of dough into ball. Working one at a time, dip balls in melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into bowl. (I found a fork to be helpful for this process.) Roll in brown sugar mixture, then layer balls in Bundt pan, staggering seams (something I didn’t do, but should have) where dough balls meet as you build layers.
Cover Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in turned-off oven until dough balls are puffy and have risen 1 to 2 inches from top of pan, 50 to 70 minutes.

Bake bread: Remove pan from oven and heat oven to 350°F. Unwrap pan and bake until top is deep brown and caramel might begin to bubble around edges, 30 to 35 minutes. (The reason for the “might” is that CI says that it should, but mine did not bubble, leading me to bake mine for an extra 5 to 10 minutes, during which it still did not bubble but go the dark crust you see in the photos. Next time, I’d take it out sooner.) Cool in pan for 5 minutes (no longer, or you’ll have trouble getting it out) then turn out on platter and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

Make glaze: Beat cream cheese with powdered sugar until smooth and light. Add milk and vanilla and this is where you can kick me because I completely forgot I was a food blogger for a minute there and know I added a touch more milk and sugar but did not write down how much. I have some nerve! Just taste and adjust — you’re looking for something that tastes equally tangy and sweet, and texturally thin enough to drape over the bread but thick enough that it will not just roll off completely.
Drizzle the glaze over warm monkey bread, letting it run over top and sides of bread. Serve warm.

Fish Tacos

3 White fish fillets - I used Tilapia
1 pint cherry or golden tomatoes, halved
1/4C white or purple onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2tsp cilantro, finely chopped
Rind of 1 lime, shaved
Juice of 1 lime
Sour cream
1 avocado, cubed
Monterey jack cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper
Corn tortillas

Spray fish fillets with non-stick cooking spray and lightly dust with salt and pepper.  Saute in pan over medium heat until fish flakes apart.
Salsa:  Add tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, lime rind, lime juice and a pinch of salt in bowl.  Stir.
After fish is done cooking, place in foil and set aside.
Re-coat saute pan with non-stick spray and place tortilla in pan.  Sprinkle cheese on tortilla, leaving tortilla in pan until cheese is melted.
Place tortilla on place, add fish, salsa, avocado and sour cream.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Granola Goodness

My super cute friend Jess brought me a jar of her Coconut + Chocolate Granola last week.  I ate it in like 3 minutes.  So of course when I think of making it, it's 10PM and the kids are in bed.  So, with a few modifications, this is what resulted:  Sweet + salty + chocolaty + crunchy granola.  YUM.

Check out Jess' recipe at her fab site.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

3C rolled oats
3C quick steel cut oats
1.5C toasted pecans
1/4C sugar
2 tsp coarse sea salt
3/4C honey
3T butter
1C semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used mini)

Combine dry ingredients except for chocolate chips.

Melt butter in the microwave, approximately 25 sec.  Add honey to butter and heat for another 20 seconds.  Stir until mixed well.

Pour the mixture over the granola and stir well.

Place on baking sheet and spread out evenly.  Bake @ 300 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through baking time.

Remove from oven and allow to fully cool before adding chocolate.  If you don't, you'll have a bit of a chocolaty mess - not like I did that or anything.....

Store it in an air tight container for several days (not like it will last that long).