I Make Bread

The other evening Husband and I were on a hot date to the grocery store. You understand that is sometimes how it is after nearly 20 years of married life.  We were wandering along when he said, “I left my glasses in the car.  Surely that doesn’t say $5.39 a loaf.”  It did say $5.39 on the little tag under the loaf of bread he was pointing to.

“That,” I replied, “Is why I make our bread.”

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Beside that, it makes the house smell good and gives me a great feeling of satisfaction.  And, it only costs about a $1/loaf.

Here is my basic recipe.

BASIC, GOOD BREAD

Makes four loaves (easily make two with a half recipe–good for rolls, also)

4 c warm water

2/3 c sugar

4 c whole wheat flour (You can make with all white flour, too, or even a higher proportion of whole wheat.)

2 T yeast

2/3 c vegetable oil

1-1/2 T salt

1/2 c powdered milk

6 c all purpose flour

Mix first four ingredients.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Then add the remaining ingredients to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth.  Let rise until double.  Divide into four sections. Shape each section into a loaf and place in greased pans.  Let rise.  Bake in preheated 375F  oven for 35 minutes.

If I make this while people are at home, one loaf gets eaten right away, hot with butter and jam or honey.  One is for sandwiches and the other two are frozen for later in the week.

If you want to have the fancy tops, score with a sharp knife just before putting in the oven.

Dump Dump Stir

I am most fortunately blessed with a helpful husband.  He is a good cook and willing to help carry the load around the house when the load gets heavy, as it has lately (more on that story soon).

One of Husband’s specialities is known as Dump-Dump-Stir.  It used to be called Five-Cans-Of-Stuff, but the new name is more descriptive. Because sometimes the ingredients don’t come from a can.

The recipe is simple. Basically you take whatever you have, dump it in a pot, stir, cook for a while and call it dinner.

This particular variation was a sort of Cuban-ish Chicken Stew with lime.  Leftovers…elevated.

The name might be odd, but the results speak for themselves.

Peach French Toast

Mmmm…one of our favorite recipes.  Start it the night before and you will have an easy, delicious and very aromatic breakfast. 

PEACH FRENCH TOAST

1 c packed brown sugar

2 T reserved peach juice

½ c butter

1 quart bottled peach slices, drained (or 29oz can)

½ to ¾ loaf French Bread, chopped into 1” cubes

6 eggs

1 T vanilla extract

Cinnamon to taste

1 ½ c milk

In a saucepan, stir together the brown sugar, juice and butter.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Pour the brown sugar mixture into a 9×13 baking dish and tilt the dish to cover the entire bottom.  Place peaches in a layer over the sugar coating, then top with cubes French bread.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and milk.  Slowly pour over the bread cubes to coat evenly.  Sprinkle cinnamon over the top.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Remove the dish from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking to come to room temperature.  Preheat the oven to 350F.  Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the bread starts to look toasty brown.  Spoon out portions to serve.  SMELLS WONDERFUL when cooking!

White Chocolate Ginger Cookies

Whoa!  These are so good it is worth it to step away from the machine and go make some (I did as refreshments for the band concert).  But, don’t blame me that they are so good.  The idea (with a few modifications) came from Susan.

White Chocolate Ginger Cookies

1 cup shortening

1-1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup molasses

2 eggs

12 oz white chocolate chips

2-3/4  cups flour (I like to use 1 cup whole wheat and 1-3/4 cups white flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Blend  shortening, brown sugar, eggs and molasses until creamy.  Add chips. Combine  flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a separate bowl.  Add to sugar mixture and stir until well blended.  Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Chewy Peanut Butter Trail Bars

Mmmm…

This recipe is good for a quick-to-fix treat or can be made ahead to have on hand for those days when you don’t have time for breakfast, or hiking snacks, or…

Also, by using rice, oats and corn, they can be made gluten-free if you have a friend or family member with allergies.

CHEWY PEANUT BUTTER TRAIL BARS

3/4 cup peanut butter

2/3 cup honey

a total of 2 1/2 cups grain stuff (1/2-3/4 cup each type) like: graham cracker crumbs, granola, quick oats, crushed Cheerios or Chex cereal, Rice Crispies, etc.

a total of 2 cups fillings (1/2-3/4 cup each type) like: chopped peanuts, walnuts or pecans, raisins, coconut, chocolate chips, carob chips, chopped dried apricots, dried cranberries, etc.

Heat honey and peanut butter until melted and smooth.  Put all other ingredients in a middle-size bowl.  Add honey and peanut butter to dry ingredients and mix together thoroughly. Press down into a 9×9 baking style pan. Score. Cool.  Eat quickly before someone else does.

 

Deadly Dessert

We don’t do it very often, because it is toooooo much, but the other day our foster daughter and her husband came for dinner and she brought brownies, so out came the deadly dessert.

Except that we were out of chocolate syrup, so I improvised and it turned out well enough that it seemed worth sharing.

EMERGENCY CHOCOLATE SYRUP

1 12oz can sweetened condensed milk

4 ounces semi sweet or dark chocolate (I used the little squares that come wrapped in paper, but chips would do)

Combine in a saucepan over med-low heat and stir until the chocolate melts. Eat as desired.

That is all there is to it!

If there are any leftovers, you should probably refrigerate them.

We had very little to refrigerate.

Molasses Crinkles

When I am in the mood to browse recipes, I sometimes turn to an old favorite cookbook.

Published in 1950.  A thrift store gift from a friend.

Mmmmm…..cookies!

Molasses Crinkles

 Mix together thoroughly…

3/4 cup soft shortening

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup molasses

Sift together and stir in…

2-1/2 cups sifted flour

2 tsp. soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

Chill dough.  Roll into balls the size of large walnuts.  Dip tops in sugar.  Place, sugared-side-up, 3″ apart on greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle each cooky with 2 or 3 drops of water to produce a crackled surface.  Bake just until set but not hard.

TEMPERATURE:  375F (quick, moderate oven)

TIME:  Bake 10-12 minutes

AMOUNT:  About 4 doz. 2-1/2″ cookies

NOTE:  I have used abbreviations and spellings as printed.  I did not grease my cookie sheet and they worked out just fine.

They smell delicious baking and taste even better.