Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeños

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeños are a great appetizer for the holidays or your next game day gathering. It can take some time to assemble these tasty bites but they really could not be easier. If you are pressed for time you can have them all prepped and stashed in the refrigerator just waiting to be baked off right before your hungry guests arrive. These will go really fast so doubling the recipe is a good idea but I find people will eat as many as you make so you just have to draw the line somewhere. 


  • 20 whole fresh Jalapeños, 2-3 inches in size
  • 2 cubes Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 pound Bacon, sliced into thirds


I suggest putting on some latex gloves while prepping the jalapeños. Cut the jalapeños in half, length-wise. With a spoon, remove the seeds and white membrane. If you want more heat left in your jalapeños you can leave some of the membrane.  Mix the Parmesan with the cream cheese if using and smear softened cheese mix into each jalapeño half. Wrap jalapeño with bacon pieces (1/3 slice). Secure by sticking toothpick through the middle.
Bake on a pan with a rack in a 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes. After 20 minutes if bacon doesn't look brown enough, just turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes to finish it off. The jalapeños should still have some bite to it.
Serve immediately, or at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mini Caramel Apples

Happy Halloween! I really wish I was writing this post about these yummy pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting I made but alas, they did not last long enough for pictures. I was able to snap a photo of these mini caramel apples I made however. I was going to make these for our annual harvest party but I decided that it was just a little too much work to make a few dozen of these so I just made a few for Ryan and me. I was excited about these because you get more of the good stuff with these little suckers. They are easy and tasty but the caramel does not stick very well to the apple were the peel has been removed. I read a few things that say to add as little water to the caramel as possible but that did not seem to help much. I did dip a few in just chocolate and those held up great so if you plan on making these serve them right away or use just melted chocolate, butterscotch or peanut butter chips instead. You could also experiment with the caramel wraps that are available.


  • apples
  • 1 bag of caramels
  • nuts, sprinkles, melted chocolate, anything you wish to add.
  • twigs, lollipop sticks or pretzels sticks for handles
  • melon baller


Using a melon baller, scoop out little balls of apple. Add a handle of your choice and set on a piece of wax paper.

Melt the caramels in a sauce pan using as little water as possible (I only melted about 1/3 of a bag but the whole bag should make enough for 5 apples or about 35 mini apples).

Dip each mini apple into the melted caramel and turn to coat. Then dip in your extra toppings if desired and place back on the wax paper. Serve immediately.

Recipe found at From Glitter To Gumdrops

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monsters Inc Cake

My nephew's first birthday was coming up so I offered to make his birthday cake. The theme for the party was monsters so I started looking at Monsters Inc stuff for ideas. I have been playing around with fondant and had made my first cake using fondant about a month ago. I really can't stand to eat the stuff but for making creative and fun kids cakes it can't be beat. So I sketched up an idea and this is what I came up with. I have a lot to learn and it was by no means perfect. The bottom tier has a bulge from where the two cake layers meet and there was a  rip in the fondant that I was able to cover with the "Cameron" banner. For my second fondant cake I think it turned out pretty good.

All the fondant pieces are glued on with piping gel and the "Cameron" is tinted piping gel. A small batch of royal icing was used for the very top of the cake because the cream cheese frosting would not hold the shape of the decorating tip. The center of Mike, the monster was rice crispy treats.

My sister made a very cute personal sized smash cake just for Cameron that was a healthier option. Except for the royal icing and rice crispy treats, all of the recipes I used for the Monsters Inc cake and his smash cake can all be found below.

Beatty's Chocolate Cake
From Ina Garten of the Food Network
Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, a little more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

Chocolate Frosting:
(used this as the filling for the cake)
6 ounces good semisweet chocolate
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder

Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:

Adapted from this frosting recipe by Dorie Greenspan.

(this frosting is what covered the whole cake)

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound (3 3/4 cups) confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice 
1/2 teaspoon pure orange extract (or to taste)


Working with a stand mixer filled with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract. If you wish, add coconut to half of the frosting.
Recipe and instructions for making  Marshmallow Fondant can be found here

Healthy Smash Cake:

Makes 1 double-layer 9-inch square cake; adapted from "What to Expect"
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrots
2 1/2 cups apple juice concentrate (you may use slightly less)
1 1/2 cups raisins
Vegetable Spray/Shortening
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 whole eggs
4 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 Tbsp low sodium baking powder
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Prep: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two 9 inch square cake pans with waxed paper and spray the paper with vegetable spray/shortening.

Combine the carrots with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the juice concentrate in a medium size saucepan.

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, 15 to 20 mins. Puree in a blender of food processor until smooth.
Add the raisins and process until finely chopped. Let mixture cool.
Combine the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups juice concentrate, the oil, eggs, egg whites, and vanilla; beat just until well mixed. Fold in the carrot puree and applesauce. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans.
Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 mins. Cool briefly in the pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely. When cool, frost with Cream Cheese Frosting below or sprinkle a wee bit of powdered sugar if desired.

Whipped Cream Frosting
Makes  frosting for a 2 layer cake
1 (8 ounce) package cream
cheese, softened
1 cup powder sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar salt and vanilla until smooth. In a small bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into the cream cheese mixture.

Blackberry Crumb Breakfast Bars

Our summer in the Pacific Northwest was less than stellar. Everything in the garden is so behind and even the blackberries seem to be quite late this year. For the last few weeks I kept checking the blackberry patch but all I found was hard, green little berries. This past week they are finally ripe. So I put Baby Girl in her carrier and picked as many ripe berries as I could find. We have used up all our homemade jam so that was the first use the berries were going towards. I did end up with a couple of extra pints of berries and I had recently repined these amazing looking raspberry breakfast bars on Pinterest that were featured on the Smitten Kitchen.  It was the perfect time to make one of the recipes I had pined because then I could link up with the Pinterest Challenge that a new mommy friend of mine, the wonderful Subfertile Frugalista is hosting.

These bars are fantastic. Best breakfast bar I have tasted but that is probably because they really belong more in the bar cookie category than a breakfast bar. Don't let the term breakfast trick you into thinking these are healthy. They are less sweet than a typical dessert of this type which I really like. I used whole wheat pastry flour to bump up the nutritional value a bit. I think this recipe is perfect as it is for a treat but I think I could easily give it a healthy overhaul to make it truly a breakfast bar. Add even less sugar, reduce the amount of flour by adding flax and ground nuts and we would be getting close. I feel an experiment coming on.   


For the crust and crumb:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (original recipe calls for all-purpose)
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
For the raspberry filling:
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound Blackberries, fresh or frozen (original recipe calls for raspberries)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled


Make the crust and crumb: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.

Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until combined. Add the butter and pulse until loose crumbs form.

Reserve 1 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside. (Note: The book suggests you reserve one cup only.) Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands or the back of a large wooden spoon to push the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan. The crust should touch the sides of the pan. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool. Keep the oven on while you make the raspberry filling.

Make the berry filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and flour together. Add the berries, lemon juice and butter and use your hands to toss gently until the raspberries are evenly coated.

Assemble and bake the bars: Spread the berry filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly on top of the filling.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan every 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling starts to bubble around the edges.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two days.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fougasse Stuffed with Roasted Red Pepper

It had been awhile since I had made a batch of Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day so I planned some meals in which I could utilize the bread dough. Potato soup with a nice free-form loaf and pizza where obvious choices. Some red peppers that really needed to be used directed this meal however. This bold flatbread is laced with the rich and smoky taste of roasted red pepper and was delicious served with a large garden-fresh salad. This fougasse (foo-gass) sliced, would also make brilliant hors d’ oeuvre.


Makes 6 appetizer portions

1 pound (grapefruit-size portion) of the pre-mized European Peasant dough

1 medium red bell pepper

Coarse salt, for sprinkling

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing the loaf

Whole wheat flour for covering the pizza peel


1. Cut the bell pepper into quarters (removing the seeds and membrane) and then flatten the pieces, making additional cuts if needed to flatten.

2. Grill or broil the pepper under the broiler or on a gas or charcoal grill, with the skin side closest to the heat source. Check often and remove when the skin is blackened, 8 to 10 minutes or more, depending on the heat source.

3. Drop the roasted pieces into an empty bowl and cover. The skin will loosen from the steam over the next 10 minutes.

4. Gently hand-peel the pepper and discard the blacken skin; some dark bits will adhere to the pepper’s flesh, which is fine.

5. Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 450 °F, with a baking stone placed near the middle of the oven. Place an empty broiler tray on any other shelf that won’t interfere with the rising bread.

6. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.

7. Using a rolling pin, form a large flat round approximately 1/8 inch thick. Add a little more flour than usual when cloaking, shaping and rolling the dough, because you will need to be able to cut slits into the dough that do not close and immediately re-adhere to another. Place the round on a whole wheat-covered pizza peel.

8. Cut angled slits into the circle of dough on only one half of the round (I find kitchen scissors work great). You may need to add more flour to decrease stickiness so the slits stay open during handling. Gently spread the holes open with our fingers.

9. Cut the roasted pepper into strips, and place in a single layer on the unslit side of the fougasse, leaving a 1-inch border at the edge. Sprinkle with coarse salt and thyme. Dampen the dough edge, fold the slitted side over to cover the peppers, and pinch to seal. The peppers should peek brightly through the slitted windows. Brush the loaf with olive oil.

10. Slide the fougasse directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

11. Allow to cool, then slice or break into pieces and serve.

Recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

When we feel like Mexican food these chicken enchiladas are often the thing I end up making. They are by no means a traditional enchilada. The filling is creamy because of the sour cream, yogurt and the hidden pureed cannellini beans. The beans add some fiber and cut down on the amount of sour cream and yogurt you need. I can’t remember what healthy chef on the Food Network I was watching that taught me the trick of adding the beans but it is a fabulous idea and you really would never know they are in the filling. I prefer these enchiladas to most enchiladas that I have had at Americanized Mexican restaurants. I really like the creamy texture and the smokey heat you get form the chipotle peppers in adobo.


2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I like to poach mine)

1 medium onion, chopped and sautéed in a little oil

1 15 oz can cannellini Beans, drained, rinsed and pureed

2-3 tablespoons of finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo (about 2 peppers)

1/3 cup sour cream

1/3 cup plain yogurt

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

8-10 corn tortillas

1 15 oz can green chile enchilada sauce

½ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

Recommended garnishes: cilantro, scallions, sour cream and chopped tomatoes.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and have a 13 by 9-inch pan ready.

Cook and shred the chicken and sauté the chopped onion.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the pureed bean, chipotle peppers, sour cream and yogurt and mix until combined. Add the shredded chicken, sautéed onion salt and pepper and mix well. Microwave tortillas on high for 30 seconds. This softens them and makes them more pliable. Coat the bottom of the pan with a ladle of enchilada sauce. Spoon about ¼ cup of the chicken mixture in each tortilla and fold over filling. Place 8-10 enchiladas in each pan with seam side down. Pour desired amount of enchilada sauce over the enchiladas (you may not want to use the whole can). Top with cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes until cheese melts. Garnish as desired.

Recipe by me.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chicken Sauce Piquant

I received Food & Wine Best of the Best Cookbook Recipes 2010 edition as a gift awhile back. The book features the best recipes from 25 of the best cookbooks of the year. I finally got around to taking a good look at the book and there are many recipes that look amazing that I must try but one stood out to me to try first. It was Donald Link's Chicken Sauce Piquant that is from his book Real Cajun. The bold Cajun flavors sounded really good to me and with a little modification I had all the ingredients to make the dish at home. This was particularly important because having a 2 month old makes me think twice about running to the grocery store (she usually does great but it does take more effort than before). I cut out a lot of the oil from the recipe and really don't think it was missed. I substituted chipotle peppers in adobe for a poblano and I think the chipotle pepper adds a nice smoky heat. I loved the flavors in this dish and it reheated well which is nice for another meal latter in the week. I really appreciate meals like this now that I'm a busy mamma.


1 ½ tablespoons salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons chile powder

1 teaspoon paprika

One 3-to 4-pound chicken, boned and cut into 1-inch cubes (I used 3 chicken breasts and 3 thighs)

2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup plus ¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 small onion, diced

3 celery stalks, diced

2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced

1 small red bell pepper, diced

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice

4 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon dried thyme

4 bay leaves

4 dashes of hot sauce

Steamed rice ( I used brown rice)

Thinly sliced chives for garnish


Whisk together the salt, peppers, chile powder, and paprika in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and use your hands to toss until evenly coated; set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until is begins to smoke slightly. While the oil heats, toss the chicken with 1 cup of flour to coat.

Shaking off the excess flour from the chicken, transfer the pieces to the hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides. Fry the chicken in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan—the chicken should be in one layer, and not on top of each other. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a deep plate, leaving the oil in the pan (if most of the oil has been absorbed and another one or two tablespoons).

Add the remaining ¼ cup flour to the oil and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes to create a medium-brown, peanut butter-colored roux. Add the onion, celery, peppers, and garlic and cook 5 minutes more. Add the chicken, tomatoes, broth, thyme, bay leaves, and hot sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until thickened to a light gravy and the chicken is tender enough to shred with a fork. If sauce is not thick enough thicken with a little more flour or corn starch mixed with water. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt or hot sauce as desired. Serve over rice, garnished with chives.

Recipe slightly modified from Donald Link's book Real Cajun.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Lemon Curd Cupcakes

An online friend of mine made this amazing lemon cake last week. It looked so good that I knew I just had to make something with lemon cake and curd. Fortunately, it was Memorial Day weekend and Ryan, baby girl and I were going for a day trip to visit with college friends so I had a good reason to make lemony treats. I came across this recipe for Lemon Curd Cupcakes that sounded amazing. The cupcakes are filled with lemon curd and topped with a mountain of frosting that is made up of cream cheese, whipped cream and lemon curd. Everyone really enjoyed these cupcakes. The cake was moist, the curd tart and the frosting was deliciously light and refreshing.

Short on time?
Jazzing up a vanilla box cake mix with lemon zest and lemon extract is a great option and you can find lemon curd in the baking isle with the other canned pie fillings.

I now prefer to make the cupcakes using Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcake recipe. I just add the lemon vest and extract and only 1 teaspoon of vanilla. This makes for an even more moist cupcake. The recipe makes about 36 cupcakes so I make a batch and a half of the frosting recipe and I double the lemon curd recipe. 
            Cupcakes using the Billy's Vanilla cupcake recipe.
Lemon Cake:
3 C flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 C sugar
4 eggs (separated)
1 C milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract
zest of two lemons
Mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time. Mix well. Alternately add in flour mixture and milk. Beginning and ending with flour. Add in vanilla and lemon and lemon zest.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Add egg whites into batter, folding gently.
Place into cupcake liners. Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool. Use half of lemon curd recipe to fill the cupcakes by cutting a small hole in the middle of the cupcake and filling with lemon curd (I made a double batch of curd and used it all).
Lemon Curd:
** I made a double batch because I wanted a very generous about of filling.**
2 lemons
4 egg yolks
3/4 C sugar
4 Tbsp butter, cold
Zest the lemons. Juice the lemons. In a bowl mix together the egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and zest.
In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the butter 1 Tbsp at a time. Cover lemon curd with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and thickened.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
1 C sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C whipping cream
Half of the above lemon curd recipe above.
In a small bowl beat whipping cream until stiff. In another bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Add in lemon curd. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Generously frost the cupcakes.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Creamy Potato Salad

I did not think I was going to make it....I almost did not get in a post for the month of April. I really need to get back in the habit of weekly posts but I at least need to do one a month. I almost did not get a post done for this month because it has been a VERY busy month. I had a baby girl on the 15th. She is our first so we have been very busy in the past few months and really busy now. Oh how we love our little girl!

I decided we are having hamburgers for dinner tonight. I had some potatoes that needed to be used so I thought a potato salad sounded good to go with the burgers. I tossed together this creamy potato salad with just some ingredients I had on hand. It would have been better if I had had some small, thin skinned potatoes but russets are what I had. The spinach gives the salad a beautiful green color and the horseradish gives just the right kick. There is mayo in this salad but it is cut with plain yogurt which adds some tang and lightens it up.


6 medium sized potatoes ( I would use about a pound of thin skinned yellow potatoes next time)
2 eggs
2 sundried tomato chicken sausages, chopped
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons hot horseradish
1 large handful baby spinach
chicken broth
salt & pepper
fresh chives for garnish


Boil the potatoes until tender and then let cool. At the same time hard-boil the eggs. When cool, peel and chop the potatoes and eggs. In a blender add the large handful of baby spinach and just enough chicken broth to get the blender to process the spinach. Add the spinach mixture to the potatoes and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add the mayo, yogurt, sausage, and horseradish and fold the salad together. Salt and pepper to taste and top with fresh chives for garnish. Chill for a few hours before serving.

Recipe by me.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

Here is another great recipe from Healthy Bread In Five Minutes A Day. I still love making bread in this method. It is just so easy and saves so much time. It really takes the work out of making fresh bread.

This bread is true to it's name. It is soft and tender and great for sandwiches or for toast. I have started to half the recipe just because we just don't need to eat that much bread and as all homemade breads, it just does not last that long.


5 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast, or 2 packets
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup honey
5 large eggs
2/3 cup neutral-flavored oil or unsalted butter, melted


1. Whisk together the fours, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.

2. Combine the liquid ingredients and mix them with the dry ingredients without kneading, using a strong spoon.

3. Cover (not airtight), and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.

4. The dough can be used immediately after its initial rise, but is easier to work with when cold. Refrigerate it in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 5 days. The flavor will be best if you wait for at least 24 hours of refrigeration.

5. On baking day, lightly grease an 8 1/2x4 1/2-inch nonstick loaf pan. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 2-pound (cantaloupe-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape in into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.

6. Elongate the ball into an oval and place it into the loaf pan; your goal is to fill the pan about three-quarters full. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap. Allow the loaf to rest for 90 minutes (40 if you are using fresh, unrefrigerated dough).

7. Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the over to 350*F.

8. Place the loaf on a rack near the center of the oven and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown.

9. Remove the bread from the pan and allow to cool before slicing.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Krystal's Berry Bran Flax Muffins

This is a very healthy muffin recipe that I came up with. They are a good source of B Vitamins, Vitamin E, potassium, magnesium and Omega-3 fatty acids. They are great for breakfast or as a snack. Apple sauce is used instead of oil or butter and they are so moist that you may not want to store them in a air-tight container because they can get a little soggy. I usually add a mix of frozen berries to these muffins but any fresh, frozen or dried fruit would do. Cranberries with orange zest would be fantastic.


3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup organic cold-milled ground flax seed
1/2 cup unprocessed what bran
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup almond milk (can use cow's milk)
1 large egg
2 cups frozen mixed berries
few teaspoons of sugar in the raw (optional)


Preheat oven to 350* and line a muffin 12 pan with paper liners (muffins will stick if not using liners).

Sift together the flour, flax, what bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Discard any course chunks of flax or bran.

In a separate bowl mix the applesauce, honey, egg, milk and lemon juice together.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry. Mix only enough to wet the dry ingredients. Don't over mix.

Fold in the frozen berries and mix lightly to blend.

Put equal amounts of batter in the muffin cups and sprinkle with sugar in raw if desired. Bake for about 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Don't over bake. Enjoy!

Recipe by me.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Chocolate ice cream is one of my favorite things on Earth. I have been making my own ice cream since Ryan and I received an ice cream maker for a wedding gift. Usually it takes a little time to make homemade ice cream but not with this amazingly delicious and easy recipe. This rich ice cream is made from coconut milk so perfect for those avoiding diary. The simple list of ingredients are always in my pantry so it is a perfect recipe to have as a quick "go to". I think the ice cream is best when it has firmed up for a hour or two after churning. It does get pretty hard when left in the freezer but if put out to thaw for a a bit, the texture once again becomes creamy and not at all icy. You can successfully make a half batch of this recipe as well. The taste and texture of this ice cream is very nice and is just as good if not better than the expensive Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Ice Cream that I have tried (Sells for about $4.99/pint).

3 cups of unsweetened coconut milk (about two cans)
2/3 cup of cocoa powder

6 tablespoons agave syrup (I often use honey instead of agave)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk cocoa powder in a small amount of coconut milk, until smooth. Then add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until well combined. Or dump all ingredients together and blend with a stick blender (this is the method I prefer). Make according to your machines instructions.

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