Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Heading off to the Hospital!!!!

My water broke a little while ago and David's on his way home from work right now to whisk me away to the hospital!!! I feel great and am not too anxious, but please keep us in your thoughts and prayers!! I can't wait to meet Peter! I'll update again as soon as I can!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I think this is *the* recipe for cinnamon raisin bread. It makes a lot -- 3 whole loaves, so scale it down if you don't want to make that much. The bread was delicious toasted with butter, and it also makes excellent french toast. My bread cooked faster than the recipe states - mine was done in about 30 minutes rather than 45. Also, I soaked the raisins in boiling water for about 5 minutes (and then drained them) to make them plumper in the finished bread.

Whole Wheat Bread

I make this bread every week, and it's our sandwich and regular toast bread. I use the bread machine to knead and rise it, and then I pop it into a 9x5 bread pan, let it rise, and cook it in the oven (I don't really like how bread machines cook bread).

Whole Wheat Bread
3/4 C buttermilk
1/4 C water
1/4 C vegetable oil
1 egg
2 C whole wheat flour
1 C bread flour
1/4 C sugar or honey
1/4 C oats (quick or regular is fine)
1/4 C flax seed meal (in baking aisle at grocery store)
1 Tb vital wheat gluten (in baking aisle)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast
1/4 tsp baking soda

  1. Combine buttermilk, water, and oil in a measuring glass. Microwave for about 45 seconds on high to warm up the liquids.
  2. Put liquids in bread machine pan. Add egg.
  3. Add remaining dry ingredients.
  4. Turn bread machine on to dough cycle.
  5. When cycle is complete, punch down dough and place in a 9x5 bread pan. Cover with a moist towel.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Allow dough to rise about 30 minutes, until it is slightly above the top edge of the bread pan.
  8. Cook bread for 30 minutes, until nicely browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Butter Spread

This is a homemade butter spread that we really like. You store it in the fridge, and it's a little soft so it spreads very easily. Also, it's half real butter and half canola oil, so it's cheaper and healthier than real butter or store-bought margarine.

Butter Spread
2 C canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
2-3 Tb powdered nonfat milk
2 c (4 sticks) butter, softened

  1. Blend the oil and powdered milk in a blender until combined, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add softened butter and blend until combined, about 45 seconds - 1 minute.
  3. Pour into a container and place in refrigerator (it will firm up once it cools down).

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are cookies that I made for Kim's baby shower, and they turned out pretty good! I think the key is the make sure you don't overcook them -- they stay a lot softer that way. I cook them for exactly 8 minutes in my oven, and that seems perfect.

Chicken Marinade

Here is a good recipe for a chicken marinade. It's great when the chicken is grilled, but I imagine it would also turn out well broiled, baked, or cooked in a skillet.

Note -- I didn't have fresh parsley, so I used a decent amount of dried parsley and it turned out just fine.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


This gnocchi recipe is flexible -- I adapted it from some other recipes I've found online, but it seems to turn out pretty well for us every time. I especially like to use leftover mashed potatoes from a previous dinner because it cuts down on the prep time a lot.

  • 1 C mashed potatoes (leftover, or boil/bake and mash about 2-3 potatoes)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine mashed potatoes (make sure they've cooled down if they are freshly made), egg, and parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Add flour.
  2. I find it easiest to mix the dough with my hands at this point. It's messy, but it mixes it faster. Knead the dough into a ball. It should be soft and moist, but not overly sticky (like bread dough).
  3. Add a little more flour if needed and knead just a minute or two until smooth. Don't overwork or the gnocchi will be tough.
  4. Take a section of dough and roll it into a rope on a floured surface. The rope should be about 3/4"-1" thick. Use a sharp knife to cut the gnocchi into small pieces. They will puff up a little when cooked, but not much.
  5. Put the gnocchi on a floured cookie sheet and refrigerate until ready to cook. Or, freeze at this point.
  6. Boil a large pot of salted water. Add gnocchi and reduce heat to maintain a gentle but steady boil. Gnocchi is done when it floats and stays on the surface of the water, about 2 minutes for refrigerated gnocchi and a little longer for frozen gnocchi.
  7. Remove gnocchi from water with a slotted spoon.