Saturday, March 19, 2016

Honey Oat Bread

This is the bread that I make regularly for my family.  It's our favorite.  We don't eat much bread in our house except for the Honey Wheat Rolls and this Honey Oat Bread.  This is a soft bread which is how my family likes bread so it's great for kids who are used to that bread from the store that squishes into nothing.  And the honey and oats make it really tasty.


Honey Oat Bread


Ingredients

1 1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups oats
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 teasp. yeast
2 eggs
3 1/2 cups flour


1. Grease and flour the bread pans.  I sprayed my pans with baking spray.  I use light colored metal, ceramic, or tempered glass pans.  These pans give a softer crust which is how my family likes bread.  A dark metal pan, will give a crustier crust.


2. I put all of the ingredients in the bread machine and put it on the dough setting.  I never bake in my bread machine.  You could also use a stand mixer with the kneading blade.  I'm going to try that next time.  You could also knead it by hand but that's way more work than I want to put into it.  If you don't use a bread machine, after kneading, cover it and leave it rise until it's doubled in size.


3. Once it's risen divide the dough in half, (this makes 2 loaves) and shape each half into a loaf shape and put the dough in the pans to rise again.  (I'm not picky about making a perfect loaf.  The rising takes care of the imperfect shape.)

4. When the dough doubles in size, they're ready for the oven.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees  and let the bread bake for 25 minutes.


5. Let the bread cool in the pans for 5 - 10 minutes then remove the bread and let it cool on a cooling rack.  Okay, let's be honest, I never let it cool.  Because warm bread from the oven with butter melting all over it is almost the best thing ever.

Enjoy!

(This bread freezes really well.  Because we don't eat much bread, I slice the bread and divide it into four bags.  I leave one bag out and freeze the rest until we're ready to use it.  I have a family of 4 and we only use about half a loaf of bread each week.)
  

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Salmon Patties/Salmon Cakes

Do you have a food from your childhood that you haven't seen for a long time and completely forgot about? We live in a world of fast food burgers and french fries, and the way we eat has changed a lot since I was a kid.

Recently I was at Sam's Club and  I saw some cans of salmon.  It reminded me that my mom used to make salmon patties all the time when I was a kid.  I don't eat much seafood, but this was one thing that I liked.  I have no idea how my mom made them, but I've been playing around with ingredients and I've come up with a recipe that tastes pretty similar to the ones my mom used to make.

Salmon Patties


Ingredients:


7 oz. can of salmon (I used the one from Sam's Club.)
1/3 cup bread crumbs (I used panko bread crumbs.)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons oil (I used canola.)
1/2 tsp. dried dillweed

Directions:


1.  Mix everything together.

2.  Make 4 patties.

3.  Put them in an oiled pan on medium heat.

4.  Turn them when they are browned.

Delicious!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Oatmeal Cookies

Hey everyone!  Contrary to popular belief I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.  I'm just trying to be up and about more than sitting at a computer.  You see, I gained 10 pounds over the winter and I'm trying to get rid of it.  It's a full time job and I'm not making any progress.  I eat salad every day and walk 10,000 steps (I guess that's the magic number), but still nothing seems to be changing.  I'm spinning my wheels and getting nowhere.  I might just buy some shapewear and call it done.  Anyway, in honor of my lack of weight loss, I'm posting a recipe for cookies!

A few weeks ago we went to an 80th birthday celebration for my father in law.  It's hard to buy a birthday present for someone 80 years old, but I know that he has a huge sweet tooth.  I decided to give him an assortment of homemade cookies.  Chocolate chip, chocolate chip with pecans, oatmeal raisin, and oatmeal with dried cranberries and walnuts.  I think it was a hit.

For the oatmeal based cookies I used my mom's Oatmeal Cookies recipe.  Anything can be added to these cookies to make them exactly what you want.  I usually add chocolate chips because I don't like raisins.  The cranberry and walnut cookies were good also.  Just add whatever you want to make them your own, or eat them plain.  They're good no matter what.


Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix wet ingredients, then add dry ingredients.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes.  (Mine were done after about 10 minutes.)

Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Surprise Cookies

A surprise!


I'm not really a fan of surprises but this is one I love.  I make these every year around Christmas.  This year I made them 3 times!

These are really called Dream Bars or Seven Layer Bars but there's a reason why they're called Surprise Cookies in my family.

When I was in elementary school in the 70's my family lived in a little town in the middle of Michigan.  The park in St. Louis, Michigan even had a mark put on the spot that is supposedly the very middle of the state of Michigan.  My dad was the director of the Baptist Children's Home and when he wasn't preaching somewhere else we attended the First Baptist Church of St. Louis.  One Sunday as we were leaving church my mom realized that she forgot her Bible in the pew and she went back to get it.  Someone had taken the opportunity to slip a recipe in my mom's Bible called Surprise Cookies.  We had never heard of Surprise Cookies.  I'm sure these Seven Layer Bars were a new thing back then.  My mom made them and we loved them so much that we've been making them ever since.  We never did find out who put that recipe in my mom's Bible.  And that's why they will always be Surprise Cookies to us.

DSCN4577b

Ingredients



  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs

  • 6 oz. chocolate chips

  • 6 oz. butterscotch chips

  • 1 cup chopped nuts

  • 1/2 cup coconut

  • Eagle brand milk (sweetened condensed milk)


Directions



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.DSCN4536a

  2. Melt butter in pan.  I always put the stick of butter right in a 13 x 9 pan and stick it in the oven while it's preheating to melt the butter.DSCN4531a

  3. While the butter is melting make the graham cracker crumbs.  I usually put the crackers in a storage bag and use the rolling pin to make them crumbs.  A proper chef would probably put them in a food processor.DSCN4537a

  4. When the butter is melted make sure it's evenly distributed in the pan and then cover it with the cracker crumbs.  Spread out the crumbs so they cover the whole bottom of the pan.DSCN4538a

  5. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, and coconut. DSCN4541a

  6. Pour Eagle brand milk over everything.DSCN4577a

  7. Bake until it looks done, about 20 - 30 minutes. The coconut should be turning a golden brown when it's done.

  8. Let them cool and then cut them into squares. (I meant to get a picture of one square but they were gone before I knew it.  I'll have to update with a picture the next time I make them.)


Then eat them!!  So good!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Basic White Bread

I came home from buying groceries last week only to find that we were out of bread and I didn't buy any.  What to do?  Make some!

DSCN4616a note to self - buy a better plate for pictures

This is just a basic white bread recipe and it comes from the cookbook The Ultimate Book of Baking by Martha Day. This is an older cookbook and I didn't find it on Amazon to link it.  I have some simple requirements when I buy a cookbook.  It has to have a picture for every recipe (or almost every recipe), and it has to use ingredients that I don't have to travel to Timbuktu to buy.  Or even the local, way to expensive health food store.  Ohhh!!  A Whole Foods store is being built by my home right now as I'm typing.  Every time I drive by I try to figure out how much longer before they open the doors.  I'm so excited!

Back to bread.

Ingredients



  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water

  • 1 packge active dry yeast (this equals 2 1/4 teaspoons if you don't buy it in a packet)

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 cups lukewarm milk

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 6 - 6 1/2 cups flour

DSCN4592a

Notes on the recipe:  I use yeast from Sam's Club.  It's a large amount. Two large packages. I usually only use about half of one package before the expiration but it's still cheaper than buying the small packages. If you have a friend to split the purchase, even better.


DSCN4593a

Once it's opened, I save a small amount in the refrigerator and put the rest of the package in the freezer.  I also tape the measurement that equals a small package right on the top of the container in the frig.

Directions


DSCN4597a

I don't follow the instructions when I make yeast breads because it's so much easier to throw all of the ingredients in the bread machine.  My mom found this beauty in a consignment shop for a few dollars and it's great.  A little noisy but just turn the tv up louder.  I only use the machine for dough.  I don't bake in it.  I've had several bread machines and only one of them baked to my satisfaction.  Usually the bread is over baked.  I know the settings can be adjusted but I think it's easier to just put it in the oven.  Then the loaf isn't shaped funny either.

I'm going to confess that after I started the bread I had to leave for a while.  I left instructions with my 18 year old daughter to take the dough out and divide it into 2 loaves, shape it and put it in the greased bread pans.  She called me while I was out to tell me the dough looked like it was ready to explode.  I had her put it in the oven at 375 degrees F and I made it home just as it was getting done. I only baked it for about 20 minutes.  I had to laugh at her dough shaping skills.  She didn't try.  That's why there isn't a picture of the loaf, but the picture of the slice says it all.

Verdict - This bread is good, but just ordinary.  I probably won't make it again just because we don't eat much white bread.
Inside scoop - This post was written in the waiting room at the oral surgeon's office while my son was having his wisdom teeth pulled.

Happy baking!