Whole Wheat and Honey Sandwich loaf

This was not the bread I was going to write up, praise and post about today. But kitchen life has moments that one does not have control over, and when that happens, redirect, focus, use your resources and move forward……

I love bread. Love it! I have so many cookbooks about bread, I could write nothing but a bread themed blog. Years ago I baked all of our bread. We were a farm style white bread family at that time. And still I make that type of loaf today, especially at the holidays. You cannot beat cinnamon toast on rich egg bread, not to mention french toast or a bread pudding when the end of the loaf is in sight.

Always through the years I had a strong desire to use whole grains as the primary flour in bread making. But whole wheat flour in a bag, on the shelf, in the grocery store tasted bitter to me. This alone was a big factor in not baking from whole grains. But I never gave up on the desire to use whole grains, and I am so glad I did not.

The flour grinder was worth the investment. Also through the years I have purchased and played with just about every piece of kitchen equipment and gadget. But until now, never a grain mill. Why did I wait so long? Yes price was an issue, a good mill can cost hundreds of dollars, and my concern in the early years was that the investment would not pan out……..

I am so happy I was wrong. Bread baking is a joint effort in this home. We enjoy the entire process and partner in the kitchen to get it done. Good times and great food. And now let me present this easy Whole Wheat and Honey Sandwich loaf, and next time I will use a longer loaf pan. These sandwiches would not fit in a standard sandwich bag…..

Whole Wheat and Honey Sandwich loaf
adapted from:  Noble Pig
makes 2 loaves

61/2 – 7 c whole wheat flour – divided (we use spelt flour)
2 1/2 c lukewarm water
2 T or 2 packages yeast

1/3 c oil
1/3 c honey
1 T salt
juice of 1/2 medium sized lemon

In a large mixer bowl, add 4 c of the flour, water and yeast. Mix until smooth.

Add oil, honey, salt and lemon juice.

Add 2 1/2 c more flour and mix until smooth, adding the final 1/2 c flour if dough seems too wet. Knead for 10 minutes.

Prepare 2 large loaf pans, divide dough (it is sticky) equally. Let rise 30-45 minutes or until doubled.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, bake 30 minutes or until done in your oven.

Loaves should should sound hollow when tapped with a knuckle.

Enjoy!

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For more great recipes, come visit us at Our Sunday Cafe!

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5 Minute Brownies, revisit an old favorite!

I have been making these brownies for ages! They originally came from the side of the Hershey’s can, I think, but no matter they are delicious, easy, economical and we made them again last night. They aren’t much more difficult than a box mix, so, make some already!

I have them titled in my aging recipe binder as 5 Minute Brownies, which leads me to believe they were part of a recipe series. Not too long ago I shared a delicious 5 Minute Chocolate Cake. And they really don’t take much more time than that. All mixing is done by hand.

Brownies
adapted from Hershey’s (I think)
makes 1 9X13 pan
350 degree oven

3/4 c cocoa
1/2 t soda
2/3 c oil – divided
1/2 boiling water
2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

1 c broken walnuts – if desire

In a large bowl, combine cocoa, soda and 1/3 c of the oil.

Add boiling water. Mixture will foam up.

Add the remaining 1/3 c oil, and sugar beating well. Add eggs and vanilla, beat again.  Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in until mixture is smooth and no dry pockets remain.

Turn into a prepared 9X13 pan, sprinkle with nuts.

Bake 35 – 40 minutes or until done in your oven. Let cool, cut into bars.

Enjoy!

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Lemon Cheesecake with Lemon Curd and Blueberry Sauce

For the longest time I did not think I liked cheesecake. I understand that from a calorie point of view, not liking cheesecake might be good thing. But my dear husband Terry is a serious cheesecake fan, having boasted a time or two that he ate 13 (yep thirteen!) pieces of cheesecake at a single sitting.

Bless his heart, just for the record, it is always the skinny ones……..

But the truth is, I love cream cheese. It is creamy and tangy and rich. It seems I also love cheesecake, but not the traditional spring form pan and that particular presentation. It can also be a challenge to serve. Enter the standard 9X13 pan, coupled with the same wonderful cheesecake flavor, and an easy to serve bonus.

Lemon Cheesecake with Lemon Curd and Blueberry Sauce
Cafe Created
Makes up to 30 servings

Crust:
2 c crushed graham crackers
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c melted butter

Cheesecake:
3 8oz packages cream cheese
3/4 c sugar
dash salt
1 T flour
4 eggs
juice of 1 lemon

1 1/2 c lemon curd, homemade or purchased

Blueberry Sauce:
4 c blueberries – fresh or frozen (no need to thaw)
2/3 c sugar
dash of salt
1 c water – divided
1/2 t cinnamon
2 T cornstarch

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the crust, combine all ingredients, press gently into the bottom of a prepared 9X13 pan. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese until smooth, beat in sugar, salt and flour. Add eggs one at a time, mix in completely. Add lemon juice, mix well, scrape bottom and side of bowl, mix again if needed.

Gently pour cream cheese mixture over crust. Bake 45-60 minutes or until done in your oven. Set aside to cool. When warm to the touch, spread with the lemon curd. Let cool completely.

To make the Blueberry Sauce, combine the berries, sugar, salt, cinnamon and 3/4 c water. Bring to a boil, simmer 5 minutes. Stir cornstarch into the remaining water, until smooth. Add to the blueberry mixture, cook until thickened and transparent.

Serve squares of cheesecake with blueberry sauce.

Enjoy!

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

For more great recipes, come and visit us at Our Sunday Cafe!

Oatmeal Cookie Dough for the freezer

Recipe rewind, because in the beginning there is a blogger who has no readers. She still posts great food in hopes that the readers will come……….you can also view it here in the archives, Sunday, January 17, 2010.

 

Even though I have been cooking for over 40 years, I am still learning to be better prepared in the kitchen. Being prepared can have a different meaning to each cook; or for that matter any special needs for your own family. But being prepared is a skill worth having and developing to the maximum potential.

Also I like to play. Everyone needs to play, it keeps us happy and young in spirit. Playing in the kitchen is fun for me. Sometimes it even results in a tasty surprise or improved technique. I like to think about and employ ways to be better prepared in the kitchen and through the house. These usually revolve around the kitchen, but not all the time. This morning however, the kitchen is once again my playground.

We have a cookie problem in this house. You see, we love cookies! But We are only two people. And yes we could eat the whole batch of cookies, while they are still fresh and moist. We have been tempted to just eat cookies until they are gone. It would be fairly easy. You come home tired, hungry and just want to eat, now.

“I know lets have cookies and milk for dinner!”
“OK!”

But we usually act all grown up and so, cookies and milk for dinner is not usually the menu selection of the evening. But we still want cookies! Fresh cookies. Delicious cookies. Homemade cookies. So I got to thinking………

Slice and bake cookies, with a twist. Some cookie recipes lend themselves to the traditional log shape. These are sugar cookies, gingersnaps or any cookie dough that does not have chunky ingredients. Other cookie recipes will lend themselves to a “slab” shape that is cut into squares before baking, allowing for the chunky ingredients. Like chocolate chips, broken nut meats, raisins and other dried fruits. Any drop cookie recipe will work in the “slab” shape.

Here is the best part, for each dozen cookies the recipe states, you make a separate molded portion of dough for freezing. When you want a fresh batch of cookies, you simply pull a portion of dough  from the freezer, let it thaw for a few minutes, cut into 12 pieces and bake.And this goes without saying, with 2 or 3 different kinds of cookie dough in the freezer, drop in guests or that needed cookie plate are not such a problem.

I have noticed that most cookies bake at the same temperature for about the same time, 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. If your cookie dough needs a different temperature and or baking time, simply put a little note on the wrapper. You can use any family favorite recipe, I personally love the oatmeal cookie recipe on the side of the oat barrel. It is sooooo very delicious, adaptable and dependable. I did notice one little thing about freezing dough for cookies, you need to add the tiniest bit of water. I have adapted that wonderful cookie recipe to be freezer friendly.

Oatmeal Cookie Dough for the freezer
adapted from: the Quaker barrel
makes 4 dozen

1 1/4 c butter ( 2 1/2 sticks) – cut into thick slices, this helps keep the mixture from hanging up on the beaters
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla
1 egg
1 t water – don’t leave this out

Cut butter into thick slices, add sugars and salt. Beat until creamy. Add vanilla and egg, beat until fluffy, beat in water.
Combine and whisk together:
1 1/2 flour
1 t soda
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
3 c oats
1 1/2 c raisins
Beat flour mixture into the butter sugar mixture. When smooth, reduce beater speed and add the oats and raisins. Mixing gently until oats and raisins are mixed in evenly.
Scrape the beater clean, smooth the dough into the bottom of the workbowl. Divide into 4 sections. Pack dough into your mold.
Place a square of waxed paper over your mold, add 1/4
portion of the dough. Using another piece of wax paper, cover
over the top of the dough, pressing firmly to make a compact
evenly shaped “slab”. Remove top piece of waxed paper, fold
the extended portion over dough, turn out. Repeat.
Tidy and packaged for the freezer.
To bake, remove one portion from freezer, let thaw a few minutes (or remove the day before and place in refrigerator), cut into 12 pieces and bake. Yum!
Now lets talk chocolate!
To make chocolate chip cookies, eliminate the spice and raisins, add 2 c chocolate chips. Proceed as shown above.

How about Maple Walnut?
To make Maple walnut, substitute maple flavoring for the vanilla, and walnuts for the chocolate chips.

Life is good, especially with a warm cookie from the oven!

As always, thanks for taking a minute to stop by. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

Apple Beet Salad

The wonderful thing about beets is the glorious color, the problem with beets IS all that color. Everything, repeat everything will be beet color. But please, don’t let that stop you from eating and enjoying beets. This apple beet salad is a fine example of the glorious color and the problem with all that color. But the taste is wonderful!
 

Apple Beet Salad
adapted from: a magazine article – source not remembered, but thanked.
serves 4-6

1 large beet, roasted and peeled and diced OR 1 16 oz can of diced beets, well drained 
1 large apples, washed (do not peel) and diced
2 green onions sliced thin OR 1 thin slice of onion minced
1/4 c diced dill pickle

1/4 c mayonnaise
1 T vinegar ( I use rice wine vinegar)
1 t honey
1/4 t salt
fresh ground pepper

Gorgonzola crumbles

Prepare all salad ingredients, set aside.

Prepare dressing, stir in the beets, apples, pickle and onion.

Serve garnished with the Gorgonzola cheese.

Enjoy! This really is a delicious salad. Plus you can make it year round.

As always, thanks for taking a minute to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

For more great recipes and possibly a funny story, visit us at Our Sunday Cafe!

5 Minute Chocolate Cake, revisit an old favorite!

There are millions of recipes out there, so many new ones to try. But sometimes you want to eat something that you have already made and know you love, enter this easy delicious cake.

5 Minute Cocoa Cake
adapted from: true source unknown, but I believe it is Hershey’s.
350 degree oven

1 3/4 c flour
2 c sugar
3/4 c cocoa
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t soda
1 t salt

2 eggs
1/2 c oil
2 t vanilla
1 c milk – divided

1 c boiling water OR strong hot coffee

Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, oil, vanilla and half of the milk. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Add remaining milk, mix on low until smooth. Add hot water/coffee, mix on low until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides of the bowl. Batter will be thin.

Pour into prepared pan(s), bake 8 or 9 inch layer cakes 30-35 minutes. Bake a 9X13 pan 35-40  minutes. Let cool, 10 minutes, turn layers out to cool completely.

Chocolate Butter Cream

1/3 c butter, softened
dash salt
2 t vanilla
1/2 – 3/4 c cocoa – use the larger amount for a deep chocolate flavor
1 pound powdered sugar

3-5 T milk – divided

Place all ingredients into a large mixer bowl,  add 3 T milk, beat until smooth. If frosting is too stiff or dry, slowly add remaining milk beating well.

When cake is completely cool, frost, top with toasted walnut pieces.

Serves 16-20 happy people!

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Raisin Walnut Snack Cake

I am a big fan of raisins, especially in baked goods. And who does not like a snack cake? Snack Cakes are good keepers, pack well in lunches and don’t need a frosting. However they can certainly be dressed up with a scoop of ice cream for those times you need something just a bit “more”. And those times do come around, especially after a long day.

But this snack cake is also perfect as is, seriously! Dense but not heavy, a nice balance of spice in the applesauce batter, those raisins bathed in a little whiskey bath don’t hurt either! Then we can talk about the toasted walnuts, yep this is good cake!

Raisin and Walnut Snack Cake
adapted from:  Vintage Kitchen
Makes a 9X13 cake

1 – 2 T whiskey or burbon
enough water to measure 1/3 c
2 c raisins

Measure whiskey into the bottom of a 1/3 c measure, add water until full. Pour into medium sauce pan, add raisin. Bring to a boil, stir well. Cover pan, turn off heat and let raisin sit on the warm burner until cool to the touch.  When ready…

2 c flour OR 1 c all purpose flour and 1 c whole wheat flour
1 T cornstarch
2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
a few grating of fresh nutmeg or 1/8 t ground
1/2 t salt
1 T cocoa

Whisk together all dry ingredients. Set aside.

1/2 c soft butter
1 c sugar OR 1/2 c sugar and 1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c applesauce

2 c walnuts, toasted and chopped coarse.

Beat butter until creamy, beat in sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add dry ingredients to the bowl, mix in 1 c of the applesauce. Add remaining applesauce and the raisins (including any leftover liquid), mixing well. By hand stir in the walnuts. Pour into prepared pan. Bake  40-50 minutes or until done in your oven.

If desire, sift powdered sugar over the top.

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

For more great recipes come and visit us at Our Sunday Cafe!