Monday, March 18, 2019

French Bread


Let's break bread together for tea time!  Isn't the potted rose plant that my neighbor gifted me for my birthday, so pretty?  The sweet cherub is hoping for Spring to arrive soon!


 

My friend, Colleen, gave me this March Royal Albert trio set, and I think it's such a pretty one.  


 I had four of my grandchildren over during Spring break and I was one  happy Nana!!! It was so nice to see these cousins together in my home.    We went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch, which is always a favorite. However,  before we went to lunch, we prepared the dough for the French Bread, and let is rise while we were gone.   Here they are rolling out their dough to make their twisted green and white St. Patrick's Day breads to take home. 

 Here are their finished loaves!   They took nibbles of their bread because it was hard to resist that warm bread from the oven, especially with Irish butter.  



Yield: 2 -3 large, or 4-8 small size loaves

French Bread

This bread is a cinch to make because it's done in the food processor. I often use this recipe for pizza dough, or I'll use the French Bread for French Bread pizza. I hope you'll try it.

ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 T. yeast
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 4 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 cup ice water

instructions:

  1. Mix sugar & warm water together in a small bowl. Sprinkle on the yeast & let proof for about 5 minutes.
  2. Put flour, salt & butter in food processor & mix with the plastic blade. Pour the warm water mixture down the food tube while running & let run until well mixed.
  3. While running, slowly pour the ice water down the tube & let the processor run (and knead) until the mixture balls up. After it balls up, let it run another 45 seconds.
  4. Put dough in a greased bowl, cover loosely & let rise several hours until it has quit rising. Punch down on a clean, dry counter & roll out into a rectangle about 12 x 16 inches. Now you can either cut it lengthwise into 2, for larger loaves, or 3 for baguette size loaves. You can also make 6-8 sub-style "hard" rolls. Cut 4-6 slits slits on the diagonal on the top. Cover & let rise until double.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. I usually moisten the top of the bread. If you want a very shiny crust, you can brush with a beaten egg white. You can sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if you wish. Bake about 15-20 minutes, or until golden.
  6. Let cool on wire racks.
  7. Makes 2-3 large loaves, or 6-8 small loaves (these are great for meatball or Italian subs)
Created using The Recipes Generator

The kids also make bunnies from socks, which turned out so cute!  They love doing crafty things.  

 I had lunch with my daughter, and her three boys.  Cissy was busy with friends. 

I had my two youngest grands over for a Saturday visit.  Don't these sweet sisters look cute in their St. Patrick's Day outfits?  

Thank you for your visit!  xo
I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Monday, March 11, 2019

Irish Brown Bread


I made some bread over the weekend to remind me of my dream vacation to Ireland that my late beloved and I took back in September, 2009.  Let's have a slice and some Irish tea, shall we?


 Of course, we must use some Kerrygold butter on our bread.  The teacup's design reminds me of Celtic knots.  The little harp vase was gifted to me several years ago. 

 My County Cork, Ireland teapot was a $1.50 thrifty find, and I think of my Great Grandmother Hannah that was born in that county.  Aren't my shamrock lights from the Dollar Tree a fun decor piece?


 My scruffy leprechaun was sent to me by my sister several years ago.  He has his pot of gold and a lucky bird by his side.  Maybe he was out and about harvesting potatoes?  My shamrock plant made it through the winter, a little unkempt, but will perk up soon.

Here are my mini loaves of Irish Brown Bread fresh from the oven.  When I worked at Frito-Lay years ago, I would bring loaves of my homemade bread that is made from a starter to my co-workers,  on a rotating basis.  Sometimes I would send home a loaf to my friend, and co-worker, Cindy's mom, who dearly loved the bread.  One Christmas, her mom bought me these darling loaf pans that I use so often.  I always think of Cindy and her late mom whenever I use them. 



Yield: 1 9 x 5" loaf, or 4 mini loaves

Irish Brown Bread

When my late beloved and I visited Ireland, the most delicious brown bread was served in tearooms, and restaurants. I've tried and tried to find the perfect recipe, and FINALLY stumbled upon The Barefoot Contessa's recipe. It is SO GOOD, full of hardy flavor, and has a moist texture.  It took me back to memories of our dream vacation.   I don't think I'll ever serve Irish Soda Bread again, after finding this recipe. I hope you try it!

ingredients:

  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant),  plus extra for sprinkling ( I used old fashioned oats and pulsed them in the food processor a bit)
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (I used light brown because that's what I had), lightly packed
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 (11- to 12-ounce) bottle Guinness extra stout beer, at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken (I used 4 T.  powdered buttermilk  + 1 cup water )
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt (I added the dry buttermilk powder at this point).   In a separate bowl, whisk together the beer, buttermilk ( I added the water), melted butter, and vanilla. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well.   Stir the batter from the middle of the bowl to the outside, until it's well mixed. It will look more like cake batter than bread dough.
  3. Brush a 9 x 5 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan, or 4 mini loaf pans,  with melted butter, or use a cooking spray.   Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle the top with oats. Put the bread in the oven, immediately turn the temperature down to 400 degrees, and bake for 45 minutes, or 30 minutes for the mini loaves,  until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn the bread out onto a baking rack and allow to cool completely. Slice and serve with salted butter.  You will be in Irish heaven!
Created using The Recipes Generator

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  
I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Monday, March 4, 2019

Mardi Gras Spritz Cookies


 My friend Lynn over at Happier Than A Pig In Mud recently shared some quick and easy Mardi Gras Monkey Bread, and I thought that I'd make some Mardi Gras Spritz to join in on the fun.


 It's really been record breaking cold here in the Dallas, Texas area, so we are going to enjoy some tea and cookies by the fire.  I find any excuse to use fairy lights for a little sparkle.  Aldi has flowers so expensively and I thought this bunch looked pretty for my cookies.

One of my favorite Spritz cookies, which are melt-in-your-mouth wonderful, can be found here. The only thing that I did differently was adding 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon to the recipe, which added a hint of spice.  I thought the disk shape looked like mini King Cakes, which are famous cakes baked before Mardi Gras.  I had never heard of them before moving to Texas.   On some of the cookies, I sprinkled the sugars before baking them.  On the other half, I baked them plain, and then made a simple powdered sugar glaze, and then sprinkled the sugars on.   You can choose which one you'd like. I think they both turned out pretty.



I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Monday, February 25, 2019

Birthday Scones and Birthday Fun

 I reached a milestone birthday yesterday, and I decided to make myself some scones with raspberries because I love them so much.  I surrounded my table with some of my birthday cards so that I could enjoy looking at them again.  


 I have always wanted a February teacup, so this year I found one on eBay at a good price and ordered it. 

 My oldest son and DIL bought me this pretty Cineraria plant.  I thought it looked pretty with my teacup.  This is the first time in 70 years that my Mom and I won't be talking on my birthday, so I included a favorite picture of the two of us having fun at my youngest son and DIL's wedding.




Yield: 8

White Chocolate Raspberry Scones

I am a lover of raspberries and decided to make these scones for my birthday. I adapted the recipe from one that I found on the Epicurious site. They are so good and VERY moist. Blueberries would be good, and dried cherries or apricots. It's not a mistake that there is no butter in this recipe. You could also increase the whipping cream a little and just make drop scones.

ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups + 2 T.  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate bits or white baking morsels
  • 1 cup chilled whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Additional sugar ( I like to use sparkling sugar)

instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet (I just use parchment paper).
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, 1/4 c sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Stir in white chocolate chips and slowly add whipping cream, stirring in just enough to moisten ingredients.
  4. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Add frozen raspberries and knead gently for about 2 or 3 minutes until a soft dough forms.
  5. Pat dough into rectangle about 1 to 1-1/2 inches high.
  6. Divide into 4 smaller rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally, forming a total of 8 triangles.
  7. Transfer to baking sheet,  spacing 2 inches apart. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with additional sugar.
  8. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned.

NOTES:

I often cut  scones, place them on parchment paper and freeze the scones.  When frozen, transfer to a freeze proof container and then bake one, or how ever many you'd like, allowing maybe a couple of extra minutes.
Created using The Recipes Generator

I had dinner at my oldest son and DIL's house last Friday, and shared a wonderful birthday celebration with them.  For dessert, we had an assortment of mini Nothing Bundt cakes.  It was a fun time!

Selfie Time!

I had another party with the rest of my family, last night.  What a fun time we had with great food and happy memories.  They gave me a book with letters written by all of my family members which was very thoughtful and emotional.  

I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Monday, February 18, 2019

Chocolate Molten Cake

 Would you care to join me for some chocolate molten cake?  This dessert is so easy and incredibly fabulous!  I'm using a Vera Bradley blanket that my oldest son, DIL, and granddaughters gave me for Christmas.  Aren't the colors so pretty?  The roses are from my three grandsons who brought them on Valentine's Day, along with my daughter and Cissy, who brought a balloon, and a box of candy.

 My youngest son and DIL gave me a set of Royal Albert teacups one year for Christmas, and this is one of them.


Cissy made  these beautiful tuxedo strawberries this week.


 Harper and Hayden came and spent the night with me, and we had fun!

 Avery and Ella came over to do some crafts.  We made the snowmen, and below, we made the vintage Valentine girls. 

What a great Valentine week it was!  




Yield: 4

Chocolate Molten Cakes

These little cakes are so easy and I perfect way to satisfy your chocolate cravings.

ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. (4 ounces) Semi-Sweet Chocolate (I weighed out 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips instead)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 Tbsp. flour

instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.  (I used the convection setting, and lowered the temperature to 400 degrees.)
  2. Butter 4 small custard cups; place on baking sheet.
  3. Microwave chocolate and butter in medium microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. or until butter is melted; whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Add whole eggs and egg yolks; mix well. Stir in flour. Spoon into prepared cups.
  4. Bake 13 to 14 min. or until edges of desserts are firm but centers are still soft. Let stand 1 min. Carefully run knife around cakes to loosen; invert into dessert plates. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

NOTES:

Make Ahead:
Prepare batter as directed; pour into prepared custard cups, and cover.   Refrigerate up to 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before baking as directed.
Created using The Recipes Generator




I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Monday, February 11, 2019

Easy Valentine Treat

 Our temperatures turned frigid here in the Dallas, Texas area, and we need to warm up by the fire!  My little vintage Valentine girl is hostessing our party today.  She feels right at home on top of this vintage designed tablecloth.


 Look at all these cute designs.  I made this tablecloth years ago, and fell in love with the fabric.


 My pretty teacup that I received a few years ago from Stephanie's teacup exchange feels perfect for today's vintage-inspired tea.

 Cissy and I made chocolate covered Oreos for a Valentine treat.   We used melted white almond bark (melts like a dream!), and pink candy melts (we had to add a little vegetable oil to thin) to dip the cookies into, and then immediately sprinkled them with Valentine sprinkles.  It's such an easy treat and her family loved them! 


I kept a few to munch on, too.  YUM!

Happy Valentine's Day to you!  xxoo



I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Monday, February 4, 2019

White Chocolate Raspberry Bundt Cake


 Oh my, do I ever have a treat for you today!  Have you ever tried Nothing Bundt Cake's White Chocolate Raspberry cake?  It is my favorite flavor!  Last year my bloggy buddy, Jenna, from The Painted Apron made a version,  and I have been dreaming about it ever since.  You can see Jenna's cake here.  Jenna is such a great cook and a wonderful artist.  I actually made the cake for our ladies luncheon that we have every month, and it was a hit. 


 Here's the cake ready to bake in my pretty NordicWare Heart Bundt pan.  


 Look at the inside of the cake...heaven, I tell you! 





Yield: 1 large bundt

White Chocolate Raspberry Bundt Cake

This cake is so heavenly if you love raspberries!

ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. white cake mix
  • 1  pkg. (4-serving size) instant white chocolate pudding (Hershey makes one) or instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 1 1/2 c. white chocolate chips chopped into smaller pieces (I chopped mine in the food processor after freezing them for a bit)
  • 1 c. raspberry pie filling, pastry filling,  or even raspberry jam
  • 4 ounces cream cheese,  softened
  • 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 2 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1t. vanilla

instructions:

  1. Grease and flour a bundt pan (I like to use Baker's Joy to get in all the crevices),  and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix first six ingredients together with a beater. Fold in white chocolate chips.
  2. Fill prepared bundt pan with half of the batter. Spoon half of the raspberry filling in small, separated spoonfuls over the batter, and swirl.
  3. Pour remaining batter in evenly and spoon in remaining pie filling, repeating the swirling process.
  4. Cook in oven at 350 degrees for 45-50 mins, or until a knife inserted comes out clean. 
  5. Remove from oven. Let cool for 20 mins. Remove from pan, and let cool on a cooling rack. This will take awhile to completely cool.
  6. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually beat in the powdered sugar,  starting with 2 cups,  then add the other 1/2 cup,  until it is thick. 
  7. Frost the cake (See note).

NOTES:

To get the ribbon effect of the frosting, use a piping bag OR fill a gallon food safe bag with the cream cheese frosting, and twist the top.  Cut a corner off of the bag, and squeeze the icing onto the cake.
What to do with the extra pie filling?  You can make a half recipe of  these Raspberry Crumble Bars. 
Created using The Recipes Generator




 My bloggy buddy, Lauren, at My Wonderfully Made Blog recently made the cutest chenille  Valentine decorations, and Cissy and I made them from Lauren's inspiration.  They were such fun to make.  You can check out Lauren's darling ones and her valentine tree by checking  here.

My version is here.  Cissy gathered the tulle with needle and thread and she fashioned the hearts to surprise me out of some of the bump chenille.  

Thank you for your visit!  xo


I am sharing this with these lovely parties:

Monday, January 28, 2019

Man Dip (Women like it, too!!)


I shared this recipe years earlier, but with the Super Bowl coming, I thought it needed to be shared again. My daughter, who blogs at Party of 9 Living , got this recipe from a neighbor years ago.  Our family loves this dip, and I hope you'll give it a try. 




Man Dip (Women love it, too!!)

EVERYONE loves this dip. I don't know where it got it's name, but that's what we've always called it and it's stuck. I hope you try it.The recipe is so easy to remember, and you may want to double it. This is a winner!!

ingredients:

  • 1 lb. pork sausage
  • 1 ( 8-ounce) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies (Rotel)

instructions:

  1. Brown the sausage.
  2. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted.
  3. Stir in the can of Rotel, and heat through.
  4. Serve with sturdy chips, such as Fritos Scoops,  or tortilla chips.

NOTES:

I use an electric fondue pot for browning the meat and preparing the dip.  You could always prepare this in a skillet and keep the dip warm in a slow cooker.  When I take this to our ladies luncheon, everyone loves this.
Created using The Recipes Generator





My grandson, Connor, with his girlfriend, ready to go to the Winter Formal. 


Here is my daughter, Molly, who is my oldest of four, with her oldest child, Connor, who is her oldest of four, and me...three generations!


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