Thursday, September 30, 2010

Italian Bread for the bread maker

This is a bread recipe that you make in your breadmaker, so it's super easy. I made this to go with lasagna on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and by using the breadmaker, it's a perfect recipe to just leave alone so you can do other things (like make your lasagna).

I did have to make a few changes to the original recipe though. Not in the ingredient list, but in the process. I did have one issue that I think affected the texture of the bread, but not the taste. I had made the dough, got the loaves on a sheet to rise, got a BEAUTIFUL rise out of both loaves, and then I put the eggwash over them. Big Mistake. The loaves instantly fell and I couldn't get them to rise back up. I baked them anyway, and like I said - the taste was good but I feel like the texture would have been SO much better had I not done the egg wash - or if I had done the egg wash before the 2nd rise.

But overall this is a very quick and easy recipe - and a great excuse to bust out your breadmaker!

Adapted from

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used bread flour)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 1/3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons cornmeal


Place flour, brown sugar, warm water, salt, olive oil and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.

Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Form dough into two loaves. Place the loaves seam side down on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment and generously sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise, until doubled in volume about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the risen loaves with egg mixture. Make a single long, quick cut down the center of the loaves with a sharp knife.
(I would omit these steps next time based on this making my loaves deflating).

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Beef Stroganoff

I decided to make this last week when my husband and I realized that we were getting rather sick of chicken. I knew this would be something my husband would like, so I thought I'd give it a try. I knew this wouldn't be the most elegant of meals, but I was hoping it would have some flavor at least!

I chose this particular recipe because it didn't have a can of cream of who knows what soup in it, which I'm personally not a huge fan of. Overall this was a great recipe. Yeah, it was perhaps one of the ugliest meals I've made, but it was good! And it was a definite husband pleaser!!! Homey, comforting, and hearty - this is a great fall/winter meal.


Adapted from

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained (I omitted)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup beef broth
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (I added this)
1 (8 ounce) package wide egg noodles


Break up ground meat into a large skillet and brown until cooked through. Drain off excess fat. Add onion, mushrooms, garlic powder, and mustard powder. Cook and stir over medium heat until the onion is tender.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Stir into beef mixture, and cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not stir too much.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until done. Drain. Serve sauce over
hot noodles.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Apple Bread

It's Apple Season!!!! yay! This is by FAR my favorite time of year...crisp air, cornstalks, apple cider, pumpkins, red leaves...ahhh. I just love it.

Last weekend the husband and I went apple picking at the local orchard, and came home with three huge bags of apples, so of course I had to find a great new recipe to use with them! My husband has been requesting a nice bread, so I decided on apple bread.

And I'm very glad I did. This recipe went above and beyond my expectations. Seriously. It's spicy, sweet, moist,'s just perfectly amazing and am already planning on making a second batch. I made a bunch of mini-loaves and individually wrapped them. I have to say, I think these would be perfect favors for any autumn party, shower, or wedding. I urge you to make this bread with your freshly picked apples - you'll be so glad you did!

Adapted from

3 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. Allspice (I added this)
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed (I added this)
2 Eggs, Beaten
1/2 Tsp. Vanilla
2 cups apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped (I used 2 Cortland Apples)
1 cup broken walnuts (I omitted)
2-3 tbsp apple cider (optional)

In bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl, place oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and apples. Stir into flour mixture. Add walnuts and mix (if using). Here, my batter ended up being quite dry so I added in a few tablespoons of apple cider, but I suppose if your batter is at the right consistency, you could leave it out. Divide mixture between two greased 8-in. x 4-in. bread pans (I used mini loaf pans). Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes (mine were done in 25-30 minutes because I used the mini pans) or until bread test done. Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack before removing from pan.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chutney Chicken

First of all, let me just say I had no idea what to call this....but it has mango chutney in it so chutney chicken it is.

Actually, the reason I made this is because my aunt gave me a beautiful little jar of mango chutney. (I went on their website to scope out other products, but apparently they only ship to the UK! What a shame! There are so many things I'd love to try. But if you are in the UK, here's the website... Mrs. Bridges...and just know that I'm jealous!) Anyways, she won it at a bridal shower and told me that I would appreciate it more then her, so being the awesome aunt that she is, gave it to me. But truth be told, I had no idea what to do with it. I'm not familiar with chutney at all. I looked at things online that said it was good with cream cheese and in curry's. I have no idea what a curry even is (seriously) but I decided to go with the cream cheese thing.

It actually worked out really well! I just added a little of this and that, and it turned out deliciously! This could be made for one or two people, depending on how hungry you are! I just made it for myself, but definitely didn't finish it. But if you are feeding it to someone extra hungry, it's a very easy recipe to double.


1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/4 of a yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 oz. cream cheese
2 tbsp. mango chutney
2-3 fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt & freshly ground pepper

In a medium skillet (coated with non stick spray) over medium-high heat, add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Keep the chicken moving until all the chicken pieces are light golden brown and cooked all the way through. Add onions and cook another 3-4 minutes until onions are softened. Finally, add garlic and cook for another minute or two, being careful not to burn the garlic. Next add the chicken stock, basil leaves, mango chutney and cream cheese. Stir until cream cheese is melted and incorporated into the sauce. Serve hot over white rice.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Cranberry Compote

I am personally a big fan of cranberries and often get annoyed that they're treated as a one-holiday food. The other day I was particularly in the mood for them, and thought they'd be good on chicken.

I stuffed my chicken with goat cheese for some added flavor and depth, then topped the whole thing with a quick and easy cranberry compote that I make every Thanksgiving.

The result was a deliciously moist and flavorful chicken that paired so nicely with the cranberry compote. I served it with white rice which worked wonderfully. This is a perfect dish for fall especially!

Cranberry Compote adapted from Emeril Lagasse

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded thin
Aprox. 2-4 tbsp goat cheese
1/2 cup frozen or fresh cranberries
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. good vanilla extract
2+ tsp. honey
1 tbsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. milk
aprox. 1/2 tsp. lemon zest


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking dish with non stick spray. On the bottom of both chicken breasts, spread a liberal amount of goat cheese and "roll" chicken up and secure with toothpicks. Place in baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour, removing foil after 45 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, make the cranberry compote. In a medium saucepan, add cranberries, water, cinnamon, vanilla, zest and honey. Stir to combine. On medium heat, bring to a gentle boil and continue to cook until the cranberries have "popped" and the mixture thickens. Meanwhile in a small bowl, whisk together milk and cornstarch and add it to thickened cranberry mixture. Taste everything and make sure it's sweetened to your liking (if not, add more honey).

Pour on top of cooked chicken and serve hot.


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