Friday, October 23, 2009

Intentions

My intention was to post every day this week. I was doing food posts to keep myself accountable. Food is easy for me, so I thought it would take no effort.
The problem was the rest of my life takes effort. This week has been full of emotion. I don't know what God has been trying to do with my heart this week, so I just have to hang on while He takes me through it.
I will finish my food posts soon. My goal is now next week. Thanks for being understanding.
A~

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When you feel the Need to Kneed


MMMmmmm, I can smell it already. Can't you? The yeast, the warmth it brings your home, the beautiful brown color. That's right, I'm talking about bread. Those loves that sustain us from day to day.
Bread is one thing I can do well. So here I'm going to give you some of my best bread recipes. Starting with...

French Bread~ This is my favorite soup bread. It is perfect for dipping into just about anything, but especially soups!


  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  1. Mix in a large bowl until dissolved
  2. Add:
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 tea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 4 cups flour
  1. Mix well
  2. Add 3- 4 cups of flour One cup at a time until dough is easy to handle
  3. Knead for 5-10 min. Until dough is elastic and smooth.
  4. Let it rise to double. Punch down and divide into 2. Roll out into ropes about 14 in long. Place on a cookies sheet side by side or in a french bread baking pan if you have one. Cut 3 or 4 slashes in the top with a very sharp knife. Let rise again while oven preheats to 375
  5. Bake 25-30 min. Remove from pan at once.

Ready for something else to dip? How about some bread sticks? Yummy soft ones that are fabulous with cheese.

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2-3 cups flour
  1. Mix yeast in water, dissolve
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients
  3. Kneed, Rise 1 hour
  4. Roll out as thick or thin as you want them
  5. Using a pizza cutter or something of the like, cut into strips as wide as you would like
  6. Twist, tie in knots, stretch, or leave them the shape they are
  7. Let rise on a greased baking sheet about 1 hour
  8. If you would like just before baking them sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, spices, or anything else that comes to you.
  9. Bake at 400* for 15 minutes or until browned.

So many more breads to choose from what do I tell you about next? I recently discovered this recipe and love it (note the singing tone here)! It is Focaccia that I use for our pizza crust! Tastes so good you will think you are at a restaurant. I have only used this for pizza, and it makes it last 3 times longer because we can only eat one piece before we are full.


  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 2/3 cups water
  • 3 Tablespoons oil
  1. Put flour and salt in a bowl
  2. In a separate bowl mix the yeast water and oil
  3. Make a well in the flour, and pour the liquid in the center
  4. Stir then kneed until soft and elastic~It will be wetter than bread
  5. Rise 1-2 hours
  6. Pour dough from the bowl strait into a greased jelly pan. DO NOT punch down or fold over in any way, just plop it right in.
  7. Use your fingers to stretch it out in the pan. If it won't keep shape let it rest a few minutes then try again.
  8. For true Focaccia brush it with olive oil then sprinkle sea salt and rosemary over the top
  9. Bake at 400* just until light brown, about 15 minutes.
  10. If you are making pizza out of it, after baking just throw on your sauce, cheese and toppings, and put back in the oven til hot

Well, I have 3 more recipes to tell you about. Rolls, I know everyone can make rolls. You can even buy them cheap, but not these. Every Christmas I am asked to make these rolls because they are so rich. Something so good should not be so simple, yet it is. Always have a good roll recipe. If you don't have one, email me!

I almost posted my bread bowl recipe, but if you know me I am guessing you already have it. Early this year I was asked to head up the making of 250 bread bowls for a fund raiser. Yes, in my insanity I agreed. Then the ovens we were going to use became unavailable so the whole operation got moved to my house, and we started baking. I had some amazing sidekicks, partners, friends. We spent the next 4 days round the clock, non stop, insane baking!! It was an emotional time. We laughed, we cried, we were covered in flour! Over all I have mostly fond memories from that week...oh the pig tails :) I still have the recipe, and it is still as wonderful as ever.

Lastly I come from Jewish decent (several generations back). Growing up we celebrated some of the Jewish holidays, and traditions. Partly because of my family's heritage, and partly because the bible tells us to keep the holiday's Jesus kept. Of course he was Jewish so..... One of my favorite breads comes out of this. Hala Bread is the Jewish braided bread that is used every week in the Sabbath dinner. It is a wonderful tradition that I wish we still carried on in my own home. This bread is only good fresh, unless it is used in french toast or grilled cheese. I think it is only good right away because it is only meant to be used in one meal~Sabbath dinner~and not made again until the next week. It is a food that I hold precious because of the memories and legacy that has been left to me.

Before I go, there is one more thing I would like to leave with you.
Matthew 4:4
But He answered and said "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
Don't just feed your family bread, feed them God's word. While you are feeding your body today I encourage you to feed your soul.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Chopping, Browning, Boiling, and Spicing. We are Making......

Alright, here we go! Grab your pen, and paper. Get ready for some yummyness here this week! I will be doing a post a day on my favorite foods. Oh, what a challenge. I will be sharing some recipes, and keeping others safely locked in the family vault ;) If I don't post one you want ask me. If it's one I can't give out, I will find one that is similar for you. Even if I don't post the recipe you will have lots of ideas. Promise!
So are you ready?

Today is....SOUPS!

How much do I love soup? It is the best comfort food, well it ranks with mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and sweets. Those fall and winter days when the cold chills you isn't it wonderful to sit with a hot bowl of soup? Yes, yes it is. I love the whole process of soup. The chopping, browning of meat, the spices. Yum, I can almost smell it now. Oh yes the smell of soup slow cooking is such a wonderful thing to my nose. Then there is the dipping...bread oh bread, well we will get to that later.

My all time favorite soup is Irish Stew. So many flavors that play on your taste buds. I have experimented with this more than any other soup.

Next we have Zuppa Toscana. Ever been to Olive Garden? I have a recipe that will compare so well it will knock your socks off. Here you go:
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1½ tsp crushed red peppers
  • 1 large diced white onion
  • a few pieces of bacon
  • many cloves of garlic
  • 10 cups of chicken broth (bought or made with bullion, your choice)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
  • ¼ of a bunch of kale, although I love it and add almost the whole thing!
  1. Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
  2. In the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic for approxiamtly 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
  3. Mix together the chicken bouillon and water, then add it to the onions, bacon and garlic. Cook until boiling.
  4. Add potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
  5. Add heavy cream and cook until thoroughly heated.
  6. Stir in the sausage.
  7. Add kale just before serving.
  8. Delicious, severs 6-8.




The next, most perfect soup I am going to share with you is:
White Chicken Chili
This soup is so good. It can be made two ways. If you make it in a crock pot you will have a yummy broth, but if you put it in a dutch oven it will be a thicker creamer soup. I personally use a dutch oven. I love the creaminess.
Also, I don't measure things a lot so when I pulled this out to copy here I did not have any measurements written down, these are all approximates.
This is another one of those recipes that can be adjusted for your family's taste. You will need:
  • Olive oil
  • One or two large onions
  • Lots and Lots of garlic...I'm talking like a ton
  • Jalapenos~when I use these I only put in one or two fresh that I have removed the seeds and chopped.
  • 1 can green chili peppers
  • Minimum 2 Teaspoons Cumin, I put it Tablespoons of it!
  • Approximately 1 teaspoon of oregano, and cyanne
  • About 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red peppers
  • 6ish cups of chicken broth...you can use up to 8 cups.
  • Chicken, cooked and cut up, at least a pound.
  • Great Northern Beans~I use a full bag of dried and soak them the night before. If you want to use canned I think you would need about 3 cans
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Monterrey cheese. Use as much as you want~I use a full bag usually, but most recipes call for one cup. Just make sure you put it in far enough ahead of time to melt down and not clump.
  1. Saute onions, and garlic in dutch oven
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the cheese.
  3. A while before serving add cheese.
  4. Best when served with homemade french bread to dip in it. (Recipe to come)

On we go! Ready for some Minestrone? I have rarely made this, but I love throwing it together when we have nothing left in the house. Usually these ingredients will be on hand.

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • a few cloves of garlic
  • 6-8 cups of broth-your choice
  • a few chopped carrots
  • 1-2 stalks chopped celery
  • Several teaspoons of Italian seasoning or oregano, parsley, basil
  • a sprinkle of rosemary, and thyme
  • I also use Mrs. Dash tomato, basil, and garlic seasoning
  • Beans~Most recipes use white beans, but I use black and it is just as good. I use dried that I soak over night, you can use canned, (1-2 cans depending on how much you like beans). Just remember to rinse them as most of the gasses are in the juice
  • small pasta
  • 1-2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • zucchini cut into small bit size slices
  • Parmesan cheese to garnish
  • Most minestrone soups are meat less but I like to add meatballs, I cut them in half. You can also used ground meat or anything else you have on hand. :)
  1. Saute onion, garlic in oil.
  2. Add carrots, celery, seasonings, and about 1/2 the broth. Boil about 15 ish minutes
  3. Add Beans, tomatoes, remaining broth, zucchini, and noodles. (This would also be the time to add the meat)
  4. Cook until noodles are just hardly done. If you cook any longer the noodles will turn to mush as it sits. Check seasonings and adjust.
  5. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.
  6. Note: Many people also put in spinach. I have never done this but would like to try sometime, just thought I would pass that on.

Ok. Last one, my goal was 5. My husband just got home, so I will leave you to dream about his favorite soup: Ham and Bean. I make it spicy, so this is what you want to eat if you need your sinuses cleared out!!

Well, have fun making soup. Come back tomorrow for more tasty ideas, and don't miss the french bread to dip in your soup!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Giveaway

Hey all! There is this beautiful giveaway over at Like a Warm Cup of Coffee.
She is giving away Biblical wall art! The art is from a great company called Red Letter Art. They have so many encouraging things to place around your home.
My favorite is Hannah's Prayer. It is 1 Samuel 1:20 I prayed for this child and the Lord granted what I asked of Him. It is on black canvas and so beautiful. Of course, it touches me personally. So I am hoping to win, but sending you all over to take your own chance at winning. Good luck!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Coming Soon....

I love food! Boy, does it show ;) Soups, breads, sweets, comfort foods! Coming soon I will be doing a weeks worth of posting. My favorite foods, recipes, tips, and more! Stay tuned...