Archive for September 2012

Sep182012

TWD: Whole Wheat Bread

I’ve really been looking forward to this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie! I love everything about making bread and was eager to try out a new recipe. This week’s hosts are Michele and Teresa.

The recipe calls for malt extract, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find it at the store. Though some of the comments at the TWD site said you could just leave it out, I was intrigued by the ones who said they used molasses instead.

I decided to give that a shot and I don’t know how much better using the malt would have been because the molasses, as light as the taste is, is incredible! I also love that honey is used instead of sugar.

As you can see, one loaf was a little more enthusiastic in its rising than the other, but they both turned out great. It was torture waiting for them to cool enough for a taste test, but it was worth it.

I made these Saturday night and one loaf gave us toast for dinner (breakfast for dinner), eggs in a basket for Sunday breakfast, and sandwiches for Sunday lunch. We only started in on the second loaf this morning!

eggs in a basket

The bread is just dense enough without being doughy, and it’s perfect for slicing sandwich-thin. My biggest issue with homemade breads has been that they don’t slice thin enough for sandwiches, especially for kids (I’m a fan of the protein portion being bigger than the carb portion).

The ten minutes of kneading nearly did my mixer in, but she’s recovering, which is good since I need to make another batch.

Sep152012

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies

We had family roll into town for a much-anticipated overnight visit yesterday, and though I had an easy time deciding what we should do for dinner (taco bar!), dessert was a little harder. The amount of kids in the house more than doubled, so I wanted something that was delicious but not terribly messy.

I decided on a giant batch of cookies, and with fall right around the corner it had to be pumpkin cookies. There was the mess factor to consider though, so I decided to dig out an older recipe that doesn’t include the glaze.

After making it again for the first time in several years, I’ve decided that I like this one better than the glazed version. These are a little softer and obviously, without the glaze, not too sweet.

And they still make the house smell amazing.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tb vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Pre-heat oven to 350°.

In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, oil, and egg. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and vanilla and mix well. Add flour, chocolate chips, and walnuts and mix until just combined.

Using a cookie scoop or spoons, drop onto a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool before transferring to a wire rack.

Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

Sep52012

Bratwurst Stew

Bratwurst Stew

Yes, it’s another crockpot meal. Sorry! But not really because this is delicious.

Unfortunately I don’t remember where I got this one, since it’s just a text printout in my binder. I know I made several changes to it and didn’t want to print out the original just to have scribbles and edits all over it, so if I do find it again I’ll be sure to link it.

Anyway, this Bratwurst Stew is one of my top favorite crockpot meals. I realize I say that about most of them, but honestly, I’m just really not that hard to please.

Bratwurst Stew

Bratwurst Stew

4 potatoes, peeled and cubed (large cubes, about 1″ each)
1 cup chopped baby carrots
1 small onion, chopped
1 package raw bratwurst links
1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil

1 pint half-and-half
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold water

In order, place the cubed potatoes, cut carrots, and onion in a crockpot. Remove the raw bratwurst from their casings, and tear off chunks and place over the vegetables. Pour in the chicken stock, and sprinkle the salt, pepper and basil over top. Do not mix.

Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or until vegetables are tender and bratwurst is cooked through.

Stir in the half-and-half. Combine the cornstarch and water until smooth and stir into stew. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until sauce is thickened.

Bratwurst Stew

Placing the ingredients in order lets the vegetables all cook until tender, and allows the bratwurst, which is not submerged in the liquid, to brown and not fall apart.

Bratwurst Stew

Once you add the half-and-half and mix everything around (make sure you separate the chunks of bratwurst), the seasonings will get into the rest of the stew, so don’t worry about them only being on the meat.

Bratwurst Stew

This makes six generous servings, and is delicious re-heated the next day.