Honey Whole Wheat Bread

IMG_3256

I have no earthly idea why I have never posted this particular recipe before now.

IMG_3249

Most likely, it’s because I haven’t actually baked homemade bread since my boys were in their teens–and that–was a million years ago.

So, it was quite a lovely exercise to pull out my daddy’s old bread pans and the ancient bread cookbook–that was written in the stone age, before microwaves, dough hooks, and bread machines–and show myself that a pretty little loaf of the most scrumptious bread, can indeed be made without all of that fal-da-rall.

I’m really good at run-on sentences. Be brave.

I was waiting around, hoping to find my “I’ll-knead-that-for-you-ma’am” mixer–when it dawned on me that people have been making bread for a very long time, without a mixer.

Der.

Silly me.

IMG_3256

How does it taste, you ask? This stuff is light and fluffy with just the right amount of crusty, chewyness around the edges, that’s liable to make your eyes roll back in your head.

That’s how it tastes. Uh-huh.

I’m not kidding.

IMG_3261

You’ll need to sit down for this.

You can thank me later.

 

Honey Whole Wheat Bread
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • ½ c warm water
  • ⅓ c honey
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • ¼ c shortenting
  • 1-3/4 c warm water
  • 3 c whole wheat flour
  • 3-4 c unbleached flour
Instructions
  1. Dissolve yeast in ½ cup warm water in large mixing bowl.
  2. Stir in honey, salt, shortening, and 1-3/4 c water, and whole wheat flour.
  3. Mix till smooth.
  4. Stir in enough unbleached flour to make dough easy to handle.
  5. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic--about 10 minutes.
  6. Place in greased bowl; turn dough greased side up.
  7. Cove with warm damp towel.
  8. Let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 hour.
  9. Punch down dough and divide in half.
  10. Flatten each half with hands into a rectangle.
  11. Place loaves in 2 greased loaf pans.
  12. Brush lightly with butter
  13. Let rise until double, about 1 hour.
  14. Heat oven to 375.
  15. Place loaves on low rack so the tops of the pans are in the center of oven.
  16. Bake until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped--40-45 minutes.
  17. Remove from pans and let cool on wire rack.

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

IMG_2303

I found this luscious little recipe lonnnng ago, when my kiddos were small. Everyone who ever popped one in their mouth would say, “Ooooh,  chocolate AND peanut butter. Where’s the milk?”

It was definitely a family favorite.

IMG_2309

Then, we moved…like 50 times. Ok, maybe it just felt like it. ANYway, in all the hustle and bustle of packing and unpacking, and the kids growing up and having their own kids (what?!!), somewhere, somehow we lost the recipe. And no, I did not have it memorized. That would have been smart.

Gone. Gone. Gone. Oh, the tears we wept.

IMG_2304

Then one magical day, as I was sorting through an old recipe file that belonged to my mom, what should fall innocently out, onto my lap? My long, lost Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie recipe!! WA-dang-HOOOO!!! I still have no idea how it even got in there in the first place, but who cares? Can you hear me singing, “Re-u-ni-ted and it feeels so gooooood,” ? Well, I am.

Now, my friends, you are free to sing and dance and frolic merrily, while you eat these amazing things. But, the catch is–you have to make them yourself.

I’m eatin’ mine.

Don’t forget the milk.

 

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

3/4 cup butter

1 cup peanut butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 large egg

2 tsp vanila extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1-1/4 cups flour

Heat oven to 375 degrees
In a large bowl beat butter and peanut butter until creamy.
Add sugars, cocoa, egg, vanilla, and baking soda; beat until fluffy.
Slowly add flour and mix on low speed just until flour is blended.
Roll into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar.
Place on ungreased cookie sheet about 1-1/2 inches apart.
Flatten with a glass.
Bake for 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool for one minute before removing to a wire rack.

IMG_2301

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
 
¾ cup butter 1 cup peanut butter ¾ cup sugar ¼ cup brown sugar ½ cup cocoa powder 1 large egg 2 tsp vanila extract ½ tsp baking soda 1-1/4 cups flour
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanila extract
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1-1/4 cups flour
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In a large bowl beat butter and peanut butter until creamy.
  3. Add sugars, cocoa, egg, vanilla, and baking soda; beat until fluffy.
  4. Slowly add flour and mix on low speed just until flour is blended.
  5. Roll into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar.
  6. Place on ungreased cookie sheet about 1-1/2 inches apart.
  7. Flatten with a glass.
  8. Bake for 8 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and cool for one minute before removing to a wire rack.

Perfect Apricot Jam

…without pectin.

Apricot Jam

 Mmmmmm….toast and jam makes me really happy.

DSC_0009

I had to take a break from packing and painting and weed killing because some things…like apricots, just won’t wait. At the risk of losing them all, I decided to just drop everything and make some jam in my cute little kitchen.

DSC_0006

I wasn’t positive that I even had everything that I needed because I’m still living in one house while working on the other, and I don’t have my kitchen totally set up yet.

As it turns out, I found what I needed. I also found a very simple recipe without pectin, that–short of burning the whole pot to a crisp–promised to be pretty much fool-proof. My kind of recipe.

DSC_0007

So, you start with 8 cups of washed, pitted, and chopped apricots. 
DSC_0012

 Mush them around a bit with a potato masher. You don’t have to go crazy with this part–just smash them enough that you release a fair amount of the natural juices.

DSC_0013

Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice. I used bottled juice–but if you have fresh lemons, you can use them. Either way should be fine.

DSC_0010

Now add 6 cups of sugar to a nice, deep sauce pan. Stir in the apricots and mix it well.

DSC_0017

Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Once the mixture reaches a rolling boil, continue cooking for about 30 minutes. Keep checking on it and stirring so that it doesn’t stick to the pan and scorch.

DSC_0018

When it starts getting really foamy, I always add about a teaspoon and a half of butter–which usually calms it all down. You don’t have to do that–it’s just what I do.

Now I should have a lovely picture of pouring the beautiful jam into the jars, but since I was alone in the house, taking pictures of that process seemed like a good way to land in the emergency room.  SO…

you’ll have to believe me when I tell you that I poured the jam in the hot, clean jars and processed them in the boiling water canner for 10 minutes.

DSC_0001

Here’s my proof. That and…

DSC_0004

this.

Gr Signature

5.0 from 2 reviews
Perfect Apricot Jam--Without Pectin
 
: 5 pints
Ingredients
  • 8 cups chopped apricots
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 5 pint jars, lids and rings
Instructions
  1. Mash the apricots lightly.
  2. Add lemon juice and sugar.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
  4. Once it reaches a rolling boil, continue boiling for about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and pour into clean, hot jars.
  6. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
  7. Let set for a few hours until cans seal
  8. :]

:: Boston Cream Cake ::

014

Oooh-oooh. Boston Cream Cake in all it’s scrumptious glory. In a hurry? Need a dessert like…NOW?  Well, my friends, you’re in luck.

Easy. Quick. Yummy beyond belief.

And I mean it.

001

Oh, and don’t be confused–or alarmed by the pictures. We tripled the recipe–hence, three of everything. Your eyes work just fine.

Luckily, 3 fit in a 9 x 13 Pyrex pan just perfectly. About the right amount for this crazy crowd.

:}

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups cold half-and-half cream

1 small package instant French vanilla pudding mix

1 loaf frozen pound cake, thawed

3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons baking cocoa

4 to 5 teaspoons hot water

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together cream and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set.

002

Cut cake into three horizontal layers.

003

Place bottom layer on a serving plate.

004

Top with half of the pudding.

005

Repeat layers.

008

Top with third cake layer.

010

In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa and enough water to reach desired spreading consistency.

Spread over top of cake, letting glaze drizzle down sides.

015

We served ours with fresh strawberries…

019

and it was gone in exactly 12 minutes of a hurricane-type eating frenzy.

It wasn’t my fault…but it was an incredible 12 minutes.

See for yourself.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Boston Cream Cake
 
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups cold half-and-half cream
  • 1 small package instant French vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 loaf frozen pound cake, thawed
  • ¾ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 4 to 5 teaspoons hot water
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together cream and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set.
  2. Cut cake into three horizontal layers.
  3. Place bottom layer on a serving plate; top with half of the pudding.
  4. Repeat layers.
  5. Top with third cake layer. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, cocoa and enough water to reach desired spreading consistency.
  6. Spread over top of cake, letting glaze drizzle down sides.