Honey Whole Wheat Bread – 7 ingredients in all

homemadebread

Delicious and nutritious homemade bread

Well I did it, I made homemade bread, and it rocks! Here is the Honey Whole Wheat Bread recipe I used from allrecipes.com. There are seven ingredients in this recipe and a majority of them I had on hand. I followed the recipe exactly, despite some of the reviews, and it turned out beautifully. I may remove it from the breadmaker about ten minutes earlier next time because the crust is a little tough. But the bread is so very delicious.

We had breakfast for lunch today with eggs, bacon, clementines, and homemade honey whole wheat bread. It made me so proud to serve something so yummy to my family, they have such low expectations when it comes to bread. It has been bothering me for a while that the bread was the hold up in enjoying the sandwiches I make. I spend a lot of time making sure to get the deli meat and cheeses with no additives, organic salad mix, and mayo, but then you eat the sandwich with crappy store-bought bread and it just makes you kind of sad. But no more! We’ll see how many times I actually get around to making the bread. Ahh, good intentions.

The breadmaker is the way to go, that thing is awesome. The one I got was donated from a close friend who no longer wanted it. The behemoth was manufactured about 100 years ago, okay not really, but I found the manual online and it looks old, but it works perfectly. I would ask your friends if they have one sitting around they don’t want before buying one, I’m sure there is sad little breadmaker out there, just waiting to be loved. The whole wheat breads take longer to cook for some reason, I think it has something to do with yeast rising in whole wheat flour, but it took 3 hours and 40 minutes to make ours. It makes a lot of bread, I think I could probably do it weekly and have just the right amount for my family. And final bonus of this whole project, making your own bread is SO CHEAP! You can buy crappy tasting bread for a lot of money, or make your own homemade for very little money. YAY!

Daggone good pot roast recipe

potroast

Delicious Pot Roast

I found this Many Meals Pot Roast recipe a couple of months ago on one of my favorite recipe websites, allrecipes.com, and we absolutely love it. I made it today and my youngest had three helpings. She doesn’t even weigh 20 pounds yet, so hopefully that tells you something about the deliciousness of the recipe. The recipe meets my criteria because it has few and simple ingredients, most of which you probably have in your pantry/fridge right now:

  • beef chuck roast
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • onion
  • carrot
  • celery
  • diced tomatoes
  • beef stock

This is actually a sponsored recipe so I was skeptical at first, as I am of all sponsored things online, but after reading the reviews, I decided to try it. I did make several changes including only using 1 pound of meat, half an onion, 3 carrots, 3 celery strips, one can of tomatoes and stock as needed. I cooked the meat in oil like the recipe says, pulled the meat out and put it in the crock pot, then added the veggies to the pan with tons of spices like basil, thyme garlic powder, and parsley, as well as the salt and pepper. I added the stock and tomatoes to get the yumminess off the bottom of the pan, brought the mixture to a boil then poured it all in the crock pot on top of the meat. I cooked it 3.5 hours on high, then cut it down to low for about 2.5 hours. So six hours total cook time in the crock pot. We serve this meal over egg noodles and have yet to have leftovers. I will have to double or triple the recipe next time so we can freeze some.

Photo thanks to allrecipes.com.

Accidental stock

I needed to cook some chicken today for a Thai recipe so I decided to try something new, boiling chicken. Allrecipes.com has a Boiled Chicken recipe with very few ingredients, mainly water, vegetables, and spices. SCORE! I love when I want to make something and I actually end up having all the ingredients on hand. It’s like the stars align, okay not really that intense. Anyway, I started cooking and when the chicken was done, I pulled it out of the water, and I had stock. It was so easy. The stock is in my freezer right now in ice-cube trays, and I’ll be transferring them to a plastic freezer bag in the morning. I can just pull out the 1 ounce stock cubes whenever I’m making something that calls for stock. How amazing to have my own homemade stock on hand, with no preservatives, or fillers. I’m so proud!

Making your own stock is a real money saver, if you have the time, since the basic recipe is chicken, water, spices and veggies. I added some minced garlic and sauteed the veggies in oil before adding the chicken and water. Spices were salt, pepper, rosemary, and oregano. And bonus –  I used some celery, onion, and carrots that needed to be used or composted today. A smart cookie/good friend recommended saving celery and carrot ends when you chop up veggies, as well as any leftover fresh herbs you don’t need, and freeze them for the next time you make stock. Good luck if you decide to make your own, it is so simple and worth it, just do it, right now, go do it.

Rib Rub Spices

ribrub

Recycled glass container stores delicious rub

One of my good friends shared a country-style pork rib recipe a couple of years ago. The meat ends up really tender and delicious, mostly because you cook it so long, but also because you put a rub on it at the beginning. The ribs are so good, you will want to slap your mama! (I don’t know where that phrase comes from but it always makes me laugh.)

I use this rub on every single bit of pork that makes its way through my kitchen. We had a cookout recently and my husband used all of the rub on a couple of Boston Butts that he grilled for hours. The meat was ridiculously good, and my rub was all gone. So I had to make some more today, and realized you guys might be interested in having this on hand.  In the picture to the right I halved the recipe and used a recycled jelly jar to store the rub. I love how the mixture layered in the jar, and its so easy to shake out this way, just like the fancy spice bottles! I’m a nerd, I know.

Recipe:
4 tbsp paprika
1 1/2 tbsp cayenne
2 1/2 tbsp black pepper
3 tbsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tbsp onion powder
3 tbsp salt
1 1/4 tbsp oregano
1 1/4 tbsp thyme

Enjoy! Oh, and if you have kids, you might want to reduce the cayenne, it is quite spicy.

Easy Red Lentil Dhal recipe

I made this recipe tonight, from Pinch of Yum’s website, and it was awesome. This is one of the coolest blogs I’ve seen, they have fantastic photos, and a cool section called “Making Money from a Food Blog” that walks you through the steps of monetizing your blog, as well as offering great insider information. If you are looking for whole food recipes, or potentially starting your own blog, check them out.

I love learning new recipes, but Indian always surprises me at how simple it is. Okay, honestly I’ve made Indian food like three times, and I always choose recipes with a short ingredient list, so maybe I’m judging this food without really knowing. But anyway, the husband and I loved the Dhal recipe. The kids are going to have to have it about 9 more times before they fully adopt it. There is this saying about kids having to try things 10 times before they like it, and I’m a full believer in that theory, at least with my youngest. I’ve had to offer food to her over and over, and it seems like she has to learn the flavor and texture before she will accept the food. She even spit out the icing on her cake. She quickly picked up more and tried again, never looking back, but at first she was uninterested.

Anyway, if you like Indian food, have some time this weekend, and can find red lentils at the store, try this recipe. Happy Friday ya’ll!

Cake for all!

birthday cake

Delicious homemade cake

My youngest turned 1 on Friday. She also took her first steps the week of Christmas. It makes me feel old knowing she is growing up. Things are getting easier though, she is starting to eat many of the same things we eat. I won’t have to cook separate ‘mushy’ food for her anymore. I will have to cut back on the spice though, I tend to make things too hot for children. But, back to the point of this, cake! I made the youngest a homemade birthday cake and icing. It was insanely delicious, and used only simple ingredients, so it was perfect. The tradeoff was that it was tons of work, and made a huge mess. The cake uses Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate, and the icing is mostly sugar and butter, um, 5 cups of sugar. I can’t think of anything better, honestly. We used white icing and covered it in pink sprinkles, because that is what you do when you have girls. My house is vomiting pink. Anyway, just thought I would share this delicious recipe with you guys, in case anyone needs a special cake recipe.

We are staying in this year for NYE. Things have been so busy and hectic over the holidays, it feels nice to stay home and do nothing except raise babies. Maybe next year will be more exciting. Happy New Year’s Eve Ya’ll!

Oven Roasted Potatoes and Carrots

I love using my oven in the winter time – the roasting food makes the house smell so good, plus it really warms up the kitchen. And, when you roast things, the oven does most of the work! YAY! I originally found this recipe on The Curious Frau website, but I’ve made some minor adjustments for my family. It is so delicious, the veggies taste like candy. I make double what this recipe calls for, and we eat it twice in one week as a side. Seriously, you have to try it.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Ingredients:

Carrots and Parsnips (you can just use carrots if parsnips aren’t your style): 6-7 large ones
Potatoes: 6-7 small ones, I use red potatoes
Olive oil – 1/3 cup
Salt – 3/4 tablespoon
Pepper – 1/4 teaspoon
Rosemary – 1 tablespoons
Chili powder – 1/4 teaspoon
Garlic powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Directions:

Cut carrots, parsnips and potatoes into small pieces (you can peel, but I don’t, up to you). I try not to make the carrots any thicker than 1/4 inch thick. If they are too thick the potatoes will get done and the carrots will still be hard. This is where the magic happens, the smaller carrots taste so yummy! For the potatoes, cut them about 1 inch cube.

Put the cut carrots, parsnips and potatoes into a baking pan, the vegetables should not be more than two layers deep. I use a round or square cake pan.

In a medium bowl, pour oil and add in salt and spices. Mix well and then mix in vegetables to distribute the oil. Pour mixture into cake pan and put pan into oven. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. At 30 minutes, check the vegetables by forking them, if they are soft, the deliciousness is done. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then serve. “You may find that some of the vegetables stick to the bottom of the pan, but those are the really yummy ones that have caramelized, just use a spatula to get them up, the best ones are always on the bottom.”

The Curious Frau suggests this recipe is also really good with other vegetables, like apples, sweet potatoes or yams. I personally haven’t tried that yet, but it sounds fantastic.