Friday, March 19, 2010

Easter Egg Bread (from Taste of Home)

This is another one of my favorite breads for Easter time.  You must put the egg wash over the bread before baking, however, or the colored eggs will run - and that will put you in a bad mood (like it did me), and you won't want to make it again until someone talks you into it.  It is a delicious bread, though, and fun for the kids.


  • 6 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 to 6 hard-cooked eggs
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons cold water


  • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, cardamom and salt. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add 3 eggs; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  • Dye hard-cooked eggs; lightly rub with oil. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough into thirds. Shape each portion into a 24-in. rope.
  • Place ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; bring ends together to form a ring. Pinch ends to seal. Gently separate braided ropes and tuck dyed eggs into openings. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 20 minutes.
  • Beat water and remaining egg; gently brush over dough. Bake at 375° for 28-32 or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 1 loaf.
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 slice) equals 281 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 107 mg cholesterol, 231 mg sodium, 44 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 9 g protein.

Hot Cross Buns (modified slightly from

This is one of my favorite bread recipes.  I try to make these rolls every year for Easter and sometimes Christmas.  They go perfectly with a traditional ham dinner - and the leftovers are always fought over for breakfast the next morning.  You won't be disappointed!  They are a bit of work, however, so give yourself some time.

Hot Cross Buns (Makes about 2 dozen)

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for bowl, pan, and knife
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packages) active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/3 cups craisins
  • Bun Crossing Paste
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam

  • Directions:

    1. Generously butter a large bowl; set aside. Place 1 cup milk in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Heat until milk reaches 110 degrees on a candy thermometer. Pour milk into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. With machine on low speed, add granulated sugar, yeast, salt, butter, lemon zest, orange zest, and eggs. Add flour, and mix on low speed until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms around dough hook. Continue kneading, scraping down hook and sides of bowl as necessary, until smooth, about 4 minutes more.
    2. Add craisins; knead, with dough hook, to incorporate. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead briefly to evenly distribute currants in dough. Shape into a ball. Place dough in prepared bowl. Turn to coat with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
    3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Turn dough out onto work surface. Knead briefly and roll dough into a log. Cut log in half and cut each half into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a tightly formed ball. Place on prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart. Cover baking sheets with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until buns are touching and doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
    4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place bun crossing paste in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip or a paper cornet with a 1/8-inch opening. Pipe crosses over the surface of each bun. Transfer buns to oven and bake until golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
    5. Meanwhile, place apricot jam in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until heated through; strain through a mesh sieve set over a bowl. Brush heated jam over buns.
Bun Crossing Paste (Makes enough for 2 dozen buns)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour (scant)
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil and 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water. Add flour and salt, and whisk until well combined. Let stand 1 hour before using.

    Monday, March 15, 2010

    Pistachio Cake

    I do love a good chocolate cake, but I'd have to say this is my second favorite flavor.  It's probably just nostalgic for me as I used to ask for it on my birthday, but it is tasty, nonetheless.  AND, it makes a GREAT St. Patrick's Day dessert.  Try it!

    1 yellow cake mix
    1 pkg. pistachio pudding mix (4 oz)
    1 1/4 cups water
    1/4 cup oil
    4 eggs
    1 tsp. almond extract
    7 drops green food coloring

    Combine all ingredients together and beat for 2 minutes.  Pour into greased & floured BUNDT cake pan.  Bake @ 350 for 50-55 minutes.  Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Invert onto wire rack and continue to cool.  Drizzle with powdered sugar glaze (below).

    1 lb. (about 3 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
    2 T. melted butter
    1/4 cup milk (add 1-2T more if it's too thick)
    1/2 tsp. almond (optional)
    2-3 drops green food coloring (optional)

    Combine all ingredients together & drizzle over cooled cake.

    Creamed Asparagus on Toast

    If you don't like asparagus or hard-cooked eggs, you won't like this recipe, but I love it!  My Mom has been making it since I was little and it's a favorite for me.  However, I can't say the same for my husband & children, who call hard-cooked eggs hot & rotten eggs.  It's definitely an easy recipe though, and I think you'll like it!

    6 eggs
    1 1/2 lbs. asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
    6T butter
    6T flour
    salt & pepper
    3 cups milk
    Toast slices, buttered

    Boil eggs for 10-12 minutes, set aside in cold water.  Steam asparagus until done, but still somewhat crisp.  While asparagus is steaming, dice or slice eggs and place in a large bowl.  

    To make a basic white sauce, melt butter in a saute pan.  Add flour and stir until combined.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.  Add milk and stir until thickened.  Add sauce & steamed asparagus to eggs and stir together.

    Serve over buttered toast, torn into bite size pieces.

    Tuesday, February 02, 2010

    Asian Chicken Salad

    I got this recipe from an Enrichment night a few years ago.  Love it.  I often make it with breadsticks for a more filling meal.  I used steaks in this salad tonight, but I will say, the chicken is MUCH better.  Here you go:

    Asian Chicken Salad (serves 6 as main course)
    1-10 oz. bag fresh spinach (stems removed)
    1 small bag fresh bean sprouts, washed & drained
    1 small bunch green onions, sliced
    2 chicken breasts, trimmed & cubed
    1 pkg. Ramen noodles (coarsley broken)
    1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
    1/2 c. slivered almonds
    2 T. sesame seeds (optional)

    For the chicken, saute in about 2 T. oil. Season with Lawry's season salt & a little soy sauce.  Combine all ingredients together.  Add warm chicken & toss with dressing just before serving.  (Use dressing sparingly, or set some salad aside without dressing or crunchies to keep leftovers fresher longer.)

    Asian Dressing
    1/2 cup olive oil
    3 T. sugar
    3 T. rice vinegar
    3 T. soy sauce
    salt & pepper
    (Wisk or blend until smooth.)

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    Peanut Butter Bars

    These are one of my husband's favorites, so I whipped him up a batch tonight.  Thought I'd share this good old classic recipe.  There are many versions of peanut butter bars, but I find this one that mixes the peanut butter into the frosting is quite delightsome.

    Cream together:
    2 cubes butter
    1 cup peanut butter
    2/3 cup sugar
    1 cup brown sugar, packed
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. vanilla

    Then mix in:
    1 tsp. baking soda
    2 cups flour
    2 cups quick oats

    Press mixture onto a large cookie sheet.  Bake @ 350 for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  (You can bake in a 9x13, but they will be thick and need at least 30 minutes to bake.)  Top with frosting recipe below. Allow to cool, cut & serve.

    Peanut Butter & Chocolate Frosting:
    1 cube butter
    1 cup peanut butter
    1/2 cup milk
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 T. vanilla

    Stir together all ingredients over medium high heat until smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 lb powdered sugar (about 3 1/2 cups).  Spread over peanut butter bars.

    Wednesday, December 30, 2009

    Veggie Pizza (Wicked Stepmothers)

    2 pkgs. crescent rolls
    1 pkg. Uncle Dan's ranch dressing mix
    1/2 cup mayo
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1-8oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
    1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
    1/2 cup chopped carrots
    1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
    1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
    1 cup shredded cheddar or sharp cheddar cheese

    Unroll 2 pkgs. Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, flat onto a large baking sheet, gently pressing edges together to make one large crust. Poke holes in dough, then bake 10 to 12 minutes at 400 degrees.  Cool completely.

    Blend cream cheese, mayo, sour cream & seasoning package together. Spread over cooled crust.  Sprinkle mixed veggies & grated cheese on top and pat gently. Cut into small squares or triangles.  Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 hours.


    2 cans whole water chestnuts
    1 lb. bacon (cut slices into thirds)
    1 cup soy sauce
    2/3 cup ketchup
    1/2 cup brown sugar

    Drain water chestnuts and place in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup.  Add soy sauce and soak for a few minutes.  Wrap each water chestnut with bacon, then secure with a toothpick and place on a baking sheet.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until crisp.  Drain grease from baking sheet.  Stir together brown sugar and ketchup and pour over the rumaki.  Gently stir to coat.  Bake for another 12-15 minutes until glaze has set.  Serve immediately.  (You may wrap the chestnuts with bacon several hours or even the night before your party to save time.)

    Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    Buttermilk Rolls

    2 cups buttermilk, warmed (or 2 cups milk + 2 T lemon juice)
    1 pkg. yeast
    1/4 tsp. baking soda
    2 tsp. salt
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup butter (1/2 cube)
    5 cups flour

    Add yeast & sugar to warmed buttermilk (if the milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast, so just get it really warm).  Using a dough hook in a large mixer, add soda, salt, butter & flour (gradually).  Beat with dough hook until a soft dough forms that does not stick to the sides of the bowl.  You may need to add more flour - up to a cup more.  Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead a few times until you've formed a nice ball.  Coat a large bowl with 2 T oil and turn your dough ball in it a few times to prevent from sticking while raising.  Cover dough and allow to rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours. 

    Turn dough out onto your work surface.  Do NOT use flour at this point as the little bit of oil in the dough will be your friend while shaping.  Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 16 equal sections and shape into balls.  Allow to rise for 30-40 more minutes in a warm place.  Bake for 15-18 minutes @ 425.

    (Easy Shaping Method: Place two dough balls in front of you at a time on the countertop.  Put your hands over them, palm down, and begin to roll the balls quickly.  Your fingers should be arched with your tips touching the countertop, your right hand will move counterclockwise, your left hand clockwise.  The dough should catch on the outer edges of your palms as you slide it back towards you on the countertops.  The catching and rolling motion will make smooth doughballs.)

    Sunday, November 22, 2009

    Sourdough Stuffing

    Ya ya, this picture is not the greatest - it's from Thanksgiving 2005 if you want the tragic details.  I'll have to take some better ones this year.  And while I was looking for a picture of my stuffing to post, I realized I have absolutely no Thanksgiving pictures from 2007.  That is the real tragedy!  Very hard to believe too since we're such the picture taking family.

    Anyway, here is my stuffing recipe.  It is TAAASTY!  And if you don't like either!  But I LOVE it in this recipe.  I've never met a person that didn't like my stuffing, so don't be the first.  This recipe makes enough to stuff your turkey, plus fill an oversized casserole dish.

    1 loaf sourdough bread, cubed & dried or toasted in the oven
    1 8x8 pan of cornbread, cubed & dried or toasted in the oven
    1 box of Mrs. Cubbison's Seasoned Dressing

    1/2 bunch celery, chopped
    1 large onion, small diced
    1 lb. sage sausage, pick a good one, no cheapies (a bad sausage can ruin your stuffing)
    2-3 apples, peeled & diced (optional)
    1 cup Craisins (optional)
    2 cubes butter
    2 cans chicken broth
    1 tsp. dried sage

    I often make my cornbread a day or two before Thanksgiving and allow it to harden, but you can also use the oven toasted method.  The best sourdough I've used is a round loaf made by the Coeur d'Alene French Baking Co., but you can get it at Walmart - it's usually on the bottom or top shelf.  The two things that make this recipe great are the sourdough bread and the sage sausage, so don't use alternatives!

    Place the cubed & dried sourdough, cornbread, Mrs. Cubbison's boxed stuffing mix & Craisins into a large mixing bowl - or two if need be. 

    Cook sausage & extra sage seasoning in a large skillet over medium high heat until heated through.  Remove sausage from the pan and allow to drain on paper towels.  Add butter to the pan, followed by the onions, celery & apples.  Allow to cook for a few minutes or until slightly tender, but not mushy.   Stir cooked produce & sausage into the bread mixture.  Add chicken broth until moistened and stir again to distribute.  You may need more or less broth depending on how much bread you've used.  (You want the bread to be soft and a little wet, but not soggy or mushy.)  Now you're ready to stuff your turkey!

    Place leftover stuffing into a casserole dish and bake covered @ 350 for 30 minutes.  Remove covering and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until crisp on top.

    Note: You can prepare this the night before.  Just refrigerate the sausage/produce mixture and add to the bread & broth in the morning prior to stuffing your turkey.