Tag Archives: bread

Anytime I can incorporate my lil’ monkey into helping with a recipe I jump at the chance. I loved that this bread incorporated dyed eggs, because it gave me an excuse to dye eggs with my daughter. We are running off to St. Louis for Easter to visit family, so no long post with this pretty loaf of bread. Just the point to remember to spend time with your loved ones and do something special. Dying Easter eggs was always a special memory of mine when I was little and I loved sharing it with my daughter now. Happy Easter!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Italian Easter Bread

INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 c.all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. salt
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2/3 c. milk
2 T. butter
2 eggs 5 whole eggs, dyed if desired
2 T. butter, melted
2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. milk

GUIDANCE
Combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast; stir well. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan; heat until milk is warm and butter is softened but not melted.

Gradually add the milk and butter to the flour mixture; stirring constantly. Add two eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal size rounds; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each round into a long roll about 36 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick. Using the two long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring, leaving spaces for the five colored eggs. Seal the ends of the ring together and use your fingers to slide the eggs between the braids of dough.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place loaf on a buttered baking sheet and cover loosely with a damp towel. Place loaf in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Brush risen loaf with melted butter.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden. Mix powdered sugar with milk and pour over warmed bread and ENJOY!









CountyFair7

Achievement Days in our county was the day that 4-Hers would showcase all of their hard work and dedication through their 4-H projects. Growing up it was often an exciting day where all our projects were awarded a ribbon depending on the quality, craftsmanship, etc. For me this day was exhilarating , because I would wake up REALLY early to make cookies, cake, and fresh bread. I always wanted my food project entries to be as fresh as possible. And it paid off, most of my food projects always earned the coveted purple ribbon.

Food wasn’t the only category that I entered projects for Achievement Days. Horse, rodeo, visual arts, photography, horticulture, house plants, clothing, hobbies and collections were some of my other favorite areas. 4-H was a very pivotal program in my life and it makes me sad to see the program dying in communities around the country. I could talk for 10 days straight about why these programs are important, but I hope by sharing this with you all, you may encourage your family or another family looking for a great outlet to create and foster a sense of achievement.

So this year I got to relive my 4-H glory days by submitting entries in the Dunn County Fair. I spent the ENTIRE day cooking my entries and I loved every minute of it. It was really fun picking out my favorite recipes to cook and be judged on. I made a yummy zucchini bread recipe that is the perfect solution to an oversupply of garden zucchini. I tried a new recipe, Chewy Maple Cookies. Although they did taste great, the appearance wasn’t what I was hoping for. Chocolate Revel Bars were next up, these are an awesome treat. Rich chocolate is paired with a cookie base that is accentuated by oatmeal. My cake was a Lemon-Lavender cake, which utilized dried lavender buds in the mix. And finally the big winner was the Pecan Pie recipe. This is one of my favorite pies, especially for the holidays. 

In the end, my hard work paid off and I won the highest achievement, best in class with my pecan pie. The pie crust is extra buttery and the pie filling is to die for. What programs do your families support; 4-H, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, FFA? There are so many worthwhile youth programs out there and most counties have a county fair too. I encourage you to get out there, create a craft, bake some cookies, grow some vegetables, make a necklace. Whatever you do, your time and effort will give you a great sense of achievement. 

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Best in Class Pecan Pie

INGREDIENTS
Pie Crust                                                                                          
3 c. flour                                                                           
2 t. salt                                                                             
14 T. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled     
½ c. cold water                                             

Pie Filling
Flour for dusting
1 c. corn syrup
¾ c. sugar
¼ c. brown sugar
2 T. unsalted butter
2 t. vanilla
½ t. salt
3 eggs
1 ¼ c. chopped pecans plus ½ c. pecan halves

GUIDANCE
Prepare pie dough by pulsing flour, salt and butter in a food processor into pea size crumbles. Add water, pulse until dough comes together. Divide dough in half and wrap in disks. Chill 1 hour before using. Roll dough into a 12 in. round. Fit into a 9 inch pie plate. Chill 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk corn syrup, sugars, butter, vanilla, salt, and eggs in a bowl. Fold in chopped pecans. Distribute filling evenly over dough, arrange pecan halves around the inside edge of pie. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is set, about 1 hour.

CountyFair19

CountyFair10

Lemon Lavender Bundt Cake {Blue Ribbon}

INGREDIENTS
3 c. cake flour
1 ½ t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
16 T. unsalted butter
1 ½ c. sugar
1 T. dried lavender flowers
4 eggs, lightly beaten
½ t. lemon extract
1 c. plain yogurt
1 T. lemon zest

GUIDANCE
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, sugar, and lavender. Add the eggs, then beat in the lemon extract. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the yogurt. Fold in the lemon zest. Bake for 1 hour.

CountyFair5

CountyFair6

Zucchini Bread {Blue Ribbon}

INGREDIENTS
3 eggs, beaten
3 t. cinnamon
1 c. cooking oil
2 c. peeled and grated zucchini
2 c. sugar
½ t. salt
3 c. flour
¼ t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder

GUIDANCE
Mix all ingredients together and put in bread pans. Bake bread at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes 2 loaves.

CountyFair14 CountyFair15

Chocolate Revel Bars {Blue Ribbon}

INGREDIENTS
Cookie Layer                                               
1 c. shortening                                           
2 c. sugar                                                   
2 eggs                                                           
2 t. vanilla                                                    
2 ½ c. flour                                                  
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
3 c. oatmeal

Filling
1 (15 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 c. chocolate chips
2 T. butter
1/2 t. salt
2 t. vanilla

GUIDANCE
Mix shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Set aside and prepare filling. Melt chocolate chips, milk, butter, and salt in microwave. When smooth add vanilla. Spread 2/3 of oatmeal mixture in a 9×13 baking dish. Cover with chocolate filling. Dot with the remaining 1/3 oatmeal mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

CountyFair18

CountyFair4

Chewy Maple Cookies {Red Ribbon}

INGREDIENTS
½ c. shortening
1 ½ c. flour
1 c. brown sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 egg
½ t. salt
½ c. maple syrup
1 c. coconut
½ t. vanilla

GUIDANCE
In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, syrup and vanilla until well mixed. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture. Stir in coconut. Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

CountyFair2 CountyFair1

Thanks to all of the volunteers at the Dunn County Fair. There were many excellent open class exhibits as well as amazing 4-H projects!

CountyFair13 CountyFair12 CountyFair11

 

 


DSC_0359 The key to life is compromise. I can’t tell you how many times I teach what compromise is to my students and how it play such a huge role in our everyday life in how we solve problems. I like to frame it in the sense of a “win-win” mentality. Finding solutions where both parties are happy, everybody wins.

Compromise is an integral part to friendships, marriages, and even solving problems with your kids. It can be seen in the kitchen everywhere! This little classic recipe is a perfect example. My husband loves banana bread. His Mom makes sure to make him some every time he goes home to their house. It is always waiting there for him in the fridge (he likes it cold). For me the thought of eating a banana is revolting, but for some odd reason I do love banana bread. I prefer lemon poppy seed muffins, breads, cakes; you get the picture.

So there were two lonely over-ripe bananas laying around and I could tell they just needed to be made into banana bread. In order to compromise, I thought I would add a little twist and add poppy seeds to my banana bread. They add a wonderful nuttiness to the banana flavor. It’s a great compromise, one in which everyone wins in my house.

This banana bread recipe has a great story with it. I made this recipe a few years ago and it comes from my husband’s family cookbook. In the recipe it calls for 1/2 c. baking soda. As I am making the recipe, adding a 1/2 cup of baking soda I’m thinking to myself this is odd. I’ve never used this much baking soda, it’s almost the whole box! I didn’t want to ask my mother in law for fear of insulting her and their family recipe, so I just went with it. Let’s just say it tasted bad, really bad. So lesson learned, there are typos in the family cookbook. Use your better judgement and don’t use 1/2 cup of baking soda unless you are doing some weird science.  DSC_0226

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Poppy Seed Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS

1 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 c. mashed ripe banana
3 eggs
1 1/2 t. vanilla
3 c. sifted all purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
3/4 c. buttermilk
1 T. poppy seeds

GUIDANCE

Mix butter and sugar together and cream well. Mix in the bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt and mix in alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until blended. Add poppy seeds! Put into two loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

DSC_0240

DSC_0264

DSC_0267

DSC_0283

DSC_0328