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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Triple-Berry French Toast Casserole

Every time I make this, I remember that it is actually easier than most breakfasts.  And even though the word "sugar" pops up many times in this recipe, I think it's probably healthier than regular French toast with syrup.  

First of all, it's baked instead of butter-fried on a griddle (which is how I make regular French toast).  It's got whole lot of whole berries--healthy, right?  And after we dust it with powdered sugar at the end, we don't add whipped cream or syrup or anything else--it's good with just a light sprinkle.  

Caveat: I let everyone dust their own, because it's so fun to use the powdered sugar wand . . . and they don't understand the word "lightly"--so maybe only my French toast feels slightly-healthier-than-regular-French-toast.

Maybe I am just justifying how often I want to make this breakfast, because no matter how you slice it (but you should slice it into 1-inch cubes), it's DELICIOUS.  And if you make more than one pan, it's an easy way to feed all your company.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Indian Vegetable Rice [InstantPot]

This is one of my favorite recipes for many reasons:

  1. It is so yummy that it can be eaten as a main dish, but it easily doubles as a side dish
  2. InstantPot.  It is quick and easy.
  3. I usually have all these ingredients on hand--make your own chicken stock every time you get a rotisserie chicken, and you will, too!
  4. My meat-loving husband never asks, "Where's the meat?" in this dish, because the stock makes it so hearty and flavorful.  Chicken stock means that it's technically not a vegetarian dish, but it's one of the few vegetable-rich entrees that Allen loves.
  5. Buuuuuut if you reeeeeeally want to, you can easily add some cooked shrimp or chicken at the end. 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Gingerbread House Mortar

Best possible recipe for holding together your Christmas time creations.

Those windows are made out of a sliced
3 Musketeers candy bar . . . the only good use for
said candy bar, in my opinion . . .
Here is a HOT TIP I got from my sweet sister Hanna: save unwanted Halloween candy for making gingerbread houses.  It only costs you the miles you put on your sneakers on Halloween night.  Since 2012 is the year our family SHATTERED our former candy record (we got 603 pieces of candy total!), we had a ton of candy to work with.  And you can mold Laffy Taffy and Tootsie Rolls into anything.

Leftover Halloween candy for decorating . . .
I assemble all the houses (just with graham crackers) while my kids are at school, and then we decorate them when they get home, usually on a Monday for Family Home Evening. This stuff only takes about 10 minutes to dry and harden.

Our 2010 creations
Our 2012 creations



My best friend Cori's beautiful creation--
she used licroice to make the "bricks"
Check out Cori's delicious recipes on this site.
My pink and purpaliscious g-bread house.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Pressure Cooker Chicken Curry

This is what my son, Brigham, requests for his birthday dinner.

And also once a week.

It's something the whole family enjoys, and the Instant Pot makes it something that I do end up making twice a month.  The thing is, everyone also wants to eat it with naan.  Sometimes I cheat and just brush flour tortillas with butter and garlic and give them a quick fry on the electric griddle . . . but most of the time I use this naan recipe, and add a little more time to my dinner prep.  

My number one tips for taking this curry to the top?

  • Make jasmine rice, for serving.  It's more expensive than your regular long grain rice, but IT'S STILL CHEAP.  And it's so much tastier, trust me.  If you don't have a rice cooker, it's the appliance that you've been waiting for.
  • I use the red curry powder from the bulk section at Winco, and I love it--but I open to trying new brands if you have suggestions
  • I often use a third can of diced tomatoes in place of the 8-ounce can of tomato sauce, and I actually like it better
  • Fresh cilantro on top
  • I have used powdered ginger in place of grated fresh ginger when I didn't have any on hand, and it was still super yummy
If I am making this meal for my family, I get the naan dough mixed and proving in the oven, THEN I get the jasmine rice going in the rice-cooker, and THEN I start on the curry.  And I can usually have the naan all cooked by the time the curry is ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The Best Whole Wheat Bread

This recipe makes five. honkin'. LOAVES.  

I have a Bosch mixer, and I really recommend you don't try to make five loaves unless you also have a heavy-capacity mixer, because kneading bread is tough on those motors.

I originally got this recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, which has never given me a bum steer, but I did tweak a couple things.  For starters, I used to use honey in this recipe . . . until my grocery budget went through the roof, because we ONLY eat this bread, and I make five loaves about every eight to ten days.  So I always use 2/3 cups sugar instead.   

After they have cooled, I freeze three loaves and get them out as I need them--since there are no preservatives in this bread, it gets moldy quicker than store bread.  I try to get them out the night before they are needed so they can come to room temperature on the counter, but sometimes most of the time I am sawing through frozen bread and toasting it . . .

Risen and ready.  I find I have good results when I put
them in a COLD oven, then turn the oven on
so they rise a teeny bit more before they bake.

Baked and ready for butter brushed on the top

My mother-in-law gave me two stonewear loaf pans from The Pampered Chef years ago--It was such a great gift!  I love how they bake so well that I have bought three more at thrift stores.  Actually, I have bought FIVE more over the years, but broke two of them . . . I am always on the lookout for more, so I have some ready for the next time I have a baking accident (just like on Into the Woods).  My loaf pans are so seasoned that the bread slides right out every time (but I DON'T recommend stonewear for any sweet bread [pumpkin, zucchini, Amish friendship, etc]--it sticks like crazy).

*Side note- I rarely buy bread unless I am:

  • making French toast
  • pregnant, and therefore too moody to make bread
  • deep in the summer of the COVID pandemic when even baking brought me no joy
I also always add a cup of 5-grain cereal that I buy in the bulk section at Winco.  It has rolled oats, rye, barley, triticale (triticale is a hybrid of wheat and rye), and flax seed.  I like to add whole grains because it makes your body digest the bread more slowly--so that the bread is not turning straight into sugar in your bloodstream.  Plus I love the chewy little bits--it's such a good texture.

So here you go, my second recipe card in a lonnnnnng time, and the recipe that I bake the very most.

Bonus photo: Brigham came home from cross-country practice in his shorts that he nicknamed "Minty Magic" and said, "Yes!  I love coming home to bread!  It's my favorite thing to see!" and proceeded to eat half a loaf.