Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Challah Bread

 This is a good panini bread for smaller sandwichs, excellent for french is a large recipe so I half it...
 I got this recipe from my oldest daughter, all three of my kids have turned out to be pretty good is fun to share recipes with them. This is going to bread that I will make often for My Gardner Guy....infact chicken panini's tonight and french toast this weekend...

Challah Bread

3 T. Yeast
2 c. Warm water
2/3 c. Sugar (or honey)
1 T. Salt
1/2 c. Canola oil
7-8 c. Flour
4-5 large eggs

To a large mixing bowl, add water, yeast, sugar. Let sit for about 5 minutes. To that, add salt, half of the flour, and oil. Mix together. Add the eggs, mix to combine, then add the rest of the flour. Knead for a few minutes and determine whether you need more flour. The dough should be a little moist, but if it feels too moist, add more flour and continue kneading until it's no longer sticky. Cover and let it rise for about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough, dump onto a floured surface, and divide dough into 2 pieces - set one piece aside. Divide each of the two pieces into three pieces and roll into snakes about 12-15" long. To start your braid: line the three pieces up on the counter, join them together, pinch, and tuck under - then braid. Finish by pinching and tucking the end of the braid just like you did at the top. Gently place your braided dough on a buttered cookie sheet. Cover with a light towel and let rise for another hour or until it's doubled in size.

Repeat for the remaining piece of dough. Brush dough with egg wash - 1 egg mixed with a little water). Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes.

Makes 2 large loaves.

 Have fun.....

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Banana Nut Bread with a banana glaze.....tested, tested....recipe

If you look on the internet you will fine plenty of banana bread recipes, over the years I have tried many, but I always went back to my favorite one. In the past three years I have started making a banana glaze to top this delicious treat...My Gardner Guy loves it. The best thing about this recipe is that it freezes well. In fact I have a few grandcritters who perfer eating it this way (partly frozen). This bread is good with and without the special banana glaze. My Gardner Guy has a very sweet tooth come 8:00 pm every evening....with the glaze it's more like a cake to him!!!

Banana nut bread...

1/2 cup butter (or 1/2  cup of mashed banana) See notes below...Health-conscious
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp of baking soda disolved in 4 Tbsp of milk
2 cups flour
3 bananas (smashed)
1/2 cup of nuts (optional)

To start with add baking soda to milk set a side and smash up your ripe bananas. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla. Add the flour, soda mixed with milk and bananas....mix well and last add the nuts of your choice. Walnuts and pecans work great as well as taste great in this bread. This recipe makes three small loaves or one large one. The baking time for the small loaves in arounf 45-50 minutes, I find when I do a large loave it takes longer to get the center completely done. Around 60-65 minutes. To keep bread from getting to dry or brown the last 15 mintues I cover the loaf with a sheet of tin foil.Bake at 350 degrees...


1 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp. liquid (milk - water - fruit juice, etc.) I use milk
1/4 cup of dried banana chips grounded (I use small coffee grinder)

Mix all the ingredients and spread on warm bread......

Health-conscious cooks know that applesauce, prunes, pumpkin puree and mashed bananas may substitute for all or some of the butter used in baking. If you're lucky enough to have a trusted low-fat cookbook that already has done the calculating for you, follow the recipes. But if you'd like to transform a beloved traditional recipe, you may need to experiment. Sources like suggest replacing about half of the butter or other fats with mashed banana, while some extension services claim that bananas may replace all of the butter with good results.
Read more:

Drying your own banana tips...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dried Banana Chips...

Banana Chips - Homemade With A Food Dehydrator Versus Store Bought....

Once you dry these you will always want them in your's easy, tasty and good for you.

Homemade Banana Chips Are 100% Natural
Banana chips are a great tasting, healthy snack that can be easily made with a food dehydrator. Banana chips’s basic ingredients should consist of:
  • ripe or slightly overripe fruit

  • if desired, lemon or lime juice (I never use)

To make banana chips: Peel the bananas and cut them crosswise into about 1/4 inch thick chips. If desired, before dehydrating, you can dip the banana chips into lemon or lime juice to help prevent browning post drying. If the bananas are pretreated with citrus juice, make sure they are well drained and dried before placing them in the food dehydrator. Dry the banana chips at 130 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 8 to 10 hours. The chips should feel dry and leathery when done.
Homemade banana chips are a wholesome, healthy, 100% fruit snack that are easy and fun to make. They are very sweet and have an intense banana flavor due to the food’s reduced water content which intensifies the fruit’s natural sugars.
In contrast to homemade banana chips, store bought dried bananas are typically deep fried in unhealthy oils, like coconut or palm oils. These oils contain high amounts of saturated fats. Further store bought banana chips can be covered with additional sugars or honey. In fact, Self Nutrition Data lists a 3 ounce serving of fried banana chips as containing 44% of the daily recommended amount of fat and 123% of the daily recommended amount of saturated fat.
To recap:
Homemade banana chips – 100% fruit, 100% natural ingredients and sugars
Store bought banana chips – Fruit, but also unhealthy saturated fats and added sugars
Go with the real thing – home made banana chips made with your food dehydrator

Friday, February 3, 2012

Valentines for the Kids and Grandcritters....

I usually shop the after Christmas sales as you can always find candy to use for Valentines for a reduced price...this year I found some Martha Stewart packaging and some cute chocolate bears. I did not find much in the candy department to use for Valentines but there is a lot of stuff out now that will work for what I am doing. I wanted to fill each one with bake goods from the kitchen but I have a daughter expecting grand critter #10 so I had to make other plans. With nine kids, five married couples and 9 grand critters our Valentines list gets long...I love them all. The chocolate bears ended up being 10 cents  each after Christmas....nice deal!!! The Martha Stewart boxes were half off, baked goods from the kitchen would of made these gifts more reasonable but like I said in order to help my daughter (traveling out of town) I ended up spending more buying commercial candy...oh well. They still turned out cute!

French Macaron's....they look to good to eat...

A love affair with a French Macaron...    Just the sight of these brightly colored, beautiful light treats is enough to make your mo...