Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Bread Maker Bread

I have had a bread maker for a while now and I have used it lots to make jam, quick bread but never to make an actual loaf of bread. This past weekend I decided that I would use the last of the bread flour I had and make a loaf of bread.



I have got to say I was impressed with how it turned out. The whole process took about three hours in the machine and the smell as it's cooking is amazing! You basically just add all the ingredients into the pan and turn the machine on and let it do it's thing!

I got my recipe from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/17215/best-bread-machine-bread/



Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package bread machine yeast

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Place the water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for 10 minutes. Add the oil, flour and salt to the yeast. Select Basic or White Bread setting, and press Start.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Back from Vacation - Cranberry, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Dip

Back to reality!!! My husband and I got back this past weekend from two wonderful weeks on the beaches of Cuba! We both needed a break and to recharge the batteries and that we did. I'm not sure what any readers on here may have heard about Cuba but unfortunately food is not one of their stronger points. However, I have been there twice and this last resort had a lot better food then the first so I was happy.

Sorry for the stall content on here since the beginning of the year but I'm back and ready to bake/cook! This post I am reposting as I have yet to have the time to create anything wonderful to post but this weekend I will for sure! This was one of my first posts back in April 2012. IT's a super delicious dip that got rave reviews and I've been wanting to make again! This recipe I got it from"The Sweets Life" blog.

Recipe:
Cranberry, Caramelized Onion, and Goat Cheese Dip

Ingredients:
-8 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat)
-4 oz. goat cheese room temperature
-1 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese, room temperature
-2 tsp vegetable oil
-1 medium sweet onion, diced
-1 tsp sugar
-1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
-1/4 cup sugar
-1/4 cup water
-1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Directions:
1. In the bowl of a mixer, combine cream cheese and goat cheese until smooth. Beat in cheddar cheese until well combined. Spread cheese mixture into the bottom of a baking dish. Cover and chill for 1 hour, or overnight.


2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onions and saute until softened. Add sugar and mix to coat onions. Continue to cook until over low heat, stirring every few minutes, until onions are caramelized (approximately 10-15 minutes).






3. Remove onions from skillet and set aside. Add cranberries, water, and sugar to skillet and stir to dissolve sugar. Over medium heat, cook cranberries until they pop and are softened (10 minutes).


Once mixture thickens, stir in balsamic vinegar and mix in onions. Stir to combine and allow to cool. If not serving immediately, cover mixture and refrigerate.



4. Just before serving, spoon cranberry mixture on top of cheese mixture. Serve with crackers and enjoy!!

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Cranberry Almond Roll

I hope everyone had a very nice Christmas! Now we are moving on to ringing in the new year! However you know how I said I was done posting Christmas baking, well I decided last minute to make this one last log cake Christmas eve and it turned out so great it has to be shared!



The first thing I did was make my own cranberry sauce and let it cool. I have recipes on here for making cranberry sauce, but basically I used a two cups of frozen cranberries, a cup of orange juice and a cup of sugar and cooked it until I had cranberry sauce!



Then I mixed everything up for the cake and baked it on a big cookie sheet with edges. Once it was baked, I immediately turned it out on a clean tea towel covered with icing sugar and rolled the cake up gently while warm with the tea towel. I let it cool completed like that and once cooled, I unrolled and removed the tea towel. I spread the cream cheese, whipped cream mixture, then the cranberry sauce and sprinkled with almonds. Then I rolled it up again, as tightly as I can and let it set. I decided to cover mine with cool whip to hide some of the imperfections in the cake that happened while rolling it. I topped with sliced almonds and voila, a beautiful festive cake!



I got this recipe from Kraft Canada http://www.kraftcanada.com/recipes/almond-cranberry-roll-183617

Ingredients

1/2 cup icing sugar, divided
                
 
 

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Chocolate Toffee Icebox Cookies

Merry Eve of Christmas Eve! Christmas is almost here and as promised today I am sharing my last Christmas baking recipe for this year, Chocolate Toffee Icebox Cookies! I had not made a lot of icebox cookies before but I really liked the sound of these ones and they turned out really good, I was impressed. I would definitely make these again.



The key to a good icebox cookie, is getting the dough shaped into a log and then refrigerating the dough so you can easily slice the cookies to bake. The cookies baked well and kept a nice shape. I shared some with friends and family and they all enjoyed them!



I got my recipe from Canadian Living Magazine.

Ingredients

1 cup butter softened
1 cup brown sugar packed
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup skor toffee bits

Directions

In a large bowl, beat butter with brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.

In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into butter mixture just until dough forms. Stir in chocolate chips and toffee bits.



Divide dough into thirds. Working one third at a time, place dough on a large piece of plastic wrap. Shape dough into 7 inch log, flatten sides to firm 1 inch tall rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap, twisting ends to seal, refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.

Trim ends of log, using sharp think knife, slice logs into 1/4 inch thick rectangles. Arrange 2 inches apart on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.



Bake at 375 degrees until light and golden about 10 minutes. Let cool complete on baking sheet.



Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Peppermint Bark

3 sleeps until Christmas! I thought I had finished all my Christmas baking but I found myself making another peanut butter marshmallow slice last night and tonight I will make another batch of Bailey balls. Then I believe I am done!



My friend was doing this big bake sale fundraiser and one of her items was this peppermint bark. I really liked the look of it and I had all the ingredients so I decided to make a batch this weekend. Now unfortunately my white chocolate was old and that never makes for a nice easy spreading job, so if I have one tip it's throw out old chocolate and buy new fresh stuff when you are baking you will thank me later for that tip! I did manage to get the chocolate spread it's just not as smooth looking as it should be, but since I had the candy cane chunks on it, it still looks okay.

This one is super easy to make but you need some time as both layers need to set properly before you can continue. So give yourself enough time and start with his and end with this and everything will be great!

I got my recipe idea from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/185194/peppermint-bark/

Ingredients

 1 teaspoons canola oil
 1 package of semi sweet chocolate chips
 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract
 1 package of white chocolate chips
 8 oz of peppermint candies crushed                  


Directions

Lightly grease a 9x9 inch pan and line with waxed paper, smoothing out wrinkles; set aside.
 
Place the semisweet chocolate and 1 teaspoon of the canola oil in a microwave safe bowl and heat at 25 second intervals until you can mix it smooth. Pour the melted chocolate into the prepared pan, and spread evenly over the bottom of the pan.
 
 
 
Refrigerate until completely hardened, about 1 hour.
 
 
 
Place the white chocolate and the 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in 25 second intervals until melted and you can stir smooth. Pour the white chocolate directly over the semisweet chocolate layer; spread evenly.
 
 
 
Sprinkle the crushed candy over the top and gently press in. Refrigerate until completely hardened. Remove from pan; break into small pieces to serve.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Italian Chicken Pasta

It's Christmas week, is everyone ready? I think I finished up my baking this past weekend so whatever I have is what will be put out! I will share my last two Christmas baking recipes tomorrow and Wednesday for you!

This recipe is not very Christmasy, but I wanted to share it because I made it two weekends ago for dinner and it was a really delicious and simple way to make dinner for a large group. I made it in a crockpot which is also nice because there isn't a lot of mess to clean up.



I bought 4 chicken breasts and cut them up and added them to the crockpot with cream of chicken soup, a packet of zesty Italian dressing the dry mix and one brick of cream cheese. Mix it all up and let it cook on low for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally. Once you almost ready to eat cook up some pasta and serve this sauce overtop with a bit of Parm cheese. Delicious!

I got this idea from www.loveit.com (but their link seems to be broken) I saw it pinned on Pinterest.

Ingredients
4 chicken breasts
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
1 packet of zesty Italian dressing (dry mix)
1 8oz brick of cream cheese
Box of pasta

Directions

Add the chicken cut up, the cream cheese, soup and Italian dressing into a slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-6 hours stirring occasionally.



Cook up pasta and serve sauce over pasta.

Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a few days.

Friday, 18 December 2015

The Giving Plate Craft

Christmas is officially one week away! I can't believe it!

The last couple of years I have made a homemade gift for family and friends and this year was no different. I want to share my craft idea with you this year. This is an idea that I had gotten off Pinterest and the first time I saw it was in a gift shop. I was walking around an expensive gift shop and I saw this plate called the giving plate and it had this beautiful poem on the plate. I checked the price and it was over $30.00 which was crazy and I wasn't spending that much. I kept the idea in the back of my mind and a little closer to Christmas I started looking through Pinterest for Christmas craft idea. Lo and behold I found a blogger that had posted about making her own giving plates. I read her post and decided that I was going to try and make my own this year as gifts.



I went to my local dollar store and bought plain white plates. I ran them through the dishwasher and gave them a clean with rubbing alcohol. Then I went to my local craft store and bought a couple of enamel/porcelain pens. Lastly I printed out the copies of the plate the blogger has made with the poem on it and I started practicing my drawing. Now you have to understand that I am a terrible drawer. I thought I could maybe handle this because it was drawing a tree and I had a really good picture to follow. My plates turned out pretty good, I mean they look homemade but that was the point.

After finishing my 6 plates and letting them dry for about 24 hours, I baked them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. making sure that I placed the plates in the oven before turning it on and leaving them to cool in the oven as the oven cooled so as not to crack the plates.



Voila plates are done. I have been baking the last three weekends to make stuff to fill the plates up. I have posted most of those baking recipes and then as I was giving the plates away, I just wrapped them up in some cellophane and tied a nice Christmas bow on the front and there you go. A beautiful gift to give away that you made yourself.



I have gotten pretty good reviews from everyone that has received a giving plate. The idea is to refill the plate and pass it on to family and to friends but I have people saying they don't want to give the plate away! LOL That's okay, just remember to pay good things forward and you'll do the plate justice!



Merry Christmas everyone!

I got my giving plate idea from http://www.babylovingmama.com/2013/12/the-sharing-plate-craft-tutorial-joann-fabrics-50-off-coupon.html