Monday, November 26, 2007

DBC: Oatmeal Potato Bread

I'm a bread fanatic and everyone knows this. But, I have yet to ever made bread with yeast for I've always been far to nervous to do so. When I joined Daring Bakers, I knew that the challenges were going to be difficult. But, I told myself I had to try. At the very least, try. When they announced that the November challenge was to be Potato Bread, I instantly got nervous. "Oh no, oh no!" Were my thoughts.

I went threw with it though, and surprisingly, I've come to find that it's not as hard as it seems! Very time consuming and for any one as impatient as me, time seem extremely slow and seems like forever as you vigerously wait for it to finish. Just have to keep telling myself that it would be totally worth it in the end. And boy was it!

I added Oatmeal to my potato bread. Made it a tad bit more unique than just a regular old Potato Bread. But it also cleared some room in my pantry! I had some left over oatmeal so I just threw it into the mixture to heap it up. Though I was kind of skepitical in adding the oatmeal, being that this was my first bread with yeast, I wanted to try anyway. And it turned out lovely in the end.

So my first Daring Bakers Challenge was a sucess! I am so relieved that this came out and also glad to find out that making bread with yeast isn't all that scary. I was so nervous from the beginning, but so glad in the end. And now I have very tasty bread for the rest of the week!


4 medium to large floury (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 cups water
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp salt
2 tsps active dry yeast
6 1/2 cups to 8 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oatmeal

1. Put the potatoes and 4 cups water in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Add 1 tsp salt and cook, half covered, until the potatoes are very tender. Drain the potatoes and save the water. Mash the potatoes well.

2. Measure out 3 cups of the reserved potato water. Place the water and mashed potatoes in the bowl you plan to mix the bread in and stir well before testing the temperature. Should feel barely warm to your hand.

3. Add yeast to 2 cups all-purpose flour and whisk. Add yeast and flour to the cooled mashed potatoes & water and mix well. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle on the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and the softened butter; mix well. Add the 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup oatmeal and stir briefly. Add 2 cups of the unbleached all-purpose flour and stir until all the flour has been incorporated.

4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, incorporating flour as needed to prevent sticking. Place the dough in a large clean bowl or your rising container of choice, cover with plastic wrap or lid, and let rise about 2 hours or until doubled in volume.

5. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead gently several minutes. Divide the dough into 2 unequal pieces in a proportion of one-third and two-thirds. Place the smaller piece to one side and cover loosely.

6. Butter a 9X5 inch loaf/bread pan. Flatten the larger piece of dough on the floured surface to an approximate 12 x 8 inch oval, then roll it up from a narrow end to form a loaf. Pinch the seam closed and gently place seam side down in the buttered pan. The dough should come about three-quarters of the way up the sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 35 to 45 minutes, until puffy and almost doubled in volume.

7. For the smaller bread, Butter an 8 x 4 inch bread pan. Shape and proof the loaf the same way as the large loaf.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Snickers Nut n' Peanut Butter Crunch

My favorite candy bar just got better! Peanut Butter Snickers! Alright! I just recently saw this at the store and just had to try it! I remember a while back that they had these out, but before I could try it, they stopped selling them. And I didn't want to miss the opportunity to try these tasty candy bar! So I grabbed them right away!

The Snickers Nut n' Peanut Butter Crunch bar is a chocolate bar that consists of milk chocolate, peanuts and a creamy, peanut butter nougat in place of the original nougat of a Snickers bar. The creamy Peanut Butter nougat gives the chocolate bar a whole new, wonderful, creamy, delicious taste that your taste buds are having a party as you bite into the chocolate bar!

I absolutely love Peanut Butter to be completely honest. If I could, I would eat it straight from the jar all the time. However, one, that's extremely unhealthy, and two, I don't want to gain 15 pounds. So I distant myself from Peanut Butter for I will mostly over do it on Peanut Butter.

If your craving chocolate, nuts and peanut butter all at the same time, this is defiantly the chocolate bar to grab hold of! All of some of the most delicious things all put straight into a delicious and creamy chocolate bar. I would have really, really, really enjoyed this so much more if they replaced the milk chocolate with dark chocolate. The richness of the dark chocolate would have made it so much better!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sweet Country Cornbread

Cornbread is always a great side for any meal. In my opinion that is. With leftovers from Thanksgiving, I decided to make up some mini cornbreads. Some people like they're cornbread dry and some like it very cake like. I'm sort of in the middle of the two. I don't want it to dry, but nor do I want it to cake like. This recipe is a great one for people like me who are in between.


1 1/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a square 8x8 inch pan or a 9 mini loaf pan.

2. Beat milk, butter and egg in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients until flour is moistened. Batter will be lumpy. Pour into pan.

3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sausage Bread Stuffing

I am a huge bread fanatic! Anything that has bread with it, I'm all over it. So it's no surprise to find that one of my favorite dishes during Thanksgiving is the Stuffing. I absolutely love stuffing and I always look forward to having it when Thanksgiving comes around. And stuffing is so diverse that there is so many different combinations that can be thought up for stuffing!

For me, I always like meat in my stuffing. The traditional type is great and all, but honestly, it's kind of boring. To plain. I need a little bit more in it. Something to make it more special. And what I like to have in stuffing is little bite size pieces of delicious, sweet Italian Sausage! The two are just great together and make a really fabulous stuffing.

The stuffing was a complete hit for Thanksgiving and everyone, as well as I, very much enjoyed this stuffing. So soft and savory. It was very comforting. I wanted to add some broccoli into this stuffing, but we had a few broccoli haters at the house so I kindly didn't add any for this one. But, adding it would be delicious.


1 lb. hot italian pork sausage, casing removed
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 (16 oz.) packet Pepper Farm Herb Stuffing
2 tbsp. fresh parsley

1. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, cook italian sausage until sausage is browned, stirring to separate the meat.

2. Add celery and mushrooms and cook until tender. Add broth and heat to a boil. Remove from heat.

3. Place stuffing and parsley in a large bowl. Pour broth mixture over stuffing. Mix lightly. Serve immediately or cover and keep warm in a 350 degree oven for up t0 30 minutes.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ruth Chris Steakhouse

It was my 17th birthday today!

Well, not exactly. My birthday isn't till tomorrow, but we celebrated it today. How did we celebrate it? By going to one of the most awesome restaurants known to be! Ruth Chris Steakhouse!!

I absolutely love, love, love Ruth Chris! However, they're food is pretty pricey. So it's not something that you really get to go to all the time as would be liked. That is, if you don't have pockets full of cash. Which I do not have. But, it's good to go to for special occasions. Which is what was done for my birthday.

I'd been dieing to go back to Ruth Chris since I went last time, which was in the Spring for my fathers birthday. They're food in my eyes is like dieing and going to heaven. Never have I ever had such tasty, delicious steak like I've had at Ruth Chris! I'm not one whom really favors steak at all to begin with. However, put one of they're steaks in front of me, medium of course because I believe medium is the best way to have a steak done, it's just nothing that I'd ever had in my life. It's just so good that I can't put it into works.

And they're dessert! Oh my goodness the desserts!

A truly horrible picture, I know, but it's so dark in the restaurant that it's hard for my camera to take pictures in this kind of lightly. I don't favor flash. Nonetheless, you can still see by this sorry excuse for a photo as to how good they're dessert is!

This is they're Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce. New Orleans Style! And boy can I tell you; First bite and your in love! I swear, it's true love at first bite! Best Desserts ever is all I can say about they're Bread Pudding. Just truly amazing.

So my birthday dinner turned out to be one tasty one. Also, a extremely filling one! I stuffed myself, that's for sure! After a Petite Sirloin, Lyonnaise Potatoes, Broccoli Au Gratin and Bread Pudding; I think any ones bound to be stuffed! I don't think I've eaten so much in such a long time!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Chili con Carne

Not only did I wake up cold this morning, but I woke up cold, with out blankets! I had no idea that today the temperature was going to drop! So I was completely unprepared and totally not ready for the cold to pop up on me as it did this morning. I didn't even have the heat on nor did I have socks or long pants on!

So it was only natural for me to want something nice and hot to eat. Around this afternoon, I had a craving for Chili. Something I haven't had in some time. And I don't generally ever eat Chili except on cold days like today. Chili sounded perfect.

Its finished cooking at the right time as well. The temperature was dropping again and I was starting to get really cold again. So it finished at the right time. And was very tasty and comforting. To make things better, I got to enjoy this meal with blankets by a fireplace! Pure comfort!


1 pd. lean ground beef
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 tsp. baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. red pepper sauce
1 can (28 oz.) dried tomatoes, undrained
1 can (19 oz.) red kidney beans, undrained
Shredded Cheese (optional)

1. Cook beef and garlic in 3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; Drain.

2. Stir in remaining ingredients except beans. Heat to a boil; Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in beans. Heat to a boil; Reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until to desired thickness. Serve in a bowl with shredded cheese if desired.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Homestyle Chicken and Biscuit Casserole

There comes a time every once in awhile when you just need to have some really good comfort food. And I defiantly got my comfort food fix with this. Not only is this comforting, but its a great meal during this time of year. When it's cooling down and the leaves are changing they're colors. It's just suits this time of year.

I had been craving Chicken Pot Pie for sometime now, but, my mother did not want chicken pot pie. Instead, she wanted biscuits. A chicken and biscuit casserole and a chicken pot pie are just about the same thing. Just, the chicken and biscuit has no pie crust. However, the biscuits makes an awesome substitute for the pie crust!

I was very satisfied with this meal. It was so homey and makes you feel so good. It's why its a comfort food, no? I was also very pleased with the fact that my little brother, whom is incredibly picky about what he eats, actually ate it. He was skeptical at first as he watched me make it, but I threw a plate in front of him and told to at the very least try it. To his own surprise, he really liked it! Which made me extremely happy.

Both my parents were very happy with this meal as well. My mothers the one that wanted it in the first place, so she was pleased. My father enjoyed it very much as well. Though, he was disappointed knowing that he ate so much. Now he knows he's going to need to work out for a while tomorrow!


2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup
1 bag (16 oz.) frozen vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
1 can refrigerated biscuits
1/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine chicken, soup, vegetables and milk. Heat until bubbly and hot. Pour hot mixture into an ungreased 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top, then sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Arrange biscuits over chicken mixture. Spray a little bit of butter on top of biscuits.

3. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Ever had trouble choosing between a brownie and cookie? In all honesty, it's pretty difficult to choose between a chewy cookie to a delicious, chocolaty brownie, no? Maybe that's just me. None the less, the two are just so good that I find it hard at times to actually choose one over the other. Thus, instead of having to choose between the two, I did something completely different and made something to resolve the problem. I combined the two! Creating the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie!

The name itself is just screaming sin. But these are so incredibly chewy and decadent that you won't even be thinking about the fact that you are consuming both the chewy cookies and decadent brownies all in one. I cut the brownies in small sizes to help portion control and I couldn't help but aw at how cute and delicious they looked. I wish now that I added a layer of frosting. That would have made these so much better!

These a defiant must try! But, I'll tell you now that you'll need to watch the amount consumed!


Brownie Layer

3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
4 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Cookie Layer

2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 eggs
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13x9 in baking pan.

2. For brownie layer, melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add sugar and cocoa; stir to blend. Remove from heat. Stir in eggs and vanilla. In a bowl, stir together flour, salt and baking soda; stir into chocolate mixture and add chocolate chips. Spread into baking pan.

3. For cookie layer, grind oats in a food processor or blinder until fine. In a medium bowl, combine the ground oats with the flour, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon. In another medium bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, vanilla and lemon juice. Add the eggs and mix until smooth. Stir the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Add the chocolate chips.

4. Take the cookie mixture and add dough by rounded tablespoonfuls evenly onto brownie layer. Press down lightly.

5. Bake for about 40-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches in comes out almost clean. Cool completely before cutting. Cut into 8 rows by 6 rows.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Oreo Crunch Brownies

This is like my own personal heaven. Brownies plus oreos! I love my oreos, but I find that I prefer them when they're with something else. Like, with my ice cream, or, with milk. It's better that way; Better than just having a plan old oreo.

These brownies are pack full of oreos! Theres a nice crunch with every bite you take! Awesome, no? I always like a crunch in my food not matter what it may be. Ice Cream? There has to be a crunch. Chicken? Needs a crunch. Bread? Eh, well, maybe not everything, but you get the point, yea? The crunch bit to the cookies in these brownies has to be the best part!

I can't wait to give these to my friends tomorrow. Everyone now expects and wants me to have something to give when lunch comes around. And no, they don't want sandwiches. They're always looking for something sweet out of me. They know I love to bake so they're wanting something sweet, decadent and delicious! These brownies defiantly fall under that category!


1 cup flour, plus 1/4 cup flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. vanilla
4 sticks of butter
6 eggs
1 pound semisweet chocolate chip
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 tbsp. instant coffee granules
4 cups oreos, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 11 1/2" x 17 1/4" x 1" baking pan.

2. In a heatproof medium bowl, set over a saucepan of simmering water and heat butter, chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, coffee granules, vanilla and sugar. Blend chocolate mixture into egg mixture; cool to room temperature.

4. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture into chocolate mixture. In a small bowl, stir oreos and remaining 1/4 cup flour. Add oreo mixture to chocolate mixture. Pour batter into baking pan.

5. Bake for about 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

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