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Make It Yourself: Grammy’s Winter Bread

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As the cold of winter sets in in the Pacific Northwest, us Washingtonians are hunkering down for the rain-filled season of gloom and grey. With the weather, comes my inevitable craving for good, old fashioned vittles.  For our cozy crew, this means herb crusted pork roasts and mashed potatoes, Dutch ovens full of piping hot soup, mulled wine by the gallon, and one of my (new) favorites… warm, crusty, buttered bread.

Now, I have to come clean on this one… the majority of the cuisine that comes out of my kitchen has been perfected over the course of many moons, but this crusty little baby is the first loaf of bread that I have ever made… EVER.  I used a recipe that I found in the depths of my grandmother’s kitchen.  It was written on a napkin and was hidden deep inside a recipe box that has been in the “baking cupboard” for decades and let me tell you what… there’s a reason why it was in that box.  Creating this little loaf of pillowey sunshine is nearly as easy as boiling water and the end result is delicious!

To start, gather up your ingredients grab your stand mixer and your dough hook, or a good ol’ fashioned bowl and spoon, and get ready for to partake in the easiest recipe you have ever made!

 

 

In your bowl, add three cups of regular All-Purpose flour (or APF as I like to call it), one teaspoon of salt, one half teaspoon of your active dry yeast and one and a half cups of warm water.

 

 

Now that you have all of your ingredients together, it’s time to get-a-mixin’!

 

 

If you’re using a stand-mixer, start her on low (this will keep the flour in the bowl and not all over your kitchen counters) and gradually increase the speed until all of the ingredients have come together in a nice pillowey ball and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Same goes for the old spoon and strength method.  Once the ingredients are combined and the dough pulls away from the sides, you’re ready to go!

 

 

And here’s the hard part… the wait.

After your dough has come together, just leave it in your bowl, cover it with plastic and find a nice cozy spot for it to proof.  The dough needs to rise for eight to twenty hours.  This may seem like an obscene amount of time, (I was shooketh when I read those numbers) but I promise you, the wait is COMPLETELY worth it.

 

 

I decided to make my dough at around 11 PM and let that baby rise until I came home from work the following afternoon around 6PM… so it sat for just under 20 hours.  I did make a few more loaves and proofed (the fancy term for letting your dough rise) them for different amounts of time within the criteria and they all turned out great!

Here’s what it looked like after proofing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

After my dough had proofed, I floured my countertops with a whole crap-ton of APF.  (This dough is extremely sticky and the liberal flouring really helps with cleanup.)  I used a sifter for even distribution, but regular old sprinkling works perfectly!

 

 

Once floured, I rolled and pulled and scraped my dough out of my mixing bowl and onto the floury countertop.

 

 

I de-ringed and dunked my hands in some flour and gave that baby a flip, tuck and roll.

 

 

You don’t want to overwork your dough so once it’s formed into a nice little button, give your hands a rinse and let that baby rise.

 

 

Thirty minutes is all it takes and while your dough is proofing again, you can start to prep your oven.

Crank it up to 450 degrees and get your Dutch oven (D.O), lid and all, in there to get nice and toasty while the oven preheats. If you don’t have a D.O., you can use any baking dish as long as it has high sides and a lid, but the cast iron really helps create that beautiful crust on the bottom of the loaf.

 

 

After the thirty minutes has elapsed and your oven and D.O. baking dish are both nice and hot, carefully slice an “X” into the top of your pillowey ball of dough and transfer it into the D.O. dish.

 

 

Pop that lid back on and get in the oven. Set your timer for 30 minutes and start to plan all of the delicious things you are going to do with your loaf once it’s done!

 

 

After thirty minutes has elapsed, remove the lid and admire your almost-finished product.

 

 

It was at this point in the breading process that I had to freak out a little… I couldn’t believe that I created something that looked so pretty and that smelled so good!  (Seriously, your house is going to smell like a bakery)

After having a quick peek at your loaf, toss that lid into the sink (remember, it’s HOT!) and get that bread back into the oven.  Your loaf needs another ten to fifteen minutes uncovered to brown that crust up and you’re in the home stretch!

 

 

It is now time to remove your D.O. from the oven and transfer your gorgeous loaf of bread onto a wire rack to cool.

 

 

You are going to be tempted to immediately slice and devour the fruits of your patience but the bread slices MUCH easier after it has had the chance to cool for a few minutes.

 

 

This loaf sat on the counter for about half an hour before I grabbed the serrated knife and got to slicing.

 

 

Mr. Pizza Arm approves!

 

 

 

Bon Appetit!

 

 

 

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In My Belly in 30: Zippy ChickParm

 

 

I’m  not one of those people that has time to be completely organic, Paleo, gluten-free, etc. Sometimes, I barely have time to sit down to eat at all. That’s real life for me. Maybe your life looks different. Nothing wrong with that.

The point is, I’m always looking for recipes that are delicious, easy, quick, and not completely horrible for my health.

 



 

When I find one, I add it to my monthly rotation, and I share it with everyone!

Hence, the idea for In My Belly in 30. In order for a recipe to qualify for this series, it has to be able to be cooked in 30 minutes or less, be uncomplicated, and fairly inexpensive, and not horribly unhealthy. Most importantly, it has to be delish!

 

The Dish

The first recipe I’ll share in the In My Belly In 30 series is my Zippy ChickParm. This is a super yummy and easy-to-follow recipe that is sure to please anyone you make it for.

 

So, first things first, we need wine. Today our selection comes from the Provence of the Target Clearance section. It was a whopping $2.99!

 

Get your priorities straight and start with a glass of wine

 

I almost always pour myself a glass of wine before I begin cooking because I am an adult and I can drink wine when I cook if I want to. I also feel like it gets my creative juices flowing. And I tend to pour a splash of wine into almost everything I make. Yea, sometimes my life is awesome!

Now that we have wine in hand, let’s do this!

 

 

Zippy ChickParm

Ingredients:

3 or 4 frozen breaded chicken breasts/tenderloins

24 ounce jar of marinara sauce

2 cups finely shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon white sugar

 

Ingredients for Zippy ChickParm

 

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees:

 

Oven to 425 ° F

 

Spray an 8 by 8 inch glass pan with nonstick coating:

 

8 X 8 glass baking pan

 

3. Pour about 1/4 cup (guessing is fine, exact measurements are unnecessary) of marinara sauce into the 8 X 8 inch pan. Spread evenly with rubber spatula to coat whole bottom of pan:

 

 

 

Gather garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, and sugar (yea, I use cheap spices, what you gonna do about it??):

 

 

 

Measure each spice right into the jar with remaining marinara sauce:

 

 

 

Put the lid on the jar and shake very well, about two minutes, to thoroughly mix the spices into the sauce:

 

 

 

Side point: The sugar is important, so don’t skip it. It cuts the acidity from the tomatoes. I always put a teaspoon of sugar in red sauces.

Ok, back to the recipe. Next, place three or four frozen breaded chicken breasts or tenderloins into sauced pan arranging evenly.  I use Tyson brand, which you can get a big bag of at Sam’s Club or Costco. I only use three, because there’s only two of us eating during the week (so that leaves an extra for Mr. OG’s lunch the next day), but four will fit fine:

 

 

 

Pour spiced marinara sauce over chicken breasts:

 

 

 

Spread sauce evenly:

 

 

 

Sprinkle about 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese over sauce. Then sprinkle the 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella over top of Parmesan. Splitting the cheese this way makes sure the Parm doesn’t get really hard on top, and both cheeses melt evenly:

 

 

 

Place dish on center rack of preheated oven:

 

 

 

 

Set timer for 25 minutes:

 

 

At this point, I like to make sure and pour myself a second glass of wine, because it take a lot of sips to get through food prep.

While the timer is going, make your sides. I like to keep it simple. I usually boil some thin spaghetti noodles (use any kind of noodle you like), and simmer some canned or fresh green beans in butter, salt and pepper. Texas toast or garlic bread is a yummy side, too.

After 25 minutes, your ChickParm should look like this:

 

 

 

Yummers!! Serve over the noodles!

 

 

 

There’s your gorgeous Zippy ChickParm! Don’t forget to pour yourself another glass of wine before digging in!

Like I promised, if you followed the instructions correctly, you will have a yummy hot meal in 30 minutes from start to finish! Also, you will likely be a little bit tipsy. What’s bad about that?

Bon Appetit!!

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

 

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Six Easy and Creative Ideas For Thanksgiving Leftovers

 

 

Hello Broads! Now that we have all risen from our holiday-induced food comas, we have to address the pounds and pounds of leftovers free-riding in the kitchen.

 



 

What to do? Sure, today you’re eating turkey sammiches with cranberry sauce and cream cheese, but isn’t there more? What else can you concoct with these marvelous heaping piles of left-behinds?

The following are six of my favorite unique ideas for your leftovers that will be as good, if not better, than the original feast!

 

 

Eggnog French Toast Casserole with Cranberry Compote

 

 

 

This works best if bread is slightly dry or stale for maximum absorption. You can leave bread out overnight. If you forget, no biggie.

 

Casserole Ingredients:

4 large eggs

4 cups eggnog

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cloves

8 large slices slightly stale bread

 

Compote Ingredients:

2 cups cranberry sauce

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup wine

 

Instructions:

Grease a 9 by 12 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange 8 pieces of bread in dish, slightly overlapping each other.

Whisk together first six ingredients until well blended. Pour over bread, coating evenly. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Leave dish covered with foil and bake for 25 minutes.

 

For cranberry compote:

In medium saucepan, combine leftover cranberry sauce, vanilla, brown sugar, and wine (red or white, or even the stale champagne leftover from last night). Bring to boil. Turn heat down and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until thickened up.

Serve 2 pieces french toast topped with 1/2 cup cranberry compote. Drizzle with pure maple syrup.

 

 

Breakfast Stuffing Hash

 

 

Breakfast hashes are great ways to use up leftovers from lots of different types of meals. A day-after-thanksgiving hash is one of the best! You will make this part of your yearly tradition after trying it once.

 

Ingredients:

6 slices bacon, diced

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)

1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced

2 cups frozen diced potatoes

1 cup stuffing

1 cup diced turkey

1 cup shredded cheese

 

Instructions:

In a large heavy cast iron skillet, saute diced bacon over medium heat, until slightly crisp. Remove to paper towel to drain.

Melt butter in bacon grease. Toss in diced onions and frozen potatoes, and cook until potatoes are golden brown and onions are translucent, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Return bacon to pan, and mix in stuffing and diced turkey. Cook until everything is heated through. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Serve topped with an over-easy or over-medium fried egg.

 

 

Mashed Potato Bowls:

 

 

I love mashed potato bowls! Something about the layers of amazing leftovers mixing together, so you get a bit of each in every bite, is just perfect and comforting. These one-dish-wonders are easy and forgiving, and you can put pretty much anything you want in them. Here’s my favorite way to have them:

 

Ingredients:

Mashed potatoes

Stuffing

Turkey, shredded or diced

Green beans

Gravy

Shredded cheese

 

Instructions:

Layer ingredients in order in a microwave safe bowl. I usually put about even amounts of each (with extra gravy, of course), but adjust according to your taste. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Bon appetit!

 

 

Turkey Pot Pie:

 

 

Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, taught me how to make fantastic turkey pot pie. I add a few of my own little twists, but credit goes to Ree for the basis of this deliciousness.

 

Ingredients:

2 frozen pie crust sheets

2 cups chopped turkey

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced carrot

splash of Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup frozen peas

salt and pepper, to taste

 

Instructions:

I try keep pre-made pie crust sheets and frozen peas in my freezer, which makes this dish a cinch.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Melt a stick of butter in a deep skillet on medium heat. Add diced onion, celery, and carrot. Stir in a splash of Worcestershire sauce and paprika (i like to use Smoked Spanish paprika). Saute until veggies become slightly translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.

While veggies are sauteing, coat your 8 or 9 inch pie pan with cooking spray, and press a pie crust sheet into it.

Add roughly chopped leftover turkey to veggies and let warm up for about a minute. Then mix in flour. You want to get the starchy taste out of the flour, so let mixture simmer for about 4 or 5 minutes. Stir in low sodium chicken broth, heavy cream, and frozen peas. Allow to come to a soft boil, stirring frequently so cream doesn’t scorch. When it has thickened up, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour mixture into prepared pie crust. Top with another sheet of pie crust. Trim both about 1/2 inch wider than the pie pan, and crimp bottom and top crusts together by pressing with a fork. Make four small slits in center to allow steam out.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until bubbly and crust is golden brown. Cool for 20 minutes before serving.

 

 

Fancy Turkey Salad

 

 

This is such a versatile salad! You can eat it alone, on bread, in a wrap, or over a couple of cups of greens. The Greek yogurt keeps the base healthier and less fatty, but the mayonnaise retains a needed creaminess. This beats plain old turkey on rye!

 

Ingredients:

2 cups diced leftover turkey

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 sticks celery, diced

1 medium apple, diced

1/2 cup finely sliced green onion

1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon dried mustard powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1/2 cup raisins, lettuce, 1/4 cup cranberry sauce

 

Instructions:

Combine turkey, almonds, celery, apple and green onion in large bowl and stir until combined.

Mix Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, dried mustard, salt and pepper in smaller bowl. Stir very well, then add to larger bowl with turkey. Toss everything together. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow flavors to marry, if possible.

I like to spread cranberry sauce over two slices of bread, add a piece of lettuce and about 2/3 cups of turkey salad and enjoy!

 

 

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

 

 

Pie milkshakes are a stroke of genius. Whoever the hell thought of stuffing a piece of pie into a blender with ice cream was a hero. They probably rescued children from burning houses and kittens from trees on the daily.

This milkshake is nothing short of decadent! One piece of pie make 2 milkshakes. Just in case you need another!

 

Ingredients:

1 piece of pumpkin pie (1/8 of the pie)

2 cups vanilla ice cream

1 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Whipped cream and nutmeg for garnish

 

Instructions:

Add all ingredients except whipped cream garnish nutmeg into blender. Cover and blend on medium speed until there are no chunks left. Pour into two glasses. Top with whipped cream and a pinch of nutmeg and enjoy!

 

 

There you have it! My top favorite recipes to create with the stacks of leftovers from Thanksgiving.

Now you won’t get sick of turkey sammiches and just end up throwing away all those leftovers. Waste not want not, they say!

In fact, after trying each of these, I bet you’ll start looking forward to the days after Thanksgiving just as much as the actual day!

 

Happy Holidays Broads! Now get those Christmas trees up!

 

 

 

**I love to hear from my readers. If you have a thought or opinion about something in this article, please comment! Let’s get a convo started!**

 

Like what you read? Subscribe to The Bonafide Broad to get this kind of exclusive content right in your inbox! Just click this link and enter your email addy!

Do your friends and family a solid and share this post so they can benefit from it, too! Just click the appropriate button below to share it to your preferred social media platform. Thank you for supporting The Bonafide Broad!