Thursday, October 28, 2010

Herb Bubble Bread

Herb Bubble Bread Recipe
(Photo Credit: Taste of Home)

I made this herb bread the same night I made Butternut Soup. Let's just say its a good idea I decided to make this bread. Soup = not so hot. Bread = one of the best things ever. ;) Seriously, this bread is so good! I found the recipe in my Simple & Delicious magazine and followed it except for using the frozen french bread dough. I decided to make my own bread (1/2 white; 1/2 wheat) and it turned out marvelous-ly. The only problem was I used too much salt. My hubby liked it just the way it was, but next time I will follow the recipe and only add as much salt as it says to add. This recipe is from Jen (only I halved it). She even has a video to show you how easy it is. :) Feel free to use your own bread recipe if you have a fav. Otherwise, here's the recipe:

1 Tbsp (or 1 package) active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm (105-115 degrees) water
2 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
3 1/2 cups flour (I used 1/2 white & 1/2 wheat)

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add rest of ingredients and mix until it looks like a big ball of dough. Dump the dough on a floured surface and knead for a few minutes. (If you don't know how to knead, all I do is basically fold the dough over on itself while making sure to get the flour incorporated all throughout the dough. If the ball gets sticky, add more flour to your kneading surface.) Place dough in greased bowl and turn once to cover. At this stage, I always have my oven warm, put a wet towel over my bowl of dough, and put the bowl of dough in the oven. Keep the dough in there to rise until its doubled - or about an hour.

Fast forward 1 hour. Take the lovely dough out. Sprinkle more flour on your kneading surface and knead the bread until the little bubbles are gone. :) Divide your dough into 16 balls.

Ingredients for the herb part
1/4 cup butter, melted (I used oil instead)
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp parsley
1/8 tsp each basil, rosemary, thyme
1/4 tsp dill weed

Mix oil and garlic in Bowl One. Mix cheese & herbs in Bowl Two. Dip each ball in Bowl One, then in Bowl Two. Place each ball in greased loaf pan. Let rise for an hour. Bake at 350 for 22-26 minutes. The directions say to put a piece of foil lightly on top if it gets brown too quickly. I can never tell when I'm baking with wheat flour and I hate it when I burn things, so I put a piece of foil on top after about 10 minutes of baking time, just to be sure... :) Cool for a few minutes. Serve warm with butter.

Mmmmmmmm... let your mouth water! Its that good! Now, go try it for dinner tonight, and come back and let me know your rating. :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spicy Sausage Fettuccine

If you're a fan of spicy & sausage, this is a great recipe for you!

Now for the disclaimer...this was the first time I ever cooked with link sausage. As soon as I opened the package and started to slice the sausage, I was slightly weirded out. There's this plastic-y stuff on the outside of the sausages! I had no clue what I was supposed to do with it...peel it off, cut through it and cook with it on there? So, I turned to my good old friend, the internet. According to Bon Appetit, you can snip off the end and squeeze the sausage out. bleah. However, according to The Spicy Sausage, if you take the casings off the sausage, it will lose it's shape and become more like ground meat, rather than those nice little disc-looking-things they are supposed to be. I went with The Spicy Sausage's method and voted to leave the casings on. My knife set is not the s
harpest thing on earth, so the sausage didn't slice very well. Bummer. After a long time struggling with casings, my knife, and the sausage, I finally got it all "cut" - or at least maimed - into smaller pieces. THAT is my sausage link experience. Back to the recipe.

All things aside, this recipe has an awesome flavor and is really big on it. The original recipe is from Simple & Delicious (of course) and is posted here. However, I changed so many things - some on purpose; some because I just didn't have the ingredients the recipe called for - that I thought I would just write out what I did rather than have an abundance of explanations after each ingredient. So, without further ado, here she is:

9 oz. fettuccine
1 1/4 lb link italian sausage, cut into 1/2" slices
1 medium onion, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup whipping cream (I used half&half bc that's all I had. whipping cream would be better, though!)

Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, cook sausage, peppers, and onion in skillet for 6-8 minutes or until sausage is cooked through and veggies are tender. Add salt, pepper & red pepper and cook one minute longer. Add tomatoes & whipping cream (or half&half:) and heat through. Serve with fettuccine. I mixed the noodles in the skillet and heated a little longer so the flavors would get in the pasta & not just be on top.

If you have any better ideas about what to do with sausage links, do share!! I am open to advice. :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dinner Forecast

(Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs)

Aaaaaand a dinner forecast for tonight: Spicy Sausage Linguini is on the menu. I don't cook with sausage terribly much, but if I do, it's usually ground. This recipe calls for links of sausage.

I am now leaving my comfort zone. We shall see how this turns out...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mocha Truffle Cookies

This afternoon I was looking for a recipe of something yummy to bring to a meeting tonight. Several years ago, my parents gave me a magazine filled with cookie and bar recipes. I have found this magazine to be a treasure trove of grand recipes! Actually, I've started writing in my magazines and cookbooks. Every time I try a new recipe, I write the date or occasion I made the recipe for, the turn-out, and anything I did (or would do in the future!) differently. It has been really helpful! This was a brand new recipe I had never made, but hey, the combination of chocolate and coffee has to be good, right? :) Well, it is! This is a very rich, dense cookie. Not the kind of cookie I can eat ten of and still be feeling fine. (Not that I have lots of experience eating ten cookies at a time or anything...;) I would recommend cutting the baking time down a little. Maybe 7 1/2 minutes instead of 9-11 minutes. Some of it depends on your oven. Pull the cookies out when they still look a tad bit glossy, but are set. Don't wait for them to crack on the top (like the original recipe directs) or else they might be overdone. Again, I learned this from experience. :) So without further ado, here she is:


  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Remove from the heat; stir until smooth. Stir in coffee granules; cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the eggs, sugars and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; fold into the chocolate mixture with remaining chocolate chips.

Drop by round teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 7½ minutes or until set. Devour!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Garlic Herb Braid

Garlic-Herb Braid Recipe
(Photo Credit: Taste of Home)

Mmhmmm...this bread is boy-howdy good. The recipe is, again, from my dearly loved Simple & Delicious magazine. love, love, love it! The combination of flavors is savory and they blend so well together. I strongly recommend this bread to you - even if you are somewhat skeptical of herbs in bread. I used to be but I have been whole-heartedly converted. :) Now, if you want a meal pairing, I suggest the creamy tomato soup with this garlic herb braid. Now that is a winner. Truly. Plus, this bread looks so impressive anyway. Even if it didn't taste good, you could make it just as a centerpiece. (ha! As if I ever spend time on centerpieces anyway. Another skill for another day. One of those days far off in the future. As in faaaaaaar off.) Instead of honing your centerpiece skills, why not try this bread? Plan it for one of your meals this weekend. You'll be glad you did. :)


  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) quick-rise yeast
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons dill weed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted


  • In a large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and seasonings. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, water and cubed butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add egg; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 4-6 minutes. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Divide dough into thirds. Shape each into a 15-in. rope. Place ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes.
  • Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Eat half the loaf. Prepare to be amazed by the fabulous taste. Begin to formulate an excuse to your husband for why there's only 1/2 a loaf of bread left. Good luck with that one. :)