Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I have been making the Honey Whole Wheat Bread recipe I posted a while back with good results so I thought I would try a new recipe this week. I settled on the Basic White Bread recipe from the booklet that came with my mixer. We don't buy white bread but I like it and I thought a homemade version wouldn't be so bad, right? Well, down at the bottom of the recipe it said, "Variations" and then I saw it: "Cinnamon Bread". The light shined down from heaven and I heard the angels sing!! Since the recipe made two loaves I made one plain and did the other as a Cinnamon Swirl loaf. Here's the deets:
The Ingredients
1/2 cup milk (not pictured, sorry!)
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour

Place Milk, sugar, salt, and butter in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl.

Add lukewarm milk mixture and 4 1/2 cups of flour. Attach bowl to mixer. Using dough hook, mix on speed 2 for 1 minute.

Keep mixing on speed 2, add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides (about 2 minutes). Knead on speed 2 about 2 more minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat.

Cover and let rise in a draft free, warm spot until doubled in bulk; about 1 hour. Punch down dough and separate into 2 portions. Shape into loaves. Place in greased loaf pans, cover and let rise another hour or until doubled again. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
Now for the Cinnamon Swirl! Take one portion of the dough and roll it out to a rectangle.

Spread with butter or margarine. I used the spray butter we keep around for popcorn.

Make sure it's all over the dough.

I also keep a shaker of cinnamon sugar in my cabinet for use on waffles or pancakes. Sprinkle it all over the dough.

Now roll up the dough like you normally would.

And put it in the prepared loaf pan.

Cover and let rise about an hour or until it doubles in bulk.

I had other loaves rising too and they were all ready at about the same time. The cinnamon Swirl is in the blue silicon pan on the right end.

Ready for the oven! About 45 minutes later....
Cinnamon Swirl loaf is on the right hand bottom. Let's take a peek inside:

Not as swirled as I had hoped. Next time (and there WILL be a next time as it is deelish!!) I will use more cinna-sugar. I actually ate two slices while typing this up. It's excellent as toast or plain with a little butter. I think I will make french toast with it next time I make a loaf :)


Tilapia Tacos

Something you may not know about me but it is relevant to this post: I AM A BIG FAT CHICKEN! When I try something knew it is very hard for me to post about it unless it is a big success. Recently when trying to find something, anything for dinner that would not involve another trip to the store, this idea popped into my head. I figured it would be something we horked down and forgot about never to mention again so I didn't bother taking any pics. I was soooooooooo wrong; it was insanely good! So yay for me but boo for no pictures on this post!
The Ingredients:
1 pound (about 4 or 5) Tilapia fillets
Chipotle seasoning
lime juice
fresh cilantro
taco topping of your choice

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle a shallow casserole dish with chipotle seasoning and place tilapia fillets on top. Sprinkle a little more seasoning on top. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. They probably won't be quite finished yet. Sprinkle on some lime juice and throw a little fresh chopped cilantro on them and check them again in 5 minutes or so. When the fish flakes easily with a fork, remove it from the oven and cut it into bite size chunks.
Get your tortillas and heat them up a little. Now add some of the fish and any toppings you like. I put tomato, a little more cilantro and some Creamy Jalapeno sauce on mine. PERFECTION!!!!! This is something we will have again, and soon. I promise to take pictures next time :)


Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

About a month ago, I happened across this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. I showed it to Raley and his eyes bugged out of his head. He asked right then for me to make them for his birthday treat at school.
The Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup Oreo crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I was out so I skipped this step and they were fine). Cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth.

Add the sugar and vanilla and mix until well-combined. Add the flour and mix on low.

Stir in the mini chips with a spatula. I added a little more than the recipe called for.

Get your crumbs ready. I blitzed some oreos in my food processor until crumby :)

Scoop cookie dough by spoonful and roll into a ball using your hands.

Drop cookie ball into crumbs and turn to coat.

Place on cookie sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes per batch.

Cool in pan about 2 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

I was a little concerned about having enough cookies for Raley's class because the original recipe said it made one dozen cookies. I only had enough butter to double the recipe which would be 24 cookies but there are 35 kids in his class! I don't know if I made them small or just got lucky but we ended up with about 55 cookies. I sent 40 with Raley and we enjoyed the rest. He came home with orders from his teaching team of three teachers to tell me they were very good. SUCCESS!!



Every family has one; a recipe they refer to as S.O.S. (the same old sh*t). When I posted our Dried Beef Gravy recipe, one of the commentors said her family called it S.O.S. The general idea is that S.O.S. is something you fix when you are out of ideas or ingredients. It can be modified a thousand different ways to suit what you have one hand and what you like. In Jayme's family growing up, his mom made it like this. Or I guess it is more fitting to say, after asking her for the recipe, this is what I made from what she told me.
The Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, finely diced
1/4 cup green pepper (or as much as you like)
flour (I use Kentucky Kernel Seasoned Flour)
milk (quantity depends on you!)

Brown the beef with the onion and green pepper until cooked through.
Start adding in flour until you see there is no more liquid in your skillet.

Stir it around a little and when you notice the meat is kind of sticking together in clumps, you have enough flour.

Almost there.....

PERFECT! Now start to add milk; SLOWLY.
Stir until the milk thickens and then add a little more until you have the consistency of gravy you desire.

If you used plain flour, this would be the time to add in some salt or pepper or both. It's also time to figure out what you are going to ladle this over. Jayme's family used toast, so that's what we are using. We made a few thick pieces from the bread I made Monday.

Ladle some gravy on top and enjoy! The real question is, or course, what did Jayme think? He thought it was good. He said he didn't remember the green pepper being in it and would like less or none next time. That's fine with me too. I was surprised that all three of the clones ate it up too. I guess we have another keeper here! What's your family's version of S.O.S.?


Honey Whole Wheat Bread

I am on the hunt for the perfect Wheat Bread recipe. I was going to use the one in the booklet that came with my mixer but it called for powdered milk and I had none! So I decided to go with the one on the whole wheat flour bag. When I got out my yeast I saw that it was Rapid Rise yeast and I wasn't sure if that would work with the recipe I had. Darn it! Why can't I just find a nice easy recipe somewhe---Hello! There's one on the back of the yeast packet. Alrighty then!!
The Ingredients
8 to 8 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 envelopes RapidRise yeast
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup oil

Combine 3 1/2 cups flour with the yeast packets and salt. Set aside.

Combine the water, milk, honey and oil and heat until very warm (120 - 130 degrees).

Gradually add the warm mixture to the flour mix; beat for 2 minutes to combine. I did have to stop and scrape but it may have been that I was using the dough hook instead of the paddle.

It looked a little like cream of wheat at this stage and I was more than a little nervous! Start adding flour until you reach that dough consistency. Just 1 cup at first and then by large spoonfuls. I ended up adding about 3 more cups total.

Knead on a floured surface, or in your mixer until elastic; about 6 minutes.

I did take it out and knead a little by hand just to check the texture.

Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

Divide dough into halves. Make a 7 inch by 12 inch rectangle out of each half. Roll up from the short side into loaves.

Place dough into greased (I use butter) loaf pans and allow to rise in a draft-free warm spot. I had to set mine in the oven because it's a little cool here today. It took just over an hour for them to double in size.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until done. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks. Now is a great time to taste too!

Oh heaven! May have baked just a tiny bit too long as there is a nice crunchy crust but I don't mind it. Very good and I am proud :)