September 26, 2016

DIY | Honey-Oatmeal {Bread Machine} Recipe

So Fast. So Easy! 

If you've ever wondered whether it's worth the money to buy an automatic bread maker, let me give you a little push. Just do it! By chance, I found a Williams-Sonoma beauty at our local Saver's thrift store and paid a mere $20 (see photos). There were several gathering dust on the shelf, and all were priced to sell. Go take a look at a store near you ...

My daughter shared this wonderful healthy recipe with us, and now I'm prepping for 2-3 loaves a week—in under 10 minutes. The cost of the ingredients is minuscule, especially compared to the price of a loaf of premium artisan bread. Even better, I know exactly what's in it.

For variety, sometimes I adapt this recipe by substituting agave syrup for the honey and steel-cut oats in place of rolled oatmeal. Occasionally, I like to add two tablespoons of whole flax seed too. Whatever way you slice it, this bread is delicious for sandwiches, morning toast, or freshly buttered straight out the machine.


12 oz water, plus a splash
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
2/3 cup regular rolled oats
3 1/4 cups bread flour
2 tsp rapid-rise yeast


Plug in the machine, and slide the non-stick handled container into place. (Make sure it "clicks" in securely to prevent loud wobbling when the dough paddle begins to rotate.) Measure and add all the ingredients in the order listed.

Lower the lid, set the machine on medium heat, push start, and then walk away. That's all there is to it! The machine will mix, knead, and provide two automatic rise sessions before baking the dough. Total cooking time is about 3 hours from start to finish.

Images: e-Mom @ Susannah's Kitchen & Garden

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September 22, 2016

Recipe | Pumpkin Pie Biscotti

Delightful for Snacking & Dipping

Ready to shake things up a bit? If you're eager to offer your guests something new and different this holiday season, here's a place to start dreaming.  

This recipe incorporates everyone's beloved pumpkin, but it's unique enough to take your holiday dessert course to a whole new level. If you serve espresso or lattes alongside for dipping, you're certain to solicit grateful oohs and aahs.


3-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin spice
2 large eggs, lightly beaten 
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup canned pumpkin 
2 Tbs butter
1-1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts 

and/or candied ginger pieces


1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir well.
3. In another bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients, including pumpkin.
4. Slowly add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.
5. Melt butter in a large skillet and brown macadamia nuts stirring constantly.
6. Remove nut mixture from heat and cool completely.
7. Note: Candied ginger pieces may be added to the nuts.
8. Gently fold cooled nuts (and/or ginger) into pumpkin dough.
9. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 portions.
10. Roll each portion into a 1 x 15" long log using lightly floured hands.
11. Place pumpkin logs 3" apart on lightly greased cookie sheets.
12. Bake dough for 25 minutes and then cool for 15 minutes.
13. Reduce oven temperature to 300.
14. With a serrated knife, cut each dough log diagonally into 1/2" biscotti slices.
15. Place biscotti on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for another 15 minutes.
16. Cool completely on wire racks.
17. Optional: Drizzle with melted white chocolate (see top photo).

Pumpkin Pie Biscotti with Candied Ginger

Source: Adapted from christmas-cookiesdotcom
Photos: kevinkise, jmackinnell (rotated left), rarahbahn, Akane86 (Flickr)

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September 19, 2016

Recipe | Classic Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Everyone's Favorite Comfort Food ... especially in autumn & winter

When the weather is dreary, or bad news is making the rounds, adults and children alike crave food that's primal and satisfying. We've all enjoyed a warm bowl of mac 'n cheese on a nasty day and felt much better for it.

This familiar recipe incorporates a classic cream sauce (bechamel) with the pasta. It's finished off with crunchy bread crumbs and browned in the oven. One Southern variation suggests the use of evaporated milk in place of the cream.

To dress this dish up, you can substitute half of the cheddar cheese with Gruyere, and add a pinch of nutmeg. If you want to save time, you can bake the casserole without the crumb topping (see below). 

Whether it's served from a baking dish or individual ramekins (below), this crowd-sized recipe is pure macaroni and cheese perfection!


Macaroni & Sauce:
1 lb dried elbow macaroni, cooked & drained
1/2 cup butter
4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp mustard powder
16 oz extra-sharp cheddar cheese (6 cups)
2 oz Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup)

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups bread crumbs (Panko or croutons)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 oz. finely grated Parmesan (1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp salt


1. Melt the butter in a large wide pot.
2. Add the flour to the melted butter, whisking together to make a roux.
3. Cook roux about 4 min. stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until golden.
4. Slowly add the milk and cream, and whisk the mixture well to blend.
5. Raise temp to med-high and bring sauce to a slow boil, whisking constantly.
6. Simmer the sauce until thick about 3 more minutes while whisking occasionally.
7. Add the seasonings.
8. Grate the cheeses and add to sauce in 3 batches. Stir until each batch is completely melted before adding the next one.
9. Add the cooked macaroni to the sauce pot and stir well to coat.
10. Fill a buttered baking dish with the macaroni mixture and set aside.
11. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
12. In a large pan heat the butter and olive oil together until the foam subsides.
13. Add bread crumbs and garlic, and cook them about 4-6 minutes until golden.
14. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in the Parmesan and salt.
15. Spread the crumb mixture evenly over the top of the macaroni casserole.
16. Bake casserole in oven about 18-22 minutes until bubbling and golden.
17. Cool casserole about 15 minutes before serving.
18. Serves 12

Source: Adapted from Epicurious
Photos: ThrivingVegetarian, vigilant20, minjungkim, nettsu, alaczek (Flickr)

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Flickr images shared on this blog are used under a Creative Commons License.