Best Basic White Bread

4 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

3/4 cup plus  2 2/3 cups warm water divided

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon salt

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and room temperature

9-10 cups all purpose flour

3 Tablespoons melted butter for brushing 

1. In bowl of mixer stir to dissolve the yeast in 3/4 cups of warm water and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the remaining 2 2/3 cups of water, sugar, salt, cubed butter and 5 cups of the flour. 

2. Using the dough hook on low speed add the remaining flour while leaving mixer on low ( I have always ended up using only 9 cups of the flour) continue to knead with mixer for 8 to 10 minitues. Dough will form a ball, if it looks real sticky you can add the remaining flour a little at a time until just stiff.  

3. Remove dough from the mixer and roll gently into a ball, place in a large greased bowl turning over to coat on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45-60 minutes until it is double in size. 

4. Remove from bowl after the dough has risen and gently lay it on a lightly floured surface. Using your hands gently flatten dough just a little to remove any bubbles. Take a knife and cute the dough into 2 equal pieces. 

5. Place each piece onto the floured surface and shape gently into a rectangle and then roll dough from the short end, pich the ends together and then place into your greased bread pan seam side down. 

6. Brush the top of the dough with the reserved melted butter, cover once again with plastic wrap and let rise for another 45 minutes. 

7. Once the bread has risen to the top of the bread pan remove plastic and put into a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes. The bread will be brown on top and sound hollow when thumped on the top of it with your finger. 

8. Remove from oven when done and brush the tops again with melted butter . Remove from pan. 

I always take a cotton towel and once I take the bread out of the pan and brush it with butter, I wrap the towel around the bread and let it sit until cooled. 

The towel around the bread will make it nice and soft on top. Of coarse you can just slice it while it is hot to eat it but I wrap it first and then if we want it hot , I cut it after about 15 minutes. 




Oreo Cheesecake Bars

1 pkg of oreo cookies

1 roll of chocolate chip cookie dough

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 pkgs of cream cheese

caramel for drizzle

In a square baking dish , press the cookie dough into the bottom of the dish, place oreo cookies on top of the cookie dough. In a mixing bowl add the cream cheese(room temperature), 2 eggs, vanilla, pinch of salt. Mix until smooth and creamy. Pour mixture over the oreos evenly and then top with crumbled oreo cookies, bake at 325 for 35 to 40 minutes. Check them at the 35 minute mark so you dont over bake. Cool for at least 30 minutes before eating. Chill them if you like, Drizzle with Caramel before eating.

I double this recipe because it is not enough for us to have lots of left-over.


Caramelized Apple Crock Pot Oatmeal

Crock Pot Apple Oatmeal

2 pounds sweet or tart apples, chopped into 1 inch pieces. (peeling is optional) and I prefer tart apples.

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1.2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 cups of rolled, old fashioned oats

2 cups whole milk

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups water

1. Generously grease the bowl of a crock pot

2. Toss the apples, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice in a large bowl, then add the oats and stir.

3. Either in the same bowl or a new one, whisk the eggs into the milk until the mixture is very smooth, add water and whisk again. Pour over the apple mixture.

4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for around 4-5 hours.

If you don't like crispy edges on the oatmeal then keep and eye on it, or cook it during a time when you can check it often. I let mine cook overnight. We loved it.

Asian-Style Green Beans

Plain green beans are transformedd into a spicy Asian side dish-

a natural accompaniment to pork or roast chicken.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or 5 teaspoons vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

salt to taste

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1/2 to 1 teaspoon soy sauce


1.  Heat a large, heavy skillet with a tight fitting lid. When the pan is hot, add the oil and heat it for 30 seconds. Add the ginger, garlic, pepper flakes, and green beans and cook over hight heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 cup of water and a generous pinch or two of salt. Cover the pan and steam for 6 minutes, or until beans are almost fully tender. Check on the water once or twice; if more is needed, add 1/4 cup. Add the hoisin and soy sauces and stir. Cook, uncovered, until the water evaporates and the sauce coats the beans thickly. Serve hot.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Peach, Red Onion, and Tomato Salsa

Serve with chips or on grilled fish or burgers.


1 1/2 cups peeled and finely diced fresh, ripe peaches

1 1/2 cups cored, seeded, and finely diced tomatoes

1/2 cup finely chopped red onions

1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapenos, plus 1 teaspoon juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 to 3 teaspoons sugar

salt, to taste

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate for several hours.

Stir and taste occasionally, adjusting the seasoning as needed.

2. Transfer to one or more jars with a lid, cover, and refrigeerate for up

to a week.

Makes about 4 cups.




Italian Sausage & Two-Bean Skillet

In a large skillet heat 1 Tbsp. -extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add 4 uncooked Italian sausage links(1lb.);cook 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Add 2 peeled, sliced shallots and 1 Tbsp, minced garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, Bring to boiling;reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Add 12 oz. green beans and one 15-oz can rinsed drained cannellini beans; return to simmer. Cover;cook 5 minutes or until green beans are crisp-tender and sausage is done (160 degrees F). Stir in 8ox halved cherry tomatoes and 1/3 cup chopped italian parsley.

I love this recipe, it is so awesome in the summertime, and also even hearty in the winter months.  Be sure to use fresh green beans, it just doesn't have the same great taste with over cooked canned beans from the grocery store shelf. Remember FRESH IS BETTER!!!

Chopped Green Bean Salad With Manchego

Cut 1 1/14 lb. green beans into 1-inch pieces;cook in a large pot of salted boiling water 4 minutes.  Transfer to ice water;drain, In a blender combine 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1/3 cup minced shallots, 1/2 tsp. black pepper.  Add 4oz. finely shredded Manchego or Parmesan (I prefer the Manchego) and 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Blend until smooth. In a bowl combine beans, dressing, 2 cups farro, 3/4 cup golden raisins, and 2oz chopped Manchego  or Parmesan.. Season to taste.  Makes 4 servings.

Kentucky Bourbon Sauce

In a heavy medium saucepan warm 2 tsp. vegetable oil over medium heat. Add 2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces; cook until crisp, 3-5 minutes. Drain; reserve drippings in pan.  Add 1 finely chopped yellow onion (2/3 cup) to pan;reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until soft and goldn brown, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 clove garlic, minced; cook 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup bourbon;increase heat to medium-high. Boil 1 minute. Add 1 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup water, 3 Tbsp cider vinegar, 3 Tbsp. unsulfured molasses (not blackstrap), 2 Tbsp.  dark steak sauce, 1 Tbsp.  spicy brown mustard, 1 tsp. liquid smoke and 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat. simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in cooked bacon.

This makes a great sauce for your grilled burgers!!

Spiced Rosemary Nuts

3 cups salted mixed nuts

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the nuts, melted butter, rosemary, brown sugar and cayenne in a large bowl until combined.

Spread the coated nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Bake the nuts until fragrant and toasted, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

1 head cauliflower, stem removed

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup marinara sauce (I use Bertolli Marinara with Burgundy Wine)

Sliced bell peppers and onion, for topping.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment papr. Break the cauliflower into florets and pulse in a food processor until fine. Line a steamer basket with a kitchen towel(not terrycloth);set in a saucepan with 2 inches simmering water. Add the cauliflower, cover and cook 5 minutes. Drain well, then wing dry in the towel to get out all the moisture. Let cool.

2. In a bowl, combine the cauliflower with 1/2 cup mozzarella, the parmesan, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the garlic powder and eggs. Transfer to the center of the baking sheet and spread into a 10-inch circle to make a pizza crust. Bake until goldern, about 20 minutes.

3. Spread the marinara sauce on the crust; top with bell peppers and onion and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Return to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes.

2 heads cauliflower
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup golden raisings
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh parsley, torn

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut off the cauliflower stems, then place the heads cut-side down and slice into 1/2-inch thick steaks. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes, flipping after the first 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, add the pine nuts to a dray medium saute' pan and tast over medium heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the raisins and butter and season with salt. Cook, tossing, until the butter has melted and coats the pine nuts and raisins. Off the heat, stir in the parsley.
3. Transfer the roasted cauliflower to a serving platter. Pour the pine nut-raisin mixture ovr the top. Season with salt.




Combine 3 cups apple cider,1 cup pomegrante juice and the juice of 2 limes. Pour into ice filled glasses and top with seltzer. Garnish with lime wedges.



Combine 3/4 cup cold lager and 3/4 cup apple cider in a glass. Stir in 1 teaspoon jalapeno hot sauce: garnish with lime wedge.



Blend 3/4 cup each apple cider and usweetened coconut milk, 1 sliced banana and 1 cup each frozen strawberries, frozen mango and ice until smooth.



Combine 2 cups apple cider and 1 cup each pineapple juice, orange juice and cherry juice. Garnish with fruit.



Fill a small glass two-thirds full with apple cider. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, then sprinkle with apple pie spice.



Freeze apple cider in an ice cube tray. Simmer 4 more cups of cider and 2 cups raspberries in a saucepan until the raspberries break down, 7 minutes; strain and chill. Server over the cider ice cubes; garnish with raspberries.