Monday, November 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 70

Time to move on from the Thanksgiving leftovers! Besides eating all the leftovers on Friday, I made Turkey/Rice Soup on Saturday and BBQ turkey on a bun on Sunday (with the BBQ sauce from this meatball recipe). Here's what we're eating the rest of the week:
Sunday--BBQ turkey on a bun, coleslaw, chips
Monday--Chili Mac
Tuesday--Chicken breasts, rice, veggie
Wednesday--Potato Soup
Thursday--Not sure yet, I need to go grocery shopping and haven't made my list yet!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Adventures in Breadmaking: Whole Wheat Bread

I think I'm starting to get the hang of this bread making! This whole wheat bread recipe was on the side of some North Dakota Mill whole wheat flour.

4 cups Dakota Maid whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups Dakota Maid bread flour
2 pkg. dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
2 1/4 cups warm water
2/3 cups dry milk ( I used warm milk in place of the 2 1/4 cups warm water. Well, I meant to, but I forgot until I had started pouring the water in, so I ended up with about 2/3 cup milk and the rest water.)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup shortening, melted (I used butter)
1 T. salt

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup water. Add remaining water, dry milk, honey, shortening and salt. Beat in 1 cup whole wheat flour. Add remaining wheat flour.

Turn out on counter and knead, adding enough bread flour to make a soft dough. Place in lightly greased bowl and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk (about 45 minutes).

After first rise

Punch down dough, divide and form into two balls. Cover and let rest about 5 minutes.

Separated into two balls of dough

Roll each ball on lightly flour-dusted surface into a 10" by 6" rectangle. Roll up jellyroll fashion and pinch ends together. Place in two lightly greased 8 1/2" by 4 1/2" or 9" by 5" loaf pans, with seam sides down. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.

Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans immediately . Cool on wire rack.

I was happy with how this bread turned out. I need to keep remembering that because homemade bread does not have the preservatives that commercially available bread does, it does not last as long. When I took the half loaf of bread that was left out later in the week, it was starting to get moldy already. Sigh. So, when I make two loaves of bread, I'll put one in the freezer until I'm ready to use it.

The finished product

From the Grocery List to the Dinner Table: Thanksgiving Edition

Last week the Super One ad was filled with bargains for Thanksgiving Dinner.

What I bought for Thanksgiving--

Ocean Spray cranberry sauce $1.15-$1/2=$0.65, Turkey $0.43, almost 14 pounder was $5.96, Potatoes $2.98 for 10 pounds

I have to decide on a veggie, I have Pillsbury pie crust and filling for pies, I just need to get sausage for the stuffing, which is on sale this week

Breakfast items--

Johnsonville sausage $2.99, coffee beans, bagels, orange juice


Canned tuna, chips, bread, whole wheat tortillas


Ham and bean soup, bought 2 cans of white beans at $0.88 each, used ham leftover from Saturday's ham dinner, broth from the freezer, and carrots/onion/celery I already had

Cheddarwurst were $2.49 each (although they charged me $3.43, so I'll get back money for these next time I shop), bought buns to go with at $1.55, leftover au gratin potatoes from our ham dinner on Saturday, frozen veggies

Baked potato bar using the surplus of potatoes I have, steamed broccoli, bacon, shredded cheese and sour cream

Also eating this week:

Roast from the freezer with fried potatoes (using leftover baked potatoes from potato bar night) and green beans, homemade pizza, and homemade vegetable beef soup with leftover roast beef from Thursday's supper.


Hunt's Snack Pack pudding $0.97-$0.50/2=$0.72 each


Onions $0.99 for 2 lb., organic sweet potatoes $2.99 for 3 lb.

Bananas, oranges, grapes


Pillsbury crescent/sweet rolls 3/$5-$1/2 and $0.30 coupons=$1.23 each

Eggs, creamer, Tru Moo chocolate milk, 2% and skim milk

Pantry/freezer items--

My canned good storage is so full, I've had to put some cans in the kids' play kitchen! Okay, the kids put them there, but I am pretty stocked up.

Marshmallows $0.97, Green Giant canned veggies $0.55, Barilla whole grain pasta $1.25-$0.55 coupon=$0.70, Nestle hot cocoa mix $0.97, Fleischmann's yeast $1.25-$0.40 coupon=$0.85, Campbell's cream soup $0.59-$0.25/4 coupon=$0.53 each, Carnation evaporated milk $0.97-$0.50/2=$0.72, Dole pineapple $1.25-$0.50/2=$1.00 each, Flavorite pumpkin $0.97, Eagle sweetened condensed milk $1.99-$0.55=$1.44, Del Monte canned fruit $0.97, Swanson beef broth $0.59-$0.50/5=$0.49 each, Jello $0.77/Jello pudding $0.88-$0.55/3 coupon=$0.66 each, Comstock cherry pie filling $2.49-$0.50=$1.99, Heinz ketchup $1.66-$1.00 coupon=$0.66, Langer's cranberry juice $1.99, Birdseye Steamfresh $0.97, Green Giant Steamers $1.50-$0.50/2=$1.25 each, Edy's ice cream $2.49

Italian seasoning, salsa, pancake mix, flour, syrup, hamburger, more frozen veggies


Napkins, straws, Kotex Lightdays (got $2 catalina back for buying two), shampoo and conditioner

Kraft Foods deal: $10 off turkey when you buy 12 products. I was buying the turkey anyway at $0.43/lb., so I considered the $10 off to to be off the Kraft products.

Kraft ranch dressing $2.50-$0.83 promotion=$1.67

Planters peanuts $2.99-$0.83=$2.16

Nabisco crackers (two) $2.00-$0.84=$1.16 each

Stove Top stuffing (two) $1.25-$0.83=$0.42 each

Oscar Mayer bacon 2/$6-$0.83 each=$2.17 each (although they charged me $4.99 each! I'll be getting my money back next time I go shopping--$5.86 total with the overchard from the Hillshire Farms Cheddarwurst.)

Kraft shredded cheese (two) $2.67-$0.83 each=$1.84 each

Philadelphia cream cheese $1.66-$0.84=$0.82

Cool Whip $0.97-$0.83=$0.14

Saved $109.73 or 37%

Menu Plan Monday 69

Who has their turkey thawing in the refrigerator? My 15 pounder is! But I have a few days before Thanksgiving to plan for before we get to eat the turkey and trimmings. Here's what we're eating this week:
Sunday--Sweet and Sour Meatloaf, baked sweet potatoes, creamed corn
Monday--Spaghetti with meat sauce
Tuesday--Chicken breasts, rice, veggie
Wednesday--Something quick and easy since hubby will be gone and I'll be getting Thanksgiving prep done
Thursday--Thanksgiving feast! Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, corn, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, cherry Jell-o, pumpkin pie, apple pie a la mode
Friday--Leftovers of course

Friday, November 11, 2011

Adventures in Breadmaking: Trial and Error and Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Our second week of bread making, Barry picked Sunflower Nut Bread and I picked a Simple Oat Bread recipe. After our first week, I realized we would need a few more things to enhance our bread making experience: another bread pan as I only had one and many recipes make two loaves, pastry brushes for brushing oil/butter/egg white on top of loaves of bread and bread flour.
Imagine my surprise when Barry came to tell me the brand new bread pan had exploded in the oven. That was a fun mess to clean up. At least it exploded away from the bread and there was not glass embedded in it.

We were a little disappointed with our results this time as both loaves were rather dense and heavy. They were still edible, but were not what we were hoping for. I suspect that since the yeast expired in May 2011, it just wasn't doing the job anymore, so I bought some fresh yeast next time I went grocery shopping.

I used the fresh yeast to make Cinnamon Raisin Bread, using a recipe from
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees)
  • 2 cups warm milk (110 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • GLAZE:
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, 1/3 cup sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add raisins and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until
doubled, about 1-1/4 hours. Punch dough down. On a lightly floured surface, divide in half. Roll each into a 15-in. x 7-in. rectangle.

Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar; sprinkle over dough. Sprinkle with water. Starting with a short side, roll up tightly, jelly-roll style. Pinch seams and ends to seal. Place, seam side down, in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over loaves.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 68

Last week was busy with Trick or Treating, a choir concert/variety show, and a band concert all falling near eating time. Thank goodness for a menu plan! This week parent/teacher conferences fall right at mealtime, so I'll work around that with something easy to make that night. Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday--Steak, garlic mashed potatoes, salad
Tuesday--Chicken Stew
Wednesday--(P/T conferences) Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Thursday--Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, veggie
Saturday--To be decided

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Adventures in Breadmaking: Cranberry Walnut and French Baguettes

My husband and I have ongoing discussions about bread. He prefers the cheap white stuff while I like whole wheat. We both like the expensive artisan style bread with the crusty outside and chewy middle, but who wants to regularly spend $5 on a loaf of bread? So we decided to make Saturday our bread making day. Every week, we'll each pick a type of bread to try. Stir, knead, rise, bake, and then evaluate the end result.
For our first attempt, Barry picked Cranberry Walnut Bread. We adapted this No-Knead Artisan Style Bread from by taking a reviewer's suggestion of adding dried cranberries and walnuts to the dough instead of the rosemary, thyme and sage.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt (I used only 1 tsp. as other reviewers suggested)
  • 1 2/3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage (optional)
1. Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the water and herbs, if using, and mix well. The dough will be very sticky and shaggy-looking. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 18 to 24 hours.
2. Generously flour a work surface. The dough will have risen and will be covered in bubbles. Transfer the dough to the work surface and dust it with flour. Fold the dough in half, and then form the dough into a ball by stretching and tucking the edges of the dough underneath the ball.
3. Liberally flour a kitchen towel (do not use terrycloth). Place the dough ball on the floured towel. Cover with another floured towel. Let the dough rise for about two hours [see footnote].

4. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Place a lidded Dutch oven or deep heavy duty casserole dish (with lid) into the oven to preheat.
5. Carefully remove the hot baking dish from the oven. Remove the lid and gently turn the dough ball into the ungreased baking dish, seam-side up; shake the dish so the dough is more evenly distributed.

6. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake until the crust is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the loaf from the baking dish and let it cool on a rack before slicing.

I chose French Baguettes, also from, adapted to bake in the oven rather than a bread machine.

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour (We didn't have bread flour, so I used all-purpose)
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast (I used active dry yeast)
  • 1 egg yolk (I skipped this step because I didn't have a pastry brush to brush on the egg yolk)
  • 1 tablespoon water
1. Place 1 cup water, bread flour, sugar, salt and yeast into bread machine pan in the order recommended by manufacturer. Select Dough cycle, and press Start.
2. When the cycle has completed, place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
3. Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16x12 inch rectangle. Cut dough in half, creating two 8x12 inch rectangles. Roll up each half of dough tightly, beginning at 12 inch side, pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Roll gently back and forth to taper end. Place 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches, or make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40
minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves.

5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Non bread machine directions:
Combine water, sugar and yeast to proof. Add salt, then flour and knead until no longer sticky. Place in bowl and rise 30 minutes. Follow recipes directions above to the end.

We liked the flavor of both of these breads, although we expected them to rise more. The Cranberry Walnut Bread was chewy in the middle and crunchy on the outside. The baguettes were miniature, and unfortunately we only ended up eating one out of two baguettes. The second one we didn't get around to using right away, and it became hard as a rock.