Stuffing (or Dressing)

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With the upcoming Thanksgiving feast on it’s way here is how we make our homemade stuffing.

This is a FAVORITE of everyone at our table and something I have to make the most of if we want to have any leftovers!

You can adjust this to the quantity you need (add another loaf of bread and more of the seasonings). I use 2 king size loaves of white bread for a 14 lb turkey.

2 loaves of bread cubed and baked at 350 to toast them (almost like a crouton)
1/2 medium onion diced
1 long stalk celery diced
3/4 to 1 stick of butter
about a cup of chicken stock
celery salt, sage, poultry seasoning (I use about 1 tsp of each to start)

Cube the bread and bake at 350 until toasted (I do this in a few batches)

Melt the butter and add the diced onion and celery cooking about 4 minutes or until softened

Mix into the bread cubes and add the seasonings

Add chicken stock slowly stirring frequently until the desired consistency

Taste test and add more seasoning to your desired taste!

You can stuff your chicken/turkey or you can cover with tinfoil and bake at 350 until heated through. Remove and bake about 5 minutes more to get a bit of a crunch layer on top.

Homemade stuffing is a staple in our house. It’ so simple to make and I know exactly what’s in it!!

Dinner Rolls

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These rolls are super easy to make. You can freeze them after baking which is a perfect way to grab a few dinner rolls when you need them as this makes 24 rolls (or you can make 18 larger size but I think 24 works best)

1 1/4 cups warm water

1 1/2 TBSP active dry yeast (or use 2 packets)

1 tsp. sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup melted butter

1/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. salt

4 Cups of all purpose unbleached flour (or plain all purpose)

Mix the yeast and 1 tsp. sugar into the warm water and set aside to proof for 10 minutes

In a mixing bowl with your dough hook or in a regular bowl with a wooden spoon, mix together the oil, melted butter, sugar, 2 eggs and salt until combined.

Add in the proofed yeast mixture and mix just to combine

Add in the flour one cup at a time mixing slowly until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl

Flour a surface and scrape dough out of bowl. Sprinkle a bit of flour on top and knead the dough about a minute or two.

Pull apart into 24 pieces as even pieces as you can get (doesn’t have to be perfect) and roll into balls

Place into a greased cake pan or 2 round pans

Put into a warm spot to rise for an hour to 90 minutes or until doubled in size.

Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 15-17 minutes until lightly browned on top and remove from oven Let set for 5 minutes and then pour out onto a wire rack to cool.

Break apart and store in an air tight container or place in freezer bags and freeze!

The whole process takes about 15 minutes to get the dough into the cake pan to rise. Super easy and delicious flavor!!

I find if reheating from frozen state it’s best to let them thaw and warm in the oven.  You also can microwave them…either way, they are delicious!  I recently made 9 dozen for a Farm Market Feast dinner event with over 100 people and there was not a roll left over!

Homemade “Beef” Helper

On busy school days with hockey, cheer, barn chores and so on, you can still make a great homemade hamburger helper without a box in about 30 minutes if not a little less.

Last night was one of those nights and with this meal, everyone was happy!

You can see how I made our homemade hamburger helper on my facebook page here:  Homemade Hamburger Helper

Italian Bread

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Making Italian bread (or any bread really) is much easier than most people think.  This recipe makes 3 nice size loaves.  The bread has a nice crust and soft center with great flavor.  It also holds up well if you freeze it for later use. (pictures at the bottom)

Ingredients:

3 cups of warm water

1 full Tablespoon dry active yeast (if you have packets use a packet and a half)

1 1/2 tsp. white sugar

2 tsp. salt

8 cups of all purpose flour (I used unbleached flour or you can use half white and half wheat)

Mix the water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl until dissolved and let sit for 10 minutes to proof.

Stir in 4 cups of the flour and mix it until smooth and set it aside for approximately 15 minutes.

Add 2 cups of flour and the salt and mix again.  Add more flour 1/2 cup at a time to form a stiff dough and pour out onto a floured surface.  Knead the dough adding flour lightly as needed until the dough is smooth and elastic (it should spring back when you press two fingers into it).

Put into a greased bowl and in a warm spot to rise approximately 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Punch the dough down, turn out onto a floured surface and lightly knead for a minuted then place back in the greased bowl to rise again for 30 minutes.

Spray a cookie sheet lightly and sprinkle cornmeal over the sheet

After 30 minutes, punch the dough down again and separate into 3 pieces, forming them into a loaf (a football type shape) and place on the cookie sheet

Set back into a warm spot and let rise about 25 minutes or until correct loaf size.

I brush them lightly with water and place them in a 450 degree preheated oven and bake approximately 30 minutes (turning the pan after 15 minutes and sprinkle a bit of water again on top) and bake until the tops are lightly browned and they sound hollow when you tap on them.

It’s ok if they touch when baking as you can cut them apart.

Your family will LOVE this super easy bread.  My niece and daughter grabbed the first slices as soon as the loaves were cool enough to handle!

 

Apple Crisp

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It’s that time of year again and while apples are in season it’s the best time to make some yummy treats!  This is a pure comfort food dessert.  Super easy and the house smells amazing while it’s cooking!!

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6 large apples peeled, cored and sliced
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp melted butter

Combine all in a bowl and set aside to marinate together

Make the sweet buttery topping
½ cup quick cook oats
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
¾ cups heaping all purpose flour
1 ½ sticks of room temperature butter

Combine oats, sugars, and flour and mix until well incorporated. Add in the room temperature butter and use a fork or a pastry cutter to form crumbles

Place the apple mixture in a lightly greased 13×9 cake pan. Sprinkle the crumble top evenly over the whole top.

Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 32 – 35 minutes (or until evenly browned)

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Back to school blues

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Every year at this time I get the blues.  When summer ends and school starts the thoughts that go through my mind drag me down.  Another fun summer of carefree kid days gone, another family summer vacation done until next year, the kids will be another year older next summer, I WILL BE another year older next summer….and so on and so on.  How can anyone be happy at the return of the school season???? I LOVE my kids being home!!!

In carrying on the tradition of feeling sad and sorry for myself for a few days, I hid myself in garden chores, baking and barn work.  Slowly I am returning to the happy person I usually am, but it’s a battle that’s hard won!!

Here are a few recaps of the wonderful times we had this year so far:

Tons of time sleeping in our cabin and spending time as a family

A GREAT book for summer reading, bonfires every night for heat in the spring and to cook on…and a few date nights on the boat!

Fun in the barn with friends, farm work, canning, late night selfies and sandboxes were all enjoyed.

So goodbye Summer of 2016 and welcome Fall and Winter.  Only 13 1/2 weeks until Christmas Vacation…..but who’s counting….me…yes me me me!!