Thursday, June 25, 2009

French Bread

READY IN 2 Hrs 40 Min

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water

  • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt. Stir in 2 cups warm water, and beat until well blended using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can. (Make sure to add flour a little bit at a time; if you add too much at once, the dough will not rise as well and be really heavy-tasting)
  • On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes total. Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  • Punch dough down, and divide in half. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into large rectangle. Roll up, starting from a long side. Moisten edge with water and seal. Taper ends.
  • Grease a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal. (Flour works, too.) Place loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush on. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until nearly doubled, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until bread tests done. If necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning. (I didn't have to cover it with foil. My loaves baked perfectly.) Remove from baking sheet, and cool on a wire rack.

This recipe is so good... I'm never buying French bread from the store again. This recipe, at least for me, makes two large loaves. Happy Baking!

modified recipe from

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

Makes 4 Servings

  • 4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (I recommend 2+ cups)
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a 1 quart casserole dish.
  • Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with the onion slices, and add the remaining potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • In a medium-size saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and salt, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in milk. Cook until mixture has thickened. Stir in cheese all at once, and continue stirring until melted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese over the potatoes, and cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  • Bake 1 1/2 hours in the preheated oven.
COOK TIME 1 Hr 30 Min

from (my most favorite website)

This recipe is really good.  I recommend adding more cheese, though, especially if you're like us and love cheese!!! 

Sweet and Chunky Chicken Salad

Makes 4 Servings
  • Ingredients
  • 1 (10 ounce) can chunk chicken, drained
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/8 cup chopped dill pickle (dill relish works just fine)
  • 1/8 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries 

  • Directions
  • Without breaking up large chicken pieces, empty canned chicken into a medium bowl. Stir in mayonnaise, pickle (or relish), onion, sunflower seeds, and cranberries; mix until well blended and until the chicken chunks are broken up. 

This recipe is really delicious. I made it yesterday for lunch and served it with grapes and Wheat Thins. Rich loved it. I recommend it... and it's so easy! I do, however, suggest that you put in just a teeny bit more of mayo to make sure everything sticks together. 
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