Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Basic White Bread Machine Bread

Light and fluffy homemade bread straight from your bread machine.  Hot from the oven and slathered with butter will have you swooning for more!



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Light and fluffy homemade bread straight from your bread machine.  Hot from the oven and slathered with butter will have you swooning for more! - Slice of Southern

I hope this post finds you and your family safe and healthy.

It's day 18 of our Safer at Home quarantine in Los Angeles.  I have to tell you the first couple of days anxiety was running high for me and I was either a step away from crying or snapping someone's head off.  The fear of what this could turn in to was eating away at me. Here's what helped me: 

  • A Mantra: "I'm safe, I'm healthy..."
  • Deep breathing/or Meditation
  • Create a daily schedule or routine
  • Daily Exercise
  • Get Fresh Air
  • Limit the news broadcasting
  • Do something enjoyable or adopt a hobby
  • Go to bed at a decent hour and getting rest.
Just to mention one of the items above.  Incorporating exercise in to my daily routine has been a lifesaver. Just 30 minutes a day is uplifting. Not only does it fill your body with endorphins (mood enhancer!) and energy, it's also a stress reliever. My favorite exercise routines comes from Body Groove.  Misty Tripoli takes dance down to a basic level and creates exercise routines that allows you to dance doing basic steps "your way".  So however you do it is perfect. There is no right or wrong way to move...just move and dance and have fun!  I just love her routines.  You can find them in the link provided as she has them on DVD, on Demand, and you can even find some of them on YouTube.  You should definitely check them out.


Light and fluffy homemade bread straight from your bread machine.  Hot from the oven and slathered with butter will have you swooning for more! - Slice of Southern

So the grocery stores are still bare and everyone is hoarding the bread (along with the toilet paper!) So what to do?  Well I say we dust off that old Bread Machine Maker and make some homemade fresh bread.  So out to the garage I went to find my trusty machine and went to work.  

Making bread in a bread machine is really, really easy.  This bread recipe is outstanding. The best, EASY yeast bread for a bread machine. Beginners will love how simple it is and everyone will appreciate a warm loaf of homemade bread.  This is a wonderful project to do with your kids as well.


Light and fluffy homemade bread straight from your bread machine.  Hot from the oven and slathered with butter will have you swooning for more! - Slice of Southern

What do you need to make bread?

  • milk
  • flour
  • water
  • butter
  • sugar
  • yeast


Light and fluffy homemade bread straight from your bread machine.  Hot from the oven and slathered with butter will have you swooning for more! - Slice of Southern

This particular recipe comes from King Arthur Flour and uses their unbleached all-purpose flour (which I just love and always use anyway) instead of bread flour. Their flour has a high protein level (11.7%), and the quality of that protein, allows you to use it in recipes calling for either bread flour or all-purpose flour. This recipe makes a reliably high-rising loaf, with soft, springy texture and nicely balanced flavor.


5 minutes of hands-on time and you will be set! In about 3 1/2 hours you will have a wonderful homemade loaf of bread that will be perfect fresh and hot, slathered with butter. Make sandwiches, toast it, soak up that gravy or pan sauce, dunk it in soups and stews. Make bruschetta, garlic bread, or even grilled cheese. Yum!


Enjoy!



Basic White Bread Machine Bread

source:  King Arthur Flour



For small (1-pound) machine

2/3 cup (152g) lukewarm water
1/4 cup (57g) lukewarm milk
2 tablespoons (28g) butter
2 1/2 cups (298g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
5 teaspoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon active dry yeast or instant yeast


Instructions:

Put all of the ingredients into your machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.

Program the machine for basic white bread, and press Start.

When the loaf is done, remove the pan from the machine. After about 5 minutes, gently shake the pan to dislodge the loaf, and turn it out onto a rack to cool.

Store, well-wrapped, on the counter for 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.



Light and fluffy homemade bread straight from your bread machine.  Hot from the oven and slathered with butter will have you swooning for more! - Slice of Southern

Light and fluffy homemade bread straight from your bread machine.  Hot from the oven and slathered with butter will have you swooning for more! - Slice of Southern


Saturday, March 28, 2020

15 Easy To Make Pantry Meals




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15 Amazing Meals using items from your fridge and pantry.


15 Easy to Make Pantry Meals - using pasta rice and beans you can make fabulous flavorful meals! - Slice of Southern

During these uncertain times we all have to be creative and use the pantry and fridge items that we have stocked up.  Who would have thought a month ago that we would be stocking our shelves because we were going to be housebound with the Coronavirus pandemic.  Today it is a wise thing to do and choosing food items that have a long shelf life just makes sense. 

Shelf stable items like pasta, rice and beans, go a long way in helping you put together some easy meals.  This post contains a 15 easy pantry meals that are based around recipes with common ingredients that have a long shelf life, and delivers big flavors!

Tip: Go to the grocery store as soon as it opens. Or ask them when they do their restocking of shelves!


Here's some amazing ideas for getting  dinner on the table.



Pasta

3 Ingredient Tomato Gnocchi Soup: a steamy hot bowl of delicious tomato soup loaded with plump gnocchi and a dash of spinach with only 3 ingredients! - Slide of Southern

1.   3 Ingredient Tomato Gnocchi Soup

An easy, soul warming soup made with 3 ingredients.  Take any canned or boxed tomato soup and add gnocchi, tortellini, or ravioli to it.  Don't have spinach? use, kale or Swiss chard or even parsley...or just leave it out.  This is a comforting dinnertime meal.

Get the recipe>>



Bacon Ranch Chicken Alfredo:  The ultimate comfort pasta dish is made into a quick and easy weeknight meal, bursting with gooey cheese and bacon! - Slice of Southern

2.  Bacon Ranch Chicken Alfredo

A wonderful baked dish that uses jarred Alfredo sauce, chicken, and a packet of ranch dressing.  Don't have any bacon, leave it out or substitute for a vegetable.  Frozen broccoli would be great in here.  

Get the recipe>>



Spicy Beef and Macaroni Tomato Soup:  Nothing beats a pot of steaming soup on a cold winter night. - Slice of Southern

3.  Spicy Beef and Macaroni Tomato Soup

A satisfying soup that features macaroni, marinara sauce, and diced tomatoes.  Don't have macaroni, any pasta shape will do.  Perfect for that ground beef you have stashed in the freezer, but ground turkey will work as well.

Get the recipe>>





Orzo Black Bean Salad:  Imagine tender, earthy black beans tossed with al dente orzo pasta and fresh vegetables and then doused with a fresh spicy lime dressing!  Heaven!  - Slice of Southern

4.  Orzo Black Bean Salad

A great side dish or main meal.  This recipe can put to use orzo, or any small shaped pasta, along with canned items such as black beans and corn.  Don't have black beans, use any type of beans.

Get the recipe>>




5.  Wild Mushroom Ravioli Lasagna

A one pot meal made in your skillet on the stove-top.  Can't get much more comforting than a lasagna made super easy with ravioli.  Any type of ravioli will due here.  Just as some marinara or any type sauce and some ricotta cheese and dinner is done!

Get the recipe>>


Rice



This Lighter Burrito Bowl will help you keep your New Year's Resolution!  The bold Mexican flavors will have you loving this homemade dish 1000x more than any takeout joint! - Slice of Southern

6. Lighter Burrito Bowl

Perfect with any type of rice, long grain, brown, instant...they all work here.  Plus this is a great use of the stashed ground turkey, chicken, or beef you have in the freezer.  Add a can of black or pinto beans, and some fresh tomatoes and seasonings and you have one heck of a meal!




Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheddar Rice Bowl:  Comfort food at it's best with steaming chicken, melted ooey gooey cheese with some steamed broccoli thrown in for good measure! - Slice of Southern

7.  Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheddar Rice Bowls

Full of flavor and perfect with the use of shredded chicken that is leftover or from the freezer.  Frozen broccoli is perfect in the dish as well, but you can substitute with any frozen or fresh veggies you like.

Get the recipe>>





8.  Cilantro Chicken Rice and Beans

Rice takes on a great base to this skillet meal that includes canned beans, chicken and some great zesty flavors.  A skillet meal with pizzazz!

Get the recipe>>






9.  Bruschetta Chicken Rice Bowl

Bring in a mix of pasta and rice in a pilaf topped with shredded or diced chicken.  Fresh tomatoes along with some garlic go a long way to making this dish stand out.

Get the recipe>>






10.  Mediterranean Chicken and Rice

In the style of a stir fry this dish comes together quickly with chicken or pork, or even beef along with some canned tomatoes and fresh zucchini, all over rice. A favorite dish of ours.

Get the recipe>>


Beans


Everyone needs a basic chili recipe and this one that features ground turkey, beans, and a blend of spices will knock your socks off! - Slice of Southern

11.  Easy Homemade Turkey Chili Recipe

The BEST tasting basic recipe for chili ever!  This puts to use your ground turkey, but you can used whatever ground meat you have.  Perfect with canned items such as beans and tomatoes.  Add a bunch of pantry spices and you have a meal good enough for a crowd!

Get the recipe>>



Homemade Minestrone Soup: Hearty vegetables and beans that are simmered in a chicken tomato broth and spiced just right with wonderful Italian herbs.  Slice of Southern

12.  Homemade Minestrone Soup
A great Italian soup that uses those canned items we love...beans and tomatoes.  Use frozen a frozen vegetable mix if you don't have fresh ones, and any pasta shape will work here.  It's a heartwarming soup that will keep you satisfied.

Get the recipe>>




Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Stew: Warm and inviting, this thick and hearty stew will have you rubbing your tummy and going back for more! - Slice of Southern

13.  Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Stew

Let your slow cooker do the work and give you that all day long flavor builder without all the hassle.  This utilizes chicken breasts or thighs, canned tomatoes, and beans with a host of Italian spices.  You'll have one easy meal without much fuss.

Get the recipe>>





14.  Easy Beef Wet Burritos

These can easily be made with any ground meat you have in your freezer.  Using refried beans from a can is a nice twist but if you don't have those, use a pinto or black bean and mash them up.  For the sauce, any type of enchilada sauce or El Patio red sauce will do...or leave the sauce off!  They are delicious anyway you fix them.

Get the recipe>>





15.  Borracho Chicken

The slow cooker to the rescue once again with this easy but tasty Latin dish.  With the use of canned pinto, or any type of beans, and some chicken and tequila you will have a hearty meal to serve with rice, quinoa, or faro if you have it.

Get the recipe>>





Remember, the key here is to be flexible when cooking. Substitute items freely. Skip any minor ingredients that you may not have and keep focus on the main ingredients!



Sunday, March 22, 2020

Baking Day: Blueberry Coconut Banana Bread



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It's Baking Day! Try my tender and fluffy Blueberry Coconut Banana Bread. One bite won't be enough! - Slice of Southern

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during this crisis. Things are certainly changing day by day.  Who would have thought that two weeks ago we were all concerned about the bachelor finale and now look at it.  I am personally in day 7 of self-isolation.  My company issued a work from home order on Monday and by Thursday the state of California ordered a Safer at Home mandate.  

My better half works in an "essential" industry and still has to go in to work daily.  This is making for a strange environment since he has contact with people daily.  

So what do you do when you have to stay at home everyday?  Even with all the anxiety we try and live a normal life.  We are being very cautious but are still trying to have fun everyday to lighten the load.  We have both been doing dance exercising on YouTube which is a lot of fun, and the exercise helps your immune system, and taking walks in the neighborhood has never been so popular!  

Another thing I find that is fun is cooking together.  We have been making a lot of creative dishes lately using pantry items.  Today we decided that it was "baking day".  We wanted to make something that would last a while and made a good amount.  A quick bread was in order.  Quick breads are wonderful as they can be made without a mixer and in one or two bowls max!  It's really like a muffin in loaf form.  Super simple to make and really can be made with pantry items.  Which brings me to today's recipe for this superb quick bread.

It's Baking Day! Try my tender and fluffy Blueberry Coconut Banana Bread. One bite won't be enough! - Slice of Southern

BLUEBERRY COCONUT BANANA BREAD

This is a wonderful banana bread that is loaded with fresh blueberries and tropical coconut.  I used brown sugar in this bread for a deeper flavor, but you can use white sugar if you prefer.  


It's Baking Day! Try my tender and fluffy Blueberry Coconut Banana Bread. One bite won't be enough! - Slice of Southern

Oh what a heavenly bread this turned out to be!  You know that moment when you bite into a tender and fluffy piece of Blueberry Coconut Banana Bread  and a warm blueberry bursts in your mouth…. Hands down, one of the greatest experiences known to man!

This quick bread should last you several days on the counter, and a few more in the refrigerator (if it lasts that long).  Doubling the recipe is always a good idea, then you can freeze one loaf for another time.  It freezes really well, and if you slice it before freezing you can take out portions for a quick snack or grab and go breakfast.


It's Baking Day! Try my tender and fluffy Blueberry Coconut Banana Bread. One bite won't be enough! - Slice of Southern

So "baking day" was a major success.  We had a lot of fun making this quick bread, and I hope you will to!  Even the kids will enjoy getting involved.

Enjoy and stay safe!









Blueberry Coconut Banana Bread

makes: 1 loaf

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
2 large eggs, beaten
1¼ cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)

1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries



    Instructions:

    Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

    In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt, sugar, and 1/3 cup of coconut.

    In a medium bowl, mix together banana, oil, vanilla, milk, and beaten eggs.  Mix until well blended.   Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until combined.  Fold in the blueberries, saving several for the top of the bread.  

    Pour batter in the prepared pan and top with remaining blueberries and coconut.

    Bake 50 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when tested.  (note: you may need to place a sheet of foil over the top of the bread during that last 15 minutes to avoid over browning.) Cool in pan for at least 15 minutes and then remove loaf from pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.



    It's Baking Day! Try my tender and fluffy Blueberry Coconut Banana Bread. One bite won't be enough! - Slice of Southern
    It's Baking Day! Try my tender and fluffy Blueberry Coconut Banana Bread. One bite won't be enough! - Slice of Southern


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