Thursday, April 2, 2015

Holiday Challah Rolls #WhenWeBake

Who has never heard of Challah?  It is a small part of long Jewish tradition.  Rich with eggs and butter (or oil) it is usually shaped into braids and coils.  Country Crock® has less saturated fat than butter so we can still indulge during the Holidays!  Similar to French brioche and Polish Babka, it makes wonderful toast and this is the only bread I use for my Thanksgiving Caramelized Onion Challah Stuffing.  

These little beauties would great for Holiday bread, sliders, burgers and sandwiches.  With the help of a stand mixer, these rolls are a cinch to make.

2 packages (4-1/2 tsps.) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Country Crock® Buttery Spread, melted
4 egg yolks
3-1/4 cup bread flour
1-1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
Sesame seeds, Poppy seeds or Sea Salt (optional)


In your Stand Mixer bowl, combine the warm water and yeast.  Stir and allow to rest in a warm spot for about 10 minutes, or until foamy and frothy.  Add flour, salt, sugar, Country Crock®, and egg yolks and combine on low until dough comes together.  Increase speed to medium and knead the dough, with the dough hook, until it forms into a soft and smooth dough, about 5-7 minutes.  Add additional flour if needed, in small amounts, until dough is no longer sticky.

Form the dough into a ball and place it into a large bowl that has been oiled.  Turn to coat both sides.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest in a warm spot for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.  Punch the dough down and allow to rest for another 45 minutes.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface.  Knead a few times.  Cut into 15 even pieces.  Roll each piece into a rope about 7 inches long.  Tie into a knot and tuck the ends underneath.

Place the knotted rolls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Cover with a clean towel and allow to rest while you heat up your oven.

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Brush the rolls with egg wash and sprinkle with toppings of your choice or no toppings at all!  Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool for about 30 minutes.   Store in sealed plastic bag as you would bread.  Can be frozen after baked!

Happy Easter!

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Makes 15 Rolls

Friday, February 27, 2015

Iceberg Wedge Salad with Thousand Island Dressing

This chunk of super-crisp iceberg lettuce bathed in creamy dressings, has been making a comeback at some famous restaurants and steakhouses these days.  Making your own fresh dressing takes no time at all with the help of a food processor.

1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 4 wedges
4 slices bacon, cooked until crispy
2 hard boiled eggs (1 for dressing and 1 grated for topping)
Freshly ground black pepper
Cherry or grape tomatoes (optional)

Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chili sauce (Heinz)
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1-1/2 Tbsp. minced onion
2 tsp. dill relish (not sweet relish)
1 hard-boiled egg

Put all ingredients in a small food processor and blend until well combined.  Chill until ready to serve.

Put one wedge of lettuce on each plate.  Add dressing and toppings and serve well chilled.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Saucy Peach-Apricot Garlic Chicken

Saucy Susan Peach/Apricot Sauce has been around for as long as I can remember.  My last recipe for Coconut Chicken Tenders with Sweet & Sassy Dipping Sauce brought on a lot of comments that most folks could not find it in the supermarket.  If it's not available in your area, simply substitute apricot or peach preserves with some white vinegar, honey and crushed red pepper flakes to taste or use Asian Duck Sauce.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup Saucy Susan Peach Apricot Sauce
1/2 Tbsp. Asian Chili Garlic Sauce (to taste - add more if you like it spicy)
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. teryaki sauce
Salt & Pepper


In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onions and saute until softened and lightly golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Add ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.  Add chicken cubes and brown lightly on all side.  Deglaze with white wine.  Let wine reduce by half, about 5 minutes.  Add Peach Apricot Sauce, Chili Garlic Sauce, chicken broth and teryaki sauce.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer.  Cover and cook until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened, about 30-40 minutes.

Serve with white rice and stir fried broccoli.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Nutella Brownies - Two Ingredients

If you are a Nutella fan, you have it in the cupboard. 
I came across this recipe over at Diethood.  Mixing eggs with Nutella and that's it?  Yep, that's it.
They only way I can describe these delightful squares are that they reminded me of a light fudge.  Yes....ffffffffffuuuuudge.  Not overly sweet, just as sweet as Nutella.  Cut them into smaller squares and have little bites to serve.  Either way, you have to give these a try!
4 large eggs
1 cup Nutella
Confectioner's Sugar (Optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line an 8 x 8 brownie pan with parchment paper.
Beat eggs in your mixing bowl for 7-8 minutes, or until tripled in volume.
Heat the Nutella in a microwave dish for 60 second; stir.
Slowly pour Nutella into the eggs, beating until thoroughly combined.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let cool completely before cutting.
Cut into squares.
Source: Diethood
Refrigerate when cooled.