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Amish Friendship Bread

Amish Friendship Bread

 

Amish Friendship Bread

 

Amish Friendship Bread is a well-known recipe in the farmhouse cooking world. It’s great to receive your starter from a friend until 10 days later you realize you have to pawn off starter to three other friends and the cycle repeats itself.

I fix this problem by tripling my recipe and using up all the starter in one batch. It makes six loaves with enough starter left for me to do it all over again. My family loves this bread, and I can easily use a loaf for a meal. It freezes very well and is a lovely last minute gift. Enjoy!

Starter Recipe for Amish Friendship Bread

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 pkg yeast

1 cup water (can use milk)

 

How to Make Your Amish Friendship Bread 

Day 1 – receive the starter

Day 2 – stir

Day 3 – stir

Day 4 – stir

Day 5 – Add 1 cup each flour, sugar, and milk.

Day 6 – stir

Day 7 – stir

Day 8 – stir

Day 9 – stir

Day 10 – Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Divide into 4 containers, with 1 cup each for three of your friends and 1 cup for your own loaves. Give friends the instructions for Day 1 through Day 10 and the following recipe for baking the bread.

After removing the 3 cups of batter, combine the remaining cup of Amish Friendship Bread starter with the following ingredients in a large bowl:

3/4 cup oil

3 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

1 to 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup sugar

2 cups flour

1  3.5 ounce box instant pudding (Vanilla or your choice)

1 Tbsp.  baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Using a fork beat by hand until well blended. 

Grease two loaf pans with butter, sprinkle with sugar instead of flour.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes to 1 hour (individual oven temperatures vary). Cool 10 minutes, remove from pans. Makes two loaves of Amish Friendship Bread.

Overwhelmed with starters? Try tripling the recipe and making 6 loaves of bread. Then you only have one cup of starter for your own to start again.

 

Perfect for freezing to get a jump on holiday baking.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup

Homemade Chicken Soup

If I had to grab just one of my kitchen appliances with a minute’s notice, it would be my pressure cooker. I use it at least two or three times a week and helps me get dinner on the table in record time. Now that it’s winter and of course everyone is sick, we eat quite a bit of chicken soup, and the pressure cooker is the perfect way to make it. This soup takes 30 minutes to make and tastes as if I cooked all day. It’s perfect.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup

Place frozen 2-3 pound chicken into the pressure cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Release pressure and set aside chicken. To the broth, add:

1/2 cup raw brown rice

Your favorite vegetables; I used a handful of baby carrots, two handfuls of baby kale, 10 Brussels sprouts cut in half, 1 cup leftover sweet corn from last year’s garden

Separate chicken from bones and return to pot

Add enough water to cover, making sure you don’t overfill (my cooker has markers on the inside, which I filled to the 8 cup mark)

Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes

Release the pressure quickly and it’s ready. The broth is rich and flavorful, the vegetables are done perfectly, and the chicken still has plenty of taste. It’s truly an easy way to make a meal.

If you save your bones from previous chicken dinners and cook them for the first 15 minutes, the resulting broth is basically free and full of nutrition. It’s another way to stretch your budget and still eat well.

Super Simple GF Peanut Butter Cookies

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

There is nothing better than a family movie night with snacks that everyone can enjoy. These gluten free peanut butter cookies are all the things you love in a good PB cookie; they are crisp on the edges, soft in the middle, sweet and nutty, and best of all? They only use 3 ingredients to pull together.

When the cookie urge strikes, it’s 20 minutes from thought to nibble. So easy!

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes 18

Ingredients:

2 cups peanut butter

2 eggs

2 cups sugar

Directions:

Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper

Combine the ingredients and scoop out using two spoons (I use my 1 TBSP scoop to make this fast and easy)

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

Cool before trying to move the cookies. I just slide the parchment paper off the cookie sheet and allow them to cool right on the paper.

Hot And Spicy In The Kitchen: Making Horseradish

Hot And Spicy In The Kitchen: Making Horseradish


The Finished Jar of Homemade Horseradish

At the farmer’s market this morning, I bought a large root of horseradish. Actually, I only bought half of the piece, because it didn’t smell that spicy, and I was worried it would be too mild. Isn’t it lovely?

Making ground horseradish is pretty important for our winter’s diet. The spicy oomph that it brings to the heavier dishes, can’t be beat. Even the kids like it mixed with mashed potatoes or to make a spicy dip for fries. For our family, having 4 jars of this condiment is a must have.

The strange thing about horseradish, is that it loses its flavor when cooked, so I can’t seal the jars. Although they are not sealed, it stays fresh and delicious just sitting in the back of my fridge.

To make horseradish yourself, find a fat root of it at the market:

 

 

After washing (it can be pretty dirty), peel the skin and ends.

Chunk it up and place into a food processor, with a pinch of salt and 1/8 cup of white vinegar.

Blend until smooth.

 

WARNING: After blending, keep your face away from the top as you open it. The fumes are very strong. Then, place in your canning jar with a lid and band. Place in fridge to store.

 

For more info on horseradish,

Horseradish also makes a fantastic flu tonic

A post I did for EarthEats.org

 

 

Brownies 101

Brownies

Basic Brownies

Brownies are something that should be in everyone’s basic cookbook. I have a stack of really different brownie recipes, including one from my Uncle John, so rich you line the pan with foil and dump the whole mess out onto a plate afterwards.

This brownie recipe is well loved in our house. I like it because of the simplicity and how easy it is to substitute ingredients. It also has the benefit of handling change well. It takes only a bit of cocoa powder to make a fairly rich flavor, and you can sprinkle on all sorts of things before baking. We have tried coconut, candy bars, marshmallows, nuts, flavored baking chips, Fat sea salt (yum!). The brownie is the foil for experimentation, and that makes cooking fun!

Yesterday, I made them with peanut butter chips. They were a reward for the men going out and changing the oil on the Suburban for a couple of hours with their dad. In 100 degree heat, they are all crazy.

The recipe:

The Basic Brownie

1 cup butter, softened (I have also used coconut oil)

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1.3 cup cocoa

1 1/2 cup flour

1/4 tsp salt

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well

Add cocoa, flour, salt and beat until combined

Spread into a greased 13 X 9 inch pan (I sprinkle with coconut or peanut butter chips here), bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Allow to cool for 30 minutes before cutting (this step is essential, or you end up with delicious glop)

 

What Is That Smell – Homemade Sauerkraut


When people find out that I have gurgling vats of fermented things in my kitchen, the first things they say involve safety and food poisoning. I think there is a  misconception that aging food or fermenting food equates rotting food. Although fermented food is aging, I like to think of its as aging with style. What I mean, is that fermenting is controlled decaying of the food you start with, into a completely different food, that is healthy for different reasons.
My advice to anyone trying to eat fermented foods is to start slow. A tablespoon of real sauerkraut alongside a richer food, like a piece of beef, will not only benefit the flavor of the dish, the sauerkraut will help your body digest the meat itself.  Possibly, there is nothing valid in this, but it’s how I think.
If you ferment, there are some things you should know.
1. Fermenting is bubbly, smelly and sometimes kind of creepy.
2. Fermented food has a tingly feeling on your tongue and many times a natural carbonation. It’s yummy, but weird if you don’t expect it.
3. Your family and friends will think something has dies or gone terribly wrong in your kitchen if you even dream of letting a vat of sauerkraut work on the counter.
4. Once you start to like fermented food, you will begin to crave it. I think that is a basic and natural part of us being human.
If you want to get started with fermenting, its not hard. Try to make something easy, like sauerkraut
You need:
Cabbage
Salt
Glass jar to make it in
Something to seal out the air, like a bag filled with water that will squeeze down onto the top of the cabbage and keep it under the brine.
Shred cabbage fine and place a layer in the glass jar.
Sprinkle canning salt over it
Mash down cabbage as you go, to sort of bruise it and help release the juice.
Repeat until jar is full, with juice covering the cabbage
Fill bag with water, seal and press that onto the top of the shredded cabbage, salt,juice layer.
Every other day, remove bag, clean off scum that formed on the bag and the top of the liquid if any. Check that cabbage is under the liquid at all times. Add salty brine to keep it that way if needed.
Wait for a couple of weeks and your sauerkraut is done. Don’t leave it in the main part of your kitchen or it will smell unholy-this is good and means its working but your friends and family will not understand. Enjoy!