I'm so excited!! I finally found a recipe that is perfect to replace store bought bread!!  It came out delicious and soft!  We always have whole wheat bread in the house and I've tried several different recipes and nothing was exactly what I was looking for until now!

Recipe from Allrecipes.com
(With a few changes from reviews)

1 1/8 cups warm water
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
                                                                     1 cup bread flour
                                                                     2 tablespoons melted butter
                                                                     1 1/2 teaspoons of dry yeast

I used my bread machine for this and it came out perfect!  Just put everything into your machine in the order your machine calls for and make sure to choose the whole wheat or whole grain setting.  I chose medium crust and voila!  Three hours later perfect bread!  Remember... the key is to NOT slice until it is COMPLETELY COOLED.  Even though this came out perfect... The next loaf I do I'm going to try and have my bread machine just make the dough, punch down, let rise for 30 minutes then put into a loaf pan and pop it in the oven for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.  It's also been suggested if you do this to put a pan of water on the lower rack under the bread.

For the story behind these empanadas and more details on this recipe please read The Story of The Perfect Empanadas


2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup of butter (chilled and cubed)
1/4 cup shortening (chilled)
1 egg
1/2 cup cold milk

15 oz can pumpkin
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon water

For the Filling:
In a saucepan combine all of the filling ingredients and stir.  You only want the heat on low and keep checking on it and stirring occasionally for about 15 to 20 minutes until it thickens up... You will see it come together.  Set aside to cool.

For the Dough:
Sift together all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Add in the butter and cut through with a fork or pastry blender until all crumbly... continue to do the same with the shortening until all crumbly.  You can start working with your hands when you add the egg and then the milk and work until it forms a dough... Knead and then wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes and no longer than a half hour.

(Pre-heat your oven to 350 and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper) After it's chilled take it out and knead it just a little bit until it's workable... then make 2 inch balls from the dough... you should probably average about 17.  This is what we do but this is actually the part where it will become personal for you.  You may want larger empanadas therefore make larger dough balls.  It is completely up to you.  Because the dough ball size is a personal preference so will be the size you roll the ball into.  Just make sure you don't do it too thin (you don't want any transparency in your dough).  Spoon some filling onto the center of your dough (the amount is also a personal preference... we do about a couple tablespoons), take your fingers and dip them into some water and lightly wet the bottom edge of the dough like a smiley face and then fold the top half over pressing the edges together all the way around.  Then take a fork along the edge of the empanada to make it pretty.  Take a tooth pick and make three holes on the top... Keep in mind your dough is quite delicate so be gentle while you do this and also when you transfer your empanada to your cookie sheet.  After all the empanadas are on the cookie sheet with parchment paper, scramble up an egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush the egg wash over your empanadas.  Pop them in the oven for anywhere for 8-15 minutes... Our oven is kind of on the fritz so I'm sorry the timing can't be more detailed but just keep an eye on them... Once they are golden brown they are ready.  Let them cool and then devour these delicious mouth watering homemade empanadas.  <3

Okay this is the easiest thing you're ever going to do... Not to mention how healthy you can make it!! I used Ultragrain whole grain flour and it worked GREAT!

1 Cup of flour
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon of salt
olive oil or water

Yup... that's it!  There's two ways to do this... the first way is to put the cup of flour on your bread board or kneading surface, add the salt and kinda blend it with your hands.  Gather it into a heap and then make a large well in the center of the flour all the way down to the bread board.  This is where you will put your two eggs... you can either put them in scrambled already or you can crack them right into the well and scramble them in the well with a fork.  The latter is what worked best for me... the first time I did it I poured the scrambled eggs into the well and it just overflowed like the perfect volcano experiment!  So once I scrambled the eggs in the well with a fork I sort of used the fork to work in a little bit of flour at a time until it was all combined to the point of being able to use my hands.  By the way the OTHER way to do this is just to do it all in a bowl in the same manner so if it overflows it really doesn't matter.  It's just your personal choice... I kinda like the idea of doing it right on the bread board because once you get good at it, that's just one less bowl to clean.  

Moving on... as you begin to knead this lump of dough you'll notice that things just aren't quite right...  you don't want it too sticky and you don't want it too dry... there's no real way I can tell you exactly what to do at this point.  You just need to get a feel for the dough as you are working with it.  I personally added probably about a tablespoon of olive oil (or water) and about a tablespoon of flour to my kneading process.  Once the dough is elastic, non sticky, and just feels good.  Then you know it's ready.  Wrap it up in saran wrap and let it sit for about a half hour.  

After that take the dough, cut it in half and begin rolling it through your roller or if you don't have one that's PERFECTLY okay!  Just get your rolling pin out!  If you do it by hand with a rolling pin I suggest you cut that small dough ball into fourths... that way you don't have to roll out this ENORMOUS sheet of pasta in order to get it to your desired thickness.  Then just take a pizza cutter and slice that pasta sheet in whatever shape you want!!!  

Throw it into a boiling pot of water that has a good pinch of salt in it and boil for only about TWO minutes and then drain!  Your pasta is ready to be eating with just a drizzle of olive oil and herbs or with your favorite sauce!!!! YUUUUUM!!  

One more step... tell EVERYONE on Facebook that you just made your very own homemade pasta from scratch!!!  BE PROUD OF YOURSELF!! YOU DID GREAT!!! :) 

So Daddy and I were craving a good ol' fashioned tuna melt... one like we used to have at a soda shop called Swensen's back home.  Now I've never read a recipe for a tuna melt and I've never made it before today... but my taste buds did not argue with what I came up with.  Here's what I threw together and aside from missing some hot delicious shoe string fries like Swensen's serves, it was perfection!

Sourdough sliced bread
1 Albacore Tuna in water 12 oz can drained
1 heaping tablespoon of mayonnaise (any kind will do... Kraft, Miracle, Vegan)
3 level tablespoons of Sweet Relish
Dash of salt
Dash of pepper
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Tomato slices

Heat a dry skillet to Medium/Medium Low.  In a medium bowl empty the drained tuna and combine with mayo, relish, salt and pepper.  Butter one side of all four slices of bread (for two sandwiches).  On the dry sides of two slices I layer the tuna mixture, cheese, and top it off with a couple slices of tomato.  Close it up with another slice of bread (dry side down) and plop it onto the hot skillet.  After about 2 minutes, carefully flip the melt to it's other side... make sure it toasts up nice and make sure all the cheese is melty and gooey....  Serve with shoe string fries if you can... otherwise BBQ chips are a nice touch as well.  Enjoy!!!

Grape Tomatoes
Juice from half a lemon
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Just chop and combine all the above ingredients and you have a delicious healthy salad.  It even got hubby's approval!  YUM!!


1 lb of ground beef or vegetarian alternative (see pic below)
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 28oz can of petite diced tomatoes
2 cubed zucchinis
1 diced bell pepper
1 medium size onion (diced)
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 cup of uncooked macaroni noodles

Saute onions with a dash of salt, garlic salt and pepper until they are translucent.  Add in your choice of ground meat and stir together until mat is browned.  Then pour in each can of crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes.  Bring to a low boil and spice some more with the three spices above adding in chili powder.  Spice to your desired taste.  Add in the zucchini and bell pepper.  Cover and simmer until zucchini is tender and if you are using real meat make sure that is cooked thoroughly.  I estimate this to be about 30 min.  You can either cook the macaroni to al dente and add it into the chili shortly before serving or you can add the one cup of uncooked macaroni to the chili 10-12 minutes before the chili is done. 


Okay so this was absolutely DELICIOUS!!  Unbeknownst to my husband I made this "meat"loaf without actual meat and while he was loading up on his second helping I said... "So can you tell?"  Him: "Tell what?" Me: "That it's not real meat?" Him: "What?! I had no idea!  It's AWESOME!" :)

This recipe, besides of course the vegetarian "meat" is an old recipe's of my mom's that no one can remember where it came from... She thinks it was just something she threw together one day with what she had on hand.  Whether you try it with real meat or vegetarian style... I guarantee you will LOVE this dish!

1.5 of Ground Beef or Morning Star Farms Griller's Original Burgers thawed (8 patties or two boxes)
1 package of saltines crushed
1 envelope of Lipton Mushroom Onion dried soup
Two eggs
1/4 cup water
Worcestershire sauce (a generous amount of splashes)
1 diced small or medium onion
1 diced small or medium green bell pepper

Throw all of these ingredients together in a LARGE bowl and mish mash away with your hands.... Yes your hands... it's better if you just get dirty!  Just keep kneading away till everything is combined perfectly.  Then pat everything together (it'll stick together a little easier if you are using real meat... if you are going vegetarian style continue patting together softly and it'll be just fine).  Transfer your meatloaf to a glass baking dish and form into whatever shape you like.  Pop it in the oven for 35 minutes (both for the real meat or vegetarian meat) at 350 degrees.  After 35 minutes take it out and pour one small can of tomato sauce over it and then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Pop it back in the oven for another 15 minutes and VOILA!  A delicious meatloaf at your fingertips!!!

Seriously... Just throw everything together in a bowl
Form into whatever shape you like
After 35 minutes...
And complete!
Recipe from Food.com

Dough Topping
  1. Place all dough ingredients in your bread machine pan according to manufacturers direction.
  2. Select dough setting.
  3. When dough cycle is complete, turn out onto floured board and divide dough in half.
  4. Cut each portion into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a 4 to 6" rope.
  5. Place 2" apart onto greased baking sheets.
  6. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes or until doubled.
  7. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Immediately brush with butter and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  9. Note: Be careful not to over bake or they will become tough.

Oh my goodness... DELICIOUS!! And BIG TIME approval from the man of the house!

Mouth Watering!!!

3 bell peppers chopped
1 large onion chopped
1 bunch Tatsoi, Bok Choy, or Spinach

I threw about a tablespoon or two of oil into a large skillet and threw the onions and peppers in with a bit of salt, pepper, and garlic salt.  I sauteed them on medium until they caramelized a bit.  Then lastly I threw in the Tatsoi.  I wilted them just a bit but not too much... just enough for them to take on the flavor of the other veggies but left them leafy enough to act almost like a lettuce in your tacos.

I whipped up some re-fried beans and had sour cream and cheese as condiments for the tacos and we gobbled them up they were so good!!  Oh and I used corn tortillas!  But flour would be great as well!  Enjoy!

This turned out great!

1 box whole wheat Penne pasta cooked
1 bunch of chard (stalks and leaves chopped separately)
1/2 or small yellow onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 fresh lemon squeezed
1/2 vegetable or chicken broth
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter

Heat the the butter and olive oil together in a large skillet.  Toss in chopped onion and minced garlic together and saute till fragrant.  Toss in the chopped chard stalks first and saute until tender then add the leaves until wilted.  Throw in the lemon juice, chicken broth, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.  Add in your cooked pasta and toss till it is all combined.  Enjoy!!