Tag Archives: Recipes

Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread – Not Your Everyday Kind of Bread

4 Jan

bread

I’m on day 2 of work after being off for 12 days.  I am unsure about you but boy is it ever hard to get motivated. I find myself thinking about ways to never work again. The only solution I can come up with is winning the lotto max or 6/49 and living the life of leisure, however, who knows if that will ever happen so back to work I go and try to find my motivation. Thankfully, my job doesn’t require me to stay late or be in the office very early, so really I should not be complaining.

Last night I had dinner with my friend, for old-time sake we went to one of our back in the day favorite lounge. Back then it was the perfect spot to sit back enjoy a nice martini or glass of wine, and watch all the cougar try to pick up the young lawyers walking through the doors. After being closed for renovations for quite some time they had just opened up, so we decided to check out our favorite spot and see if it still had that magic touch. The atmosphere was the same, same people still hanging out there 7 years later; except, the decor was much better than before and the service seems a bit better as well. The food, on the other hand, was mediocre now. There was nothing great about it! It didn’t leave me with much of an impression to go back on. Being the foodie that I am, I think giving out sausages with cheese dip on a fancy platter really doesn’t call  for a $19.00 price range. I can just wait till stampede and get that for $5.00. But they did have something on their platter that inspired me to go home and cook. Again another sign of the food not being so magnificent, is going home to eat after you just spent a lot of money on what they call “food”.  All in all the company was great, and it’s always great to catch up with friends no matter where you are.

The restaurant had focaccia bread as part of their platter. It was a bit dry but still tasty. I figured it can’t be that hard to make bread. When I got home, I looked up a few recipes to make bread. Now before I continue, I must say, I have tried in the past to make bread, and it never comes out right, always hard, dry or the dough didn’t rise properly. Thankfully I married someone who is a rock star when it comes to making bread. There are very few men I know out there that make bread, but I got lucky found one that can (this made my mother happy I think). So after looking up a few recipes, I found one on Pinterest (surprise, surprise)…but it wasn’t focaccia bread, it was Parmesan cheese, pull apart bread. I thought for sure this might be a little much for me as I am not the best at making bread. But to my surprise it came out fantastic. Just goes to show, never doubt yourself on what you can do. Just because it turns out bad a few times, doesn’t mean you destined to never do that again, just means you need to keep at it. I now think my hubby may have some competition in the kitchen when it comes to making bread.

You can pretty much find this recipe anywhere on the internet, or make your own version of this bread. I think next time I make it I might add black olives and oregano to it. This is the easiest and most enjoyable bread you will make. Not only that, but isn’t fresh bread always better, plus it just melts in our mouth. There is nothing like the smell and taste of fresh bread right out of the oven. Serve hot and enjoy!!

Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread (source, Gourmet Italian Foods) 

(Yields 1 loaf)

For the bread:

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups barely warm water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups all purpose (or bread) flour

For the mixture:

1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast and water, I also add in a little sugar to the yeast mixture, just a sprinkle. Let sit for 5 – 6  minutes until yeast is foamy.

Mix in the olive oil, salt, and flour. If you have a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, or until elastic. If you are doing this by hand, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until dough is elastic, 7-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until dough is doubled in size.
Punch down the dough. Tear off small pieces of dough (roughly the size of the bowl of a medium spoon), coat in the butter mixture, and place in the bottom of a bundt pan ( I used a loaf pan instead). Repeat this process until you have one layer of dough balls. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese. Continue layering the dough balls and cheese until you have enough layers. Cover the pan with a clean towel and allow to sit until dough has doubled in size, 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Cook bread for 25-30 min or until golden on the top.

Cookie Exchange Fun

11 Dec

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Don’t you just love cookie exchanges!!! I love everything about them. The fun and creative cookies you can make for your friends and family is amazing. There are just so many type of cookies out there, and then there is the curiosity of what you get in return. Eekk, I can’t wait!!! It doesn’t take much to make me happy as you can tell. Not many people I know get excited over Christmas Cookie Exchange. My husband loves it..only due to the fact that I leave with these cookies and come home with a ton more. More for him to enjoy I guess.

I love that this year our office decided to do this, and not some sort of gift exchange. Don’t you just hate buying gifts for people that you’re not sure if they will take your joke gift seriously or not. Or the minute you open up your gift, you know it’s either going to be a regift or put in the closet till you forget about it, collecting dust. So cookie exchange just seemed like the perfect fit for our office. The only deal was you had to bake the cookies, no ifs and or buts..I especially like the fact that are a few non-bakers in our office that are pushing their limits and baking something. Whether they turn out or not (and I am sure they will all turn out), it’s really the effort they put in that pleases me.

I had decided to make Candy Cane Cookies. These were very easy to make and so much fun. I love having colour in my cookies. They are just prefect for the holiday, so festive and cute. The more festive the cookie, the less guilty I feel for eating so many. What makes these cookies so special you ask? It’s the candy cane kiss right in the middle. Makes them so scrumptious and magical. If you’re leaving cookies out for Santa, these would be the kind he wants to munch on…just make sure everyone else in bed first, or else there wont be any left for him.

How can you say no to cookies like these…Here is the recipe for these wonderful cookies.

Candy Cane Cookies

1 bag Hershey’s Kisses brand Candy Cane Kisses
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons milk
Red and Green colored sugar

Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove wrappers from candies (approx. 35)

Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg in large bowl until well blended. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add alternatively with milk to butter mixture, beating until well blended.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in red and/or green colored sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 – 1o minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookies is set. Remove from oven; cool 2 to 3 minutes. Press candy piece into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Yields approximately 35 cookies.

Enjoy and Happy Baking!!

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