Kevin's Homemade Wheat Bread
This is Kevin's standard bread recipe and it is perfect for just about everything. We use it for sandwiches, as a side for dinner and it also makes great dinner rolls if divided. The measurements given will make two small loaves so he typically doubles it to make 3 larger loaves (sandwich-size) at once. We store the loaves in the refrigerator and have never had any problem with freshness, but I would assume you would want to consume the bread within 8-10 days due to no preservatives.
- 2 cups warm water (100-110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 2/3 cups white sugar
- 2 Tbs honey
- 1 1/2 Tbs active dry yeast
- 3 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (olive oil works too)
- 4 cups bread flour
- 2 cups wheat flour
- 1 egg white (optional)
In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar and honey in warm water; stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
Mix salt, egg and oil into yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, turn dough to coat on all sides. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes and divide in half. Shape into loaves; place into 2 oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes or until internal temperature is 185-195 degrees F.
For a beautiful glossy finish, pull bread loaves out 10 minutes before done and brush with egg white. Return to oven and bake until done.
Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta Bake
This is an easy, delicious and beautiful dinner - the entire family loves it! I like to serve it with a quick salad and homemade garlic bread.
- 2 cups penne pasta, uncooked
- 1 pkg (9oz) fresh spinach leaves
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 jar (14 1/2oz) spaghetti sauce
- 1 can (14 1/2oz) diced tomatoes
- 2 oz. cream cheese
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions (under cooking slightly), adding spinach to boiling water for the last 1 minute.
Cook and stir chicken, basil and garlic in oil in large skillet on medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add sauce and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Simmer 3 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in cream cheese.
Drain pasta mixture; return to pan. Stir in chicken mixture and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Spoon into 9x13 pan. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Braised Balsamic Chicken
This is one of my all-time favorite "company's coming" meals. It is quick and easy but the flavor is rich and sophisticated. It tastes like you've spent all afternoon toiling over the stove! I love to serve this dinner with green beans and pine nut couscous. Yum!
- 5-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 (14 1/2oz) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
Season chicken breasts with pepper. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet; brown garlic, onion and chicken breasts.
Pour tomatoes, chicken broth and balsamic vinegar over chicken. Season with basil, oregano and thyme. Simmer until chicken is no longer pink, about 15 minutes.