There’s nothing like fresh baked bread on a cold winter day. The aroma that fills the air, can remind you of days gone by, visiting grand-parents for the holidays and just feeling warm and cozy at home.
One very cold January day, we were faced with 3 feet of snow outside and trying to decide what to do for dinner. Spaghetti ended up being our choice, and I made a comment, sure would be nice to have a loaf of Italian bread to go with it. That conversation occurred around lunch time and it started Gary thinking.
He had the rest of the afternoon to put his hands into making his version of an Italian loaf. He has become a well seasoned baker and he always has a few tweaks to any recipe you can find for baking. Bread baking is his usual obsession and what he’s learned over the decades certainly improves his adventures into baking something new. This recipe is just such an attempt.
Garrett’s Hamburger Buns Gary is the baker in our house. One summer we had friends and family over for a cook-out and our homemade hamburgers were to large for store bought buns.
Right then and there, Gary decided he was going to make his own buns for the next cook-out. And they’re absolutely wonderful even by themselves!
We’ve become so enamored with his version that we have them anytime we’re having grilled sandwiches. They go great with grilled chicken, bbq, ham, and oh yes, hamburgers.
Preparation Time: 3 hours
Makes approx 32 buns
Use them for your next cook-out or once they’ve cooled from the oven, place them in a ziplock air-tight bag and freeze them until they’re needed. Continue reading →
Garrett’s Saltine Crackers
When you’re struggling and money is tight, picking up a box of crackers can sometimes seem like a luxury you can’t afford. We’ve been in that situation. It’s cheaper to pick up a pound of flour and make what you need then it is to spend $2 for this and $4 for that. Those little extra dollars eventually add up. But Gary likes having peanut butter and crackers for lunch.
When things were really bad during the recession, he worked on perfecting a saltine cracker recipe. We think he’s created a pretty good cracker.
The other good thing about making homemade crackers, you get to control how much salt is on those saltines. Or you can make your own version of a seasoned cracker. I love replacing the coarse salt with a Ranch Dressing powder for instance.
Our Holland Cinnamon Hats
Our own twist on a simple little recipe. A perfect addition to any holiday table, as an appetizer, a snack or a small after dinner dessert.
We love cinnamon bread in our house. One day we were talking about mini-muffin snacks and someone said “why doesn’t anyone make cinnamon snack muffins”? And an idea was born. We started with a basic recipe and started tweaking it to a muffin we love.
Gary is a great baker. The house always smells so homey and great when he gets the craving to make a loaf of bread. Sometimes he tries his skill at something new to push his baking talents into new realms.
He began his Challah baking on such an inspiration. He worked on perfecting his recipe for a tasty Challah Loaf for a number of years. It’s always a big hit, so we think he has the recipe down.
As an appetizer or a side dish, deviled eggs have always been a dinner table favorite around our house. My Mom always put vinegar in her deviled eggs, something I never cared for. So I started playing with her recipe to remove that ingredient, yet still keep the general flavor in tact. Some of that can be accomplished with simply using a different brand of mustard, or mayonnaise.
But cooking the perfect boiled egg that can be easily shelled isn’t always easy. There are a few tricks my Mom taught me that can help. See below.
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Makes 24 deviled eggs.
The Southern Redneck version of Wonton Wraps. Or what we like to call, Plain and BBQ Chicken Stuffers! A quick and easy appetizer to serve at any party, race day or game day event. Or just for a light summer dinner.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 10 to 20 @ 2 to 3 stuffers per person.
Makes: 30 stuffers
1 lb chicken
2 tblspn butter/margarine
16 oz package of wonton wrappers
1½ cup Colby Jack Cheddar
¼ cup crumbled bacon
¼ cup BBQ
¼ tspn pepper
1 tspn salt
There are two steps to this appetizer, the filling and the shells.
Great finger food for the race, football game, or for that cozy party. There are 2 parts to these appetizers, the seasoning and the straws. The great thing about this recipe is that you can alter so many different parts to make the cheese straws you like best. See the alternatives sections for more ideas.
Total preparation time: 1 hour, 45 minutes.
This makes about 1/2 cup of seasoning. Store unused portions in a seasoning bottle for next time.