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Bread Loaves, Breads and Desserts, Breakfast, Cupcakes & Muffins, Cuppylicious!

Stacie’s Amish Friendship Bread

Friendship Bread

Friendship Bread and blueberry muffins

Total time:  30-60 minutes, plus 7-10 days.

Friendship bread is that chain-letter-bread that you divide with your neighbors and continue to reap the benefits from over and over again.  The concept is to take your starter, triple it, then share it with 2 people.  You bake with your share, and they bake with their share in 10 days.


3 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup white sugar
1 cup warm milk

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, 3-5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Scoop out 1 cup for each of your neighbors.  Keep the remaining for yourself.  Some people store them in ziplock bags, others in small plastic containers.  Either way you do it, this needs to be 3 separate starters. Store in the refrigerator 7-10 days.

For the next 7-10 days, either squeeze and massage your starter in its bag or stir it gently with a spoon, daily.

Day of Baking:

Frugal Fanny Style:
your starter dough
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar

In a large mixing bowl, combine your starter, flour, milk, and sugar.  Mix well.  Scoop out two cups for two more starters for yourself.  Continue to Hungry Hippo Style.

OR skip this step and move straight on to

Hungry Hippo Style:
your starter dough
1 cup flour
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
softened or melted butter
sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 325F.

Grease a loaf pan or muffin tin with soft or melted butter.  Dust with sugar.

In a large mixing bowl, combine your starter and all the other ingredients.  Beat until well blended.  If you want to fold in fruit or other bread or muffin add-ins, now is the time to fold them in.  Pour batter into loaf pans or muffin cups.

Bake 22-25 minutes until dark golden brown.

Planning/Party Patsy Style:
Do Frugal Fanny Style except only scoop out one cup of new starter for yourself.  Double the ingredients in Hungry Hippo Style and make two loaves of bread or a loaf of bread and 12 muffins (pictured).  If you bake them side by side, increase bake time to 45-60 minutes.

Is Stacie Amish? Does Stacie have Amish friends?  Is it just the bread that’s Amish?  How about none of it.  Or let’s say yes to all of it, just for fun. It’s all Amish. Bring on the farm.

“Cuppy,” you ask, “what happened to the nice even numbers of 1 scoop this, 1 scoop that?!” I strangely found the original recipe too sweet. Yes, I thought something was too sweet. I blame La Niña.

Do you need to share this starter? No. Do you need to share the bread or muffins? No.

As of this post, I’ve used the same batter 4 times, and I have one in the refrigerator.

Breads and Desserts, Candy, Cuppylicious!

Coconut Candy

Chocolate Coconut Candy

Chocolate covered coconut candies.

Total time:  1 hour 15 minutes, plus chill time.

Sometimes you feel like a nut…

2/3 c sweetened condensed milk (little less than 1/2 of a 14 ounce can)
1 tsp vanilla
2 c powdered sugar
2 c shredded or flaked coconut
1 bag of your choice of meltable yummy chocolate
optional almonds

In a small food processor or blender, cut up the coconut into very fine pieces.

In a larger food processor or blender, combine milk, sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Remove from unit and stir in coconut.

Press coconut mix into a 9×13 pan.  Spread it all out and press down to make it about 1/4 inch thick.  Refrigerate 45-60 minutes or until firm.

Cut firmed coconut mix into small squares or circles or whatever it is you’re looking to slather in chocolate.   Press almonds into the tops if you so feel like it.

Slather in chocolate.  Chill on wax paper in the refrigerator.

You know what these are… I can’t say their names. And I can’t give you an accurate count because I always eat a bunch of the coconut before it ever makes it to the chocolate.

Bread Loaves, Breads and Desserts, Cuppylicious!

Challah (Egg Bread)


Braided egg bread

Total time: Approximately 3 hours.

Adapted from the Joy of Cooking.

1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 c warm water + 2 Tbsp warm water
4 tsp sugar + 1/2 tsp sugar
3 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
pinch of saffron

In a small bowl, combine yeast, 1/2 tsp sugar and 2 Tbsp warm water.  Set aside 3-5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt.  Make a deep well in the middle of the flour.  Pour in yeast mixture, egg, oil and saffron.  Combine and beat well until all the flour appears incorporated and a ball of dough forms.  Set aside 10 minutes.

Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and knead 6-10 minutes until smooth and pliable.  Shape into a ball and place dough into a large, lightly greased bowl.  Cover with a towel or saran wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk (about an hour).

Punch down (do it!) and turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide into three pieces and roll each piece to form a tapered cylinder about two feet long.  Braid them together and tuck in the ends.  Place braided dough onto a lightly greased or lightly floured cookie sheet to rise (about an hour).

Bake in a preheated oven at 400F for 9 minutes.  Turn the pan around and turn the heat down to 375F.  Bake at 375F for 20 minutes or until darkly golden.

Some people like to brush their breads with egg to make them look pretty or develop a certain sort of crust. Eh… I guess it depends on if you’re trying to impress someone. We normally eat it so fast it doesn’t matter.

I like to put a brownie pan filled with water on the bottom rack of the oven when I bake this bread. Keeping the humidity up in your oven will help your bread to cook more evenly and keep the temperature in the oven from fluctuating too much. So I hear.

Cuppylicious!, Ethnic Foods, Indian, Side Dishes

Dinosaur Bones Curry Rice

Cauliflower Curry

Cauliflower Curry on rice

Total time:   Approximately 1.5 hours.

Adapted from 1,000 Indian Recipes by Neelam Batra.

1 large cauliflower, washed
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
~1 tsp salt
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
8 quarter-size slices fresh, peeled ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
1 to 3 serrano peppers
2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 c plain yogurt, whisked until smooth
1 c water
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala + 1/4 tsp for garnish
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 c finely chopped fresh cilantro

Peel away the leaves at the stem of the cauliflower. Wash the head of cauliflower and trim away any brown spots by scraping them off with your knife. Turn the cauliflower on its head and cut from the stalk to the florets in one big slice, creating two halves.

Remove the fibrous outer coating of the stalk, but keep the softer insides. In a food processor or blender, combine the soft stalk pieces, onion, ginger, garlic and serranos until mostly smooth. Set aside.

Puree tomatoes, set aside.

Chop remaining cauliflower into bite size florets. In a small, microwave safe container, toss florets with 1 Tbsp of oil and sprinkle lightly with 1/4 tsp of salt. Microwave on high 3 minutes. Transfer to a large frying pan or wok and cook over medium-low heat until pieces are mostly brown on all sides. Remove florets to a bowl, but keep the heat on.

Add remaining 2 Tbsp of oil to the pan. Add onion mix and cook over medium-high heat until mostly brown, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and cook 8-10 minutes, until most of the juice is absorbed and a nice oily sheen appears. Add seasonings and cook 1-2 minutes more.

Reduce heat to low. Slowly add water and yogurt, stirring constantly until well incorporated. Turn heat back up to medium, add cauliflower back into the pan, mix well and cover. Let simmer 20-30 minutes until cauliflower is tender.

Add cilantro and remaining garam masala just before serving.

In case you hadn’t guessed, cauliflower = dinosaur bones. I challenge you to come up with a more clever way to get a toddler to eat cauliflower.

I liked this a lot, but we decided it was just a lot of cauliflower for a main course. So I’ve relegated this to a side dish, and I probably won’t make it again unless I know I have company that’s either 1. mostly vegetarian and/or 2. loves cauliflower.

Ethnic Foods, Side Dishes, Spanish

Espinacas con Garbanzos (Spinach with Garbanzo Beans)

Spinach with Garbanzo Beans

Spinach with Garbanzo Beans

Total time:  15 minutes.

1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 onion, diced or sliced or minced
1 bunch of spinach or 1 package baby spinach
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin

In a large frying pan, heat oil on medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook until golden (about 10 minutes).  Add garlic, salt, and cumin and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add garbanzo beans and spinach and heat through.  The spinach will wilt when it’s hot.

Some people mash their garbanzo beans.  I did not.

Cuppylicious!, Meat, Sauces and Dips, Seafood, Side Dishes, Soup and Salad

Salmon Feta Salad

Salmon Feta Salad

Spinach, salmon, feta, nuts and grapes with a spicy orange cilantro dressing.

Total time:  10 minutes.

Serves 2.

1 bunch spinach or 1 package of baby spinach
1 cup smoked salmon, deboned and separated
1 cup red grapes
1 cup feta cheese
1/2 c pecan pieces
1/2 c pine nuts

3 T olive oil, divided
1/4 c minced ginger
1/3 c orange juice
1/3 c red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp orange zest
1/2 c loose chopped cilantro
2 T brown sugar

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan on medium heat for 1 minute.  Add ginger and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes.  Add orange juice and brown sugar and bring to a boil.  Continue to boil for 3-4 minutes until the orange juice feels reduced and slightly thicker.  Remove from heat.  Add orange zest.  Puree together with remaining dressing ingredients.

Cuppylicious!, Meat, Poultry, Seafood

Salmon Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Salmon Stuffed Chicken Breast

Salmon Stuffed Chicken Breast

Total time:  1 hour.

2 boneless chicken breasts
3/4 c smoked salmon, separated and deboned
3/4 c feta cheese
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dill weed
1/2 tsp salt or to taste

Serves 2.

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a small bowl, mix together feta, salmon, garlic, dill and salt.

Using a sharp knife, slice open each chicken breast horizontally, almost all the way through, leaving the two halves attached.  Open up the split breasts and lay them out flat.  Place each piece of chicken, laid out flat, in a plastic bag or plastic wrap one at a time.  Pound the chicken pieces to ¼-inch thickness.

Scoop filling into the chicken breasts and seal them with 3 or 4 toothpicks.  (Make sure you remember how many you use.)  Roll filled breast in breadcrumbs.  Repeat for the second one.

Bake 45 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes before trying to remove those toothpicks.

I use a glass baking dish whenever I bake meat. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to keep better watch on your chicken.

Pasta & Rice, Side Dishes

Dilly Sour Rice

Dilly Sour Rice

Dilly Sour Rice served with salmon stuffed chicken breasts.

Total time:  Approximately 45 minutes.

3 cups water
2 cups rice
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 c sour cream
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dried mint leaves

Mix sour cream and seasonings, set aside.

In a large, deep skillet, melt butter on medium-high heat.  Add rice and cook until golden brown (about 10 minutes), stirring often.

Add sour cream mix, and stir well.  Add water and stir until sour cream is mostly dissolved.  Cover tightly.  Leave it this way for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low.

Let the rice simmer for 15 minutes.  Then turn the heat off and let it steam for another 5-10 minutes.  Fluff and serve.

Serves 6-8.

Shown here with salmon stuffed chicken breasts.

Breads and Desserts, Cookies, Cuppylicious!

No-Bake Cookies

No-Bake Cookies

No-Bake Cookies

Total time:  10 minutes, plus chill time.

2 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter
1/2 c milk

3 c oats
1/2 c pb
2 tsp vanilla

Microwave milk on high for 30 seconds.  Set aside.

In your largest mixing bowl that will fit in the microwave, microwave your stick of butter on high for 1 minute.  Remove and add warmed milk and brown sugar.  Stir well, until all the sugar lumps are gone (about 40 strokes).

Microwave the whole lot on high for 6 minutes.  Do not stop, do not stir.  Remove and add peanut butter and vanilla.  Stir until smooth.  Add oats and stir, stir, stir.  Take a break and stir some more.  You need to stir until it starts to feel stiff.

Scoop by the spoonful onto wax paper or other nonstick surface, 2-3 inches apart.  Cool completely in the refrigerator (1-4 hours).

Breads and Desserts, Cookies, Cuppylicious!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies with pecans and coconut.

Total time:  Approximately 45 minutes.

1/2 c butter (1 stick), softened
1/4 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/4 c chocolate chips
1 tsp shortening
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 c coconut flakes
1/2 c pecan pieces
1 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 360F.

Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.  Set aside.

Melt 1/4 c chocolate chips with shortening in the microwave for one minute, stirring every 20 seconds.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugars with the butter until it appears light and fluffy (about 3 minutes by hand).   Add egg and blend until smooth.  Add cocoa powder and vanilla and blend until smooth.  Add melted chocolate and shortening and blend until smooth.

Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated (40 strokes or less).  Mix in coconut, pecans and chocolate chips.

Bake 10-12 minutes.  Cool on cookie sheet 3 minutes before removing to a wire rack or aluminum sheet to cool completely.

My first round is always 11 minutes exactly, and each successive round is 10 minutes after that.