Tag Archives: Cooking

Cranberry Walnut Bread {a Recipe}

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Around Thanksgiving I shared over on Instagram about my Cranberry Walnut Bread, but there’s more to the story. When I was pregnant with the triplets Panera had Cranberry Walnut bagels which were DELICIOUS! Of course, after Christmas they disappeared, because we can’t tolerate such things out of season.img_1537

For years I’ve been trying to find a recipe for a Cranberry Walnut bread, but most of them were a baking soda/powder recipe, which was NOT what I wanted. I wanted a yeast bread. I wanted it to be more of a brown bread. So I started trying recipe after recipe to find the right one.

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One day I was making one of my  favorite breads, molasses brown bread, when it hit me…it’s the perfect bread for cranberries and walnuts! Here is my recipe, per request. The recipe does freeze well, but there’s nothing quite like a hot slice of bread with melted butter.

 

Cranberry Walnut Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 4-3/4 to 5-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, combine first four ingredients. Cool to 110°-115°. In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Sprinkle with sugar. Add oat mixture, brown sugar, molasses and 3 cups flour; mix well. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Divide in half; shape into loaves. Place in two greased 9x5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Brush with butter. Yield: 2 loaves.

 

My Favorite Things – A Collection of White House Christmas Bests

Over the past 9 years of blogging I’ve written quite a bit about my favorite time of the year, Christmas. From books we love to things we do, recipes and ways to enjoy the season more fully. For a while now I’ve been meaning to collect all of these posts together in one place…and now I am.

For the Book Lover!


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http://jessicam white.com/new-favorite-christmas-books-children

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For the Foodie!

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For the Stressed-Out!

a Simple Christmas @JessicaMWhite.com
Taking the Stress out Christmas Shopping @JessicaMWhite.com

 

My Favorite Kitchen Must-Haves

My Favorite MUST HAVE Kitchen Tools @JessicaMWhite.com

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A while ago I kept coming across posts about what people considered their “must-have” kitchen gadgets, and I thought to myself, that’s ridiculous, there is nothing in my kitchen that I couldn’t live without. Honestly there isn’t, but there are a few things that definitely make my life a bit easier.

My Favorite MUST HAVE Kitchen Tools @JessicaMWhite.com

My first kitchen love has been and always will be my Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer. My MIL bought me this as my shower gift {I have the 6 qt professional}, and I have loved it forever! Growing up we didn’t have one of these, and when Matt and I started dating his mother did, and mine didn’t. It was a whole new world to have that thing {we’d been standing over bowls with a hand mixer or spoon}. There’s so much I can do with it, and tons that I have still never done with it.

My Immersion Blender didn’t become popular until Ave was born. It suddenly made baby food processing infinitely easier, then I realized I could do so much more with it! Chunky sauces thinned, guacamole, soups, anything! If something needs to get smoothed out, this is so much easier to use than a big food processor or blender {which my blenders always seem to be broken: Anyone else with that problem?}.

I’ve long been a believer in using cookie scoops, it was only this fall that I decided to splurge and by myself a 1/4 cup Muffin Scoop: Game changer! No more messes while making muffins or cupcakes or dishing out equal portions of ANYTHING {which are a necessity in this household!}.

Once upon a time I bought a Pampered Chef Mix’n Scraper, which I loved, then someone bought me a kitchen aid three pack of Assorted Scrappers and oh my…there was this thin, long handled scraper in there that was awesome! A medium scraper is great for mixing and stirring thinner batters, but that thin, long handled one is a dream to clean appliances {like the immersion blender} and scrape out containers.

When it comes to measuring ingredients there are two things that I couldn’t live without my Pyrex Liquid Measuring Cups and a 5 piece measuring cups {includes 3/4 cup}. The Pyrex is great because I can microwave or heat them and they’re just all around awesome {I use the bigger ones-2 cup and 4 cup} for mixing small batches of batter. The greatest thing about a 5 piece measuring cup set is the inclusion of a 3/4 cup…it takes all the work out of 1.5 cup measurements…there is no getting multiple pieces dirty, just one and it’s done!

While I love my Stand Mixer there are definitely times when it would be overkill to use {quick breads, muffins, and other easy to mix dough}, that’s is when it’s really handy to have a Big plastic mixing bowl or 3. They’re light weight, easy to clean, and make a lot less work than scrubbing out the beaters of a stand mixer.

Last, but certainly not least is our Kitchen Scale; this thing gets used constantly…several times a day; from ingredients for recipes, letters, and anything else you name it…our kitchen scale is used for it. It’s so small and convenient that it just sits in a drawer and I can whip it out and put it back in seconds!

What are your favorite kitchen tools? Are they expensive gizmos or common-sense gadgets?

Holiday Sauce – a Christmas Breakfast Tradition

Christmas Day is not that far away, so I wanted to be sure to share this family tradition with you before you headed out to do your Holiday Food Shopping!

The first Christmas that Matthew and I were dating, the big Christmas morning thing for his family was Holiday Sauce. Yea, I was just as confused as you are. In the White House “Holiday Sauce” is hollandaise sauce; however, the only time of year that my mother in law made this was at Christmas, thus “Holiday Sauce” was born {the kids didn’t pick up on the difference between holiday and Hollandaise}.

So what is this tradition they have?

Holiday Sauce a Christmas Breakfast Tradition from JessicaMWhite.com

Every Christmas Eve smoked ham is served and Thanksgiving leftover Turkey removed from the freezer. The next morning the magic happens. Eggs, ham and turkey are fried, English muffins are toasted, and “Holiday Sauce” is made: Eggs Benedict is served!

At first the whole thing sounded disgusting to me, mind you I didn’t like eggs at the time. It took me having kids before I could actually not only cook eggs, but eat them too {when we go through a dozen at breakfast you get good at them really fast}. For Matthew’s birthday breakfast we served up some “Holiday Sauce”, since we had all the ingredients on hand!

I hope you’re ready, because this is really EASY to make, and oh so yummy!

 

Holiday Sauce
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 Whole Egg
  • ½ lb Butter
  • Scant Teaspoon Salt {only if using unsalted butter—if salt is added with salted butter, it’s fine, but I find it a bit salty}
  • Scant Tablespoon Lemon Juice
Instructions
  1. Blend eggs in a blender or food processer, until well mixed.
  2. Add in salt and lemon juice, blend.
  3. Bring butter up to a bubble, either in the microwave or on the stove.
  4. Once butter is bubbling, slowly add into blender while blade is moving: The sauce should start to thicken up immediately.
  5. Keep warm {I use a gravy pitcher that had HOT water in it}
  6. Assemble Your Eggs Benedict: Take your toasted {warm} English muffin, place several slices of fried ham and turkey on it, then an over easy egg…pour “Holiday Sauce” over the whole thing: Enjoy!

This has honestly become one of my favorite special-treat breakfasts. It’s definitely not low calorie, but it can actually be really healthy for you depend on the ingredients you use {eggs and butter are both brain food, if from good sources; ham and turkey are protein; and there’s really no health benefit to an English muffin, but you could easily ix-nay that or add something healthier as your base}.

What are you Christmas Breakfast traditions?

From Busy to Blessing – Blessing Our Children with a Foundation of Healthy Habits

You have to cook dinner, right? The kids are always wanting a snack? They’re running all over the house making you pull your hair.

The days are crazy and before you know it, its 4:30 and you have nothing pulled out of the freezer and the kids are swinging from the ceiling lights.

How can I deal with the craziness and still be a blessing to my children, while not giving myself another guilty moment or thing to do?

Food

It’s dinner time and nothing is ready. For myself I mentally throw all my food inventory into 3 categories: Meat, Vegetable {potatoes and other starchy veggies don’t count}, and Carbohydrate. I usually can cob together a healthy meal from what’s in the freezer. I just have to think a bit more creatively!
When you know you’re going to be out of the house during a meal or snack time, think about what things you caFrom Busy to Blessing How to Use Your Martha to Be a Mary For Your Children through Good Health, Nutrition and Exercise @JessicaMWhite.comn either easily pick up on the road, that are healthy, or that you can bring along. This is such a simple thing, with a huge impact for healthy.

This part will take a bit of planning. There are numerous books out there on how to serve healthy and easy meals that kids will eat. This is one of my favorites,Real {Fast} Food written by Trina Holden, who is also doing her own 31 Days series about real foods.

Exercise
My kids love nothing more than being outside, but it doesn’t always fit into my schedule of things that need to get done, not to mention the weather. What do I do? I try to fit my schedule into play time. If I know that laundry is going to need to go out or come in, then I make sure the kids are out there with me. They can run, have Mama looking on and answering all the questions, and I’m still able to get the work I need to done.

We live in town, so I try to incorporate walks into our day, even if it means just walking to do errands or around the block. It gives them some fresh air time, and me a bit of exercise. If I have help we will occasionally brave the park, but that’s not something I can do on my own.

We all want our children to have what’s best in life, to know that we are starting them on the path of health, whether through good food choices or exercise. We’ve got to do the work anyways, might as well do it right. With a little bit of rethinking, we can often do what we’re already doing, but choose to make it healthier for our children.

Click here to find more of my posts in this series: 31 Days | From Busy to Blessing