Recipes

Amish Friendship Bread – Minus the Friendship (starter)

*this post was originally published on my cooking blog, One Bite at a Time: From My Kitchen to Yours

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Who doesn’t love Amish Friendship Bread, buttttt, you have to admit dealing with the “starter” mix is a bit of a pain! And you just get stuck with it going on and on and on, until you finally throw the stuff out, which always makes me feel a little bit guilty for some reason!

So not to sound “unfriendly” but I went searching for a non-starter Amish Friendship bread recipe and this is what I found. I just made this bread this morning and sampled it a little bit ago….soooo good!!!!! 

Ingredients:

Starter-

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup flour

Bread:

1 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
3 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 boxes instant vanilla pudding (the smaller ones or 1 large one)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 F. Mix “starter” ingredients, then add oil, milk, eggs and vanilla, mix well.  In a separate bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, vanilla pudding and nuts.  Add dry mixture to the liquid mixture and mix thoroughly.

Pour into two large well greased loaf pans, one bundt pan or 48 muffin tins.  Bake for one hour or until done, muffins will take 30-35 minutes.

Misc. Crafts, Quilting, Sewing

My First Quilt

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So a few months ago I started quilting!  This was my first quilt and as you can probably see from the picture, it is nowhere near being perfect!  BUT I had a blast making it despite the imperfections.

I am a very novice sewer so this was a big step for me.  I barely knew how to operate my sewing machine before tackling this project!  I had zero idea how to quilt really so I watched a ton of Youtube videos to learn more.  Here are the ones I really enjoyed and can highly recommend if you too want to learn!

(I’m listing websites which will have the most info then you can follow the website onto the youtube tutorials)

Alanda Craft   I love love love Alanda!  She is an amazing teacher and my most favorite sewing youtuber.  She makes everything look so easy!  I have learned so much from watching her!

Made Everyday  Another great one is Made Everyday, hosted by the super fun, Dana!  She is so fun to watch and very funny and informative.  Her projects are super easy to follow and perfect for the beginner.

Professor Pincushion  A wealth of knowledge comes from Professor Pincushion!  In fact watching her quilting video made me first want to learn the craft.  Here is the video that first inspired me! 

 

And last but certainly not least is Melanie Ham  She is a great instructor too and has TONS of tutorials, classes and lessons for the beginning quilter, both free and paid.  Check her out!!

Since sewing my first quilt I’ve done a couple more, plus many smaller projects and I can certainly say I am hooked!  I’m really enjoying creating what I hope will be family heirlooms for my children that they will pass down from generations.  It’s not the mistakes in your quilting that matter, it’s the love you put into them that counts.  

Have a great day and be sure to check out those sites, you’ll be glad you did!!

 

 

Classic Macaroni and Cheese, Recipes

Classic Macaroni & Cheese Recipe

Cooking is a form of “crafting” right??  I love to cook and mac and cheese is one of my all time favorite dishes.  This is my oven recipe, I also have a crock pot version but to be honest this is my favorite one.  I originally posted this recipe on a cooking blog I had back in 2010.  I’m reposting it over here for your viewing and cooking pleasure! (My kids LOVE this dish, well, not ALL my kids.  My youngest twin will only eat Kraft mac and cheese from a box and refuses to touch this, but the other two love it!)  

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A little back story before I share the recipe.  My version of this recipe is based on the mac and cheese that the Michigan Cafe at the Henry Ford Museum (Greenfield Village) in Dearborn used to serve.  I – loved – that – stuff!  It was soooooo good!  For one thing they used Cellentini pasta which I’d never seen before and I thought that was mega cool.  But the best thing was all the cheese, big gooey, stretchy chunks of sharp cheddar cheese that clung to the swirly pasta.  Oh my gosh, I would go into a food coma!  

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Back home I was determined to find a copy cat recipe and quickly started searching for one.  But I couldn’t find one, so I just took an old mac and cheese recipe and gave it a nice Henry Ford Museum twist (ha ha!) and this is what I came up with!  I’m happy to say it tastes just like what I got at the Michigan Cafe.  

That’s the good news.  Now for the bad.

On my last visit to the Michigan Cafe, after years of not visiting, I eagerly ordered up a nice big bowl of that classic mac and cheese.  I could not wait to dive in again and find all that glorious cheese.  Only to find…they changed the recipe!  Apparently the folks at the Michigan Cafe caved to the health food craze (which I think mac and cheese should be exempt from!)  and reworked the recipe and made it taste like….well… like blech!  

Now some people might like it.  It does still have the Cellantini, so that’s a definite plus!  But the ooey gooey stringy cheese chunks are gone, replaced with a soupy kind of white sauce with lots of pepper.  Yuck.  Even my eight year old son, who is a mac and cheese connoisseur, would not touch the stuff.  And my Kraft girl?  You don’t even want to know what her reaction was!  

So that’s my sad mac and cheese story.  You can’t get the good stuff at the Michigan Cafe anymore, so make this instead!  I promise you’ll love it!

The Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 8 oz package of cellantani (or macaroni if you prefer) I sometimes add a bit more
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 8 oz block SHARP Cheddar cheese, shredded & divided (I actually shred a little more than 1/2 of the block, then cut the remainder in chunks.
Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain & keep warm. Melt butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook whisking constantly for 5 minutes or until thickened. (It helps to have all your ingredients pre measured so you don’t have to keep stepping away from the stove) Remove from heat. Stir in salt & pepper and 1 cup of the shredded cheese, the chunks of cheese and the cooked pasta.
Spoon pasta mixture into a lightly greased 2 qt. baking dish, top with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 2-3 main dish or 4-6 side dish servings.

* a lot of the time I double this recipe because it’s so good everyone complains that it’s gone too soon!
I hope you enjoy this classic mac and cheese recipe with a Michigan twist and will give it a try soon!
Product Reviews, Storage Ideas

12 x 12 Paper Storage….Meh…

Storage is such an issue for me!  I have a very small craft space, literally just the corner of our master bedroom so I have to get really creative with what little space I have.  One area I am constantly struggling with is storage for my 12 x 12 paper.    So I went in search of a way to store it.  In the past I’ve done the Vertical storage files from Cropper Hopper but I don’t really like storing my paper that way, I prefer horizontal.  So I then tried plastic storage cases with lids.  Only trouble is that the only place I had to put them was on a closet shelf, stacked on top of one another.  So every time I needed a sheet of paper, I had to pull cases out, open them up, struggle to get them back in.  Ugh, got tired of that quickly!

I finally found something I thought I would like, on Amazon for a very good price!

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Well my paper rack arrived today and I eagerly opened up the box.  

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No instructions, just a pile of wire racks.  It was pretty easy to figure out, just unfold the base and sort of hang each tray in place.

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It looks like it will hold all I need for now and I like the sea foam green color.  But I will admit, I was a bit disappointed!  While I like the color and love that the trays will slide out partially, what I don’t like is how flimsy the whole thing feels.  It’s very wobbly, maybe once I get a ton of paper in it it will feel more substantial?  

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Oh well, I guess we will need to file this one under “you get what you pay for”.  It’s not the ideal solution, but for now for my budget and space it’s okay.  In the meantime I will keep dreaming of that big huge craft room I’m sure I’ll have someday…*sigh*…..*

**I got this on Amazon.  Interesting, when I purchased it just a few days ago it was listed as $19, now it’s $28!  Way too expensive for what you get, just my opinion!  So maybe do a search and see if you can find it cheaper.  I would not pay more than $20 for this and even that feels like too much!  **

American Crafts 375798 Paper Rack Crate Paper Desktop Storage Paper Rack