Monthly Archives: July 2012

Pain d’Epi (Wheat Stalk Bread)


Pain d’Epi
Nothing is more comforting than the smell of freshly baked bread. out of the oven. Growing up I can clearly remember coming home and the house was filled with that warm yummy smell of the fresh bread my mother was baking.
Hot fresh bread!


 Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Mix the flour, olive oil, water, yeast and salt together in a mixing bowl. When adding the salt take care NOT to put the salt is the bowl so it is touching the yeast but in a different part of the bowl. Salt can stop the yeast from rising fully. You may need to add some water if the consistency isn’t soft enough.
 Dust your work surface with flour and knead the dough for 10 minutes until it is a soft dough. If you’re kneading the dough by machine the time is about 6 minutes on low.
Make the dough into a ball,  fold in all of the edges on the underside of the ball. Press a floured finger slightly into the dough, if it springs back it’s ready. Now shape the dough into a long and even tube form. Cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap on a baking sheet and set in a warm place to rise until it has doubled in size, about 35 minutes.
Using a pair of scissors cut the dough in sections so that it looks like a stalk of wheat.  Cut the dough at intervals at a 45 degree angles and turn the sections from one side to the next. Don’t cut all the way through just close to it.
Then brush with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and lightly dust with flour.
I place a pan of water in the bottom of the oven. This helps the bread rise beautifully. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the bread is a light golden brown, huhhhhh, just like wheat.

Lemon Drop Cookie Recipe




Lemon Snowdrop Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen cookies


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • Zest of 3 lemons
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped candied lemon peel
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for rolling and dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats (French nonstick baking mats). In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg; beat on medium speed until combined. Add the lemon zest and beat until combined.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk in the candied lemon peel. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until just combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap. Chill the dough in the plastic wrap until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Drop the balls in the confectioners’ sugar. Using the sugar to keep the balls from sticking to your hands, roll the balls of dough around in the sugar. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Slightly flatten them with the palm of your hand. (Refrigerate the remaining dough when not in use.) Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, until just golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool. When cool, dust the cookies with confectioners’ sugar.

Pineapple Rum

“Rations of rum were given to sailors in the British Army to be mixed with lime juice because it fought of scurvy”

All you need to make Pineapple Rum (plus a refrigerator).

Here’s what you need

  • A glass container large enough to hold the cut up pineapple
  • 1 pineapple
  • 1 bottle of rum

Cut the ends and all outsides off the pineapple. Cut the pineapple into any size pieces. I cut the core off separately but include it with the rest of the pineapple in the glass container. Pour the bottle of rum into the glass container then add all of the pineapple. Cover with airtight covering. Place in the refrigerator for 40 days. Save the bottle to put the rum back into at the end of the 40 days.

After 40 days/40 nights remove pineapple, strain liquid and voila …… pineapple rum! Bonus = eat the pineapple pieces at your own risk. Serve with ice cream for a real treat!

Peanut Butter Cookies 3 ways… plus some nutty fun facts.

Peanut Butter Cookies hot out of the oven!

So I was making peanut butter cookies and we got into a discussion as to make the cross hatching or not! Which of course my tendency to lateral thinking made me ask….. How did that trend even begin? Apparently some people think that there might be religious undertones good? Evil? Now a lot of people have allergies to nuts this would be an easy way for people to identify the fact that they contain peanuts. Sounds logical. We made them both ways to see if there was a baking reason to do or not to do it. In the end the flavor was the same and though some sources said that if you didn’t mash them down by hatching that they would crumble apart after baking. That didn’t happen so………… what to do? We decided to go with the hatching to identify them as nutty cookies for those with allergies.


Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Filling.






Peanut Butter Cookies with a Cream Cheese Filling. Wait who stole the cross hatches off these cookies?







Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1/2 cup sugar, white
  • 1/2 cup sugar, brown
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix first 6 ingredients together. Stir in remaining ingredients, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Shape dough into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet approximately 3″ apart from each other. Place a little sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Press a fork into the cinnamon/sugar mixture then press into cookies in one direction, repeat with cinnamon sugar for in the other direction. Bake 10 minutes and let cool.



Fun Facts

  • It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
  • There are enough peanuts in one acre to make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.
  • By law, any product labeled “peanut butter” in the United States must be at least 90 percent peanuts.
  • Peanut butter was first introduced to the USA in 1904 at the Universal Exposition in St. Louis by C.H. Sumner, who sold $705.11 of the “new treat” at his concession stand.
  • In 1884, Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal, Quebec was the first person to patent peanut butter.
  • Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a physician wanting to help patients eat more plant-based protein, patented his procedure for making peanut butter in 1895.
  • Two peanut farmers have been elected president of the USA – Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.
  • Grand Saline, TX holds the title for the world’s largest peanut butter and jelly sandwich weighing in at 1,342 pounds. Grand Saline outweighed Oklahoma City’s 900 pounds peanut butter and jelly sandwich in November 2010. Oklahoma City, OK had been the reigning champ since September 7, 2002.
  • Astronaut Allen B. Sheppard brought a peanut with him to the moon.
  • Tom Miller pushed a peanut to the top of Pike’s Peak (14,100 feet) using his nose in 4 days, 23 hours, 47 minutes and 3 seconds.
  • Adrian Finch of Australia holds the Guinness World Record for peanut throwing, launching the lovable legume 111 feet and 10 inches in 1999 to claim the record.
  • As early as 1500 B.C., the Incans of Peru used peanuts as sacrificial offerings and entombed them with their mummies to aid in the spirit life.
  • Americans were first introduced to the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in 1928.
  • Peanut butter was the secret behind “Mr. Ed,” TV’s talking horse.
  • Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth.
  • The oldest operating manufacturer and seller of peanut butter has been selling peanut butter since 1908.
  • The world’s largest peanut butter factory churns out 250,000 jars of the tasty treat every day.
  • Ever wonder where the term “Peanut Gallery” comes from? The term became popular in the late 19th century and referred to the rear or uppermost seats in a theater, which were also the cheapest seats. People seated in such a gallery were able to throw peanuts, a common food at theaters, at those seated below them. It also applied to the first row of seats in a movie theater, for the occupants of those seats could throw peanuts at the stage, stating their displeasure with the performance.