Saturday, April 18, 2015

Easy French Bread Baguettes

And here they are, hot out of the oven! French Baguettes are light and crispy! 
Awhile back I went to a great cooking class and listened to a master cook and teacher named
"The Food Nanny". She was just delightful and fun to listen to. She had so many food stories I could have listened to for hours.   Here is her book. It is less than $20.00 on Amazon.
ck out her book, she has such a great meal plan to help families eat dinner together and stay close!

  I didn't have my purse with me so I didn't get an autographed copy of it! DARN! But I DID get her to take a picture with me, when I told her I had a food blog. Isn't she cute?

She's a mom and a grandma too! (and she loves being a grandma best!)
She made pizza dough and french baguettes both in under an hour....
Anyway, she gave us all this fantastic recipe for French Baguettes!  It takes literally 5 minutes to make. She showed us this cool baguette pan too. I ran right over after the lunch class and bought one at Spoons and Spice..... my fav cooking gadget store. They are having a huge moving sale, so if you are in the Salt Lake City area check it out at Spoons and Spice.

They had so many french bread pans to choose from and they were surprisingly CHEAP!
My finished french breads.....Don't they look great?  They are crunch on the
outside and soft in the inside...perfect to my taste.....
French Baguette recipe....totally easy and seriously yummy! 
Then I went to work. A half hour later here were my baguettes.  They taste just like a crusty french bread should. And no fat!  She gave us all kinds of tips about meal planning that I thought were fabulous! In a nutshell here is her plan....

Sunday is traditional day...roast beef, chicken, those kinds of things.
Monday is Comfort food...chili, mac and cheese, easy stuff like casseroles....
Tuesday is Italian night....she does all her pastas here...she has tons of varieties....
Wednesday is Meatless night....soups, salads, fish, or breakfast for dinner, waffles, french toast, pancakes, bacon, etc.
Thursday is Mexican Night. Tacos, Enchiladas, mexican casseroles, burritos etc.
Friday is Pizza night and all the kids invite their friends over for her out of this world pizza varieties.
Saturday is Grill night. They do a lot of hamburgers or chicken on the grill.

Doesn't that sound fabulous and fun?  I thought so too.   Gotta give that plan a try. The thing she stressed, that I really liked was how she said it kept her family together while her husband flew planes in the military and later for an airline. He was gone a lot. She was like a single parent. And dinner around the table every night added structure to her day and a bonding with her kids. They still all come back for Pizza night. She has many gourmet types of pizza as you can imagine. Her favorite is arugula, fresh mozzerella, cherry tomatoes and olive oil on thin crust. I'll do that on a later post.
Yeast mixed with warm water and sugar.....let it foam up a bit.....
Then add the flour and salt and mix up with warm water....a little at a time until it is a nice ball....Then knead
for a minute on the counter....
Here are mine kinda kneaded and waiting to be put into the pan....took 5 minutes to make and roll!  
I went over to Spoons and Spice to see if I could find a "Baguette Pan" 
 HERE is a page full of coupons to Spoons and Spice. It's a really fun place to browse around if you are a foodie like me.
Anyway it looks's 2 long u shaped pans for breads....
The food nanny makes this bread and gives it away for people's birthdays and special occasions. What a great gift idea and so quick. Who wouldn't love some hot french bread homemade by you?

Here's the Baguette pan.  It was only $5.99 at Spoons and Spice! Or check these out!
Recipe for French Baguettes... SO EASY!
1/2 Cup Warm Water
1 1/2 Tablespoons Yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/4 cups flour add a cup at a time
Add up to one cup warm water to get perfect consistency

Mix up first 3 ingredients in a small bowl and let sit for 2 or 3 minutes. (sugar feeds yeast so let it set awhile) Then in a separate bowl add salt and flour and add it to wet mixture, and then add the (up to 1 cup) warm water. Mix and then knead for a minute. Roll out in 2 loaves and lay them on greased baguette pan and let rest for 15 minutes under a towel (it will rise a bit).  Then bake 450 for 15 minutes or until golden colored.   This whole french bread takes about 35 minutes total to make and bake.
So here they are before the 15 minutes rising time.....Both have their own tube to sit in....
And here they are after the 15 minutes rising time....I put a line down the middle of each with
a sharp knife just before popping in the will look just like french bread when it has been baked! 
Wha la!  Ready for a hot 450 degree oven for about 15 it the last  minute or so.....

And here they are, hot out of the oven! French Baguettes are light and crispy! 

Well, they are just plain DEEE-LISH!  That's what they are!  I sent one down to my friend Lauri down the street. Spread the lovin!   
Then Spread some REAL butter and dig in!  mmmm....Yummy! 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Fresh Veggie Platter for Spring

I was feeling my creativity too on Easter Sunday.  I made this cool veggie and dip platter shaped like a spring scene. It was great with a ranch dip.
I 2 fresh broccoli spears, a bag of carrot chips, a bunch of radishes, grape tomatoes and cucumbers. I had a half of a bell pepper I used up too. It was easy to lay it all out. 
Just slice up all the above veggies and use celery as the "stalks" of the plant scene. The radishes are the little red and white flower petals.
I had Mango salsa and tortilla and pretzel chips for all of the dips and dipsters!

 It was a guilt free and easy fresh veggie platter for our last day of Spring Break.

Use half greek yogurt for some of the sour cream in your ranch dip to save some calories too. Yummy and guilt free snack I'm going to enjoy all week. 
I cut a few sprigs off of my apple tree today and put them in vases around the house. Aren't they pretty? They smell wonderful too. Now I have tulips sprouting AND flowering trees to remind me it is now Spring! 

Easter Bunny Cupcakes

We  had a lot of fun yesterday having our family over for dinner and egg hunting and making Easter Egg Cupcakes.
With these Easter Bunny Cupcakes, the ears are a large marshmallow cut on the diagonal and dipped in colored sugars.  
My youngest granddaughter decorating her Easter cupcake. You GO GIRL! 
Easter Cupcakes using colored coconut and jelly beans. The chicky beak is made from a fruit roll up. 
Cute little Bunny and Chick cupcakes. We also made little "nests" using coconut and jelly beans. 
I had 5 of my 6 grandkiddos there for Pin the tail on the bunny, and some bubble blowing too.
We just had them close their eyes and they were pretty good about keeping them closed while they tried to find the bunny's behind.
Here we are adding the "tails" to the Pin the tail on the bunny. Megan was the winner! Yay.  I found a freebie HERE at partydelights.
I loved watching the daddies help their youngest kiddos hunt for the eggs. It made me tear up a little. sniff...
My oldest son and his youngest daughter. It is neat to see him being a daddy. 
And my son in law is also a great dad. Here he is with his youngest and my only grandson. 
 And I got a GREAT picture of all my grandkiddos after collecting all the eggs.
 Here are my two youngest grandkids hunting together. Aren't they sweet?
"Hey I think I've got more than you do. You better get busy dude!" 
And I loved seeing the kids hunting for eggs, playing games, creating and loving it. We are all artists. The kids love to be artistic and create beautiful things. It gives them a sense of pride to create, no matter how old they are.
Coloring eggs is a yearly tradition in our family. We have always done it. And it is now the next generation carrying on the tradition for the 3rd generation. Traditions are great things to develop in your family. 
These were my oldest granddaughter's eggs. 
And her sister's eggs too. 

I'm enjoying the last days of my Spring break. I think I'll go eat a cupcake now. :D 


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