A white bread cycle producing the same product using the same ingredients has been default programme and the first baking programme in all my bread machines. However, please check the settings on your bread machine to be certain to choose the white bread setting.
This recipe closely tracks the recipe for plain white bread that came with the first bread machine I purchased in 2001.
An important aspect this recipe is to add the ingredients in the order listed, particularly the water and milk mix first, then the flour, and then the rest, especially if you will be using the delayed baking function. Also, the original source recipe stressed the importance of keeping a certain distance between the salt and the yeast.
Note that in making this recipe for this post, I turned on the bread machine to run right away on the standard white bread cycle that takes three hours; however, many machine models offer a delayed start function, for instance to allow for the preparation of the ingredients the night before, and having the bread ready at a later time the following morning.
Making the bread:
Six ounces of water were measured out in a measuring cup:
Six ounces of milk were measured out, and added directly to the water in the measuring cup:
The microwave oven (1200W) was set to one minute:
… and the water and milk mixture was warmed up in the microwave oven:
The warmed up water and milk mixture was transferred to the (cleaned) bread machine basket:
Four cups of flour were measured out:
… and the flour was transferred to the bread machine basket, fully covering the water and milk mixture:
Four tablespoons of sugar were measured out:
… and the sugar was transferred to the bread machine basket, on top of the other ingredients:
A teaspoon and a half of salt were measured out:
… and the salt was transferred to the bread machine basket with the other ingredients:
Margarine was taken out, and two dollops of margarine were spooned out of the container:
The margarine was transferred to the bread machine basket with the other ingredients:
Three quarters of a teaspoon of bread machine yeast was measured out …
… and the bread machine yeast was transferred to the the bread machine basket:
At this point, all the ingredients were in the bread machine basket, and the bread machine basket was placed in the bread machine:
The white bread setting was chosen (programme #1 on my bread machine), and for a two pound loaf; the programme was started, without delay:
The lid was shut, and the bread machine was allowed to do its work.
Three hours later, the bread was ready …
The baked bread was gingerly shaken out of the bread machine basket:
The baked bread loaf was placed upright on a trivet to allow it to cool:
A baking tray was taken out:
Once the bread had cooled, I began slicing the loaf of bread …
… using a bread slicer with a guide, to allow for consistent slices of bread:
The bread slices were placed on the baking tray:
A sheet of plastic wrap was placed on top of the layer of sliced bread:
The loaf was fully sliced, and the bread slices alternated with plastic wrap:
The tray of bread slices was placed in the freezer:
The crumbs created from the slicing were placed into a container with other bread crumbs and dried bread pieces, for future use in other recipes:
… and when the bread was frozen, I placed the bread slices in freezer bags:
The bags of bread slices were placed back in the freezer to have for when I want to make sandwiches and the like.
I normally keep cooked meatballs in the freezer for use with pasta dishes such as spaghetti, or eat them on their own along with other foods.
I have no recollection of why I chose to add peas, corn, or rice to the mix when I began making these meatballs many years ago, other than presumably at the time I thought that their addition was a good idea, and that incidentally doing so helped make more meatballs with the same amount of ground beef; as for the onions and egg, I have always liked onions with ground beef, and the egg acts as a binding agent to help keep the meatballs together, especially while cooking.
Making the meatballs:
A mixing bowl was placed on a kitchen scale, and the kitchen scale was set to zero:
Two pounds of ground beef were measured out:
The bowl of ground beef was put aside for a moment.
An onion was taken out:
The onion was cleaned and trimmed:
The onion was sliced thinly:
The onion was then chopped somewhat finely:
The chopped onion was transferred to the mixing bowl with the ground beef:
An egg was taken out:
The egg was cracked into the mixing bowl:
Frozen peas were measured out:
The frozen peas were added to the mixing bowl:
Since I didn’t have any frozen corn kernels on hand, I separated out some corn kernels from a bag of frozen mixed vegetables:
The frozen kernel corn was added to the mixing bowl:
Rice was measured out:
The rice was added to the mixing bowl:
Salt was measured out:
…. and the salt was added to the mixing bowl:
The ingredients were thoroughly mixed together by hand:
An electric skillet was turned on (as well as a stove burner for my cast iron skillet for the meatballs that wouldn’t fit in the electric skillet):
The meat mix was formed into balls from 1-1/2″ to 2″ in diameter, which were placed in the electric skillet (as well as a cast iron skillet off camera), with enough spacing between them to allow for easier manipulation later when turning them over:
As each side of the meatballs were cooked, the meatballs were turned over to cook on another side …
… and the meatballs were turned over again to cook yet on another side:
When the meatballs were fully cooked …
… the meatballs were transferred to a cookie baking sheet, somewhat spread apart from each other to allow for quicker cooling in the freezer …
… and the cookie baking sheet with the meatballs was placed in the freezer to cool the meatballs and begin to freeze the meatballs:
A clean, resealable freezer bag was re-labeled to reflect the new contents, meatballs of course:
Once partly frozen, the meatballs were placed in the freezer bag:
… and the bag of yummy meatballs was placed in the freezer for future eating.
Margarine was taken out and some taken up with a knife:
A frozen slice of bread — not two as called for in my recipe, because the bread I make in a bread machine is tall enough to justify cutting it in half when making sandwiches (see below) — was taken out, and the margarine was spread on it:
The slice of bread was cut into two halves:
Two slices of processed cheese (or “American cheese” slices) were taken out and unwrapped, and placed on the counter to warm up to room temperature (note that natural cheese sliced off the block may be used):
Every once in a while, I buy a large 2kg case of breakfast sausages, cook them all up at once, and then I keep them in the freezer for future eating. I do the same thing with bacon for my mom. If you don’t do so, at this point and according to your preference, cook up some breakfast sausage(s) and/or some bacon.
I then took out a frozen cooked breakfast sausage, and let it warm up a few minutes on the counter:
The sausage was then sliced into four strips along its length:
The sausage was put aside for a few moments.
A burner on my stove was turned on to a low to medium heat:
A cast iron skillet was placed on the stove, and a bit of olive oil was poured into the cast iron skillet:
The olive oil was then spread over a part of the cast iron skillet:
At this point, I placed the slices of breakfast sausage in the cast iron skillet:
An egg was taken out:
… and the egg was cracked into the cast iron skillet:
The egg was fried, and — I like eggs over — when it was ready to be turned over …
… the cast iron skillet was somewhat re-positioned, and I lifted the fried egg with a flipper …
… and the egg was turned over and fried on the other side:
When the fried egg was finished cooking, it was transferred to a plate:
… and the fried sausage slices were also transferred on top of the fried egg:
The free oil and grease in the cast iron skillet were wiped up with a paper towel (watch out, the cast iron skillet is hot!):
A slice of the bread with the margarine was placed in the hot cast iron skillet, margarine side down:
One of the slices of processed cheese was placed on the slice of bread, and “made to fit”:
The fried egg and sausage were placed on top of the slice of processed cheese:
The second slice of processed cheese was placed on the slice of bread, and “made to fit”:
… and finally, the second slice of bread with margarine on it was placed on top of the slice of processed cheese, margarine side up:
After a few moments, the sandwich was flipped over, and the bottom side, now the top, had been nicely browned:
After a few more moments, the sandwich was lifted out of the cast iron skillet and served on a plate:
Back in the mid 1990’s, my church published a cookbook with recipes from the membership. I began making a zucchini with bacon and onion sauce dish submitted by a fellow parishioner in the mid- to late-2000’s, and, besides finding it tasty, I was pleasantly surprised both at how easy it was to make, and, even more surprisingly, how it immediately came across as a restaurant-quality dish. In fact, shortly after, I happened to be at a restaurant, and ordered a similar dish as an appetizer!
Note that the amounts of some of the ingredients shown below are sometimes greater than listed in the recipe, in order to have some of the sauce leftover.
First, bacon was taken out (in this case, half slices):
The bacon was sliced crosswise / diced:
The bacon was then placed in a cast iron skillet:
Onions were taken out:
The onions were cleaned and trimmed:
The onions were quartered:
The onions were then chopped coarsely:
The onions were then placed in the cast iron skillet with the bacon:
The stove was turned on to a low to medium heat:
A pot was filled with water:
Salt was measured out:
The salt was added to the pot of water:
The stove under the pot was turned on high to boil the water in the pot:
The water was brought to a boil, and put aside.
Tomatoes were taken out:
The tomatoes were cleaned and trimmed:
The tomatoes were quartered …
… the tomatoes were further chopped:
… and the chopped tomatoes were placed in a mixing bowl:
Sugar was measured out:
The sugar was added to the mixing bowl with the tomatoes:
More salt was measured out:
The salt was added to the bowl with the tomatoes and the sugar:
Water was measured out:
The water was added to the bowl with the tomatoes, sugar, and salt:
… and the bowl with the tomatoes, sugar, salt, and water was put aside.
Three zucchinis (in this case, grey zucchinis) were taken out:
The zucchinis were cleaned and trimmed:
The zucchinis were cut in half along their length:
… and the zucchinis were put aside.
Soon, the bacon and onions were beginning to be cooked and caramelized:
… and the tomato mix was added to the bacon and onions in the cast iron skillet:
… and the ingredients in the cast iron skillet were mixed together:
The ingredients were brought to a simmer:
The ingredients were reduced, during which the tomatoes also disintegrated into the sauce
At this point, the salted water was brought back to a boil:
… and the zucchini halves were added to the boiling water …
… and the zucchini halves were boiled for ten minutes (obviously, the photo was taken about eight seconds after the timer was set):
At this point, the sauce had sufficiently reduced to my liking, and was ready for serving:
I made chicken pot pies (a family favourite) this past weekend, along with crisped rice squares, two batches of bran muffins for mom, and some cooked ground beef and onions frozen in ice cube trays in the freezer. The chicken pot pies I make are more chicken cottage pies than what most people consider to be chicken pot pies, because there is a potato topping instead of a flaky crust; additionally, the sauce in the filling is somewhat less liquid than most people would expect from a chicken pot pie.
This recipe was added to my collection of recipes in the mid to late 2000’s as another making-a-lot-in-advance freezer food project, based on a recipe I’d found on the internet and adjusted for amounts to make freezer quantities, and using commercial chicken broth instead of making my own.
These cheese biscuits are quite easy to make, such as for a light Saturday morning breakfast, or for afternoon tea. They are so tasty that six of the eight cheese biscuits I made this morning were eaten, while the other two frozen for another day, long before I started organizing and putting together this blog post. 🙂
First, I took out some parchment paper and lined a baking tray with a couple of stray pieces of parchment paper I had:
Normally, the recipe calls for self-rising flour; I didn’t have any, so a cup of flour was measured out:
The measuring cup with the flour was kept at hand.
A teaspoon and a half of baking powder was measured out:
… and placed in the measuring cup with the flour:
The measuring cup with the flour and baking powder was again kept at hand.
A quarter teaspoon of salt was measured out:
… and the salt was added to the measuring cup with the flour and the baking powder:
The flour, baking powder, and salt were mixed in the measuring cup with a fork:
And, because the measuring cup I was using has a two cup capacity, the measuring cup with the flour, baking powder, and salt was again kept at hand (see the next part.)
Greek yoghurt was taken out:
… and the greek yoghurt was spooned out of the container …
… and greek yoghurt was transferred into the measuring cup with the flour mixture until there was a cup’s worth of greek yoghurt added:
The measured out flour mixture and greek yoghurt were transferred to a mixing bowl:
The mixing bowl was put aside for a moment.
Cheese was taken out, along with a grater and bowl:
Cheese was grated:
… and half a cup of the grated cheese was measured out:
The grated cheese was transferred to the mixing bowl with the flour mixture and the greek yoghurt:
At this point, I remembered that I needed to preheat my countertop convection oven to 425F:
I continued by mixing the flour mixture, greek yoghurt, and grated cheese in the bowl with a fork to make a stiff (and sticky!) dough:
Balls of dough about the size of golfballs, without any further handling (nor any flattening out) were scooped out of the mixing bowl and placed on the baking tray:
… and the rest of the dough was portioned out to make a total of eight rough balls about the size of golfballs:
The baking tray with the biscuit dough was placed in the preheated countertop convection oven:
… and a timer was set to 18 minutes (obviously, the photo was taken about 10 seconds later!)
At the 16 minute mark, a couple of the cheese biscuits were taken out for mom, who likes the biscuits slightly less well baked than I do:
… and the rest of the cheese biscuits were taken out at 18 minutes, and placed on a cooling rack:
Regarding how tasty they are … as mentioned at the beginning of this post: “They are so tasty that six of the eight cheese biscuits I made this morning were eaten, while the other two frozen for another day, long before I started organizing and putting together this blog post. :)”
This week’s cooking projects from my collection of recipes included making bran muffins for my mom, more blondies, more chocolate buttercrunch, and the subject of this post, lemon squares. I started making them to have another dessert to add to my collection of recipes, and so I found a recipe on the Martha Stewart website, which I then converted to my format and whose measures I adjusted down by half. However, you may notice that in this recipe, the full amounts of the original recipe are also listed, since you may wish to make enough of these squares for a party; unfortunately, since the recipe does not freeze too well, I found that the full recipe was big enough that my mom and I started to get tired of them after eating them every day for a week!
Making the vegetable soup instead of another recipe from my recipe collection that I had planned was a bit of a last minute decision, given that the decision to go to the cottage this past weekend was made at the last minute. As such, being at the cottage, I was cooking in a different kitchen using different equipment from usual while making the soup (see pictures).
My 16 quart pot was placed on the stove:
A can each of crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes were taken out:
The crushed tomatoes were poured into the pot:
The can with crushed tomatoes was rinsed with water, which was poured into the pot:
The diced tomatoes were then poured into the pot:
A can of kidney beans was taken out …
… poured into the pot …
… and the kidney beans can was rinsed with water, which was then poured into the pot as well:
A 32 ounce (900 mL) box of vegetable broth was taken out …
… and was poured into the pot:
About a kilogram (a bit over two pounds) of mixed frozen vegetables were taken out …
… and poured into the pot:
At this point, I started mixing the ingredients:
A 32 ounce (945mL) bottle of multi-vegetable cocktail was taken out …
… and poured into the pot:
At this point, the burner on the stove was turned on to start heating up the soup:
Throughout the following steps, I kept on mixing the soup in the pot to keep it from burning on the bottom of the pot.
Next, a couple of onions were taken out …
… then the onions were cleaned and trimmed …
… then the onions were sliced …
… then the onions were chopped …
… and the chopped onions were placed in a mixing bowl:
A potato was taken out …
… and the potato was cleaned and trimmed:
The potato was sliced along its length …
… the potato was then sliced into spears …
… then the potato was sliced into cubes …
… and the potato cubes were placed into the mixing bowl with the chopped onions:
Two carrots were taken out …
… the carrots were cleaned and trimmed …
… then the carrots were quartered to make spears …
… then the carrots were then chopped coarsely …
… and the chopped carrots were placed in the bowl with the potato cubes and chopped onions:
Throughout all the vegetable chopping, I mixed the ingredients already in the pot while it was heating up, in order to avoid burning on the bottom of the pot.
Next, olive oil was added to the bowl of chopped vegetables …
… then the chopped vegetables and olive oil were mixed together to fully coat the chopped vegetables:
A cast iron skillet was preheated on the stove:
… and the mixed chopped vegetables and olive oil were transferred to the skillet:
Salt was added to the frying chopped vegetables:
Once the chopped vegetables started to brown in the skillet, they were transferred to the soup pot that was continuing to be heated up:
The skillet was deglazed with water …
… and the deglazing liquid was added to the soup pot:
Half a cup of rice was measured out:
… and the rice was added to the soup.
Water was added to the soup pot to bring the liquid level up to the eight quart mark:
The soup was continued to be heated:
… and brought to a boil:
The heat was reduced and the soup was simmered for over half an hour:
I continued adjusting the salt level in the soup until it was to my taste.
While the soup was simmering, plastic containers (in this case, reused yoghurt containers) were laid out:
Once the soup had simmered for over half an hour (probably coming on to an hour), the soup was taken off the stove, and transferred to the containers with a ladle (the golden sheen is the olive oil reflecting the camera flash):
And the containers were covered, and placed in the freezer:
This week’s cooking projects from my recipe collection was to make my mini meat loaves, the subject of this post, plus, earlier in the week, blondies and bran muffins. My recipe for meat loaf is another example of one of my easy recipes whose formal existence lies in simply documenting rough amounts of ingredients required to make the dish, as well as filling the freezer with convenient prepared-in-advance foods in portions convenient for one to two people; admittedly, the recipe hardly describes a particularly technical, involved, or challenging dish.
First, I checked my container in which I collect and save bread crumbs and bread pieces to see if I’d had enough dried bread crumbs and bread pieces:
Although I did have a sufficient supply, I decided to add to it, by taking out a bread heel …
… which was sliced into spears …
… and then sliced again into cubes:
The bread was placed into a countertop convection oven in order to dry the bread cubes:
When dried (and perhaps slightly over-browned), the bread cubes were taken out of the countertop oven, and allowed to cool:
The cooled bread cubes, and some of my existing supply, were placed in a measuring cup and put aside:
Two onions were taken out …
… trimmed …
… chopped somewhere between coarsely and finely …
… and placed in a bowl, to be put aside for later use:
A serving plate was placed on a kitchen scale, which was set to imperial units, and set to zero:
Four pounds of ground beef were measured out …
… and placed in a large mixing bowl (well in this case, a large salad bowl):
The dried bread cubes and bread crumbs were added to the mixing bowl:
The chopped onions were added to the mixing bowl:
A large egg was cracked and added to the mixing bowl:
A teaspoon of salt was added to the mixing bowl:
And pepper was added to the mixing bowl:
Here is the mixing bowl with all the ingredients in it:
All ingredients were thoroughly mixed by hand:
The meat mix was formed into six individual mini loaves, and three mini loaves were placed in each of two loaf pans:
The meat loaves were placed in a countertop oven preheated to 350F:
Partway through the cooking, the meat loaves were removed from the oven, and basted with the drippings from the bottom of the baking pans:
At the end of the cooking, the meat loaves were removed from the countertop oven:
The drippings were transferred to a bowl …
… and the grease was cooled solid in a refrigerator:
The solidified fat was separated from the other drippings, which were saved in a container and frozen for use in some future soup not yet otherwise planned; the solidified fat was wrapped in paper towelling, and placed in the curbside brown box for municipal composting.
In the meantime, the meat loaves were placed on a tray, to be placed in the freezer to quickly cool down:
Sealable sandwich bags were identified with the intended contents and the date:
The now partially frozen meat loaves were placed in the sandwich bags:
Finally, the meat loaves were placed in the freezer again, for when I will be eating them.
They are really convenient to take out for last minute supper plans for two, and / or to have leftovers for lunches.
First, a bowl was placed on a kitchen scale and the scale weight was set to zero:
Then semi-sweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate buttons (as well as a few rosettes) were taken out …
… and 150 grams of each were weighed out in the bowl, for a total of 300 grams:
The chocolates were then put aside for later.
Then, two 13″ x 9″ baking pans were lined with parchment paper, and put aside for later:
To begin making the buttercrunch part, margarine was scooped up in a paper towel …
… and a heavy pot was coated with the margarine:
A pound of butter was taken out …
… and half a pound of butter was cut off to be used in the recipe, while the remaining portion was put away:
The butter was placed in the greased, heavy pot, and the stove turned on low:
On a low heat, the butter was completely melted:
A cup and a quarter of granulated white sugar was added to the melted butter …
… along with roughly two tablespoons of maple syrup …
… and roughly two tablespoons of water:
The melted butter, sugar, maple syrup, and water were mixed together …
… and then stove burner was turned up from a low setting to a medium setting:
And the mixture was heated, while constantly being stirred, and the temperature being monitored with a candy thermometer:
Once the mixture reached 300F, it was transferred to the baking pans lined with the parchment paper …
… and immediately spread out using a stiff spatula:
As a cautionary mention, be careful not to overheat the buttercrunch mixture, since shortly after 300F, the pan will scorch (this picture is normal, but it is at the point at which the candy would scorch if the buttercrunch were left in the pot any longer):
The chocolate prepared earlier was placed in a microwave oven for two and a half minutes to melt, and partway through, I took it out to blend it so as to help with even melting and to avoid hot spots which would promote burning:
And then the fully melted chocolate was taken out of the microwave, and fully blended (Note that this photo is from a previous batch some months ago):
The fully melted and blended chocolate was poured onto the still-warm buttercrunch …
… and then the chocolate was promptly spread over the buttercrunch with a stiff spatula:
The chocolate was allowed to just about fully cool to room temperature, and hence once the chocolate was congealed, a table knife was use to break the buttercrunch into rough pieces:
The trays of chocolate buttercrunch were then placed in a fridge to completely cool and solidify the candy, and then the pieces were gingerly broken apart by hand (be careful, too much effort or enthusiasm in doing so will separate the chocolate from the buttercrunch):
And finally, the candy was separated into bags:
Of course, mom received the largest bag, while my brother will get one of the other two bags.