Monthly Archives: January 2015

Homemade Italian Bread, MMM!

Over the past year, DH and I have taken a break from our diet, I mean different way of looking at food, as you can tell by some the posts that came from My Kitchen In The Middle Of The Desert.  It’s been a blast, but all good things must come to an end, and what better way to go out than by making some delicious homemade bread, Italian Bread to boot!  I haven’t made this is years.

Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads - Revised and Expanded

I’ve owned this cookbook, Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads – Revised and Expanded  for many years and have actually only made one recipe, Pain Italien.


The recipe calls for a half cup of non-fat dry milk.  When I went looking for this ingredient, I found a package that will make up to one quart of milk, once reconstituted with water.  This made sense to me to buy the packet versus a big container of dried milk.  Just then, a bell went off in my head.  A couple of weeks ago our dear Niece-In-Law, Mary Elizabeth, called me to ask what she could use as a substitute for milk in a recipe and all I could think of was water and maybe add a little fat.  Some families cannot tolerate dairy products, other than if cooked/baked, and therefore don’t have milk in the house … DING!  This would solve that issue.  I’m keeping my envelope of leftover dried milk in the `fridge until I need it again.

malt syrup

Another ingredient that you may have a challenge finding is Malt Syrup.  I found this finally at Whole Foods.  Don’t skip over this and use something else, it gives the bread a gorgeous flavor.

This took me just about all day to make.  There are three risings of the dough, so this is a recipe that you may want to try when you’re stuck at home with nothing to do.  I’m not going to give you the entire recipe, mostly because it is so long and is under copyright, but I did see there are some folks that have posted it on the Internet, if you do feel so inclined.

This is the most heavenly smelling bread that I have ever made and the taste is out of this world.  DH asked me to make more and stash it in the deep freeze until we’re done with our different way of looking at food.



Yeah, yeah I know, I’m a little behind the curve, but we’ve been awfully busy.

love deviled eggs

We went over to one of our neighbor’s for a lovely New Year’s Eve party; there must have been over a hundred people there!  I decided to make a large tray (I find terrific trays at the Dollar Stores, that way you don’t need to worry about whether or not you get yours back) of Deviled Eggs to take over and I wish I made more… I only got one before they were GONE!  I made three different flavors: Wasabi in the middle there, plain with only mayo and a pinch of smoked Paprika on top and the outer ring of eggs is how I like them, mayo, mustard, dill pickle relish and dried dill weed… oh, all of the cooked yolks started out in a large bowl, mashed with S&P and then morphed from there.

It started to snow about 10 o’clock at night; so I stayed up until about 2am when it stopped and was very happy, wet and cold from standing out in it.  Heh, I’m just a little Hawaiian gal who has not seen many snow days in her life, so yeah, I was pretty giddy, I mean come on, what better time to snow then on New Year’s Eve, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Dear dear husband woke me up at about 7am New Year’s Day (he faded out about 9:30, didn’t make it to midnight) to the exclamations of “Look, Look”, it was beautiful!  I got bundled up and went out to walk around in it for awhile before making our first breakfast of 2015.

New Year's Day breakfast, Fritatta

Frittata with sweet Italian Sausage, small diced Fontinella cheese (which is very similar to Fontina, but cheaper), Multi-colored mini sweet bell peppers, Onions, Garlic and grated Grana Padano cheese in as well as on the lot of it.  MMM!



I MUST have noodles for New Year’s, that’s for long life.  I made these up a day before and had them stashed and ready to re-heat.  One must be gently with the long noodles, broken ones are bad luck.  Lunch is served.

Somehow, I’m not sure how, but Standing Rib Roast of Beef is what you eat for dinner on New Year’s Day.  You know what?  I’ve never made it myself.  I was in a panic, I wanted our special dinner to come out as nice as the Rib Roasts others have made for us (that’s you Mary Elizabeth).  But, I took a deep breath, told myself you can do this and went for it!

I put my Sea Salt and Black Pepper in Soy dishes for prepping

I put my Sea Salt and Black Pepper in Soy dishes for prepping

I found this lovely hunk-o-goodness at the butcher.  He had these massive 6-10 bone roasts for sale at a relatively inexpensive price.  What do we need with something that big?  I convinced him to whack me off a single bone, lop off the bone and truss that baby together.

I came to the conclusion by searching the Internet extensively, that seasoning with copious amounts of course Sea Salt and Black Pepper was the way to start out.

Next, I heated my cast iron skillet to screaming hot, added a touch a Canola Oil and seared all possible surfaces of our soon to be supper.

very cool rack on a 1/4 sheet pan

I found this really cool rack, can’t remember where, all I know is that I got it here on the mainland.  This works great on a sheet pan to evenly roasting any piece of meat.


In another quarter sheet pan, I roasted some Yukon Gold potatoes and Haricots verts.

Standing rib roast, Yukon gold baked potatoes and Haricorts vert


But wait!  You need a sweet.  I cheated a bit and bought Trader Joe’s Chocolate Ganache Torte and topped it with fresh whipped cream spiked with Kahlua.

I wish you and yours a happy, healthy and
prosperous New Year.


Happy Anniversary To Me!

Two years ago today I started this blog and it’s been a blast!

Let's eat CAKE!

This calls for some CAKE!

Mahalo, Thank you all for coming, I appreciate all of the folks who have read my blog, given me ‘likes’ and left me comments.

Please keep on coming back, I’ve got so much more to share.