18-1: Basic Yeast Dough I

I’ve made a lot of bread during the 3.5 years I’ve been working on this project (both for the project and outside of it), and I hear a lot of the same remarks whenever I talk about making bread: “Oh, that seems hard”, or “It’s too much work to make bread”. I used to feel the same way, and shied away from yeast recipes for a long time out of a fear of failure. In cooking (like most things in life), you have to be ready to embrace failure and learn from it–otherwise, you’ll never get past heating up Hot Pockets in the microwave.

18-1 Basic Yeast Dough I

Simply Delicious even notes in their recipe blurb that bread making is perceived as hard. It’s maybe not the easiest thing in the world, but you’ll make a lot of friends fast if you can make them fresh bread. 18-1: Basic Yeast Dough I is the first in a three-part series on bread making, where you’ll learn some tips and tricks for improving your bread baking, as well as a few basic recipes that you can use.

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17-14: Nutty Muffins

Here’s one of the last few recipes left from the chapter on baked goods, Group 17: Baked Goods. I made 17-14: Nutty Muffins for work–I thought they’d make a nice accompaniment to everyone’s morning coffee. ☕️

17-14 Nutty Muffins

See? Even Simply Delicious shows them being served with coffee. Wikipedia offers a deeper dive on the history of muffins if you’re interested/bored. There’s a difference between these types of muffins (referred to as “quickbread” muffins or “American” muffins due to the fact that they’re very similar to a cupcake or other types of sweet, dense, cake-like bread) and the traditional “English” muffins that you get with Eggs Benedict or an Egg McMuffin.

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7-13: Thai Pork Loin

Pork and pineapple are two of my favorite ingredients. “Sweet and Sour Pork” from almost any Chinese restaurant makes me happy. Simply Delicious finally put these two powerhouse ingredients together in this recipe for 7-13: Thai Pork Loin.

Looking at the size of the chunks in the sample photo, I see how I could have cut my ingredients differently, however, I still stand by the choices I made. The method of preparation I chose is what Jamie and I would prefer versus what the book tells you to do.

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9-19: Meatballs on Skewers

Gyro is probably my favorite preparation method of ground meat, so when I saw this recipe, I got very excited. This recipe, 9-19: Meatballs on Skewers is basically the same recipe as gyro, just served differently. However, I wish I had just bought a container of tzatziki at the store instead of making the yogurt sauce.

The rabbit handle piece on the end of the skewer in the example photo is simply incredible. I’ve never seen a set of skewers quite like that. It looks like the other skewers have other animal handles, I think I see a cat and a chicken on the other skewers that are slightly obscured by the meatballs. The serving dish is very neat, I’d like to add one to my collection.

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17-65: Giant Caramel Rolls

A recent Sunday brunch called for a special treat: 17-65: Giant Caramel Rolls. Similar to “sticky buns“, these rolls have been taunting me for a while. I decided to make a batch and drop them off for brunch–that way most of them gets eaten by everyone else.

Don’t get me wrong–there’s still two in my freezer as I type this. But that’s better than ALL of them. Plus, there wasn’t room for all of them–I still had 16-14: Orange-Almond Cake in there, too. The rest of these ended up in my mom’s freezer instead.

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9-37: Ground Meat and Bean Dinner

This dish is a dish that just “isn’t quite”. Isn’t quite good, isn’t quite bad. Like a bootleg chili, 9-37: Ground Meat and Bean Dinner is a Simply Delicious mess of a dish that isn’t quite chili and isn’t quite a casserole. 🌶

Unusual flavors is an understatement. Apples, cloves and cinnamon are a very old school meat and flavor combination. The broadest definition of meat is a solid food so pretty much everything used to be called meat. Merriam Webster Dictionary features an archaic definition of meat: “the edible part of something as distinguished from its covering (as a husk or shell)”. Fruit meat, nut meat, vegetable meat, the fleshy part that provides sustenance is technically a meat under this really old definition.

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17-40: Apple Rolls

Editor’s note: Happy New Year! We start the new year by finishing up a bit of old business from last year! 

My second apple recipe for this year’s holiday gifts (XMAS 16) is 17-40: Apple Rolls. These “not too sweet” rolls contain an apple wedge wrapped inside a savory dough, covered with sesame seeds. I made a double sized batch of these rolls. Thankfully, the instructions are very good and I’ve practiced with yeast enough times to make a pretty decent dough.

I wish I had taken the advice from the front of the card and used chopped pecans instead of sesame seeds.

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17-25: Almond Rolls

17-25: Almond Rolls are kind of a bonus holiday baking (XMAS 16) post for me–only one person received the bulk of these, as they made up part of a week-long Secret Santa gift-giving event that my work puts on. 🎄🎁 My giftee for Secret Santa not only got these, but a batch of 17-9: Brownies with toasted hazelnuts both in the batter and on top, as well as a batch of my family’s chocolate chip cookie recipe with red & green M&Ms swapped in for semisweet bits. 🍪🎅

These almond rolls are similar to cinnamon rolls/buns, and like the recipe that Simply Delicious provides for cinnamon rolls, these ones lack a glaze/icing as well. However, given the sweetness of the filling and the fact that these are a gift for someone, I’ll forgo adding icing on my own this time. 🍰

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17-49: Apple Muffins

My contribution to this year’s holiday baking (XMAS 16) consists of two recipes which include my favorite fruit: Apples! 🍎 🍎 🍎

I ended up multiplying this recipe by 3, which gave us more than enough apple muffins for the holiday gifts. 🎄


The notes on the front of the card are from Jamie’s mom. I made this recipe once before when I had a lot of apples laying around.

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16-52: Apple Nut Saucepan Torte

One of the two desserts I made for this year’s Thanksgiving (TGV 2016) was 16-52: Apple Nut Saucepan Torte (the other was 15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe). I wanted something “of the season”, and this seemed like a cross between apple pie and fruitcake.

This was the second dish I made, starting off the Wednesday 11/23 portion of my holiday cooking marathon. Since this cake holds well at room temperature, I planned to just slightly underbake it, and then finish it off for 5-10 minutes in a preheated oven to warm it up for dessert on the day of the holiday.

16-52-apple-nut-saucepan-torteIf I hadn’t made this for Thanksgiving, I think it’d make a great gift (mailed or delivered in person) or potluck dish, especially for an office or somewhere where it would sit for a while. Even though Thanksgiving is over for the year, it’s totally still the season for a cake like this one.

Other dishes I made on this night (Wed. 11/23): the dressing for 1-10: Seafood Louisiana Cocktail, cranberry sauce, 15-49: Chocolate Pudding Deluxe, and a roasted garlic & herb butter to serve with 17-5: Hot Seedy Rolls.

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