Gratitude in the Small Things by Teri Hiben

teriblog2Yes, things are getting busy. With Thanksgiving dinner and then holiday shopping and baking and visiting, life can get a bit hectic. Recent family health issues have caused me to slow down and reflect on the things that matter. While I’m thankful for so many big blessings like family, friends and home, I’m also thankful for many smaller joys.

I love the way the rain hangs on the crabapples in the back tree, the voices of the new neighbor boys as they play in the backyard reminding me of my own boys. There’s nothing like a great book on a cold evening, the hoot of the owl when I can’t sleep at night. And I think my favorite meal consists of a great bowl of soup and some homemade bread. Simple is many times better.

teriblog1I encourage you this holiday season to take some time to slow down and be thankful for your many blessings, help those who have less than you, look for the good in those around you, enjoy a job well done, show simple kindness and enjoy it in others. And sit down and enjoy a bowl of soup and some fresh, homemade bread.

Enjoy the holidays ahead!

Oatmeal Bread
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups boiling water
  2. 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  3. 2 packages dry yeast or 4 teaspoons dry yeast
  4. 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  5. 1 tablespoon salt
  6. 1/2 cup honey
  7. 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  8. 5-6 cups flour
  9. 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water
Instructions
  1. In a large mixer bowl, pour the boiling water over the oats and let the mixture rest until the oats are completely softened, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the yeast with the lukewarm water and allow to stand 10 minutes.
  3. To the oat mixture, add the salt, honey and melted butter; combine, then stir in the yeast. Gradually add enough flour to make the dough soft and kneadable. Knead for 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed. The dough should be elastic, soft and smooth.
  4. Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl, turning to coat the surface. Cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm place to rise for about an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 325.
  6. After the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down and divide into 2 8”x4” loaf pans that have been sprayed with Pam and sprinkled with rolled oats. There is no need for further rising. Brush the loaves with the egg wash and sprinkle some additional oats on top. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until golden brown. Tip bread out onto a wire rack to cool.
Notes
  1. This bread freezes well in a Ziploc freezer bag.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Holiday Traditions at the Table by Paul Lindemuth

We’ve turned the calendar page to November and that means that the holidays are here!  Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away, with Hanukah, Christmas and the New Year not far behind.  These holidays involve so many traditions. For many of us the most important ones are centered at the holiday table with family and friends.

For the past 16 years I have been so fortunate to be part of both Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve dinners with a family that I’ve seen both grow and grow up. What a joy to bring smiles to their faces with the bounty of their holiday feasts!  Those feasts have come to include some favorite foods that I’ve prepared almost every year….the traditional roast turkey, stuffing, cranberries with apples and pears.

TurkeyWhen you’re cooking for a dinner that has now grown to 40+ guests, the usual roasted whole turkey is no longer feasible or for that matter, really desirable. Even several spatchcocked whole turkeys take too long to cook and take up too much valuable oven space. So my solution is to roast whole, bone-in turkey breasts at high temperature in under an hour. The resulting shatteringly crisp skin and tender, juicy meat is a real holiday treat. You too can create this delicious turkey that is certain to become a tradition at your holiday table as well!

Perfect 55-Minute Roast Turkey Breast
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. one 5 ½ to 6 pound whole turkey breast, thawed if frozen
  2. olive oil
  3. kosher salt
  4. freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Position oven rack to the second level from the bottom. Preheat oven to 500 F.
  2. Place the turkey breast skin side up on a large rimmed baking sheet. Rub lightly with olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper.
  3. Roast the turkey for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and brown and the juices run clear.
  4. Remove the turkey from the oven and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  5. Using a long carving knife, remove the breast halves from the bones. Carve each breast across the grain into thick slices and serve.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/