Thursday, March 24, 2011

Challah bread - A post FINALLY from the other twin!

Hi everyone. It's the "other twin".  Allison has done a great job at updating this blog.  I, Emily, have not. Confession time.  Ok, that's done.  But it's not because I haven't wanted to.  It's just life right now! You can read about it at my family blog here.  With a two year old and a rumbunctious little boy due in 6.5 weeks (eeeek!), we have had our hands full. With that said, my hubby and I decided to make a true Sabbath in our house - starting on Saturday night and extending through Sunday night.  What a difference Sabbath has made in our household too!  You can read about it here and here.  The Sabbath tradition for hundreds of years has included making Challah bread.  So, in true tradition I decided to try it.  And we have LOVED it!  For my first post on this blog, I give you - the Challah bread!

Step 1:  In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the oil, sugar, salt, 4 eggs and 4 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough.

2.   Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  I LOVE this part. There's just something about getting your hands dirty and your arms being sore from kneading bread.
3.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
4.  Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half.
5. Divide each portion into thirds.
6. Shape each piece into a 15-in. rope. 
7. Place three ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise until doubled , about 1 hour.

Right before going in the oven!! Yummo!
8.  Beat cold water and remaining egg; brush over braids. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if desired. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Y'all, this is sooo good! We've also omitted brushing the top with egg whites before baking.  But, don't worry.  RIGHT when it comes out of the oven, smother it with loads of butter. If you like your bread toasty, use egg whites. If you like it softer and with lots of flavor, add butter. You can also add parsley and garlic to the butter and give it a little somethin' somethin'.

The smell of the bread is incredible too! It fills the whole house and seems to prepare us for the Sabbath that's coming.  We also use the bread for paninis throughout the week. Yummo!!

Enjoy the bread and enjoy a Sabbath this week!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

One word that will make you smile or gag....Meatloaf. Dedicated to the BFF....Mrs. Kelli Gossmann

Awwww Meatloaf!  I really really like meatloaf.  I like the meatloaf from Cracker Barrel but grandmother sure does make the best meatloaf.  Everyone has their own opinion about it.  It's not one of those recipes that you make when guests are coming over since you don't know if they will soon not ever come back to dinner. 

Let me introduce you to my best friend, Kelli Gossmann.  I first met Kelli my freshman year of college at Howard Payne University (Sting 'em Jackets).  We soon became best friends my sophomore year (after our friends Robyn and Tiffany set us up) and have been friends ever since.  We are very similar in many different areas....we both love Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, both love capers and salmon, both love to laugh until our stomachs hurt, both love to read, and both adore our husbands.  We have traveled the world together and been in each other's weddings.  There is one thing that Kelli and I have disagreed on ever since we first had our first conversation on this topic.  I think we were driving somewhere having a fun day together and I realized her first flaw......her dislike for meatloaf.  It wasn't just a "oooo - I think it's gross".  Oh no, for Kelli it was "OOOOO - I would rather eat snails than meatloaf."  HA! 

Recently I received a text from Kelli that she tried meatloaf and I couldn't have been prouder that she came to the good side.  She said it was ok. Then I was folding laundry and saw Paula Deen make a meatloaf so I texted Kelli and decided to post the recipe for will change your life.  Kelli, I sure love you and so thankful for your friendship.  :) 
(Can you find Kelli in this picture?  Where's Kelli?  Look for the beautiful smile and "English Queen wave".

G-mother's meatloaf
1 1/2 lb lean ground beef, browned and crumbled
1 1/2 cup of Saltine crackers, crumbled up fine
1 clove garlic, minced finely
1 teaspoon of oregano and basil
1/3 cup green pepper
2 eggs
1 8oz can tomato paste
1 Tablespoon Worchestershire sauce (did I spell that right?)
1/3 cup milk
1 package of dry onion mix

Mix all the ingredients into a bowl except save half of the tomato paste for later.  Mix it together with your hands......get in there and mix it really well.   (If it looks to dry, you can add some water to it so it forms together nicely)  Then flop it into a greased loaf pan and bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.  At the last 15 minutes of cooking mix the tomato paste with some pepper and ketchup to your taste.  Place on top the beloved loaf and continue baking.  You might have to cook it longer if it doesn't look done.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve with more ketchup.  :)  I'm truly obsessed with Ketchup so I add ALOT. 

OK, so where do you stand in the meatloaf dilemma?  Let us know and let me know if you try this one.  Ok, Kelli I'm so thrilled for you and wish I could be there with you!