Cooking is one of those everyday tasks I enjoy. That is, I enjoy it when I'm not being bugged incessantly by my daughters. Often, when that supper crunch time starts, and I start getting ingredients together, the whining, fussing, and fighting rises to a fever pitch. At these times, in the back of my mind, I'm often musing that those cooking show competitions are for wimps. They get to focus completely on their cooking! What if they had to deal with a preschooler and a toddler at the same time, AND get supper on the table from start to finish in 45 minutes?
I love cooking for other people to enjoy. It really wouldn't be worth the mess otherwise. Our church's Ladies Fellowship luncheon this past Friday inspired me to finally try to recreate some delicious whole wheat cranberry walnut bread I had from Earth Fare a few months ago.
I love my bread machine! It makes homemade bread possible every week in our house! I always use the dough cycle and then let the loaf rise for about 35-40 minutes.
The egg wash made the top "golden brown and delicious."
Use a Valentine's cookie cutter for heart-shaped bread,
add some yummy cranberry chicken salad...
and voila!, finger sandwiches worthy of Valentine's Day!
I guess it's hard to tell they're hearts in this picture. Maybe next time I'll choose a single heart cutter. This was the one I had closest to the size of the bread slices.
I returned home with an empty platter after the fellowship. I hope you enjoy trying this as much as I did.
Cranberry Walnut Wheat Bread
(I used this recipe as my starting point: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/french-baguettes/detail.aspx)
1 1/4 c. water (I use filtered to avoid the chlorine)
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. bread flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1 1/2 tsp. quick rising yeast
1. Place all ingredients except for egg in bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Set to dough cycle and push start.
2. When dough cycle finishes, shape dough into a loaf on floured counter, and place into a lightly greased loaf pan. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 35 minutes.
3. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk egg, then brush over the top of the loaf. Bake for 24 minutes or until loaf is golden brown.
Cranberry Chicken Salad
2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, shredded or chopped
(I used seasoning salt & onion powder on mine before baking for about 45 minutes)
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/3 c. dried cranberries
1 1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients and chill for at least 1 hour for flavors to combine. Enjoy on Cranberry Walnut Wheat Bread!