My Breadman!

Twenty-five years ago, my husband Joe decided he wanted a Breadman bread machine!  He intended to make bread … and he did!  We had every kind you can imagine.  He even made ‘stuffing bread’ … bread with all the flavors you need in Thanksgiving turkey dressing … and we used it for that!  That bread became a tradition.  It was also wonderful sliced for turkey sandwiches.

About two weeks after Joe died, I got ready to use his bread machine and it pooped out.  I had trouble parting with it, and I kept it sitting on the shelf for a year!  I bought another Breadman and was happy to get the kind that made one big loaf or two small loaves!

I got in the mood for homemade bread, and this weekend has been the right time.  When I bake bread, I always think of memories with Joe!  I had to do lots of extra yard work this weekend … and that keeps me from cooking and preparing for the upcoming week.  So … I decided to keep the Breadman going, while I worked outside!  At least I’d accomplish something in the house!  Nothing smells better than bread baking, so it is fun to bake frequently, but there is nothing wrong with have slices in the freezer to pop in the toaster or Nuwave!

I really enjoy having a loaf of plain white bread that I can use for morning toast and brown bag lunch sandwiches.  I also enjoy baking dessert breads that can double as a sweet breakfast … and savory breads that simply make every meal taste better.  I’m Diabetic and can’t have lots of bread, so it is important to me that every single bite is a good one.  The best way to get that is to bake my own!

White Bread

My white bread recipe is the easiest ever!  Load your bread machine with the following ingredients and bake on the white bread setting.  Simple.

1 cup of warm water
3 Tablespoons of white sugar
1 ½ teaspoons of salt
3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
3 cups of flour
2 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast

There are a few things you can do to this recipe to change the flavor of the bread!  Use smoked flavored salt instead of iodized salt.  Add dry herbs to the ingredients … a teaspoon of basil or oregano … or a ¼ up of parmesan cheese (dried from the shaker 
can).  Experiment and make this recipe your own!

Savory Yeast Bread

Simply use the recipe shown above, but you can add so many things to it.  I added dried parmesan cheese, smoked paprika and onion powder to this recipe!  It is especially delicious with stews … or anything that has nice broth or gravy with it!  Soak it up with this delicious bread!

Chocolate Banana Macadamia Nut Bread

Add the following ingredients, in this order, to your bread machine.  Bake on the Quick Bread setting but check it about ten minutes before the baking cycle ends.  It might be done and you don’t want the crust to burn.

2 ripe bananas, broken apart with your hands!
2 eggs
2/3 cup of white sugar
1/3 cup of macadamia nut oil
2 Tablespoons milk
Mix these dry ingredients together, then pour over the wet ingredients in the pan:
2 cups flour
1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Now add:
½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
½ cups chocolate chips
(the chips will melt and flavor all the batter)

I mix the following two quick breads in a bowl, then pour it into the Breadman to bake.  I set the machine on the bake setting for 45 minutes.  It is important to check it at about 40 minutes to make sure you don’t let it get too brown.

Cherry Blueberry Quick Bread

Mix 2 eggs, 3/4 cup of white sugar and 3 Tablespoons of canola oil.  Add 1 teaspoon of almond extract, 2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and ½ teaspoon of baking soda.  Continue to mix until if forms a nice batter.  Gently stir in 1 cup of fresh or frozen (thawed) combined blueberries and tart cherries.
Pour the batter into the bread machine and bake for 40 – 45 minutes.

Simple Banana Bread with a Touch of Peanut Butter!

Blend 2 bananas, 2 eggs, ¾ cup white sugar, 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter and 3 Tablespoons of canola oil. Add 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon of baking soda. 
Pour the batter into the bread machine and bake for 40 – 45 minutes. 
This bread is one of my favorites for breakfast … with a little peanut butter spread on it!


I had the great fortune of growing up with a set of grandparents who lived just a block away ... and a set of surrogate grandparents who lived right across the street!  My Grandmother Schuster was a really good cook and what I remember most about her kitchen is that she had a dutch oven built in to her stove and it had something simmering away in it ... most of the time.  Grandma died about the time crockpots became popular, but she would have loved that trend.

Mrs. Harrison was an incredible cook and she knew everything about preserving food.  In fact, all the women in my childhood neighborhood canned all summer long.  When it was sauerkraut making time, you could smell it on every block!

My mother was frugal, but Grandma Schuster and Mrs. Harrison were even more frugal.  Nothing was ever wasted, and nothing in the garden at the end of the season was ever wasted.  Mixed vegetable relishes took care of all those vegetables.  Green tomatoes that didn't have a chance of ripening were turned into pickles and chutneys.   My grandmother used them to make mincemeat for pies.

I cook for one most of the time, so to say that I had a crisper filled with vegetables that needed to be used ... didn't mean that I had lots to deal with.  Nonetheless, I didn't want nice farmers market produce to be wasted.   So began my favorite vegetable stew preparation.  It happens at least one time a year ... sometimes more!

Not very pretty, but awfully tasty!  I started my preparation by cleaning and chopping everything.  Simple enough.  Yes, that is an apple that I included! Even though the apple will cook down much more than the vegetables, the sweet flavor stands out.  In the left over use of this combination ... the sweetness is important.

I had a half red onion and just a couple baby Bella mushrooms.  I wanted the intense flavor from caramelizing those, so I scalded them in melted butter then let them slowly cook util they caramelized.

While the onion and mushrooms were cooking, I chopped the remaining ingredients into medium (but bite size) chunks.  I cut the corn off the cob and sliced the little cabbage into inch thick slices.

I layered the vegetables in a 1 1/2 quart crock pot by putting sliced carrots on the bottom.  They need to cook at a hotter temperature.  Then the squash, peppers, cabbage, corn and apple ... then finally, the caramelized onion and mushrooms with all the pan drippings ... on the top.  I added just a cup of hot water so the vegetables steamed instead of stewing.  I like crisp tender veges!

Use the high setting and everything hits the crisp tender stage in about 2 hours.  The apple will cook away!

This pretty vege stew is delicious with a nice slice of warm bread.  It freezes well for a quick side dish later on.  My favorite way to deal with the left overs is to drain all the liquid from it, then top it with my favorite vinaigrette and refrigerate!  You cannot beat it as a cold salad.  Sweet, crunchy and lovely as a cold side dish.

I'll share this with a couple of my favorite blog parties, so make sure you check my sidebar for the links!

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