The Best Garlic Bread in the World (Great with Pasta)!

A fabulous garlic bread is every bit as complimentary to a great bowl of pasta as a great icing is to a cake. If the icing is only fair, it is hard for the cake to really stand out. Lets say you go to a restaurant. They bring out an incredible bowl of steaming hot pasta and the first thing you try is the garlic bread. If the garlic bread is only mediocre, the pasta will have a really hard time selling itself. If after the first bite you grab the whole bread basket claiming it as your own, even a fair pasta will at least have a chance!

There are a few components to making great garlic bread. Chief among these is a good bread. I like using a good sourdough from a specialty store. These stores have sprung up all over and carry all kinds of organic products from fruits and vegetables to baked items. These often have great sourdough breads. I usually buy it sliced. I lay out the slices on a cookie sheet and liberally apply butter to just the top of each slice. I then lightly sprinkle garlic powder, and lightly sprinkle ground oregano (not too much or it will taste like a pizza!) on the butter. I then finely grate Sharp Cheddar Cheese and sprinkle enough cheese so as to just cover the bread and butter completely. If you do not cover the bread completely, the edges of the bread will burn before the cheese has melted. But you do not want the cheese to be so thick that it melts into a big glob. I then lightly sprinkle a touch more garlic powder and oregano on top of the cheese. This adds a little more flavor and looks good.

Now comes the critical part. Timing. You want to put the cookie sheet with the bread slices under a broiler long enough to melt the cheese but the difference between perfect garlic bread and burned garlic bread can be a matter of 30 seconds. So you have to stay on it. Serve piping hot and enjoy!


My wife grabbed the keyboard out of my hands and typed in her own thoughts on “the best garlic bread in the world.” I think she meant to do this as a joke but I am going to include it because people have enjoyed her approach to garlic bread as well. Her method is not as time sensitive as the above method and can come out a bit more gooey (which many people like).

“This is Mike’s wife. I would like to include this garlic bread recipe from my Italian mother. Begin with a round loaf of Sourdough bread (sliced). Take one to two cubes of butter and add garlic to the butter to taste. Start at the end of the loaf and spread the garlic butter on both sides of each piece of bread. Then sprinkle both sides of each slice with grated parmesan cheese. Continue this through the entire loaf. Then wrap in foil and cook at 350 degrees till heated through (approximately 10-15 minutes). Open up the top of the foil and cook till the top is brown and crispy.”

Have fun. Experiment. Try both methods and you will soon be on your way to a truly sensational garlic bread that will set the stage for whatever pasta recipes, soup recipes, etc. that will follow.

Source by Mike Kazmark

Gluten Free Bread Making Tips

To look at gluten free recipes you would think anyone could do it but I quickly found it to be challenging and many times frustrating. I can not tell you how many gluten free loaves of bread I thread out when I first began baking and I had been baking all my life, just not GF! It is no fun throwing anything you have spent time on baking out, but even less fun when it is gluten free because the ingredients are so expensive. Hopefully, after you read this, you will be on your way to baking beautiful loaves of GF bread!

The most valuable lesson I learned when I began is there is really no need to go and purchase GF bread cookbooks. Unfortunately, I did not figure this out until after I had purchased several, but that aside, you can use any bread recipe for baking GF bread. In fact, I prefer some of my childhood favorites, such as my Mom's cinnamon rolls or my Aunt's sourdough bread, to any of the gluten free recipes I have tried!

The key to using "regular" recipes is finding an all purpose GF flour that you can substitute in the recipe. And believe me, this took awhile! Many blends that are on the market now are full of starches, which produce decent bread, but are full of empty carbs, and have no protein. The key to a good all purpose GF flour blend is one that contains small amounts of starches, that that is higher in protein, and it is awesome if you can find one that contains xanthun gum, a dough enhancer that is vital in gluten free baking .

Gluten free bread making is not like traditional bread making in that you do not need to allow the dough to have two rises. When you are mixing the bread dough you will notice that it is not the same consistency as regular dough, in fact it is more like a thick gooey cake batter! Once mixed you can just place it in a greased bread pan and let rise until almost to the top of pan and then pop in preheated oven to begin baking. Many bread machines today have a GF setting, which eliminates that second rise and cuts down on overall bread making time.

Once your bread is done, whether in bread machine or oven, you will want to remove it from the pan immediately. If it is left in the pan the crust will quickly become soggy and wet, ruining your bread, so make sure you are able to remove immediately so all your hard work does not go down the drain!

These gluten free baking tips should help make your gluten free bread making enjoyable and less frustrating.

Source by Carmen Siegfried

Cleaning Your Farberware Coffee Pots

Regularly cleaning your Farberware coffee pots ensures good tasting coffee and your coffee maker working as you want it. There are build ups and residues inside the coffee maker which affects the flow of coffee in your machine.

Added to that, the residue left on the coffee pot can affect the taste of the coffee itself. So here are some tried and tested ways of cleaning the Farberware coffee pots as well.

1. The easiest to clean in a coffee maker is the coffee pot. Clean it daily to avoid residue build up. Use hot water, soft sponge and dishwashing liquid. Do not forget to clean the lid as well.

2. Clean removable parts like the permanent filter and basket as well with sponge, hot water and dishwashing liquid.

3. Dispose any leftover ground coffee and used coffee filter.

4. Mix one cup of vinegar with two cups of water in the water reservoir and run two cycles. In the middle of the second cycle, turn the coffee maker off and let the vinegar solution sit for about 15 minutes before finishing the entire cycle.

5. Replace vinegar solution with clean, cold water and run two cycles to get rid of the smell and the vinegar deposits.

Another thing, to keep Farberware coffee pots dry, leave them open when not in use. It is advisable to clean your coffeemaker at least once a month to ensure great tasting coffee and to keep the machine in tip top shape. But the coffee pot reservoir must be cleaned once a day.

Source by Pinky Savika

Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe – 4 Tips, 2 Recipes

Yes, yes, I know homemade hot cocoa is supposed to be better than hot cocoas that begin with some mix named Nestle Quik, Ovaltine, Carnation, or Swiss Miss – but when I want a cup of hot cocoa at the end of a long day, or when I'm planning a casual gathering with friends, the last thing I think of is finding some blocks, chunks, or chips of chocolate to melt down in a water bath .. Consider me spoiled by convenience – wonderfully, gloriously spoiled, and ready to share my tips on how to make a hot cocoa mix recipe shine.

Here's Tip No. 1: Your selection of a hot cocoa mix should be the only shortcut you take toward your destination of a rich, decadent, completely satisfying cup of warm chocolate bliss. Hot cocoa mix is ​​already diluted chocolate – all mixes have cocoa powder blended with sugar, many of them have cocoa powder blended with milk solids and fat (some are meant to be added directly to water), and many of them are processed with additives that assist smoothness of texture (pure cocoa powder is very gritty). None of these facts by them prevent you from using hot cocoa mix to make some spectacular cups of cocoa, but if you cut corners in other areas, you're headed for disaster.

Tip No. 2: When using hot cocoa mixes for milk, forget that most common of all modern kitchen shortcuts – the microwave. Sure, you can put a cup of water into the microwave, heat it up, and then put a water-ready cocoa mix into it to your heart's content – it will not be the most spectacular cup of cocoa, or the warmest ( because your mix will cool down the water), but it will work. But you just can not take chances with your milk. In the first place, milk has a tendency to overcook quickly. Given the variation of strengths in microwaves, you are taking a big chance with the quality of your milk – and nothing ruins a cup of hot cocoa like some overcooked milk. Nothing, that is, except overcooked chocolate, which also tends to overcook and scorch quickly. This is why chocolate is always melted in double boilers or water baths – and it is also why you should take out a nice heavy-bottomed pan and heat your milk carefully with it, never, ever allowing it to boil. Simmer is the word, and gently simmer at that, if you must – and once you've added the hot cocoa mix, you'll need to be very gentle indeed. The chocolate does not need to cook in the pan – once you've added it and gotten it mixed in, it's time to get the cocoa into the cups or mugs.

Tip No. 3: Avoid all things "nonfat" like the plague. I am now going to praise skim milk and its counterpart, nonfat soy milk, before I bury them. Skim milk and nonfat soy milk are wonderful for many things. With cereals, particularly those that tend to be better as they soak up liquid, they are delightful. As regular beverages for those of us that need to watch our cholesterol, they are honored staples, and make acceptable additions to our coffee and tea. Skim milk has a further boon; because of its calcium, it makes wonderful fertilizer for tomatoes. But tomato season is usually well over when hot cocoa season begins, so when hot cocoa is in view, it is past time to put the nonfat stuff away. A water-ready cocoa mix with water will be richer and rounder in taste than a milk-ready mix with skim milk. Nonfat soy milk would be even worse. Hot cocoa is about decadence, not denial – save the nonfat items for your cereal or daily consumption, and use a reduced-fat milk or soymilk if you can not bring yourself to take the calorie hit of whole milk or half-and- half.

Tip No. 4: Take special care about sweetened soy milk or milk treated for those with lactose intolerance. Many brands of soy milk are flavored, most often with "vanilla." Basically that boils down to added sugar. By contrast, milk treated for consumption by those who are lactose intolerant is not sweetened, but the process by which the milk sugar – lactose – is broken down into two simpler sugars leaves the treated milk sweeter to the taste than regular milk. Hot cocoa mix already contains sugar; adding it to sweetened soy milk or milk that has had its lactose broken down may lead to a cup of cocoa that tastes too sweet. I would avoid the sweetened soy milk entirely; there are plenty of unsweetened brands. As for the treated milk, you may have to add a touch of cocoa powder to balance out the perception of extra sugar – or melt half a block of unsweetened chocolate into the pan.

Tip No. 5: Color matters, before the pan and in the pan. I have my favorite cocoa mixes, and I have them for several complicated reasons, but for you I just put forward one point. You do not want a pale hot cocoa mix. Before the pan, a light-colored mix means that the ratio of cocoa powder to the other ingredients is low, and you need an abundance of chocolate, not sugars, milk solids, fats, and other additives. In the pan, you will have to use a great deal more of a low-chocolate mix to get the flavor you want – and then you still will not get that, because the other ingredients will be piling up as well. The whole brew will also begin to take on an uncomfortable thickness – and while it is sometimes very desirable to serve yourself or your guests the equivalent of fudge in a cup, dark, thick, and just short of being warm chocolate mousse, it is emphatically not desirable to serve a sludge composed mainly of sugar, fats, milk solids, and other additives. Just because you do not have to pull out your double-boiler does not mean you do not have to pay attention to the reality of chocolate – whatever hot cocoa mix you pick should have a great deal of chocolate in it, and one of the ways to tell is by the mix's color.

Those are the basics, the instructions for the foundation blissful cup of hot cocoa from a cocoa mix. And here are the basic recipes (just double the amounts as needed).

For hot cocoa mixes requiring milk:

1. Eight ounces of reduced-fat milk (or whole if you can stand it)
2. Two heaping tablespoons of your chosen cocoa mix
3. Dash of cinnamon (optional)
4. Dollop of heavy whipped cream (optional)

In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat milk on the stovetop until it is very warm (not boiling!), Continuously stirring. Add cinnamon if desired; stir. When milk is hot (again, not boiling!) And you can smell the cinnamon, put in the hot cocoa mix, turn off the heat, and stir until milk is a uniform color, with no lumps. Serve immediately, topped with whipped cream if desired. Makes one eight-ounce cup or two four-ounce cups (you know, those cute little teacups).

For hot cocoa mixes requiring water:

1. Eight ounces of water
2. Two packets of your chosen cocoa mix
3. Dash of cinnamon (optional)
4. Dollop of heavy whipped cream (optional)

Heat water in a pan on the stove (or a microwave it in a cup if you want and you're just serving yourself), then add cinnamon and two packs of your chosen hot cocoa mix. Use two packets because, tablespoon for tablespoon, there is generally less chocolate in a mix made to be used with water than there is for cocoa mixes that work with milk. Stir vigorously, serve immediately, putting whipped cream on top if desired. Makes one eight-ounce cup or two four-ounce cups (those same cute little teacups).

Source by Deeann Mathews

Easy Breadmaker Recipes for Homemade Bread

When bread makers first came out years back people felt that all you could use them for was plain white bread. Well that is not even close to being true any more. There are now dozens of fantastic recipes available for all kinds of bread. What you will find is that the ingredients you use in a bread machine will be a little different than if you were baking bread normally. The results are just as good however.

Below is a selection of recipes that are very simple to make, very affordable, and most of all, deliciously healthy. They only take a few minutes to prepare and the results will make everyone happy. So go ahead and try them out. Crack open your breadmaker and give one of these yummy recipes a try.

Basic White Bread

1 1/4 cups water

2 tablespoons powdered milk

2 TBSP oil (l usually use canola)

1 tsp salt

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 tsp yeast

Just use the standard wet on the bottom dry on top mixing process. This is delicious with butter and honey while it is still hot.

Grain & Honey Bread

3/4 cup warm water

2 TBSP honey (liquid or melted)

2 TBSP olive oil

1 tsp salt

2 TBSP lemon juice

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (mixed grain flower is OK too)

1/2 cup rolled oats

2 tsps granulated yeast

Put the salt in the breadmaker first, then add all other ingredients except the yeast, oats and flour. Add the oats and flour. Make a small hole at the top of the dry ingredients for the yeast. Bake as usual.

Cheesy Buttermilk Bread

This yields a moist and tasty loaf. It also stores very well, but you'll probably finish it before that even matters!

1 and 1/8 cups buttermilk

1 tsp salt

2 TBSP sugar

.75 cup extra sharp chedder (grated)

3 cups bread flour

1.5 tsps bread machine yeast

Prepare as usual. All wet ingredients first, then the cheese, then dry ingredients, and the yeast on top.

Oat Bread

Use natural rolled oats. Just put them in a pot with boiling water, and then let them soak until they cool off. Then add the other ingredients and proceed as usual.

1 cup rolled oats

11 fl.oz. water

1/2 tsp salt

3 Tbsp brown sugar

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 cups flour

1 tsp yeast

Baking bread is a wonderfully delicious way to add great nutrition to you family's diet. Give the recipes a try and add some flavor to your meals.

Source by Lynne Birch

Bread Making Machines – Why You Need One in Your Kitchen

Bread making machines are one of the common appliances used in most household kitchen. Just like any other electrical appliances, its role is to assist or make life easier and comfortable for our whole family. Bread machine has comes a long way since its debut in the 1980s. It has helped women across the globe to make fresh and tasty homemade bread every morning for their husbands and children.

Enjoy and taste your favorite bread anytime

You can have your favorite homemade bread on the dinning table every morning together with your coffee or tea. As a matter of fact, it can be readily made and available whenever you want it. When you change your taste at any point of time, just simply use a new bread recipe and the machine will do most of the work for you.

Save time and less effort

Nowadays, the bread making machines come with modern technology that has more functions and features. The built-in timer and automated control allow you to set the time and programmed cycle to make your desired homemade bread. This function enables you to add in the ingredients and put the bread maker to “work” in the day or night. This machine has basically saves you a lot of time and effort by doing all the hard work for you. Moreover, you could use those extra hours in your hand for other tasks that is pending during the day.

Give you much more than baking bread

Bread making machines can give you much more than just baking bread, it also can make cinnamon buns, meatloaf, pasta dough, cakes, pizza and fruit jam. With the combination of the free bread recipes or those available online, you will have unlimited variety and choices more than you can imagine.

Formulate your own original bread recipes

Bakers or home makers who are creative and wanted to make their own original recipe can use the bread making machines to try out and tweak to get the desired results. In addition, the custom memory function lets you enter and programmed the steps into the machine. Therefore, you can invent your own original recipe and store it for future use.

Gluten free bread baking

For those bread lovers who are allergic to gluten, gluten free bread baking is also available for your safe consumption.

Source by Nathan Gray