Learn How to Bake Bread on Your Grill

Choose a FREE Bread Mix! Add it to cart and use code “Z123” at checkout. Baking your bread on the grill can provide a nice respite from the midday heat, and you don’t have to add the extra heat into your kitchen while it’s baking. Enjoy the fresh air and fresh-baked bread at the cabin, on the patio, or the next family reunion as your neighbors turn their noses upwind to get a swift of the aroma of fresh-baked bread wafting over the fence. Believe it or not, you can bake your bread on the grill, and we’ll tell you …

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How to Form a Bread Loaf

Choose a FREE White Bread Mix! Add it to cart and use code “ZWHITE” We’ve already discussed how to mix bread dough, remembering to allow enough time for your yeast to work its magic and getting your dough just right. Now it’s time to go over how to form a bread loaf. In this article, we will discuss how to form the perfect bread loaf by hand, whether it’s free-standing or going into a bread pan. Basics of Forming a Bread Loaf Forming a bread loaf doesn’t have to be as hard as we often make it out to be. …

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How to Make an Easy Dinner with Pigs-in-a-Blanket using Biscuit Dough or Bread Dough

Pigs in a Blanket with cheese in the center

Save up to 60% off on the bread mixes for your pigs in a blanket. I grew up with pigs in a blanket. Loved them. My mother wrapped biscuit dough around sausages or hot dogs. They were quick and easy and her kids were excited about them. She could add a salad and maybe some chips and had an easy meal. A blanket wrapped around a hot dog—or better, a brat—sure beats a store-bought bun. A narrow strip of cheddar down the center of the dog makes them even better.

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How to Use Spices in Everyday Meals

By Dennis Weaver   I like cooking with spices.   I like exploring and trying something new.  Of course, we’re all a bit reluctant to try something new if dinner is on the line.  What if I ruin it? What if my family doesn’t like it.  I understand that.  But in my experience, it’s rare that you make something that just plain doesn’t taste good.  The following guide will help you avoid major mistakes but yet give your family new flavors to enjoy.  Which Spice Should You Use?  What if your kids don’t like anything new? Then you have to stay with …

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A Guy’s Blueprint for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just days away. Are you ready to wow your sweetheart? We have dinner in restaurants often. That’s nice, but we do it often enough that it doesn’t have the impact that Merri Ann deserves for Valentine’s Day. When we were first married, those first few years before we were inundated with crying babies and a thousand other things, I made dinner on special occasions—I mean white linens and roses and the best steaks I could buy. (Merri Ann loves a good steak). It’s not a lot of work, it just takes planning. I don’t even know where …

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Two Ways to Make Baked Donuts

Donuts are usually fried.  Deep frying is not my favorite way to cook, but I love donuts.  So, when I came across a way to bake donuts, I was very interested.  I was even more so when I found a second way.  The first came with the discovery of a donut pan.  It’s like a muffin pan but the cavities are shaped like donuts.  You fill them with a donut batter and bake them like muffins.  They’re even a little crispy like a donut.  (The recipe is fat-free; fat softens the crust.) We sell a line of mixes for the …

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Easy Corn, Pumpkin, and Apple Fritters

When our kids were young, Merri Ann would make fritters often. The kids loved them. Back then, we drizzled them in maple syrup.  Now, it’s apricot or buttermilk or butter rum syrup. (Now, we have over 30 different kinds of syrup to work with.) Pumpkin fritters are one of our favorites. They are wonderful for supper on a chilly fall evening served alongside a soup or a salad. We serve them hot, drizzled with maple. The corn in these fritters complements the pumpkin well. At some point, we developed a fritter recipe using apples instead of pumpkin.  Then we omitted the …

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How to Make Your Brownies Look Like They Came from a Bakery

Choose your brownies and make them so that they cut neat and square.  Our New York Dessert Brownies were designed for that.  If you want a gooey brownie, choose Uncle Bob’s Extra Moist Brownies but freeze them for an hour to make them firm before cutting. STEP 1: Line your pan with parchment paper.  Spread shortening in the pan to hold the paper in place.  Don’t worry; the fat will be outside the paper, not on your brownies. STEP 2: After removing the pan from the oven, grab the edges of the paper and lift the cake from the pan. STEP 3: Using two cooling …

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A Guide to German Pancakes and Pannekoeken

The Perfect Summer Fare Pannekoeken and German pancakes are perfect for summer.  It’s a great way to take advantage of the seasonal harvest from berries through apples—even though putting syrup on them like pancakes is delicious. They’re quick so you’re not stuck in the kitchen long.  In our kitchen, a pannekoeken bakes in eleven minutes.  And you don’t have the oven on long enough to heat up the house. But most of all, they’re luscious.  Your family love them.  Guests will be delighted.  And you can make a different variation every time so no one gets tired of what you …

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I Work With a Bunch of Geniuses

“God gives talent. Work transforms talent into genius.”  -Anna Pavlova- Back in my college days, we studied a British behaviorist, I believe his name was James Hardy, who postulated that there were 16 kinds of genius. That included musical, spatial, mathematical, and 13 more. When I did a little Google research, I found similar models though the number of types varies based on the researcher and how he measures and categorizes. The point is there are many kinds of genius. Hardy concluded that nearly everyone was a genius at something. That means that you’re a genius. That’s been a helpful …

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Merri Ann’s Crock Pot Potatoes

This is the recipe that Merri Ann used for Easter dinner mashed potatoes.  It’s a combination of several recipes that she found on line with her own simple seasoning.  Good potatoes! Most recipes called for Yukon Gold potatoes but we used russets.  We mashed them right in the crock pot.  If we had mashed them with the paddle in the stand-type mixer they would have been fluffier but that would have been an extra step and an extra dirty bowl. She used seven pounds of potatoes which maxed out a large crock pot.  The recipe below is scaled back to …

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Cupcake Methods: Raspberry Cream and Caramel Fudge Cupcakes

These are really good cupcakes. They are both made with a chocolate cake mix but one is filled with a chocolate fudge frosting and the other is filled with raspberry cream. The chocolate filled one is topped with a caramel flavored frosting and drizzled with caramel sauce. The raspberry cream filled one is topped with a raspberry frosting and drizzled with a raspberry sauce. Sound good? Dessert Cupcakes We’re into making cupcakes that taste good, dessert cupcakes we call them. We want them good enough that you could take them to a dinner party. We make a lot of them. …

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Six Scrumptious Brownies You Can Make

Here are six ways to make super scrumptious brownies! What You Need You can make scrumptious brownies too.  They make great desserts for a busy day.  Keep a couple mixes on hand and a couple tubs of premade frosting and you’re ready to go. Uncle Bob’s Extra Moist Brownies. This is our most popular brownie mix. Seriously Fudgy Brownies. This is a just-add-water mix so it’s super quick. Coconut Macaroon Cookie Mix. Use this for the filling for the Caramel Macaroon Brownies. Chubby Cherry Filling. Here’s your cherry topping. Chocolate Fudge Frosting (2 lb tub) Salted Caramel Frosting (2 lb …

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Three Ways to Make a Meal Out of Your Leftover Mashed Potatoes

    Dennis Weaver   If you like this article, you may also like these four free e-cookbooks:   The Pumpkin Baking Guide How to Make Dinner Rolls Holiday Dinners The Perfect Pie   Get these four free e-cookbooks here.   ____________________________   We have this big, long hardwood table that we bought in Minnesota before we left. We can seat 12 around the table and more at the island. That handles most of our kids and grandkids. Plus we live in Idaho where you are never supposed to run out of potatoes. So whether it’s Sunday dinner or a …

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Chicken and New Potatoes Skillet Dinner

This is our all-time favorite chicken skillet dinner—chicken and new potatoes slathered in sour cream. We’ve been making it for years, ever since we lived in Alaska where we grew scads of potatoes (yes, veggies grow well in The Land of the Midnight Sun—at least the cool weather crops). Anyway, try this while there are still some of those good little red potatoes available. Chicken and New Potatoes Skillet Dinner Recipe It’s hard to go wrong with chicken, new potatoes, and sour cream. This recipe mixes the three in a stovetop, skillet dinner that is easy and almost foolproof. It …

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How We Turned a “Plain Vanilla” Cake into a Spectacular Dessert

We had a church supper coming up.  Merri Ann, my wife, asked, “What can I take that people will really like?” “Make a Blueberry Lemon Crunch Cake,” I said “It will make you a hero.” She did.  She is. A Blueberry Lemon Crunch Cake is a moist, slightly dense cake with lots of blueberries and a crunchy almond topping.  It’s drizzled with a luscious lemon sauce or syrup, one with a flavor like lemon pie.  Lemon and blueberries are a classic combination.  This cake will tell you why. The purpose of this article is to tell you how make the almond crunch …

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How to Make Simple Meals with Spices

Teeny Tiny Spices Taco Seasoning

How to Make Simple Meals with Spices It’s been two years now since we started carrying spice blends from The Teeny Tiny Spice Company of Vermont. I’ve used them every week—it seems like every day. I love them. Last night I opened a can of soup from the grocery store. It was bland. I solved that with Ras El Hanout. I fix scrambled eggs, often with meat, corn, or cheese added. I liven them up with a spice blend. I use the Mexican spices the most. See all the spice blends from Teeny Tiny. In our store, we have sample …

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Four Steps to Easy Dinners

Dinner is a challenge. It’s not that we don’t know how to cook but after a long day at work and with a dozen things to do at home, it just takes time and energy.What do we fix for dinner?We could put something in the crock-put before we leave for work. We’re not that organized (I’m not that organized) and the crock pot is utilized for Sunday duty. I love stir-fries but Merri Ann doesn’t like them. There are other choices like casseroles (they usually take too long), tacos, and soups, but what to fix for dinner usually centers on …

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Dress Up Your Brownies and Take Them to Dinner

Dress up your brownies and take them to dinner. . . How do Dress up a Brownie for Dinner Here’s a handy shopping list to get you started From OUR Pantry: (Click to buy or save money with the bundle on the right.) Brownies Designer Dessert Sauces Ice Cream Toppings Flavors Featured Product: New York Dessert Brownie Mix These brownies are little more cake-like for cleaner cuts and nicer presentations. Only $2.99! $5.99 Instructions: Choose a brownie mix. Choose your sauce and/or fruit Choose a flavored whipped cream. Get ideas and instructions here. Personal note from Dennis: These designer dessert …

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New Red Potatoes with Cilantro

We like new red potatoes—boiled, fried, and in a potato salad. When we boil a pot of these potatoes, we always make extra to put in the refrigerator. If they last long enough, we’ll fry them in a skillet for breakfast or supper or, if we are having summer party, make a potato salad. This is a great recipe for frying up those little potatoes. Ingredients vegetable oil 1/2 red or green bell pepper, diced 1 medium sweet onion, diced about 6 cups of boiled new, red potatoes, sliced pepper and salt as desired fresh cilantro Directions 1. In a …

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