Archive for the ‘Bread Basics’ Category

Thanksgiving Gobbler Rolls

These Thanksgiving Gobbler Rolls are seriously the most DELICIOUS way to transform those Thanksgiving leftovers into something truly mouth-watering! A tender sweet roll dough packed with mashed potatoes, corn, roasted turkey and stuffing topped with “gravy” icing and cranberry relish garnish!

Question – what’s your favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal?  Is the eating it when it’s straight out of the oven with your loved ones all around?  Or is it that 2am fridge raid for those cold turkey sandwiches?  Or what about leftovers the next day – or as my Mom would call it “Thanksgiving #2”? For me it’s all of them but honestly I’d have to say my all time favorite is how I get to revamp those leftovers into something incredible. You’ve seen my Gobbler Wrap and Gobbler Pizza. However I have to be honest guys, this recipe today… it’s something special.  Like if I had to choose between this and my gobbler pizza, this will win out  And you all know how much I LOOOOOOOOVE pizza.  But this, dear God people it’s literally everything you would expect how a cinnamon roll would be BUT instead of sweet it’s full-on savory Thanksgiving-fied!


So did you survive Thanksgiving yesterday? Hopefully no family squabbles, dry birds or failed desserts.  Growing up Thanksgiving was a big deal in my house; hell any day where there was a huge feast was a big day. But for us Thanksgiving is where Mom would cook for days, pies upon pies, and people coming in and out of the house all day long. Our main meal was at 2pm, 3pm if Mom was making a backup meal.  Yes you read that right, back up meal.

Transform those Thanksgiving leftovers into something truly spectacular!

Most Awesomest No Knead Pumpkin Cinnamon Bread

Okay yes I know I said I refused to jump on the pumpkin spice bandwagon this year but this just happened.  It’s not that I don’t like pumpkin or pumpkin spice as I actually love the stuff but EVERYTHING went pumpkin spice. I mean when my cereal goes pumpkin spice then there is a problem. Too much of a good thing can ruin it folks. So for a while I was anti-pumpkin and went more towards the butterscotch route.  Which seriously is so underrated.  That stuff is awesome! But then again, so is pumpkin… *sigh* oh the dilema here folks.

So how did this then just happen?  Okay, as you know we’ve been doing this huge remodel on our downstairs for about 8 years now.  And since we’re doing it ourselves I’m often left with moving stuff from one place to another.  Well in one of my moves to get stuff out of the way I came across a can of pumpkin that honestly, I forgot about.  Checking the date on the can I realized that I needed to use it up soon.  You know me, I refuse to waste food so up to the kitchen it went for me to use.

No Knead Pumpkin Cinnamon Bread1

That night after dinner I spied the can sitting on my counter while I was cleaning up.  I seriously had no clue what to make with it.  Since time is something of a rarity for me these days I decided to go with simplicity and something that I didn’t really have to think about – no knead bread! This is honestly the EASIEST things to make when you’re unsure how to work with bread dough or even shaping dough.  You don’t have to worry about “slack”, gluten, loaf shaping or even breaking out a stand mixer.

This will be your favorite Fall bread!

8 Rockin’ Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day

Do you have your day planned for St. Patrick’s Day?  Maybe some kegs & eggs with green beer for breakfast, start the pub crawl at 9am, some scotch eggs around 10:30, more green beer along the way as you merrily chase for that little Leprechaun?  It’s funny having lived in Pittsburgh my whole life I’ve never partaken in this. I’m not Irish (though you don’t need to be Irish to celebrate… or be kissed *wink*) and I hate beer.  No seriously I hate the stuff.  I love cooking with it but to me, this chick who has such a discernible palate, all beer tastes the same. Well okay there are varying degrees of blech for me. Mr. Fantabulous and countless others have tried over the years to find a single beer that I would like but there has yet to be one.  It’s funny for the longest time they thought of this as a challenge.  “Hey, let’s pour 17 different flavors of beer down Lori’s throat to see if she likes it yet but let’s forget the fact that we’re mixing stuff AND Lori may hurl…”  Yeah, not fun. Way to really make me like the stuff there guys… force me to try this flavor, then that flavor and oh you have to try this one and before I knew it I was sick as a dog and hating the stuff even more.

Don’t feel bad beer makers like I said I LOVE LOVE LOVE cooking with you but to drink, you’re not my cup o’ tea.  But don’t feel bad, I don’t like wine either.  LOL  Trust me I wish I did but sadly I’ll keep you guys to the kitchen.  Now Mr. Fanatabulous on the other hand.. TOTAL BEER SNOB!  Dear Lord that man has pristine tastes when it comes to beer. But anyway I digress, let’s get back to St. Patrick’s Day.

What I didn’t know about Pittsburgh is that we are ranked the best place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day per Niche. This Black ‘n Gold city turns green for the day with festivities all around the city. There is always a huge parade downtown where several hundred thousand people will attend followed by tons of music, acts, crafts and events.  That’s one thing about us Pittsburghers, we love to party! For more details about the activities surrounding the event check out the details here!


To help you celebrate I put together 8 Rockin’ Recipes for St. Patrick’s day!  Have a blast, drink responsibly (and try to keep your pants on this year.. yes you, I’m pointing at you *wink*) and enjoy!

Guinness Crock Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage with a Guinness Reduction Sauce
Irish Coffee – Coffee with an Attitude
Shamrockin’ Cheesecake Dip
Drunken Cheesy Irish Soda Bread
Guinness Corned Beef Sliders with Irish Cheese
The Quintessential Perfect Reuben
Savory Reuben Jarlsberg Tart
Irish Cream Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Bread

In the Fall months I tend to go for more comfort type sweets and for me one of those are sweet breads.  Sweet breads, or quick breads, are the easiest breads to make the probably one of the more versatile ones out there.  Do you know the difference between sweet breads and say bread you make a sandwich with?    Sweet breads are breads that are prepared with leavening such as baking soda or powder, rather than yeast. As a result, the bread does not have a long proofing and rising time, like yeast breads. The result, like regular yeast bread is that it can vary widely in texture and flavor, from light and fluffy to extremely dense, and they can be both sweet and savory.

The leavening in quick bread expands as the bread as baked. As a result, it often has a less complex flavor than yeast bread, because the dough does not ferment at all. Plus with sweet breads there is no rolling, kneading, or proofing.  The more common sweet breads are your banana, pumpkin, zucchini and so forth.  Unlike yeast bread there is no proofing here or starters.  One of the most common ways involves mixing the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately, and combining them at the very end. The ingredients are stirred until they just come together, and then the resulting dough or batter is quickly baked. And unlike yeasted bread, the batter isn’t meant to be completely smooth.  Some lumps are okay.  Why?  You don’t want to incorporate air into the batter.

Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Bread

WTH dude?  What’s up with all this learnin’ stuff?”  Yeah I know, I know but you should know me by now.  I’m not one to just say “here’s a picture and a recipe… Tada!”  Well okay maybe I’d do a “Tada” and a “curtsey” to be cute but I’m one that talks and shares.  I believe that’s part of why you are here.  I try my best to connect with you all.  My goal is to not just provide recipes that make you crave something and want to go create in the kitchen but also teach something along the way, share a few laughs, memories and just create a family type environment.  I love when you guys comment back and engage here. Grab some coffee and we’ll share some sweet bread!

Sourdough Stuffed Pepperoni Cheesy Pretzel Rolls

So eons ago I gave you an 8-day series of how to make your own Sourdough Starter from scratch that, if given a little TLC periodically, could last generations. Remember?  Of course you do as I get emails and tweets daily asking what other types of breads you can make with it.  The biggest question I get regarding sourdough starter is what to do with the discard when it’s time to feed it. You can turn it into tons of dishes – pizza, waffles, pancakes, pretzels, cake and so forth.  Or you can be generous and give it to a friend and let them create their own ‘mother’.  Well I’ve had my original ‘mother’ for years and then I created a new one for the 8-day series to share with you all. That being said I had 2 jars of starter in my fridge and it was taking up precious space.  So I took the most recent starter and opted to treat it as discard.  Since I just made 972 Belgian Waffles, I didn’t want to see another waffle for a while. I had my roofers here working I opted for pretzels – it was easy, they could eat them on the go.  Plus I didn’t have to worry about dishes or the like.

Now my go-to Sourdough Pretzel recipe is this one here that I absolutely LOVE!  Since I wanted to give them “Manly Pretzels” I tweaked that recipe just a smidge and then incorporated cheese and pepperoni.  Seriously, is there anything better than that?  Well okay.. maybe bacon but that bacon in addition to the cheese and pepperoni!


I took the jar of mother out of the fridge. Now if you’ve never made sourdough starter (um.. what’cha waiting for anyway?  Dude, it’s simple and AMAZING!) after a while it could have greenish liquid on top; hooch if you will. This is totally normal! So unscrewed the cap and just as I went to stick my wooden spoon in it to mix it up, Mr. Fantabulous walked in from outside and stopped dead in his tracks. The look of confusion was precious. He didn’t speak but I knew what he was thinking. Something like “woman have you lost your damn mind?  It’s green so it’s no good.  Pitch it.” I just said “Honey I have to mix in the hooch as that’s where the flavor is and then I’m  making stuffed pretzels out of this.

The look then got even more confusing and again I was reading his mind.. “Say what?  I’m not eating that crap. You trying to poison me?  Ha!  I’ll feed it to that damn rooster next door and if it croaks.. BONUS but I’m not eating that… It’s GREEN!  Green is BAD!” LOL I simply said to him “Honey, I’m not trying to poison you.  You love these pretzels. This is completely normal now go up on the roof and hammer something.”  LOL

Mmmm… hungry? Want some? I’ll share!

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