Corn and Cheddar Strata

We are getting really close to baby time. Even though I am writing this a couple months ahead of time, this still feels close to baby time. I am doing lots of preparation for this birth but still feel kind of behind. We are still figuring out what to do with the crib situation…do we move the Fudgelet to a regular bed or order another crib for the baby? I am leaning towards new crib but the ones we like are pricey and maybe I am being overly cautious? I don’t know…and I still need to buy some other stuff for the baby, like a new baby monitor. Ours is fine…a bit buggy, but all of the video ones seem to have bugs and not last very long. Regardless, our current one is okay but probably won’t last much longer (hopefully until next summer or so when I plan on being done using it for the Fudgelet). By the time this post is live, I’m hopeful all of this will be sorted out and I can just worry about the stuff I can’t fully prepare for (when labor starts, how the Fudgelet will be when I’m at the hospital, how the new kid will handle newborn things, how we will handle two kid things…).

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Almost No-Knead Bread

My first post of the new year is for something I made before…sort of. I made a no-knead bread recipe from America’s Test Kitchen over four years ago, but I believe it was a different recipe. Certain parts seemed different. And, I noticeably lacked success the first time. The first time was affected by our chilly house. We used to keep the house less heated when it was just the two of us. Now, we keep the house more comfortable year-round. I believe the temperature affected the rise of the bread last time. Whatever the difference, it turned out perfectly the first time I did the recipe below and not perfect but still very good the second time. The un-cut pictures you see below are the first time making it. The sliced pictures are from the second time I made it.

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The reason?

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Herb and Green Onion Bread

When I was going to make the chicken piccata I shared last week, I realized I didn’t have a starch in mind for the meal. I needed to come up with something last minute. So, I began looking through my recipes and came across an herb bread. I didn’t have fresh thyme, or buttermilk, but decided to try it anyway. It ended up working well! I froze half of the loaf for the future. The remaining half we had with dinner, then had with eggs for breakfast. It’s a very soft, crumbly bread.

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Braided Strawberry Bread

Today is a special day for K and me: 3 years of being married! It’s also our last wedding anniversary without a baby. Dun dun dun… In honor of the special occasion, I am sharing a recipe I would never have bothered with if I wasn’t married to K. He loves fruit treats. He said this treat should be called strawberry bread pudding because it does get nice and soft, but still remains bread-like. It didn’t last very long because it can work as an afternoon snack or for breakfast.

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Burger Rolls from King Arthur Flour

Do you ever work your grocery lists around coupons? I had one recently where I needed to spend a certain amount to get the discount. I only had plans (initially) to buy some produce, but decided to add on a few items, such as some ground beef that was on special. It was the perfect kind of ground beef for burgers: 80%. I thought about different ways I could use it, but we didn’t have burger rolls. Luckily, I happened to be on Twitter and found a link to King Arthur Flour’s recipe for burger rolls. Not only were they easy, but I had everything to make them (including the time). So, I asked K if he was in the mood for burgers. He said we would need to buy rolls…and then I showed him the recipe. Since I’d “thought of everything”, he gave the go-ahead.

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Arabic Bread

I can tell you that this bread is pretty simple because I made it while we were assembling the crib for our future little Fudgingahead. It was our final piece of nursery furniture, so we are relieved to be done! Now it’s just time to buy everything else–ha!

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Challah

My first ever Hanukkah present was a Jewish cookbook, which was awesome! It reminded me a lot of an Italian cookbook I have (lack of pictures, lots of blocks of text to explain steps and provide background information, authentic-sounding recipes), which made me hopeful. I’ve made Challah before, but never documented the whole thing. I also can’t remember which recipes I’ve used before. All I can say is that this is by far the best I’ve made. The bread is so soft on the inside and crusty on the outside. It looks pretty, and it even kept pretty well for a few days.

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This recipe makes enough for 2 loaves, but you’re able to freeze them, so the other one is waiting for a day when I need cheering up, the smell of fresh bread in the house, or some other day when I want this bread but am too lazy

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