Monday, June 1, 2009

rainy days and mondays

After scorching weather over the weekend, we had warm but damp weather today...perfect for staying home and getting some much needed housework done.

The girls helped me bake a few loaves of bread...our normal whole wheat and also a loaf of cinnamon raisin for tonight's dinner. I kind of made the recipe up as I went along...but it tastes great so I thought I would share. I'll also share the chicken salad I made to go with our toasted cinnamon raisin bread for dinner. That, plus some fresh strawberry lemonade and a spinach salad...summer dining at its best.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread
makes 2 loaves

1/4 cup sugar
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 T active dry yeast
1/4 black strap molasses
1/2 t salt
6 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/3 cup sugar
1 T cinnamon
1 1/2 cups raisins

Place sugar, water, and yeast in bowl of heavy duty stand mixer. Let stand until foamy. Using dough hook attachment, mix in molasses, salt, flour, and gluten. Mix 10 minutes, or until dough is in one ball, cleaning the sides of the bowl. Cover dough with a damp tea towel, let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour).

Transfer dough to lightly floured surface, knead for a few moments. Divide in half. Roll each half into a rectangle. Mix sugar, cinnamon, and raisins together, sprinkle half of mixture on each rectangle. Roll dough jelly roll style, place in loaf pans. Let rise until doubled (about 40 minutes).

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Fruity Chicken Salad
serves 4

3 cups cooked chicken, diced (I used an entire rotisserie chicken that someone brought me)
1 cup diced celery
1/3 cup copped green onion
1 cup red grapes, halved
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1 can mandarin orange segments
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 T mayonnaise
2 T fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Chill for several hours before serving.

I've been listening to the latest Indigo Girls CD and writing out a TON of thank you notes. Here's my favorite song lately...I just love Emily's voice (and I like to pretend that I named my Emily after her).

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