Homemade Rosemary Bread


Ahhh! This is one of my favorite breads to make and eat! It is highly addictive and I have secretly eaten a whole loaf haha! It is delicious dipped in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cracked pepper and kosher salt. My kiddos love this bread, and the aroma of the fresh rosemary is amazing! 

Ok, I forgot to take pictures during the process of making this 🙄 but it is easy, I promise. 

To your Kitchen Aid or Bosch stand mixer, add all ingredients except for the flour. Chop just the leaves of the rosemary not the stems. Add 3 cups of flour and turn mixer on low. Add 2-3 more cups of flour and mix until the bread pulls away from the sides and is no longer sticky. Mix for 5 minutes. Let it rise for 30 minutes. 

Dump the dough onto a floured countertop and divide the dough into 4 evenly sized balls. Prepare 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray with Pam. Form the balls by pulling from all sides and tucking and pinching the bottom of the dough to form a ball. Place tucked part of dough onto the cookie sheet, 2 per sheet. Brush with olive oil and press chopped fresh rosemary and kosher salt onto the dough, gently! 

Let rise for 30 minutes. 

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. 

Eat alone, dip in olive oil mixture or slice to make delicious grilled cheese sandwiches! Also yummy with my homemade tomato soup!

Homemade Rosemary Bread

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 T yeast
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 T- 1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary depending on how much you want in the dough, I always use 1/4 cup. Use just the leaves of the rosemary not the stems. 
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil 
  • 5-6 cups all purpose flour
  • Olive oil for brushing the top of the dough
  • Kosher salt and fresh chopped rosemary for pressing onto the top of the dough

In your Bosch or Kitchenaid stand mixer add the warm water, yeast, sugar, salt, rosemary and oil. Add 3 cups of flour and turn on low. Add the additional flour slowly until the dough pulls away from the sides and is no longer sticky. Mix for 5 minutes. Let the dough rise in the mixer covered for 30 minutes. 

    After 30 minutes divide the dough into 4 equal sized balls on a floured countertop. Form dough into balls by pulling from all sides and tucking and pinching underneath the dough. Place tucked side down on the cookie sheets (two per sheet) lined with parchment paper or sprayed with non-stick spray. Brush the dough with olive oil and gently press kosher salt and chopped fresh rosemary onto the dough. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown at 375 degrees. Serve with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and cracked pepper. 

    Homemade Tomato Soup

    Let me start this post by saying I hate when my kids go back to school. I always told myself when they were little that I wasn’t going to be ‘that mom’ that looks at mom’s with small kids and says things like ‘enjoy them while they are little’ and ‘they grow so fast’. Well I am definitely that mom and worse. I have two years till my oldest leaves the house and I am dreading it. My youngest is 10 and I am holding on to her childhood with an iron grip. 😉 But, I guess there is a positive side to them going back to school, I have time to work on my recipes and blog again! I love to see my kids faces when they get home from school and I’ve made something yummy for them. I feel like I bake and cook to feed their souls, and we always set aside a time for family dinner even if there’s one at dance, football or other activities. Sometimes it’s the effort that counts! 

    This recipe comes with a WARNING… it is for people who definitely like to do things from scratch and make things more difficult for themselves then they need to be. I love to be in the kitchen so this is fun for me. But for those of you who are like, I’m just going to go and buy the tomato soup from kneaders or blue lemon… I totally get it! 😉 Their soup is way yummy!

    We love homegrown tomatoes at our house but at the end of the summer we always have so many that I need to come up with ways to use them all! After experimenting with many tomato soup recipes this recipe is the one I have loved the most and have stuck with for the last couple of years. I always serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches or homemade croutons.

    First, pick your tomatoes and wash them well. I used about 33 small to medium tomatoes which comes to about 12 cups of tomatoes cut up. If you have a little more or less it’s ok, you can easily tweak the other ingredients to taste.

    Then remove the skins. This is done by immersing the tomatoes in boiling water for about 1 minute or until the skin of the tomatoes crack. Transfer the tomatoes from the boiling water to an ice bath.

    Now they are ready to use. For the soup, roughly chop 1 small onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 4 stalks of celery and 2 peeled carrots. Heat over medium to medium high heat a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil in a large pot. Sauté the chopped ingredients in the olive oil for about 5-10 minutes until tender and fragrant. Add 1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth or water and let that simmer while you get the tomatoes ready.


    While that is cooking, core and peel the tomatoes, roughly chop them and add them all to the pot. Add all of the other ingredients and let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes or until the soup is softened enough to blend. I was impatient one time and blended it a little to early, it wasn’t as smooth as it normally is and needless to say, not as good. 

    Ok, this is the part that would be so much easier with an emulsion blender. I keep forgetting to buy one, and I always regret it when I get to this point. So if you do have one, awesome! Blend it up with the emulsion blender in the pot. If you don’t have one, transfer a little bit of soup into a blender, purée, then pour that soup into another pot. A pain? Yes. Make sure you don’t put too much soup in the blender at one time. I did that once and hot soup was coming out of the top, ouch!


    At this point add any additional salt, chicken bouillon, broth or spices it may need. If you want to get fancy, add a little bit of heavy whipping cream. It makes it taste like the restaurant tomato soup. Don’t add too much though or your palate will be coated with cream. Just enough to taste. If it is too acidic you can add a 1/2 tsp of baking soda to cut the acidity. I usually just add a little more salt and it is fine. The last time I made this soup I served it with grilled cheese sandwiches made from my homemade rosemary bread. Yummy!

    Homemade Tomato Soup

    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 4 stalks of celery, diced
    • 2 carrots, diced
    • 2 cloves of garlic chopped or minced
    • 1-2 T extra virgin olive oil 
    • 1-2 cups chicken or vegetable broth depending on how thick or thin you want the soup
    • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
    • 4 drops hot sauce
    • 1 T fresh chopped thyme or 2 tsp dried thyme
    • 2 tsp chicken bouillon 
    • 1 tsp salt 
    • 12 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, cored and peeled (around 30-35 small to medium)
    • Optional- 1/4-1/2 c heavy whipping cream
    • Optional- garnish with fresh basil 

    Peel and core the tomatoes by immersing the clean tomatoes in boiling water for a minute or until the skins crack. Transfer to an ice bath. Now they are ready to peel, core and chop. 

      In a large pot heat up olive oil and sautée onions, celery, carrots and garlic until tender about 5-10 minutes. Add the broth. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer on low to medium heat for 20 minutes. 

      Blend the soup by using an emulsion blender and leave it in the pot. If you don’t have an emulsion blender; transfer the soup in small batches to a blender, purée, then pour the soup in another pot and keep on warm till ready to serve. Adjust the spices, salt or add heavy whipping cream at this point if desired. 

      Mall Pretzels (with optional cream cheese filling!)

      My family loves mall pretzels, but they are so dang expensive! About 10 years ago I decided I wanted to try and make them myself. Out of all of the pretzel recipes I have tried, this is still my favorite. Some recipes say to dip in boiling water but I have found this just makes them totally fall apart and hasn’t made a difference in the texture after baking. I just dip these in hot baking soda water before baking and they still come out chewy but crusty on the outside. They are delicious!

      Disney makes cream cheese filled pretzels that I couldn’t get enough of on our Disney cruise we went on several years ago, so I decided to try and make my own cream cheese filling. I have included it in this recipe also.

      These are definitely time consuming when rolling them and shaping them into pretzels but I have to say, my kids excitement makes it totally worth it. This recipe makes 16 large pretzels but you can easily half this recipe or make smaller ones and get more pretzels out of it.

      First dissolve the yeast, sugar, and salt in the hot water in a stand mixer.

      Then, add the flour.

      Mix until the dough is soft and pulls away from the bowl.

      Let the dough rise until it is doubled in size, about 30-40 minutes.

      (Optional) While the dough is rising make the filling. Mix the cream cheese with the powdered sugar until smooth.

      Divide the dough into 16 equal portions, then roll out to a 3 ft long rope with your hands. Make an upside down U shape and twist the rope 2 times.

      Then fold over and pinch the dough together to make a pretzel shape.

      If you are going to fill them, when the dough is in a 3 ft rope, flatten it out with a roller and fill with the cream cheese mixture. I use a ziplock bag with the corner clipped to put the mixture in, then squeeze a line of cream cheese right down the middle of the dough.

      Pinch the dough around the mixture.

      Dip each pretzel in the baking soda water then put on a silicone or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. If you are using parchment paper, spray the paper with Pam.

      Let the pretzels rise for about 20 minutes. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.


      Mall Pretzels (with optional cream cheese filling!)

      Ingredients:

      • 4 1/2 tsp instant yeast (two .25 oz packets)
      • 1/4 c brown sugar
      • 2 tsp salt
      • 3 c hot tap water
      • 6 c all purpose flour
      • 2 c bread flour

      Filling (optional)

      • 1/2 c powdered sugar
      • 4 oz softened cream cheese

      For dipping before baking:

      • 2 c hot tap water
      • 2 T baking soda

      Directions:

      In a large mixer dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in 3 cups hot tap water. Add in the flour and mix until soft dough forms and the dough pulls away from the sides, about 8 minutes.  Cover and let rise till doubled, about 30-40 minutes.

      If you are going to fill them, while the dough is rising, mix the powdered sugar and cream cheese with a hand held mixer until it is smooth.

      When the dough is ready, divide it into 16 equal pieces. Dissolve the baking soda in hot water in a shallow dish large enough to dip a pretzel in. Roll out the first ball of dough with your hands into a 3 ft long rope. Form a U then twist two times and fold over and pinch dough forming a pretzel shape.

      If you are doing the filling, after the dough is in a rope, take your roller and flatten out the dough. Using a pastry bag or ziploc bag with the tip cut, squeeze out a strip of the cream cheese mixture in the center of the dough then bring the dough together and pinch around the filling.

      Form into a pretzel and dip in the baking soda water, then put onto a silicone lined, or greased cookie sheet. Repeat with each portion of dough. Let them rise for about 20 minutes. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush hot pretzels with melted butter and top with coarse salt or whatever topping your heart desires. Enjoy!

      Almond Milk Tropical Smoothie

      Ingredients:

      • 1/2 c frozen pineapple 
      • 1/2 c frozen mango
      • 1/3 of a frozen banana 
      • almond milk (I use silk original)
      • Unsweetened coconut chips (optional)

      Add the fruit to the glass you will be drinking it out of. Fill almost to the top with the almond milk. Dump into a blender, blend till smooth. Pour back into glass. Top with coconut chips (optional). 

      You can also use water instead of almond milk and just add a sweetener like juice concentrate or honey. 

      Fancy Pudding Cups

      This is probably the easiest fancy looking dessert you will ever make! My sister came up with this and I love it!

      1. Buy a box of pudding, any flavor but we like chocolate, white chocolate, and cheesecake flavor
      2. Make the pudding according to package instructions 
      3. Put crushed up graham crackers on the bottom of a fancy cup found at kitchen stores or party stores
      4. Fill with pudding
      5. Top with a swirl of whipped cream

      You’re done! See! I told you! 😉 

      Step 1

      Step 2 

      Step 3

      Don’t they look fancy?! And so easy!

      Fancy Pudding Cups

      • Box of pudding, make according to package instructions 
      • Crushed graham crackers
      • Whipped cream

      In a fancy little cup put crushed graham crackers on the bottom, next fill with pudding and top with whipped cream. 

      Basil, Tomato and Mozzarella Skewers

      A great appetizer to add to any party or get together. The skewers are bursting with flavor, and the aroma from the basil is amazing! 

      Basil, Tomato and Mozzarella Skewers

      • Grape tomatoes
      • Fresh mozzarella balls 
      • Fresh Basil (Trader Joes is best)
      • Basalmic Vinegar for drizzling
      • Cracked salt and pepper
      • Small skewers

      Alternate on each skewer a tomato, mozzarella ball and a partially torn basil leaf. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Right before serving drizzle with basalmic vinegar and cracked salt and pepper to taste. 

      Cake Pops

       Cake Pops always look so pretty when displayed at a bridal or baby shower. They taste pretty good too! We made them for my cute Nephews fiancées bridal shower. We wanted them to be the color of the bridal shower which was pale pink but we also wanted to decorate them with something as well and decided to go with sugar crystals to keep the look simple but pretty. 

      We have found these steps work best when making them:

      First, bake a 9×13 cake as directed, any flavor. Let it cool completely.

      Cut cake into pieces and add to a gallon sized bag, crumble to fine pieces. I’m a little weird about using my bare hands, so we found it is best to use a bag and gloves for the mixing part. 

      Transfer crumbs to a large bowl and add a spoonful of frosting. 

      Mix the frosting into the dough until it’s very smooth. You don’t want the dough to crack when squished, like this.

      If it is still cracking, add more frosting little by little until it’s smooth when you squish it. We used a little less than 8oz or 1/2 a tub of frosting. It will be elastic and smooth when it’s ready. If you put too much frosting in it, the cake balls will slide off of the sticks when you dip them in the chocolate. 

      Form into even sized balls. This recipe made 53 small balls. 

      Refrigerate them for about 2 hours or until cold. When we made these we put them in the freezer for about two nights covered. Then we took them out for about an hour and then put them in the refrigerator. You want them cold when you dip them but not freezing. Only take two or three out at a time when you’re dipping them. If they are too warm they will slide off. If you dip them when they are too cold, the chocolate will crack. When you’re ready, dip just the tips of the sticks into the melted chocolate and let them dry. 


      After they are dry, dip the stick into the melted chocolate again and stick it in the cake ball. Dip the cake ball into the melted chocolate and swirl to coat. If the chocolate cools too much it will become heavy and may pull the cake pops off the sticks when you dip them. 

      Decorate them at this point before the chocolate dries. Let them dry upside down in a cake pop stand or styrofoam. When they are dry put them into paper cups for display. 

      So pretty! 

      Cake Pops

      • 1 box cake mix, bake as directed 
      • 1/2 of a 16oz tub of frosting, we used a cream cheese frosting
      • Cake pop sticks
      • Cake pop sticks holder, or styrofoam board to hold the cake pops upright until they dry
      • White chocolate melting wafers
      • Sugar crystals or sprinkles for decorations 
      1. Bake a 9×13 cake as directed, cool completely 
      2. Cut up cake and put into a gallon sized bag and crumble into fine pieces 
      3. Put the cake in a large bowl and add a scoop of frosting and start mixing
      4. Add enough frosting that when rolled into a ball it will not crack when squished, about a 1/2 tub of frosting 
      5. Put in the refrigerator for about 2 hours
      6. Dip the sticks in melted chocolate wafers and let dry
      7. Take 2-4 cake balls out of the fridge at a time, dip sticks in chocolate again, and stick into the cake ball
      8. Dip the cake ball into the chocolate and swirl to coat
      9. Decorate with sprinkles
      10. Let them dry upside down in styrofoam or a cake pop stand 

        Almond Poppyseed Cupcakes

        I love a good cupcake! Have you ever bitten into a beautiful cupcake and there is no flavor? Or your palate is coated with shortening? That is not the case with these! They are loaded with flavor and the frosting is real butter. This recipe has almond extract, and pure vanilla but it also has vanilla bean paste. Vanilla bean paste has a much stronger and richer taste to it than the pure vanilla and it also doesn’t bake out of the batter as easily. If you do not have the paste on hand you could add extra vanilla, but I would recommend buying some if you come across it or you can also order it on amazon. 😄

        Start with the wet ingredients and sugar:

        First, in a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar till smooth. Add the sour cream, buttermilk, eggs, applesauce, oil and flavorings and mix. 

        Slowly add the dry ingredients; flour, salt, baking powder and poppyseeds to the wet ingredients. Kind of stir them on top of the wet ingredients with a whisk and then turn the mixer on low. 

        Mix just until incorporated, mixture should be smooth, but don’t over beat the mixture. You may need to scrape the bowl with a spatula to get to all of the flour that sticks to the bottom of the bowl.

        Line muffin tins with cupcake liners. We made mini ones for a bridal shower. Fill the cups 3/4 full with batter. 

        Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. If you are making mini ones bake for approximately 15 minutes. They are done when the tops spring back when touched and the sides of the cupcakes are golden brown. Do not over bake them. 

        Make the frosting while you are letting the cupcakes cool completely. This is what you will need: butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and food coloring if desired. 

        In a stand mixer beat the butter and cream cheese until completely smooth. 

        On low, add the powdered sugar and beat till smooth. Add the vanilla and food coloring if desired. Beat until light and fluffy. 

        Decorate the cupcakes by swirling the frosting with a large round tip, putting one swirl on top of another. 

        Before the frosting dries, decorate with sprinkles if desired. 

        So pretty, and delicious!

        Almond Poppyseed Cupcakes

        • 1/4 c butter (softened)
        • 1/2 c sour cream
        • 1/4 c buttermilk
        • 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce 
        • 1/2 c canola oil
        • 3 large eggs
        • 2 T pure vanilla 
        • 1 T vanilla bean paste
        • 1 T almond extract

        Dry ingredients 

        • 1 c granulated sugar
        • 2 c all-purpose flour 
        • 1 1/4 T baking powder (1T + 3/4 tsp)
        • 1/2 tsp salt
        • 2 T poppyseeds

        Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the sour cream, buttermilk, applesauce, oil, eggs, flavorings and mix until incorporated. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and poppyseeds. Stir them a little with a whisk on top of the mixture then turn the mixer on low and mix all ingredients until smooth. Do not over beat. 

        Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to incorporate all of the flour. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Fill each liner three fourths full with batter. Bake until the edges are golden brown 20 to 25 minutes. If your making mini cupcakes bake them for approximately 15 minutes. The tops should spring back at the touch of your finger. Remove from tins and cool completely before frosting. Yields 24 cupcakes or 48 mini cupcakes. 

        Frosting 

        • 1/2 c butter, softened 
        • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
        • 1lb powdered sugar (3 1/2 cups)
        • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla

        In a stand mixer beat butter and cream cheese until completely smooth about 5 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar while on low. Add vanilla and beat until light and creamy. 

        Orange Fan Rolls

        Yummy, sweet orange fan rolls! Perfect for spring or anytime you are craving something sweet and are tired of cinnamon rolls, just kidding who could ever get tired of cinnamon rolls right!? 

        To a mixer add 3 cups of high gluten flour, powdered milk, yeast, salt and sugar, stir.


        Then add the oil, water and eggs.

        Add 4 more cups of high gluten flour, mix for about 5 minutes or until dough starts pulling from sides of bowl, add up to another cup of flour, but it will be sticky dough.


        Let it rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.


        Put plenty of flour down on your working space. Also dust the dough with flour, it will be sticky! That’s what makes these so light and airy. Roll out to a rectangle and brush with butter.

        Sprinkle with orange zest and sugar, cut into 1 1/2 inch squares.

         

        Stack 5 squares.

        Place in a greased muffin pan edge side down, let rise until doubled in size. 

        Bake at 350 for 13-15 minutes.

        Drizzle with glaze and serve! Enjoy!!

        Orange Fan Rolls

        In a mixer add:

        • 3 c high gluten (bread) flour
        • 1/2 c powdered milk (if you don’t have powdered milk substitute part or all of the water for milk)
        • 5 tsp instant yeast
        • 2 1/2 tsp salt
        • 1/4 c sugar

        Mix then add:

        • 1/2 c oil
        • 2 1/2 c HOT water
        • 2 beaten eggs at room temperature 
        • 4 more cups of high gluten flour 

        Filling: 

        • 1/2 c butter
        • 1/3 c sugar
        • Zest from 2 oranges

          Mix until the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl about 5 minutes. You may need to add another cup of flour but this dough is supposed to be sticky, it will come out super light and airy. Put lid on the mixer or cover with plastic and let it rise for 20-30 min or until double. 

          Preheat oven to 350. Roll out on a floured surface, use plenty of flour. Roll to an even rectangle approximately 1/4-1/3 inch thick. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with 1/3 c or more of sugar. Top with zest of 2 oranges. Slice with a pizza cutter into 1 1/2 inch squares. Stack 5 squares and place in a greased muffin pan with edge sides down. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size about 20-30 minutes. Make the glaze.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 13-15 min or until golden brown. Yields 24 rolls. 

          Glaze:

          • 1/4 c butter
          • 1/4 c milk
          • 1 lb powdered sugar (3 1/2 c)
          • Orange extract or juice from 1 orange (will need to add more powdered sugar)

          Microwave butter and milk for 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and beat until desired consistency. Drizzle on warm rolls. 

          Basic French Bread

          This is a go to recipe for me, it rises fast, looks amazing and tastes delicious! It goes well with any meal and makes great French toast the next morning!

          In your mixer add all of the ingredients except for the flour.

          Turn the mixer on low and slowly add 6 cups of flour.

          Add an additional cup to the dough or until it is soft and elastic.

          Let the dough rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

          Split up the dough, depending on how many loaves you want to make and shape them into french bread shape. Don’t worry! It will be pretty, I promise!

          Brush with an egg wash (egg and a little bit of water), then cut some slits on top and sprinkle with sesame seeds if you’d like. Let the dough rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

          Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. For smaller loaves bake for 20-25. 

          The tops should be golden brown and if you tap on it, it will sound somewhat hollow.

          Basic French Bread

          • 2 T yeast
          • 2 1/2 c hot water
          • 1/4 c powdered milk (optional)
          • 1 T salt
          • 1/3 c oil
          • 3 T sugar
          • 6-7 c flour

          Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer add the yeast, hot water, powdered milk (if using), salt, oil, and sugar. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add 6 cups of flour. Add an additional cup of flour until the dough is not sticky, but smooth and elastic. Put lid on mixer and let rise for 30 minutes. The dough should be nice and warm and the steam inside the mixer will cause it to rise faster. If using a mixer without a lid, cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

          After 30 minutes or the dough has doubled in size, cut dough into how many loaves you want to make. Roll into French Bread shapes and place on greased baking sheets. Brush with an egg wash (egg and water mixed) and sprinkle with sesame seeds if you have them. Cut 4-6 slits on top of the dough and let it rise for another 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350°. Enjoy!!