French Bread

breadThe craziness is starting to wind down.

As we recover and try to find a new normal – I’ll share one of my favorite company recipes.

This French bread is easy and cheap to make and makes a simple meal look fancy!  I have made it hundreds of times over the years and served to many,many friends and relations.

We made 2 loaves early last week and enjoyed them at several meals – fresh with cavatini, again with spaghetti and then as Oven French Toast.

The original recipe is from my husband’s Aunt Sharon, a sweet lady and wonderful cook who passed away from cancer.

French Bread
recipe from Aunt Sharon

2 packages yeast
2 cups hot water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/3 cup oil (olive oil gives a great flavor  but vegetable oil works, too)
6 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Set aside

Combine 2 cup hot water, sugar, salt, oil, and 3 cups of flour. Stir in the yeast. Add 3 more cups of flour.  Stir well.

Cover and let dough sit for 10 minutes. Stir down. Cover and let sit for another 10 minutes. Stir dough. Repeat 4 more times. (A total of six times).

Knead lightly and divide into 2 parts. Roll up into oblong loaves. Let rise 30 minutes.

Cut three diagonal slices in each top. Bake 400 degrees for 30 minutes.


Caramel Bars

CaramelI really should call these “panic bars” because I made them in a panic!

It was about 10:30 in the morning and I realized I had company coming at 1:00 – and that company didn’t like chocolate. (Poor kid.)

All of my favorite go-to quick recipes include chocolate (of course!)

To  make matters worse – I was out of butter and margarine.

A quick thumb-through my cookbook collection yielded this recipe – and a quick perusal of the pantry yielded the needed ingredients.

I was back in business!

With just five ingredients – not only were they fast to make –  but they were really rich and gooey and yummy!

Caramel Bars

1 package dry yellow cake mix
2 cups quick- cooking oatmeal (uncooked)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1- 12.5 ounce jar caramel ice cream topping

Mix together the cake mix, oatmeal, and brown sugar. Add the oil and egg; mix well.  Spread half of batter in to a greased 9 x 13 pan. Press a ridge around the edge; then spread with caramel topping. Sprinkle remaining batter on top. Bake 30 minutes ate 350 degrees.


I’ve linked this post up with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday over at At the Well and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Oven French Toast

Oven French Toast It was several years ago that my sister first introduced us to this yummy breakfast dish.

It is now a staple at our family reunions. Actually – I’m not sure we’d let Teresa come if she didn’t bring some! 🙂

So… when it was my turn to host my husband’s family a few weeks ago – I got the recipe and made it for them.

It was a rainy, cold and dreary morning. But the recipe was so fast to make that Aunt Julie and I had the toast in the oven and smelling delicious as everyone made their way to the table.

It was a huge hit and it sure brightened that morning!

Oven French Toast

1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
12 slices Texas toast
1 1/2 cup milk
2-3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together the melted butter and brown sugar. Spread it evenly over the bottom of a greased 11 x 17 inch baking pan.

Lay the Texas toast over the butter and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl mix together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour evenly over the toast and bake at 325 degrees for 1/2 hour.

When the toast is done, carefully remove each piece from the baking dish with a spatula and invert it to the serving platter or plate.

These can be served with maple syrup, or fresh fruit, but I love them hot out of the oven – all by themselves!