Dutch Oven Bread Recipe

dutch oven bread

I love bread.  But my body doesn’t react well to gluten, and I’m not a huge cook these days, so making bread isn’t usually high on my list.  That is, until I was introduced to some DELICIOUS bread this summer.    I was at a family get together and thought they were joking when they pulled out this perfect looking loaf of bread, claiming to have made it.

They said it was easy to make.  What?! Making bread can be easy!?

I was anxious to get home and make some for my family.  But first of all, I had to purchase a dutch oven {like this one}. And purchase a few ingredients that I didn’t have on hand {like bread flour and yeast}.

Let me tell you, it IS easy.  And it IS good (I may have sampled a gluten filled taste or two, just to make sure).

So for those interested in making some, here is the recipe!


dutch oven bread

4 to 4 1/2 cups bread flour {yes, you need special flour for this}

2 Tablespoons yeast {or two packets of yeast}

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 cups warms water

1 Tablespoon salt

Pour warm water over the sugar and yeast.  Whisk together lightly.  Let it rest for 10 minutes until it is a bit foamy.

In a different bowl, mix 3 cups of the bread flour with the salt.

Add the flour to the yeast mixture, one cup at a time {preferably using a stand mixer with a dough hook}. The dough will be a bit sticky.  Add the rest of the flour in 1/2 cup increments until the dough completely comes together in a ball.  It may not take all of your flour, though typically I come pretty close.

Let the mixer knead the dough for a few minutes.  Then place the dough on the counter and knead it with your hands for 3 or 4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover the bowl with a damp dish towel.  Let the bread rise for 25 to 30 minutes. {Do not punch down the dough as it rises.}

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees, with the dutch oven inside the oven.

After the dough is done rising, lightly coat the top of the bread with some flour.  Then dump the dough into the dutch oven {I literally turn one bowl over and let the dough flop into the dutch oven.  But remember, the dutch oven will be hot from being in the oven. So don’t burn yourself.}  Then lightly coat the other side of the bread with flour.    Cut a few slits into the top of the bread, or an X or some other fancy design.

Cook for 30 minutes covered.  Take the lid off the bread and cook for another 5 or 10 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Remove from the dutch oven.  Let it cool a bit, then cut and serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar!


 Happy cooking {or is it baking?}. Either way, enjoy the process. And most of all, enjoy the delicious, warm bread!


Grain Free + Gluten Free Granola

Right now, I eat grain free and gluten free. I just feel better without grains and gluten in my system. On many levels,  it’s not a huge deal. Though I do miss some familiar foods, like cereal. I love cereal. It’s my comfort food.  It’s one of my favorite snacks.  And it’s not easy finding a a cereal that’s gluten free AND grain free.

Last week my friend passed on a recipe for gluten free + grain free granola.  I made a few adjustments to the recipe…and all I can say is Y.U.M!  Now I can have cereal again!  While I try some recipes that are a bust, this one is a winner and very worth sharing.

grain free and gluten free granola recipe ... at home in the northwest

And it’s easy to make as well.

Here are the main ingredients….

gluten free and grain free granola ingredients .... at home in the northwest


1 cup chopped pecans + 1 cup sliced almonds + 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds + 1/8 cup chia seeds + 1/8 cup flax seeds

Chop pecans and almonds in a cuisinart or with a knife.

Mix all of the ingredients together.  Stir in 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil and 3 tablespoons of agave.

Bake at 325 degrees on a rimmed pan for 12 to 14 minutes.


So simple to make. And tastes amazing.

You can eat it by itself. Pour milk on top and enjoy it as cereal. Mix it into your favorite yogurt. Or maybe add cranberries or other dried fruits for additional flavor. The possibilities are endless!

Let me know if you decide to make some! I’d love to hear how it turns out.


15 Minute Cinnamon Rolls

I came across this recipe years ago. And I recently realized I hadn’t made them for my family!  So today I tried it on our {picky} kiddos.  Thankfully, it was a complete success!  It was truly quick and simple…and delicious!

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Rolls

1 package of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls  *  1/2 cube butter  *  1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon mixture  *  8 marshmallows

Melt the butter.  Unroll crescent rolls into 8 sections.  Dip the marshmallows into the melted butter. Roll the marshmallows in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Place the marshmallow on the largest part of the crescent roll. Completely cover the marshmallow with the roll, pinching all of the edges together.   Put the rolls into a sprayed muffin tin. Heat the oven to 375 and bake for 9 minutes (or until gold brown).

Let cool and enjoy!


Salad with Sweet and Spicy Almonds

I love a good salad.  Especially in the summer.

I recently discovered some delicious almonds on pinterest.  And after making them a few times, I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit.  They are dangerously good.  I’ve been known to eat them by the handful when no one is looking!

Sweet and Spicy Almonds

3 1/2 to 4 cups sliced almonds (I used two 6 oz bags)

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon vanilla

{1} Place sugar in a non-stick sauce pan and heat over medium heat.  Stir frequently to keep the sugar from burning.  Keep stirring until the sugar has caramelized into a golden syrup.  This does take time and patience.

{2} Turn heat to low and add butter, cinnamon, vanilla and spices.  Stir until all of the ingredients are mixed together.

{3} Add the almonds and stir until they are all coated.  The caramelized sugar will likely clump together. This is ok.  It will melt as you saute the almonds.  Continue to stir the almonds until they turn a nice golden brown.  But keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!

{4} Cool almonds on a piece of foil or wax paper.  Store in a ziploc bag in your freezer and use on a salad as needed.

And now for the salad….

I add some fresh strawberries.  This time of year in the northwest, we are fortunate to have fresh strawberries from Spooner Farms. Yum!

Add some crumbled blue cheese {which I didn’t have today…}.  Toss the ingredients with some of my favorite salad dressing…

And enjoy a nice summer salad!


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{Easy} Carne Asada Recipe

I recently learned about a simple and delicious Costco meal.  It is called Carne Asada {which literally means ‘roasted meat’} and it comes already marinated!

This package cost about $15 and my family of four ate it for two meals.  Score!

Here is the easy ‘how to’ for preparing this meal, with a fun veggie addition.  Serve this and you will look like you slaved in the kitchen for hours!

Cut up three bell peppers.

Place cut up bell peppers in a ziploc baggie or tupperware.

Mix in 1/8 to 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp lemon pepper and 1 tsp garlic salt (you can substitute other seasonings if you don’t have these on hand).   Let the bell pepper mixture marinate in the fridge for a few hours before you cook the meat.

Lay the meat in a shallow pan and cook at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.

{So raw meat isn’t the most appetizing thing to look at. Trust me, once this starts to cook, your house will smell like a four star restaurant!}

After 30 minutes, put the marinated bell peppers on top of the meat.  Cook for an additional 15 minutes (or until the Carne Asada is cooked to your liking).

Open the oven and say “Yum!” because dinner is served!

How easy was that?!



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Brie Bites

I’m sure you’ve been to a party where brie was served in a puff pastry.  It’s an appetizer that I always enjoy making and it always seems to be a hit.  But as the party progresses and the brie cools down, frustration sets in. You go to dig into the brie and the cracker breaks, the brie won’t spread and you now have cracker crumbs on your face.  (Can you tell I’m trying to sell you on my great new recipe!?) Wouldn’t it be handy if this appetizer was bite sized?!

Brie Bites

After making a few alterations to a recipe I found online, brie bites (as we affectionally call them) have become my new go to appetizer.  They’re delicious, bite size and super easy to eat.

I made these for a party last night, which gave me the perfect opportunity to share them with you!  And it gave me the excuse to use the new breadboard that I got as an early Christmas gift, too.

Here are the supplies and ingredients needed:

mini muffin tin, 1/4 cup chopped pecans, honey, puff pastry and brie.

Thaw puff pastry sheets for about an hour before you plan to prepare the brie bites.  Chop pecans into tiny pieces and mix into 1/2 cup honey.  Grease mini muffin tin. Using flour and a rolling pin, roll out puff pastry sheets.  Cut into 2  inch squares.  Place pastry squares in tin and scoop 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of the honey/pecan mixture into the middle of each pastry.

Cut rind off brie and cut into small pieces (approx 1″ square).  Place on top of honey/pecan mixture.

 Place another puff pastry square on top of the brie and squish all of the pastry into each muffin tin opening.  (I’m not a chef so you’ll have to excuse my lack of technical cooking terms.  Surely there is a more appropriate word to use than ‘squish’.)

Cook for 8 or 9 minutes at 400 degrees until puff pastry is golden in color.

 Let cool for a few minutes and place on a serving tray (or a new walnut cutting board!). Serve warm and eat up!

Breadboard from Vintage Home Designs
Happy cooking!!
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Grandma Beach’s Cararmel Corn

We sometimes get in a rut with bringing the same appetizers and desserts to parties.  So if you’re looking for a fresh, fun idea, here is a recipe that will be loved by all ages!

Dan grew up eating this caramel corn at his Grandma Louise’s house.  They called her Grandma Beach because she lived – ok, this is a stretch – on the beach!  Every time they went to her house, she would make a huge batch of caramel corn.  Dan has carried on this tradition and loves to make this recipe when given the opportunity. So this weekend when we were asked to bring a dessert to a family party,  caramel corn seemed like the perfect thing!

Grandma Beach’s Caramel Corn
6 packages of microwave popcorn
2 cubes of butter
2 cups brown sugar (note: this is NOT a weight watchers recipe!)
1/4 cup karo syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda


Pop the bags of popcorn in the microwave.  We use kettle corn for some added sweetness (not sure if it really needs this added sweetness, but it sure tastes good!)

Once all the bags have been popped, place popcorn in a large aluminum pan (trying to take out any kernels that were left unpopped). You may need two pans, depending on the size of your pan.

This recipe makes a LOT of cararmel corn – so you may consider cutting it in half if it seems like too much (the picture above is only three of the six bags).

Melt butter in a medium saucepan.  Once melted, add brown sugar and salt.  Stir constantly for about 6 minutes on medium heat, until brown sugar and butter and blended together. Turn heat down to low and pour in baking soda.  This mixture will turn a bit foamy and light brown in color within 30 seconds.

This is what it looks like right after baking soda has been added.

Drizzle mixture over popcorn and stir until well coated.  (Dan likes to heavily sample during this time period to make sure that none of the popcorn is poisonous!!)

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes.  Stir mixture and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  You can bake it for up to an hour, stirring every 15 minutes, if you prefer a more candied popcorn.

Set out for people to enjoy…and watch the caramel corn disappear.

Popcorn container from Target.
I bet you can’t eat just one handful!!
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