Italian Herb Bread {Bread Machine}

I made this Italian Herb Bread a few years ago to kick off Bread Machine Week – a week where I used my bread machine every day! The bread machine had been put away for a while and I decided it needed to be used a little more often! Now we use it all the time!

**For those of you wondering, we have an Oster 2 lb. EXPRESSBAKE Breadmaker that we got as a wedding present 9 1/2 years ago. Never tried anything else, but works great for me!**

This recipe was under the French bread category in my bread machine cookbook. I have since found recipes all over the internet to make in that wonderful machine, but this cookbook was a great start for me!

The bread came out very tasty – nice crust, soft inside and great flavor! I am saving it for our spaghetti dinner on Thursday! I think it would be excellent for sandwiches as well. As I have mentioned before, I now prefer to make the dough in the machine and then bake it in the oven, but this loaf came out great right from the machine so I wouldn’t mind doing that again!

The only change I made to this recipe was omitting the Parmesan cheese since I am not a fan. Let me know if you make it with the cheese!

Italian Herb Bread

1 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp dried onion flakes
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp active dry yeast

Measure and add liquid ingredients to the bread pan.

Measure and add dry ingredients (except yeast) to the bread pan.

Use your finger to form a well (hole) in the flour where you will pour the yeast. Yeast must NEVER come into contact with a liquid when you are adding ingredients. Measure the yeast and carefully pour into the well.

Snap the baking pan into the breadmaker and close the lid.

Select “French” setting, choose crust color and start!


Bake in a greased loaf pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees!


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Back-to-School Breakfast Tradition: Chocolate Chip Scones

Yesterday was our first day of school and the first words out of Big J’s mouth as he came down the stairs were:

“Can we have chocolate chip scones?! It IS the first day of school!”

I guess I began a tradition when I made these scones for the first day of school last year. And I don’t blame him for wanting them again because they are DELICIOUS!

I found the basic recipe on AllRecipes, but it needed some changes to help the consistency and texture! I experimented a few times and now they are absolutely wonderful! Give them a try for a special breakfast at your house!

Chocolate Chip Scones


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 8 tablespoons orange juice


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With a pastry blender or a large fork, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips. Mix in the orange juice to form a dough.
  3. Turn the dough on to a floured surface. Pat or roll into a 9 inch circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut “pizza-style” into 12 triangles. Transfer the scones to the baking sheet.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown, approximately 12 minutes. Move to wire racks to cool.

Notes: I have also made these using only all-purpose flour, and next time I will try with just white whole wheat flour! I forgot to spray my pan this time and the scones were just fine – probably depends on the pan!

What are your favorite special breakfast menu items?


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Meatloaf Muffins

I’m migrating some recipes over to this site from the cooking site I started way back when, so you can look forward to some yummy foods popping up over here!

I love this recipe because it is EASY and versatile. I also like the idea of meatloaf muffins because I am a big fan of the crunchy outside of meatloaf and with these muffins, you get lots of crunch!

My favorite is the Mexcian variety with no cheese of course – it’s kind of like taco meatloaf and I LOVE my tacos! The Hubby would prefer the Italian version with LOTS of mozzarella and dipped in marinara. The boys also like the Italian version, which we nicknamed “pizza meatloaf muffins!”

I made a batch of Mexican and a batch of Italian last night for dinner and stuck the leftovers in the freezer to have on hand for a quick lunch!

Any other variation ideas? Let me know!

Meatloaf Muffins

For all varitations you’ll need the following…
1 lb. extra-lean ground beef
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix
1 cup water

Then you can mix & match your recipe from these options…

Seasoning – 1 tsp Italian seasoning
Add-in – spaghetti sauce (I used pizza sauce)
Cheese possibilities – shredded mozzarella

Seasoning – 2 tsp chili powder
Add-in – salsa or taco sauce
Cheese possibilities – Mexican style

Seasoning – 1 tsp dried oregano
Add-in – chopped roasted red peppers
Cheese possibilities – crumbled feta

Seasoning – 1 tsp garlic powder
Add-in – barbecue sauce
Cheese possibilities – shredded cheddar

Heat oven to 375°F. Mix meat, stuffing mix, water and seasoning until well blended. Press into 12 muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray.

Make indentation in center of each with back of spoon; fill evenly with 3/4 cup add-ins.

Bake 30 min. or until meatloaves are done (160°F). Top with 3/4 cup cheese evenly spread between muffins; bake 5 min. or until melted. Let stand 10 min.

{Recipe originally from Kraft Foods}

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Cookie Crazy

A few weekends ago, we hosted a backyard birthday party for Little J’s 4th birthday. He’s never been a big fan of cake – except for the frosting – so I let him choose what kind of dessert we would have at the party.

He chose cookies – an excellent choice for feeding a crowd with minimal mess!

I made seven dozen cookies with dough leftover to make at least three dozen more. You could say I went a little cookie crazy, but I wanted to have a variety for people to choose from and two of these recipes make a LOT of cookies!

First up, Sprinkle Cookies!

This made the smallest batch – about two dozen cookies, depending on how big you make them! These weren’t the kind Little J requested, but they ended up being his favorite! They basically taste like sugar cookies with sprinkles in them and they are VERY easy to make!

Next up, Oatmeal Craisin Cookies!

I made these as the “healthy” option! They came out a little flatter than I thought they would, but they were delicious! The recipe is for Oatmeal Raisin, but I did craisins and you could do anything – chocolate chips, nuts, etc.! This recipe makes three to four dozen.

Lastly, my favorite – Monster Cookies!

I’ve made this recipe many times because it is SO good! My friend Mindee hit a home run with this recipe! It is extra wonderful because it makes SO much dough AND it is easy to freeze and use later! I did not use the corn syrup in the recipe this time and they were just as good!

For the party, we put a candle in a sprinkle cookie…

Sang to the birthday boy…

And enjoyed some yummy cookies with much less mess than cake!

One happy birthday boy!

Now I want to make lots of cookies, especially my grandma’s chocolate chip cookie recipe! I’ll just send them with The Hubby to share with the other residents so I don’t gain a million pounds eating them all!

What is your favorite cookie recipe?


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Tasty Tuesday: Homemade Italian Nachos

Ok, no one expects a whole lot of health food around the holidays, right?

I actually did really well not overeating this year – until New Year’s Eve. And then I sat around the food table with the girls – BIG mistake. Sitting by the food, not sitting with the girls.

But it was all so yummy…

PW’s Holiday Bacon Appetizers, which friends have nicknamed “Meat Candy”

Martha Stewart’s White Chocolate Gingerbread Blondies

Crescent Pizza Rolls – a treat for the hubby

And the next day, I decided to make a little treat for the hubs as well, which I’m linking up to Tasty Tuesday with Jen over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam (FABULOUS blog)!

The hubby loves the Italian Nachos at Old Chicago, but we try not to eat out very often and I knew I could throw together something similar at home!

Get ready – this is a really technical recipe…(yeah, right!)

Homemeade “Italian Nachos”

I started with a layer of festive holiday tortilla chips on my baking stone and topped them with a sprinkling of shredded mozzarella.

Next, I added some crumbled turkey sausage ( I LOVE turkey sausage!)…

And a layer of pepperoni.

Sliced black olives…

And sliced mushrooms were next…

Before one last thicker layer of mozzarella!

I baked all of this on the pizza stone at 350 degrees until the cheese was nice and melty, about ten mintues or so and…

Voila! Homemade Italian Nachos! To add to the “Italian” flavor, these are great served with warm marinara for dipping sauce!

Did you make or eat anything delightful for New Year’s? I love new party food recipes, so please share!

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