Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Glazed Chicken


Here's a simple recipe that is quick and delicious. We originally tried it on boneless chicken breast pieces, but then had it later the same week on salmon. Both versions were terrific.

Glaze for Chicken or Salmon

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sage
1 tablespoon water

Combine all ingredients. Spread 1/2 the glaze on some chicken or fish, then sauté in non-stick pan for a few minutes. Flip and spread with remaining glaze. Cook until done.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Japanese at Home

After hearing two rave reviews in less than a week, we had originally planned to try out Tokyo Bay Buffet for our Friday night dinner. However, plans changed and we decided against it. We still needed to eat dinner, though, so I figured I'd try some new recipes, keeping the Japanese theme. In addition to some simple sushi - a summer roll - from the local grocery store (which is actually pretty decent), we tried Teriyaki Salmon and Sunomono.


Teriyaki Salmon for Two
For two small salmon filets, make a marinade of 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 tablespoons sake or sherry, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger. After marinating the fish for just a few minutes, saute the salmon until done, then remove and bring the remaining marinade to a boil to turn it into a glaze. Pretty simple!

Sunomono for Two
Peel, remove the seeds, and thinly slice 1/2 a large cucumber. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and let sit for 5-10 minutes, then squeeze dry. (I rinsed as well first.) Combine 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/8 teaspoon soy sauce. Mix with the cucumbers. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds and serve.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Baked Lobster

Technically I guess this is Baked Lobster Tail, but I wanted to remember the procedure I used because it worked. I got the directions from this site.



  • Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Cut the top of the shell lengthwise, starting from the base and going toward the end of the tail.
  • Crack the bottom of the shell using your hands, but be sure that you don’t smash the shell.
  • Reach inside the newly opened shell and gently remove the meat from the shell, but don’t detach the meat from the base of the tail. After pulling the meat out, lay it on top of the shell.
  • Remove the darkly colored vein from the meat and throw it away. (I didn't bother with this step.)
  • Place the tails on a baking pan with enough water to shallowly fill the bottom of the pan. This water will help steam your tails quickly and thoroughly!
  • Base the tail with clarified butter and top it with seasoning of your choice – we recommend paprika for great flavor and color.
  • Bake your tails for exactly 1 to 1 ½ minutes per ounce. You’ll know that your baked lobster tails are done when the meat is white and firm with no gray coloring or translucency.


I did 3 ounce tails for six minutes, because that's how long the steaks were in the oven and it just made things easy. They tasted just fine, and 3 ounces was actually the perfect size when paired with steak.

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Shrimp Tacos - Another Version

We enjoy shrimp tacos, and like our usual recipe, but last week I had the thought to try something different. I read a tip to "dry-brine" shrimp (see below) before cooking to make it taste better. I don't know if it made a huge difference, but it was delicious. Our tacos themselves were pretty simple, just the shrimp, with a bit of cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, sour cream and salsa.


Serious Eats:
There's one technique that we've found improves all shrimp, regardless of cooking method: a quick brine of salt and baking soda. It may sound minor, but the combination works wonders: the salt helps keep the shrimp nice and moist as they cook, while alkaline baking soda delivers a crisp, firm texture. You're looking for about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for every pound of shrimp; give it a quick toss and rest the shrimp in the fridge for anywhere from 15 minutes to about an hour.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Looking for a Chicken Pasta Recipe?

I was, and this is the one I chose to try. Of course I had to adapt it a bit, but the finished result was given the "thumbs up" so we'll have it again sometime.


Chicken and Pasta with Tomato-Butter Sauce
(scaled for 2-3)

1 tablespoon olive oil
8 oz. chicken breast, cut as large or as small as you wish
2-3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
4 oz. dry spaghetti, cooked and drained

Sauté the chicken in the olive oil until golden brown, then remove from pan and set aside. Add the tomatoes to the pan. After a bit add the garlic and seasonings. Just before serving, stir in the butter, add the chicken back and toss with cooked spaghetti. Delicious!




Cheesy Mashed Pumpkin

I still have pumpkin sitting in the freezer from when we cooked up our Halloween jack-o-lanterns, and I've decided there has to be another way to use it that isn't a pie or a quick bread. We made Pumpkin Rolls a week ago, but that only used half the container. Google came to the rescue with Creamy Mashed Pumpkin. Our pumpkin pureé is already pretty liquid-y so I didn't add a lot of cream, but I did stir in a fair amount of cheese. When I asked Wayne what he thought he said, "Yum. Reminds me of grits, just more smooth." So, there you have it. I'm always grateful when an experiment is successful. We'll most definitely have this again!


Cheesy Mashed Pumpkin

1 cup of pumpkin pureé
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
dash of Tabasco sauce

Mix together. Heat through. Serve. It's that simple.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Creamy Peach Blueberry Pie

As I was fixing Turkey Divan (separated) and Pumpkin Rolls for dinner last night, I realized I had a Thanksgiving theme going, so a pie for dessert made sense. However, I wanted a summer pie, not a winter one, but since it was Sunday, I needed to already have all the necessary ingredients. This peach pie was on my pinterest board, but I didn't have fresh peaches. I noticed this blueberry version on the same website and decided I would combine the two. It turned out to be delicious and I'll definitely add this to our pie repertoire!

Creamy Peach Blueberry Pie

1 unbaked 9" pie crust
2 cups canned, sliced peaches, drained
1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed and drained
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
dash salt
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup sour cream
Topping: Combine 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter

Place peaches and blueberries in pie crust. Combine sugar, flour, salt, eggs and sour cream and pour over fruit. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle topping over pie and return to oven. Bake an additional 35-34 minutes.

It almost looks prettier during the baking process.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Water Chestnut Meatballs


Water Chestnut Meatballs

2 cups soft bread crumbs
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound pork sausage
8 oz. can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup milk
16 oz can sweet and sour sauce (about 2 cups)


Combine everything but the sweet and sour sauce and mix well. Form into 1" balls, place in greased baking dish and bake at 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes. Gently stir in the sweet and sour sauce and bake for an additional 15 minutes.


I couldn't find a 16 oz. can, so I bought two 12 oz. bottles instead. We used all of one and part of the other. Interestingly, although both labeled "sweet and sour sauce," one was more orange (a duck sauce type) and the other more red (tomato based). I actually really liked the combination. You could also make your own sweet and sour sauce. Here's one recipe I found from a quick Google search - The Best Sweet and Sour Pork Meatballs. You'll have to decide yourself if it's really the best!

This is meant to be served as an appetizer, but I think it would taste just as good over rice. In fact, I decided to serve it with fried rice, and while both tasted fine by themselves, they were just as good mixed together.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Alaskan Smoked Salmon

As a way to help us prepare and get more excited about our Alaskan cruise in a few months, we picked up some smoked salmon. Anyway, it's been fun discovering new recipes and experimenting with different ways to try it.

The traditional Bagels and Lox:


Added to scrambled eggs:


In a pasta dish: Saute a bit of onions, garlic, chopped tomatoes and spinach in olive oil. Stir in cream cheese, smoked salmon and cooked pasta. Garnish with Parmesan cheese when serving.


Smoked Salmon Pizza: Spread cream cheese on a pre-baked pizza crust. Top with garlic powder and smoked salmon. Bake for a few minutes, then top with chopped chives and capers before serving.


Smoked Salmon Dip: Combine 8 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 cup cream, 1 green onion, thinly sliced, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 dash Tabasco, 4 ounces smoked salmon, and 1 avocado, mashed. Serve with cucumber, celery or crackers.


The dip also made a great filling for an omelet.


To my recollection, this is the first time I've had smoked salmon, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. If anything, I thought it might be like jerky. However, it was quite moist and I liked it. Wayne even said it's the best he'd ever had. So, that's pretty good. For the record, the packaging was pretty deceptive. I figured the piece of fish inside would be as big as the package, but it was about half the size of the box. At least, next time I'll know what to expect!


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Bake Sale Cookoff Recipes

Time for another post showcasing recipes from the Old-Fashioned Bake Sale Cookbook. As usual, these are all quite delicious.

Oatmeal Brownie Gems
1/9/16

You can't go wrong with M&M's and brownie mix, and adding oatmeal gives the illusion that maybe these bars are a bit healthy!

Toffee Brownie Bars
1/21/17

As you can see, it takes about a year to make one recipe from each section, so in January we were back to brownies. This version is similar to our Four-Layer-Dessert with a crust topped with brownie topped with chocolate and nuts. You can find the recipe here.

Captivating Caterpillar Cupcakes
2/20/16

Remember, this is a bake sale cookbook, and there are going to be eye-catching recipes. This is one of them. Basically it's an ordinary cupcake, but decorated to look like a caterpillar crawling on the grass. Although it took a bit of patience during the decorating step, the most difficult part of this recipe was finding star-shaped nonpareil decors! 


Brownie Peanut Butter Cupcakes
4/1/2017

Instead of jelly bean caterpillars, the next cupcake recipe used Reese's Pieces for decoration, and had a little peanut butter surprise inside to catch the buyers' attention! To make the filling, combine 1/3 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup cream cheese, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 egg. Form the mixture into 18 balls and place one in each of 18 foil baking cups. Then top with prepared brownie batter and the candies before baking.


There's the surprise filling!
Pumpkin Bread
11/22/14 - plain with cream cheese
7/18/15 - with nuts and preserves
3/19/16 - with raisins and cream cheese frosting
6/10/17 - with nuts and raisins and ice cream

This recipe comes with quite a few variations. We've been waiting a long time for the one topped with ice cream! However, when I make pumpkin bread in the future, I think I'll stick to my niece's recipe.


Cinnamon Roll Cookies
9/4/16

When I decided to make them for Father's Day this cookbook must have been where I recalled seeing a recipe for Cinnamon Roll Cookies. Although I used a different recipe than the one in this book, they're actually quite similar, and if we make them again we'll probably use the other one, because it adds a cream cheese frosting drizzle.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Dutch Oven Barbecued Meat

This is a recipe you won't soon forget if you ever try making it yourself. Make sure you're a meat lover before attempting to do so!

Start by seasoning 3 pounds of pork, 3 pounds of beef, and 3 pounds of chicken, then brown them in hot bacon grease or vegetable oil. After that stick the pot in the oven (300F) for 2 1/2 hours.


By then the meat should be cooked. Remove any bones (we skipped that step since we used boneless cuts) and cut or shred into bite-sized pieces. Then add 1/4 cup of liquid smoke and a quart of hickory-smoke-flavor barbecue sauce. Turn the oven down to 200F and bake for another hour.


Serve over rice with cornbread on the side. 



This makes a lot! We'll be eating leftovers for a while, but that's okay. We've decided that although the original recipe called for hickory smoke barbecue sauce, really any barbecue sauce would do. If we ever do this again, I'll try a different flavor. (We're still fans of KC Masterpiece original!)


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Authentic Quiche Lorraine

For some reason I thought Quiche Lorraine was made with Swiss cheese, but last Christmas our son volunteered to make a real French dinner (they had spent the previous school year in France), and here's the recipe he used. We all loved it! (The ratatouille he served with it not so much, but it was still good.) Because my brain still had my old belief engrained in it, I looked up the recipe again as a way to use up Swiss cheese. It was actually okay with that, but I'll try to remember we can use Mozzarella cheese as well.




Quiche Lorraine

1 Pâte Brisée (pastry crust, see below)
1 c. cream
3 eggs
1/3 lb. bacon (diced and cooked)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 c. (not packed) grated mozzarella cheese

Line pie pan with uncooked pastry crust. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk cream and eggs until smooth. Mix in pepper and bacon pieces. Stir in cheese last. Pour filling into crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes (top should turn golden brown). Serve warm.

Pâte Brisée

1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar (increase to 1 1/2 for sweet recipes)
1 stick cold butter (not margarine)
3-4 Tbsp. cold water

Mix flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in butter until the butter chunks are about pea-sized. Add water a little at a time, mixing just enough to make a dough. Roll out on floured surface. Place (or press, if too moist) into pie dish.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Colorful Kielbasa


Colorful Kielbasa

1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
1-1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound smoked kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
1 jar (4-1/2 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

In a large skillet, combine the soup, water and butter; bring to a boil. Add kielbasa and rice. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 18 minutes or until rice is almost tender.
Stir in peas and mushrooms. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until rice is tender and peas are heated through. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and let stand until melted. Yield: 4-6 servings.

Wayne said this would be a good recipe to use the canned ham in our food storage.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Cookie Fail

We still have some butterscotch chips that need to be used. (I guess I could just throw them out, but that would cause too much personal anguish.) A few months ago we tried Chewy Oatmeal Cookies, but I wanted something different. Since we prefer chocolate over oatmeal in cookies, Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies looked promising.


They actually turned out nicely, but the butterscotch flavor was still noticeable. I had the brilliant idea to switch the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips and try the recipe again. Instead of being a chocolate cookie with butterscotch tidbits, it would be a butterscotch cookie with chocolate tidbits. Doesn't that sound like a reasonable alternative?

It mixed up just the same, but as you can see, they definitely did not bake up the same!

We did eat these cookies, but we didn't share them as I had originally planned. Maybe I'll try it again with peanut butter chips instead of butterscotch. That would be better received in our house.

Chocolate Butterscotch Cookies

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup butterscotch chips (or peanut butter chips?)

Sift together the flour and baking powder; set aside. Melt the butter and the chocolate chips together and stir until smooth; set aside. Crack the eggs in a large mixing bowl, add in the sugar and vanilla. With the electric mixer on medium speed, beat the mixture for 5-10 minutes, or until pale and creamy. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Fold in the melted chocolate followed by the butterscotch chips. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls, about 2 inches apart, and a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes in a 350F oven, or until dry and cracked.

Left: the beaten egg mixture
Right: cookies before baking


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Wayne likes Chicken Cordon Bleu, but sometimes that's just too much for a weeknight dinner. However, I did have chicken, ham and Swiss cheese that needed to be used before Sunday, and fortunately Google came to the rescue.


Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Saute chopped onions, chicken and ham in a bit of butter. Stir some flour into some chicken broth and add it along with a touch of cream to make a white sauce. Then stir in some Swiss cheese and rice and heat through. If desired, place in a casserole and top with bread crumbs and bake it, but I didn't desire to do that extra step.

Note that Wayne would still prefer the real thing, but I thought this was just fine as far as casseroles go!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Bagels

Elizabeth made bagels for breakfast when we visited them last month, and they were quite delicious, and inspired me to try making my own someday. We have some smoked salmon that I want to use, and while searching for ways to do that, the number one suggestion was with bagels and cream cheese. So, let's "kill two birds with one stone" and try making bagels to serve with smoked salmon!


Elizabeth used the recipe from her Bread Bible cookbook, and I found it here. The only problem is I don't have malt powder, and I don't want to go to the store. I read several other posts - including here and here and here - and decided that I'll try substituting honey. I've never had an authentic New York City bagel, so I'm sure I'll never know the difference. The other trick is to let them sit overnight in the refrigerator. There may be some more things to try, but that's what I'm focusing on today. We'll see how it works!

I liked the idea of he overnight rise, but I'm thinking I allowed too much time between removing it from the fridge in the mornig and the boiling step, because they kind of fell. I need to try again and go right from the fridge to the pan to see if that makes a difference.
Homemade Bagels

for the dough:
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon honey (or malt syrup)
1 teaspoon dry yeast
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons gluten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

for the water bath:
2-3 quarts water
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon baking soda

Whisk together water, honey and yeast, and cover with a tea towel and leave until the surface is covered with froth.

Put the flour, gluten and salt into a bowl, add the yeast mixture and mix until it starts to come together, then turn on to a clean work surface (no need to flour), and work and knead the dough until smooth, bearing in mind it will be very stiff. Cover and leave in a warm place for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until about doubled in size.

Line a baking sheet with lightly greased baking parchment or use a silicone mat. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and punch the air out of it. Divide into 6 balls. To form the bagel, roll into a ball, stick your thumbs through the center to create a donut shape and work until the hole is a couple of inches in diameter. Place each bagel on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate between 18 and 24 hours, then remove from the fridge about half an hour before cooking.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add the honey and baking soda. Also preheat the oven to 425F. Add a couple of bagels to the boiling water (don't be tempted to overcrowd them). Boil for 30 seconds, then flip over and boil for another 30 seconds. Drain on the rack and repeat.

If desired, dunk each bagel into a seed topping, then put seed-side down on the baking trays. Bake for 7 minutes, then flip over and bake for another 7 minutes or until golden. Cool on the racks.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Roasted Red Pepper Spread

Elizabeth makes a yummy sandwich spread, and when she made it again on our last visit, I made sure to get the instructions. She combines 2 roasted red peppers, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, several garlic cloves and salt and pepper to taste in the food processor and mixes it all together. Then she makes sandwiches using the spread on Costco torta rolls with sliced chicken and spinach leaves. You can add cheese if desired as well. Delicious!

We first had it on the picnic lunch described here. What a great memory!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Megan's Shepherd's Pie

My dad raved over the Shepherd's Pie Megan served him when he visited a while ago, so I had to give it a try. It's definitely a little more involved than our usual "quick" version, but because of that, it's also a bit tastier. You can decide which version you prefer!


This one used beef chunks, instead of ground beef, cooked with fresh onion and garlic and celery before adding some frozen mixed vegetables and a bit of beef gravy to hold it together. Then the freshly made-from-scratch, instead of instant, mashed potatoes were put on top before baking, and a bit of grated Cheddar cheese was added at the very end.

And here's a version that uses lamb instead of beef, with actual measurements!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Baked Potato Soup

It looks prettier with the garnishes, but tastes just as delicious without them if you don't want to bother. This is basically a thick, creamy white sauce with chunks of baked potato added, along with a bit of sour cream. I looked at recipes similar to this and this, and then created my own. Definitely worth making again, but not when you're counting calories.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Baked Spaghetti

We like lasagna, but for some reason I don't really like making it. I think the put off is slimy, squirmy lasagna noodles. So, when I saw this recipe I decided it was worth trying. Of course I had to put my own spin on it, but this is what we tried.


Baked Spaghetti

8 oz spaghetti noodles
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup cottage cheese
1 egg
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
3 cups Spaghetti Sauce (see below)
2 cups Mozarella cheese

Cook spaghetti, then drain and toss with butter. Combine cottage cheese, egg and Parmesan cheese. In a 9x9" pan, layer half the noodles, half the cottage cheese mix, half the sauce, and half the Mozarella cheese. Repeat layers. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Note: Next time I'll probably combine the pasta with the cottage cheese mixture before layering so that it's more evenly distributed. And I'll try not to forget the Mozarella in the layering process as well!

Spaghetti Sauce
1 packet spaghetti seasoning mix (my recipe is here)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with liquid
1-2 cans (8 oz) tomato sauce
1/2 pound ground beef, cooked (or wheat/meat)
1 cup chopped mushrooms

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Marshmallow Eggs


Earlier this month Wayne mentioned it  had been a while since we'd had marshmallow bunnies for Easter, and that reminded me that many years ago (at least 30!) I attended a Relief Society class where we learned how to make homemade marshmallow eggs. I figured it was time to try again. I couldn't find my old recipe, but Google came to the rescue. Since I usually have success with recipes from Taste of Home, I tried a version I found there first.


However, I should have followed the instructions to double-check my candy thermometer with some boiling water before starting. When the recommended temperature produced burnt sugar caramel, I decided to do so and discovered my thermometer was 40 degrees off. I considered rescuing the result, but in the end just threw it out. I couldn't think of anything that would successfully disguise the taste of burned food, not even chocolate.

Next I tried a version found here. It had the same ingredients, but put them together a bit differently, and didn't require a candy thermometer!

Homemade Marshmallow Eggs

1 tablespoon (1 packet) unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup cold water
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Make a mold by filling a couple of 9x13" pans with flour, then pressing an egg into the flour. I got 11 out of each pan.

In a small pan, sprinkle the gelatin over cold water and let soften. Turn on the burner, stir in the sugar and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Cook until sugar has dissolved, about 3-4 minutes.

Place corn syrup in a large bowl, start beating, and stir in sugar syrup. Keep beating until mixture is stiff, about 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Spoon lukewarm gelatin mixture into egg depressions; dust with flour. Let stand for 3-4 hours or until set.

Brush excess flour off marshmallow eggs. Dip each in melted chocolate. Place flat side down on waxed paper. Decorate as desired. Let stand until set.
This is just really cool - and would make a great science experiment.
Note: Sprinkling with colored sugar or candy sprinkles is easy, but we didn't particularly care for the "crunch" so preferred those drizzled with another color of chocolate. Wayne would have even liked double-dipping in the chocolate to get a higher chocolate to marshmallow ratio, but I thought it was perfect as is. In addition, placing the covered eggs on a wire rack is not a good idea; use the waxed paper.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Italian Easter Bread

While pondering a gift to take to the neighbors for Easter, the thought of bread came to mind, and I figured since we're celebrating the Bread of Life that would be quite appropriate. However, I wanted something festive and springtime-y, so I went to Google and discovered many, many people celebrate Easter with a special Italian bread. It looks delicious, so here's my adaptation.

Festive Easter Orange Bread

3/4 cup milk, heated to 110 degrees
zest of one orange (about 1 tablespoon)
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
5 cups flour
1 tablespoon gluten
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
juice of one orange (about 1/4 cup)
egg wash or milk
sprinkles
dyed raw eggs, optional (They will cook while the bread cooks.)
Orange Glaze (powdered sugar and orange juice), if desired

Heat the milk and while it's cooling a bit combine the sugar and orange zest. Add to the milk and stir to dissolve the sugar, then add the yeast and let sit for 10 minutes. Combine 4 cups of flour with the gluten. In another bowl beat the eggs with the salt. Stir the yeast mixture into the flour, then add the butter, orange juice and egg mixture. Add the remaining cup of flour if necessary. Once it's formed a ball, knead on the counter, adding more flour as needed, until it's nice and smooth. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 1/2 hours.
Before rising - after rising - forming the rings
Divide dough into 12 pieces and roll each into a log. Twist 2 together, form a circle, pinch the ends together, and place them on a greased baking sheet. Let rise until double.
Carefully brush with egg wash, put on the sprinkles, and gently place an egg in the center if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Drizzle with glaze if desired.
Before and after baking - with and without the egg.
Note: Here are just a few of the sites that I looked at for ideas: Laura in the Kitchen, Brown-Eyed Baker, and The Italian Dish Blog.