Category Archives: Breads

Chēbē Original Cheese Bread Mix

I’m not sure how I missed sharing this great find.  Maybe I was too busy enjoying these tasty little bread bites straight from the oven!  My introduction to Chēbē Original Cheese Bread Mix resulted from my on-going search for gluten-free products for my mom, and several things convinced me it was worth a try.  First, and most obviously, it is cheese bread.  Are you with me so far?  Second, the mix calls for fresh cheese; no processed cheese-flavored mystery ingredients.  Excellent.  Finally, the preparation looked quick and easy.

The instructions suggest using a hard cheese, so I chose asiago.  I had the bread mixed, on a baking sheet, and in the oven in  short order.  Butter was at the ready as the bread came out of the oven.  The crust was crisp, but not tough.  The inside was moist with just the right chewiness factor.  The flavor?  Awesome!  This bread would be great on a buffet table, or with a warm bowl of soup.  Using different cheeses would make it easy to pair the bread with many different foods.

Chebe Original Cheese Bread Mix

Chēbē owners, Dick and Ju Reed, based their bread on on pão de queijo, a native recipe from Ju’s home in Brazil, and they began producing it for U.S. distribution in 1999.  It is made with tapioca flour, so is naturally gluten-free.  The Reeds didn’t make a big deal about Chēbē being gluten-free, but gluten-intolerant consumers certainly did.  Today, all Chēbē mixes and frozen breads are certified gluten-free and bear the Celiac Sprue Association symbol.  Our blog isn’t focused on gluten-free foods; we tell you about foods we truly love.  We think you will love this bread, too!

Where to buy Chēbē Original Cheese Bread Mix

  • Buy from the artisan
  • Buy from Amazon
  • Find a store  (Note: “Find a store” links to a list of retailers on the Company’s website, but stores may not carry all of the Company’s products. Please check with your local store to be sure they have this specific product in stock. If not, ask them to carry it!)



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Celebrate National Biscuit Month!

September always seems to be a month of transition.  Kids head back to school.  Football teams gear up as fans hope for a winning season (particularly weary Dallas Cowboy fans).  The weather begins signaling a change in season, and everyone in Texas breathes a sigh of relief that most of the high temperatures should be in our rear-view mirror.  I’m not sure who was given the authority to deem September as National Biscuit Month, but it seems like a fitting time for a celebration as we move into fall.    For your celebratory pleasure, we are recapping our favorite biscuits and the artisans who make them.

Callie’s Charleston Biscuits

Callie White was a renowned Charleston caterer perhaps best known for her buttery country ham biscuits.  Her daughter, DSC00496Carrie Morey, took over the helm of the family business when Callie was ready to retire and redirected it to a nationally-recognized artisan biscuit bakery.  Their cocktail-sized varieties include buttermilk, black pepper bacon, cheese and chive, country ham, cocktail ham, shortcake and cinnamon.  The cheese and chive biscuits we tried were nothing short of awesome.  You may find a retailer near you, or you can order directly from the company’s website.  Anyone want to join the Biscuit of the Month Club and celebrate buttery biscuit perfection all year?

In 2014, Carrie launched a new downtown Charleston bakery, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit.  In addition to their regular biscuit flavors, the bakery offers a “biscuit of the day”, often featuring foods from local restaurants and artisans.  It would be a required stop for us in Charleston!

Robinhood Meetinghouse Layered Cream Cheese Biscuits 

DSC01109Chef Michael Gagné created “the love child born of a biscuit and a croissant” by laminating layers of cream cheese biscuit dough in same method used for making croissants.  When the biscuits became a patron favorite at his Maine restaurant, Robinhood Meetinghouse, his young daughters began selling the biscuits out of the back porch of the restaurant.  As the Gagné girls grew, so did Chef Michael’s biscuit business.  Today, they offer the original cream cheese biscuits, along with sweet potato, triple ginger, blueberry, herb parmesan, and cheddar chive biscuits.  The biscuits are widely available at retailers or through the company’s website.

The original layered cream cheese biscuits just made our breakfast, and they would be equally delicious as the foundation for strawberry shortcake.  One of Chef Michael’s daughters, who blogs as “The Biscuit Girl”, was married earlier this year and had a biscuit bar at her reception.  The featured selections would be fantastic at any gathering:

  • Sweet Potato Biscuits with Ham and Peach Chutney
  • Cream Cheese Biscuits with Carmelized Onions and Goat Cheese
  • Herb Parmesan Biscuits with Filet of Beef and Horseradish Sauce
  • Blueberry Biscuits, Triple Ginger Biscuits, and Cheddar Chive Biscuits served with local honeys and jams

YUM to all the above!

Create Your Own Celebration

Want a fool-proof recipe for your own kitchen?  Try these easy Duke Dining Hall Biscuits made with King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour.  It is as good a basic biscuit recipe as I have ever tried.


 Duke Dining Hall Biscuits

Servings – About 5

  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking power
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450°.

Mix dry ingredients, and cut in shortening.  (A food processor works great, but you can use a pastry blender, or 2 table knives.)  Add the milk all at once, and stir only slightly.  Place dough on slightly floured surface and knead very gently for only a few seconds.  Roll into 1/2″ thickness.  Cut with a biscuit cutter, cookie cutter or small glass, dipping the cutter into flour before each cut.  (Note:  press the cutter straight down; do not twist it back and forth.)  Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Makes 8 – 12 biscuits, depending on size of the cutter.









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Happy New Year!

2014 got off to a great start with a family gathering at our house for brunch.  With a few make-ahead recipes and some of our favorite gourmet foods, preparation was a breeze.  A sausage, egg, and cheese casserole along with a hash brown casserole were the hearty centerpieces of the buffet.  As expected, RoRo’s handmade Cinn-A-Rolls quickly disappeared.


Our good friends at Cherith Valley Gardens provided new inspiration for our traditional “lucky” dish.  Their recipe combines black-eyed peas, CVG’s Hot ‘n Spicy Corn Relish, onion, tomato (which I omitted today), and fresh cilantro to make a tasty partner for tortilla chips.  Yum!


We love Henning’s Natural Chipotle Cheddar Cheese and Cheddar Cheese Curds, so we were excited to add Henning’s Natural Garlic and Dill White Cheddar to the buffet.  The Henning Family recommends this flavorful cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches and a burger topper, but we thoroughly enjoyed it solo.  (Garlic dill cheeseburgers will be on the menu this month!)


When I saw Roth Moody Blue cheese in the deli case, I bought it on name alone.  I love my classic rock almost as much as I love cheese!  The small batch cheese made with local Wisconsin milk is smoked over fruit wood, adding sultry notes to this creamy blue.  Our first new gourmet food tasting of 2014 received 100% “thumbs up” from the blue cheese lovers present.


No brunch would be complete without coffee and mimosas, but we have also been enjoying coffee liqueur-spiked hot chocolate this winter.  You might just forget about coffee shop hot chocolate once you try this!

IMG_0811Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

  • 4 cups half and half
  • 3/4 cup Ghirardelli Premium Hot Cocoa Double Chocolate Flavor
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup coffee liqueur (we like Kahlua)
  • whipped cream
  • caramel topping
  • coarse Kosher or sea salt

Mix half and half, hot chocolate mix and espresso powder in a medium saucepan.  Whisk until well blended over medium heat just until it boils.  Remove from heat and stir in coffee liqueur.  Divide among 4 mugs.  Top with whipped cream, drizzle with caramel topping and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.    (Note:  the hot chocolate mixture without toppings keeps well in the refrigerator overnight.)

Happy New Year to all who share our love for gourmet foods and best wishes to the talented artisans who delight us with their creations.  May you prosper in 2014!

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Mom’s Sunday Waffles Revisited

I’ve been slowly entering my extensive collection of handwritten recipes into my newest app obsession, Paprika.  This neat little app stores recipes, schedules meals on a weekly calendar, and builds a grocery list with an easy and clean user interface.  It also syncs across my computer and mobile devices, so family meal planning information is always close at hand.  Enough said…check it out.

As I enter old family recipes into Paprika, I look critically at ingredients and cooking methods with an eye toward improvements and updates.  I’ve made my mom’s waffles hundreds of times over the years, but when I started entering the recipe, it suddenly dawned on me to replace the vegetable oil with melted butter.  What an upgrade!  The waffles are lighter, fluffier and of course, buttery.  How could I not share the new, improved version with you?

Mom’s Sunday Waffles

Place eggs, milk, and butter in a medium bowl and blend with a whisk or hand mixer.  Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and add to liquid ingredients.  Whisk until well blended.  Bake according to the instructions for your waffle maker.


One thing hasn’t changed about our favorite Sunday morning breakfast; we always enjoy our waffles with Steen’s 100% Cane Syrup.  It is a boldly delicious, pure product without additives or preservatives.

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King Arthur Gluten Free Bread Mix

If you have been keeping up with recent posts, you know my mom was recently diagnosed with celiac disease, and she has made many menu adjustments.  The biggest challenge so far has been finding a gluten free bread she likes.  There are a lot of options available, but Mom found them lacking in taste, texture, or both.  She tried both off-the-shelf products and frozen ones, but none made good toast or sandwiches, both of which had been a regular part of her diet for years.  I briefly toyed with the idea of making gluten-free bread for Mom.  Dismay quickly set in as I searched for recipes and saw the number of different gluten free flour products necessary to bake a single loaf of bread!  My research turned up a gluten free bread mix from King Arthur Flour, and since I already enjoyed using other King Arthur products in my kitchen, I bought the bread mix with a sense of cautious optimism.

Based on my experience (which is now up to a half-dozen loaves), I recommend using a stand mixer (like my KitchenAid) for making the bread.  You might be able to successfully mix it with a hand mixer, but my KitchenAid mixer makes it very easy.  The recipe on the box allows for a vegan version, but I chatted online with one of King Arthur’s friendly bakers who recommended  butter and milk, rather than oil and water, for a softer texture.  The bread dough is very soft and moist, and not nearly as stiff as wheat bread dough would be, but just like wheat bread dough, it rises twice before baking.  The bread smells heavenly while baking, and makes a very nice 9″ x 5″ loaf.  The recipe indicates the bread can be baked in an    8″ x 4″ loaf pan, which I tried, but the 9″ x 5″ loaf is better suited for toast and sandwiches.  I was very pleasantly surprised at the taste and texture of the first loaf I baked, but it had to be frozen before I could get it to Mom and I wasn’t sure how it would fare after thawing.  My concerns were quickly put to rest when I had a text from Mom raving about the toast she had made, and later the same day, a second text arrived saying she had enjoyed a sandwich for lunch for the first time in weeks!

Here are some tips Mom and I have developed to successfully bake and enjoy the bread.

  • Definitely use milk and butter in the bread mix if you can.  The bread’s texture is excellent with those ingredients.
  • Let the bread cool completely, then slice it as soon as it is cool.  Use an electric knife or slicer for more uniform slices.  (Mom gave me her vintage Oster slicer, and it does a great job.)

King Arthur GF Bread mix

  • Freeze whatever you aren’t going to eat right away.  We individually wrap 2 slices of bread together so it is easy to remove a single serving from the freezer without continually exposing the entire loaf to air and potential freezer burn.  (Love the Ziploc Perfect Portions freezer bags!)  Put the wrapped bread slices in a freezer bag or plastic container before freezing.


  • When ready to serve, remove the bread from the freezer bags, wrap the slices in a paper towel and warm in the microwave for about 10 seconds on full power (your microwave could vary).
  • Enjoy!

Gluten intolerance is a problem for many people, but as Mom is learning, there are many good alternative selections.  King Arthur Gluten Free Bread Mix is a delicious option for those who have given up traditional wheat bread by choice or necessity.  I’ve found the bread mix in several markets in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, but you can also order it online.  Buy several boxes, because chances are, you will love this bread as much as Mom does!

Where to buy King Arthur Gluten Free Bread Mix



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Small Business Week Salute to King Arthur Flour

King Arthur Flour started as a family business four centuries ago, and has evolved into an employee-owned business with a world-wide footprint.  It has also done a stellar job of staying true to its small business roots.  Company employees share tempting recipes and baking tips on its baking blog, and respond rapidly and courteously to questions and an occasional complaint on its Facebook page.  A telephone hotline and online baker’s chat help home bakers achieve success.  I recently chatted online with one of King Arthur’s baking consultants while using the company’s Gluten Free Bread Mix, and the conversation was as cordial as if I had called a friend for advice.  (More on that baking experience later.)

Check out this video showcasing King Arthur’s company culture and success, then head over to my favorite biscuit recipe using King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour and try them for yourself!

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Robinhood Meetinghouse Pecan Sticky Buns

Texas has about six weeks of nice weather in the spring when the temperature hovers in the “just right” range between too cold and too hot.  When we woke up last week to a wonderful Saturday morning, coffee on the patio was definitely in order.  On the rare occasions when great weather intersects with a forgiving schedule, Allen often cooks bacon and eggs on the grill while I kick back and relax.  On this particular morning, however, a box of Robinhood Meetinghouse Pecan Sticky Buns was calling my name from the freezer.  I popped them in the oven, and we both enjoyed our first cup of coffee while they warmed.

I’ve been following Gagné Foods since we tried their amazing layered cream cheese biscuits last year.  This Maine family owns and operates The Robinhood Meetinghouse, a Bath, Maine restaurant, and as often happens, certain menu items become so popular that demand for them grows outside the four walls of the restaurant.  We loved the layered cream cheese biscuits, so I made a mental note to try the sticky buns.  Fast forward a couple of months, and they turned out to be the perfect accompaniment to coffee on the patio!

Pecan Sticky Buns

Chef Michael Gagné uses only natural ingredients in his baked goods — no artificial colors or flavors, no GMOs or corn syrup.  The sticky buns are made with whole milk, real butter and cream cheese, so yes, they are decadently rich and tender.  The sticky topping of brown sugar, butter, honey and pecans adds wonderfully gooey goodness.  Given the choice between sweet and savory breakfast choices, I will always select sweet, and have probably tasted more than my share of sweet rolls.   These sticky buns are completely impressive, maybe even more so because they are frozen.  Delicious and convenient – one of my favorite combinations!

Check out the company’s website to find a retailer near you, or to contact the company about an online order.  You’ll love these pecan sticky buns, too!

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Flatout Flatbread

We’ve noticed a couple of common threads among the artisans who create the foods we love.  Many of them are or have been restaurateurs with something on the menu that became a signature item and created a demand for the product outside the four walls of their restaurants.  Others have taken family recipes and created their own artisan food businesses.  Stacey and Mike Marsh fall into the first group.  They opened a restaurant right after finishing college.  Customers loved their sandwich wraps and frequently asked them to bake and sell flatbread.  The couple plunged into the baking business, buying bakery equipment, and experimenting with recipes and processes for three years before they perfected their Flatout flatbreads.  They were ready to fill consumer demand for healthier options that didn’t sacrifice good taste.

The original Flatout is now one of a number of varieties available.  Along with different flavors and grains, Flatouts are available in mini sizes and there are Flatouts for Kidz.  The Flatout product line has expanded to include folding flatbreads, baked flatbread crisps, thin crust pizza flatbreads, and lavash.

We are fans of Flatout Multi-Grain with Flax.  They are made with 100% whole wheat, and have 67% fewer net carbs than 2 slices of whole wheat bread.  They are light on sodium, and are a good source of ALA Omega 3, which doctors believe helps protect against heart disease, stroke and possibly other life-threatening diseases.


Best of all, they taste good!  We had tried low-carb tortillas for wraps a couple of times, but found them dry and lacking in flavor.  Flatouts are very soft,  and the wheat, oat, corn, rye, barley and flax grains deliver the taste.  They make quick and delicious lunch wraps with meat, cheese, and fresh vegetables.  We also enjoy using Flatouts for pizzas.  We really like the super-thin crust, and everyone gets their own pizza with the toppings they want!  Try these yummy Flatout egg salad wraps.

Egg Salad WrapsIMG_0393

  • 6 hardboiled eggs, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill weed (or to taste; I used a dash more)
  • 1/4 cup chopped slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 Flatout Multi-Grain with Flax

Combine the first four ingredients with just enough mayonnaise to moisten.  (It may not take the entire 1/3 cup.)  Spread the mixture evenly on the four Flatouts and roll, starting at a rounded end.  Slice in half to serve.  These would also be pretty on a lunch buffet, sliced into 4 to 6 pieces each.  Recipe slightly adapted from Six Ingredients or Less Low-Carb Cooking/Hazen & Johnson

Flatouts are available in many markets, but you can order online if you have trouble finding them locally.  The flavor for March is Whole Grain White, and Flatout is offering a free bag with each online order.  If your sandwich menu has gotten a little stale, try Flatouts for a healthy, fresh taste.

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RoRo’s Baking Company is Growing!


Photo credit: Kortnee Kate Photography for RoRo’s Baking Company

We’ve had RoRo’s Baking Company on our radar screen for more than a year.  Karen and I flipped over their Cinn-A-Rolls and we loved the company’s story.  Amy’s grandmother (RoRo) had delighted family members and friends with her handmade cinnamon rolls for years.  Orders started coming in, and RoRo started a small business from her home kitchen.  Shortly after Amy got married, she had a vision of expanding RoRo’s reach outside the immediate circle of friends and family.  Her husband, Lauren, was on board and soon the three were renting time in a shared catering kitchen and selling Cinn-A-Rolls wholesale to specialty grocers.  With the launch of crescent-style Dinn-A-Rolls, and increasing popularity of both products, adequate time in the catering kitchen and inventory storage has become a challenge inhibiting the company’s growth.

Growing a business isn’t easy.  Financing for new businesses is often hard to find, and even more often, expensive.  RoRo’s creative funding solution?  Kickstarter, a project funding source that allows the owners of creative endeavors to solicit financial pledges from volunteer backers.  RoRo’s wants to raise $35,000 by February 28 to build out their own commercial kitchen.  Customers and fans of RoRo’s products can participate in the company’s growth by pledging funds to help with this expansion project.  In return, RoRo’s is offering  “rewards” for different support levels.  You can support RoRo’s with as little as a $1 pledge or as much as $1,500.  For a small $10 pledge, RoRo’s will donate a pan of Cinn-A-Rolls to our military personnel serving overseas.  Don’t you love that?  If for any reason, RoRo’s does not meet their $35,000 support level, pledges will not have to be fulfilled.  We can’t see a downside here, can you?

We love RoRo’s Cinn-A-Rolls and Dinn-A-Rolls, and have already made our pledge.  As of Sunday, February 3rd, Amy, Lauren, and RoRo have 24 days to raise over $32,000.  Head over to their Kickstarter page and help them raise the dough they need to grow!

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Smoked Gouda Pimento Cheese on Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Did you do a double take on that combination?  That’s what I did when a pimento cheese sandwich on cinnamon raisin bread was served at a country club luncheon I attended.  The sandwich had eye appeal, for sure, but I wasn’t too sure about the combined flavor profile of cinnamon, cheese and raisins.  After one bite, I was a true believer, and I’ve been sharing this tasty duo with others for years.  Most have become fans of this somewhat quirky combo.

The country club sandwich was simply made with cheddar pimento cheese and a national brand cinnamon raisin bread.  That is how I had always made it, too.  That is, until I realized I had some delicious smoked gouda pimento cheese made with Yancy’s Fancy Smoked Gouda Cheese in the refrigerator at the very same time there was Greenlee’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread in the pantry.  I knew this would be a very different sandwich.  Smoked gouda has a more robust flavor profile than cheddar and Greenlee’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread has a softer texture than other cinnamon raisin yeast breads.  The possibilities were intriguing.


I made a sandwich for lunch, and it was very different, as I had expected, and very flavorful, as I had hoped.  The cheese and raisins paired nicely, and the sweet cinnamon bread was balanced by the onion and garlic flavors in the pimento cheese.  This would make a good grilled cheese sandwich, too.  Yancy’s Fancy Smoked Gouda Cheese and Greenlee’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread are both stellar products in their own right, and it is great when we find artisan products that partner well, as these do.

Do you have a favorite sandwich with unusual ingredients?


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