Christmas (and other) Craziness

Let me start off this post by apologizing for the long absence. This was our first Christmas with a child, and let me tell you, it was absolutely nutty! And to think, when it was just the two of us, we thought the holidays were crazy. :) And then we found ourselves buried under toys and empty toy boxes, on top of our already cluttered, tiny house. So, I've spent the last week digging us out. The result: an impeccably organized and slightly less cluttered home. It feels so good! Now it's time to get down to brass tacks...the food!

As I mentioned in my last "Weekly Menu" post, I was in charge of making the bread and noodles for Christmas dinner at my grandma's house. And I did. My noodles never taste as good as grandma's, but she was thoroughly impressed with how tender they were! (We have slightly different methods of making them...she goes old school, mixing the dough and rolling them by hand. I have a bit more modern method...mixing and rolling with the trusty Kitchenaid. We both still cut the noodles by hand, though.) I also tried a new bread recipe from ABin5. I knew I wanted to take a whole grain and a white bread, so I stuck with the Whole Wheat and Flax recipe for the whole grain, but I wanted a lighter, less dense dough for the white (recipe below). Both were a hit!

Christmas day was a bit hectic. Since we knew we wouldn't be able to see everyone in our families on Christmas day, we invited everyone to our house to watch The Munchkin open her gifts. I made a sticky bun recipe I found on Pinterest, coffee (of course!), and we had a hot cocoa bar, complete with all the fixins'! We are hoping to make this a tradition.

While gifts were being opened, the bread dough, mixed up the previous day, was resting and preparing for its trip into the oven. The pasta dough, also mixed the previous day, was chillin' in the fridge. After everyone left, I frantically stuck the bread in the oven and began rolling and cutting pasta. The noodles went into the pot. And we were still late to grandma's house! I literally pulled bread out of the oven, rushed it to the car, and we were off! I was praying it was done! Thankfully, it was. :)

Another culinary adventure began Saturday evening. We rarely ever go out to celebrate New Year's. Instead, I was watching the Cooking Channel's marathon of Unique Sweets. And then, I began craving French toast...made with brioche. Since we don't live anywhere near a bakery, I decided to make my own. But, alas, we were out of eggs (from all those noodles I made!). After a quick trip to the store (where I also bought candy bars!), I mixed up a 1/2 batch of brioche dough from ABin5. Three hours later, it was done...gorgeous and ready to be soaked in custard and fried the next morning. :)

I must also mention that, in the midst of the brioche business, The Man repeatedly told me how crazy I was for making bread for the sole purpose of French toast for breakfast. I justified my actions by saying, "But honey, it's brioche!! It's bread made with eggs and butter, and in the morning, I'll dip it in more egg and slather it with more butter!" :) Seriously, though, there's nothing like brioche French toast!

Ok, I've ranted on long enough...here are recipes! :)

Sticky Buns

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