an army wife's guide to life

food and homemaking goodness

Garlic Bread done Right

Garlic bread is just about my most favorite thing ever. But there is such a thing as bad garlic bread, and I’ve made plenty of it. This time, though, I was determined to do it different;y. It was determined to make really, really good garlic bread. There’s two versions in the picture above. One with cheese and one without. I always need a cheesy version for my hubby, and the more cheese, the better. I happen to like my bread non-cheesy, so I just split it in half, and cheesed half of it for him. Not much is different between them, and anything you want to do to tweak it, go for it and let me know so I can try it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. 1 loaf of bread (I used a French loaf, but any bread is gonna work)
  2. 3-4 cloves of garlic,  minced (or 2 Tbsp minced garlic if you buy it by the jar)
  3. Fresh parsley
  4. 1/2 stick of butter
  5. Mozzarella cheese (optional)

So first things first, you’re gonna want to set your butter out to come to room temperature. While you’re doing that, you can mince the garlic (or use a garlic press, which I totally should have done) and chop the parsley as well. Once the butter is at room temperature, I put everything into my stand mixer and mixed it with the paddle attachment until it was all combined.

While that was doing its magic, I lined a baking sheet with tin foil (to eliminate the mess), preheated the oven to 350°, and sliced the bread in half. I used half a loaf for the two of us and it was gone so fast, so plan accordingly. Spread the butter on the bread and then I sprinkled a little salt on top, just to enhance the flavor, I also added a little extra garlic powder, because I’m a garlic junkie. If you want it cheesy, add as much or as little cheese to the top as you want. Bake it off for 15 minutes or so. My oven seems to cook a little more slowly than I’m used to, so keep an eye on it, you might need less time. It’s done when the butter is melted and the top looks golden and the bread is crispy. If you cheesed it, it should be slightly browned. Then again, that’s just how I like it. Doneness is totally up to you, it’s not like you can undercook bread that’s already cooked.

All that’s left after that is to enjoy. I made Ravioli and homemade pasta sauce, but I was looking forward to the bread more than anything, and boy was it worth it.

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Making Butter

My Kitchenaid mixer is probably my most prized possession. It was a Christmas present from my mother-in-law, and since moving to Kansas, it has gotten pretty constant use. Now, this isn’t a normal post, because this was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest, but I didn’t save the link. I had leftover cream from my Salted Caramel Sauce that I made, and no idea what to do with it. And then I remembered that I’d read something about making butter with the same heavy cream that I had on hand. And I ended up looking at several different sites (none of which I remember at this point) to get enough tips to do it myself.

And this was basically the most simple thing I’ve ever done. It’s as easy as putting the cream in my mixer and turning it on. The first time, it took me almost half an hour to get the cream churned into butter, because I didn’t listen to the hint I’d gotten to let the cream get to room temperature. The second time, I did listen to that, and thought it would still take a while, so I ended up turning it on and vacuuming while I waited. By the time I got to the kitchen (because there’s carpet there, too) it was done.

The hardest part is getting the remaining milk out of the butter. I’m very taken with using cheesecloth on the outside, because handling butter with your bare hands (even under freezing water) gives you slippery, greasy hands. And that parts takes time and patience as well. What I haven’t figured out is if it’s worth making my own butter, financially. With a quart of cream, I can make about a pound of butter, which is what I usually buy. Right now, I haven’t found a quart of cream for cheaper than a pound of butter, but I’m still trying to find the best places to shop here anyway. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for cheap cream.

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