Recipe For A Simple Life

Simplify your life, one day at a time

Homemade Tortillas

My friend, Kallie, made homemade tortillas.  Here’s her recipe…

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup canola or olive oil (I really like coconut oil in this, actually)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup warm water

Mix dry ingredients together. Then add the oil and mix like you would a pie crust. Add the warm water and mix. Dough will be sticky add more flour while kneading until dough feels soft and light and loses its stickiness. Using a handful of dough at a time, roll out on a floured surface. Roll out several then heat dry pan (iron skillet is good) to medium heat before setting tortilla in pan. When it starts getting a lot of air bumps flip to the other side. It will have a few brown spots. Watch them carefully as they cook quickly.

This recipe makes 8 (10 inch) tortillas…or 10 8-inch tortillas

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Homemade French Bread

I was surfing through Pinterest the other night when I should have been sleeping and came across a recipe for homemade french bread on  It looked easy enough, and I enjoyed the author’s sense of humor.  Turns out, it really isn’t all that hard and it makes a great side for pasta or salad.  Check it out –

Recipe: French Bread


1 1/4 cup warm water
1 TB olive oil
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
cornmeal (to sprinkle on cookie sheet)


1 egg
1 TB water


1. In bread machine pan, measure out the first 6 ingredients in the order listed.  Set to dough cycle.  Go take a nap.

2.  Divide dough in half and roll out into two 8×10 rectangles on a lightly floured surface.  Roll up along the long side.  Sprinkle cookie sheet with cornmeal and place loaves on top.  Cover and let rise 20 minutes.

3.  Whisk egg and water and brush onto your loaves.

4.  Bake in 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  Place 5 ice cubes in an oven safe dish on the bottom rack of your oven.  Five minutes into bake time add 5 more ice cubes.  (This crisps up the crust while keeping the inside soft.)

5.  Sprinkle some flour on your face to make it look like you worked way harder than this to impress your family.

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Homemade Pretzels

Homemade Pretzels

My kids love Wetzel’s Pretzels in our local mall.  Sometimes, as a treat, we will split a bag of pretzel bites and share a frozen strawberry lemonade.  But they are, in my humble opinion, a bit spendy.  So, I looked up homemade pretzels on and found a relatively easy recipe that looked like I could handle it.  The first time I made it, it was okay.  The second time was a disaster, and the third time they were really good.  I don’t follow the directions at the end to make them into pretzel shapes, I just make them into pretzel bites.  It’s much easier and they taste just as good.  Although they aren’t as perfect and uniform as the ones in the mall, they sure do taste good.  This recipe makes 2-3 dozen bites, depending on what size you make them.  Don’t forget to add the pretzel recipe to your recipe box while you are at so you can find it easily next time you have a carb craving. ;o)



English Muffin Bread

Homemade English Muffin Bread

My friends at work sometimes tease me because I make my own bread (most of the time).  I admit, it’s not for everyone and I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t have my bread machine to do the dough for me.  But, since I got the bread machine, I’ve really enjoyed making fresh bread and it tastes sooooooo much better than over-processed store bought bread.

If you don’t have a bread machine, but you’d still like to enjoy fresh bread, I’d like to offer this recipe.  It’s amazingly good and incredibly easy.  The only problem I have with it is that it’s really sticky when you put it in the pans and I am really messy when I cook / bake.  But, hot soapy water works wonders and this bread is a huge hit with my whole family.  The last time I made it, they ate two whole loaves in less than 24 hours.

English Muffin Bread

2 ¾  Cups Warm Water

3 3/8 Teaspoons RAPID RISE Yeast  (Update: You can use regular yeast, but you will need to let it rise TWICE. Once in the bowl, til it reaches the top…and then again in the pans, til it reaches the top. With the RAPID RISE you only need to let it rise once in the pans.)

1 Tablespoon Salt
1 ½  Tablespoons Sugar
5 ½  Cups Flour

Mix all ingreadients together, then spoon into (2) well greased loaf pans.  Let rise in pans until dough reaches the top of the pans, and bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. (My oven runs a little hot so I ended up cooking mine for a total of 35 minutes. Just keep an eye on it. You’re looking for golden brown.) 10 minutes before done, brush with melted butter. Makes 2 loaves. Bread will be moist at first. Allow to COOL COMPLETELY before cutting. Makes terrific toast.

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Chocolate Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

It took less than 2 days for my oldest son and youngest daughter to polish off TEN mini loaves of this new version of Chocolate Zucchini Bread.

This recipe is basically the same except I switched out a half a can of pumpkin for the oil.  My 8-year-old son said this one tasted WAY better than the other ones I make 🙂  The other point I’d make is to bake it a touch less, as this one was a bit more dry, but still quite yummy!

Oh, this is another recipe where you can hide veggies, in bread!

3 eggs

1/2 can of pumpkin

2 c. sugar

1 T. vanilla

2 c. peeled zucchini, shredded (I’ve actually used more – any way I can get the kids more veggies!)

2 1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. cocoa

1 t. salt

1 t. baking powder

1 t. cinnamon, optional

In mixing bowl, beat eggs, vanilla, pumpkin and sugar.  Stir in zucchini.  Mix in dry ingredients.  Pour into 2 greased loaf pans, or 5 mini pans.

Not going to lie, I just added all the ingredients together with the flour last, and it turned out just fine.  I think I would have baked them a little less since I used the pumpkin.

2 loaf pans – Bake 350* for 50-55 minutes

5 mini loaf pans – Bake 350* for 22-28 minutes



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Burrito Bread

This is the new bread I’ve been waiting to make.  I thought it would be a perfect side to our family favorite taco soup.  The recipe makes a 1 1/2 pound loaf.  The onions will need to be cooked for 3-4 minutes and then cooled before you begin, so plan appropriately. (I decided to use dried minced onion instead because I was in a hurry and it seemed to turn out okay.) I added the beans with the wet ingredients, before the dry ingredients and used the regular dough cycle, then let it rise and baked it in the oven.


1/3 chopped onion

1 T. cooking oil

1/2 C. milk

1/3 C. water

1/3 C. refried beans

1/4 C. shredded cheddar cheese

2 T. fresh snipped cilantro

3 C. bread flour

1 T. sugar

2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. active dry yeast

 Hubby and I loved this and thought it was really great.  The kids found out there were beans in the dough and refused to even try it.  Oh well, I’ll still make it again.  Let me know if you try this and if anyone in your family enjoys it.

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Corn Dog Muffins

My 3-year-old loves these and asked for these for every meal for days.

This is a simple recipe.

1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
2 hot dogs (I use turkey dogs)
Prepare the Jiffy mix according to the box, mix in chopped up hot dogs and bake per recipe on the box.

Optional – add a handful of cheddar cheese, shredded.

This makes about 6 large muffins. You can use your own recipe for corn bread muffins 😀

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Cheddar Biscuits

Here’s a recipe that tastes just like the biscuits you’d get at that really yummy lobster restaurant 😀

2 c. Bisquick baking mix

2/3 c. milk

1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (other kinds of cheese do not work well)

1/4 c. melted butter

1/4 t. garlic powder

Mix Bisquick, milk and cheese until soft dough forms; kneed for 30 seconds.  Drop dough by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.


Bake 450* for 8-10 minutes.  Done when they are golden brown.

Mix butter and garlic and brush over warm bisquits before removing from cookie sheet.  Serve warm.

Makes 10-12 biscuits

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Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Oh, this is another recipe where you can hide veggies, in bread!

3 eggs

1 c. oil – I used 1 c. applesauce

2 c. sugar

1 T. vanilla

2 c. peeled zucchini, shredded

2 1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. cocoa

1 t. salt

1 t. baking powder

1 t. cinnamon, optional

In mixing bowl, beat eggs, vanilla, oil/applesauce and sugar.  Stir in zucchini.  Mix in dry ingredients.  Pour into 2 greased loaf pans, or 5 mini pans.

Not going to lie, I just added all the ingredients together with the flour last, and it turned out just fine.  I think I would have baked them a little less since I used the applesauce.  Or maybe I s


hould have checked them when the timer went off and not kept watching The Biggest Loser on tv 😀

2 loaf pans – Bake 350* for 60 minutes

5 mini loaf pans – Bake 350* for 25-30 minutes.


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Try This! Oatmeal Bread

I am learning to love my bread machine.  This week I tried a new recipe – Oatmeal Bread.  It was very good, and my family liked it, but it kind of fell apart when I took it out of the pan because it stuck to the sides.  (This is an ongoing struggle for me.  I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.)  I didn’t take a picture of my loaves because it was late when I took then out of the oven and I didn’t want to turn on the lights in the kitchen, but it came out shaped kind of flat, like the picture above.  (I also struggle just a bit with getting it to rise correctly in the transfer from bread machine to loaf pans, but I keep trying in the hope that someday I will figure it out.)

The recipe was for a 2-lb loaf, but I have smaller bread pans.  I made it according to the recipe, but split it into two smaller loaves for baking.  For me, this is the perfect size and it makes great sandwiches and toast for the kiddos.  Let me know if you try it and what you think.

Oatmeal Bread

 Add ingredients to your bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer.  Makes one 2-lb loaf or two 1-lb loaves.

1 1/3 C. Quick Cooking Rolled Oats*

            *Toast oats by spreading in a shallow baking pan and baking for 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven until light brown, stirring occasionally.  Add oats with the flour.

¾ C.   Milk

½ C.   Water

2 T.   Margarine

3 1/3 C. Bread Flour

¼ C. Packed Brown Sugar

1 tsp. Salt

1 ¼ tsp. Active Dry Yeast

If you let the bread machine bake the bread, select the whole grain or white bread cycle.  I turn mine out to rise in bread pans and let it rise 1″ above the pan, then bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Do you have a favorite bread recipe you would be willing to share?


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