Cheesy Garlic Ciabatta Bread

Cheesy Garlic Ciabatta Bread

Today, I embark on a new journey. I have this addiction to soda, especially Coke. Coke is my favorite fizzy drink and I’d have one in the morning when I woke up right away. You know how people have coffee when they wake up? Well, I had Coke. So far it is 12:30pm and I am doing pretty darn good without having any soda. No head aches yet. I’ve been trying to drink more water. My dentist will probably be happy and so will my blood pressure after awhile.

Last night I made this fabulous garlic cheese bread. What made the garlic bread good was purchasing FRESH mozzarella cheese. Seriously people, you can’t go wrong with fresh mozzarella. Sure it’s a little bit more expensive, but I think it is well worth the price. Sometimes the grocery stores have coupons for them too. Belgioso is my favorite. I used Ciabatta bread and spread some butter, garlic, and parmesan cheese on top of that and then baked that off in the oven for 10 minutes at a high temp. 450 degrees to be exact.  It isn’t very WW friendly just to warn you. Sometimes you just got to have a big loaf of cheesy garlic bread.

Cheesy Garlic Ciabatta Bread





Cheesy Garlic Ciabatta Bread
  • 1 loaf of ciabatta bread, split in half
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • ½ stick of butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • Fresh parsley for garnish
  1. Preheat Oven to 450.
  2. Cut the ciabatta bread in half lengthwise.
  3. In a bowl combine the softened butter, parmesan cheese and garlic. Stir together.
  4. Spread the butter on top of the bread. Then layer on the fresh mozzarella cheese.
  5. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges are golden brown.

Caprese Crostini

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I don’t know about you, but I could eat tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil on top of bread every night for dinner or lunch. AKA Caprese Costrini. Breakfast maybe, but seriously God bless those Italians for coming up with this flavor combo together. This weekend, I planted some basil and I already have tomatoes started in my garden. I can’t wait for those two plants to start growing so all I need to get at the grocery store is some fresh mozzarella cheese and some bread. The bread really matters too. Get a nice crusty piece of bread to go with this.

Toasting bread on a skillet and then rubbing some fresh garlic on top of warm bread takes this over the top. I normally don’t buy fresh garlic because I hate it how the garlic get onto your fingers and makes them smell. For this bread, it’s well worth the smelly fingers.

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Caprase Crostini
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 ball of fresh mozarella cheese
  • 5 basil leaves, cut into finally slim slices
  • 5 slices of good crusty bread
  • 1 garlic clove
  • pepper for taste
  • olive oil
  1. Brush each slice of bread with some olive oil, then toast the bread on a skillet until brown. Once the bread is toasted, rub the bread with some garlic.
  2. While the bread is toasted prepare the tomatoes. I cut mine into thin slices and then diced them into smaller ones. I tore the mozzarella into about the same size as the tomatoes were. Then topped the bread with the tomatoes and mozzarella. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and some pepper.




Garlic Parmesan Knots

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I’ve been seeing these all over the Internet lately, so I thought I’d give them a try! Man, they did not disappoint either! Mine turned out more like huge swirl buns and not the knot. Oh well, no matter what they looked like, they were still very addicting.  I used the large canned biscuits and not the small ones. It was almost kind of fun rolling the biscuits into long ropes, I almost felt like I was going to be making some pretzles instead. They were  really addicting and I ate two of them!

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Roll the biscuit dough into a very long rope and tie the biscuit dough like a knot.

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Melt the butter in a small bowl, and add in the seasonings. Brush the biscuits with the butter mixture. Then bake them in a 400 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until the biscuits are a golden brown color. Enjoy!

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Garlic Parmesan Knots

1 tube (12 ounces) refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits (or any bread dough would work, including store bought pizza dough)


2 T grated parmesan

1/2 tsp. dried basil (or parsley flakes)

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

2 minced garlic cloves


For the rest of the recipe please visit Journey of Faith & Grace:

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

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Copy Cat  recipes are hard to get right sometimes, and those Cheddar Bay biscuits at Red Lobster are probably the one item on their menu that everyone seems to remember. Screw the lobster! I haven’t been to Red Lobster in quite a while and  I think the last thing I got there was the Shrimp Scampi.

I thought these weren’t garlicy enough and could have used some more garlic.  Next time I make these I think I’m going to use real garlic and cook the butter in a pan with some garlic for awhile so the  butter becomes infused with the garlic. The garlic powder just wasn’t enough I thought, but the biscuit part was right on. Same recipe, just cook the butter and garlic together in a pan for awhile.


I made some breakfast sandwiches with the leftover biscuits.  Just scrambled eggs, bacon, and a slice of cheese!

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Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

2 1/2 cups Bisquick baking mix
4 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup cold whole milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Brush on top
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 pinch salt

1 Preheat oven to 400°F.
2 Combine Bisquick and cold butter. Don’t combine too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter about the size of peas.
3 Add cheddar, milk and 1/4 tsp garlic.
4 Mix by hand until combined, but don’t over mix.
5 Drop 9 equal portions onto greased cookie sheet.
6 Bake for 15-17 minutes or until tops are light brown.
7 Melt 2 tbsp butter in a bowl. Stir in 1/2 tsp garlic powder and parsley flakes.
8 Use a pastry brush to spread garlic butter over tops of biscuits.



Cranberry Orange Bread

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I’ve been kind of a slacker on my blog lately, but I’ve been still posting recipes on my Facebook page. I made a batch of this Cranberry Orange bread last week and it was fantastic, but once the bread started cooling down the center of the bread collapsed. That has happened to me plenty of times before too. The Nutella Swirl bread did the same thing. I did some research on why bread collapses in the center after it cools, and it’s because the bread didn’t get cooked all the way through the center. It was strange too, because I had done the tooth pick method and the bread had seemed to be done according to that because it came out clean. I tried making a second batch of bread and let it cook longer, and this time the bread came out perfect. I didn’t add the streusel topping to the top of the bread because whenever I try making streusel the butter just ends up melting all over the bread and the only thing that is left over is the flour on top. Better research that method next too.

I loved this bread. Cranberries and orange go fantastic together. I’ve been in a baking mood lately since Christmas is coming up. I’ll be posting a lot of cookies and treats in the next couple of weeks!

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1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons (30g) granulated sugar
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1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, cold


2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (110g) chopped cranberries, fresh or frozen (unthawed)*
1/2 cup (65g) chopped pecans, optional
1 large egg, at room temperature*
1/2 cup (150g) light brown sugar (or dark brown)
1/2 cup (50g) granulated sugar
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1 cup (240ml) buttermilk (no substitutions)
1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil (or canola; or melted coconut oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons orange zest


1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
1-2 Tablespoons orange juice
as much orange zest as you want

For the rest of the recipe please visit Sally’s Baking Addiction (probably one of the best baking blogs on the net! :)

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

The neighbors kindly gave my husband some zucchini the other day ago. One small one and one huge one. I had made some chocolate zucchini brownies with this chocolate frosting but I was mad because the frosting never turned out. The frosting never got thick for some reason and I really wanted to post about that too. I still have part of the huge zucchini left so maybe I’ll try making that again. Why is it the only recipes I ever see for zucchini are baked and they have chocolate? Those two just go so well together.

Tonight was the husband’s birthday and we had spaghetti with red meat sauce. He really likes that and I made some chocolate chip zucchini bread. The heat index was around 100 and I was probably the only wacko cooking in my kitchen. Should have grilled or something. I was pretty excited because I had gone to the grocery store and got some turkey sausage that was marked down to 1.39 a pound. Sales like that excite me for some reason, don’t ask me why.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Recipe for Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread from Notes from my Food Diary

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder or Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini, gently pressed on a colander over a bowl or sink to release some of its moisture
  • 1¼ cups chocolate chips (a combination of bittersweet and semisweet), save the ¼ cup for sprinkling on top of bread
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F; lightly grease an 8½″ x 4½″ loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, honey, oil, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add the salt, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, cocoa, and flour, mixing until well combined. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Scatter the reserved ¼ cup of chocolate chips on top of the batter.
  3. Bake the bread for 65 to 75 minutes, until the loaf tests done (a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean, save for perhaps a light smear of chocolate from the melted chips).
  4. Remove the bread from the oven, and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack. Cool completely before slicing; store well-wrapped, at room temperature.



Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I read the Hunger Games this weekend. I wanted to see what all the hype was about now that the movie is out. I was kind of confused why the Capitol made the children go out and fight to death, and I found it interesting the different types of food they ate in the future and how hard it was to find the food. I won’t go on and say anything else so I don’t spoil it for someone who hasn’t read the book yet.

Since they ate a lot of bread  in the movies, I decided to make some of my own this weekend. I made some cinnamon raisin bread. This recipe was very hard to follow because it was so long. I like shorter recipe instructions but I decided to give this a shot, because it looked so good in the picture. It took quite awhile to make because I had to sit there and wait for the bread to rise, then roll it out, and make the sugar mixture… and then roll it out again into  a rope to make the little pretty braided detail at the top… It still tasted very good after all that hard work though. Mine didn’t rise as high as I thought it would. Probably because I was too impatient. ;) It’s good toasted in the oven with a little butter.


Ingredients from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 3/4 cups (20 2/3 oz) bread flour
3/4 cup (2 3/4 oz) nonfat dry milk powder
1/3 cup (2 1/3 oz) sugar
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) warm water (about 110 F)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz) raisins

1 cup (4 oz) confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten with pinch of salt (for egg wash)

To make the dough: Cut the butter into 32 small cubes. Add to a small bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the flour then set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, whisk the remaining flour, milk powder, sugar, and yeast together. Add the water and egg, then use the dough hook to mix on medium-low speed until the dough comes together in a sticky mass. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough stand for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil.

Remove the plastic from the bowl and add the salt. Mix on medium-low until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 7-15 minutes. It will just barely clear the sides of the bowl (it’s stickier than most dough I’ve made, so don’t be concerned if that’s the case – don’t add more flour). With the mixer still running, add the butter – a few pieces at a time – and continue kneading until the butter is completely incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes longer. Again, it might be wet and sticky, don’t add flour. Add the raisins and mix just until incorporated. Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray and transfer the dough to that bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dough over itself by gently lifting from the bottom and folding the edge of the dough toward the middle. Turn the bowl 90 degrees (1/4 turn) and repeat. Do this 6 more times, for a total of 8 folds. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the middle rack of your oven. Pour about 3 cups of the boiling water into a loaf or cake pan and place in the bottom of your oven. Close oven and let the dough rise for 45 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the oven. Use the rubber spatula to gently press down on the dough to deflate. Again make 8 folds repeating the process used above. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and return to the oven. Let rise until doubled in volume, about 45 more minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling by whisking together the confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt. Spray two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it in half. Working with one half, press it into a 6 x 11-inch rectangle. With a short side facing you, fold the sides in over one another (like a business letter) to form a rough 3 x 11-inch rectangle. Starting on the short side, roll the dough up and away from you into a ball. Adding more flour to the work surface as necessary, roll the ball into a 7 x 18-inch rectangle (my dough was fairly elastic and kept shrinking back, but keep working it and it’ll eventually relax). Using a spray bottle, lightly spray the dough with water. Sprinkle half of filling mixture evenly over dough, leaving about a 1/4-inch border on the sides (the long sides) and 3/4-inch border on top and bottom (the short sides). Spray the filling lightly with water. With a short side facing you, roll the dough away from you into a tight cylinder. Pinch the seam of the loaf closed, as well as the ends. Dust the loaf lightly with flour and let rest for 10 minutes. Repeat with the second piece of dough.

Working with 1 loaf at a time, cut the loaf in half lengthwise using a sharp knife. Rotate the halves so the cut sides face up. Stretch each piece lengthwise until it is about 14 inches long. Pinch the ends of the two pieces together then cross the piece on the left over the one on the right. Keeping the cut sides up, repeat until the pieces are tightly twisted. Pinch the ends together then transfer to one of the prepared loaf pans, cut sides up. Press any exposed raisins gently down into the dough. Repeat this process to form a second loaf.

Cover the loaves loosely with plastic wrap and move them to the oven. Let rise for 45 minutes, then remove from the oven along with the pan of water on the bottom of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 F. Let the loaves rise at room temperature for another 45 minutes, or until almost doubled in size (they should rise about 1 inch over the top of the pan).

Brush the loaves with the egg wash. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the crust is brown, then reduce the oven to 325 F, tent the loaves with aluminum foil, and continue baking until the loaves register 200 F on an instant read thermometer (about 15-25 minutes longer, though I had to go even a little longer on the loaf I baked in a glass Pyrex pan).

Remove the pans to a wire rack and let the loaves cool for 5 minutes, then turn them out and let them cool completely (about 2 hours) before slicing. Store the bread at room temperature well wrapped for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.

Low Calorie Monkey Bread

Sometimes Cooking Light magazine makes me wonder. I thought it was weird they wanted me to add in warm orange juice to a dough mixture. I’ve never seen those directions  in a recipe before. The recipe also said to add in some melted butter to the dough. I  left out the butter and used that with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Sometimes, with their recipes you can make them even lighter if you wanted too. I’ve noticed that with some of their baking recipes anyways.

Most monkey bread recipes use canned biscuits but this recipe called for making your own dough. I don’t mind doing that actually. The only hard part was waiting for this recipe to get done. I’ve seen low fat versions of monkey bread that uses fake everything and in this one you get to use real butter and real sugar. SCORE! I’m not going to put some syrup that has chemicals in it, in my food at all. No thanks. If you don’t mind waiting for dough to rise then by all means go and make this recipe. It was pretty tasty, and maybe next time I’ll try adding in the orange to the dough mixture.

Servings: 16

Calories: 234 | Fat: 3.4g | Carbohydrate: 47.2g | Fiber: 1.9g | Protein: 4.5g

Points Plus: 6

Ingredients from Cooking Light

13 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3 cups)
4 3/4 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1 package quick-rise yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 cup very warm fat-free milk (120° to 130°)
1/4 cup very warm orange juice (120° to 130°)
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Cooking spray
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 1/2 tablespoons fat-free milk, divided
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached; mix until combined. With mixer on, slowly add 1 cup milk, juice, honey, and 2 tablespoons butter; mix dough at medium speed 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)

2. Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Combine 3 tablespoons milk and 2 tablespoons butter in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk.

3. Punch dough down; divide into 8 equal portions. Working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), roll into an 8-inch rope. Cut each dough rope into 8 equal pieces, shaping each piece into a 1-inch ball. Dip each ball in milk mixture, turning to coat, and roll in sugar mixture. Layer balls in a 12-cup Bundt pan coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining 7 dough ropes. Sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until almost doubled in size.

4. Preheat oven to 350°.

5. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until golden. Cool 5 minutes on a wire rack. Place a plate upside down on top of bread; invert onto plate. Combine powdered sugar, remaining milk, and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Microwave at HIGH 20 seconds or until warm. Drizzle over bread.