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Bread Baking Class Now on Sale and More....

By Jane Butel  February 21, 2024

Did you ever hear that the wonderful, yeasty aroma of baking bread is the Number One way to entice a potential home buyer to purchase your home?  Not only does baking bread smell wonderful, it is one of the most gratifying skills you can learn.  

I love to share the basics and the extra hints and tips for always successful bread baking and am placing the class on a discount of only $95.00 for the rest of this week instead of $115.00.  I must admit, I was very lucky to grow up with a Mother who loved baking bread and in her youth was the Bread Baking Champion of Kansas 4-H Clubs.  This was quite an honor, as there was a great deal of competition as Kansas title is the "wheat state" and bread baking is quite popular.

And...to top it off, my brother had a Masters degree in Milling Technology from Kansas State University, which is the only University in the US that teaches it.  The only other University in the world that offers that course of study is in Germany.  He taught me how to test for gluten when kneading, tips on flour selection and many other good to know hints, which I will gladly share in the class.

I love sharing these hints and tips and as an extra gift, I will give you a start of the original Alaska Gold Rush (1897-1904) starter given to me in 1960.   I was just reading about a bread baking blog, where the author offered an ancient dried starter during the Pandemic and had thousands of requests.  Once you have a starter, you just need to refresh it regularly.  It makes wonderful pancakes, breads and waffles,

Bread being called the staff of life dates back to Biblical times and beyond.  Nearly every society has had some form of bread.  Baking bread has often been called "therapy in the kitchen" and recommended for developing closer ties with your children and as great for exercising your hands.

Our award winning, "Best in the US" week long school is shaping up.  It is set for April 15 - 19, 2024. For this week it is on a special price of 2 for $3300 or one for $1700.  The regular price is $1950.00.  Please call to register for the special price.  Our phone numbers are 505-243-2622 and cell 505-600-9179 (cellular).

For whatever reason, I hope to share with you my favorite Bread Baking Tips on Leap Day along with a bit of bubbly to celebrate.

Here's two recipes for you to try--


Super hot and so much fun! Served with a warmed loaf of French or Italian bread and a tossed green salad, this robust seafood stew is guaranteed to wow your guests. Cioppino is one of my longtime favorite entrées for entertaining. It’s best served at intimate, informal dinner parties—preferably with only four diners or even just two since it’s quite messy to eat.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup caribe chile

4 large red-ripe tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

1/2 cup Burgundy or other good-quality dry red wine or to taste

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 Tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

2 bay leaves

2 Tablespoons minced fresh basil or 1 Tablespoons dried basil

1 Tablespoon minced fresh oregano or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

12 cherrystone or other small clams, scrubbed and soaked in cornmeal water for 30 minutes

1 pound medium shrimp with the tails left on, shelled and deveined

1/2 pound king or other crab legs

1 (1 1/2-pound) lobster

18 bay scallops (about 1/4 pound total)

1/2 pound firm-fleshed white fish such as cod, cut in 1-inch cubes

1/4 cup dry brandy (optional)

Heat oil in a large skillet, paella pan, or wok using medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until garlic just starts to turn golden. Add caribe, tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, basil, oregano, and salt. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes, or until flavors are well blended and sauce is somewhat reduced; add a little water if sauce starts getting too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Place clams, shrimp, crab, lobster, scallops, and white fish on top of sauce, arranging it in a pretty pattern. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink, lobster turns red, scallops and fish are opaque, and clams pop open. Discard the clams that do not open. Also discard the bay leaves. If desired, quickly heat brandy. Carefully flame and pour over cioppino just before serving.

To serve, divide seafood equally among large, shallow bowls (you’ll need to cut lobster apart). Be sure to provide bibs and plenty of napkins.

Makes 4 servings.


 More highly flavored than ordinary beans, these can be served as is as a side dish or as a main course with sliced ham on the side.  In any case, top them with chopped onions and pickled jalapeno chiles.  Corn bread is a must. 

Yield:  2 quarts or 4 to 6 servings

1 pound dried pinto or other bean

1 ham hick or ham bone 

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup coarsely chopped Spanish onion (1 medium to large onion)

3 or 4 cups rich chicken stock or as needed 

  1. Rinse and sort beans, picking out any foreign objects. Place beans and ham hock in a heavy 5-quart pot.  Add enough water to come about 3 inches above the level of the beans and meat.  Boil 10 minutes, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, uncovered.  
  1. Add the garlic and onion and simmer 2 hours or until a bean will mash easily against the side of the pot. Add chicken stock as needed to keep the liquid level about 1 inch above the level of the bean mixtureuntil the beans are very tender and soft.  When beans are done, cook to reduce the liquid to the desired consistency.




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