Cheesy Herb Stuffed Naan

This naan bread is really really good but way too time consuming in my opinion. It is a really special treat but I won’t be making this frequently. The good thing is you can freeze them. It’s great for lunch or an afternoon snack attack. I made it with Half Baked Harvest’s Moroccan Lemon Chicken Kebabs which you can find in her book HERE. That recipe is excellent!!! And I will definitely be making it lots this summer 🙂 Anyways, I hope you guys enjoy this post about the Cheesy Naan and perhaps add it to your self-isolation cooking list 😉

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – DIFFICULT

  • Steps: 6
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement
    • 1 hour 40 min. prep
    • Rating: Difficult
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 18-19 ingredients
    • All ingredients you should be able to find at a grocery store
    • Rating: Difficult

Equipment Required:

  • Stand mixer or mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • Cheese grater
  • Plastic wrap
  • Mixing bowl (for cheese filling)
  • Rolling pin
  • Cast iron skillet & lid (can be from any pot that will cover the skillet)
  • Basting brush
  • Flipper

Time: 1 hour 40 min. prep. (including frying/cooking) + 1 hour rising = 2 hours 40 min. total

Yield: 8 naan

Calories/Naan: ~467

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm whole milk
  • 1 cup full fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 227 grams frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded dry mozzarella cheese
  • 227 grams feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup tender mixed herbs (such as basil, cilantro, chives, and/or dill)*
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 tablespoons (4 + 2) salted butter, melted

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, honey, and yeast. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture begins to bubble on top. 

2. Add the milk, yogurt, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using the dough hook, mix until the flour is completely incorporated, about 2-4 minutes. The dough should be sticky. Dust lightly with flour and knead the dough into a ball using your hands. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled in size. If not using right away, cover overnight in the fridge.

3. To make the filling. In a bowl, combine the spinach, herbs, mozzarella, feta, garlic, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.

4. When ready to cook divide the dough into 8 equal balls. Flatten each ball out into a round. Add about 3 tablespoons of the cheese mixture to the center. Fold up the dough around the cheese, pinching to seal it in. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a large oval, about 5-6 inches long, and 1/2-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining dough.

5. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, you want the pan screaming hot. Brush both sides of the naan with 4 tablespoons of melted butter. Drizzle the skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil, then carefully use a paper towel to wipe the oil around the skillet. Place the naan on the hot skillet, immediately cover with a lid and cook for 1 minute, bubbles will form. Flip and cook, uncovered for another 1-2 minutes, until large toasted spots appear on the underside. Remove from the skillet and wrap in a clean kitchen towel. Repeat with the rest of the naan, keeping them wrapped in a towel while you work. 

6. Brush 2 tablespoons melted butter over the warm naan and serve. These are best served warm, right off the skillet, but leftovers are still delicious. Keep stored in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes:

*If fresh herbs are not available, you use 1/4 cup of mixed dried herbs. For example, I did 2 tablespoons dried basil, 1 tablespoon dried chives, and 1 tablespoon dried dill. Feel free to use your favorite combination of herbs, or even just your favorite herb. 

I got this recipe from Half Baked Harvest. You can find the original recipe HERE.

Maple-Glazed Cardamom Apple Fritters

I tried this recipe from Half Baked Harvests Super Simple cookbook. You can purchase it HERE. These fritters are so delicious! Who doesn’t love a homemade donut? They are a bit finicky because the apple filling tends to fall out when frying but still so worth the effort! I highly recommend purchasing this book as there are so many delicious recipes!

Time: 1 hour prep + 30 min cook time = 1.5 hours

Servings: 12 – 14 fritters

Calories/Fritter: ~ 400 – 463

The recipe below is different but I’m sure it is just as delicious and would be worth a shot!

Link to the recipe and ingredients is here: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/maple-glazed-apple-fritters/

Equipment Required:

  • Skillet
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Rolling pin
  • Parchment paper
  • Plastic wrap
  • Saucepan
  • Paper towel
  • Whisk
  • Mixing bowls

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE – DIFFICULT

  • Steps: 6
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement
    • 1 hour prep
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 17 ingredients
    • All ingredients except for the apple butter I could easily find at my local grocery store. I tried making my own apple butter by boiling down applesauce. All-in-all the fritter was still delicious whether I did it right or not.
    • Rating: Difficult

Easter Bread (Paska)

This bread is near and dear to my heart. This is my grandma, Viola Eckert’s, Paska recipe. Paska is an eastern European egg bread and because of my strong Mennonite German heritage my grandma always had it for Easter growing up. This delicious soft and sweet bread covered with icing and sprinkles is heavenly. This recipe makes 7 loaves and is an 8 hour commitment but I promise is so worth it. You can freeze the extra loaves or give them away. I usually eat this bread with butter and jam or more icing 😉

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE – DIFFICULT

  • Steps: 8
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement
    • 1.5 hours prep + 6 hours of rising
    • Rating: Difficult
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 10 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Equipment Required:

  • Mixing bowls
  • Mixing spoons/cups
  • Hand beater or stand mixer
  • Plastic wrap
  • Tea towel
  • Cake pans and/or baking sheets

Time: 1.5 hours prep + 6 hours rising + 15 – 20 min bake = ~ 8 hours total

Yield: 7 loaves

Calories/Loaf: ~1,417

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 packets active dry yeast
  • 2 tsps. sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups milk, scalded and cooled (1.5 minutes on high in the microwave)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup shortening, melted
  • 10 egg yolks, whisked
  • 2 tbsps. lemon juice
  • 5 egg whites, beaten till stiff
  • 12 – 13 cups flour

Directions:

  1. Mix warm water with 2 tsps. sugar in small bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top. Put in warm place (I turn the oven on briefly to 100F and then turn it off before putting yeast in. Turn on oven light.) and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in very large mixing bowl combine salt, milk, 2 cups sugar, shortening, egg yolks and lemon juice. Mix well. Add 4 cups flour to make a soft batter. Stir yeast mixture (after 10 minutes are up) in its bowl and then add to large mixing bowl. Mix well. Fold in beaten egg whites. Add remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead well with hands.
  3. Place dough in well-greased very large bowl and turn over once so top is greased. Place plastic wrap lightly over top of bowl and then cover with a light cotton T-towel. Place bowl in warm place. Once again, I use my oven with the light on inside. Let rise until doubled in size about 2 hours.
  4. Uncover and punch down dough. Cover again and put back in warm place and let rise another 2 hours.
  5. Uncover and punch down again. Divide and form into loaves, jelly braid, buns, or use to make cinnamon buns. Makes 7 loaves. Grease pans before placing dough inside.
  6. Cover again (no need for plastic wrap this time) and let rise in warm place another 2 hours.
  7. Bake loaves, a few at a time or as many will fit in the oven with space between pans, at 350F for approximately 15 – 20 minutes. Watch at the end as they can over-brown.
  8. Can be frozen at this point. Just prior to serving, frost room temperature loaf with a glaze made from icing sugar and milk. Or use another icing recipe such as cream cheese icing. Sprinkle with decorative sprinkles. Best to slice with an electric knife.

TO MAKE CINNAMON BUNS:

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of paska dough
  • 3 – 4 tbsps. butter + extra for spreading
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup brown or white sugar + extra for sprinkling
  • 1 tsp cinnamon+ extra for sprinkling
  • Nuts and/or raisins (optional)
  • Icing or cream cheese frosting
  1. Melt 3 – 4 tbsps. butter in the bottom of a 9 x 9 inch pan. Add 1/4 – 1/3 cup brown or white sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon and mix.
  2. Roll out one loaf of paska so that it is flat and 12 inches long. Spread with butter, sprinkle with sugar (brown or white) and cinnamon. Can sprinkle with nuts and/or raisins as well if desired.
  3. Roll up from 12 inch side. Mark roll into 12 pieces with knife and then slice. Place slices cut side down in 9 x 9 prepared pan.
  4. Let rise as for bread and bake as directed above. Serve warm with glaze of cream cheese frosting.

TO MAKE JELLY BRAID:

  1. Using one loaf of paska, separate into 3 pieces and roll on counter into long 1 inch wide snakes. Pinch together at one end and place on greased cookie sheet.
  2. Braid strands
  3. Let rise and bake as directed above. When cooled, ice with glaze. Then put jam in crevices of braid.

Miso Beef and Ramen Noodle Peanut Stir-Fry

This dish is so flavourful and delicious!!! Ramen has become my new favourite thing to cook after discovering Half Baked Harvest. This homemade stir-fry is so so flavourful and colourful! It is fairly high on prep time due to the shredded and dicing of vegetables but the end result is soo soo worth it!

Time: 1.5 hours prep + cooking time

Yield: 8 servings

Calories/Serving: ~459

You can find this recipe in the Half Baked Harvest book on page 209 which you can purchase HERE.

Equipment Required:

  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Sauce pot
  • Wok or skillet
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Grater
  • Mixing spoon
  • Tongs

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 6
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement
    • 1.5 hours total
    • Rating: Difficult
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 20 ingredients
    • Not all ingredients were easy to find and I was unable to find white miso paste.
    • Rating: Difficult

Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Pretzels

These pretzels are like a bagel on crack! They are sooo good! However, they are super filling and I would recommend making the pretzels without the filling and just dipping them afterwards in the spinach and artichoke dip because you can’t put a lot of filling in the pretzel or it will break through. I found the amount of spinach & artichoke in the pretzel once it puffed up was underwhelming. But as for the pretzel itself it is amazing and totally worth the effort!

Time: 1 hour + 35 min of prep, 1 – 2 hours of rising, 18 – 20 min cooking = ~ 3 – 4 hours total

Servings: 8

Calories/Pretzel: 385

Ingredients:

PRETZEL

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast*
  • 1 cup wheat beer, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cups baking soda (for boiling the pretzels)**
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Coarse sea salt

SPINACH & ARTICHOKE DIP FILLING

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry of excess water
  • 1 (6.7 ounce) jar marinated artichokes, chopped

Link to recipe directions can be found HERE.

*Tip for using yeast: I got this from my mom and it is fool proof! Turn your oven on to 125F or whatever the lowest temperature it will go (mine is 170F). Once it reaches temperature turn it off and turn the oven light on. This is the perfect place to let your dough rise. To proof the yeast, mix it with the warm water and let it sit in the warm oven for 10 min. After the 10 min. mix together and knead your dough. Then you can put it back in covered with plastic wrap and a tea towel to rise.

** Don’t forget the baking soda when boiling the pretzels! I forgot this and I think it was the reason why they burnt on the bottom.

Equipment Required:

  • Stand mixer or mixing bowl
  • Dough hook for stand mixer (or you can use your hands to knead)
  • Hand mixer or spoon
  • Large bowl
  • Tea towel
  • Plastic wrap
  • Cheese grater
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Large pot
  • Rolling pin
  • Large slotted spoon
  • 2 baking sheets
  • Parchment paper
  • Brush for egg wash

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – DIFFICULT

  • Steps: 7
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement: 
    • 1 hour + 35 minutes prep time
    • Rating: Difficult
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 17 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Difficult

Irish French Onion Soup

As St. Patrick’s day is just a little over a week away I thought I would share a review of an Irish inspired dish. St. Patricks day is a huge celebration for my husband and throughout the small rural communities within which we live. There is a lot of Irish heritage surrounding the Peterborough area in towns such as Ennismore and Douro. My husband and I recently took a trip to Ireland as that has always been a bucket list item of his. I’m telling you this country is by far one of the best European countries we have ever visited. It really and truly is as green or greener than you see in the movies or pictures. The people are all so lovely and they have the most warming and loving community. Their live music in Dublin is unlike anything you will ever experience in North America and I highly recommend going.

As for the soup….we really enjoyed it! But once again it’s enough to feed a village and I would say it doesn’t taste as good as the first day you make it. I love the Irish spin on this well known soup. The secret? Guinness of course 😉 The soda bread with melted sharp cheddar is a delicious hearty touch. I loved this soup but unfortunately I don’t know if the effort outweighs the reward. I would be interested to try this in the instant pot to see if I can lessen the prep time but still create a delicious soup that tastes just as good for leftovers. Hope you like the review and may the luck of the Irish be with you 😉

Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8 servings

Calories/Muffin: ~ 346/serving

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) salted butter, cubed
  • 4 sweet onions, thinly sliced*
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1.5 cups Guinness stout
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 – 4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
  • kosher salt
  • pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 4 slices Irish soda bread**
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese***

Notes:

*I highly recommend using a food processor if you have one to chop all the onions nice and thin. Time saver for the win!

**See the Irish soda bread recipe I tried HERE.

***I used 2 year old Balderson cheese. Who doesn’t love Balderson ❤

Link to recipe directions can be found HERE.

Equipment Required:

  • Dutch oven or large stove pot
  • Food processor or knife & cutting board
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing spoon
  • Baking sheet
  • Cheese grater

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE – DIFFICULT

  • Steps: 6
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement
    • 1 hour (longer if you have to make Irish soda bread)
    • Rating: Moderate – Difficult
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 14 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store except you may have to go to a liquor store to get the Guinness if your grocery store doesn’t carry it.
    • Rating: Moderate – Difficult

Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup

I made this recipe from a cookbook Half Baked Harvest Super Simple Cookbook. You can purchase it on Amazon. I am cooking my way through it and loving it so far!

This recipe is sooooo gooood! If you love mushrooms, garlic and parmesan then you’ll be in heaven. It is so savoury and comforting. But be warned it’s enough to feed a village so you better like leftovers 😉

Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Yield: 16 cups

Calories/Serving: 190/cup

Ingredients: 20

Equipment Required:

  • Instant pot, slow cooker or stovetop
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Food processor (optional for chopping vegetables)
  • Cheese grater
  • Forks
  • Skillet

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – MODERATE – DIFFICULT

  • Steps: 5
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 1 hour 45 minutes of prep
    • Rating: Difficult
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 20 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Moderate – Difficult

Peanut Butter-Dipped Cookies-and-Cream Cake

This cake is decadent! The Peanut Butter Frosting is divine! It also is fairly time consuming but what 3 layered cake isn’t? I made it for my husband’s 28th birthday. Safe to say he gave this recipe a 10/10. It makes so much! So be sure to invite some friends over to share!

I made this recipe from a cookbook so unfortunately I can’t share the ingredients or how to make it but I can tell you where to buy the book. I highly recommend it! It is the Half Baked Harvest Cookbook. You can purchase it on Amazon and I am cooking my way through it and loving it so far!

Time: 3 hours plus cooking time

Yield: 16 servings

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – DIFFICULT (mostly b/c it’s time consuming)

  • Steps: 9
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Involvement
    • 3 hours
    • Rating: Difficult
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 17 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Moderate – Difficult