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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘recipes

Breakfast Bread

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She never ceases to amaze me. Cyndie has outdone herself with a very impressive first-try baking success yesterday. Too bad you can’t smell the aroma of this image.

One of the unique treats we enjoy when visiting Cyndie’s parents in Florida is “Breakfast Bread.” Chock full of a cinnamon flavor, just the right amount of cherries, raisins, apricots, cranberries, dried apples, and chopped walnuts, with a texture that works perfectly well for toasting.

We loved the treat so much that we wanted to buy some for ourselves when we got home. The problem with that plan was that the only place we were able to find it was at Publix grocery stores in Florida.

Cyndie searched the internet for breakfast bread and the majority of the results that appeared included the word, “Publix,” and also phrases like, “copycat recipe.”

She had been cunning enough to take a picture of the ingredients on the label of one of the two Publix loaves we hauled home last week in our carry on luggage, which, for the record, earned my bag extra scrutiny going through security at the Fort Myers airport.

Armed with one of the many breakfast bread recipe ideas from the internet, and her list of actual ingredients from the loaves we know and love, Cyndie set out to bake a couple at home.

I am very proud to exclaim, “She NAILED it!”

On her first try.

I asked her how much a loaf costs at Publix and started doing the math. We could sell these, they are so good!

It may be time to revisit the latest version of the cottage food laws of Wisconsin.

When we moved here, Cyndie researched and discovered Wisconsin had strict restrictions requiring commercial kitchens in order to sell home-baked goods to the public. Since that time, there appears to have been some relaxing of the laws, so maybe it is time we explore new ways to take advantage of her baking skills for generating business income.




Written by johnwhays

February 10, 2019 at 11:10 am

Cookies Galore

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She’s done it again! Cyndie moves like magic in the kitchen when her weekend of Christmas cookie baking arrives. She made a noble dent in the project all by herself on Saturday to start, then, with the help of friends and family yesterday, achieved a record number of total recipes baked when the flour dust finally settled.

It was a sight to behold, but don’t take my word for it. See for yourselves. (Thank you to Melissa Williams for sharing pictures she took of the extravaganza!)

For the first time ever, Cyndie baked meringue cookies from her gramma’s recipe. They come with a memory of being told, as grandchildren, that they needed to be very calm and quiet while meringue cookies are baking in the oven or the cookies would be wrecked.

After her first try success, Cyndie is inclined to think the strict constraints placed on them back then could very likely have been a ruse by her grandmother, taking advantage of an easy opportunity to command good behavior.

More power to her, I say.



Written by johnwhays

December 10, 2018 at 7:00 am

Kitchen Aromas

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Honestly, I don’t feel worthy of the aromas that greeted me from Cyndie’s kitchen when I walked in the door after work yesterday. She pulled me all the way into some of my fondest November memories with a robust batch of fresh Chex mix roasting in the oven.

Threw me back to Thanksgiving day parades, afternoon football games, and my dear ol’ mom.

I don’t know which came first. Did my love of cereal lead to an overwhelming attachment to Chex mix, or did my fondness for Chex mix lead to my mind-boggling passion for cereal?

No sooner does the mix come out of the oven and Cyndie puts in a pizza crust to pre-bake.

Not one to avoid a challenge, she was working her magic on an untested recipe for an adventurous fresh cranberry balsamic white pizza.

I can sincerely say that this did not bring back a single memory or aroma from my past. I can take, or leave, an arugula salad on my pizza, but ricotta cheese in place of a good salty tomato sauce left this experiment lacking.

It looked tantalizing, though.

Just needed more sauce and maybe a heaping crown of mozzarella cheese for my tastes. And bacon.


That was Cyndie’s idea. We read somewhere that the most common ingredient in contest-winning recipes happens to be bacon flavor in some shape or form.

We both got a chuckle out of that.



Written by johnwhays

November 14, 2018 at 7:00 am