The battle ranges on…

  So I went with two new versions today;

The pale colored one (lower right) is a Black Pepper, Vanilla & Orange peel version adapted Valerie Bertinelli’s Helen’s Black Pepper Biscotti which I saw on the Food Network recently and was curious about. I just omitted the Walnuts.


They have a light taste with the black pepper finish and don’t taste overly sweet.  In this one, watch the second bake time if you don’t want them too brown. 
The darker ones (upper left) are a chocolate-coffee with mini M&M’s biscotti recipe that is traditionaly marbeled and adapted from a cookie card of my Mom’s. But I found it online here: but instead of marbled I went all chocolate and added more cocao powder to whole batter.

These came out denser than previous times and cracked while baking but that could be due in part to the dough being chilled. Flavor wise they still rocked!

Hard verses firm

Started checking out the difference between “american” style biscotti v. “italian” style recipes. 

No butter or oil yields a harder bite to the cookie and allows for thinner cuts and longer bake.
Today’s version: an adapted recipe for italian style Dried Cherry, Orange peel & Anise version.


Cookie time

Started checking out the difference between “american” style biscotti v. “italian” style recipes.

No butter or oil yields a harder bite to the cookie and allows for thinner cuts and longer bake.
Today’s version: an adapted recipe for italian style Dried Cherry, Orange peel & Anise version.

The long awaited Easter Bread Recipe ( My Mom’s Version)

img_0499Note: This is a large batch dough and can be both messy and sticky while making. You can use a mixer or processor as well as mix and knead by hand ( just plan to get “close & personal” to your dough if you do)
  • 1 dozen XL eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups of sugar (you can add up to 3 cups – mostly to your taste)
  • 1 tblespoon of sugar (this for the Yeast to proof)
  • Grated rind of 2 lemons and 1 orange (or two if they are small)
  • Juice of 2 Lemons and 2 Oranges
  • 1/4 lb of Bakers Yeast (active live yeast) or 6 packets of Active Dry Yeast (not rapid rise)
  • 1/2 c of Olive Oil
  • 12 cups of flour (more or less)
  • 1/2 stick of butter ( melted)
  • 1 cup warmed milk (118 to 115 degrees)
  • Parchment paper
  • 2 -3 Sheet try pans unless you plan to do them in batches.
  • Big Bowl!
  • clean towel and blanket ( yes a blanket)
Melt yeast in warm milk with the tablespoon of sugar, stir and set aside
Beat eggs w/remaining sugar till well incorporated
Add butter, yeast, lemon juice and grated lemon & orange peels mix together well.
If you have a large surface area you can mix old school style and pour flour on the table, form a mound, make a hole in the center and add liquid mixture gradually as you work by hand.
Use a bowl or mixer and add flour 2 cups at a time to liquid mixture.
The dough will go from liquid to sticky mess so you will want to be prepared.
Around the time you hit the 10th cup of flour, you will want to start to work the dough with your hands as you add the remaining flour*.
Coat your hands from the 1/2 of Olive Oil to keep it from sticking (Don’t use flour on your hands) and knead dough.
When you can shape a soft dough round that isn’t so sticky and stays together – you are done.
*Depending go the egg size – you may need less or more flour so take your time.
Oil the inside of a large bowl ( those old fashioned tupperware ones are great by the way). Place the dough in the bowl. Cover and “burp” if using tupperware or cover with plastic wrap. Drape a towel over the top and then fold the bowl into a blanket and set out of a breeze overnight or 6 -7 hours.
Now the timeline we use is: 10:00 pm make dough,  7:00 am unwrap and punch it down for the first time, rewrap and let rise again for 2-3 hours, then shape into individual loaves and let rise uncovered for up to 1 hour more.
If you portion out the dough into 1/2 lb portions you can get  5- 6 loaves. If you want to do a large braid, use about 1-1/2 lbs (1/2 per lb), But its up to you. I think 1/4 ld loaves would be nice gifts too.
Role each portion of dough out into a 12- 14 inch role, then either braid or circle around itself ( or any other shape you like). Place on parchment paper lined trays.  You can also place a raw egg (especially pretty with colored eggs) in the center while they cook.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I noted my oven runs hot so I used 325 for the second batch and let it cook an extra 5 minutes.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a nice golden brown.

Some days it’s dangerous to leave me alone with a vegatable peeler. Played a home version of “Chopped” Saturday night;  vita-A slaw; carrots, sweet peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, w/ a lemon, maple syrup, and homemade pear jam dressing 

 and baked “roll-ups” with mayonaise, grated cheese and parsley “sauce”, chopped tomatoes, sliced roast beef and atopped with a pepper jelly and tomato paste glaze and melted cheddar


The Boys Who Said NO! @Boyswhosaidno launches indiegogo campaign to tell it’s story

Many of you know I have a passion for storytelling in video/film format – especially when they are home grown over huge production commercial studio madness. Our pal Christopher Colorado Jones has a new project that is launching its Indiegogo campaign.


The film team behind The Boys Who Said NO! happily announces:

The link to our campaign page is HERE, where you can view a new film clip and look over our great perks to reward contributors.

The Boys Who Said NO! documents the power of nonviolence and way that draft resisters helped bring an end to the American War in Vietnam.

The film focuses on the Bay Area group called The Resistance that was co-founded by former Stanford student body President David Harris, who appears in the film. In one section Harris talks with former Weatherman Mark Rudd about violence and nonviolence as techniques for social change. Folk singer and nonviolent activist Joan Baez is also featured, as is former defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg, who tells how the courage of draft resister Randy Kehler inspired him to release the Pentagon Papers. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is also shown speaking out against the war during a visit to Baez and other war resisters in prison.

Our director is Judith Ehrlich, who was nominated for an Academy Award for The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. Producer Christopher Jones is a draft resister, as are members of the Film Team.

The film will preserve the story of these resisters and of their times, encourage support for today’s peace movement, and further the use nonviolent direct action for social change.

Please help our campaign raise funds (and draw in new supporters) to cover our 2016 production activities. We have two requests.

Give early and generously (all contributions are tax-deductible). Early contributions encourage others to invest in the film when they see our funding rising like a rocket!

The link to our campaign page is–2#/ , where you can view a new film clip and look over our great perks to reward contributors.

Thank you very much for your crucial support!
For peace, justice and equality,

Christopher C. Jones,–2#/


Posted with permission

Easter Bread; the Saga of the Risen

Yes.. Its a bundle of something …Because not only does my Mom’s Easter Bread dough recipe use “active live yeast” instead of dried (which was harder to find than you would think) ,  it also indicates that prior to the first rise overnight; you need to make the “sign of the cross” over it and then swaddle it in a blanket too…

Did I mention how much I hate the chemistry of baking. It’s true. I will cook over bake anytime. But I wanted to see how close I could make mine to hers.

And 8 hours later (or was it 9 months because it sur looks full term) a very “risen” dough is ready to handled for a second short raise before shaping and baking.

Unwrapping the baby after 8 hours.

And now for a short 3 hour rise

All done… Oven on

 Now it’s time to shape & bake

A little egg wash

Maybe a little color..

Going classic


  and 30 minutes later

But my oven runs hot so the next batch goes in at 325 degrees

Otherwise the taste and texture is good. I can taste the citrus and sugar,  it’s dense with out being heavy. Will be perfect for toasting or as use in a bread pudding if I get tired of eating as is. 

Full recipe to follow shortly.