Top Posts of 2016

I can’t believe another year is drawing to a close.

It is true what they say: As you get older, the years seem to go faster.

Feels like I just blinked and we are ready to ring in the New Year.

Before 2017 is fully upon us, here is a look back at the 10 most popular Summertime Melissa posts of the past year.

Enjoy!

10. Gluten Free Multi Grain Bread

Thank you Bulk Barn for your simple bread mix that makes a relatively good loaf (if not small and compact) of (gluten-free) bread.

Gluten Free Multi-Grain Bread

9. Moorea

This was quite possibly the most incredible place I have ever been. I look forward to a day when I can return and maybe never come back…

Moorea

8. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dump Cake

Who doesn’t love a great, easy pumpkin recipe?

Pumpkin cream cheese dump cake

7. Heavenly Salmon Salad

This is quite possibly one of my favorite recipes of the year! So delicious, very healthy and so easy to make.

Heavenly Salmon Salad

6. Kauai

This was the start of our big 3 week holiday and not like many other places we had been. Kauai is laid back and lush…a great combination.

201608022

5. Klosse

Childhood nostalgia (and a mild heart attack) on a plate!

Klosse

4. How To Successfully Shop at Goodwill

This post evolved over a long period of time. We were first going to do a video post, but we filmed it and were instantly embarrassed…so luckily my dear husband is a whiz with computers and made us all the cool gifs to create a great post. Thanks Viv for the fun…not only on that particular shopping trip, but just generally in life.

Yes. No.

3. Chicken, Brie and Fig Jam Sandwiches

This is a post from back in 2014, but it is one of the most read pages on my blog. I forgot how good these sandwiches are…maybe we will be having some next week…

Chicken, Brie and Fig Jam Sandwich

2. Noorish

I had so much fun with my friend Sarah at this restaurant. She has introduced me to the world of all-things-vegan. And though I won’t be giving up meat any time soon, I do love a good vegetarian recipe from one of the Oh She Glows cookbooks she has gifted me. I’m not sure that Andrew is as happy…but he will get used to it.

Bodhi Burger

1. Braided Nutella Bread

This was the most popular page on my blog over the last year…and when I looked at the site, the pictures didn’t even work! This was a delicious little treat. Good thing it is rather time consuming, or I might attempt this more often.

Braided Nutella Bread

Gluten Free Multi-Grain Bread

Bread making scares me….

It seems hard. It seems intensive and maybe not worth the hassle.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it when OTHER people make bread that I get to eat. I’m just not sure I am a bread-making person.

But when we decided to watch our gluten intake and I saw the cost of gluten free bread…I figured I may need to become a bread-making person.

Gluten Free Multi-Grain Bread

We don’t eat much bread, but sometimes all you want is some toast or a sandwich. Wraps have replaced a lot of the bread we eat, but sometimes a wrap won’t do. I’ve looked at some gluten free bread recipes and just have not committed to buying all the different flours and giving it a try.

Thank you Bulk Barn for doing the hard work for me! All I had to do was scoop some of the gluten free multi-grain bread mix into a bag and head on home.

I spent $7.00 on the mix and I think I could potentially get 3, maybe 4 loaves out of that much. Factor in the other ingredients (which are minimal) and I am sure that I am getting a loaf for around $2.50….way cheaper than the $5.99 loaves I saw at Superstore.

But will it taste ok?

I started by getting my yeast dissolved.

In 3/4 of a cup of warm water I dissolved 2 tsp of yeast. (or one little package. I used the traditional yeast since the recipe called for dry yeast. I wonder what the difference would be if I used quick rise yeast?)

Gluten Free Multi-Grain Bread

I let that sit for about 5 minutes to activate it and make sure it was fully dissolved.

I added in 5 tsp of vegetable oil next.

Gluten Free Multi-Grain Bread

Lastly I mixed in my 1 and 3/4 cups of flour mixture.

Gluten Free Multi-Grain Bread

I used my stand mixer and mixed it on low for 1 minute.

Gluten Free Multi-Grain Bread

I scraped down the sides of my mixing bowl and mixed it again for 3 minutes on medium speed. I tried my dough hook, but this doesn’t really make a dough  so I switched back to my paddle mixer.

I scooped everything into a well greased loaf pan, sprayed my hands and shaped it into a rustic (read-sloppy) bread shape.

Now for the rising time. The recipe says to let it triple in size. I had already started to pre-heat my oven when I realized I didn’t really have a warm place to let the dough rise.

I contemplated turning on the fireplace and putting the dough in front of that but Andrew reminded me that would heat up our entire house,  so I decided to turn off the oven and let the bread sit on the door till it cooled down enough I could put it inside.

Gluten Free Multi-Grain Bread
Please don’t judge my dirty oven door…

 

I then set my oven to the “keep warm” setting and let it rise about an hour.

It rose, but I was hoping it would be bigger and fluffier…I guess that doesn’t happen when you remove the gluten.

Gluten Free Multi-Grain Bread

I baked the bread at 360 degrees for 30 minutes and then turned it out on a cooling rack to cool.

Gluten Free Multi-Grain Bread

The verdict- When it came out, the color looked great, but it didn’t really rise a whole lot more than before I baked it. So it kind of looked like a little mini loaf. After it cooled a bit, I cut in, slathered a piece with honey and prayed it tasted something like bread.

Gluten Free Multi-Grain Bread

It did! Even though it was not super tall, it was still soft and chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside. This is a great easy way to enjoy bread without spending an arm and a leg on a loaf. I wonder if Bulk Barn has any other bread mixes? (like I said before, it was a little overwhelming in there…)