Italian Sesame Twist (w/a heart!) 💕🥖💕

Last night I made a yummy Italian Sesame twist! Actually, many cultures enjoy making bread like this.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted it a little sweet or salty, so I divided it and used salt on one side and sugar on the other. I also want to share the recipe in case anyone is interested in making it.

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups white all purpose flour (plain bread flour has a higher protein content but you can use all purpose too)

1 tblspn active dry yeast or 2 (1/4 oz) packets

2 tblspns white granulated sugar

1/2 tspn salt

1 cup warm milk

2 tblspn melted butter (salted or unsalted)

First, melt the butter in a pan. Heat the milk. They can both stay in their pans for now. Combine the flour, the yeast, and sugar in a separate bowl. Whisk them together. Then add in the salt. The salt helps strengthen the dough and stops it from collapsing during baking. Make sure you mix the flour and yeast in well with the sugar, then add the salt. Combine all together.

Now, make a “well” in the center of your combination. This is where you add the butter and milk. MAKE SURE THE MILK IS NOT TOO HOT OR COLD. You can do this by sprinkling the milk on your hand before you mix it in. If the milk is too hot or too cold the rising of the dough will take longer. Here are some pics:

Use a spoon to mix and combine. Scrape up the dough on the sides. Then place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and USE CLEAN HANDS TO KNEAD for about 10 minutes or until the dough comes together. Continue to knead the dough ball with hands until the dough is smooth and elastic. It does not have to be perfect, but it has to have some elasticity to it.

Brush a seperate bowl with Extra Virgin Olive oil, classic olive oil, or butter. Place the dough ball into the new bowl and cover with a tea towel for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

The dough should double in size after 45 minutes. Get out your rolling pin and stretch. Cut the dough into three “ropes.” You can twist them with your hands, they do not have to be perfect, but just make sure they look like ropes!

Then, place down parchment paper and lightly grease the parchment, make a loose “braid” with the three ropes. Pinch the ends together and tuck. You can just roll the ropes with your hand, again. Crack an egg into a dish and brush the loaf with the egg. Sprinkle sesame seeds (I toasted my sesame seeds first. Just put them on high heat in a pan for a few minutes). Sprinkle salt or sugar on top, whichever you prefer.

Bake at 400 F for 20-25 minutes but check on it make sure to not burn. The bread is done once it is golden-brown!

You can see I added a heart to the top of it. You can make a separate heart with the rope and seal it down with toothpicks. I hope you enjoy it!😊🥖💕

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She’s been featured in numerous articles, guest posts, podcasts, websites, newsletters, and magazines. She’s recently been featured on the Intuitive Edge podcast! She’s also been on ESPN’s “Solutions from the Huddle” broadcast and on Grace and Truth Radio World! Zina’s written several hundred articles and has taught thousands of students of all ages from many different backgrounds and cultures. She’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Suite T blog, and the Southern Writers magazine among other places. She writes on faith, science, and overcoming adversity. She also writes on health and diet and loves to help others. Her latest book, Not Without God: Hope In the Storm is live and for sale! You can order your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Not-Without-God-Hope-Storm-ebook/dp/B09P9T2DLT

Assyrian Chaldean Cake!💟☦️

Home made Walnut cakes!🥮🌰🥮

These cakes were fun to make today! Homemade walnut cakes made with all purpose flour (3 cups), baking soda (2 tspns), vanilla extract (1 tblspn), walnuts (chopped up) 1 cup or more, white granulated sugar (1 1/2 cups), milk (1 cup), three eggs, and a bit of water (the water was my trick to keep it cake like and not in a dough form).

I’ve wanted to make this cake for years. It’s a cake I often had while growing up and visiting relatives houses with my parents or with their friends. This cake is almost always accompanied with ‘Tchai,’ or tea. It’s a social dessert, comforting, and yummy all at the same time!

I found this recipe from a girl in New Jersey who posted it online. She had the accent.😄 Nonetheless, it wasn’t until I was two thirds of the way into making it that I realized something was missing. The mix was not liquid like enough, and then I realized I forgot to add the milk!🥛🥛🥛

Voila! There goes that. I also remembered (by watching mom for so many years making bread), that I could add a little water to increase the amount of cake! I also added a little flour. All of a sudden, I had two cakes!! I tried to make walnut topping designs, as you can see here!

Oh, and here’s a little secret. I didn’t use one of those fancy cake mixers! (Ssshhh!) I never liked those anyway. I used my hand to knead. My hands were clean. I wash throughout cooking and baking multiple times! That is the REAL way to bake. Bakin’ the ol’ school way!🥮😂🥮

I never liked those plug in mixers anyway!👩‍🍳⏲🥧🍮

#traditional #baker #foodie #cake #homemade #connoisseur

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She’s been featured in numerous articles, guest posts, podcasts, websites, newsletters, and magazines. She’s just been featured on the Intuitive Edge podcast! She’s also been on ESPN’s “Solutions from the Huddle” broadcast and on Grace and Truth Radio World! Zina’s written several hundred articles and has taught thousands of students from all over the world from many different backgrounds and cultures. She’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Suite T blog, and the Southern Writers magazine among other places. She writes on faith, science, and overcoming adversity. She also writes on health and diet and loves to help others. Her latest book, Not Without God: Hope In the Storm is live and for sale! You can order your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Not-Without-God-Hope-Storm-ebook/dp/B09P9T2DLT

French Onion Chicken Cheesy Bake!🧅🧀🧅

Believe it or not this is a Mediterranean sample dish. First, you carmelize the onions by buying yellow or sweet onions and cutting them into even size cubes and then coating your fry pan with vegetable oil or olive oil. I used one table spoon for every two onions (a total of 6 yellow onions!). The onions need to rest in the pan and get flipped every few minutes for an average of 30 minutes or until the onions are carmelized. Then place the carmelized onions onto a platter that has been sprayed with (non-stick) cooking spray and lay down your chicken [it can be chicken thigh(s), chicken breast, or chicken leg(s)]. Lightly dash the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. After that, turn over the onions so they cover the chicken (and are both underneath and above it). And then sprinkle your cheese (I used one cup of Mexican style shredded cheese) over the chicken/onions. You can bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. I kept mine in for about 45 minutes. So long as your thermometer reads 165 or higher they are cooked! There you have: French Onion Chicken Casserole.

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the best selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She’s been featured in numerous articles, guest posts, podcasts, websites, newsletters, and magazines. She’s been featured on ESPN’s ‘Solutions from the Huddle’ broadcast and on Grace and Truth Radio World. Zina’s written hundreds of articles and has taught thousands of students from all over the world spanning many different backgrounds and cultures. She’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Suite T blog, and the Southern Writers magazine among other places. She writes on faith, science, and overcoming adversity. She also writes on health and diet and loves to help others. Her latest book, Not Without God: Hope In the Storm has just been released, on Jan 24! Order your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/Not-Without-God-Hope-Storm-ebook/dp/B09P9T2DLT

Today’s burst of creativity!🎄🍥🥮

Christmas is almost here, and one of the things I love to do is cook and bake around this time. So I found this wonderful recipe—Christmas tree cinnamon rolls! They are cute and were fun to make. So I want to share! I hope you all are enjoying the season and thinking of creative ways to make it enjoyable! #tistheseason🎄♥️🧑‍🎄

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the best selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She’s been featured in numerous articles, guest posts, podcasts, websites, newsletters, and magazines. Recently she was featured on ESPN’s ‘Solutions from the Huddle’ broadcast and on Grace and Truth Radio World. Zina’s written hundreds of articles and has taught thousands of students from all over the world spanning many different backgrounds and cultures. She’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Suite T blog and Southern Writers magazine among other places. She writes on faith, science, and overcoming adversity. She is also a major foodie and loves to help others. You can connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Linked In, or Twitter.

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