Rosemary Garlic Pull Apart Bread

One of my goals this year is to finally learn how to bake bread. It’s always been my arch-nemesis in the kitchen. Enter the bread proofing feature on my Quick Cooker. Holy perfect bread, Batman! I threw this rosemary garlic pull apart bread in no time. As an added bonus, my 6 year old helped me make it. So easy, so fluffy and so full of flavor. I could rattle on about the bread, but personally, I hate reading through a bunch of text to get to the recipe, so I’ll post that first and then follow with some pictures.

Vegan Rosemary Garlic Pull Apart Bread

Fluffy and delicious rosemary garlic bread that is dairy free!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword bread, dairy free, garlic, rosemary
Prep Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes


  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour I used white bread flour
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 2 tbsp rosemary & garlic bread dipping seasoning season to your taste
  • 1 1/4 c warm water


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

  2. Mix dry ingredients in your mixing bowl. Pour in olive oil and warm water. Using the dough hook, mix ingredients on low speed until well combined.

  3. Continue to mix on low speed to knead dough for 10 minutes.

  4. Brush the ceramic insert with olive oil.  Place dough in the insert.  Place in the inner pot of your Quick Cooker (follow Quick Cooker guide for how to proof bread and for set up).  Proof bread through 1 cycle.

  5. Remove ceramic pot, turn dough out on lightly floured surface.  Mix dough by hand and punch dough down.  Place back in the ceramic insert.  Proof for a second cycle in the Quick Cooker.

  6. Roll dough out onto a floured surface.  Drizzle with olive oil and seasoning mix.  Rub the seasoning mix into the dough.  Roll the dough into a long sausage link.  Break dough into 8 pieces.

  7. Place strips into ceramic pot, weaving them together to make it all fit in the pot.  Drizzle with olive oil on top and sprinkle a little of the seasoning mix on top.  Bake at 400 F for 35-40 minutes.  Let cool in the ceramic pot for 10 minutes.  Turn out onto serving plate.  Let your guests tear off pieces to enjoy as an appetizer or with your meal.

Yummy Yummy Bread, fresh from the oven

This bread is everything I was looking for in bread. Light, fluffy, flavorful….it really is scrumptious. Even better, it was given universal thumbs up from everyone in the family. And, with a proofing feature on my Quick Cooker, the process of baking bread was quick and easy (I have spent an entire day letting dough rise before only to be disappointed that it didn’t really rise).

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What is Nutritional Yeast?

What in the world is nutritional yeast or “nooch” as it is sometimes called?  Why should you include it in your diet?  Nutritional yeast is a deactivated form of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  Ok, but what the heck is Saccharomyces cerevisiae?  That’s the scientific name for the yeast used is making bread. The yeast is grown on a food source, like molasses, and then harvested, heated and dried.  Ok, great.  Why do I care again?  You care because it’s a nutritional powerhouse and so so good. By the way, I am not an affiliate of the nooch people.


Nutritional yeast or nooch or heck, call it hippie glitter, is loaded with B vitamins. And you don’t need to eat a truck load of it to get a meaningful dose of those B-vitamins.  Just a tablespoon will be good.  Know what else this little gem contains?  Protein and fiber.  So grab a spoon, scoop up that hippie glitter and spread that -ish everywhere, k?  Nutritional yeast tastes good. No, not in a grab a spoon and eat it by the spoonful kind of way, you know, like cookie dough.  But I add this to almost every meal I cook.  It’s great for adding a salty and nutty kind of flavor.  Some people use it as a cheese sub, but I’ve never really found it to taste just like cheese.  It does add a good flavor to food though.  If you want to dip your toe in the nooch, check out these 5 suggestions for adding it to some of your favorite foods.

1. Popcorn—seriously, spritz your popcorn with some olive oil, pour the nooch on top and shake or stir it to mix it all up.  So so so good.

2. Spaghetti—spaghetti and marinara with a little nooch on top to give it a salty, slightly Parmesan flavor.  Trust me, this goes well and is easy to stir in and hide from those picky eaters.  Check out my recipe for dairy free “creamed” spinach spaghetti

3. Loaded baked potatoes/twice baked potatoes—I love making twice baked potatoes and I add nooch, olive oil, steamed broccoli, stuff that back into the potato and top with some panko breadcrumbs and bake in the oven.

4. Roasted broccoli—if you haven’t tried roasting your broccoli florets until they get crispy in the oven, get out there and do it.  It’s my favorite way to eat broccoli and I may eat this broccoli by the sheet pan.  When it comes out of the oven, sprinkle some nooch on top.  So good it almost feels like junk food.

5. Literally any savory dish you might make with bouillon cubes.  Making rice pilaf?  Add some nooch.  Making chicken strips/nuggets?  Add some nooch.  Making soup?  Sprinkle that bad boy with hippie glitter and then go crunch some granola.  No really, it’s that versatile and amazing.

Buy a 2-pack of Nutritional yeast here:

Affiliate disclosure: If you shop using the link above for nooch, I may receive a small commission from that purchase.  Your price will not change.

What have you tried with nutritional yeast? Did you like it?  Share your thoughts in the comments section.  Want more recipe inspo and cooking tips?  Join the Second Breakfast Club.

Pumpkin Porter Oat Bread

Ah, fall… favorite time of year. I am a fan of pumpkin everything (almost). This pumpkin porter beer bread does not disappoint. How I got to this recipe is kind of funny though.

Picture it…..the grocery store….2018. A 38 year old mom who is perpetually sleep deprived is trying to check out at the grocery store. Suddenly, she sees a black box with Pumpkin written on it and thinks “ooh, score. I can buy Pumpkin in bulk now.” Imagine her surprise when her husband asks why she got Pumpkin Porter when she doesn’t like beer. Please tell me you read that in a Sophia Petrillo voice? Golden Girls is still one of my favorite shows. If you haven’t watched The Golden Girls, stop what you’re doing and go watch.

But, back to this bread. I look at the box of pumpkin porter and think WTF am I gonna do with this crap? And then it hits me, beer bread. Baking bread is not my strong suit. But beer bread is so much easier because you don’t have to worry about proofing the bread and making the yeast all happy because….beer.

For this recipe, I added in oats because I thought oats and fall and pumpkin go together. This takes about 10 minutes to prep and an hour to bake. I added 1 teaspoon of baking powder per cup of flour-oats mixture. I used brown sugar to give a little sweetness but not a lot to be overpowering. Ok, I really added the brown sugar because I was out of white sugar. Hard to believe I ran out of sugar before holiday baking season hit. I added a splash of rice milk to bring it all together because I’m at a higher altitude and I needed the extra moisture. If you’re not a half-mile above sea level, you probably don’t need the splash of rice milk.

I sliced the bread and served it with an amazing honey mustard chicken, green beans and a baked sweet potato for a very yummy feast.

Pumpkin Porter Oat Bread

Simple and easy beer bread perfect for fall.

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 Slices


  • 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats plus some extra to sprinkle on top
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 12 oz can of pumpkin porter beer
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 splash rice milk if needed.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. Mix dry ingredients with a fork to break up clumps

  3. Add beer to dry ingredients and mix well.  If the mixture is too dry, add a splash of rice milk, or milk if that’s what you have.

  4. Transfer mixture to a greased loaf pan.  Pour melted butter on top of loaf and sprinkle with oats (optional).  Bake at 350 F for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool a bit before serving.

  5. I like to have this warm with butter all melted in the bread.  So so so good.

Pecan Praline Shortbread Bars

A tribute to my Cajun heritage……

History of Pralines

Pralines made by my sister

Pralines are a French dessert typically made with almonds or hazelnuts. Legend has it that pecan pralines became “a thing” when Ursuline nuns tossed pecans into the praline mixture because they had no almonds or hazelnuts. Others claim that pralines were named for the Duke of Choiseul-Praslin in France where pralines originated as one of those happy accidents….you know, like the discovery of penicillin. What we do know is that pecan pralines are truly a New Orleans dessert that were made famous thanks to African-American women who are credited with not only creating the shape of the pecan praline but also the recipe of the pralines we know today. New Orleans pralines have such a rich history and tradition as one of the first street foods. The shape and appearance of the praline has been compared to the murky swamps of Louisiana. The history of pecans has strong ties to the African-American culture as emancipated slaves made the pralines as a means of income. For more on this rich history, click here to read a wonderfully written article detailing the cultural ties of one of New Orleans signature desserts. Recipes were passed down from generation to generation and many families had their own recipe as a closely held secret.

Growing up all over the state of Louisiana, my fondest memories were always visiting my grandparents in LaPlace, LA. We would drive all day and arrive when it was dark outside. I remember walking into their house right into the kitchen where my grandmother would be standing at the stove cooking gumbo or rice and gravy. Thinking of the aroma of the food cooking on the stove takes me back to those days. The long green table in the kitchen/dining room where bourre games would go long into the night while my sister and I slept on the sofa bed in the next room; sitting on the red swing outside and petting Smokey, their gray cat; driving in the car sitting between my grandparents in the middle seat that was in the front of the car because I was the youngest. The case of cookies my grandfather had from his friend who worked for Nabisco who we affectionately called “the cookie man.” And the food…..all family visits and family gatherings were centered around the food. There was always a pot of something on the stove (gumbo, red beans, etouffee) that was served over rice, which was in the other pot on the stove and a big bowl of potato salad that would be spooned on top of the gumbo. Sometimes we’d cover the green table with newspaper and have a shrimp boil with potatoes and corn or a crawfish boil. I remember after the crawfish boil, the women of the family would sit around the table gathering up all the leftover crawfish meat (from the tails) and save all the abdomen shells and other parts to make a crawfish stock or a shrimp stock and stuff later for making etouffee.

Pecan pralines and red velvet cake were had on special occasions. I can remember my mom making pralines every Christmas for us to have. We always knew when the kitchen counters were covered with newspaper and wax paper on top what was happening that day. We also knew to stay out of the kitchen and not bother my mom because cooking pralines was a bit of a delicacy. My grandmother’s recipe doesn’t have any kind of cooking time associated with it. She could just feel it when the pralines were ready. This is the same recipe that has been passed down to all of us and I have far more trouble “feeling” my way to making pralines. Maybe with more practice….Instead, I have started making other pecan praline desserts. The dessert I have for this blog post is a pecan praline shortbread bar. I love love love shortbread and pralines so marrying the two together seemed like it could be a match made in heaven. And boy, was I right. If I may toot my own horn, these bars are so rich and tasty. Have a cup of coffee or a glass of milk with these babies.

Pecan Praline Shortbread Bars

For this recipe, I used a standard shortbread recipe like the one you can find here.

Pecan Praline Shortbread Bars

A yummy twist on a New Orleans favorite. 

Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 bars
Author The Nerdy Cajun Chef


  • 1 c butter softened
  • 3/4 c powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c half & half
  • 1/2 c pecans
  • 1 pinch salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Beat 1 cup softened butter until creamy.  Add in powdered sugar and beat butter and powdered sugar until they are combined.  Add 1 tsp vanilla and beat until vanilla is incorporated into the butter powdered sugar mix. Add in flour 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition to mix the flour.  You may have to fold in the last bit of flour with your hands or a spatula.  Press shortbread into bar mold or into an 8x8 pan.  For the bar pan, I make sure to leave a little bit of room for toppings.  With a fork, make some hold in the shortbread.  Bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes.  I like to leave these a bit underdone so they are soft and chewy.

  2. While the shortbread is cooling, make the praline topping.  Melt 2 Tbsp. butter and 1/2 c. brown sugar in a small pan over medium heat.  Add in a pinch of salt and cook for 2 minutes. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon.  Slowly add in half and half and whisk until incorporated. Cook for an additional 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Add pecans if you want to at this stage and let the mixture cool to room temperature.  Alternatively, place pecans on top of shortbread bars.  When the mixture has cooled, remove shortbread bars to a wire rack.  Pour praline mixture over the top of the bars and let it set for about 10-15 minutes.

My Pecan Praline Shortbread Bars

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. If you make them, drop a comment to let me know how they turn out.



The Nerdy Cajun Chef

DIY Popsicles

DIY Popsicles

Ah, popsicles……frozen, messy treats that were the perfect treat on a hot summer day as a child.  We used to love hearing the ice cream truck music and beg our mom to let us get a treat.  Of course, the best popsicles were the ones in the bags because no sticky hands and no accidentally losing a chunk of popsicle when it fell off the stick.  I have fallen in love with the Pampered Chef Quicksicle maker because I can make my own frozen concoctions with only about 10 minutes in the freezer.  Moms out there will know that a 10 minute wait can sometimes save the day (especially when kids are hot, thirsty & hungry).  Oh, who am I kidding?!  A 10 minute wait saves the day when adults are hot, thirsty & hungry too.  Continuing on in my series of freezer treats, I give you an epic list of popsicle flavors to try at home.  There are even some boozysicles (is that a word?) for the adults.  Check out my tips for making your own popsicles first to help save you from the failures I had trying to make some of these.

Untitled design (13)Tips for Making Your Own Popsicles:

1. Use fruit juice or chocolate milk

2. If making “adult” popsicles (AKA ones with alcohol), use no more than 1 Tbsp. alcohol in each pop.

3. Fruit should be thinly sliced.

4. Before pouring liquids into the mold, make sure they are chilled so you don’t heat up your freezer molds.

5. Add a bit of a natural sweetener to something that is sugar-free.

6. Use fruit that is thinly sliced instead of the whole fruit (this is true for berries too).

7. If you are using alcohol, carbonated beverages, puddings, yogurt and/or ice cream, make sure to blend these mixtures with something else (fruit juice, for example).

8. For recipes with granulated sugar, dissolve in water and heat on the stove to make a simple syrup.  Then proceed with blending, pureeing, processing, whatever you like for the rest of the recipe.

For more tips on making your own popsicles (or paletas), check out this article from Epicurious.  Also, their blackberry, honey & yogurt popsicle sounds heavenly.  j/s

Recipes for making your own popsicles.

Popsicles for the Family

1. Kiwi Watermelon

2. Kiwi Strawberry: Use the kiwi watermelon above but substitute pureed strawberries in place of the watermelon.

3. Watermelon mint

4. Strawberry Lemonade

5. Key lime: My super easy hack for this is to use graham crackers at the cookie sides. Then spoon some key lime yogurt in the middle and freeze. This recipe is so easy and tasty that my husband made a second batch all on his own. He does not bake y’all….like, at all.

6. Mint Chocolate Chip

7. Cake batter

8. Cookies n’ Cream

9. Lemon Icebox Pie: Using a packet of lemon pudding, mix with dairy free milk (I like the Rice Dream Enriched) according to the packet directions. Pour into freezer molds and freeze. Before serving, dip in coconut cream (for dairy free) or regular whipped cream. Sprinkle crushed graham crackers onto the whipped cream layer (or cookie crumbs) and a little lemon zest.

Lemon Pie Ice Pops

10. Orange Strawberry

Boozy Popsicles

1. Corpse Reviver: This recipe is in the current BHG magazine, so it’s not up on the web as of this post.  I’ll keep looking for it though.

2. Adult Ice Pops from the folks at Better Homes & Gardens

3. 15 Boozy Ice Pops from the folks at Buzzfeed.

4. Followed by Buzzfeed’s 23 Boozy Ice Pops That Will Get You Drunk.  (please drink some water so you don’t dehydrate though.  k?)

5. Piña Colada

Let me know if you try any of these and how they come out.


The Nerdy Cajun Chef

Freezer Jam

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Have you always wanted to make your own jam? Have you been afraid to use pressure canning to preserve foods (I know I am)? Have you wanted to make your own jam but didn’t want to spend a fortune purchasing a pressure canner and all the accessories? Say hello to freezer jam! Make your own favorite jam recipes and experiment with new combinations. Store in the freezer until you are ready to use and then keep in the fridge. Yummy! Below are some tips for making freezer jam along with a list of my favorites.

What do you need?

**Freezer safe glass jars or plastic jars with tight-fitting lids**

Fruit: use fruit that is in season and at its peak of freshness. You won’t be cooking the fruit so it’s important to use ripe fruits. Trust me, you’ll know if the fruit isn’t quite right with freezer jam.

Pectin: 1 packet plus 3/4 c. water.


How to make freezer jam

  1. Prep the fruit:  wash all fruit, remove stems, pits, cores, etc and mash the fruit in a bowl with a potato masher or toss in your food processor.
  2. Add the sugar to the fruit and fold to mix.  Let this sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Add 1 packet of pectin to 3/4 c. boiling water.  Whisk the pectin until dissolved.  Remove from heat.
  4. Add pectin-water mixture to the sugar fruit mixture and stir to mix. Let the jam thicken and spoon/scoop/ladle into your freezer safe jars.

Helpful Tips  Untitled design (11)

  • Freezer jam is good in the freezer for up to 1 year (so, put a date on those jars please) or in the fridge for 3 weeks.
  • Wash and thoroughly dry all jars and lids before use.
  • Follow the steps above in order.  Pectin will not dissolve in water that is not boiling.  Also, let the fruit and sugar mingle a bit.
  • Freezer jam will not be as firm as cooked and canned jam.  Just FYI…
  • Use smaller jars.  The jam only last for 3 weeks in the fridge, so smaller amounts will be more likely to get used and not go to waste.


Favorite Recipes

Favorite recipes

Raspberry-Peach Freezer Jam: I love love love raspberries. This is summer in a jar people!

Clementine Jam: If you’re a citrus lover, this jam is for you AND is pectin-free!

Blood Orange Jam: I love blood oranges. I would have no trouble sitting down with a spoon and a jar of this jam and just eating it on its own. Hey, wasn’t there a Friends episode about Monica and her jam plan?

Blueberry Jam: My daughter eats blueberries by the pint and if I let her, she would eat this by the jar without hesitation. This link takes you to a printable recipe too, so an added bonus.

Piña Colada Jam: “I ordered a Mai Tai but they brought me a pina colada.”-Office Space. I have watched way too much TV I think. Every time I read piña colada, I have to read it in Milton’s voice from Office Space. In other news, if you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain….this jam might be just what you need in your freezer.

Need more ideas for freezer jam? Check out this list of 17 Freezer Jams. I’m looking forward to trying the jams with peppers added. I love the sweet and spicy combo.

Have you tried any of these recipes? Do you have a favorite freezer jam recipe that I haven’t listed here? Let me know and share the recipes. I love trying new recipes.


-The Nerdy Cajun Chef