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Posts tagged “Whole wheat flour

Whiskey Green Tomato Cake

Whiskey Green Tomato Cake

Last week my aunt from Florida came to visit. I don’t know how many stops she had planned on her trip, but one of them was to visit my parents … I suspected she would go see mom, but I didn’t really know until it was my turn to see my aunt.

My daughter and I drove down to meet my aunt and her artist friend for dinner. It was then that my aunt told us she had been to my parents’ place and my dad had made this green tomato cake for dessert … what?!? … my dad made a green tomato cake?! What the … ?

I thought it sounded really odd, and then when we went to see my parents this weekend, dad mentioned his green tomato cake. Mom said that it was more like a bar than a cake and Dad said the recipe he used just had too much green tomato in it. I could see the wheels turning in his head … I asked him to tell me about this green tomato cake … and he had already figured out how to make it better. I looked him in the eye and said “let’s make a cake!” … and so my dad and I set to work making a green tomato cake.

We started with our favorite carrot cake recipe, which is from The Jack Daniel’s Cookbook, but by the time we finished, I don’t think you’d even recognize the original recipe. Nonetheless, my dad was totally right (he usually is) … the cake turned out absolutely amazing. Both dad and I had two pieces of it for dessert after brunch (I NEVER have two pieces of cake …) and then later, on my way home, I brought some to my friend and had another piece of cake with her. Three pieces of cake in one day. This is totally a record for me. I’m not a cake person (unless it’s like some kind of of amazing decadent chocolate cake), and this cake isn’t even chocolate! … but it is SO worth it. The tart green tomatoes taste so much better than carrots in this (kinda pretty awesomely healthy) moist and flavorful cake.

The green tomatoes came from mom and dad’s garden. They fell off the vines while Mom was trimming the tomato plants. There was a whole bucket full of them. Their tomato plants are just thick with fruit … there will be LOADS of tomatoes this year. Only a few are ripe yet; the rest are yet to come.

Green Tomatoes for the Whiskey Green Tomato Cake

My very favorite part of the day? I got to cook with my dad. The big bonus was that it turned out to be something totally jaw-dropping awesome.

Whiskey Green Tomato Cake

Highly Adapted from The Jack Daniels Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook

  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup whiskey
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups chopped green tomatoes (about 2 large green tomatoes)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts

Heavenly Frosting:

  • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 oz. light cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz. powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon whiskey

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the raisins in a cup with the 1/4 cup of whiskey to plump them up.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients, then make a well in the center and add in the wet ingredients. Whisk up the eggs and  other wet ingredients together, then stir to incorporate them into the batter. Add the raisins & whiskey, green tomatoes and walnuts and stir just until everything is mixed up well.
  3. Pour the cake batter into a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan and bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. While the cake is cooling, make the frosting by mixing the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and whiskey until smooth. Let the cake cool, then frost it with the Heavenly Frosting.

Whiskey Green Tomato Cake

This is a post for #tomatolove.

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This recipe was also shared at Scrumptious SundaysMade it by MondayThursday’s Treasures, Katherine Martinelli’s Tomato Bloghop and Foodie Friends Friday.


Ginger Rhubarb Rum Cake

Ginger Rhubarb Rum Cake {Lowfat}

A while ago, I spent a day playing with rhubarb and one of the things I made was ginger rhubarb sauce … the reason I made that sauce was for this idea for a rhubarb rum cake I had floating around in my head.

The first time I made the cake, I was really unhappy with it. It just wasn’t the cake I had pictured in my mind. I gave it to the neighbor and she and her dad loved it, so I figured perhaps I was being too self-critical.

So I made the cake again, with a few improvements. I fed some to my friend and asked him for his feedback. He is not a huge rhubarb fan so he liked that the rhubarb was not “in your face” like so many rhubarb dishes are. I, on the other hand, AM a rhubarb fanatic so I love “in your face” rhubarb dishes, but that wasn’t what I was going for here. I was trying to let the taste of the ginger, the rum, and the rhubarb gently interplay with each other.

I was worried that the cake was too dense, but he challenged me there. Who says a cake has to be light and fluffy? After I tossed out that pre-conception, I fell in love with this cake. It’s moist and dense and flavorful. It does have that delicate interplay of rhubarb, rum, and ginger and they really play so nicely together. I’ve been eating this cake for breakfast all week. Yes, breakfast. What? Who says you can’t eat rum cake for breakfast? I replaced all of the butter in the cake with the ginger rhubarb sauce, used half whole wheat flour for fiber, added pecans and rhubarb, it’s even got yogurt in it. It’s really not so bad for you. I think it’s a very pleasant way to start your day… or if you prefer, you could serve it with afternoon tea or at a dinner party.

Ginger Rhubarb Rum Cake {Low fat}

Ginger Rhubarb Rum Cake {Lowfat}

Adapted from Squidoo

  • 1/2 cup ginger rhubarb sauce (recipe here … if you don’t want to make the sauce, substitute some applesauce)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 cups rhubarb, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Rum syrup / glaze (a.k.a. “cake paint”)

  • 1/3 cup ginger rhubarb sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup golden rum

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the rhubarb ginger sauce, honey & sugars to make a smooth mixture. Add in the eggs, vanilla, and yogurt and whisk till smooth.
  2. Add the flours, ginger, salt & baking powder and stir till everything is fully incorporated into the batter. Fold in the rhubarb & pecans.
  3. Spray your baking pan with cooking spray and then dust with flour. I used my grandma’s bundt pan (even though the batter filled it only about half-way), but you could also bake it in a 13x9x2 inch pan if you like. Pour the batter into your pan and bake at 325 for about 50 minutes. Test it with a toothpick to see if it’s done. Let it cool for 15 minutes after you take it out of the oven, then turn the bundt pan over onto a plate.
  4. Make the rum syrup by heating the ginger rhubarb sauce with the sugars and butter till hot and bubbly, then stir in the rum.
  5. Using a basting brush, “paint” the cake with the rum syrup several times, giving it several minutes to soak into the cake between paintings. My daughter helped me with this part. She loves painting things. She decided the glaze should be called “cake paint”.

Ginger Rhubarb Rum Cake {Lowfat}

This recipe was shared at Weekend Potluck.


Silvia’s Italian Focaccia

Silvia's Italian Focaccia

Last night Silvia’s Cucina shared a beautiful authentic Italian focaccia and it made me soooo hungry for focaccia that I went in the kitchen and made it right away. I already had focaccia on my mind after Sherron’s amazing caramelized onion & garlic focaccia and was dying for some good homemade bread after our travels. I was tempted to add some caramelized onions or tomato or cheese or something, but it was late and I thought perhaps I had just enough time before bed to make a simple focaccia.

I’m very glad I did. A slice of focaccia and a glass of wine was the perfect end to my day, and now I have a whole pan of delicious homemade focaccia to make sandwiches and things with!

Silvia says this recipe is from her brother, a professional Chef who made Focaccia daily when he worked at “Il Genovese” , in Milan in the late 90′s. I cheated and used my bread machine to mix up and knead the dough, though, so I’m not sure that mine has the same texture as hers did.  I did the glaze wrong as well, forgot the water and added some Italian seasoning & granulated garlic, so I’m guessing the top is quite a bit softer than hers. Make sure you pop over and look at her recipe if you want a more authentic Italian focaccia.

Silvia's Italian Focaccia

Silvia’s Italian Focaccia

  • 1 tablespoon of dried yeast
  • 3/4 cup water (I had to add a little extra water because the dough wasn’t sticking together properly)
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For the glaze : 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil , 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic.
  • For the top: chia seeds (or other seeds … optional … I just thought it would be fun to dust my bread with chia seeds)

Put all the ingredients except the glaze into a bread machine and put it on the dough setting. I was in a rush and only let the machine go for about 45 minutes, then I took the dough out, rolled it, folded it (as Silvia did), and stretched it to fit my 13 x 9 x2 inch pan. I turned the oven on the lowest setting (170 F), then shut off the oven, covered the pan and set it in the oven to rise. In about 30 minutes I checked it and it had puffed up quite nicely, so I poked it all over with my finger and then drizzled it with the glaze, then covered it again and set it in the oven for about 15 minutes to puff up a little more.

I sprinkled it with some chia seeds and baked it at 390 F for about 20 minutes, until it was a nice golden brown.

Silvia's Italian Focaccia

This recipe was shared at Weekend Potluck and Cast Party Wednesday.


Crunchy’s Cornbread on the Grill

Crunchy's Cornbread on the Grill

It was terribly windy yesterday, but my daughter wanted chicken cooked on the grill, and how could I possibly say no to that? We don’t get many evenings when we can stay home and grill. I asked her what she wanted with her chicken and gave her a couple options. When I mentioned the cornbread, that won hands down.

I’ve been wanting to try cornbread on the grill ever since A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock & Roll posted her recipe for it. My nickname for her is “Crunchy”. It’s kind of like pizza on the grill … it’s a little unexpected, something you might not think about grilling. I really love trying those sorts of things.

Crunchy's Cornbread on the Grill

(Ooops! My foot’s in the picture … shh! don’t tell anyone … maybe they won’t notice … )

Crunchy’s Cornbread on the Grill

Recipe from A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock & Roll

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 3/4 cup corn meal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • A sprinkle of nutmeg (1/8 teaspoon-ish … I didn’t measure, just sprinkled some on)
  • A dash of cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon or so … again, didn’t measure)
  • A teaspoon or two of honey (it was sitting there on the counter, so just drizzled a bit in, for fun … probably about a teaspoon)
  • A slosh of vanilla (I tried to pour in just a teaspoon, but my hand lost control and I over-did the vanilla. Ooops. I would recommend about a teaspoon … not as much as I used. It was still tasty, but a little too vanilla-ish.)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions:

  1. Fire up your grill and push the coals over to make a “hot” area and a “cooler” area. Set your 10-inch cast iron skillet on the grill so it will get good and hot while you mix up the batter.
  2. Mix up all the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients except for the butter and stir to mix everything into a smooth batter.
  3. Put the 2 tablespoons butter in the cast iron skillet and set it back on the grill to melt. Once the butter has melted, put your oven mitt on your hand, take the skillet and swirl around the butter to coat the bottom of the pan, then pour most of the butter into your batter bowl and stir it into the batter, setting the cast iron skillet back on the grill. Pour the batter into the skillet, cover and let cook for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once.
  4. Now it was terribly windy, right? So my grill didn’t get that hot. The chicken was taking FOREVER to cook … the asparagus was just lukewarm.  The cornbread cooked up okay, except the middle part wasn’t getting done. So I cheated a little and stuck the cornbread in my oven at 350 to finish. It only took about 5 minutes for it to finish in the oven and it still had that lovely smoky grilled taste. And while the cornbread was cooking in the oven, the chicken and asparagus finished up nicely too. If you get your grill nice and hot, you probably won’t need to cheat and use the oven …

My girl and I both loved the cornbread. She had a big wedge of it and polished it right off … along with her chicken, and ran off to play with her cat in the yard, leaving me on the patio with her big plate of crumbs for company.

Crunchy's Cornbread on the Grill

This recipe was shared at Thursday’s Treasures.


Baked Strawberry Walnut Quinoa Bites

Baked Strawberry Quinoa Walnut Bites

I’ve been intrigued with the idea of baking with quinoa for a while now, so when I stumbled across this pretty muffin recipe from Poor Girl Eats Well, I really wanted to try it. They turned out a little differently what I expected, though, which is why I’m not calling them muffins. When I think of muffins, I think of something light, moist and cakey. These are not light and cakey. They are more dense, with a little crunch from the walnuts. I had my friend try them and she said they tasted like those fruit bars that you buy.

Anyway, they do have a lovely sweet vanilla taste, with juicy berries … and the quinoa adds a lot of fiber and protein, so that makes these little bites a really good breakfast … or a great snack to keep you going … especially before or after a workout.

Baked Strawberry Quinoa Walnut Bites

Baked Strawberry Walnut Quinoa Bites

Recipe from Poor Girl Eats Well. I made 6 larger “muffins” and about 20 mini-muffin-sized bites.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour (or quinoa flour, if you can find it)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries (I actually used part strawberries, part blueberries)
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, loosely chopped
  • several strawberries, thinly sliced (for the top)

Directions
1.  Preheat the oven to 375°.  Spray a muffin or mini-muffin tin with cooking spray or use muffin liners.  In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, eggs, bananas & vanilla.  Mix in the dry ingredients, stirring together until everything is well blended.

2.  Add the quinoa and mix well.  Fold the chopped strawberries (and/or blueberries) into the batter.  Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups.  Place one strawberry slice on top of each lil bite, and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

3.  Remove from oven and cool for a couple of minutes.  Remove the bites from the pan and cool on a rack for about 10 minutes. Store any leftovers in the fridge.

Baked Strawberry Quinoa Walnut Bites

This recipe was shared at Everyday Mom’s Meals and Trick or Treat Tuesdays.


Italian Garlic Pizza Crusts

Boboli Style Pizza Crust

This is another one of those recipes I’ve been making for years. It’s a Boboli-style pizza crust that is delicious plain … or topped with just about anything you like to put on a pizza. My son loves to eat this garlicky Italian “flatbread” plain, with no toppings. Sometimes my daughter and I will slice one into wedges and dip it in olive oil. I like to have a few in the freezer ready to top whenever we need a quick meal. This time I made them for my daughter’s birthday party. We thought the girls would enjoy making their own pizzas. It was a great hit, and so fun to see what each girl put on her pizza. One girl took a big sniff of the crust, exclaimed she could eat a whole one just like this, and took a few bites out of it before she put the toppings on her pizza. It was really cute.

Here’s the party setup with all the toppings set out. There’s just one problem with this setup: not enough meat. I use so many vegies on my pizzas and just a tiny bit of meat, I forget how much meat other people like on their pizza. We ran out of sausage and pepperoni. (Luckily I had some more in the freezer!)

Pizza Party

Italian Garlic (Boboli-Style) Pizza Crust

Adapted from Food.com. Makes 3 normal-size crusts or 6 individual-size crusts.

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped fine
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups water (plus extra if needed)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

  1. Put the ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed. (It doesn’t have to be in exact order, just make sure to bury the garlic under the flour.)
  2. Put the bread machine on the dough setting and press start. A few minutes after starting, check the dough. If it’s not sticking together properly, add a little extra water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough starts to form into a ball.
  3. When the dough cycle is complete, divide the dough into several equal parts. I’m making individual crusts for a teenage birthday party, so I divided mine into 6 parts. This makes a pretty good-sized individual crust. For smaller ones, divide into 8 pieces. For normal-sized pizza, divide into 3 parts.
  4. Shape each piece of dough into a disc shape, cover and let rest for a few minutes.
  5. One at a time (keeping the rest of the pieces covered) on a clean surface dusted with cornmeal, with a rolling pin, roll each piece of the dough into a circle. Mine turned out to be about 8 inches in diameter.
  6. If you have a pizza stone, set each round on a flat surface dusted with cornmeal that will allow you to easily slide the crust onto the stone. I used the back of my cookie sheets and a couple cutting boards. If not, put the pizza crusts on cookie sheets or pizza pans. Spray the crusts with cooking spray, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until the crusts are as thick as you want them. I wasn’t sure how thick the girls would want their crusts so I went for a medium rise; I think it took about 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425, prick the crusts with a fork to keep them from puffing up in awkward spots, and bake until the crusts are golden brown. You can put these crusts in a bag and freeze them for future meals. They will keep well for a month or two.

Boboli Style Pizza Crust

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty TuesdaysFrugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Thursday’s Treasures, and Katherine Martinelli’s Bread Bloghop.


Double Berry Cinnamon Swirl Sleepover Cake

Double Berry Swirl Sleepover Cake

It’s the morning after my girl’s 13th birthday party. The house is so still and quiet. Two of the girls had to get up early to go to church. It was a challenge rousing the first one. The second one got up with only one “wakeup call”, and a third came upstairs shortly after that, stealing up the stairs like a mouse behind me. Suddenly she was standing there next to me … that girl is stealthy …

She and I made some more rainbow fruit kebabs, then she had a slice of this cake I made this morning for the girls for breakfast. She said it was amazing. I asked her what we should name it and we thought “sleepover cake” was the best name. We potted flowers in the flowerpot that she painted last night. I gave her a taste of my chai tea. She told me about her lake cabin and how she climbs the tree there and goes swimming and swings in her tire swing and she has a whole shelf of movies and a lake cat that sometimes steals fish and then eats everything but the head. Now she is out exploring the forest … and I am avoiding finishing my taxes, so I thought I’d share the sleepover cake recipe with you.

This is Crunchy’s recipe. I saw it last week and knew I wanted to make it for the girls for “the morning after”. I threw in some berries, just for fun. It bakes up nicely in a cast iron skillet.

Ah, now the rest of them are up. One by one they emerged from their beds, hungry.

Double Berry Swirl Sleepover Cake

Double Berry Cinnamon Swirl Sleepover Cake

Adapted from A Little Bit Crunchy A Little Bit Rock and Roll

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
Dry ingredients:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the “double berry swirl”
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 3/4 cup chopped strawberries, plus a few sliced strawberries for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (I left out the nuts cuz my daughter doesn’t like nuts but personally I think it would be just heavenly with nuts)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you are using a cast iron skillet, place a 10-inch one in the oven to preheat.  If you are using a loaf pan, grease it well and set it aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the wet ingredients, then stir in the flours, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a small bowl combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Add the berries and nuts and stir gently to coat them in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  4. If you are using the cast iron skillet, remove it from the oven and spray with cooking spray (or melt a little butter in the bottom).
  5. Pour half the batter into either the cast iron skillet or the loaf pan.  Pour half the berry / sugar mixture on top.  Pour on the remaining batter and then the remaining sugared berries. Gently drag a knife back and forth to swirl, taking care not to squish the berries.
  6. Bake for 45-55 minutes if using the loaf pan. Bake for 20-35 minutes if using the cast iron skillet or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Double Berry Swirl Sleepover Cake

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This recipe was also shared at Crazy Sweet Tuesdays and Thursday’s Treasures.


Double Chocolate Banana-Berry Bites

Double Chocolate Banana Berry Bites

This is my favorite banana bread recipe, chocolatized. With strawberries. My daughter didn’t want me to go there. But the chocolate fiend in me just couldn’t help it. I was so intrigued with making a chocolate strawberry muffin-ette … I just HAD to have them.

Double Chocolate Banana Berry Bites

I made my daughter some of our regular chocolate chip banana bread so she would be happy too. She wants to use the berries in crepes. I wonder if they’ll last that long … I’m guessing not … strawberries don’t last very long at our house.

Double Chocolate Banana Berry Bites

Double Chocolate Banana-Berry Bites

Adapted from Cooking Light

  • 3 mashed ripe bananas (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vanilla non-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder (add more or less, depending on how chocolatey you want your muffin-ettes)
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup quality chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet)
  • Strawberries, cleaned, tops cut off and halved or quartered
  • Raw sugar, for sprinkling the tops
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the bananas, sugar, yogurt, canola oil, egg and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and stir until the batter is thoroughly mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips, reserving a few for the tops of your little muffin-lings. If you want, you could add some chunks of strawberry to the batter.
  4. Spoon the batter into mini-muffin pans coated with cooking spray. Top each muffin with a berry piece, sprinkle whatever batter is still “exposed” with a bit of raw sugar, and add a couple chocolate chips.
  5. Bake at 325° until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 – 25 minutes.

Double Chocolate Banana Berry Bites

(And oh by the way, if you want some dang good banana bread that’s NOT chocolatized or berrified, just leave out the cocoa powder and the strawberries and bake in a 9×5 inch bread loaf pan for about 1 hr 15 min.)

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This post was also shared at Thursday’s TreasuresWeekend Potluck, Everyday Mom’s Meals, Trick or Treat Tuesdays and  Totally Tasty Tuesdays and A Crafty Cook’s April Link Party.


Smoky Stuffed Pepperoni Pull Apart Rolls

Post #3 of 5 in my Five Favorite Things for my Five Thousand Foodie Friends series …

Smoky Pepperoni Cheese Stuffed Pull Apart Rolls

#1 was salad. #2 was dip. #3 is BREAD! You might have noticed if you’ve hung around this blog very much that I adore making bread. There’s no better smell in a home than a loaf of fresh bread in the oven …

This time I wanted to stuff some pull apart rolls with pepperoni, but I wanted something kinda different to compliment the pepperoni. So I made up a smoky cheese mixture to compliment the pepperoni. I was SO excited once the idea came to me. It’s got three kinds of cheese, some smoked paprika and basil.

I think baking bread for me is sometimes kind of like art: you have a picture in your mind of what you want it to be, but once you begin making it, it takes on a life of its own. That is exactly what happened here. I had a vague notion, but I didn’t really know what I was going to put in the bread when I walked into the kitchen.

If you wanted to make these meatless, try mixing a steamed vegetable with the smoky cheese mixture. I think broccoli would be nice, or maybe asparagus?

Smoky Pepperoni & Cheese Stuffed Pull Apart Rolls

Smoky Stuffed Pepperoni Pull Apart Rolls

Dough ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour

Smoky cheese filling ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian blend shredded cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • A small handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped (about 2 Tablespoons)

You’ll also need:

  • 12 thin pepperoni slices
  • 1 egg white (for brushing the tops)
  • Sesame or poppy seeds (for the top, if desired)

Put all the dough ingredients into a bread machine and set it on the dough setting. When the dough is ready, roll it out on a clean surface dusted with flour as thin as you can manage without tearing the dough. Cut the dough into circles with a biscuit cutter or a glass or cookie cutter. It doesn’t even have to be round: you can just cut squares with a knife.

Take a piece of the dough and place a slice of pepperoni on it, then top with a small ball of the smoky cheese mixture.

Place a piece of pepperoni on the dough and top with a half spoonful of the cheese mixture.

Place a piece of pepperoni on the dough an top with a small ball of the smoky cheese mixture

Pinch up the sides of the dough, like this:

Smoky Pepperoni & Cheese Pull Apart Rolls

Then pinch together the other sides to seal in the filling:

Smoky Pepperoni & Cheese Pull Apart Rolls

Place the little balls of dough pinched side down in a muffin pan sprayed with cooking spray. You should have enough filling to make 12 “muffins”, but you may have some extra bread dough left at the end. You can make that into some plain rolls or a little loaf of bread.

Smoky Pepperoni & Cheese Pull Apart Rolls

Spray the dough with cooking spray, cover with a clean towel, and let the pan rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes or so or till your little rolls are nice and puffy.

Bake rolls at 350 for about 20 – 25 minutes or until a deep golden brown color on top. Serve hot. If there are any leftovers, keep them in the fridge and re-warm in the microwave.

Smoky Pepperoni & Cheese Pull Apart Rolls

This recipe was shared at Full Plate ThursdaysWeekend PotluckFabulous Fridays, and Strut your Stuff Saturdays.


Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Peasant Bread

Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Bread

Is that bread … green? Yes. Yes, it is. I know it might look a little odd, but I wanted to try making a green bread for St. Patrick’s Day. Well, the color of the bread after it’s cooked isn’t quite as bright green as I might like, but it is still green. More importantly, it’s delicious. I ate about half of one of the loaves last night by myself. The slight crunch of the sunflowers with the subtle cheese and spinach taste play together so marvelously in this bread. I think this would be the perfect bread for garlic toast, bruschetta, sandwiches, toasted or just plain (like I was eating it last night). It’s tasty enough to munch on with no butter or anything added at all.

Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Bread

You could make this bread really fancy pretty by making the spinach-cheese into a swirl in the bread instead of incorporating the spinach right into the dough, like I did with my French Bread with Basil & Gruyere.

Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Peasant Bread

Inspired by Ally’s Kitchen’s Buttermilk Cranberry Walnut Bread. If you don’t have a bread machine, see Ally’s recipe.

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed, with the extra liquid squeezed out, and then chopped fine … reserve any liquid to use as “water”
  • 1/4 cup water (or spinach juice)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 3 cups bread flour (add a little more if needed)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds

Dump all the ingredients except the sunflower seeds into your bread machine and start it on the dough cycle. Check the dough a few minutes after you start it while it’s “processing” to see if the dough is sticking together properly and making a nice ball of dough. If it seems like there is too much flour, add a bit of water. If it seems like the dough is too sticky, add some bread flour.

About 25 minutes into the dough cycle (when it is near to done), throw in the sunflower seeds. I actually tossed mine in after the dough cycle was done and then I had to go back and knead them in myself.  I think it would be easier to toss them in just a bit earlier, so the bread machine doesn’t break them to bits, but incorporates the seeds into the dough.

Cut the dough in two and shape it as you like. I shaped half of the dough into a round loaf and the other half into a long, skinny french-bread-style loaf. They both turned out to be pretty big … I was kind of amazed to get that much bread from just 4 cups of flour.

Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This only took about 30 – 45 minutes for me.

Bake at 375 for 35 – 50 minutes or until the top is browned and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.

Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes before cutting with a good bread knife. I like to spray my loaves with cooking spray to soften the crust and make it all pretty and shiny, but if you want a chewier crust, don’t do that.

Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Bread

Here’s my big old round loaf. I’m going to freeze it and take it along when I visit my sister this weekend. I think she’s gonna love it.

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This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


Double Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread

Double Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread

I was having a serious chocolate craving and nothing I had on hand was going to cut it. I was tempted to make something like a chocolate pudding cake until I saw this recipe from Rock Recipes for Chocolate Pecan Banana Bread. I couldn’t help but fiddle with the recipe, though. I reduced the fat, increased the amount of cocoa, reduced the sugar and then added honey and Nutella and substituted hazelnuts for the pecans (to go with the Nutella!).

It was just what I needed to satisfy that intense chocolate craving. Yes this is DARK, decadent chocolate. My favorite. Mmmm.

Double Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread

Double Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread

Adapted from Rock Recipes

Wet ingredients:

  • 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons applesauce
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Nutella
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract

Dry ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons dark cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Extras:

  • 1/2 cup good quality chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • Raw sugar, extra chocolate chips, and/or toasted chopped nuts (for topping)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mash the bananas with a fork, then add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.
  4. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and pour the batter into the pan. Sprinkle with raw sugar, toasted chopped nuts, and chocolate chips, if desired.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until a knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Double Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread

This recipe was shared at Weekend PotluckMidnight Maniac Meatless MondaysTuesday Talent Shows, and Katherine Martinelli’s Bread Bloghop.


Speckled Pepperoni Cheese Bread

Speckled Pepperoni Cheese Bread

The magic of this bread is it has these teeny tiny little speckles of pepperoni and an underlying hint of cheesiness to it, but the flavors are very subtle, so you have this soft savory bread with just a hint of this extra flavor and (if you don’t tell them ahead of time) people can’t quite identify what it is. It’s a perfect bread for that grilled cheese sandwich … or an egg in a hole … or toasted alongside your favorite soup or pasta dish or a big cheesy omelet. You can use it to make cheesy garlic toast or even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Speckled Pepperoni Cheese Bread

The bread machine does pretty much all of the work here, so it’s a cinch to make too.

Speckled Pepperoni Cheese Bread

Adapted from Food.com. (If you don’t have a bread machine, consult the original recipe for instructions. )

  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup sliced and finely chopped pepperoni (in about 1/4 inch pieces … the bread machine will “cut” it into speckles for you)
  • ½ cup finely grated Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 envelope (2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ¼ cups water

Directions:

  1. Toss all the ingredients in a bread machine and set it on the dough cycle. You can bake it in the bread machine if you want, but I like the shape of the loaf better when it’s baked in a loaf pan.
  2. When the dough is done, take it out and shape it into an oval shape. Set it in a standard bread pan that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  4. Bake at 375 for about 35 – 40 minutes or until the top is a deep golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when you tap it.
  5. Remove the bread from the pan, spray it with cooking spray (softens the crust and makes it all pretty and shiny) and place the bread on a rack to rest for 5 to 10 minutes (if you can stand to wait that long). That’s the hardest part … the waiting … when your house is full of that delicious fresh bread aroma and your mouth is watering …

Speckled Pepperoni Cheese Bread

This recipe was shared at Tastetastic ThursdaysThursday’s Treasures, It’s a Keeper Thursdays, Newlyweds Recipe Linky, and Weekend Potluck.


Hoppin’ Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

I love the round shape of this bread and the lovely brown color, the heat of the hot pepper, and the oozing cheese … and how quick and simple it was to make.

I really love the idea of adding the cheese in hunks to the bread instead of shredding it because then you hit spots of melted cheese in your bread if you eat it hot out of the oven. Some of the cheese slips out the side a bit while the bread is baking, too, and makes a little cheesey crust at the bottom edge of the bread too that I just loved.

Choose a beer that you like because even with the hot peppers and the cheese, the taste of the beer does shine through.  I chose a Leinenkugel Fireside Nut Brown beer for this bread. I wish they would make this beer year-round because it’s a smooth nutty brown beer that I really love the taste of. You might think this odd, but I like a nut brown ale when I want a lighter beer. I didn’t get to drink any of this beer, though, because the recipe calls for the entire bottle. Good thing it’s early in the morning or I might have had to be sad!

Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

Hoppin’ Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

Slightly adapted from The Carolina Sauce Company

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tablespoons to 1/2 cup finely chopped jalapenos or other hot pepper of your choice (I used 1/2 cup but adjust the amount according to what your taste buds can handle)
  • 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1 12-oz bottle beer
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten, for brushing on top of the bread

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Stir in the cheese and chopped chiles, then pour in the beer and stir until just combined (the dough will be somewhat stiff and dry-looking).
  4. Turn dough onto a very lightly floured surface and knead for several turns, then shape the bread into a nice ball shape.
  5. Place on a greased baking sheet and brush the top with the beaten egg.
  6. Bake at 375° F for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Test the bread for done-ness with a knife or toothpick … if it comes out clean, it’s ALMOST done. Bake for about 5 minutes longer, then take it out and enjoy! (They say to let it rest a few minutes, but I cut it right away and it was just fine.)

Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

This recipe was shared at Katherine Martinelli’s Game Day Blog Hop{Fusion Friday}, Weekend PotluckTrick or Treat Tuesdays and Talent Show Tuesdays.


Kumquat Basil Walnut Quick Bread

Kumquat Basil Walnut Tea Bread

This is another great find in my quest for kumquat recipes … I had already tried a yeasted bread, but then also I wanted to try a quickbread. This one turned out so yummy it’s almost gone already. My friend came over last night because she wants help with setting up a food blog and she brought along her little boy who is just a toddler. We were looking for a little snack to feed him and this bread was right there. I cut him a slice, which he scarfed down immediately. As we were distracted on the computer, he went over and grabbed my glass loaf pan off the counter and came walking towards us saying “Toast!” … it was so cute! (aside from the fact that I totally panicked that he would drop the pan and it would shatter and hurt the little guy) … so yes, he got another slice. And so did his mom.

I think I am going to have to make another loaf of this “toast” … I just love the pretty orange specks of color in it, the tang of the citrus, and the crunch of the toasted walnuts.

Kumquat Basil Walnut Quick Bread

Kumquat Basil Walnut Quick Bread

Adapted from Kumquat Growers.

I wanted to add some spices to the basic recipe and was having a hard time deciding which spices I wanted … I opted for fresh basil just for something different, and I like the subtle hint of basil, but I am thinking next time I will try switching out the basil for some ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, a bit of cardamom, some vanilla and maybe some cloves.

  • 2/3 cup 1 % or skim milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup flaxmeal
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup pureed kumquats
  • A small handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped fine (or pureed with the kumquats)
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • About 1 Tablespoon raw sugar for the top

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine milk, eggs and oil.
  2. Add the dry ingredients and stir until well mixed.
  3. Fold in the pureed kumquats, basil and nuts.
  4. Pour the batter into a  8″ x 4″ x 2″ loaf pan and sprinkle the top with raw sugar.
  5. Bake in a greased in 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted comes out clean. (I had to cook it for about 15 – 20 minutes longer than that.)
  6. Cool and remove from pan.

Kumquat Basil Walnut Quickbread

This recipe was shared at Crazy Sweet TuesdayCast Party Wednesday, and These Chicks Cooked.


IHOP-style Buttermilk Pancakes

IHOP Style Buttermilk Pancakes

My kids absolutely love going to the International House of Pancakes (IHOP), but sometimes I just don’t feel like I have an extra $30 to spend on pancakes for the three of us. So one morning when they were begging me to take them to IHOP, I suggested we make try making their beloved buttermilk pancakes at home.

I found this recipe on food.com, altered it up a bit to my liking, and we have been happily making these light, fluffy buttermilk pancakes ever since … oh, sometimes we still go to IHOP just for the fun of it, but quite often we have our own little pancake festival at home. My daughter just ate five of them. Now I don’t make them quite as big as IHOP does, but five of these pancakes is quite a big breakfast!

IHOP Style Buttermilk Pancakes

IHOP-style Buttermilk Pancakes

They really do taste like IHOP pancakes, only healthier for you and so much easier on the pocketbook.

Makes about 8 – 10 light, fluffy pancakes

Adapted from this recipe on Food.com

  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1-2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat the egg slightly, then stir in the buttermilk, butter, and vanilla.
  2. Add the dry ingredients and stir well until the batter is smooth.
  3. In a large flat pan with a cover, spray the pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat till warmed.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium low and pour about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake, leaving space between the cakes for the batter to expand. (These pancakes will puff up quite a bit, so I cover them and cook them on a lower heat in order to get them to cook all the way through.)
  5. Cover the pan for a minute or two, then check the brown-ness of the underside of the cakes.
  6. When they are golden brown, carefully flip the cakes (making sure you cut them apart first if they have “grown” together while cooking), cover the pan again, and cook until the other half is golden brown.
  7. If you don’t have hungry pancake eaters circling you by now, set the cooked pancakes on a warmed plate and cover with a towel to keep them warm while you finish cooking the rest of the cakes.
  8. Serve warm with your favorite syrup.

IHOP Style Buttermilk Pancakes

This recipe was shared at Everyday Mom’s Meals and Thursday’s Treasures.


Citruslove: Artisanal Portuguese Kumquat Cornbread

Artisanal Portuguese Kumquat Cornbread

I was searching the internet looking for interesting recipes to make with my kumquats … when I found this recipe for Portuguese Kumquat Cornbread. When I read the ingredients and his description of it, I was totally entranced. This is what Chef Ron Oliver says about the bread:

“This is a yeast-leavened cornbread – more of an artisanal bread than your typical quick cornbread that is leavened with baking powder. The addition of olive oil is a signature of Portuguese cornbreads, and the kumquats, which grow abundantly in Central Portugal add a nice touch of fruitiness to complement the fruity olive oil.”

So really this bread is not much like a cornbread. It’s soft and moist and almost orange-flavored, but not quite. There is just a slight crunch from the cornmeal, and lovely little flecks of orange color from the candied kumquats. I don’t know quite how to describe it other than to say it is an amazing taste sensation.

Artisanal Portuguese Kumquat Cornbread

Artisanal Portuguese Kumquat Cornbread

Adapted from Chef Ron Oliver

Makes 1 10-inch round bread

  • 3 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp chile powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup candied kumquats (Recipe here … or use Kumquat Conserve), finely chopped (measure after chopped–I used my handi chopper and chopped them up till they were almost a puree)

Bread machine instructions:

  1. Put all the ingredients in the bread machine. Set the bread machine on the dough setting and start it up.
  2. When the dough is ready, pull it out and shape it to fit in a 9 or 10 inch round pan (Chef Oliver suggests a springform pan, but I used one of my pottery dishes.)
  3. Spray or brush with oil, sprinkle with coarse salt, and let it rise for an hour or so until the dough is big and puffy.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour … if the bread is getting too dark brown during baking, cover it with foil. I covered mine after about 30 minutes of cooking.

If you don’t have a bread machine, see Chef Ron Oliver’s Instructions.

Chef Oliver suggests serving it with an Almond Parsley butter, but I decided it needed something creamy. So I took an ounce or so of light cream cheese mixed with a small spoonful of the kumquat syrup (from candying the kumquats) and that creamy sweet-citrus taste was absolutely heaven on this bread.

Artisanal Portuguese Kumquat Cornbread

I had a hard time stopping myself from inhaling the whole loaf. And it’s a BIG loaf. I managed to stop myself after two good-size wedges … and now I’m imagining the sandwich I am going to make with this flippin’ amazing kumquat bread tomorrow.

This recipe was shared at CitrusloveNewlyweds Recipe Linky, Tastetastic Thursdays, It’s a Keeper ThursdaysMidnight Maniac Meatless Mondays and  Katherine Martinelli’s Citrus Bloghop.

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French Bread with Gruyere Cheese and Fresh Basil

French Bread with Gruyere Cheese and Fresh Basil

This beautiful part-whole-wheat bread has a soft texture, with a subtle flavor hint of cheese, basil, and sesame.

French Bread with Gruyere Cheese and Fresh Basil
Adapted from Taste and Tell who got it from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, who got it from The Sister’s Cafe

Makes 1 beautiful long loaf

Dough ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
For the “filling”:
  • About 1/2 cup finely shredded gruyere cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
For the top of the loaf:
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • Sesame seeds and coarse sea salt (for sprinkling on top, optional)

Put all the dough ingredients into a bread machine and set it on the dough setting. Once the dough is ready, roll the dough out on a clean floured surface to a large rectangle roughly about 9 x 13 inches in size. Sprinkle the bread with the cheese and basil. I wanted a very subtle flavor, so I didn’t use much cheese or basil … you could definitely add more cheese and/or herbs if you like.

French Bread with Gruyere Cheese and Fresh Basil

Roll the loaf lengthwise and tuck under the ends.

French Bread with Gruyere Cheese and Fresh Basil

Arrange the loaf on a long flat pan with the seam side down, spray with cooking spray, then cover and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes or so.

Brush the loaf with egg white and dust with sesame seeds and sea salt (if desired).

Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 – 30 minutes or until the bread is a rich golden brown color. Spray with cooking spray immediately, then let the bread sit for 5 – 10 minutes after baking before cutting.

French Bread with Gruyere Cheese and Fresh Basil

If you don’t happen to have a bread machine, see Taste and Tell’s blog for traditional instructions. In absence of a mixer, try this:

Use warm water. Dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm (lukewarm, not hot) water. Let this mixture sit for a few minutes until it bubbles. Then add salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and beat well until it is fully mixed. Add in more flour until the dough sticks together well and makes an elastic ball of dough. Turn out on a floured surface and knead the dough by hand for a few minutes.

Cover the dough and leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes, then punch it down by kneading it a couple rounds. Allow to rest another 10-20 minutes. Then turn dough onto a floured surface an with a rolling pin, roll into a 9×13 rectangle. Roll dough up, starting from long edge of loaf to seal. Arrange seam side down on large baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with corn meal or sprayed with cooking spray. Spray the top of the loaf with cooking spray. Cover lightly; allow to rise about 45 minutes. Brush entire surface with egg wash (one egg beaten slightly with 1 Tbsp of water). If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds and coarse sea salt. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

This recipe was shared on Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Wonka Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursdays, Tastetastic Thursdays, and Katherine Martinelli’s Bread Bloghop.


Thanksgiving Aftermath & Parmesan Cornmeal Biscuits

Our Thanksgiving Table

We had a festive Thanksgiving this year.  The table was all decked out with autumn colors, pumpkins and leaves. My dad and sister cooked up one of his wild turkeys. Of course we had all the fixings too: stuffing and mashed potatoes, beer-braised brussels sprouts with bacon, mashed vanilla sweet potatoes, maple walnut cranberry sauce, a big beautiful salad with tahini yogurt dressing, dinner rolls, and lots of wine and pie.

The next day I had to work, but I am fortunate that my boss lets me work from my parents’ house. We munched a lot that day. I had pie and chai tea for breakfast. We didn’t really have lunch–we just munched on leftovers and things. My sister made turkey nachos. I spooned some of the cranberry sauce over a block of cream cheese.

Cream Cheese and Cranberries with Crackers

We discovered yes, it is even better with a slice of jalapeno.

Cream Cheese and Cranberries with Crackers & Jalapenos

… and then for dinner, my sister made turkey soup with homemade noodles, and I made up some of my parmesan cornmeal biscuits. My boss called while I was mixing up the biscuits, and I forgot to put in the egg. I was so disappointed–I have made these biscuits so many times and they should be light and tender, with a beautiful contrasting crunch from the cornmeal. I was arguing with everyone that the biscuits sucked because I know how they are supposed to taste, but everyone else insisted that they were great. They were okay I guess … just promise me when you make them that you won’t forget to put in the egg. Even if it’s the day after Thanksgiving, there are people and dogs everywhere, and your boss calls while you’re mixing up the batter.

Parmesan Cornmeal Biscuits

Parmesan Cornmeal Biscuits

I made half with jalapenos, half without. The adults all loved the jalapeno version, but my kids wanted the “plain” ones. Try other cheeses in place of the parmesan.

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons chilled butter
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt
  • Finely chopped jalapenos or green chile (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix first 7 ingredients (flour through baking soda) in a large bowl.
  3. Cut butter into small bits and mix in with a pastry cutter, 2 knives or use your fingers to blend until butter is blended in and mixture is a coarse meal. I like to use my fingers because I love the feel of the crumbly flour and butter on my hands.
  4. Add parmesan cheese and mix until blended.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk egg and yogurt until smooth.
  6. Add the egg/yogurt mixture to flour mixture. Stir well to mix into a moist, thick batter.
  7. Turn the batter onto a well-floured surface and sprinkle with flour.
  8. Roll to 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick and cut into shapes.
  9. Bake at 400 for 15 – 20 minutes or until nicely browned on top.

Parmesan Cornmeal Biscuits


Luscious Maple Amaretto Pumpkin Roll

Light and Fluffy Pumpkin Roll

The memory of the Amaretto Pumpkin Bread Pudding I made a while ago is still haunting me, so I just couldn’t help but carry those luscious flavors over into my pumpkin roll.

I have been wanting to make a pumpkin roll forever, it seems. I’ve been reading about how to do it, and enviously watching other food bloggers write about their lovely pumpkin rolls …

What was holding me back? I didn’t have the right pan. So last weekend I went and bought one. $8.99 at Target. Really? All this time I was just $9 from making pumpkin rolls and chocolate rolls and and and … well you can just imagine all the fun I will have with this thing now! I feel so liberated, like a whole new world has opened up before me …

It’s the little things in life, I tell you.

Maple Amaretto Pumpkin Roll

Light and Fluffy Maple Amaretto Pumpkin Roll

The cake part of this recipe is roughly adapted from Libby’s Pumpkin Roll. The filling is my own creation.

For the cake:

  •  powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup + 2 T. brown sugar
  • 2 T. Amaretto
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (recipe here)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Filling:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package light cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup maple amaretto whipped cream (recipe below … or if you prefer, use purchased whipped cream and add a little more pumpkin pie spice to the filling)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with cooking spray; line with wax paper, then spray the waxed paper liberally with cooking spray.
  3. Sprinkle a large clean towel with powdered sugar. It’s apparently important what kind of towel you use–find one that does not have many “fuzzies” on it. I used a flour sack-type kitchen towel.
  4.  Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin.
  5. Add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, spice, amaretto and salt and stir till the batter is smooth.
  6. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
  7. BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched.
  8. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto the prepared towel. Carefully peel off waxed paper.Peeling off the waxed paper
  9. While the cake is still hot, roll up the cake and towel together. I rolled it lengthwise, but I think the recipe said to roll it up the other way. Ooops! You would certainly get more of a swirl if you roll it the other way, but then the portions would be a lot larger. I think it’s kind of nice to have a smaller portion size. All rolled up!
  10. Let the cake cool completely, all wrapped up in its own little blanket.
  11. While the cake is cooling, prepare the filling. Beat all the filling ingredients except the maple amaretto whipped cream with a mixer in a medium bowl until smooth and fluffy. Fold in the whipped cream.
  12. Set out a piece of plastic wrap cut big enough to wrap the roll in.
  13. Carefully unroll cake, remove the towel and set the cake on the plastic wrap.
  14. Spread the cream cheese filling over cake.Spread the filling all over the cake
  15. Reroll the cake the same way it was rolled up in the towel. The cake will “remember” the way it was rolled while it was cooling. Rolling up the pumpkin roll with the filling
  16. Wrap your beautiful roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour–or freeze. All rolled up and ready to wrap!

I’m freezing my pumpkin roll so I can take it to Thanksgiving Dinner. I’ve heard then you just take it out of the freezer about an hour before you want to serve it. From what I have read, it is also easier to slice while it’s still frozen–I found it a little hard to saw through when it was frozen solid, so I think you should let it thaw part-way, then cut it.

I’m trying a piece today for breakfast … you know, just to make sure it’s not poison.  ;) You might notice I couldn’t quite wait till it thawed out.

Eating the Maple Amaretto Pumpkin Roll

Maple Amaretto Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup of whipping cream
  • 1/8 c. maple syrup
  • 1/8 t. pumpkin pie seasoning
  • 2 t. amaretto
In a bowl, whip the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add the maple syrup, pumpkin pie seasoning and amaretto and whip a little more. I don’t like my whipped cream too sweet, so if you want more flavor or sweetness, add a little more syrup, amaretto, and/or seasoning. This will make more than enough whipped cream for this recipe … use the rest to top your pumpkin pie, or your bread pudding, or your apple crisp, or whatever you think it would go well on. It keeps quite a while in the fridge. If you store it for a while and pull it out and find it went all flat and runny on you, just rejuvenate it by whipping it up with your mixer again!

Soft and Fluffy Do-Ahead Dinner Rolls

Soft Fluffy Sweet Dinner Rolls you can Make Ahead of Time

My sister found this dinner roll recipe. I have no idea where she got it. She thought we ought to make it for the holidays one year. So we tried it, and they are just lovely. Buttery, slightly sweet, soft and fluffy: the perfect dinner roll. The nicest part is you can do all the “hard” work ahead of time, then pull them out and just let them rise and bake up fresh on the day of the big feast!

Thanksgiving dinner can be such a rush, it’s nice to have a few things you can make ahead of time that you don’t have to mess with too much on Thanksgiving.

We often make these at times when we don’t have a feast planned–we make just the rolls or maybe one or two other things. My kids will eat and eat and eat them. There aren’t that many things we all agree on when it comes to food, but these rolls are true common ground for my family.

Dinner Rolls from Heaven :)

Soft and Fluffy Do-Ahead Dinner Rolls

Her original recipe was slightly different … I can never follow a recipe … I cut the butter in half and I substituted some whole wheat flour for part of the bread flour. The amazing thing is the rolls stay nice and fluffy even with the whole wheat flour!

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want your rolls)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast

Put the ingredients in the order listed into a bread machine and put it on the dough setting.

Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan with cooking spray.

When the dough is done, pull it out of the bread machine. Shape pieces of dough into nice balls by pulling the top of the dough down with two fingers and pinching it underneath. It really takes two hands to do this effectively so I had a hard time taking a picture of this part of the process … try to make the balls roughly the same size.

Making the dough into balls

Place the balls into the baking pan allowing a good amount of space around each one so it has space to rise. I couldn’t fit all my dough balls into this pan. I got out a small casserole pan to bake the rest in.

Dinner Rolls in their Pan

Now you have two options: you can let the dough rise and bake it today … or you can cover the pan and put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours or up to 4 days. I have a nice cover for my 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan so it was quite easy for me to just put the cover on and stick it in the fridge.

On the day you want to eat your rolls, take the rolls and put them in a warm place to rise until they are big and puffy. Rising time will vary depending on how warm your “warm place” is … anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.  (You might notice the lighting has changed … yes, it’s dark out and a day later and I’m ready to bake my dinner rolls now!)

Big and Poofy All Ready to Bake

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 15 – 20 minutes. If they seem to be getting too dark too fast, cover them with aluminum foil for part of the cooking process. Uncover in the last few minutes to let them brown.

Spray the lovely rolls with cooking spray to soften the tops before serving to your hungry crowd.

If you have any leftovers, these rolls are awesome for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Look at the lovely soft texture of these rolls!

The Lovely Texture of these Soft, Sweet Dinner Rolls


Traditional Cinnamon Rolls from Long, Long Ago

Traditional Cinnamon Rolls from Long, Long Ago

That’s my daughter’s name for these cinnamon rolls. She gets to name them because she made them. She remembers when we used to make cinnamon rolls when we lived in another house, in another place, when she had a purple bedroom with a great big window that looked out on her own little garden that her grandparents built for her. We often made cinnamon rolls in that house and sometimes they would raise up over the edges of the pan and make some really funky shapes. They looked a little crazy, but they were so good.

It was only a few years ago really, but it seems like a long time ago. We had a different life back then. Different schools, different people, different house, different town, and her daddy. We lived in the country and had lots of space around us and a creek running through our back yard. There was a big hill that was great for sledding, lots of tulips, marigolds, petunias, daisies, and lilies. Her best friend lived just down the road and they would walk over to each others’ houses all the time.

I think these cinnamon rolls remind her of that time. I’m glad she has those fond memories in her heart.

Traditional Cinnamon Rolls from Long, Long Ago

Traditional Cinnamon Rolls

My daughter made these cinnamon rolls and she took the photos herself too. All I did was put the ingredients in the bread machine and press the dough button. She did the rest.

  • 1 1/3 cups cold water
  • 4 t. yeast (or about 2 packets)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. vanilla

Directions:

For step by step photos showing how to roll up and cut these rolls, see my caramel apple sweet rolls post.
  1. Put all the ingredients in  the bread machine and start it up on the dough setting.
  2. When the dough is done, roll it out flat, spray with cooking spray, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  3. Roll it up lengthwise, and slice it into rolls with dental floss.
  4. Set the rolls in a baking pan sprayed with cooking spray, leaving space around each roll to give it room to rise.
  5. Spray the rolls with cooking spray, cover and let rise in a warm place till they are about double in size. I usually allow an hour for this, but it depends on how warm your warm place is.
  6. Bake at 325 for about 40 – 50 minutes or until they look done in the middle. I often cover them with foil for part of the baking time to keep them from getting too brown on top before they are done in the middle.

Traditional Cinnamon Rolls from Long, Long Ago


Pumpkin Pie Chai Tea Bread

an almost wordless Wednesday post …

Pumpkin Pie Chai QuickBread

Pumpkin Pie Chai Tea Bread

I named this bread pumpkin pie chai tea bread because it has a very moist, dense texture almost like pumpkin pie, with the spices of chai tea and a hint of orange. A cup of Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte would be just perfect with this tasty bread.

Adapted from Health Magazine

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup 1% reduced fat milk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
For the top:
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cinnamon roasted almonds
  • 1 tablespoon raw (turbinado) sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients (through allspice) in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk eggs, egg white, milk, juice, oil, and pumpkin in a medium bowl until thoroughly blended.
  4. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until just blended. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle almonds and raw sugar on top.
  5. Bake the bread until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (60 to 65 minutes). Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before cutting, then take out of the pan and allow to cool further on a baking rack.
Pumpkin Pie Chai Tea Bread

Berry White Chocolate Scones

Raspberry White Chocolate Scones

There is a local coffee shop in our town that makes the best raspberry white chocolate scones. They only serve them on weekend mornings and if you don’t get there early enough, you won’t get a scone because they ALWAYS run out of them.

I used to crave those scones, and I would seriously pout if they ran out of them. It was funny though, my kids would not even touch them. They “didn’t like scones”, but they had never even tried them.

This recipe changed everything. Now I make scones at home, and I don’t know how I ever even got them to try them, but my kids both love them (although my son has now decided he likes them plain, without berries or chips, so often I mix up the batter without berries or chips and take half of it and shape up some vanilla scones just for him). I pick mulberries and freeze them just to make these scones in the middle of winter when we’re dying for a taste of summer. My family, my friends, my neighbors all know me for these scones.

I’ve made these scones many, many times and I have tried both raspberries and mulberries in the recipe. I’ve found that raspberries tend to fall apart, but mulberries hold their shape. My friend tried them with blueberries and she said that was really good. I wonder how they would be with cranberries? That would be lovely to make for the holidays, wouldn’t it?

These scones are the perfect thing for a lazy Sunday morning like today.

Mulberry White Chocolate Scones

Berry White Chocolate Scones

Adapted from Dannon’s Summer Berry Scones

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into little pieces
  • 2 cups berries (mulberries, raspberries, blueberries)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt (or plain yogurt)
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • about 1/2 c. white chocolate chips (or more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Stir in sugar.
  4. Add the little pieces of butter and work it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or your fingers until the butter chunks are all broken down and the mixture resembles a coarse meal. (I use my fingers–it’s messy, but fun!)
  5. Stir in berries.
  6. In a separate bowl combine egg and yogurt and mix until blended.
  7. Stir into flour mixture and mix until just blended (dough will be soft and wet).
  8. Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly 3-4 times. Pat or roll dough into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut dough into wedges and place on a cooking sheet. Sprinkle scones with the coarse sugar.
  9. Bake scones for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.

Mulberry White Chocolate Scones

This recipe was featured on Home Savvy A to Z Homemade Monday:


Rosemary Tomato Focaccia

Tomato & Rosemary Focaccia

I have always wanted to make one of those funky flat focaccia breads with the tomatoes baked right into the top. So today I just did.

It is lovely to have a wedge of this with your soup at lunchtime (like I did today). And you can make a killer turkey sandwich on focaccia like this (um, yeah, that was dinner …)

It turned little more dense than I would have liked, and I thought the flavor of the herbs REALLY came through. If you want a more subtle herb flavor, cut down the amount of italian seasoning.

I threw a little pumpkin in the dough just because I have pumpkin coming out of my ears right now. I baked up a gargantuan pumpkin the other day and filled up 4 quart jars with the puree from this one big orange pumpkin. I hope I have time to make something ELSE with pumpkin before the busy weekend starts …

Tomato Rosemary Focaccia

Rosemary Tomato Focaccia

Bread Dough:

  • 2 c. bread flour
  • 1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 T. vital wheat gluten
  • 2 1/4 t. yeast
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 c. + 1 T. water
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. shredded Asiago cheese

For the top:

  • Fresh garden tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Finely chopped fresh rosemary

Directions:

  1. Throw the ingredients for the dough into your bread machine and set it on the “dough”setting.
  2. When the dough is finished, I cut it into two pieces and made two smaller focaccia. You could also make one larger focaccia.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball, then flatten it gently with your fingers or use a rolling pin till it’s 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
  4. Brush lightly with olive oil or spray with cooking spray, cover with a clean towel and let rise until it’s about doubled in size, about 40 minutes or so.
  5. Arrange the tomato slices on top, then sprinkle with garlic, sea salt, pepper and rosemary.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until the crust is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it.
Rosemary Tomato Focaccia
Let the bread rest for about 10 minutes after removing from the oven. Cut into wedges and eat it while it’s still hot. Or save some to make sandwiches later.
Tomato & Rosemary Focaccia

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