Eat!

Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Cranberry Orange Quick Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze

This is the third quick bread that I have created recently. For some reason, it took me four tires to get it right. The first time, I think I used too much leavening because it rose QUICKLY and then collapsed. The second time, I used too much liquid. That one sort of reminded me of bread pudding, if bread pudding was terrible. The third time, I do not know what in the Hades I did, and we won’t talk of it anymore.

Fourth time was magic.  The texture of the Cranberry Orange Quick Bread was dense and moist. The bread itself was sweet, but not too sweet, and the presentation was wonderful. The bread was so pretty, with a toasty orangeness speckled with deep red cranberries. I made two more of these!

You can use bottled orange juice and skip the fresh zest if you want, but don’t be like that.  I added a Cream Cheese Glaze. The bread itself is sweet enough that it does not need it, but it is pretty and frosting, who doesn’t want pretty? Frosting? This makes waaaay more than you will need. Make another loaf of bread.

 Cranberry Orange Quick Bread

  •  Servings:  1 loaf
  • Time:  Prep: 15 minutes, cooking: 55-60 minutes, cooling time one hour
  • Hardware:  Measuring cups and spoons, microwave proof bowl,2 mixing bowls, a mixer, a large wooden spoon, a zester and a citrus juicer (optional,) silicone spatula, a 2- 9x 5 loaf pan, a wooden skewer, and a wire cooling rack

 Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾  cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾  teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup dried craisins
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup  milk
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • ½ cup (one stick) unsalted butter
  • Butter and or Crisco and flour for the pan

  1. Place a rack at the bottom of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt the butter right away to give it time to cool. Grease and flour the loaf pan. It is always better to over grease and flour than under. Zest and juice the orange if you are using fresh juice. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and craisins in one of the mixing bowls.
  3. Beat the eggs in the other mixing bowl. Then add the milk, orange juice, vanilla and orange zest. Beat until thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry  ingredients. Then add the melted butter. Use the wooden spoon to mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Scrape the batter into the pan and spread  it out evenly.
  6. Bake, turning the pan halfway through,  for 50-60 minutes or until the top is golden and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

  Cream Cheese Glaze

  • Time:  Prep: 5 minutes
  • Hardware:  Mixer, mixing bowl, measuring spoons and cups

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces of room temperature cream cheese
  • ½  cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons of milk
  1. Beat the cream cheese until it is smooth. Beat in the sugar and extract. Add milk a tablespoon at  a time until you get the desired consistency. Drizzle over the cooled bread right before serving

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Cheesy Onion Bread

I’m making more quick breads. My friend Julie asked me to make a savory bread because she isn’t a fan of the sweet ones. So, here is my recipe for Cheesy Onion Bread.

This was wonderful. Mildly sweet from the caramelized onions, cheesy, and soft, this bread would be perfect as a gift or served at Christmas dinner.

Caramelize the onions ahead of time. I actually did it the day before because it takes so long.You can cook and crumble bacon or do what I do, buy it already prepared in the salad dressing aisle. If you want, you can omit the bacon altogether. Also, grate the cheese yourself. Grated cheese has a caking agent in it and that will mess up your bread.

Servings:  1 loaf
Time:  Prep: 1 hour (this includes the onions), cooking: 50-60 minutes
Hardware:  Measuring cups and spoons, a mixer, 2 mixing bowls, a microwavable bowl (for the butter)a nonstick pan, 2 wooden spoons, a silicone spatula and a 9”x 5” loaf pan, wire cooling rack

 

 Ingredients

  • Butter and flour for the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾  teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried, crushed rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar (the best you can afford)
  • 2 large eggs 
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups caramelized onions (2 pounds of onions)
  • ½ cup of melted butter (1 stick)
 
 
 
  1. Caramelize the onions. I used 2 pounds of Vidalia or sweet onions. I also used a mandoline to slice them so they would be the same thickness. To caramelize onions, mix equal parts butter and olive oil and toss the onions in a single layer. Cook them in a nonstick pan, on medium low, stirring  often. Don’t add salt or sugar or water, no matter what you’ve been told. If the onions are crisping up, turn them down. Then just stir and wait. Don’t walk away or they will get mushy. This takes about 45 minutes. When they have cooled, roughly chop them.
  2. Grease and flour the loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees°.
  3. Melt the butter.
  4. In one mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, rosemary and bacon. Slowly stir in the cheese. If you add a little at the time, it will be coated in flour and won’t be one big lump in the middle of your bread.
  5. In the other bowl beat the eggs and milk together. Using the wooden spoon, stir in the onions.
  6. Add the onion mixture to the flour mixture. Pour in the melted butter . Stir until the flour is just moistened. I don’t really stir; I sort of fold the dry into the wet. Do not over mix; it will make the bread tough. 
  7. Scrape batter into the loaf pan.
  8. Bake 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 20 minutes.  Then turn it out onto a wire rack. Store in an airtight container or plastic wrap for 3 days.

 

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread
For Christmas gifts this year I am giving out quick breads. Quick breads are easy and lend themselves to endless varieties. Unlike most ‘breads’ quick breads use baking powder or baking
soda as a leavening agent rather than using yeast. They also require little to no kneading.

Today I am giving you a recipe for Pumpkin Bread. The addition of chopped candied ginger and chocolate chips give this bread an interesting texture and help it stay moist. Find candied ginger in an Asian food store or the ethnic aisle of your grocery store.

The secret to making quick breads moist is to keep the dry and wet ingredients separate until it is absolutely necessary. After you combine the wet and dry ingredients, don’t over stir. If there are a few streaks of flour, it doesn’t matter, they will cook out.

 

If you wait to cool this completely and wrap it up very tightly in plastic wrap, it will stay good for a week.

I cooked ALLLL day today. Writing up these recipes (and photographing them) is a great deal of work, so I am doling them out throughout the week. I am going to share a Lemon Blueberry Bread, an Onion Cheddar Bread and an Orange Cranberry Bread with you, one per day, starting on Tuesday.

Servings:  2 loaves
Time:  Prep: 10 minutes, cooking: 55-60 minutes, cooling time one hour
Hardware:  Measuring cups and spoons, 2 mixing bowls, a mixer, a large wooden spoon, a silicone spatula, a can opener and 2- 9x 5 loaf pans, a wire cooling rack

 Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup chopped candied ginger
  •  teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¾  teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼  teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½  teaspoons salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Butter and or Crisco and flour for the pans

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour the loaf pans. It is always better to over grease and flour than under.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, chocolate chips, chopped candied ginger, spices, baking soda and salt in one of the mixing bowls. Set aside.
  3. Beat the eggs in the other mixing bowl. Add in the pumpkin, oil, apple juice and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
  4. With the wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture. Only stir until just moistened.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
  6. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 20 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
This bread is delicious butter and toasted a little in the oven. My husband is pretty picky, and he loved it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Leftover Mashed Potato Bread

You can use leftover mashed potatoes to make bread the day after Thanksgiving. The bread is soft and lighter than regular bread. And if you have to eat all those leftover sandwiches, it might as well be on this yummy bread.

Making bread is tricky. Everything has to be the correct temperature, or your yeast will not cooperate. Also, you can substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour, but the dough will be different. Bread flour has more gluten which makes the bread dough more elastic and absorbs more moisture.

  •  Servings: 2 loaves of bread
  • Time:  Prep:  15 minutes; Cooking: 35 minutes; Rise time  60 minutes; Bread in about 2 hours
    Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a stand mixer, a silicone spatula, a microwave proof bowl, a thermometer, a large mixing bowl, a clean tea towel, 2 9x5 bread pans

 


 Ingredients

  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package instant yeast 
  •  ¼  cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½  cup leftover mashed potatoes
  • ¼  cup butter melted
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • A little oil
  • Cooking spray

  1. Turn your oven onto the lowest setting and place the hopper, the paddle and the bread hook into the oven. You do not want them to be hot, but warm when you use them.
  2. Melt the butter and set aside.
  3. Mix the milk, water and sugar together and warm to between 110˚ and 115˚f. Any cooler and the yeast won’t rise, any warmer and you will kill it.
  4. Sprinkle the yeast over the liquid and set in a warm place until it gets frothy, about 5 or 10 minutes.
  5. Place the egg, salt, potatoes, butter and flour into the warm (NOT HOT) hopper of the stand mixer. Add the yeast mixture, making sure to scrape in everything.
  6. Use the paddle attachment to mix the ingredients until they are just combined. Over mixing makes the bread tough.
  7. Switch to the bread hook and knead on medium-high for 5-7 minutes. The dough should be a little sticky.
  8. Pour a tiny bit of oil into the bottom warm (not hot) mixing bowl. Add the dough ball and flip it over so that the whole ball is covered in oil. Cover it in a tea towel and place it in a warm spot until it doubles in size. I find it easiest to turn my oven onto the lowest setting for 2 minutes