Zucchini Bread Wednesday, Oct 10 2012 

 

Zucchini Bread

1 1/2 cup zucchini, grated
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey (or brown sugar)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup nuts, chopped

Beat together oil and honey. Add eggs, vanilla and zucchini; mix well. Sift dry ingredients and add to liquid mixture. Stir in nuts

Bake in greased 9×5 bread pand at 350F for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then take out of pan and finish cooling on cooling rack. Freezes well.

Recipe from Whole Foods for the Whole Family.

Pumpkin Honey Bread Wednesday, Sep 12 2012 

 

I made a double batch of these. I put chocolate chips in own loaf, and dried cranberries in the other! YUM! Probably my favourite pumpkin bread recipe yet. 🙂

Pumpkin Honey Bread

1 cup cooked mashed pumpkin*
1/2 cup oil or butter
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup flour (I used 1 1/4 cup spelt, and 1/2 cup white)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup nuts/chocolate chips/dried cranberries/raisins

Beat oil and honey together, add eggs and pumpkin, mix well. Combine dry ingredients and water, add to honey mixture. Stir in nuts/chocolate chips/dried cranberries/raisins. Grease 1 bread pan or muffin tins, and pour in batter. Bake at 350F – 1hr for a loaf, or 25 minutes for muffins, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Place loaf or muffins (still in pan) on cooling rack and let cool for 15 minutes before removing out of the pan (or it will bread).

Put icing if desired, or eat as is! Freezes well for later use.

* You can also use cooked mashed squash!

Recipe from Whole Foods for the Whole Family.

Hearty Harvest Bread Monday, Mar 19 2012 

I was wanting to make a very healthy bread, packed with nutrients, iron, and overall goodness. A bread that can boost the system, and help one recover from a long illness. So, I partially followed a recipe from Eat More Whole Grains, and adapted it to my preference. 🙂  Bread is versatile (other than the basic water, yeast, and flour!), so go ahead and experiment! I was pleased with how fluffy this bread turned out, even though it has so many hearty ingredients.

 

Hearty Harvest Bread

3 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 Tbsp yeast
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup flax, ground (I use my coffee grinder)
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup cracked grain (I used Red River ceral)
2 eggs
1 cup lentil puree*
2 Tbsp vinegar/lemon juice (keeps bread more moist)
1 chewable vitamin C (I have powder vitamin C, keeps bread moist longer, optional)
3/4 cup oatmeal, cooked**
1/4 cup molasses (I used blackstrap, richer in iron)
11-15 cups flour (I used spelt)

If using regular yeast: dissolve yeast, and water, let sit 3 minutes. (If using instant yeast, simply add it in with the flour – saves a step!)

Add remaining ingredients, except flour, and mix briefly. Add flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Knead to develop the gluten. Depending if you knead by machine or hand, it may take 8-12 minutes (4 minutes for spelt flour). Place in a slightly greased bowl, cover, let rise until it doubles in volume (about 1hr). Punch down, let rise another 30-45 min until it has risen again. Punch down, divide into 4 sections, shape into loaves. Place in greased bread pans, cover and let rise until doubled. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cover the tops with foil paper towards the end of cooking time if the crusts get darker than desired. Cool completely on cooling rack.

Freezes well! When thawing out, remove loaf from bag so the moisture doesn’t make bread soggy.

* I cooked red lentils until mushed, similarly to oatmeal! 1/2 cup lentils and 1 1/4 cup water, bring to a boil and let simmer for 20-30 minutes until cooked and mushed. Can blend in blender, if desired. I used it as is.
** I put 1/3 cup of quick oatmeal in a bowl, add 2/3 cup water, microwave for 1 minute, and voila! Ready to throw into the bread. 🙂

Homemade Stuffing Monday, Mar 5 2012 

I don’t know about you, but I like stuffing! Homemade is the best, and quite easy to make. I stay away from Stove Top boxes since they have MSG in them. I really like Tammy’s stuffing, as it is quick, easy, and flavourful! It worked great in this Spinach Balls recipe, as well as other casseroles that I top with stuffing.

The only downside to it is how mushy it is, which is usually fine, but once in a while you want something a bit dryer. Something baked in the oven. My friend and I used the yummy spices from Tammy’s recipe and turned it into an oven-baked stuffing recipe!

We’ve both made it a few times since, and each time we like it. 🙂  Depending on the type of bread you use, you may need more liquid. When I use my own 100% wheat/spelt bread, I need a little bit more liquid as its a dryer bread. If you are using storebought or homemade bread that uses some (or all) white flour, then this recipe will work great as is. Enjoy! It’s delicious!

By the way, if you don’t have some of these spices, it’s ok to omit them. I haven’t always had all of them on hand, yet it works out every time!

Homemade Stuffing

9 cups say old bread cubes, cut in 1/2″ chunks (set out bread cubes the day before)
2 eggs
1 onion, diced
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 cups chicken stock
3/4 tsp lemon pepper
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp parsley
1 1/2 tsp chives
3/4 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/3 tsp tumeric

Cook onions and celery in frying pan until soft.

Mix together bread, onions, celery, eggs, chicken stock and spices. Place in greased 9×13″ pan. Bake covered for 20 minutes at 350F. Then bake uncovered at 400F for 20 minutes or until top of stuffing is browned and crisp.

French Baguette Monday, Jan 23 2012 

I have wanted to try making baguettes for two years now. For some reason I thought it would be very hard to do. There are probably some methods that are very hard, but the one I [finally] tried sure wasn’t! Keeps me wondering WHY I waited two years to get around to trying it?! 🙂

This recipe makes 3 baguettes and oh, were they ever good!!! I ate some for mid-morning snack…. lunch…. mid-afternoon snack…. supper…. and evening snack. A little too much bread maybe, but it was just that yummy. 😉

The recipe is an adaptation from Famous French Desserts’ website.

French Baguette

4 cups Flour (I used 1/2 spelt, 1/2 white flour)
1 tbsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups warm water
Oil for bowl

In a large bowl combine water, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in 2 cups of remaining flour until mixture forms a stiff dough.

On a lightly floured surface knead dough with lightly floured hands 8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Add more flour if needed to keep dough from being too sticky.

Transfer dough to a lightly oiled deep bowl, turning to coat with oil, and let rise, bowl covered with plastic wrap, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450° F.

Punch down dough and form into long 2-3 slender loaves. Put loaves on a lightly greased large baking sheet and let rise, uncovered, about 20 minutes. (Baguette may be made up to this point 4 hours ahead and chilled.)

Make 3 or 4 diagonal slashes on loaf with a sharp knife. Place a bowl of boiling water in oven*, in bottom rack. Bake loaves in middle of oven about 20 minutes, or until golden, and transfer to a rack to cool.

*After placing the loaves in the oven, quickly pour a cup of boiling water in a metal dish in the rack under the bread.

Cinnamon Orange “Monkey” Bread – Secret Recipe Club Monday, Dec 26 2011 

It’s time for another Secret Recipe Club post! It’s my 3rd month doing these, and I must say it is a lot of fun! I enjoy getting an email with the link to a food blog that I haven’t come across yet. Then browsing through their blog, drooling over pictures, opening tons of tabs with recipes I’d like to try, and then debating over which ones I can realistically get done. 🙂  It’s a fun challenge!

This month I was assigned Food Babbles. Kate loves to cook, write, and photography. As a result, she has a very nice blog and great pictures! I had a hard time narrowing down which recipe to make and post about. 🙂  My friend was looking at all my tabs and decided we should do the Cinnamon Orange Finger Bread, which Kate also calls Monkey Bread! I love calling it Monkey Bread, seeing as I love monkeys. Well, a friend nicknamed me “monkey” in college – don’t ask why. I was crazy back then you see. But not anymore. Now I’m a serious Mom to two boys. Really. 😉

We all loved this bread. It’s fun to pull it apart instead of slicing, it’s delicious, and it’s pretty. The only downside is that it dries out very quickly since it has milk and an egg in the dough. Still, you won’t regret making this! Just eat it all the same day you make it (which won’t be a problem), or you can easily rewarm it in the oven or microwave later!

The recipe below is a slight adaptation from Kate’s, in that I added wheat flour. I’m Anne Jisca’s Healthy Pursuits after all. 🙂  (I can also justify eating more this way!!!)

Cinnamon Orange Finger Bread (“Monkey” Bread)

Dough:
1/4 cups water, warm
2 1/2 tsp yeast
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading, if necessary)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 large egg
2 Tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cups warm milk

Coating:
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
zest of 1 large orange

Sauce:
2/3 c. sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 sticks of butter
2 Tbsp orange juice

Proof yeast if using dry active yeast, or skip this step if using instant.

Stir in 1 cup of flour, salt and sugar. Stir in the egg, melted butter and warm milk. Add the remaining flour in 3 additions mixing at medium speed with the dough hook after each addition. Once all the flour has been incorporated, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten. Cut off small pieces and form into 1/2 inch balls.

In a small bowl combine the coating ingredients: 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon and the zest of 1 large orange.

Roll each dough ball in the cinnamon/sugar/zest mixture and place into a greased bunt pan. After all the dough balls have been coated and placed in the pan, cover the pan lightly with plastic wrap and let the bread rise until almost doubled (about an hour).

After the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make the sauce: place the butter, 2/3 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of orange juice and 2 teaspoons cinnamon into a small saucepan. Over medium-low heat, melt the mixture stirring constantly until smooth.

Pour the mixture over the dough and immediately place in the oven. Bake for 40-50 minutes. After the baking is done, invert the bundt pan on a plate and allow to sit for 15 minutes with the bundt pan still on top. After 15 minutes, remove pan and cool slightly and then serve either warm or at room temperature.


Also linked at Sweets for Saturday!

Pumpkin Bread Monday, Sep 5 2011 

I love pumpkin bread! I made a bunch of this bread to bring along as snacks when we went camping, and we really enjoyed it!

 

Pumpkin Bread

1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin, mashed
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup spelt (or wheat)
3/4 cup white flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup nuts, chopped

Cream oil, sugar and eggs together. Add pumpkin and milk. Mix together dry ingredients, add to wet ingredients stirring only until moistened. Over stirring causes a dry bread. Pour into greased bread pan. Bake at 350F for 1hr or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Let cool in pans for 10 minutes before taking out and placing on cooling racks. This is important, as the bread will break if taken out too soon. Not that I know. 😉

Overnight French Toast Wednesday, Jul 20 2011 

One of the drawbacks of homemade bread is that it doesn’t stay fresh very long. It’s good in that it means no preservatives, but to our culture, where we’re used to eating fresh-tasting “old” food because of preservatives, it’s a drawback of homemade bread. How to solve the issue? Well, you can cut your loaf of bread in half and only thaw out half at the time, or by slice as you need it. Or you can find ways to use your older bread in great-tasting recipes! A few ideas are homemade croutons, homemade stuffing mix, breakfast casserole, bread crumbs, bread pudding or overnight French toast! Delicious, easy to make, and a great way to use older-but-still-good bread.

This French toast recipe is easy to make, simple ingredients, and very good! An added bonus is that you make it the night before and just pop it into the oven to bake while you get ready for the day! Great for company too!

Overnight French Toast

2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter/margarine
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp maple flavour (optional)
3/4 tsp vanilla
5 eggs
1 1/2 – 2 cups milk
Bread, about 7 slices

Melt butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in pot (or microwave). Spread on bottom of greased 8″x8″ pan. Place 2 layers of bread in bread (whole slices or cut into small pieces). Beat eggs, milk, vanilla and maple flavour. Pour over bread and press down to saturate bread. Add milk if needed, so that the bread is very soggy (and more) since it will absorb a lot while soaking overnight. I used 1.5 cups of milk, but that amount will vary depending how thick your bread slices are. 🙂 Cover, and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, bake uncovered at 350 for 45-50 minutes.

Variation: I think these would also be amazing with sliced apples at the bottom of the pan!

Posted at Cast Party Wednesday and Frugal Food Series!

Breadcrumbs Sunday, Jul 17 2011 

Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are great to do with stale bread! It’s a fun job to get our children to help with, and handy to keep on hand. I use it to make homemade chicken fingers, ham croquettes, bread fish, to put in my hamburger patties, meatballs, or on top of casseroles! You can season it (italian seasoning and salt), or season it as you need it depending on what you’re making.

First off, slice (or tear apart) your bread and dry it out. You can dry it by leaving it on the counter, or placing it in the oven at 200F until dry. Then put it through a food processor until crumbled. That’s what Korban is doing on the first picture above. He loves that job! He eats a fair amount of dry bread in the process too. 😉

And voila! Season if desired. Store in an airtight container, or ziploc bag. Now you’re ready to make some delicious meals with it, and you’ve been thrifty by reusing your stale bread. 🙂

Homemade Croutons Friday, Jul 15 2011 

Homemade croutons are almost like chips, when you start eating them it’s hard to stop (especially if you put a lot of butter on them! hehe). It’s a great way to use stale bread too! We don’t really care for the end crusts of bread around here (other than when fresh), so I keep a bag in the freezer where we put those slices. It doesn’t go to waste, I can make croutons with it! Or when I make another batch of bread, the leftover loaf goes in there too. Because who wants to eat “old” bread when there is fresh?! Yeah, we’re rather spoiled in this house when it comes to fresh bread. 🙂

These can be used on salads, or even sprinkled on top of creamy casseroles. You can also use it to make your own homemade stuffing mix (I use plain unseasoned croutons for that)!

Homemade Croutons

Cut up bread into cubes, place on cookie sheet. Melt butter/margarine and spread over croutons. Sprinkle seasonings*, mix. Dry at 200F in oven until crispy.

*Seasonings are versatile on taste. I like to just use salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley. My Mom loves sprinkling on italian seasoning!

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