Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pumpkin Bread

Arcadia Ward Cookbook, Sharon Williams

The official title of this recipe is Pumpkin Bread with Warm Blackberry Compote, but I've never made the blackberry compote. The bread is so good, I never felt it needed more.

Every fall, I make this frequently, but it's always been hard for me to get the loaf to cook all the way through. It does better in the bundt pan, and still, I have troubles there, too. This year, I had the genius idea to make these into mini-muffins--cuts the cooking time down, and there's more crunchy muffin tops to enjoy.

Also, this is a handy food storage recipe (with the egg replacement, everything is found in the pantry)--because we Mormons love a little (or a lot) food storage :).

3 eggs (or egg replacement equivalent, we like Ener-G egg replacer, found at Whole Foods or Wild Oats)
2 1/2 c sugar
14 oz pumpkin
3 c flour
1 t salt
2 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1 1/2 t nutmeg
1 1/2 t ground cloves
1 1/2 t allspice
1 1/2 c walnuts, chopped (optional)

Cream sugar, oil and eggs together. Then, add pumpkin. Mix and sift all the following ingredients (except walnuts) together and then add slowly to creamed mixture. Bake at 350 for 60 to 65 minutes in a large bunt pan. Cool on wire rack.

If you wanted to put this into your 3 month food storage rotation and make it once a week, here's everything you'd need.

Box of egg replacer (it can be used to substitute 100+ eggs in baking recipes)
12 pounds + 3 c sugar12 cans of pumpkin
9 pounds flour
1/4 c salt
1/2 c baking powder
1/4 t cinnamon
approx 2/5 c nutmeg
approx 2/5 c ground cloves
approx 2/5 c allspice

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Orange Zucchini Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

One of my blogging friends posted this on our listserve. I won't tell you how many times I've made it with the rationalization that the zucchini makes it healthy.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs (we use egg replacer)
1/2 cup wheat germ (I couldn't find this at my usual stores, so I used whole wheat flour instead)
1 1/2 tsp grated orange peel
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup chopped nuts (left this out to make it allergy-safe for our family)

Combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat sugar, oil and eggs until well combined. Stir in wheat germ, peel, and vanilla. Add flour mixture, zucchini and nuts. Mix well. Spread evenly in greased 10 x 6 x 2 inch glass baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees F for 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely. Spread with orange cream cheese frosting. 12 servings

I've made this as a cake and as cupcakes. I like the ease of the cupcakes, and the baking time was reduced a bit.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

3 ozs. cream cheese, softened
1 TBS margarine or butter, softened
1/2 tsp grated orange peel
1 1/1 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
Milk if needed (I used the orange juice from the orange I zested instead)

In small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, margarine and peel until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy and of spreading consistency. If mixture is too thick, add 1-2 tsps milk.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mexican Chocolate Butter Cookies

Really, can a name get any better than this? Four of my favorite foods! The cayenne pepper makes the cookies warm, not spicy. I added a bit more in my next batch to give them a bit more of a kick, and I don’t usually love spicy food. We topped our cookies with the glaze and put orange sprinkles to make them more Halloweeny. Also, the recipe is long but rather forgiving. IT wasn’t until I typed this up that I realized how many steps I skipped!

Mexican Chocolate Butter Cookies
Cooks Illustrated

Natural cocoa powder will work in this recipe, but we found that Dutch-processed yields the best chocolate flavor. Espresso powder provides complexity, but instant coffee can be substituted in a pinch. The dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to two weeks. Defrost frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight, then let stand at room temperature until firm yet malleable, about 30 minutes. The cookies are refined enough to serve plain, but a dusting of sifted confectioners’ sugar or chocolate glaze is a nice touch. Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days but should be dusted with sugar or glazed the day they are served.

Makes 4 dozen 2 ½ inch cookies I swear I didn’t eat THAT much dough—but I have only gotten 3 dozen
½ c sliced almonds
1 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t cayenne pepper
20 T unsalted butter (2 ½ sticks)
½ c cocoa powder
1 t espresso powder I couldn’t find this. I’ve used 2 t natural coffee flavored Postum, which was ok. Then, I used 1 t instant decaf coffee—amazing!
1 c sugar
¼ t salt
2 large egg yolks
1 T vanilla extract
2 ¼ c all-purpose flour
½ c turbinado sugar

Optional Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
4 T unsalted butter
2 T corn syrup
1 t vanilla extract

1. In a medium skillet set over medium heat, toast almonds, cinnamon, and cayenne until fragrant, about 3 minutes; set aside to cool. I would recommend toasting the almonds 2-3 minutes before adding the cinnamon and cayenne. I almost burned the spices the first time and didn’t get the almonds as toasted as I’d like. In food processor with metal blade, process cooled mixture until very find, about 15 seconds. Set aside.
2. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Melt 4 T butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and espresso powder; stir until mixture forms smooth paste. Set aside to cool, 15-20 minutes.
3. In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix remaining 16 T butter, sugar, salt and cooled cocoa mixture on high speed until well combined and fluffy, about 1 min, scraping sides of mixing bowl once or twice with rubber spatula. Add yolks and vanilla and mix on medium speed until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape sides of bowl. Whisk nut/spice mixture into flour. With mixer running on low, add flour in three additions, waiting until each addition is incorporated before adding next and scraping bowl after each addition. Continue to mix until dough forms cohesive ball, about 5 seconds. Shape into dough log, 2 inches in diameter and bout 12 inches long; use parchment paper or plastic wrap to roll into neat cylinder. Chill until very firm and cold, at least 1 hour.
4. Roll chilled log in sugar. Slice cookies ¼ inch and place on parchment lined baking sheets. I didn’t roll in sugar. Um, I don’t think I even know what turbinado sugar is. And, I don’t have parchment paper either—an ungreased cookie sheet works just fine.
5. Bake until cookies show slight resistance to touch (I like them best when you lightly touch them and the indentation is left behind), 10-12 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking time (hmm, missed this step, too); if cookies begin to darken on edges, they have overbaked (I learned the hard way that they will be bitter, so watch them!). Cool for 5 minutes, then, using spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack (um, I just took them right off them pan onto the rack, but a few did break during the transfer. Oh, well, scraps for me!); cool completely.
6. For Glaze: Melt bittersweet chocolate with butter and whisk until smooth. Add corn syrup and vanilla extract and mix until smooth and shiny. Use back of spoon to spread 1 scant teaspoon glaze almost to edge of cookie. (If necessary, reheat to prolong fluidity of glaze.) Allow glazed cookies to dry at least 20 minutes.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Aunt Carol's Chicken Salad

Aunt Carol's chicken salad is always a hit whenever I make it, and it's so easy. The chicken salad on homemade bread is my husband's favorite dinner that I make.

4 whole chicken breasts, cooked (I cook in crock pot with celery, onions, potatoes, 1/2 c white wine, 2 cups water to make chicken broth to use later)
½ cup celery (about ½ a bunch)
¼ cup chopped green onion (also, about half a bunch)
1/8 cup slivered almonds that have been sautéed in butter (optional, but well worth it!)

Reduce chicken broth. Mix ½ cup broth with 1 cup mayonnaise. Add to make as moist as you like. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Macaroni and Cheese

Every once in a while I get a version of a staple recipe that makes me throw out all the other versions I have--a good chili recipe or a great salad dressing. I searched long and hard for the macaroni and cheese recipe. Just as I had resigned myself to the idea that maybe what I was hoping for didn't exist, I found it from a friend of a friend's blog...

http://tortillasandoranges.blogspot.com/2008/05/dinnermacaroni-cheese.html

I love that this recipe doesn't make you stir the shredded cheese into the white sauce.

So, if you live near me and have a baby, this is what you'll be getting for dinner. Thanks, Rebecca!

Strawberry Mold

I don't love the name, but I love this jello side dish (ok, it should probably be a dessert, but I love my sweets). I've changed Paula Deen's version, which has nuts and sour cream, a bit to make it Asher-safe and a little less sweet.

2 (3-ounce) packages strawberry gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1 pint fresh strawberries
3 medium bananas, sliced
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained

Dissolve the gelatin the boiling water. Add the remaining ingredients except the sour cream. Pour half of the mixture in a salad mold; let chill until firm.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bowtie Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, & Cream

I found this recipe at allrecipes.com and I think it’s a winner & fast!
Bow Ties with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cream

INGREDIENTS
1 (12oz) package of bowtie pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup diced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28ounce) can Italian-style plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
1 ½ cups heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage and pepper flakes until sausage is evenly brown. Stir onion and garlic, and cook until onion is tender. Stir in tomatoes, cream, and salt. Simmer until mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir cooked pasta into sauce, and heat through. Sprinkle with parsley.