Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tea Bread Tuesday: Maple Pecan Loaf

This is a very similar recipe to the Sour Cream-Maple Bread I posted a few months ago but I didn't realize it until afterwards.  I suppose we are drawn to the same flavors over and over again.

The bread turned out delicious!  The crust was a bit crunchy and gave it a wonderful texture.  The flavor was subtle and the bread was so moist!  This is a good one!

1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs
¾ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325° F.  Grease and flour a loaf pan or spray it with PAM for Baking.  In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In a larger bowl beat the butter, add the maple syrup, sour cream and eggs.  Add pecans and slowly incorporate the flour mixture until combined.

Pour into the loaf pan and bake 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool bread in loaf pan for about ten minutes and then invert onto a serving platter.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Coconut lovers beware . . .

I spotted these at the checkout counter of my local grocery store.  I love, love, love coconut, so despite my son's warning that coconut M&Ms were just wrong, I bought them and eagerly opened up the bag on the way home.  I couldn't even wait to get home to try them . . .  And, well . . . they were not very good . . . I could hardly taste the coconut! 

I turned over the bag to read the ingredients and this is the list (capitalization theirs): 


No coconut?  How can you have Coconut M&Ms without coconut????  I turned over the bag again and looked at it a little closer . . .

Remember the old Wendy's Commercial "Where's the Beef?"  Well, where's the coconut?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tea Bread Tuesday: Amaretto Cake

Who would have thought that there were so many variations for David's Cake?

From Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) - Add a little Kahlua

From Pat (The View Through My Lens) - Use Lemon Cake Mix and Lemon Instant Pudding

From Co-worker Diana - Add a cup of miniature chocolate chips and ¾ C. Bailey's Irish Cream

From Friend Sue - Use yellow cake mix and Pistachio Instant Pudding

And here's one more variation - Amaretto Cake:


1 pkg. yellow cake mix
¾ C. Amaretto di Saronno
½ C. water
¼ teaspoon almond extract
4 eggs
1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1 C. sour cream


6 tablespoons Amaretto di Saronno
1 C. powdered sugar

Pre-heat oven to 325°F.  Grease and flour a bundt pan, or spray with PAM for Baking.  Combine cake ingredients and mix well until the lumps are gone.  Pour mixture into bundt pan and bake 40-45 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in bundt pan for about 10 minutes.  Invert on serving plate and allow to cool completely.  Prepare glaze and pour over cake.

This cake is going to have you singing "O Sole Mio."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day - A Simple Dinner

It's so hard to celebrate these minor holidays when they fall in the middle of the week.  Tonight, my son, David, joined us for a hardy meal cooked by my husband . . .

While I ran around bringing a little Valentine flavor to the dinner . . .

The menu:  Mezzi Rigatoni with meatballs alla marinara . . .

And for dessert . . . petit fours!

AND . . . !  I think I'm on theme for a change (Rule of Thirds) - three place settings!  Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tea Bread Tuesday: David's Cake

There's nothing my son, David, likes better than a rich, moist chocolate cake.  This recipe is simplicity itself, and chocolate seemed appropriate given that a)  Valentine's Day is coming up and that puts me in the mood for chocolate, b) my husband is traveling this week, so I needed to make something that I knew David would eat, and c)  . . . well, the powdered sugar covering the cake reminded me of snow, something that's been very much on our minds lately . . .

Here's the recipe:

1 box chocolate or Devil's Food cake mix
1 cup sour cream
5 eggs, slightly beaten
1 3.4-oz. package of instant chocolate pudding
¾ water

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease and flour a bundt pan, or use PAM spray for baking.  Mix all ingredients with a mixer until combined and no lumps remain.  Pour into bundt pan.  Bake for one hour, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven.  Let cool in bundt pan for at least 10 minutes, invert on serving plate and let cool completely.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

I love this bundt pan, the arches in the mold make pretty impressions on the cake.  It reminds me a little of this other white stuff and the impressions it created last week against our garage door . . .

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tea Bread Tuesday: Cinnamon Raisin-Bran Bread

I left work at 2:25 P.M. today.  As I write this, we are in the middle of a blizzard, and are expecting the biggest snowstorm to hit Chicago since January 1967.  The wind gusts are incredible!  The snow has been falling steadily since early in the afternoon, and forecasters are telling us that we are not even in the thick of it yet! 

I got home at 5:00 P.M.  My husband hadn't made it home yet, and he normally has an even longer commute than I do.  Baking was the perfect activity to keep worry at bay, and . . . it's Tea Bread Tuesday!

This recipe came from the back of a box of Hodson Mill unprocessed wheat bran and what attracted me to it at first was the name of the bread - Cinnamon Raisin Bran Bread.  I'm very fond of every single one of those ingredients!  So, in between looking out the window, and worrying about Lee, and taking a long distance phone call from a cousin who entreated me not to drive tomorrow because she had had a "vision,"  I baked the bread.

The bread was O.K., nothing particularly special about it, but it did fill the house with wonderful, cozy smells, so when my husband walked in, he had a warm treat, and a fresh pot of coffee waiting for him.  He got home at 6:00 P.M.  Here's the recipe:

1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1½ cups unprocessed wheat bran
1½ cups seedless raisins
¼ cup softened butter
1½ cups hot water
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Combine in a separate bowl wheat bran, raisins, butter and hot water.  Mix until the butter melts.  Add egg and vanilla extract.  Beat well.  Add the mixed dry ingredients and nuts; stir until all ingredients are moistened.  Spread batter in an oiled 9x5x3 loaf pan and bake for 45-60 minutes.  Cool before slicing.  Yield 1 loaf.