Pumpkin Bread

One of the best things about the Fall season is pumpkin bread.  The spices and the aroma when you are baking it compares to no other.  It makes me feel so warm and cozy and ready for the winter.

I love this pumpkin bread recipe because:

  • It’s moist
  • Easy to make
  • Isn’t too dense
  • Has all the Fall spices:  Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, & Nutmeg
  • Fun to make with the kids


Here’s a little trick….. to keep it moist, I added applesauce to the batter.  You can’t taste it but it makes the pumpkin bread so much better!

The girls have been eating it in the mornings with breakfast and I love having a slice in the afternoon with my cuppa chai.  It’s perfect to snack on any time of the day!  And with the holidays right around the corner, make an extra batch for a relative or neighbor.  What a great gift to give too!

If you like this Pumpkin Bread recipe, try out….

My Spiced Pear Loaf and Zucchini Bread.

From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this Pumpkin Bread!

The tools that I used for this recipe are:

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

I love bread.  In any form.  I love carbs, what can I say?!

One of my favorite recipes is this delicious Rosemary Focaccia Bread.  It is so light, springy, soft, and oh so delicious straight out of the oven, it’s hard not to eat the entire loaf.

Even better is that making this bread is so easy.  Doesn’t matter if you’ve never made bread before or are an experienced bread baker.  This Rosemary Foccacia Bread is a fail safe recipe.

So, if you have more restraint than I do (literally have to stop myself from eating it straight out of the baking dish!) then here are a few different ways to serve this bread:

  • As an appetizer with a dipping oil
  • As a side with a main dish
  • Toast it up to serve with soup
  • Make sandwiches

What kind of flour do I use?
Good question!  I’ve tried this with only All Purpose flour and only Whole Wheat flour and as a mix of both.  Here are my results:

  • All Purpose: comes out amazingly soft, springy, and delicious.  Not so healthy though but it does taste divine!
  • Whole Wheat flour:  comes out tasting delicious but is very dense and doesn’t rise so well.  Also, does tend to be a bit chewier.
  • 50/50: a great combination for both.  You get a little healthier flour in there but also the light, airy texture that you are looking for in a Focaccia.


In the recipe, I’ve included the ratios for the 50/50 combination.  Try out both and let me know what you think!

From my kitchen to yours, enjoy this delicious Rosemary Focaccia Bread!

Here are the tools I used for this recipe:

Spiced Pear Loaf

I love a traditional banana bread but I also love changing out the fruits and making different types of loaves.  This Spiced Pear Loaf gives me a peek into the fall with its hints of cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger; the sweet pear chunks added in… oh so delicious!
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This bread uses milk and oil in addition to the pear chunks to give it just the right amount of moisture.  Use a 1:1 ratio of whole wheat flour and oats for a healthy balance of carbs, and just enough brown sugar to combine with the warm spices to bring fall home any time of the year!
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Use this loaf for a snack during recess, packed in your lunchboxes, or even as a sweet treat post meals.  So delicious and scrumptious, you have to try it out!
IMG_7862From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this delicious treat!

Mango Berry Bread Pudding Yum

My absolute favorite food on Earth is mangoes.  I can’t think of a time that I didn’t like them. I love hearing stories from my mom about how I could go through a case (about 10-12 mangoes) in a sitting when I was a kid.  Nowadays, I probably would end up with a tummy ache but I’m willing to give it a try. Continue reading “Mango Berry Bread Pudding Yum

Poblano Pav Bhaji Burger Yum

Poblano What?!  A burger with Pav Bhaji?! Yep you heard it right.  A Pav Bhaji Burger….. with Poblano Peppers.  Pav Bhaji is a very popular dish in India and among Indians everywhere in the world.  Back in the 1800’s, workers would take leftover veggies and turn it into a curry.  These workers usually could not afford much so they became creative.  I piggy backed on that creativity and put my own spin to a classic Indian dish. Continue reading “Poblano Pav Bhaji Burger Yum

Zucchini Tacos

I’m addicted to cooking shows.  There.  I said it. I admit it.  I guess it’s not bad considering other things people are addicted to these days.  Every Saturday mornings, you can find me glued in front of the television watching my favorite show, The Kitchen.  I can’t bear to miss a single episode.  A few weeks ago, they had guest chef Nikki Dinki on the show who shared her zucchini tacos recipe and instantly I knew I had to try those.

They are amazing!  Forget eating them as tacos, my DH ate them on its own.  SO DELICIOUS!  I did make a few slight changes to her recipe to adjust for ingredients I had in the kitchen/pantry.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!



Ingredients:
4 medium zucchini, shredded
2/3 c shredded Mozarella cheese
2/3 c Italian bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Olive Oil Cooking SprayDirections:
Preheat oven to 450ºF.Place shredded zucchini in microwave safe bowl and heat on high for for about 3 1/2 minutes.  Mix the zucchini around and replace in microwave for another 3 1/2 minutes.  Let it cool then place in a cheesecloth and drain as much of the water out as you can.  The drier it is, the better your batter and taco shells will turn out.

Add the eggs, cheese, bread crumbs, cayenne, cumin, salt and garlic powder.  Mix well into a dough-ish batter.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with Olive Oil Cooking Spray.

Make 8 portions in the shape of balls from the batter, the size just a tad smaller than a tennis ball.  Flatten them directly onto the baking sheet into 5″ diameter rounds with your hands.  They shouldn’t be too thick as the inside will not cook properly.  Bake for 15 minutes.  The taco shells should be slightly golden brown.  Once you remove them from the oven, let them cool slightly before adding filling to shells.

Enjoy!

Original recipe by Nikki Dinki

Goat Cheese Lingonberry Crostini

Goat Cheese Lingonberry CrostiniI love cheese in any form, especially if it is goat cheese.  Something about the creamy, sweet texture just hits the spot.  This recipe was an accident made in cheese heaven during my pre-marriage days when my roommate and I wanted to be “fancy” without putting in much effort.  We wanted to create a wine and cheese platter and all we really had in our fridge/pantry was a half log of goat cheese, lingonberry jam, grapes, crackers and honey.  Of course we had wine….. lots and lots of it =)

Though it originated with crackers (which you can totally use if you don’t want to do a crostini), over the years, I’ve “refined” it to truly reflect our original vision of a fancy wine and cheese platter.  This crostini is a great hit whether the husband and I are having a “quiet” night in or friends and family over for a dinner party.  Ready in 10 minutes, how can you go wrong?  Here’s how I made it:

1 Sweet Bread Baguette
1/4c Lingonberry preserves
1 small log of goat cheese (about 4oz)
Honey to drizzle

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Take 1 baguette of Sweet bread and slice into 1/2″ slices (be careful not to cut them too thick – they’ll become too “bready” and the other flavor profiles won’t pull through).  Line them on a cookie sheet and drizzle a little olive oil on them.  Pop them into the oven for about 5-7 minutes until they crisp up and look golden brown.

Pull the baguette slices out of the oven and spread some goat cheese on each one.  Next, add a dollop of lingonberry preserve, then drizzle a little honey over them.

There you have it! Easy peasy Goat Cheese Lingonberry Crostinis.  I hope they bring the same smile to your face as they do to mine!

Zucchini Bread

I still remember the first time I ever had zucchini bread… I was in college studying for finals with my roommate, and her mother had sent a care package with a bunch of goodies including zucchini bread.  It is the best zucchini bread I’ve had though I have made attempts to copy her recipe.  Here’s my version with a couple of twists in it.

Zucchini Bread

Grate about 3 cups of Zucchini (don’t drain the liquid, it helps keep the bread moist)

Grated Zucchini

In two bread pans, spray with cooking spray then lightly dust with flour and set aside.

Preheat Oven to 325ºF

In a large bowl, beat eggs, oil*, applesauce*, vanilla, and sugar together.  Add flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon to the creamed mixture and beat well.

Creamed Mixture

Add grated zucchini and stir until well combined.   If you’re adding nuts, this would be the time to put them in the batter.

Pour into bread pans and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to the center comes out clean.  Cool on rack for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Zuchhini Bread

 

Ingredients:
3 1/2 c All Purpose Flour (you can use whole wheat to make it healthier)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
3 tsp Ground Cinnamon
3 Eggs
1/2 Olive Oil
1/2 c Applesauce
1 c White Sugar
1 c Brown Sugar
3 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 c Grated Zucchini (do not drain liquid from zucchini)
1 c Chopped Walnuts (optional)

* The original recipe calls for 1 c Vegetable Oil.  My healthier twist is to use 1/2 c olive oil and 1/2 c applesauce.  You’re welcome to cut out the applesauce and use 1 cup oil, however I have noticed that the applesauce also helps keep the bread moist.

Honey White Bread

Honey White Bread

I was in need of bread to make sandwiches for lunch and decided I wanted to make my own loaves at home – at least I’ll know it’s healthier and what goes in it.  Try it out and use it for sandwiches, toast with jam, bread crumbs, anything your mind asks you to create!

Ingredients:

1/2 c warm water
2 packages dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 c warm milk (I use 2% but you can use buttermilk also – it adds a bit of a tang to the taste)
6 Tbsp melted and cooled unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
4 c all purpose flour (plus a little extra to knead and roll the dough)
1 tbsp Kosher salt
1 egg white

Directions:

1. Place the water in an electric mixer bowl and add yeast and sugar.  Mix with fingers lightly.  Allow yeast and sugar to dissolve for 5 minutes.

2. Add milk, butter, and honey.  Mix on medium speed until blended.  Add egg yolks 1 at a time, 2 cups of flour and salt.  Mix on low speed for 5 minutes.  Add remaining 2 cups of flour and mix on medium speed until dough is not sticking to bowl.  Knead on medium speed for 5-7 minutes.

3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for a minute.  Grease a bowl with butter (or EVOO), add dough then turn over so all of the dough is slightly oiled/buttered.  Cover the dough with a damp towel and allow to rise for 1 hour.

4. Grease two 9×5 loaf pans with butter (or EVOO).  Divide dough (which should have risen beautifully by now) in half and roll into loaf shaped.  Place each in greased pans and cover again with damp towel for another hour.

5. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly whip the egg white and brush over each loaf.  Place both loaves in oven and bake for 40-45 minutes.

6. Bread will be golden brown on top when ready.  Remove from oven and turn over on cooling rack to remove from loaf pans.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

Enjoy!