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Posts from the ‘Breakfast or Brunch’ Category

A Green Smoothie-Fiesta Friday Healthy Recipe Challenge

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Every Friday Angie, you all know Angie right, hosts the virtual party Fiesta Friday.  We all link our recipes on her site and you can bring whatever you want,  well this is a little different, she gave all of us that participate in Fiesta Friday a challenge. She listed two ingredients, leafy greens and pineapple and asked us to make something using them. This recipe has never posted on the blog before only a photo. I found this on Williams Sonoma website and searching it’s no longer there but luckily I had posted it on Instagram,  I put my own spin on it, adding some different ingredients and it turned out great, it’s delicious and healthful and uses both leafy greens and pineapple. I am so glad that Angie gave us this challenge because this smoothie hadn’t been on my radar and I am happy to have rediscovered it because it’s delicious, easy to make, nutritious and such a pretty color green.  There will most likely be dozens of green smoothies and they will be very similar but thats ok, here is mine and I love it. You can use whatever leafy green you like. I actually mixed kale and spinach. You get great results when you freeze your pineapple and banana, the smoothie is cold and thick and creamy. Oh I also should add that there are GREAT prizes for the winners of this challenge, yes first, second and third place winners will be chosen by a panel of judges. How exciting is this! You can submit as many recipes as you like. Hope you all enter.

A Healthy Green Smoothie

adapted from a recipe on Williams-Sonoma

makes 2 generous portions

1 cup cleaned baby spinach

1 cup kale, leaves only and tender stems – discard the tough ones

1/2 ripe avocado

1 cup frozen cubed nicely ripe pineapple

1 ripe banana cut into chunks and frozen

1-1 1/2 cups coconut water (freeze your coconut water in ice cube trays for a colder creamier smoothie) start with one cup and add more if you like a thinner smoothie

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk or 1/4 cup of the coconut cream scooped off the top of cold canned coconut milk

1 tsp fresh ginger grated or finely chopped

1 tbs fresh mint leaves chopped (or just throw in a few mint leaves)

juice of half a lemon

1 tsp matcha powder (optional)

Put all of the ingredients into your blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Enjoy immediately.

 

 

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A Guest Post- Ten Times Tea

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A few months back I was thrilled when Laurie whose gorgeous blog Ten Times Tea agreed to do a guest post. Her timing is impeccable because this loaf just screams holidays. She is uber talented with such creativity,  I love her photographs and her no nonsense writing style. Thank you so much Laurie for doing this post for me and wish you and yours a very Happy Holiday. I love the way Laurie experiments and even though she may not admit it I think her results are outstanding, she loves to use whole grains  giving her baked goods a healthy twist. Can’t wait to try this, thank you for your kind words and take it away Laurie…..

Suzanne’s experience, attention to flavour, and warm style comes through in everything she makes and blogs about. And, unlike some food bloggers that I tend to admire from afar, Suzanne’s blog demands a pause, taking time to comment and marvel and laugh and sometimes even commiserate.
I was so happy to be to have the opportunity to put together a guest post. Though I was also a bit conflicted: what makes us quite different is that Suzanne’s recipes simply ooze with experience and certainty, exactly what my recipes typically lack. My blog is all about the baking (unfortunately or otherwise), and frankly, leans more towards a “log” of what disasters and otherwise I’ve been baking, rather than a reliable source of recipes. But despite this, Suzanne has been so supportive of my experiments and even the most dismal failures.

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I wasn’t sure I would be able to make anything worthy of a guest post…but then, enter this cake. This cake is fabulous. I’m still in awe. It’s based on the brown butter and vanilla weekend cake in one of Dorie Greenspan’s books, Baking Chez Moi. Would you expect anything else from Dorie?

The cake is unabashedly rich, the crumb possessing a buttery sheen, and is incredibly fragrant due to an incredible quantity of vanilla extract and browned butter. I’ve made merely superficial changes, but I highly advocate them. The prunes and chestnuts, which are two of my favourite things, are homely and warm, while still somehow glamorous in my vague imagination of 20th century whiskey glasses and pâté and feather boas. (Ah, this imagination sometimes.) They simply fit perfectly into the backdrop of a dense and vanilla-heady cake, such that even a friend who does not at all subscribe to my obsession with prunes admitted that really, they did seem to work quite well.

I also made a couple more characteristic changes, reducing the sugar and using part whole spelt flour. I wanted to use these changes to transition into writing about some general themes in baking and my approach. As Suzanne recently wrote about, lately she’s switched her eating focus. It made me think a bit about this whole baking thing—what choices I make, what I minimize and maximize, and why. But after writing it, I looked back and felt so pretentious, with these meanderings on sugar and whole grains.

The thing is, I find there are many valid perspectives when it comes to baking. And thus many valid styles of baking, which result in many, many delicious baked goods. I enjoy them all. There is nothing superior about any approach over others. Some days call for Smarties-dotted blondies just as much as other days call for raw vegan coconut oil and date squares. So I hope everything here can be taken with several grains of salt—it’s one vague approach to baking. I guess I like it so I seem to advocate for my view, but it doesn’t mean I always stick to it.

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Sugar

Sugar is something I do not try to eliminate, but I find I can typically reduce the sugar content of baked goods with little consequence. This isn’t to validate desserts or bolster excuses for eating more (well, at least I try not to do that…). But I do occasionally bake for some diabetics, and in general, if I can reduce the sugar, I think I may as well.

In fact, I do think that most desserts don’t require too much sweetness for it to still taste like dessert. I’m a bit of a cake-person as opposed to a candy-person (a very important dichotomy), where I like more moderate sweetness padded with plenty of substance and textures and other flavours. Better yet, baking can quite often fit into that ambiguous breakfast/tea sort of category as well, which entails the same richness and decadence with noticeably less sweetness. Another trick is to use sweet-associated flavours like warm spices, or plenty of fresh fruit.

I find it’s worthwhile to experiment! A 25-50% reduction in the sugar is a good place to start, at least in cases where the sugar is not a structural necessity (I’ve tried to push it unsuccessfully with meringues and buttercreams). However, in the end you may just find that sugar reductions compromise golden crusts or perfect textures. It always depends on what you’re looking for, and reductions may not be worth it.

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Whole grains

Recently I made a cake that used only white flour, and I was surprised—it tasted bland all of a sudden. I suppose it’s because in recent years, whole wheat and spelt flour have become my go-to, some somehow now taste rather “neutral.”

I refrain from using this idea of whole grains as a gateway to a certified healthy label. It’s a bit of a false rhetoric because 1) we are still talking dessert and 2) I don’t push the envelope very far. The whole grains are primarily for flavour, and I like to prioritize structure as well. (On this note, I admire the ingenuity, innovation and persistence of gluten-free bakers!) Thus, something may be only a quarter whole spelt flour, but it will taste nutty and warm and complement spices or dried fruit. Whole wheat flour is very suitable for crumbles and oatmeal cookies. I find buttery and salted whole wheat pastry perfect for tarts, and while scones have been a perpetual struggle for me, I recently made some fluffy scones with half whole wheat pastry flour.

As far as pastry-type experimentation goes (bread is a bit iffier), I think whole wheat flour can be successfully subbed for 50-100%. Spelt flour, I would normally not go above 50% due to the lower gluten content. Buckwheat and rye I usually try at 25-20% due to their low gluten content and stronger flavours. In the end, though, it does depend on what you’re making. Sometimes white flour is the best.

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This cake is a rich and buttery and sugary glory, and in no way do my changes make it at all healthy…but I like the cake even more for the changes I did make. It is only moderately sweet, with spelt flour to complement the prunes and pick up on the warm notes of the roasted chestnuts and browned butter.

So happy baking! With the approaching holidays, I’m sure there will be plenty of baking going on.

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prune and chestnut vanilla loaf cake
Based on Dorie Greenspan’s brown butter and vanilla bean weekend cake in Baking Chez Moi. Instead of part vanilla bean and part vanilla extract, you can use either: 1 whole vanilla bean or 4 tsp vanilla extract as detailed by the original recipe. I would also consider increasing the quantity of prunes and chestnuts to 150 g each.
1 stick butter
100 g whole spelt flour
138 g all-purpose flour
scant 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
175 g granulated sugar
3-cm length of vanilla bean
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 c (80 mL) heavy cream
1 capful dark rum
100 g dried prunes
100 g roasted and peeled chestnuts, whole and broken into rough pieces
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a loaf pan and line with a sling of parchment paper.
Brown the butter in a small saucepan, cooking until deep golden and nutty, and then set aside.
Whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt.
Place the sugar in a large bowl. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out into the sugar and rub in. Add the split vanilla bean and rub in the sugar as well to remove any excess seeds (this can then be placed in the sugar bowl for vanilla sugar and the like). Add the eggs and whisk until thoroughly combined. Follow with vanilla extract, the heavy cream and rum, whisking until combined.
Add the dry ingredients in two additions, folding in with a rubber spatula. Next, fold in the butter in three additions. Lastly, mix in the chestnuts and prunes. Scrape into the prepared pan and bake for 60 minutes or until an inserted skewer is removed clean.
Let cool on a wire rack.

 

Stollen

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You saw the dough and mention of Stollen in my last post so here is the finished product and this is a fantastic recipe. I will be honest, I had my doubts, the dough doesn’t get puffy, it feels quite heavy and dense and struggles to double in bulk but the end product is wonderfully light, rich with butter and egg, just the right amount of boozy fruit and nuts, it’s a keeper,  almost too easy, when we make bread it can be laborious, lots of steps well this bread is so easy to make so few steps and result is amazing. I made a few changes to the recipe and explained in some detail what to expect, there are no clues or hints in the recipe on Food52 and I really didn’t know what to expect. The original recipe calls for candied fruit soaked in booze, I used the leftover dried fruit soaked in port ( don’t like candied fruit), I added salt, there was no mention of salt. I also used my food processor to break up the butter into the flour and that made it quicker and easier. Instead of the glaze that Chef June uses I dusted with powdered sugar. Thats it, easy peasy, delicious and so festive.

Because this bread just screams the Holidays I am bringing it to Fiesta Friday #150 and the co hosts this week are Caroline @ Caroline’s Cooking and Tânia @ Iwanttobeacook

Stollen

From Food52  by Chef June

Makes 2 large loaves or 8 mini loafs

1 heaping cup assorted dried fruit that has had a good soak in booze ( I used the same fruit for the fruitcakes I made)

4 cups all purpose flour

1 cup (2 sticks, 8 oz) unsalted cold butter cut into pieces

1 tbs yeast (I used instant yeast, SAF)

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 cup cold whole milk

3 tbs granulated sugar

3 large or extra large eggs beaten

1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts and pecans)

soft butter, sugar and cinnamon for the filling

Add flour, salt and butter to the food processor and pulse until it resembles crumbs. Pour into a large mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined and the flour is completely incorporated. The dough will be very soft and shaggy, thats ok, you don’t need to knead it, just gather it with your hands into a ball and put it in a greased bowl, turn it over once so the top is oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and place in the refirigerator where it will rise overnight. Note: I mixed everything by hand, no stand mixer with dough attachment, no kneading.

Stollen dough ready for an overnight chilly rise

Stollen dough ready for an overnight chilly rise

The next morning remove the dough and cut in half or quarters depending on the shape and size you want your bread. I divided into quarters and let it rise in mini loaf pans. Roll out or pat out the dough into a rectangle spread it out thinly. Brush with soft butter and a mixture of cinnamon and sugar (you also can put marzipan or almond paste if you like) roll it like you would a jelly roll or cinnamon rolls. Pinch any seams so it’s sealed. My dough was divided into quarters, each quarter made 2 mini loaves. I rolled, cut in half and pinched the seams and ends. Sprayed mini loaf pans with cooking spray and placed the dough seam side down in the pans. Cover loosely with plastic and a tea towel and let rise until doubled in bulk. (It took almost 3 hours in my cold kitchen and remember you are starting with dough straight from the refrigerator so be patient). Heat oven to 350 degree’s and bake until browned, and when tapped sounds hollow (approximately 20 minutes for mini loaves. For a larger loaf 30-35 minutes

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Yesterday I saw a recipe (if you can call it that) for a Earl Grey Vanilla Latte. That sounded really good mainly because Earl Grey or Lady Grey is my favorite tea. I decided to give it a go, the recipe called for almond or coconut milk but I used regular whole milk, strong brewed earl grey tea and a little vanilla bean paste in the milk that I frothed with this really cool gadget. Hot milk is frothed in seconds so you can enjoy a cappucino or latte any time. (This is not a promotion for this gadget I just think it’s cool)

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frother

earl grey vanilla latte

earl grey vanilla latte

Spiced Pumpkin Pecan Loaf Part II And Stollen

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This is a different loaf than the one I made before, although I liked that loaf it was quite heavy and more bread like than I wanted. I try different recipes and although they turn out good there is something about it that just doesn’t sit right with me,  I almost always end up going back to my old stand by’s, the tried and true always good recipes that I use over over. The banana bread recipe is one of those, I substitute other fruits like apples and pears for the banana and in this case I used pumpkin. The change I made was adding spice, cinnamon, ginger and allspice along with pecans. These loaves are sweeter than the other but I am ok with that, they have the lighter texture and moist crumb that I wanted. I like the other recipe but my favorite way to serve is making mini muffins dipped in melted butter and rolled in a spice sugar mixture. For a loaf I like this recipe though, they are very light, moist and delicious.

Stollen dough ready for an overnight chilly rise

Stollen dough ready for an overnight chilly rise

I made my fruitcakes and have quite a bit of leftover boozy fruit and it’s been years since I’ve made Stollen, a German slightly sweet and absolutely delicious holiday bread. I had saved a recipe on Food52 years ago by Chef June and decided this year I would try it. The recipe is vintage and the directions are a bit vague so I decided to wing it. If it turns out I will post the recipe, well even if it doesn’t I might. The dough is super easy to put together, no kneading at least the directions don’t call for it so we will see. The butter is broken into the flour like a pie crust, I did it in the food processor then you add the rest of the ingredients and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator.  I have a feeling it’s going to be wonderful, rich and buttery and eggy. Fingers crossed. More to come…..

Spiced Pumpkin Pecan Loaf

makes 1 9×5 loaf or 3 mini loaves

1 cup flour

1/2 cup spelt flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp allspice

1 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

4 oz or 1 stick butter room temperature

2 large eggs at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp vanilla extract

approximately 1/2 cup chopped pecans

demerara sugar mixed with cinnamon, allspice and ginger to sprinkle on top of loaf

Heat oven to 35o and butter or oil your loaf pan or pans. Put flours, baking soda, salt and spices in small bowl and whisk together.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time beating between each addition. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Add the pumpkin, sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined. Fold in the pecans and spoon into prepared pan or pans, smooth out the top, sprinkle with chopped pecans and sprinkle with sugar spice mixture and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes until golden brown and tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the loaf.

Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and then using a small flexible offset spatula or butter knife loosen the edges running it around the loaf. Turn out onto cooling rack and let cool completely before wrapping. This loaf freezes well, wrap in plastic and place in ziplock bag before freezing.

 

Ginger Molasses Pumpkin Bread

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I found this recipe on Food52 and it looked so good and got great reviews that I decided to make it and include it in my gift boxes this year. Trying new recipes is great especially if the results are good, this loaf did not disappoint, the combination of spices and pumpkin and molasses is delicious and even better it’s not overly sweet. If you do want a sweeter loaf you can tightly pack the brown sugar. The loaf is hearty, rustic, moist and makes a great addition to my gift boxes.

The recipe made two mini loaves that rose high above the pan and with the batter that was left I made some mini muffins that I rolled in melted butter and then in spiced sugar and I think next time I make this I will just make mini muffins, they are really good!!

This loaf and mini muffins are heading to the party, Fiesta Friday #149 and our co-hosts this week are Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju and Sandhya @ Indfused

Ginger Molasses Pumpkin Bread

Makes 1 9×5 loaf or 2 mini loaves plus 6 mini muffins

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 egg

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup dark brown sugar (lightly packed) Tightly pack for a slightly sweeter loaf

2 tbs melted butter

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup buttermilk (full fat)

1/4 cup molasses

1 tbs chopped (minced) fresh ginger

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbs turbinado sugar (to sprinkle on top of loaf)

1 tsp cinnamon (to sprinkle on top of loaf)

Pre heat oven to 350 degree’s

butter or use spray like PAM a 9×5 or 2 mini loaf pan (s)

In large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. In another bowl whisk together egg, pumpkin,molasses, brown sugar, butter, oil, buttermilk until well combined. Add the fresh ginger and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir just until combined careful not to overmix. Pour into prepared loaf pan or pans and mix the turbinado sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top. Bake 40 minutes for a 9×5 pan and 20-25 minute for mini loaves. Toothpick or tester should come out clean when inserted into center of loaf. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto rack and allow to cool completely before cutting. NOTE: I went a step further and after removing from the oven I brushed the top of the loaf with melted butter and sprinkled a combination of sugar, ginger and cinnamon on top.

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Best Damn Fruitcake The Start Of Holiday Baking

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It’s been a little while since I’ve posted anything, things have been kind of crazy and time has gotten past me. Cooking has not been a priority except what I need to sustain myself. I am going to make a concerted effort to post more, cook more, develop recipes, it’s my passion that frankly has taken a back seat to other things and I feel like I am unbalanced. I need to get back in the groove so to speak and am hoping that all the cooking that I am doing will help me to get my mojo back. In January my blog will be 5 years old, thats a long time and I am proud of how this site has evolved and also saddened that I have let it slip away lately. It has taken me a while to get some balance after the passing of Nando and Izzy. Percy is helping me and is such a good boy, he has brought joy back into my life. I am so thankful for that.

The Holidays are upon us, for me that means a lot of time in the kitchen baking. Cookies, mini loaves, cakes and pies, it’s a very important part of the holidays for me and this year will be no exception. The title of this recipe may sound kind of funny but that’s actually what they called it in Pure Wow which is where I first found this recipe. I have changed it considerably from the ingredients to the baking time and temperature. That said this is the BEST fruitcake I have ever had. A far cry from the commercially prepared and dreaded Christmas gifts that many of us grew up on. No green and red candied or fake fruit, there is actually noticable cake with a balanced amount of fruit and nuts. I make this every year and although these photo’s are from last year as I have not started my baking yet it will be made this year many times over, it is included in my gift baskets for friends and family who all agree that it really is The Best Damn Fruitcake.

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fruit cakes after a good soaking and brushed with a little plum jam

Best Damn Fruitcake

Makes one 9 inch loaf or 3 mini loaves

1 1/2 cups dried fruit of your choice- I used cherries, cranberries, apricots, pears and golden raisins. Use however much you like of each so that you have a total of 1 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups nuts chopped- I used pecans, hazelnuts, pistachio’s and almonds. Use whatever you like, however much of each so that it equals 1 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cup booze or fruit juice like apple cider- (I have used cognac, bourbon, port, also have thrown in some Poire William), heated on stove top or in microwave until hot not boiling .

12 tbs unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 eggs at room temperature

2 tsp vanilla

1 tbs orange or tangerine zest

1 1/2 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

pinch of cinnamon

1 tbs retained liquid from fruit

Demerara or turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

Pre heat oven to 325 and prepare your loaf pan or pans. Butter or spray with cooking spray.

Pour the hot booze or juice over the fruit and let sit for at least 30 minutes. The longer the fruit sits in the liquid the better it is in my opinion, the recipe only has the fruit macerate for 10 minutes, but it can easily sit overnight or 48 hours.

Drain the fruit but retain the liquid, you will need it later so don’t discard.

Place the drained fruit and chopped nuts in a bowl and set aside.

In your mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar for about 4-5 minutes. It should be light and fluffy, scrape sides as needed. Add the eggs one at a time beating well between additions and scraping the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla, orange zest and cinnamon.

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add to the butter mixture and beat only until combined adding 1 tbs of retained liquid from the fruit. Remove the bowl from your mixer and add the fruit and nuts and fold in until combined. Add the batter to the pan or pans, smooth the top and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake with the rack in the middle of the oven. If you are making one loaf for about 90 minutes or more (watch carefully) or until tester comes out clean. If mini loaves approximately 40-50 minutes. They will be golden brown. Remove from the oven and spoon some of the retained liquid on the loaf or loaves and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and finish cooling on rack, spoon some more liquid on them and wrap in plastic or cheese cloth and store in air tight tin, These are best served 48+ hours after baking. Over the next couple of days continue to spoon more of the retained liquid on the loaf re wrapping and storing in the airtight container until you are ready to serve.

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Spiced Apple Pecan Loaf And An Auction For Charity

3 mini loaves

3 mini loaves

You all know about my passion for animals and that I work with rescue and animal related charities. One of the groups I work with is called PugsquadSOS. We recently had an auction to benefit a small animal rescue group in upstate NY and I donated homemade baked goods. One of the items I included in this box of treats is this homemade spiced apple loaf. I used my banana bread recipe and adapted it for apples adding some warm autumnal spices and homemade applesauce. It turned out really well, the bread is not overly sweet, is light and smells wonderful because of the spices. This loaf along with other homemade baked goods is currently up for grabs on Instagram, we are raising money for 2 little dogs that need very expensive life saving surgeries and their families do not have the means to pay for it. If any of you would like to bid on my offering or any of the items on instagram go to @portiathepug_paw_pal_auction.

I am bringing these loaves with me to Fiesta Friday #145, last week I co hosted and this week we will all be voting on the feature recipes.

I would also be remiss if I did not acknowledge our veterans today. Thank you to the men, women and canine corp that sacrificed life and limb so that we may enjoy the freedom and safety that sadly we sometimes take for granted, without their bravery it would be a far different world. Bless our Veterans and take care of them each and every day and not just on Veterans Day.

Spiced Apple Pecan Loaf

Makes 1 standard size loaf or 3 mini loaves

4 oz (1 stick) softened butter

1 cup sugar (preferably organic)

2 eggs at room temperature

1  cups flour

1/2 cup spelt flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp allapice

1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 heaping cup applesauce (I used homemade unsweetened and it was about 1 1/4 cups)

1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped roasted pecans

1 apple peel left on, cored and cut into thin slices

Pre heat oven to 350 degree’s. Butter or grease standard size loaf pan or 3 mini pans.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. While creaming the butter sift or whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and spices.  Add eggs one at a time beating between each addition until eggs are incorporated. Add the flour mixture and beat only until combined. Add the applesauce, creme fraiche and vanilla and beat until combined. Fold in the pecans and scrape into baking pans. Place apple slices and whole pecans on top and bake until golden brown and when tester inserted it comes out clean. This will take close to an hour for a large loaf and about 25 minutes for 3 mini loaves.

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Auction items

Auction items

The winning bid will receive:
1 dozen chocolate chip cookies

1 dozen healthful dog cookies

1 dozen fig/pistachio rugelach

1 dozen ginger spice molassess cookies

1 mini loaf banana bread

1 mini loaf spiced apple pecan bread

Guest Post- Cheryl “Cheffie Cooks” Wiser

Over the next few weeks I will be highlighting some of the wonderful bloggers I know who have stepped up to do guest posts. First is my dear friend Cheryl whose blog Cheryl “Cheffie Cooks” Wiser is one I have been following for a while now, I have mentioned Cheryl before on several occasions, she manages 9 blogs, 5 children and about a thousand other things all at once. How does she do it, well, I wish I knew, and she seems to do it all seamlessly. Cheryl is sharing her recipe for a seasonal favorite, Pumpkin Nut Bread.  Thank you so much Cheryl.

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A Special Post for Suzanne!
I hope you will enjoy this easy and tasty Pumpkin Nut Bread for the Fall-Autumn months ahead.

Pumpkin Nut Bread

Yields one loaf (approx. 16 slices).
INGREDIENTS:
1-2/3rds cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 Beaten large Eggs
one 15.5 ounce Pumpkin Pie Filling ( I use Libby’s brand, any will work)
1/4 cup Canola Oil
1/4 cup Cold water
1/2 Cup chopped Walnuts (or pecans)
Optional 1/3 cup golden raisins
PREPARATION:
I use a food processor but you can use a mixing bowl and hand mixer, add dry ingredients into processor and pulse to combine, add wet ingredients and run processor to fully incorporate batter. Fold in chopped nuts and optional raisins. Transfer to a prepared 5″ x 9″ Loaf pan and bake @ 350 for 65 minutes. Allow to cool, remove from loaf pan and slice.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.
Thanks to Suzanne for allowing me to share a recipe with you all.
Cheryl “Cheffie Cooks” Wiser.

A Breakfast Skillet And Dessert

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First let me say how encouraged and overwhelmed I am by all the support from all of you good people. Thank you, thank you!! Because of the outpouring of support it made me even more resolute. I have to say it really helps baring your soul to your friends, I have always found that a diet and exercise buddy helps me stay on track,  I  live alone it’s and it’s really easy to fall off the wagon, my best friend Carla lives in Long Island, not exactly close to Brooklyn but we talk on the phone almost every day and encourage each other. I feel now like I have LOTS of diet buddies in all of you and it has helped tremendously. I encourage anyone in the same shoes to do this, we will all cheer you on.  Special thanks to Elaine @foodbod who chatted with me by PM on Instagram in the wee hours and Cheryl @cheryl cheffie cooks Wiser, who did a special post for me with fantastic salads, I am so touched.  It means the world to me.

So far I am doing fine. This morning I wanted something substantial that would nourish and keep me from getting hungry. There is nothing worse than being hungry and perusing all the food blogs and food photo’s on instagram. I used what I had for this breakfast skillet, eggplant, zucchini (used the pieces left from spiralizer) tomatoes, kale and micro potato. Half roasted in the oven, I wanted the kale crisp like a kale chip, transferred to a 6″ skillet (portion control) added an egg and completed the cooking until the egg was done. At the very end I added a little bit of raclette and put it under the broiler for a minute. A dash of hot sauce and it was a great meal.

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Skillet Breakfast

Made 2 #6 inch individual size servings

4 micro potatoes cut in half

approx a half of a medium zucchini cut into bite size pieces

handful cherry tomatoes larger ones cut in half

generous handful of kale leaves

4 asparagus stalks with tough end broken off and cut in half

4 tiny fairy eggplant cut in half or quartered lengthwise

Cheese, just a little, didnt’ measure. I used raclette but any good melty cheese will do

Pre heat oven to 375. Place all of the vegetables on a parchment lined baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, make sure the vegetables are coated with the oil. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, kale will be crisp and vegetables will have softened. Arrange in skillet, crack an egg on top and bake (again at 375) until the egg is done to your liking it took about 20 minutes for an egg where the white was done but yolk was runny.  Add some cheese, I used raclette, and place under the broiler just until the cheese melts.

Dessert

Dessert

I have to have dessert, something sweet it’s part of the fabric of my being. You have to be a bit creative when trying to lose weight and maybe a little crafty. I came up with this recipe, well it’s not really a recipe, but it is really good.  It made 2 small parfait or maybe they are more like an ice box cake or a combination thereof.

Strawberry and peach parfait

makes 2 small parfait

4 Carr’s whole meal biscuits smashed into crumbs

1 7 oz container plain greek yogurt (I used whole milk yogurt)

3 tbs heavy cream

1/2 tsp vanilla

honey to taste ( I used a little more than a tbs for both the fruit and yogurt mixture)

fruit of your choice, I used strawberry and peach.

Cut the fruit into bite size pieces and drizzle with a little honey. Smash the whole meal biscuits into crumbs. Whip the yogurt and cream, sweeten to your liking and add the vanilla. Layer into small containers and refrigerate at least an hour or two before eating. The biscuit absorbs some of the fruit juice. It’s delicious.

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I just have to show you the throw pillow I won in a charity auction to help pets with liver shunt disease. I love it!!

pug pillow

pug pillow

Lastly in memoriam for little Caleb a 3-4 month old dog in Atlanta that was brutally abused, if you think of the worst this is 100 times worse than you could possibly imagine. You can sign a petition by going to my facebook page . This has me so upset, to my very core, and it’s all over the news. Hoping they catch the monsters that perpetrated such a heinous and evil crime. Little Caleb is not the first dog to suffer horrific abuse and unfortunately he will not be the last. Raising awareness, supporting rescue organizations and being pro active reporting abuse perceived or otherwise is so important. RIP little Caleb. #justiceforcaleb

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Dog Biscuits

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