Two Pumpkin Breads; Savory and Sweet

October 28th, 2016

Savory and Sweet Pumpkin Bread

We spent last weekend with good friends in Richlands, Virginia.  The occasion was an Apple Butter Festival to raise money for service dogs for wounded warriors.  Our friends Barbara and Jim are totally committed to their community and serving others.  Barbara’s insurance company hosts a fundraiser every year to make a difference.

Apple Butter

Apple butter is a highly concentrated  form of apple sauce. Making apple butter requires a whole day of stirring huge pots of bubbling apples over a wood fire.  All of the people attending the festival take their turns at stirring.  It was a cold blustery day but everyone had a good time.

Trust Point Insurance Apple Butter

This is John Marco, Barbara’s son and one of the officers of the company.  It is also his land and his brainchild.  Great job John Marco!

Apple Cider 2

Not only did this caring community make apple butter, but they also made apple cider.  When heated,we all grabbed cups of this warming brew.  Our lunch was pork barbecue and sides.  The pork was started the night before the event over glowing coals while the volunteers were still peeling apples for the cider and apple butter.  A community coming together for a worthy cause is a beautiful thing.

Pumpkin-Parmesan Bread

My pictures are not the best because I only had my phone.  But Barbara made this beautiful savory pumpkin bread as a side for our dinner after the festival.  It was slightly sweet but had a savory taste of Parmesan and sage.  It is something I would make again.

Pumpkin Streusal Bread

Our friend Jackie made this sweet Streusel Pumpkin Bread.  We served it the next morning for breakfast. It is another winner as far as I am concerned.  Friends coming together with food and outreach makes everyone feel good.

PUMPKIN-PARMESAN BREAD

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon pepper
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cup canola oil
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup chopped sage (Barbara used less)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 2 (8″x4″) loaf pans with baking spray with flour.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, ginger and pepper.  Add eggs and oil, beating well.  Stir in pumpkin, 3/4 cup Parmesan and sage.  Divide batter between prepared pans; Sprinkle tops with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Barbara’s took 55 minutes.

PRALINE PUMPKIN DATE BREAD

1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chopped dates

Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2″x4 1/2″x2 1/2″ or 1 loaf pan, 9″x 5″x 3″, with shortening.  Make Praline Topping; set aside.

Mix sugar, oil, vanilla, eggs and pumpkin in large bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients except dates until well blended.  Stir in dates.  Pour batter into pans.  Sprinkle with topping.

Bake 8-inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9-inch 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes.  Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans to wire rack.  Cool completely, about 1 hour, before slicing.

PRALINE TOPPING

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon butter, softened

Mix all ingredients until crumbly.

Printable Recipe Pumpkin-Parmesan Bread

Printable recipe Praline Pumpkin Date Bread

Yogurt Bread with Molasses

September 19th, 2016

Molasses Bread 4

A healthy bread is a wonderful choice for breakfast.  Warm out of the oven and smeared with a bit of butter it will get your day off to a great start.  When I saw this bread from Marian Bull on Food52 I knew that I would be making it.  The original recipe came from Mark Bittman, that former New York Times columnist who is known for his healthy take on eating.

The bread is hearty with white whole wheat flour and corn meal.  It is moist from the yogurt, molasses and cranberries, and is beautiful to the eye. At least it is beautiful to my former hippie eye.  I wrote a rather humorous post about our early “back to the land” lifestyle here.  You may get a laugh out of it.  Maturity has its perks.

Molasses Bread 2

Because it is a quick bread, it is easy to assemble and bake.  I have always been a bread person.  I have made my own yeast bread, bought quality loaves from local bakeries, and loved the baguettes from the French bakeries that we have visited.  This Yogurt Bread with Molasses has been added to my list of favorites.

YOGURT BREAD WITH MOLASSES (Marian Bull on Food52)

Makes one loaf

  • 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup medium- or coarse-grind cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 2/3 cup whole milk yogurt, or 1 1/2 cups whole milk + 2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • Optional: 1 to 1 1/2 cups cranberries, chopped fruit, or nuts
  • Butter, for greasing the pan
  1. Preheat your oven to 325° F. If you’re using milk, mix it with the vinegar and set it aside.
  2. Mix together your dry ingredients in a wide bowl (rather than one with straight sides; this makes it easier to mix). Whisk your yogurt (or vinegary milk) with your molasses.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in 2 or 3 batches, stirring in round, sweeping motions. Make sure to incorporate the flour at the bottom of the bowl. Mix until just combined. The dough should fizz, subtly, like a science experiment. It will be thick! If you’re adding in fruit, etc: Fold it in when there are still a few small pockets of flour.
  4. Slice a pat of butter into either a loaf pan or a 7-inch cast iron skillet. Put it into the oven until the butter melts. Remove, then swirl the butter around to grease the pan. Transfer batter into pan, without mixing it any further. (Be gentle!)
  5. Bake for one hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted. Touch the top of the bread: it should give a little bit, and feel supple, but it should still resist your touch and not feel like there’s goo beneath there. Very important: Let the bread cool before you slice it. Yes, I’m serious.

Printable Recipe

Buttery Breakfast Casserole

June 7th, 2016

Breakfast Casserole 1

I have cobbled together a picture of a breakfast casserole that I served to company.  My life has been rather cobbled together lately.  From selling our Florida house, to pulling a u-haul back to North Carolina, to a major get together with friends, the one thing I did not need was to get sick.  But sick I was.  I developed a hacking cough, headache, fever and laryngitis. David dragged me to the Doctor last Wednesday.  All I could croak out were the words “I can’t afford to be sick.  I have 16 people coming tomorrow for 4 or 5 days.” I am so impressed with our Nurse Practitioner.  She prescribed an antibiotic and words of wisdom.  She said be sure your friends have clean sheets and towels, but forget about the rest of the house.  No one will notice or care about a bit of dust or a less that neat house.  So true.  Everyone pitched in and we had a wonderful time.

Malt Shoppe Memories Beach

The occasion that brought us all together was the annual Lake Lure Lakefront Home Owners Association annual dinner and meeting.  David and I were in charge of the entertainment.  We booked our good friends from Florida who have a doo wop group called Malt Shoppe Memories.  They perform all over Florida and are also known in our area from previous visits.

Malt Shoppe Memories Dancing

The concert was held on the beach and a fun time was had by all.

Malt Shoppe Memories S'moresThe hotel even arranged to serve S’mores on the beach.

Malt Shoppe Memories Boathouse

 

The party was held on Saturday night.  On Sunday evening the group performed on the top of our boathouse and people were encouraged to come by boat to sit back and enjoy the concert.  The acoustics on the water and between the mountains are something special.

Malt Shoppe Memories Kitchen

It was great to have so much help in the kitchen.  We did a pot luck on Sunday and everyone contributed wonderful dishes.

Breakfast Casserole 2V

I made this casserole on Saturday afternoon when I was feeling better. I tucked it into the refrigerator and baked it on Sunday morning.  It couldn’t be easier.  What you see here are the leftovers. It is a special breakfast casserole because it uses croissants instead of bread (thus the buttery description) and because it comes from The New York Times.  All of their recipes are first rate.  I will be adding this to my permanent recipe file.  The sausage, Gruyere cheese, sage and green onions just add to the goodness.

BUTTERY BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

  • 1 pound croissants (about 5 to 7), split in half lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, more for baking dish
  • 1 bunch scallions (6 to 7), white and light green parts thinly sliced, greens reserved
  • ¾ pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces Gruyère, grated (2 cups)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

 

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Spread croissants on a large baking sheet and toast, cut side up, until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes (watch carefully to see that they do not burn). Let cool, then tear into large bite-size pieces.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add sliced scallions and sausage meat; cook, breaking up meat with a fork, until mixture is well browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in sage, and remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together croissants and sausage mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, 1 1/2 cups cheese, salt and pepper.
  4. Lightly oil a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Turn croissant mixture into pan, spreading it out evenly over the bottom. Pour custard into pan, pressing croissants down gently to help absorb the liquid. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  5. When you’re ready to bake the casserole, heat oven to 350 degrees. Scatter the remaining grated cheese over the top of the casserole. Transfer to oven and bake until casserole is golden brown and firm to the touch, 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with sliced scallion tops before serving.

Printable Recipe

Leek and Gruyere Bread Pudding

March 1st, 2016

Leek and Gruyere Bread Pudding 1

The inspiration for this leek and Gruyere bread pudding came from a side dish that I had in a restaurant in Washington DC last month.  It was served with roasted chicken and a light gravy.  One of the recipe sources that I use quite often is Epicurious.  Both my Daughter-In-Law and I think highly of the recipes found on this source.  It doesn’t hurt that the recipe came first from Thomas Keller.  It was outstanding.

You should use a brioche or challah bread.  The eggy bread adds richness to the casserole.  I adapted the recipe.  I used the same amount of leeks and cheese, but halved the rest of the recipe.

Leek Bread Pudding 2

At the restaurant the bread pudding was served as an individual cake.  So I experimented with cutting rounds out of the finished casserole with a biscuit cutter.  It worked very well and we enjoyed the scraps for another meal.  As an aside, we have not been eating much bread lately, but we made a happy exception for this delightful dish.

LEEK AND GRUYERE BREAD PUDDING (Adapted from Epicurious)

Recipe shown as written.  I used the same amount of leeks and cheese and halved everything else.

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices leeks (white and light green parts only)
    • Kosher salt
    • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 12 cups 1-inch cubes crustless Brioche or Pullman sandwich loaf
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
    • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
    • 3 large eggs
    • 3 cups whole milk
    • 3 cups heavy cream
    • Freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1 cup shredded Gruyere Cheese

PREPARATION

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    2. Put the leek rounds in a large bowl of tepid water and swish so that any dirt falls to the bottom of the bowl. Set a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, lift the leeks from the water, drain, and add them to the pan. Season with salt and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. As the leeks begin to soften, lower the heat to medium-low. The leeks will release liquid. Stir in the butter to emulsify, and season with pepper to taste. Cover the pan with a parchment lid, and cook, stirring every 10 minutes, until the leeks are very soft, 30 to 35 minutes. If at any point the butter breaks or looks oily, stir in about a tablespoon of water to re-emulsify the sauce. Remove and discard the parchment lid.
    3. Meanwhile, spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through, until dry and pale gold. Transfer to a large bowl. Leave the oven on.
    4. Add the leeks to the bread and toss well, then add the chives and thyme.
    5. Lightly whisk the eggs in another large bowl. Whisk in the milk, cream, a generous pinch of salt, pepper to taste, and a pinch of nutmeg.
    6. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Spread half the leeks and croutons in the pan and sprinkle with another 1/4 cup cheese. Scatter the remaining leeks and croutons over and top with another 1/4 cup cheese. Pour in enough of the custard mixture to cover the bread and press gently on the bread so it soaks in the milk. Let soak for about 15 minutes.
    7. Add the remaining custard, allowing some of the soaked cubes of bread to protrude. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese on top and sprinkle with salt.
    8. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until the pudding feels set and the top is brown and bubbling.

Printable Recipe

 

Honey-Pumpkin Cornbread and Warming Soup

November 3rd, 2015

IMG_6640

Taking a break from detailing our Italy trip, I wanted to share with you a tasty combination that I made on a recent cold and blustery day.  With thoughts of Thanksgiving in my mind, the idea of a cornbread with the addition of pumpkin sounded like a good combination. As it turned out, it was a good idea; moist, golden and lightly sweetened with honey.  The soup that I made with it came from one of my favorite blogs, Manger.  It is a combination of French lentils, farro and lots of vegetables.

IMG_6631

The feeling I am trying to express in this post is that of warmth and comfort.  The food is the starting point, of course.  But I would like to give you a few more visuals to explain how I am feeling. Perhaps, because I am still dealing with the aftermath of surgery, I need to concentrate on what makes me happy and secure.

Tuscan Villa 1

This Tuscan kitchen made me happy.  There were logs in the fireplace ready for an evening fire on a cool night. ( Wide angle lens tends to make people appear wider).  The gas stove was a dream to cook on and I could have spent an entire vacation in this charming villa.  I wanted to forego the motorcycle touring and just hang out here.

Tuscan Villa 2 View

This was the view from the window.  The church bell rang on the hour all day and all night.  Who needs a watch?

Dream room

This picture is small.  I saw it on Pinterest.  Although it is not necessarily my style these days, it is just like the house that I have seen in my dreams.  I don’t know about you, but I dream about houses.  In my dreams I always have this other house that I have neglected, but that I am very proud of.  I encourage my dream guests to make themselves at home, even though it is cluttered and dusty.  And I wonder to myself in my dream why I do not live there.  It is cozy and comfortable but a little bizarre.  This room lacks that bizarre element, but it is close to my vision.

I am on the mend.  Stitches taken out today.  Life is returning to normal and I am back in the kitchen.  If you are in the mood for some comfort food you will love this cornbread and Mimi’s Soup.

HONEY-PUMPKIN CORNBREAD

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly butter a 9-inch square-baking pan.
  2. Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, butter, honey, buttermilk and orange zest in a separate bowl. Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until moistened; transfer to the prepared baking pan.
  3. Bake until the cornbread pulls away from the sides of the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20-22 minutes. Cool in the pan 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and cook on a wire rack at least 10 minutes before cutting.

Printable Recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.