Guest Chef Wednesday! Rachel’s Traditional Maine Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin-bread

This is Rachel’s classic moist pumpkin bread embellished with the traditional spices of the season: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. It improves with age, so plan to make it a day ahead if possible. Top with softened cream cheese spiked with maple syrup and orange zest! Heaven!

orange cream cheese

Ingredients:

1 (15 z) can pumpkin puree

4 eggs

2 sticks of butter, melted and cooled

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup water

3 cups white sugar

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350* Grease and flour three 7×3” or 2 regular sized bread pans.

In a large bowl, mix pumpkin puree, eggs, melted butter, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans. Bake for about 50-60 minutes in preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and are deep rich golden brown. Drizzle top with a powder sugar glaze when it completely cools.

bobbatkins

photo source: bobbatkins

Breakfast Pizza: Traditional & Paleo; 2 in 1 The Switchback Recipe Series!

Best

Paleo is the ultimate “go to” way of eating these days. So, I’ve decided to convert as many of my recipes into Paleo versions as possible. However, lucky you! I will also add the traditional recipes as well for the “non-Paleo crowd. 2 in 1!

My promise to you: These Paleo recipes will not be slight of flavors, tastes or textures. Well, maybe a few texture differences here or there, but not by much. Yes, the ingredients may be somewhat different for the bases; like this breakfast pizza, but the flavor and appearance will mostly be the same. I’m enjoying this “Switchback” quite a bit and getting healthier by proxy in the interim :-)

**Suggestion: When printing simply delete the version you don’t want to print. Click on print, it will highlight yellow and select “delete.”  Voila!

Paleo Crust:

3 eggs

1 cup full-fat canned coconut, almond or whole milk

1/4 cup of coconut flour

1/3 cup of almond flour

2 tsp of garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt & pepper to taste

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Traditional Crust: Buy a pound of dough from your local pizzeria!

ingredients

Breakfast Pizza

4 strips bacon, cooked & crumbled

1/4 cup scallions, chopped

1 large tomato sliced thin

2 cups spinach

2-4eggs

1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Paleo Dough Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. To form the pizza dough, lightly beat eggs and milk (of choice) in a bowl. Add in the flours, baking soda, seasonings, parsley, salt and pepper mix into a smooth batter.

Traditional Dough Directions: Roll dough into 10” round or rectangle leaving a heavy rim. Place on oiled pizza pan. Bake at 375* for 15 minutes. Remove and add toppings. Feel free to add cheese of choice!

Spread the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; Using a spatula to smooth into a circle or rectangle. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Remove from oven. Carefully flip over.

orangemarmaladebooks

photo source: orangemarmaladebooks

Traditional & Paleo:

While the crust is baking, cook bacon reserving the bacon drippings in the pan, set bacon aside to cool and crumble into pieces. Slightly wilt the spinach in the leftover bacon drippings, salt & pepper to taste.

Add toppings to the baked crust. Start with bacon, tomato, spinach, and scallions. Carefully crack eggs onto the crust. Sprinkle with parsley, additional Italian seasoning, salt & pepper to taste. Bake for 15 minutes or more, just until the egg whites have set. Slice and serve warm.

Halloween Trick or Treat Decorate & Eat #6 Creepy Containers!

PUMPKIN-SPOOKAMOLE

Spookamole! Fill scooped out pumpkins and gourds with your favorite dips. photo source: mexico

halloweencostumeideas

Punch bowl! Line a large cleaned pumpkin with a bowl to fit just inside, add ladle and surround with cups & treats. photo source: halloweencostumeideas

intimateweddings

Set table as desired, use a large outdoor urn filled with orange & black colored stones as a centerpiece. Fill with tree branches, crepe paper, handmade ornaments (or not). Line wall with orange paper lanterns or hang balloons from the ends of branches. photo source: intimateweddings

listotic

Freaky Fruit Bowl. Fill bowl with orange wedges, make a mouth of sliced apples flesh side up, eyes of blueberries and sliced apples skin side up as the stem. photo source: listotic

 

Trick or Treat Decorate & Eat! #7 “Finger Foods!

green fingers

“Witches Fingers” Dip pretzel rods with green tinted chocolate to cover 2/3rds, place slivered almonds for fingernails while chocolate is still soft. Carve out knuckles with a toothpick. photo source: gandcjohnson

Here are a few more ghoulish Halloween delights. I must admit, finding treats that were appetizing and somewhat appealing was a feat! So I chose fingers ;-)

Carrot fingers

“Carrot Fingers” Place mini carrots in your favorite dip. Attach sliced almonds to tops with cream cheese. photo source: chicanol

mummy finger

Roll biscuit dough into finger forms, carve out knuckles & fingertip with toothpick. Bake until golden. Attach sliced almonds with ketchup.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes with Cinnamon Infused Maple Syrup: Autumn on a Plate!

pumpkin-pancakes

“Tis the season for everything pumpkin! This time of year we find it in everything from pies to soufflés. The blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice give these delectable pumpkin pancakes the perfect kiss of sweetness. The cinnamon infused maple syrup complements leaps with its warm, buttery, cinnamony goodness. In my opinion, the ideal fall breakfast.

munchinwithmunchkin

photo source: munchinwithmunchkin

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups milk: whole (preferred) or 2%

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 egg

2 tablespoons melted butter

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, butter and vinegar. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a separate bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture just until combined—a few lumps are OK.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or sauté pan over medium heat. Pour or ladle batter onto griddle; using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

2011-10-22-maplesyrup-pourer-500w

Cinnamon Infused Syrup

This is a lovely, simple and scrumptious alternative to regular maple syrup. Serve warm over French toast, waffles, buttermilk pancakes or these beautiful fall-colored pancakes!

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter, salted, melted

1/4 cup maple syrup (real only please)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground

Directions

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in maple syrup and cinnamon. Warm to desired temperature and serve.

Microwave Instructions: In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter for 30 seconds until melted. Whisk in maple syrup and cinnamon. Microwave for an additional 20-30 seconds if desired until syrup reaches preferred temperature.

5 Spice Chicken, Vegetable & Egg Cauliflower Fried Rice

Best All

I’ve converted this simple chicken & vegetable egg fried rice to include all vegetables. Yes, no starch here! The new craze is cauliflower; an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6, choline, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin. Additionally, it is a good source of vitamin B2, protein, vitamin B1, niacin, and magnesium. What an eyeful!

For this dish I’ve turned conventional rice into cauliflower rice. All it takes is a few pulses in the food processor or 2 minutes with a cheese grater—use the largest holes. While there is a slight difference in taste, I have to say; not by much. I barely missed the starchy white stuff. You can also add snow peas, corn, red onion and sliced ginger for a variety. Top with a few drops of Sriracha sauce, a side of Kimchi, sliced vegetables and fruit and you have a remarkable delicious dinner in about 15 minutes! 4 servings

thaicookingschool

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil

2 eggs, beaten

2-4 boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cubed

1/2 head of cauliflower, grated

1/2 onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large ripe tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup frozen thawed peas

1/2 cup shredded carrots

1/4 C soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1/2 teaspoon five spice powder (optional)

Dash toasted sesame oil

Pinch freshly cracked white pepper

1 large spring onion (green), finely sliced

whatscookingamerica

Directions:

Heat a wok over a high heat and add 1 tablespoon of ghee or oil. Add eggs and scramble for a few minutes, then remove them from wok and set side. Wipe down wok.

Reheat wok and add remaining oil. Sauté chicken until golden and juices run clear remove from pan and set aside. Add peas, carrots, garlic, onions and tomatoes, stir-fry for a few more minutes until vegetables begin to soften. Add cauliflower and sauté for 3 more minutes. Return eggs and cooked chicken to the wok, and season with soy & oyster sauces, sesame oil, five spice powder and white pepper, to taste. Add spring onions and mix well. Serve immediately.

Best Closer

 

Guest Chef Wednesday! Peg’s Amish White Bread: Uncomplicated, Multipurpose and Delicious!

053 amish white bread square

If you’ve ever been to Amish country, you will never forget the green rolling hills offered by the vast emerald landscaping there. One of my treats while growing up was a trip to the quaint little villages in Ohio inhabited mostly by the Amish. Even then, I was humbled by their hard work, simple ways and incredible food. Their baking was second to none and even a simple white bread would leave one dreaming for more days after their memorable visits. Here’s my friend Peg’s recipe for Amish White Bread; plain, uncomplicated, highly memorable and delicious!

Peg says, “I got this recipe from a friend whose grandmother was Dutch Amish. It is very easy, and doesn’t take long to make. This recipe will give you two loaves of plain, sweet white bread that are quick and easy to make.” Confirmed, Peg!

dscf0005

Ingredients:

2 cups warm water 110*

2/3 cup white sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

6 cups bread flour

20100815__amish5JPG~p1

Directions:

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam. Mix salt and oil into yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9×5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes. Makes 2 loaves

**NOTE: Mixing and first rise can be done in a bread machine. Dough can easily be converted into rolls.

amish-people-facts

Maple Almond Banana Coffee Cake: Natural, Gluten Free & Paleo Friendly

BBread Best

Over the last year, I’ve had many requests for gluten free and Paleo friendly recipes. So, I’ve been testing my heart out to bring you simple, delicious and pure recipes that fit the criteria. I was a little apprehensive going into this venture; with all of my ingrained baking techniques so deeply embedded into my cooking psyche. Yet, thus far, I’ve been fairly successful with my attempts. Going into this endeavor “tastes, textures and flavors” were my biggest concerns; I would not sacrifice them—not at any price.

While I’ve had to switch up a few ingredients and get used to their nuances, this journey has been relatively painless. There have been far less “forest offerings in nature” than I had originally imagined. Coconino National Forest, where I live, is filled with wildlife which have far less discriminating tastes than man, so nothing goes to waste :-)

While flour-less cakes do not rise as high, this coffee cake is, in no way, a slouch. Full of banana flavor, moist and nutty, kissed with plenty of sweetness. This recipe is a wonderful conversion from conventional to all natural. Enjoy!

gheeshakar

photo source: gheeshakar

 

Ingredients:

3-4 ripe brown bananas, mashed

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 eggs

1/2 cup almond butter

1/3 cup coconut flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

eskerridge

photo source: eskerridge

Streussel Topping:

1/4 cup organic butter or coconut oil

2 tablespoons maple sugar

1/4 cup almond flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup toasted almonds, chopped

chiconthesteeet

photo source:chiconthesteeet

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8.5×4.5 bread pan with butter or coconut oil; line the middle with parchment paper. This makes it easier to remove from pan.

In a large bowl, mix together bananas, maple syrup, vanilla extract, eggs, and almond butter. Add coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Pour batter into bread pan.

For Topping: In a small bowl, add butter, maple sugar, almond flour, cinnamon, and pecans. Use your fingers to mix.

Scatter spoonfuls of topping all around top of batter. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until rich, dark golden brown. Remove from oven, place on cooling rack and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Run knife around the edges to loosen and remove from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Best Whole

Wicked Web Eggs “#8 of Trick or Treat Decorate & Eat!”

 
Halloween Eggs4These impressive Macabre Cobweb eggs are eye-catching standing alone or sliced in half and turned”devilish.” Make avocado egg salad filling for a ghoulish green filling…or not :-) Once again, your creativity is left only to your imagination.

Halloween Eggs1

Boil, Crack & Color

Halloween Eggs2

Rinse, Let Dry & Peel

Halloween Eggs3

Serve in Cupcake Papers

Trick or Treat! Decorate & Eat! Fascinating & Fun Halloween Recipes #9 Mini Spiced Pumpkins

Pumpkin Spice Cakeas

photo source: food&wine

This is a charming Halloween treat offered by the people at “Food & Wine” magazine. They are simple to put together and equally as tasty; Wonderful little ditties in the name of this ghoulish season. Bake, cool, dip and decorate! A very impressive treat to serve at a Halloween dress-up affair or serve to your little imps at home. Also, a creative alternative use for your mini bundt pans!

onceuponaplate

photo source: onceuponaplate

Mini Spiced Pumpkins

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup sour cream

ourbestbites

photo source: ourbestbites

GLAZE

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons water

Orange food coloring

Twelve 3-inch pieces of brown or black licorice twists, twisted

nuts

photo source: nuts

MAKE THE GLAZE Preheat the oven to 350° and coat a 12-cup mini Bundt cake pan with vegetable cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter with the granulated sugar at medium speed until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and the sour cream in 2 alternating batches. Spoon the batter into the prepared Bundt cups. Bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes, until the cakes are risen. Let cool slightly, then invert onto a rack to cool completely.

In a bowl, whisk the sugar, butter and water. Stir in the food coloring until it’s a pumpkin shade. Pour the glaze over the pumpkins, spreading it gently to cover them completely; let dry. Stick a licorice piece on top of each cake to make a stem.

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