Parmesan Croutons

 Croutons anyone? This is a great thing to do with bread that is starting to go a bit stale.
 
You’ll Need
  • 4 slices of bread
  • 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
Directions
  • Cut bread into crouton sized cubes and place in a bowl.
  • Add seasonings and oil.
  • Toss well to mix.
  • Place on cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 300F until crisp.
  • Cool.
  • Store in a glass jar.

Play with your food

  • You can leave out the celery salt and add in more garlic powder if you prefer.
  • Replace garlic salt with some dried oregano.

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Golden Fruit Cake

With the holiday season upon us many goodies are being made, shared and enjoyed. Sometimes when people here fruitcake they run. But this is one that will redefine fruitcake. This has been tested and enjoyed many times by family and I and so I wanted to share it with all of you.

Yield: Makes 4 loaves

Ingredients

• 1 7-ounce package marzipan, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

• 1 1/4 cups chopped dried Calimyrna figs (about 6 ounces)

• 3 cups combined chopped dried pears, dried apricots and pitted dates (about 15 ounces total)

• 1 cup golden raisins (about 5 ounces)

• 1/2 cup brandy

• 4 8 x 3 3/4 x 2 1/2-inch disposable aluminum loaf pans, 8 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 2-inch corrugated paper baking loaf forms*or 8 1/4 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2-inch metal loaf pans

• 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

• 1 1/2 cups sugar

• 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar

• 8 large eggs

• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

• 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 3 cups all purpose flour

• 1 1/2 cups pine nuts (about 6 ounces), toasted

Preparation

Place marzipan on plate; cover with plastic wrap. Freeze overnight. Combine dried figs and next 3 ingredients in large bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter baking pans or forms. Beat 1 1/2 cups butter, sugar and brown sugar in large bowl until light. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then vanilla, cardamom, nutmeg and salt. Stir in flour in 4 additions. Stir in pine nuts, dried fruit mixture and any soaking liquid from bowl. Gently stir in marzipan.

Divide batter among prepared pans. Place pans on baking sheet. Bake until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool cakes completely in pans on racks. Wrap in plastic. Let stand at least 1 day and up to 3 days at room temperature or chill up to 2 weeks. Serve at room temperature.

Reference: Bon Appetit 1998

Date-Pecan Bread

Create this as a gift of serve it to your guests. This recipe is a hit!

You’ll Need
  • ½ cup dates, dried, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups flour, all-purpose, sifted
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

Directions

  • Soak dates for 2 hours in water, then drain and dry on paper towels.
  • In a bowl, mix egg, sugar, and butter.
  • Sift flour with baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add dry ingredients alternately with orange juice and water, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  • Stir in dates and pecans and beat until well blended.
  • Pour mixture into a greased 9x5x3″ loaf pan.
  • Bake in a preheated 350’F oven for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until bread tests done with a toothpick in the center.
  • Unmold and cool on a rack.

 

Overnight Rolls

This is a wonderful recipe taken from the Three Rivers Cookbook.
It’s a fantastic roll to serve as a complement with any holiday  meal.
 
Yields approximately 36 rolls
You’ll Need
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • ½ cup oil
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 7 cups flour (approximately)
Directions
 
Mix first three ingredients and let stand 10 minutes.
Blend remaining ingredients and mix with the liquid mixture. 
Let rise until doubled in bulk, knead down and let rise a second time.
Shape into rolls, cover with a cloth and let stand overnight. (Do not refrigerate!)
Bake the next morning at 350˚ until brown, about 15 minutes.
You can freeze the rolls.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread


This combination is so surprisingly wonderful together because you basically have a spice cake that is made moist by the zucchini and sweet by the chocolate, that’s a win-win! Try making this for a homemade holiday gift.



Double Chocolate Zucchini BreadYou’ll Need:

  • 2 Ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 Cups sugar
  • 1 1/3 Sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Cups grated zucchini
  • 2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 Cup dark chocolate chips
 
Directions:
 
Preheat oven to 350 F and butter two 9″ x 5″ loaf pans.
 
Place the chocolate in a microwaveable bowl and microwave on low in 30 second increments, until the chocolate has melted and is completely smooth.
 
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla. Mix in the zucchini. With a spatula, add the melted chocolate and stir until thoroughly combined.
 
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate chips. Fold the flour mixture until it forms a smooth batter. 
 
Pour the batter into the loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean.
 
Turn the loaves out onto a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. 

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Croutons

Having more salads is a great way to add veggies to the diet that aid our cholesterol control. Croutons are a delicious topping to many salads.


You’ll Need
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups of stale bread cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Examples of dried herbs and spices: garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, basil, paprika, crushed red pepper, rosemary etc.
Directions
  • Melt the butter in a skillet with the olive oil. 
  • Add the cubes of bread and sauté, turning frequently with a spatula, until bread cubes are golden brown. 
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir well. Sprinkle with desired herbs/spices. 
  • Remove from heat spread out croutons and let cool. 
  • Store in an airtight container.
 

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Ginger’d Lemon Scones

Great complement for a holiday brunch.

You’ll Need:

  • 2 C flour
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 C crystallized ginger, finely chopped, (found in the spice section of store)
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar

Directions:
Get the oven ready
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Add the dry ingredients
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda and cream of tartar.
Stir in ginger and lemon zest.

Combine buttermilk and oil.
Fold into dry ingredients until blended.
Turn the slightly sticky dough out onto a lightly floured board and form into a rectangle about ½ inch in thickness.
With a knife, cut each triangles about 4 inches tall (or so).
Reroll and cut the scraps, handling the dough as little as possible.

Place scones onto a baking sheet.
Blend water in w egg in a bowl, and then lightly paint the tops of the scones with the glaze.
Sprinkle scones with sugar.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and firm to touch.
Serve warm.

Irish Potato Bread

You’ll Need

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 tsp.yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 T butter
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes at room temperature
  • 4 T sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 6 cups flour
  • 1 egg (for glaze)
Directions
If You Have A Food Processor pour warm water into the bowl. (The water should be about 85 to 115° F. Test it with your hand. It should feel very warm, but comfortable. )
Sprinkle the yeast over the water and mix at low speed.
Let stand for five minutes.
Slowly mix in milk, potatoes, salt and sugar.
Gradually mix in flour.
Mix on high for about a minute or two.
The dough should turn into a ball and roll around the processor.
If the dough does not ball up because it’s to dry, add water one tablespoon at a time until it does.
If your mixture is more like a batter, add flour one tablespoon at a time. (Adding water or flour as needed to get the right consistency will assure you always get a perfect dough. Just remember to do it in small amounts.)
After Your Dough Is Made transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover with a clean towel and let rise until doubled (about 1 1/2 hours).
Grease 2 loaf pans and pre-heat oven to 375°F.
Punch down dough and divide into two pieces.
Shape each piece into loaf shape and place in greased pans.
Cover pans with clean towel and let rise till doubled (about 1 hour).
Use a pastry brush to brush beaten egg over the tops of the loaves.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.

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