Orange Rhubarb Bread

March 29, 2011

Cornmeal and rhubarb?  Who knew how great this combination would be?  The color of the bread is great.  The bread is moist and the tart/sweet vibe is delicious.  This is my new favorite rhubarb bread recipe.

Orange Rhubarb Quick Bread
Country Home, March/April 2009

2 ½ cu. flour
¼ c. cornmeal
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 ½ c. sugar
¾ c. butter
3 eggs, beaten
½ c. milk
zest from one medium sized orange
2 tbsp orange juice
2 c. chopped rhubarb

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine dry ingredients except sugar.
Separately combine sugar, butter, eggs, milk, zest and oj.  Pour into dry ingredient mix and stir until moistened.  Mix in rhubarb.

Pour into two greased bread pans.  Bake for 55 minutes.


Sicilian Sangria

June 12, 2009
Sicilian Sangria

Sicilian Sangria

My next adventure into sangrias also comes from Kim Haasarud’s 101 Sangrias and Pitcher Drinks.  We were having pasta so I decided to try the Sicilian Sangria.  The recipe from Haasarud calls for orange curaçao, but my trustee wine advisor at the Winery says that triple sec is a good substitute.  For the wine, he recommended Citra’s 2005 Montepulciano D’Abruzzo which was a decent $10 wine.
We liked this one better than the New Zealand Kiwi Sangria but it the flavor didn’t hold up over time as well.   Although the oranges tasted really good a couple days later.

1 bottle of Italian Red Wine
1 c. orange juice
1/2 c. triple sec or orange curaçao
1/4 c. simple syrup (boil 1 c. water with 1 c. sugar together – don’t stir)
Wedges of 2 oranges
Wedges of 1 peach
1 lime, sliced

Add club soda just before drinking to taste.


New Zealand Kiwi Sangria

June 10, 2009

IMG_3118Sometimes the public library knows more than you do about what you need.  The spring was a rough one and I’ve been trying to rejuvenate ever since it ended.  What should I find on display at my local public library branch a couple weeks ago?  Kim Haasarud’s 101 Sangrias and Pitcher Drinks.  Immediately, I began to remember one of my favorite vacations.  It was in Portugal and the first night we had the best sangria.  So in honor of that fantastic week in Portugal, I decided to search out the best sangria recipes.

I started with Haasarud’s New Zealand Kiwi Sangria.  I know, I know.  I should start with a Portuguese sangria, but I’m a big fan of New Zealand sauvignon blancs.  I used Spinyback’s 2006 Sauvignon Blanc.  We loved this sangria.  The danger is that it tastes so nice that you could easily overindulge.  Crisp, sweet and very refreshing with a bright, appealing kiwi green color.

1 bottle New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
1/4 c. Midori Melon liqueur
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. simple syrup (boil 1 c. water and 1 c. sugar together without stirring)
6 kiwis (peel and slice)
1 c. crushed pineapple
Club soda

Mix everything but the club soda.  Cover and put in the frig for at least 4 hours.

We tried it straight first and found it very sweet.  So add the club soda to taste.


Sloppy Dudes

June 5, 2009

Sloppy Dudes
Rachel Ray to the rescue!  A year ago we started changing our diet to deal with cholesterol and high blood pressure and I started looking for a tasty recipe for ground turkey breast.  I found it in her Just in Time cookbook.  I had to make my own variation on it of course.  Rachel’s recipe calls for tomatillos but since I live in the Midwest, good tomatillos can be hard to find in the winter.  So last fall I froze up a bunch of green tomatoes.  I know it’s a very different flavor but the tartness seems to work.

Here’s my version.  It’s a little shorter in time.

1 lb. ground turkey breast
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 c. green tomatoes
1 avocado, peeled and sliced

Saute onions in olive oil.  Brown ground turkey.  Add green pepper, jalapenos and green tomatoes.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Cook through.  Serve on hamburger buns with slices of avocado.


Disaster Averted

May 3, 2009
Cherry Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Cherry Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Cherry Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Baking is chemistry.  You read that again and again.  You need certain ratios and must measuring accurately or things fall apart.  My failed rhubarb bread with the missing from a few posts ago is proof of this.  But sometimes you get to baking you don’t have what you thought you had in the cupboard.  Or frig.  I know, I know.  A person should set everything out before beginning to bake so you know you have all the ingredients.  To be honest, I rarely do that.  And I realize that the rhubarb mess wouldn’t have happened if I had done that.  But still, I never learn.

Yesterday I decided to try this recipe I found in Midwest Living.  From the beginning, it seemed doomed.  First, I substituted oil for butter.  The recipe called for 1 c. butter, but I had recently read that you can substitute oil for butter but that you need to watch the moisture level.  So I reduced it to 3/4 c. canola oil.  Next I discovered I didn’t have any eggs.  But a month or so ago, Kent had emailed me a site that gave a list of substitutes for eggs.  One of them was banana.  So in went a banana.  Then I remembered that I had three egg yolks in the refrigerator so they were thrown in.  This should have been a disaster.  But lo and behold, it worked!  These are actually pretty good cookies.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix together:
1 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon

With a hand mixer, mix the dry ingredients with

3/4 c. canola

Then continue mixing and add

1 ripe banana
3 egg yolks

If you can, continue to blend with the hand mixer and add

2 c. flour

Then stir in

2 c. oatmeal
1 c. dried cherries

Drop tablespoon-sized rounds onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 18-20 minutes


The Glory of Crisps: The Fruit Dessert for Everyone

April 29, 2009

crispsFinding a good dessert for just the two of us can be a challenge.  Most make just too much for two people.  And what about single people.  When I was single, I had no business baking a whole cake and eating it by myself.  Which is one of the reasons I love crisps.

Crisps are wonderful. You can make a small amount or a big amount.  I usually use a muffin pan.  And you can make it around whatever fruit is in season.  This week I made up several different crisps with whatever fruit looked good at the grocery store – blackberry, apple, pear, cherry and peach.  If you just want to make single servings, you can use a oven-safe custard cup or even a muffin pan.

I used a muffin pan and did a different fruit in each cup.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place fruit into cups.  For pears, apples and peaches, that’s about a half a fruit sliced.

Squeeze lemon juice over fruit.  Top each cup with –

1 t. brown sugar
1 T. oatmeal
1/2 T. chopped nuts (I like walnuts or pecans)
1 thin slice of butter
Pinch of cinnamon

Bake for about 20 minutes  crisps-in-muffin-tin


Irish Soda Bread

April 27, 2009

irish-soda-breadIt’s raining today.  A lot.  And it brings back memories of a wonderful, but rainy, week spent in Ireland.  During this trip, I learned how important a fulfilling breakfast is to combating cold and damp.  Since I was planning on an afternoon of digging and planting in between the showers, I decided to bake one of my favorite discoveries from that trip in Ireland.

Irish soda bread is one of those earthy, dense breads with a crunchy crust that I enjoy with butter and jam.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a big white bread fan (sourdough being the exception).  Just one slice will get you through your work and it goes great with a hot drink to relax with when you’re done.  This is a low fat version I tried this morning.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together:
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
2 2/12 T brown sugar

Cut into the dry mixture:
2 T. butter

In a separate bowl, combine:
1 egg white, beaten until frothy
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. raisins or currants

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix.  Turn onto a floured board and knead about 10 times.  Shape into a 9″ round and place on a greased baking.  Make a cross in the top of the dough with a sharp knife.

Bake 45 minutes.