Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cookbook Review and Giveaway

Cookbook Review and Giveaway

Butter Baked Goods by Rosie Daykin
Nostalgic Recipes from a Little Neighborhood Bakery

If you love the cover of this cookbook you are going to love what is in this book.  Beautiful photographs, over 100 recipes, helpful hints and how-to's.  What I love about this cookbook recipes anyone can make and if you are my age (cough cough) it takes you back when grandma made those recipes.  These are recipes made with love.

I decided to open the cookbook and whatever was on that page that would be the first thing I would make out of Butter Baked Goods.

I opened to page 115 - Butterscotch Crispy Bars a nice spin on the Rice Crispy Treats.  Only 6 ingredients, simple to make and packed with flavor.  

I'm sorry that I'm not posting the recipe the cookbook just came out and I don't think that would be fair to the author

With recipes like:

Apple Bacon Cheddar Scones
Maple Snickerdoodle Sandwich Cookies
The Campfire Bar
Triple Lemon Layer Cake
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes
Butter's Famous Marshmallows (you heard right)
Chocolate Honeycomb Brittle

How could you go wrong with this cookbook! And if things couldn't get any better and they have I am giving away to one lucky person Butter Baked Goods Cookbook and this adorable set of measuring cups.

Going to be in British Columbia, Canada stop by and visit
Butter Baked Goods
4907 Mackenzie Street, Vancouver, BC

If you feel the need to share this giveaway with your friends - The "Karma Gods" shall smile down on you with good favor.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Zucchini Bread

I am not a magazine hoard.  I go through magazines rip out articles I want to read, ideas for decorating and recipes.  I have folders that I put the articles in except for recipes I have a box.  My stack of magazine recipes is around 6 inches tall.  Last week I started going through the stack and picking out a few I would like to make.  If I like the recipe it will get a permanent spot if I don't care for it in the trash it goes.

This recipe I cut out of the Southern Living Magazine over a year ago in other words this is a pretty new recipe I have some that go back 8 years.  

I had all the ingredients on hand so this was the first recipe I made.  My husband is the type that if I would have said it is zucchini bread he would not have tried it.  I started out saying it was Lemon Poppy Seed Bread.  After he tried it and loved it I told him about the zucchini and he was very surprised.  Something new he will eat, Go Me!  Since I made the 3 little loaves he has eaten two of them.  I had more zucchini so I made another batch.   Being little loaves they would make nice gifts or wrap up and store in the freezer. 

Lemon Poppy-Seed Zucchini Bread
Southern Living Magazine, August 2012

1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees; prepare 3 - 5x3 loaf pans with grease and flour; set aside.

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time; just until blended between each addition.

Stir together, flour, salt and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream.  Staring and ending with the flour.  Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.  Stir in zucchini, lemon zest and poppy seeds.  Spoon into loaf pans evenly, about 1 1/3 cups per pan.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a wooden tooth pick comes out clean.  Cool pans completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes).

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Italian Meat Sauce

A few days ago hubby said it's been a long time since I last made a meat sauce.  Boy was he right I can't even remember the last time I made it.  When you think of an Italian meat sauce you picture hours of slaving in the kitchen and I think a lot of people don't want to deal with it.  Yes, it does take hours to make a good meat sauce but 3 hours of it it's just sitting there simmering.  Every 1/2 hour or so you go in a give it a nice stir and bask in the beauty of what you are making.

What is nice about a meat sauce after you have spent the hours waiting for the sauce it only takes about 10 minutes to boil the pasta.  Or if you want everyone think you really slaved make a lasagna, stuffed shells, manicotti, this sauce is so versatile.  If you like a thick sauce just follow the recipe below if you like a thin sauce I have that in the recipe too.

Italian Meat Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 stocks celery, finely chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 ounces pancetta, diced small
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
32 or 35 ounce can Italian peeled tomatoes whole
1 1/2 cup beef stock (maybe more)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 large bay leaves
1 teaspoons red pepper flakes (1/2 teaspoon for less heat)
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil over a medium high heat in a large dutch oven.  Add onions, celery and carrots; sauté for 10 minutes; or until soft.  Add garlic and stir until you can smell the garlic.  Add pancetta; give it a few stirs and then add ground beef, at this point I like to add a little salt and pepper.  Using a spoon to break up ground beef until crumbly.  Cook for 15 minutes; stirring a few times.

Add wine; bring to a boil for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add tomato paste stirring so tomato paste covers everything.  Add the juice from the canned tomatoes, using your hands tear tomatoes up gently so they don't go squirting juice all over the place.  (I like to use my hands that way if I find tomato skin or a really thick piece of tomato I can throw it away).  Add beef stock, oregano, bay leaves and red pepper flakes; stir and set heat to low and cover for 2 hours; stirring occasionally.

Heat one cup of milk and add to meat sauce; salt and pepper to taste.  If the sauce is too thick for your liking add a 1/4  to 1 1/2 cups beef broth until you find the consistency that you like.  Simmer for another 2 hours.  Serve with tagliatelle or fettuccini top with fresh basil and finely grated parmesan cheese.

Shared with Jam Hands: Recipe Sharing Monday #77 and Weekend Potluck #100

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Re-Sharing 2011 Post: Starbucks Gingerbread Bars

Now that we are on the other side of 100 days before Christmas the Holidays are going to sneak up on us and fast.  If you make baked goods for family, friends and neighbors this is a good time to try out new recipes.  The Holidays are stressful enough so try those new recipes early.  Your family will love it and when it comes time to make it to give as gifts you will know what to expect.

Starbucks Gingerbread Bars
adapted from Southern Living Christmas at Home, 2007

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup molasses
3 Tbsp milk

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl.  Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add sugars beating until well blended.  Add flour mixture a little at a time mixing on low speed, just until blended.  Add molasses, egg and milk beating just until blended.  Spread evenly in a 13 x9 inch pan lined with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8oz package Philadelphia Cream Cheese
3 Tbsp butter
Grated zest of one orange
1 tsp Grand Marnier
1 lb (box) powdered sugar
Candied Ginger

Beat cream cheese, butter, orange zest and Grand Marnier on medium speed until creamy.  Gradually add powdered sugar having the mixer on low then on medium beat until smooth.

Frost gingerbread and cut gingerbread into triangles placing a candied ginger on each triangle.  Store in refrigerator in a air tight container up to 7 days.  If they last that long.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Scrambled Eggs Florentine

One night every other week we have breakfast for dinner.  It is usually poached eggs, hash browns, bacon or sausage patties, with english muffins or toast.  I decided to go with scrambled eggs, we never have plain scrambled eggs.  I always add onions after than it's fair game with what's in the fridge.  I might add ham, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers or salami.  It's always a scrambled surprise. 

Normally I would add some hash browns or cottage potatoes and even some extra bacon as a side,  but we are going to DQ tonight for my annual Pumpkin Blizzard so I am keeping it light, so I can be bad, very bad.

Scrambled Eggs Florentine

3 slices bacon
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz container fresh baby spinach
6 eggs
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 black pepper
couple pinches of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup asiago cheese, grated

Slice the bacon down the center lengthwise then chopped into small pieces.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat; cook bacon to desired doneness, remove bacon to a paper towel to drain.  Drain bacon fat leaving approx. 2 tablespoons in skillet.  Add onions cook until tender about 10 minutes, add garlic, stir onions and garlic together.  Add spinach cook with onions and garlic until wilted along with the cooked bacon pieces.  In a bowl add eggs, cream, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes; whisk together; add to spinach mixture and cook until the way you like your scrambled eggs cooked.  Sprinkle the top of the scramble with grated asiago cheese and serve.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ginger Pumpkin Bread with Real Maple Icing

It is that time of month - Baking Partners monthly challenge.  This month I chose to go with the Ginger Pumpkin Bread with Real Maple Icing.  The other choice was a Yeast Pumpkin Bread.  

I loved the bread - delicious flavor next time I make it I will add some candied ginger to the batter I think those little bursts of ginger will taste fantastic.  I did add a Whiskey glaze to my bread just after it was taken out of the oven, this is optional. 

Ginger Pumpkin Bread with Real Maple Icing

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 15oz can pumpkin puree
3 eggs


1/4 cup real maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon real vanilla
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar, more if needed
1 tablespoon heavy cream
a pinch of kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, prepare a 8x5 loaf pan by buttering and dusting with flour; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, pumpkin, melted butter and eggs. Add in the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the Glaze: Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add in the two tablespoons of unsalted butter. The butter should instantly start to melt and turn golden. Once melted and deep golden, turn off the heat and add in the maple syrup and vanilla, whisking constantly (it should bubble up).  Once the bubbles have subsided a bit, whisk in the powdered sugar. Keep whisking while adding the tablespoon of heavy cream and pinch of salt.  Drizzle warm icing over cooled cake.

NOTE:  I did make a whiskey glaze to drizzle over the warm bread so it could soak in before it cooled. I took a 1/2 cup of water and a 1/2 cup of sugar and heated it a sauce pan over medium heat until the sugar dissolved.  Add a 1/4 cup of good whiskey and simmer for a few minutes.  Slowing pour over hot bread allowing it to absorb into the bread.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I will be back soon

I will be back to blogging soon 

Allergies have kicked me to the curb, stomped on me and left me for dead

and this is the nasty little booger that's doing all the damage


What is rubber rabbitbrush?
Rubber rabbitbrush, or grey rabbitbrush, is a fast growing native shrub. While similar to sagebrush, it grows faster and competes less withforbs and grasses, thus filling an important part of the post-disturbanceplant community.
Rubber rabbitbrush flowers
True to its name, rubber rabbitbrush can be used to make rubber, but the process is not cost-effective. Compounds in rubber rabbitbrush are still being investigated for medicine and as an insect repellent. American Indians used it to make chewing gum, tea, cough syrup, and yellow dye. The rubbery twigs were used in making baskets.
What are its characteristics?
This shrub normally grows 1-7 feet tall and may have several stems from the base that branch to give plants a rounded appearance. Narrow, yellow-green leaves and flexible twigs are covered with felt-like hairs that reduce transpiration and water loss. Rubber rabbitbrush favors sunny, open sites, and is particularly common where recent disturbance has occurred. It is cold hardy, and tolerates moderately salty soils. In the Great Basin, rubber rabbitbrush grows from 3,000 to 8,000 feet elevation.
It reproduces from seeds and resprouts following fires. Clusters of small golden yellow flowers adorn the shrub canopy from mid-summer to early fall. In late fall, seeds are dispersed by wind, but they do not persist in the seedbankGermination occurs easily, but seedlings often do not live unless late spring rains replenish soil moisture. Often, seedling establishment occurs near other shrubs where shading reduces moisture loss. This species rapidly colonizes disturbed sites, but stands decline over time.
What’s its value to the Great Basin? Rubber rabbitbrush plant
Wildlife only lightly forage on this species, but winter use can be heavy. It can be an important early winter food source for mule deer. Black-tailed jackrabbits eat the stems and leaves in the fall and winter. Rubber rabbitbrush provides good cover for many nesting birds. It is of little worth to livestock, though sheep use it some during the winter.
Rubber rabbitbrush is often considered less valuable than sagebrush.
What is its restoration potential?
The biggest benefit of rubber rabbitbrush is that it grows quickly, prevents soil erosion, and provides a shrub component until slower growing species out-compete it. Establishment is relatively easy, and seed dispersal is rapid. Where erosion potential is high, less palatable subspecies can be planted to deter herbivory.

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