Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Carrot-Zucchini Bread and Apple French Toast

This bread is delicious! The Apple Cinnamon French Bread is more like a casserole/cobbler. The boys love them. :) These are both from the Pampered Chef More Stoneware Sensations. Yummy!

Spiced Carrot-Zucchini Bread
2 1/4 C flour
1 C sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
3/4 C carrots, finely chopped
3/4 C zucchini, finely chopped
1/2 C walnuts, coarsely chopped
2/3 C vegetable oil
1/2 C milk
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Spray loaf pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add remaining ingredients and stir just until moistened. Bake 57-70 Minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes, remove to rack to cool completely.

Apple Cinnamon French Toast

1 loaf french bread

6 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
8 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/8  tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 Granny Smith apples
2 tbsp butter or margarine
Maple syrup

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Slice bread into 1 inch think slices and arrange closely in baker. Beat eggs with a whisk and add milk, three tablespoons of sugar, vanilla, and salt. Pour over bread. Combine the 5 remaining tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Peel and core apples and make thin slices. (You can use the PC Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer for this, and I really love it.) Slice down one side of the apples to make rings. Arrange 1/2 over french bread. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Repeat. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour or over night. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut butter into small pieces and arrange over apples. Bake, uncovered, 35 - 45 minutes or until apples are tender and eggs are set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve with syrup.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Coconut Cake and Frosted Peanut Butter Bars

This week was Poppy Seed Chicken week, so there's always more to bake because everyone loves the Poppy Seed Chicken. I made a Coconut Cake, a double batch of Triple Chocolate Cookies, Ooey Gooey Chewy S'more Bars and Frosted Peanut Butter Bars. I had never made a coconut cake before, and, like most layer cakes I've made in the past few months, it tasted much better than it looked. Even after I threw coconut shavings all over it, it was still rather umm, messy. I think I need to chill the icing more, even though the recipes rarely say to do that... Check out the recipe at Food Network for Coconut Cake - it's delicious! Well, if you love coconut shavings and buttercream cheese frosting. The flavor was great, and I'm not a big fan of the afore mentioned.

Now, I do really love me some peanut butter. So these Frosted Peanut Butter Bars have claimed a spot on my top ten faves. They truly are awesome.

Frosted Peanut Butter Bars
(From Taste of Home Best Loved Cookies & Bars 2008)
1/3 C shortening
½ C peanut butter
1 ½ C packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ C flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ C milk
2/3 C creamy peanut butter
1/2 C shortening
4 C powdered sugar
1/3 to ½ C milk
1 C mini chocolate chips

In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening, peanut butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Transfer to a greased 15 x 10 x 1 baking pan. Bake at 350 or 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. For frosting, in a small mixing bowl, cream the peanut butter, shortening and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Frost bars. Sprinkle mini chops on top. Cut into bars. Store in the fridge.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hello Dolly!

(Note: This is actually an older post...I thought I posted it awhile back, only to discover it was only a draft!)

My new All-American pressure canner came and I am really looking forward to using her! (Yes, it's a girl, and her name is Dolly.) I won't degrade my children by saying she's a new member of the family, but she will definitely be loved, respected and cared for. I chose the 21 1/2 quart because it seemed like the most practical for the cost. I can do 7 quarts at once, or 19 pints. It can also be used as a water bath canner, and as a pressure cooker for roasts and such. I didn't know that you could cook multiple foods at once in a pressure cooker without them taking on each other's flavors, did you? Interesting...

Anyway, I am planning a few pre-harvest recipes to familiarize myself with the canner. I don't want to be working out the kinks and have a learning curve when there's 20 pounds of tomatoes on the line. I would much rather mess up a small batch of strawberry preserves. That is the first thing I'm going to can. (Now, I know that my purpose in this is preserving in-season, yada yada yada, but I'm not concerning myself with that right now. I'm just learning. Plus, the only thing technically 'in season' right now are greens.) I also need to select something for regular pressure canning, because the water bath is a different technique, and I want to have tried both at least once.

Garden plans are in the works, news and pictures to come very soon!