Sunday, May 15, 2022

Pear Pecan Bundt Cake

Anyone that follows my blog knows I like bundt cakes. . . one pan, no layers to spread frosting over, just drizzle the glaze when the cake is completely cool!  And my Lodge Manufacturing cast iron bundt cake pan gets a lot of use.

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 large eggs at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Bosc pears, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 2 cups)

1 cup chopped nuts

Glaze

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

3 tablespoons water (or enough to get right consistency)


Preheat oven to 350.  Spray tube pan with Bakers Joy spray.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, the sugar, the baking soda, and the salt, making a well in the center.  Stir in the oil, the eggs, and the vanilla.  Stir in the pears and the pecans.  Spoon the batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Let cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes.  Remove from pan onto a wire rack.

Once cake is completely cool, in a small bowl (I use a pyrex measuring cup because the pouring spout makes it easy to spread the glaze) stir together the sugar and water until smooth.  Drizzle over cake.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Sweet Potato Bread with Buttermilk Lime Frosting

I make a lot of different quick breads, probably a half dozen or more recipes.  This one is quite unique.  It can be served with or without the frosting. . . but include the frosting!

Salted butter for greasing the pan

1 3/4 cups self rising flour

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups light brown sugar

1 cup mashed roasted sweet potato

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature


Frosting

2 1/2 cups sifted powder sugar

2 tablespoons buttermilk

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

lime zest


Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a loaf pan with butter, set aside. 

Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder, cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.  Whisk together brown sugar, sweet potato, oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a separate bowl.  Add eggs, one at a time to brown sugar mixture, whisking to combine after each addition.  Slowly add brown sugar mixture to flour mixture, whisking constantly until well combined.

Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan.  Bake on middle rack in preheated oven until a wooden toothpick comes out clean, about one hour.  Remove bread from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

Prepare the icing:  Whisk together powdered sugar, buttermilk, lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and pinch of salt in a medium bowl until smooth.

Remove the bread from pan, and cool on wire rack.  Drizzle bread with frosting while the loaf is still warm.  Top with zest.

Soooo good!

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Linguine and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I love sun-dried tomatoes!  Here is a quick and easy pasta recipe you'll love.

16 oz. package of linguine

7 oz. jar sun dried tomatoes in oil

1/4 cup pine nuts

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 oz. package crumbled feta cheese

2 tablespoons thin fresh basil strips


Prepare the linguine according to package directions.

Drain the tomatoes, reserving 2 tablespoons oil.  Cut the tomatoes into thin strips.

Heat pine nuts in a large skillet, over medium-low heat, stirring often, 5 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.  Remove the nuts from skillet.

Increase heat to medium, and saute garlic in 2 tablespoons reserved oil and olive oil in the skillet one minute or until garlic is fragrant.  Stir in tomatoes and remove from heat.

Toss together tomato mixture, hot cooked pasta, feta cheese, and basil in large bowl.  Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

Mmmm. . . delicious!

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

A throw-together vegetable stir fry!

I have tons of recipes for anything I want to make and more. . . but sometimes it is fun to just go out on a limb and see what you can come up with.  That's what I did tonight.


I brought home a lot of "stir fry stuff", well that was what I wrote on my shopping list!  I began by heating up my cast iron wok, adding a small amount of oil in it. . . letting that heat up. . . then I added chopped garlic and fresh ginger.  After that cooked for a minute or two, I added broccoli, orange bell pepper strips, baby corn, and mushrooms.  When that had cooked a bit, I added homemade stir fry sauce, stirred it around, then covered the wok and let it simmer a bit.  I served it over brown rice.  It turned out great!  When making stir fry, go easy on the sauce.  It can be overpowering if you add too much.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Stir Fry Sauce Recipes

I like putting together a stir fry meal.  It is quick, delicious, and nutritious.  I just toss in whatever vegetables I want, sliced fresh ginger, and minced garlic.  I usually serve it over rice, but sometimes I just eat it as it comes out of my wok!  Here are my go to sauce recipes. . . I've never been a fan of bottled sauces.

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon brown sugar


1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon rice vinegar


1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/4 cup sesame oil

1 tablespoon cornstarch


For all of the above, whisk together the ingredients and use sparingly in a stir fry meal.  Store in the refrigerator in tightly sealed container for several weeks.  I like my Lodge Manufacturing cast iron woks.  I have a 14 inch one and a 9 inch.  The smaller one is great for a nice meal for me.  But if I have company or want left overs, the larger one works fine.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Sweet Potato Casserole

 Sweet Potatoes:

3 medium sweet potatoes, baked and mashed

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

12 tablespoons melted butter, divided

1 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Topping:

3/4 cup crushed corn flakes

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup brown sugar


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.  In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, sugar, eggs, 6 tablespoons melted butter, milk, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Mix well and pour into the baking dish.  Bake for 20 minutes.

While the sweet potatoes are baking, prepare the topping.  In a small bowl, combine the corn flakes, nuts, brown sugar, and the remaining 6 tablespoons melted butter.  Sprinkle on top of the baked sweet potatoes and bake for an additional 10 minutes.  Serve hot.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Sausage Blossoms

Here's a great appetizer to serve when guests come over.


2 pounds Italian sausage, casings removed

2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese

2 cups salsa

1 package won ton wrappers

sour cream

chopped green onions


Brown the sausage in a skillet, stirring until crumbly.  Remove from heat and add the cheese and salsa, stirring until the cheese is melted.  Press the won ton wrappers into miniature muffin cups.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until won ton edges begin to brown.  Remove to a serving platter and let stand 5 minutes.  Spoon a small amount of sour cream on top of each sausage blossom and sprinkle with chopped green onions.  Serve immediately.  Makes 24.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Marinated Broccoli

I was going through tote containers in the basement that hadn't been opened in months. . . years?  I ran across an old cookbook from my mother-in-law's Women's Club, circa 1980.  I found quite a few recipes I want to try but this one I remember making, back in the days when I was trying to get my boys to eat more vegetables.


1 cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon dill seed

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/3 cup vegetable oil

With two bunches of broccoli flowerets, cleaned and cut into small pieces, marinate in the marinade recipe above for at least 5 hours.

Monday, April 18, 2022

The Perfect Cookie (cookbook)


America's Test Kitchen, in my opinion, has the best cookbooks.  They put every recipe in their cookbooks through rigorous testing so that you get superior results.  I have several of their cookbooks and love every one of them.  They put a paragraph or two by each recipe telling you why it works.

Their cookie cookbook is really out of this world fantastic!

I admit I have gotten into a rut over the years when it comes to baking cookies.  My old standbys, chocolate chip, peanut butter, and sugar cookies are about the extent of my repertoire and at Christmas I often make the Hershey's Kisses Peanut Butter cookies.

This book has encouraged me to try others that I am sure will become favorites.

There are the Classic Chewy Oatmeal cookies, Lemon Sour Cream cookies, Chewy Chocolate cookies, Cinnamon Swirl cookies, Hazelnut Lemon Curd Thumbprints, and so many more.

Check it out!  You won't be disappointed.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Chinese Spinach

This is a great way to prepare spinach.

1 lb. fresh spinach

2 tablespoons cooking oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup water chestnuts

2 tablespoons chopped onion


In a large, covered saucepan, simmer spinach with a small amount of water for 3 minutes.  Drain well.  Heat oil, soy sauce, and sugar in a skillet.  Add spinach, water chestnuts, and onion.  Cook and toss until spinach is well coated and heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes.