Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Recipe: Raisin Bran Bread (Bread Machine)

I love toasted Raisin Bread so I looked through my favourite bread machine cookbook, The Bread Machine Baker, for a recipe and found one.  This recipe uses Raisin Bran cereal and I happened to have some Raisin Bran Crunch cereal in the pantry because I love it sooo much.  I gotta figure out how to make that cereal from scratch one day.

Like all bread machine recipes are, this was very simple to make and filled the house with wonderful fresh bread smells.  This would be a nice bread to make when company is visiting or for an afterschool snack toasted with peanut butter.  The bread has a wonderful cinnamon flavour and is dense enough for the toaster.

from The Bread Machine Baker

2 teaspoons or 1/2 package of yeast
2 cups bread flour
1 cup Raisin Bran cereal (I used Raisin Bran Crunch cereal)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup water or milk (I used whole milk)

Add all ingredients to the machine in the order listed.  Choose either regular or light crust (depending on your preference) and push "Start".

For a printable version of this recipe go here.


from the book "The Children's Hour - Best Loved Poems"
1953, The Spenser Press Co.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Martha Mondays: April 4th Pane Integrale - Why Not Join Us?

I'm really enjoying participating in Martha Mondays over at Martha and Me.  Each week one of us selects anything from Martha Stewart (that's alot of choices!) and we all make it and blog about it.  This has become a fun way to explore new recipes, craft a little (which I am totally new at), and enjoy the experiences with others.  Anyone can participate, just let Brette know and she'll add your blog to her sidebar of weekly participants.  I don't participate in every project (there are just some things I cannot do), but I love reading everyones stories.

On April 4th we'll be sharing our experiences making a no knead bread, Pane Integrale, from April 2010 Martha Stewart's Living Magazine.  If you don't have a copy Brette can email it to you.

Hope to see you there!

from the book "Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice"
by Julia Kiene
1950 Westinghouse Electric Corp., Appliances Division

Monday, March 29, 2010

Recipe: German Meatloaf

This meatloaf was very delicious and moist.  It has saurkraut and caraway seeds which made it taste a little sweet.  This makes a huge 2 lb. meatloaf so you may want to cut the recipe in half.  It was so big we renamed it "Bigfoot Meatloaf".  I had so much leftovers that I froze them and am going to serve them another time with roasted vegtables and homemade spatzle (which is a German egg noodle).

The saurkraut is only drained, not rinsed which adds that vinegar "bite" you'd expect with kraut and it really tastes good in this meatloaf.  I didn't use the rye breadcrumbs and substituted with plain breadcrumbs.  This was difficult to mix with a spoon so (eeew) I had to get my hands in there to mix properly.  The smell of this baking filled the house with wonderful smells.  Everyone was coming in the door saying "mmmm, what's for dinner?".  The kids really liked this meatloaf and cleaned their bowls.  I served it with boiled potatoes and corn on the cob.

This recipe is from "Heartland - The Best of the Old and the New from Midwest Kitchens" by Marcia Adams.  The book gives famous recipes from each state in the Midwest (i.e. this German Meatloaf was from Ohio).  I've flagged at least a dozen recipes to try like Old Fashioned Pot Roast, Chicken with Peanut & Chipoltle, Sweet Spareribs with Garlic, Cincinnati Chili and lots more.  I adore regional or local group cookbooks as the ingredients are usually what you can find locally and they're tried and true.

from the book "Heartland - The Best of the Old and the New from Midwest Kitchens"
by Marcia Adams

2 cups soft unseeded rye bread crumbs (I used plain bread crumbs)
1 16-ounce can sauerkraut, drained (I used a 14oz. can)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk (I used whole milk)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon caraway seed/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons catsup or chili sauce (I used chili sauce)
2 pounds lean ground beef

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except the meat and mix well. Add the ground beef and mix thoroughly (I had to do this by hand to mix it properly). Pat into a thick, flat loaf approximately 10 inches long and 8 inches wide and place on a rack in a greased or foil-lined 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake for 1 and 1/4 hours, or until nicely browned. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

For a printable version of this recipe go here.


from the book "The Children's Hour - Science Fiction"
1953 The Spenser Press, Inc.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Frugal Friday: 10 Flowering Trees for $10 from Arbor Day Foundation

We love trees.  I grew up in an area of beautiful forests of spruce, pine and birch trees and my husband grew up in Maryland where the hillsides are stuffed with huge gorgeous hardwoods.  When we moved the Kansas we missed trees as it's prairie land here.  Beautiful, but we still missed trees. 

Picture from when we visited the Arbor Day Farm last year.

Our first mission was to plant some trees around our home.  We received a flyer in the mail from the Arbor Day Foundation for "10 Flowering Trees for $10" and placed our order.  That was 3 years ago and they are now planted in our yard.  Our trees arrived domant and looked like a package of sticks, but we followed the instructions closely and now they are in our yard growing.

Picture we took when we picked-up our free tree to take home after visiting Arbor Day Farm.

This year we received another mail package from the Arbor Day Foundation to renew our membership and receive 10 flowering bushes.  So, I completed the form and am excitedly waiting for them to arrive.

If you don't have any need for trees in your yard, why not donate some trees to a National Forest, give some as a gift,  plant a tree in memory of someone or in memory of a pet, give them as wedding favours, or how about a fundraiser, give for customer or employee appreciation and more.  All trees come with a full set of instructions for planting and care.  So even if your a new gardener like me, even you can plant and care for one.

One of our pictures from the Arbor Day Farm.

When we visitied the Arbor Day Farm, someone asked the Tour Guide "so are you a bunch of tree hugger's or what?".  The lady replied, "We may be Tree Huggers,but first We're Tree Planters".  The Arbor Day Foundation's mission is to

"encourage people to plant, nurture, and care about trees"
Picture from our vacation to the Arbor Day Farm.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Recipe: Pfeffernuesse Cookies (German)

I was looking for a cookie with Aniseed in it to replace the Aniseed Cookies my husband loves so much from the Joy of Cooking cookbook.  The kind he likes take 2 days to make and I have trays of cookies all over my kitchen drying-out prior to baking them.  Perfect for attracting all sorts of unwanted critters like mice and ants... you know we live in the country right?  So, I love him and wanted to make a nice cookie for him.

I recently purchased this 1977 cookbook "Food From Foreign Nations- Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers" at a tag sale and found a recipe for Pfeffernusse which is a German cookie with lots of spices like nutmeg, allspice, black pepper (!), cardamom and aniseed.  What a different cookie this will be!

These cookies were simple to make, with a little extra time needed to frost the cookies.  Frosting them was really easy as you can frost a dozen at a time in a large bowl by stirring them around in the frosting.

The Pfeffernuesse was spicey and sweet.  The cookie wasn't hard or chewy, but very dense.  When you eat these, the sweetness of the frosting makes you gobble them up, then your left with a spicy "burn" in the back of your throat.  Very different indeed.  My husband enjoyed these although he prefers a thinner cookie and the kids, surprisingly, ate them up without a word about the spiceyness.

I'll make these again when I'm serving German food as it will round out the meal nicely.  These cookies, however, are not for the faint of heart as they do have a certain kick to them.

from Food from Foreign Nations Cookbook

1-1/2 cups strained honey
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
4 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon each soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, allspice, and black pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon aniseed

Heat honey in large saucepan, do not boil.  Add shortening; cool.  Beat in egg.  Sift remaining ingredients together except Icing.  Add to honey mixture.  Leg dough rest for 30 to 40 minutes.

Shape into 1 inch balls.  Place on lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 13 to 15 minutes.  (I let mine cool completely while I prepared the Icing).

2 egg whites
1 Tablespoon strained honey
1/2 teaspoon aniseed
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 cups confectioners' sugar
Combine egg whites, honey and spices in 1-quart mixing bowl.  Beat in sugar gradually with electric mixer.

Place 12 to 14 cookies in bowl with 2 Tablespoons of Icing.  Stir thoroughly to coat all sides.  Place on wire rack for Icing to harden.  Store in tightly closed container.  Yield: 8 to 9 dozen.

For a printable version of this recipe go here.

Linked to Ultimate Recipe Swap: Baked Goods over at Life As Mom.

from the book "The Children's Hour - Best Loved Poems"
1953 The Spencer Press, Inc.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Recipe: Buttermilk Cheese Bread (Bread Machine)

This soft, cheesy, chewy bread is perfect to have ready for weekend lunches.  We eat it plain as a snack or with Bacon Lettuce and Tomatoe sandwiches.  This bread is very tender, moist, and flakey and oh so good.  Usually when I make this, the whole loaf is gone within a couple hours.

The recipe comes from my favourite cookbook for bread machines The Bread Machine Baker by Elizabeth M Harbison.  Another recipe I posted from this book was Cinnamon Sugar Bread which we love to eat toasted.  As I do with all my breads, I let them cool completely, then cut them with an electric knife.

from The Bread Machine Baker

2 teaspoons or 1/2 package of yeast
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup grated sharp cheddar (or 1/2 cup each blue cheese and cheddar).

Add all the ingredients to the machine in the order listed.  Choose either regular or light crust (depending on your preference) and push "Start".

For a printable version of this recipe go here.


from the book "The Children's Hour - First Story Book 1"
1953 by Spenser Press, Inc.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Recipe Bomb: Maple-Bacon Quiche

As part of Martha Mondays over at Martha and Me we made Maple-Bacon Quiche.  This week's recipe was selected by Pru over at Perfecting Pru.  I joined in the fun because I'd already "perfected" the Pate Brisee crust when I made Maple-Nut Pie

This recipe was unecessarily complicated to make.  There were so many steps that I don't know if I ruined the recipe by making it wrong or if it was supposed to turn out this way.  It took FOREVER to make and there was a million little steps and details.  I mean, this is quiche right?  Quiche is supposed to be easy, not complicated.  I should make my easy Brocolli Quiche today just to prove how simple it should be.

Here's a summary of the number of steps involved.  Make your Pate Brise (luckily I already had one of the crusts ready in the fridge), roll it out, place in quiche dish (I didn't have a springform pan and I'm not even sure what that is anyway), prick with fork.  Place crust in freezer for 30 minutes - don't ask me why.

While crust is in freezer, cook 8 slices of bacon (this was almost the whole pack of the thick sliced bacon I had), save some of the drippings, drain bacon on papertowl and break into pieces.  Take pie crust out of freezer and bake 20 minutes with parchment on top (waiting) and a pie weight or dried beans, then remove those and bake for another 20 minutes (waiting).  Let cool completely (more waiting).

Cook onion in a little bit of the bacon grease.  Mix eggs, maple syrup (yup, it tasted gross with the eggs too), spices, and water, add onion.  Pour into cooled pie shell, add half the bacon, bake 20 minutes, add other half of bacon then cook 20 more minutes.  I'm exhausted just typing out the steps.

Once I poured my egg mixture into the prepared pie crust, the crust began to float!  I'm not kidding you.  I'm thinking to myself, after all that work I hope this is supposed to happen.  When the quiche was done it had some egg in the bottom, then a layer of crust, then the egg and bacon on top... strange, eh?  Not the mention, the crust was practically burned after all the uncessary steps and fooling around with it.

This is what we had for supper last night and everyone said they liked it - huh?  I think maybe they were afraid to tell me they didn't after they saw the mood I was in after making it.  The maple syrup was too sweet and didn't "go" with the eggs, although the thyme with the bacon flavouring was a good mix.  I think my family only liked it because it was stuffed with bacon which is one of their favourite foods.

So, this is going into my "Recipe Bombs - Don't Make These!" file.  Sorry Martha.


from the book "Grimm's Fairytales"
by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm
Illustrated by Leonard Weisgard
Junior Deluxe Editions, Garden City, New York
Nelson Doubleday, Inc.
story "Clever Else"

Monday, March 22, 2010

Recipe: Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies with Nuts

Do you ever get nervous when you try a new recipe?  I do.  I try new recipes at least twice a week but this one had me especially nervous as I was so hopeful it would turn out like I was expecting.  After my crispy crunchy cookie sucess with Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies I was searching for a crisp Chocolate Chip recipe. 

So, I went to the expert in all things domestic - Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook.  I've had this cookbook for a while but haven't used it much.  It's really thick and hard to keep opened-up to a recipe.  I was also intimidated by all the "equipment" in this book, stand mixers, food processors, special baking trays, etc.  I scanned the recipes and saw the one for Chocolate Chunk Cookies.  The photo shows them nice and flat and dark... hmmm.. looks crisp?  I had all the ingredients (and now a stand mixer) and decided on a few adjustments I'd make to the recipe too.

I copied the recipe so I didn't have to wrestle with the book to keep it open (I'm a genious you see), and got ready to bake.  I don't really use semi-sweet chocolate anymore so I replaced it with Hershy's Dark Chocolate Chips and I added walnut pieces.  The dough was fluffy (delicious!) and very sticky to roll but it baked up quickly as you make 2 sheets at a time.  I got one of those Pampered Chef baking stones at a garage sale recently (for 50cents!) so I made some on that too.

These came out crispy, chocoately, and nutty.  Perfect for dipping in milk.  They brown very quickly so make sure to check on them after 13 minutes or so.   The baking stone was a dream to use.  The cookies made on this weren't as brown on the edges and baked more evenly.  I'll have to get another one of these stones ;o)

From Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 large whole egg, plus 1 large egg white
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chunks (I used Hershy's Dark Choc. Chips)
(I also added 3/4 cup chopped walnuts)

Preheat the oven to 375F, with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add the vanilla, whole egg, and egg white. Beat on low speed until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture in two batches; mix until just combined. Mix in chocolate.

Shape 2 heaping tablespoons of dough at a time into balls and place about 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are golden brown, about 18 minutes. Transfer parchment and cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

For a printable version of this recipe go here.

Enjoy and be sure to link in the comments below if you try this recipe too :)

from the book "When We Were Very Young"
by A.A. Milne
1950 E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Send Chocolate to Soldiers

There's so much chocolate on sale in the stores now leftover from Christmas and Valentines Day.  Won't you sign-up to send some to a soldier or a platoon today?  This can be a one time package or you can sign-up to support a soldier or platoon with monthly care packages.

We adopted our soldier, Anita, through this organization and have been sending her monthly care packages since July 2009.  Go to Adopt A Platoon for more information or to sign-up.

Recipe: Chocolate Pudding Cake

This is a wintertime treat that is so good you'll make it all year round.  I remember Chocolate Pudding Cake from when I was growing up.  Sweet, spongy, chocolately cake on top with a layer of chocolate pudding on the bottom.  Perfect served warm with a side of ice cream or on its own.

I made this as an afternoon snack for our kids and their friends and it was all gone within minutes.  It was so easy to make, that I made a second batch for after supper in no time.  Now, that's my kind of baking - quick, easy, with only a 2 small bowls to wash after.

This recipe comes from a cookbook I ordered online called Nova Scotia Potluck - Yummy Food for Friends and Family by Shelagh Duffett.  I made two recipes from it the day I received the book in the mail.  It's full of beautiful artwork by Shelagh along with tried-and-true recipes from her friends and family.  I'm so pleased with this book and have at least a dozen recipes flagged to try.

You can order your copy through her website or through Amazon linked in the above widget.

from Nova Scotia Potluck - Yummy Food for Friends and Family
by Shelagh Duffett

1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk, warm
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups boiling water

In a large bowl, mix together the first five ingredients.  Add the butter and warm milk, beat with a wooden spoon.  Pour into greased 8x8" pan and spread evenly.

Mix together the brown sugar and cocoa and sprinkle over the batter. 

Pour the boiling water overall of it.  Bake at 350 F for 45-55 minutes.

For a printable version of this recipe go here.


from the book "The Animal Fair"
story and pictures by Alice and Martin Provensen
1952 Western Publishing Company

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