Friday, April 30, 2010

Recipe: French Country Bread (Bread Machine)

This lovely bread was made using olive oil, and turned out chewy inside with a delicious crunchy crust.  The kids ate almost the whole loaf after it cooled with no butter or anything.  You can't get any easier than bread machine bread, simply throw the ingredients in and let the machine do the work for you.

from The Bread Machine Baker

2 teaspoons or 1/2 package of yeast (must use Bread Machine Yeast)
 2 cups bread flour
2/3 teapsoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teapsoons olive oil (I used extra virgin)
2 teaspoons honey
3/4 cups water (room temperature)

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

Printable Version


from "Now We Are Six"
by A.A. Milne
with decorations by Ernest H. Shepard
1950 E.P. Dutton & Co

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Recipe: Banana Crunch Muffins

Banana Crunch Muffins have lots of banana flavour with subtle crunch from the added granola.  This is a nice comination of flavours.  Our MOMS Club delivers meals to members who've just had a baby or are in need.  This week I delivered a breakfast tray to one of our moms.

The night before I made the muffins, I made some of Martha Stewart's Maple Granola.  I make this every week because we love it.  The next morning I made these easy Banana Crunch Muffins and added the granola.  I also cut-up a tray of fresh fruit and put some of the granola in a jar. 

I wanted to deliver an easy meal so the mom, husband and their toddler could nibble on it throughout the day.  With a new baby in the house, quick, easy, and healthful food is always a treat.


from The Barefoot Contessa

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 bananas)
1 cup medium-diced ripe bananas (1 banana)
1 cup small-diced walnuts
1 cup granola
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Dried banana chips, granola, or shredded coconut, optional

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line 18 large muffin cups with paper liners (I used non-stick spray instead).

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the melted butter and blend.

Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas, and add them to the flour-and-butter mixture. Scrape the bowl and blend well. Don’t overmix.

Fold the diced bananas, walnuts, granola, and coconut into the batter.

Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each one to the top. Top each muffin with dried banana chips, granola  (this was my topping), or coconut, if desired.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly (actually cool alot or the tops of the muffins will seperate from the bottoms when you flip the tray over - lesson learned), remove from the pan, and serve.

Printable Recipe

from the book "Wind Song"
by Carl Sandburg
1960 Curtis Publishing Company

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Crafts: Cross-Stitch Pattern I Just Ordered

Photo Credit Wee Wonderfuls blog.

I haven't cross-stitched in about 9 years but this pattern has so inspired me to start again from Wee Wonderfuls.  I'm not a crafter by any means, but cross-stitch is actually pretty easy.

Photo Credit Wee Wonderfuls blog.

She gave us a glimpse of this "super" pattern back in March and I'm so glad it's available finally.


Recipe: Lemon Cloud Pie

This pie is as delicious as it's name.  Lemony, cold and refreshing and not too sweet.  The whipped cream is folded right into the lemon custard which gives it a nice airy texture.  This pie is divine.

from Moms Who Think

1 9-inch pie crust, baked
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
⅓ cup lemon juice
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
4 ounces cream cheese, softened, cubed
1 teaspoon lemon zest

½ cup whipping cream, whipped

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Stir in water, lemon juice, and egg yolks. Mix well. Stir constantly while cooking over medium heat until mixture thickens.  Add cream cheese and lemon zest to mixture, and stir until cream cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.

In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold into lemon mixture.

Spoon filling evenly into cooled pie shell and chill at least 7 hours or overnight. Serve with additional whipped topping over filling.

Printable Copy


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

Monday, April 26, 2010

Recipe: Lemon Bars

These are lemony and delicious with a yummy shortbread crust.  They were a snap to make and everyone loved them.  Our daughter loves anything lemon so I've got a few things up my sleeve for her this week.  The next treat is still setting in the fridge and I'll post it tomorrow.

The recipe comes from one of my favourite sites Make It From Scratch.  There's so much to find and explore on this site as their contributing bloggers goal is to make everything from scratch.

from Make It From Scratch

1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar

Mix together with a pastry blender until it resembles small crumbs. Press into a 9X9 pan. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes.

2 eggs, beaten
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar

Mix together and pour over the baked crust. Bake for 25 minutes at 350F. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Note: if using a dark pan lower the heat and reduce the baking time.


from the book "The Children's Hour - Best Loved Poems"
1953 Spenser Press
Our plans for today...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Recipe: Vegetable Beef Soup

We had spring thunderstorms all day yesterday, so it was a perfect day for warm hearty soup.  This thick and flavourful soup has a wonderful tomotoe herb base, with ground beef and vegetables.  What I liked most about it, is that it wasn't too beefy at all.

I modified this recipe to what I had on hand.  The recipe had some big gaps in it where it mentions an ingredient but never says what to do with it.  It was a good base to go from, and the end result was delicious.

Although I loved this soup, the kids didn't really care for it.  I served some to my friend who was visiting that afternoon and she really enjoyed it.  It's so difficult sometimes to find a dish that everyone likes.

Printable Copy

1 24oz. can  of diced tomatoes
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried or 1 Tablespoon fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
dash salt & pepper
Put herbs in food processor with juice from tomatoes and process 20 seconds. Add tomatoes and pulse 4 times. Put in bowl and set aside.

1 lb. ground beef
1 large white onion
3 garlic cloves minced
1 cup tomatoe juice
Blend together in food processor 30 seconds. Place in wide bottomed soup pot and boil 20 minutes until ground beef is fully cooked.  Add tomatoe and herb mixture that was set aside.

3 cups tomatoe juice
3 cups beef broth
1 cup pearl barley
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
4 small (or 1 large) red potatoe, diced
2 bay leaves
Add to cooked ground beef mixture and simmer on low heat until carrots and potatoes are tender. Discard bay leaves.

I made this around 2:00pm so I'd have it ready for after school.  I transferred it my slow cooker and placed it on low (or keep warm setting).  I froze the leftovers into lunch-sized portions for later.


My troop flys-up from Brownies to Juniors soon. 
I'm so proud of them!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

From Scratch: McCormick's Meatloaf Seasoning

This is a dish that we eat regularily and has been on my list to make-from-scratch for a long time.  I finally just stopped buying the McCormick's Meatloaf Seasoning packs to force myself to make it from scratch.  I can't believe how easy it was.  I simply did an internet search and found the recipe here.

This was exactly what I was looking for.  It tasted exactly like the mix and better.  I didn't tell anyone until they were done their meal that I'd made it from scratch.  I wanted to see if anyone could tell and they loved it.  I was a little nervous as I was messing with our families favourite meal ;o)

I don't think it's more natural or healthful to make it this way, but it's got to be cheaper in the long run.  The next items on my list to go more natural is to convert my spice rack to organic spices only.  I'm going to use up what I have first.  Before that, though, I need to start buying grass fed meat from a local farmer.  Baby steps, baby steps but they lead in the right direction.

Printable Copy

2 tsp. dried mustard
2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder

Combine dry spices and seal in ziploc or vacuum seal bag (or jar). Measure all into a ziploc bag, seal & shake to combine. Pour into a spice jar or bottle.

1 package Meat Loaf Seasoning Mix
2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 slices bread, finely crumbled or 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup ketchup

Mix Seasoning Mix, ground beef or turkey, eggs, milk and bread crumbs in large bowl (I also add the ketchup in this step). Shape into a loaf. Place loaf in a shallow baking pan or 9x5-inch loaf pan.
Spread ketchup over top of loaf.

Bake in preheated 375F oven 1 hour or until cooked through.  Makes 10 servings, approx 3oz each

Happily submitted to the Make It From Scratch Carnival #164.  There's so much inspiration there!


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

Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies with Whole Wheat & Soy Flour

I'm always in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie, especially one with more healthful ingredients.  These cookies did not dissappoint and were delicious. 

The dough was fluffy, they felt fluffy when I squashed the dough, they even had a fluffy texture after they were baked.  It must be the soy flour in them as I've never used it before.

This recipe is from the "More-With-Less Cookbook" by Doris Janzen Longacre.  The front of the book says "suggestions by Mennonites on how to eat better and consume less of the world's limited food resources."  Sounds good to me.  There are sooo many recipes in here that I want to try.  Luckily, our library has a copy of the spiral bound 25th Anniversary Edition (originally published in 1976) so I can take it out as often as I want.

See how "fluffy" they are? 
I had to squash down the batter with my hand 
to make these flat and dense.

from "More-With-Less Cookbook"

Cream together:
1 cup margarine or shortening (I used unsalted butter)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs
2 Tablespoons hot water
2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat until fluffy.  Stir together and add:
1 cup white flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cups soy flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda

2 cups or 12 oz. chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Drop by teaspoonfuls on greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until light brown.

Printable Recipe


from "The Children's Hour - Best Loved Poems"

1953 Spenser Press

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Food, Inc. on PBS April 21st

The documentary Food, Inc. will be on PBS Wednesday night.  I have not seen this yet (am I the only one?) and am looking forward to watching it tomorrow night.  Won't you join me?

"Surprising Truths About The Food We Eat"

Recipe Bomb: Cajun Style French Fries

Wowzers these were spicey!  If you like to sweat from the heat and spice of your french fries you might like these but we sure didn't. 

We had homemade hamburgers last night.  I was looking for a good side dish and saw this recipe on Yahoo! Answers.  These were a breeze to make and I wish they tasted good as they were so easy.  Next time I think I'll pick different spices and use the same method.

Printable Version
4 medium potatoes
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or crushed chili (I used Louisianna Hot Sauce)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used Canola oil)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine oregano, thyme, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, sugar, cumin, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, Tabasco sauce, and oil; mix well into a paste.

Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil; pour a small amount of oil onto foil and spread with a paper towel.

Peel potatoes and slice into french fry shapes.  Place fries in a plastic bag with paste and work paste onto fries; alternatively you can do this in a bowl, but the bag method is easier.  Place fries on lined baking sheet, trying not to let edges touch.

Bake in preheated oven for approximately 30-35 minutes (your time may vary with the size fry you cut); turn once during cooking to brown underside.


I'm not sure what I love best about this picture, the colours, the outfits or the kids :)

from the book "The Macmillan Science Life Series 1"
Illustrated by Leonard Weisgard
1962 The Macmillan Company

Monday, April 19, 2010

Recipe: Broccoli Salad

I'm on a salad kick here lately.  With summer just around the corner, it's hard to resist serving fresh salads again and again.   My kids love brocolli (I'm not kidding!) so I knew this salad would be appealing to them, especially as it has lots of bacon in it. 

This is a make-ahead salad worked out perfect with our busy weekend.  The longer you leave it in the fridge the more flavour is infused into the brocolli.  I was going to skip the sunflower seeds but am so glad I didn't.  They really added a lovely nutty flavour and blended well with the crispy bacon pieces.

I served this with a London Broil steak, so supper was done cooking and served within 10 minutes.  I only had to take the salad out of the fridge, toast the sunflower seeds and broil the steak.

The recipe comes from a great site I discovered recently called Mennonite Girls Can Cook.  This fantastic site is filled with simple, down home recipes.  I must've printed at least a dozen to try.

from Mennonite Girls Can Cook

2 bunches raw broccoli, cut in small chunks
I med onion, diced (I used half a red onion)
1/2 cup raisins
8 slices crisply cooked bacon, cut in small pieces
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons vinegar
roasted sunflower seeds, approx 2 Tablespoons

Mix mayo, sugar and vinegar.
Pour over the ingredients except for the sunflower seeds, mix well and cover.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight.
Just before serving mix in the sunflower seeds.


Our plans for today...

from the book "The Busy ABC"
Illustrated by Eloise Wilkin
1950 Whitman Publishing

Related Posts with Thumbnails