Category: Bread

KIDS BAKING THANKSGIVING: Cheddar-Cornmeal Muffins (Gluten-Free)

KIDS BAKING THANKSGIVING: Cheddar-Cornmeal Muffins (Gluten-Free)

Thanksgiving Basics — Start Early Finish Late

Thanksgiving Starters, Soups, Sides, and More

Thanksgiving Baking

Thanksgiving: Gluten-Free and Vegan

While Thanksgiving seems like a lot to plan and execute, perhaps it’s the day we should, instead, plan on sharing the work and the fun. Someone brings only wine, but offers to help clean up or play a board game with the kids after dinner. Another spends all week baking grandma’s favorite pies and does nothing that afternoon but pour New Mexican sparkling wine–namely, Gruet. (No French Champagne on Thanksgiving, please!) There’s also the real possibility of skipping the pig-out buffet and planning a curated — and maybe more healthful — meal. Making it somewhat more dinner party-ish, we could think in terms of one vegetable instead of 4, two pies rather than 10 desserts, a single perfect potato dish, and maybe someone’s favorite aunt’s cranberries. Ok, you have to have stuffing. Would it still be Thanksgiving without twenty casseroles? You bet your little tom turkey it would. And could we talk a little less in the way of dishes and leftovers here? But of course!

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Whole Wheat Biscuits and Gene’s Sausage Gravy for Father’s Day

Whole Wheat Biscuits and Gene’s Sausage Gravy for Father’s Day

Brunch, and maybe especially Father’s Day brunch, is one of my favorite meals! This post is dedicated to my father-in-law, Gene Morgan, a good cook who makes the very best of all Sausage Gravies.

Gene, after a lifetime career in nearly every sector of the grocery store arena, knows the food business.  Just ask him about how long green beans are picked before they’re canned, when a melon is ripe, where sugar beets are grown in the world, how coffee is stored in the warehouse, or what H.E.B. actually stands for.  He’s a fair hand in the kitchen, too, and can keep dinner coming. In fact, the man can bake when he wants to. What he’s really famous for, however, is his sausage gravy.  Well, that and being just about the biggest Illini (University of Illinois) fan in the state of Illinois. He once sported an Illini ROOM in the house, in fact, all decorated and gussied up by his wife, my mother-in-law, Lorna, who joins right in year in and year out with the Illini devotion.

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Banana-Cranberry Bread with White Chocolate Chips

Banana-Cranberry Bread with White Chocolate Chips

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This luxurious bread is filling enough for breakfast, light enough for an afternoon snack, and is also perfect for the neighborhood potluck–especially during December when you hopefully have some cranberries left in your freezer. (If not, run to the store now and see if there are any left.) While it begins as a simple pan of down-home banana bread, the festive additions –cranberries, white chocolate, and walnuts– make sure it ends up anything but.

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THANKSGIVING BAKING FAVORITES FROM MORE TIME AT THE TABLE

THANKSGIVING BAKING FAVORITES FROM MORE TIME AT THE TABLE

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 More Time’s Apple-Pear-Cranberry Pie 

More Time’s Thanksgiving Basics and Organization

More Time’s Thanksgiving Starters, Soups, and Sides

More Time’s Vegan and Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Buffet

More Time’s Cranberry Thanksgiving or How to Get the Kids Involved

Baking at Thanksgiving. It’s a big deal to some people and a late afternoon stop at the grocery for others. Perhaps because often folks are cooks OR they’re bakers and rarely both. The pumpkin pie may have all the memories the turkey never garnered and the homemade yeast rolls and butter just might be why your grandson shows up.  On the other hand, it could be all about the dressing, gravy or even the ham at your house where no one looks twice at dessert. I once brought turkey and dressing to a summer potluck, where a close friend refused to eat a bite. When I asked why, she said, “You didn’t make gravy. I don’t eat dressing without gravy.” She truly had some serious food traditions and it’s not unusual.  Listen to your friends and family talk about Thanksgiving and you’ll see.

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A Cranberry Thanksgiving Day or How To Get the Kids Involved in Thanksgiving!

A Cranberry Thanksgiving Day or How To Get the Kids Involved in Thanksgiving!

“Get Mother to help.”

 As my family well knows, there comes a day in November (December is just too late) when I do nothing but bake cranberry bread.  We have it for Thanksgiving morning breakfast, take a loaf or two to friends, and then have one squirreled away in the freezer for Christmas morning as well.   I make a fun production out of the day (no other activities, favorite music on, microwaved lunch) and have nearly an assembly line in the kitchen so that loaf after loaf is mixed individually and baked on the center rack.  It does require a number of pans, but I’m good at finding extras at Good Will or splurging on a great pan with a Williams-Sonoma gift card.  I also bake this bread in coffee cups
for large size muffins or in tiny pans as little gifts for special folks.

Apilco (French porcelain)–all their tableware is oven-safe.

 Here’s what the production line entails:

Grease and flour all the pans
Finely chop all of the cranberries (fresh or frozen) at once by hand or in food processor.  Then:  clean the food processor or board well; the red will color the bread you’ll mix or stain the board.

Peel the oranges and chop finely all of the peel in the food processor or by hand on the board.
Of course you can grate it using a rasp or metal grater, but I think it’s too fine that way.  
Set your system for GO!  Everything you need is out.  (Mise en place)

about the recipe

The recipe is based on one from CRANBERRY THANKSGIVING by Wendy and Harry Devlin.   Reading this book and making the bread is a fun, yearly Thanksgiving activity…..

to which children love becoming addicted. (Also adults like me.  My kids are long gone and you see what I’m up to.) The story involves a fabulous cranberry bread recipe, for years kept secret, and an unscrupulous special someone who appears to want to steal it.  Of course, all’s well that ends well, and the Devlins went on to write all kinds of other books about cranberries….  The book itself is again available (was out of print), but I found a couple of first edition copies at the Good Will this fall for $1.99.  I can’t locate it as an ebook; maybe you can.  The library will definitely have copies, but check yours out early and write down the recipe!

Here’s the original recipe along with the Devlins’ Blueberry Pancake Recipe.

While I occasionally make a loaf with or without nuts, add a few tiny chocolate chips, or combine the recipe with one for bananas or apples, generally I make this bread with just cranberries.

The other day when I was buying the ingredients, the clerk asked if I was making cranberry bread–to which I replied a large, strong, hefty, happy, YES!  She wanted my recipe and today I took it up to the market and left it in an envelope with her name on it:

…  …  …. …  … .. .. ….. …… ……. ….. …………


Happy Thanksgiving to Jane 
From Alyce Morgan (http://www.moretimeatthtetable.blogspot.com– my food blog)
I will probably post the Cranberry Bread sometime soon, but just in case I don’t– here’s the recipe, which is based on the bread in Harry and Wendy Devlin’s book CRANBERRY THANKSGIVING-a fun Thanksgiving children’s book.           Enjoy!
Cranberry Bread
.  
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.   Grease well and flour one 9×5 loaf pan.
.
In a large bowl, mix together:
·       2 cups unbleached white flour
·       1 cup white sugar
·       1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
·       ½ teaspoon baking soda
·       1 teaspoon salt
.

Cut into the flour mixture, using a pastry cutter, two knives, or even your fingers,*

.

·       ¼ cup (half-stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
                                         In a separate small bowl, beat together well:
.
·       ¾ cup orange juice
·       1 egg
·       1 tablespoon grated orange peel
Pour orange juice mixture into the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Do not over mix.  Gently stir into the batter:
..
·       1 ½ cups finely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
·       ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts, optional
.
Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake about 70 minutes or until a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in the pan before removing from pan.  Cool completely on rack before cutting. (Wrap well in aluminum foil to freeze up to 1 month.)   (Makes good muffins—bake @ 400 F 15-20 minutes.) 
.
*Can use food processor, but mix cranberries/nuts in by hand.  

Involving the Kids:  Just do it! Don’t worry about the mess or how much time it takes.   Just do it!

 Little ones are great at collecting ingredients, greasing and flouring pans, measuring, mixing, and checking to see if the bread is done.  Do the chopping yourself (if you’re doing it by hand) unless your older child already has good knife skills.  Cranberries are not easy to chop–they keep rolling around,  though the job isn’t terribly time consuming.  If you have a food processor or manual chopper, this is the time to use it.

If you’d like to teach “Over the River and Through the Woods,” let them watch this youtube video.

Sing a new song; make lots of cranberry bread,
Alyce

                    
50 Women Game-Changers – #47 – Zarela Martinez’ Savory Cornbread

50 Women Game-Changers – #47 – Zarela Martinez’ Savory Cornbread

From my childhood on, cooking meant sharing and security and a way of “speaking” to people.  When I grew up I found that cooking grew also to be a means of celebrating and honoring those who would eat meals that I’d carefully prepared from scratch. Over the years as I lived and thought and learned, cooking grew even more to embrace nearly every aspect of culture and human relationships. I have been lucky to make my career as chef, consultant, and businesswoman a never-ending source of joy and fulfillment.”

                                                                                                              –Zarela Martinez

Each week for the last forty-six, a food-loving group of bloggers has been studying, choosing a recipe, cooking, photographing, and writing  about one very special food expert off the Gourmet Live list of 50 Women-Game Changers in Food.    I jumped on this yummy trolley last January at stop number 32, but a good number of these scribes started right from the beginning.   We’re near the end of the line, but this week we’re featuring number forty-seven, Mexican chef, author, teacher, philanthropist, and NYC restauranteur-caterer Zarela Martinez.

Born on a northern Mexico ranch, Zarela moved to the U.S. in the ’70’s, and to make a few bucks, began catering.  Soon she was at culinary school, studying with Paul Prudhomme, and working at Cafe Marimba in NYC!  Her famed, but currently closed, restaurant, Zarela, came next and taught more than one generation of New Yorkers about just how fine true Mexican cuisine could be, as well as providing training ground for her son, chef Aaron Sanchez.

 Here, Zarela teaches us how to roast poblanos (used in her cornbread recipe-below) and gives us her “Creamy Rice Casserole” recipe.

Lots of gorgeous recipes from Zarela out there, but I hit on Savory Cornbread for this week.  The recipe sounded perfect…lot of fresh corn, great cheese, gluten-free, but something somewhere just didn’t happen exactly as I expected.   While the bread was tasty (though quite rich), I struggled to get it done.  I baked it an extra tweny minutes and it was still underdone–more like spoon bread, which may be exactly what it was supposed to be like.  We simply enjoyed it just like that.  One thing, I did bake it in a metal 9×13 pan in the hopes of obtaining a crispy crust and if I tried it again, I’d put it in the recommended glass Pyrex casserole dish. While full of butter and cheese, the roasted peppers did shine through and provided a touch of heat usually missing from American Corn Bread recipes.  I think it would be great with a fish taco salad or a bowl of spicy chili.  Scroll down past my puppies and try it:

Gabby and Tuck waiting for mom to get done cooking.  Geez Louise, it’s walk time.

savory cornbread — Chefs Aaron Sánchez and Zarela Martínez (courtesy NY Magazine)

Ingredients

3 cups corn kernels, fresh, frozen, or canned
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups rice flour (use Goya’s, not rice flour from Chinatown) I used King Arthur’s Gluten-Free flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
8 ounces white Cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces poblano chiles, roasted, seeded, and diced
Cornstarch 

Instructions

Grind the corn by pulsing batches in the food processor until coarsely crushed but not puréed. Set aside.

Corn ground in food processor

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat in the eggs one by one until incorporated.

 Sift the dry ingredients, and add to the creamed mixture in 2 parts, beating on low speed until combined. Fold the ground corn into the batter, followed by the cheese and chiles.

I could not find Goya rice flour and subbed King Arthur…

Weighing the cheese before grating.

Butter a 13-by-9-inch Pyrex baking dish, and lightly dust with cornstarch. Pour in the mixture and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until crust is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (2007)   

(Published 2007)
I write with a tasty group of bloggers!  Please take some time and visit

If you liked this, you might like my Irish Soda Bread (with Potato Soup)

 
And, also, on Dinner Place (Cooking for One) this week is Alyce’s Killer Guac to take to the Mother’s Day Cookout:
 
Cook with a-band-on,
Alyce
Women Game-Changers in Food – #34 Ella Brennan – Creole Bread Pudding

Women Game-Changers in Food – #34 Ella Brennan – Creole Bread Pudding

  Conventional wisdom says, “If there’s bread pudding on the menu, order it.”  Now that I’ve made Brennan’s Creole Bread Pudding, I know why.  I won’t say who it is, but someone in my house is saying, “Please let me stay out of the frig as long as that bread pudding is in there.”

Creole Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce

For number 34 on Gourmet Live’s List of Women Game-Changers in Food, there’s the infamous and famous Ella Brennan, New Orleans restauranteur extraordinaire.   Hailed as the most influential person in the American restaurant business ever,

  Ella Brennan, at center, seated with family.  (courtesy Commander’s Palace)
… Brennan has made her mark with a series of fresh and innovative concepts: She pioneered the notion of nouvelle Creole cuisine. She elevated the profile of Louisiana cooking throughout the world. She forged a level of service that was the match of any anywhere. And she used her kitchen at Commander’s Palace as a kind of de facto New Orleans culinary academy, turning out dozens of the city’s finest chefs and thereby enlivening the local food scene beyond measure. (courtesy Elizabeth Mullener, Times-Picayune.)
 Part of a large restaurant family,  Ella Brennan began as a teen in the business with her brother Owen at Brennan’s, home of the famous “breakfast at Brennan’s.”   She went on to travel the world to learn about great food and better service, returning home to put the knowledge to work building one successful restaurant after another.  Not only that, she brought the tourists home with her, putting New Orleans on the map as a center for food and some say the most beautiful restaurant experience available in the United States.  After the family bought The Commander’s Palace in 1969, Brennan proceeded to hire and train chefs who went on to be famous in their own right, among them Paul Prodhomme and Emeril Lagasse.  Business woman and lover of perfect meals, she was an expert in the world of food though she never cooked at all.  “I never took to the kitchen,” she says.   My thought is she never needed to “take to the kitchen,” with the kind of talent she hired.                                           
Order a copy of The Commander’s Palace New Orleans Cookbook here.

Famed  food (editor, writer and) restaurant critic Ruth Reichl commented that her first visit to Commander’s Palace combined “upscale fun” with “the most extraordinary service [she]’d ever had in an American restaurant,” service which she credited to Brennan’s exacting standards. (courtesy Encyclopedia of Louisiana)

Read all about The Commander’s Palace or make a reservation.  25 cent Martinis if you go!
 
More info:  read a short biography of Ella Brennan here

Want to try one of the most famous recipes?   Since Ella herself didn’t cook much I thought I’d make one of the cornerstones of the Brennan empire– bread pudding  Here it is:  (Note: Have salad for supper; this is Decadent with a Capital D and worth every calorie.)

Invite friends.  What fun!   This makes a  huge pan of bread pudding.

Creole Bread Pudding
“Much as we all love Commander’s Bread Pudding Soufflé, sometimes plain
Creole Bread Pudding is the most soul-satisfying taste of all. But do it right.
One day, while my mother [Ella Brennan] and I were nibbling on some bread
pudding, I watched her eyebrow go up as she discovered a morsel of dry bread.
I hadn’t soaked thoroughly, a cardinal sin. When pastry chef Tom Robey
walked by, Mom pointed to the dry morsel. She didn’t have to say a word.
Tom shook his head and went off to explain to a protégé how we don’t
rush things at Commander’s. Originally created as a way to utilize day-
old bread, this dessert, along with
pecan pie and crème caramel, is a must
for any New Orleans restaurant.”

Cook’s Note:  Make Whiskey Sauce (recipe below) while pudding bakes; it must cool.   Fyi: The Bread Pudding Soufflé is served in ramekins with  meringue and hard sauce.
 
1 tablespoon butter
12 medium eggs, beaten
3 cups heavy cream (I used half and half  since my arteries were yelling, HELLO?)
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract (use
a high-quality extract, not an imitation)
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
*4 ounces day-old French bread, sliced 1 inch thick (I used a lot more bread; see note.)
1 cup raisins

–Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
–Butter a large (11 x 8 1/2 x 3 inches) casserole dish and set aside. (Once in the oven, the casserole will sit inside a large pan. A roasting pan would be good.) Mix the eggs, cream and vanilla in a large bowl, and combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a separate bowl. This helps to evenly dis- tribute the spices. Add the sugar mixture to the egg mixture, and combine thoroughly.
–Place the raisins in the bottom of the buttered casserole, and add the bread slices in a single layer. Gently pour the custard over the bread, making certain that all the bread thoroughly soaks up the custard. [We let ours stand for a while before baking.] (Turn the bread over in the custard to make sure each piece is well-coated.)

–Cover the casserole with foil, place in a large dish (the roasting pan, if that’s what you decided to use) partly filled with hot water, and bake for 2 1/2 hours. Remove the foil, and increase the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Bake for 1 hour more, or until the pudding is golden brown and slightly firm. Use a spoon to make sure the custard is fully cooked; it should be moist but no longer runny. If you’re unsure whether it’s done, remove it from the oven and let it cool while it remains sitting in the water bath; the carryover effect will keep it cooking.
–Serve slightly warm with whiskey sauce, recipe below (made ahead.)

                                                
Whiskey Sauce 
  • 1 cup(s) heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon(s) cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon(s) waterhttp://a19.g.akamai.net/7/19/7125/1450/Ocellus.coupons.com/_images/showlist_icon.gif
  • 3 tablespoon(s) sugar
  • 1/4 cup(s) bourbon
·          
·           For the whiskey sauce: Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Whisk cornstarch and water together, and add to cream while whisking. Bring to a boil. Whisk and let simmer for a few seconds, taking care not to burn the mixture on the bottom. Remove from heat.
Stir in the sugar and bourbon. Taste to make sure the sauce has a thick consistency, a sufficiently sweet taste, and a good bourbon flavor. Cool to room temperature.
*4oz of French bread is a bit less than 1/4 of  the baguette I got from Whole Foods, which seemed like way too little bread to me; it didn’t cover half of the bottom of the casserole.  Typo in the recipe?   Wrong kind of bread??   I increased the amount to approximately 12 ounces; my baguette was 15 oz. total.   I don’t make bread pudding from a recipe usually; I just combine milk, eggs, and nutmeg and sweeten it to taste–which isn’t nearly as much sugar as this recipe calls for.  I did leave the amount of sugar the same in order to try and get a true test of the recipe. It was the right thing to do!
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Other bloggers writing about Ella Brennan this week are:

Val – More Than Burnt Toast, Taryn – Have Kitchen Will Feed, Susan – The Spice Garden, Heather – girlichef, Miranda – Mangoes and Chutney, Jeanette – Healthy Living
Mary – One Perfect Bite, Kathleen – Bake Away with Me, Sue – The View from Great Island Barbara – Movable Feasts , Linda A – There and Back Again, Nancy – Picadillo
Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits, Veronica – My Catholic Kitchen
Annie – Most Lovely Things, Claudia – Journey of an Italian Cook, Alyce – More Time at the Table, Amrita – Beetles Kitchen Escapades

Scroll on over!
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Sing a new song and make some bread pudding–Two-Dog Kitchen returns next post,
Alyce