Strawberry Jam Filled Blueberry Bread

Makes a perfect gift loaf for a new neighbor, a sick friend, a birthday, or even the Memorial Day cookout.

It is not yet the height of blueberry season, but we’re getting closer. If you watch the labels on your blueberries closely, you’ll notice during our winter months they first come from South America, then Central America, followed by our southern U.S. states, and on northward until we get to Canada come early fall — when we must wait a bit to begin the cycle all over again. I’ll eat this gorgeous fruit anytime of the year, but am especially berry in love when it’s time for the berries from the northern spots like Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Michigan, or Canada. That’s because berries like cool nights and I think those cooler northern places grow top shelf fruit. When blueberries are especially plentiful and the tastiest, they’re also at their least expensive. That lets me know it’s time to buy a bunch and freeze enough to last until next summer. And while we’re not there yet, I had already bought more than my husband could eat at breakfast on his yogurt with my homemade granola. They were beginning to soften and were even thinking of getting those stinky little white rings of mold on their bottoms. Two cups of near-heaven superfood needed to be saved. So one cup is enough for a dozen muffins; two cups calls for a loaf of blueberry bread. In this case I had a little strawberry jam called my baking name out loud as well, so I thought I’d tuck that into the center of the loaf and call it Strawberry Jam Filled Blueberry Bread, which is (you’re right) a mouthful. But no other name seemed to fit and I’m stuck with it. Thank goodness, because the name says exactly what it is and if that’ll make you preheat the oven and stir this up, I’m good. I do think any jam would do — even blueberry — but I happened to have the tail end of a jar of Bonne Maman strawberry preserves, which served royally well. (TIP: I reuse their jars as storage containers for months or even years as they are glass, go through the dishwasher, and come with tight, long-lasting red and white picnic-checked lids.)

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Blueberry Scones

When Easter is on its hippity-hoppity way, I often research and make some scrumptious Easter bread if only because there are so very many and they’re all so individually addictive. Once or twice, I’ve looked for a Scots version (as some of my folk come from Scotland), only to be disappointed because there really isn’t a Scots Easter bread unless you include Hot Cross Buns, which I guess you could in a pinch. (I think Hot Cross Buns are more Good Friday-ish. By the way, I made Nigella’s scrumptious version this year with a few easy twists I’ll share next Lent.) Last Sunday morning, I woke feeling a little sorry for myself –for both me the baker and me the Scot. Until I realized just WHY the Scots have no Easter bread. Who needs Easter bread when you’ve got God’s perfect bread — scones — hither, thither, and yon? (FUN FACT: Most folks in Scotland pronounce the word scone to rhyme with our pronunciation of the word done, by the way. So that’s skuhn to you and me!)

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Grandma Mac’s Zucchini Bread or What Memories are in Your Recipe Collection?

It doesn’t matter what sort of baker you are, you’ve probably made zucchini bread. It’s that quintessential August oven project that comes up every year when there’s more zucchini than you know what to do with. Not that it uses all that much zucchini; it doesn’t. But it’s the thought that counts for this late summer pastime: I have lots of zucchini, ergo I make zucchini bread.

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Blueberry-Banana Bread–Kona Inn Banana Bread Redux: Lighter and Healthier

Sunday, February 23, 2020 is NATIONAL BANANA BREAD DAY. I had no clue, but you know there’s a day for everything. I’d love you to make my loaf to celebrate the — uh-hem — holiday, but I’ll be totally happy if you make it tomorrow or even the next day, too. The original version of the famous Kona Inn Banana Bread has been a star in my baking repertoire for at least 35 years. Sure there’ve been other banana breads I’ve cheated with and lots of other sweet quick breads….but this is the one that has passed the test of time and feels like the world standard–at least at my house. The recipe for my bread came from THE FANNY FARMER BAKING BOOK by Marion Cunningham, one of my go-to basic baking books in 1985, 2020, and all the years in between. (The book’s out of print, but there are used copies available. Don’t hesitate if you like to bake.) These days, you can also find the recipe in several places and versions around the web, even on Epicurious or Food Network!

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Cherry-Almond Breakfast Scones for a Royal Wedding Morning (Jammies Allowed!)

Scones bring to mind something akin to a slow-paced and leisurely ambling sunny afternoon with time for a visit to the local tea shop or maybe a hour or two on the porch with a friend who happens to like to bake. Perhaps there’s a can’t-put-it-down novel to read while you nibble and sip or a string quartet playing in the next room…  (Sigh, sigh.)

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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

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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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38 Power Foods, Week 20 — Papaya — Papaya-Candied Ginger Muffins with Cashews

A crispy-moist, very gingery muffin made with oats, whole wheat, and yogurt. Don’t tell.

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Somewhere on toward 6:30 and there was no light anywhere that October morning. Only the too-lazy-to-make-their-own-coffee guys were struggling down the street to the gas station where ethanol-fragranced cheap brews waited.   No birds stirred.  The dogs slept on.  Donning jeans and t-shirt in the dark, she searched for her moccasins by sitting down and feeling around on the floor of the closet with her hands. Toddling down the hall to the bathroom, she made peace with her body, and then carefully made her way down the stairs, feeling each tread with her toes before proceeding to the next.

She approached it as she would a whole shark awaiting skinning, butchering, boning, and fileting down there in the deep, dark Saint Paul kitchen that morning. Coming around the corner, flipping on the light and the coffee maker in the same movement, she saw the big papaya waiting on the counter.  The big fruit didn’t know its last minute (save the time it took to brew the coffee)  had arrived.  And she had no idea how she was going to kill it.

In other words, I didn’t know from papaya. (Except all sliced up on a brunch buffet; I’m a mango girl.)

Looked like I should peel it, so I did.

Hmph.  I chopped off the ends. 

Sliced it down the middle.  This thing was gorgeous!  No wonder they call it “Fruit of the Angels.”  A little light was peeping through the shades in the dining room.

I sliced the papaya into moons and then chopped it up finely.  Next, I mixed up the wet and dry ingredients for the muffins in the 8-cup Pyrex (my go-to muffin bowl) and spooned the batter into the greased tins with my ice cream scoop:

These appear to bake forever and, actually, they do.  Count on 30 minutes at 400 degrees F.  They’ll be quite browned.

By then the dogs were padding around yawning.  (file photo)

Hey, Dave!  It’s breakfast!

papaya-candied ginger muffins with cashews  makes 14*
      These muffins are not the biggest powerhouse of nutrition, but neither are they shirkers.  They contain whole wheat, oatmeal, cashews, yogurt, and lots of papaya.  They’re also fairly low in fat, using just 1/4 cup canola oil for 14 muffins, which is less than a teaspoon of oil (40 fat calories) per muffin.  Not too bad!  I looked at six or seven papaya muffin recipes for ideas and then used my own proportions to create this recipe using things I had in the larder.

       One of my favorite Melissa Clark quotes is, “Muffins are just an excuse to eat cake for breakfast.”  Not so here.  Enjoy!

Background is my kitchen wall.  Love the color!

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt 
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 plus 2 tablespoons milk (or 3/8 of a cup)  
  •  1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup whole oats (not instant)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder**
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I like Penzey’s Vietnamese cinnamon–available online)
  • 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger (can sub 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted cashews   

  • 2 cups finely chopped papaya

directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grease muffin tins thoroughly.

  1. Whisk together oil, yogurt, egg, and milk in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Stir together well all  of the dry ingredients (flour-cashews) in a medium bowl.
  3. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl and stir until just combined. 
  4. Add the papaya and stir gently.  Divide prepared batter evenly among greased tins.***
  5. Bake about 30 minutes until quite browned.  Muffins will be moist.
  6. Serve hot or at room temperature as is or with butter, if desired.

*I made one 12-count muffin tin full and then greased a large oven-safe coffee cup and made one extra-large muffin.  You could also use a couple of custard cups to make the extra two muffins.

**These muffins are quite dense, though not heavy.  But if you’d like a lighter muffin, try increasing the baking powder to 2 teaspoons.

***I like to use an ice cream scoop, but a big spoon will do.  

about papayas

Papayas are available year-round (though they’re more prolific come summer and fall) and weigh about a pound each, though some grow much bigger.  Wonderful as is, or with plain yogurt, the beautiful orange “meat,” is delicious and the seeds are edible, too.  Full of antioxidants, along with vitamins (lots of vitamin C) and minerals, the papaya also contains papain, an enzyme that helps digest proteins.

Nutrients in
Papaya
1.00 each (304.00 grams)
Nutrient%Daily Value

vitamin C313.1%

vitamin A66.5%

folate28.8%

potassium22.3%

fiber21.8%

vitamin E11.1%

vitamin K9.8%

Calories (118)6%

chart courtesy WHfoods.com–click for more information about the beautiful papaya

If I had to say what papaya tasted like, I’d wager a cross between honeydew melon and mango.  And….

I can’t resist:  So buya some papaya! 

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Join our blogging group!

 I blog with a great group of writers every Friday where we cook our way through the list of foods from Whole Living Magazine’s Power Foods:  150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients:    Read more about tasty papaya this week at these sites: 

 
Ansh – SpiceRoots.com  
Minnie Gupta from TheLady8Home.com

Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink
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Sing a new song,
Alyce

Happy Mother’s Day–Prune Quick Bread (Reposted)

 
A bread for Jacque Franklin, who broke bread for me so many times.  Thank you and be well, my friend.
 
Before the quick bread post, click on the link below to send a Mother’s Day Card that will work toward ending hunger…  from THE WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME–BLOGGERS AGAINST HUNGER.  HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, FRIENDS…
 
 
                                                NOW ON TO THE BREAD!!
 
My husband loves this bread.
But, when I mentioned to him (before he tasted it)  that I was working on a recipe for prune bread, he made a face, rolled his eyes and laughed.  Sometimes, we never escape third-grade humor.
I don’t cook a lot with prunes, but have remembered a couple of great recipes  lately…one was from THE SILVER PALATE.  I want to say it was Chicken Marabella and it was famous.  The other is a pork roast with prunes that’s to exhale repeatedly over. French recipe. OOOOh.  It’s lovely. So different.  So smooth.   So company friendly.  Reheats like a champ over the weekend after a Friday night dinner party.
 

Back to the bread.  I made this bread when I was working on an article called, “Quick Bread 101,”  in which I attempted to work out a basic quick bread recipe that let you add whatever you had on hand …say bananas, apples, blueberries, etc.  I think I got it right, but this variation is my absolute favorite.  It would be a sweet Mother’s Day gift, a great addition to brunch. 

 
I’ve been gone a few days to a funeral, so thought it was a good time to bring out the prune bread recipe and share it on the blog.  If you tried it from examiner, sorry.  I have re-written the recipe specifically for prunes.  It makes stuperous muffins!!  (stuperous is my word for something between stupendous and super)
 
 
Alyce’s mom and nephew Michael…..
 
 
PRINTABLE RECIPE AT BOTTOM OF POST
 
 
TWO-DOG KITCHEN AND AROUND THE ‘HOOD
 
 
 
 
  As I write, Friar Tuck is over at Dr. Bill’s getting a little nip and tuck done to raise his voice.  Yes, Tucker’s getting neutered, but, you know, it had to happen.   I apologized ahead of time because he’ll be a little groggy afterward.
 
          ….              …..                …..                         …….
 
(Below:   Later this afternoon……Poor baby)
 
 
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Our sour-cherry tree in bloom.  Pie cherries will be ready about the fourth of July.  Come pick before the birds get them all.  If we get up early to bake before the heat comes, we can have pie for the holiday.
 
Sing a new song; bake a new bread;
Happy Mother’s Day!
Alyce
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In Memorium…Carol Curtiss..The Quintessential Lutheran Party Girl..
God, Love Her!
 
 

Prune Nut Bread

makes 1 9x5x3 loaf

Ingredients

  • 1 cup prunes chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • Simmer chopped prunes in orange juice for about five minutes. Let cool slightly.
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter cooled or sub canola oil
  • 1 egg you might want to use 2 at altitude
  • Mix cooled butter/oil and egg and add to orange juice and prunes.
  • Set aside.
  • 21/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix well all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until well-mixed.
  • Spoon into greased and floured 9x5x3 loaf pan. Bake about 50 minutes until bread is firm to the touch, is pulling away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
  • Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Bang pan on counter or board and turn out onto rack to cool completely before slicing. Keep well-wrapped on counter for 1-2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Notes

Can be made into muffins. Pour into greased muffin tins and bake at 400F 15 min. Turn out on to rack to cool.
copyright Alyce Morgan, 2010. All rights reserved.