Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tasty Tuesday Cranberry Pumpkin Bread!

I tried something new with my Thanksgiving leftovers this year. I had a little bit of pumpkin puree, some buttermilk left over from making something or other but not enough to do it again (you know what I'm talking about), and the remains of the whole cranberry sauce that I'd made, basically for me and Mike, which means there was a lot of it left. I usually find it, moldy and weird, in the back of the refrigerator months later. This time, I resolved to make it disappear.

But what to do with such things? I was already making my yeast pumpkin bread, which used up some of the leftover pumpkin puree from the pie, but not all of it. So I thought, why not try a different kind of bread? As the basis for this concoction, I used a recipe for banana bread and dumped all of the buttermilk, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin in it along with some extra spices, and reduced the amount of sugar the original recipe called for since there was already a fair amount of sugar in the cranberry sauce and came up with this.
Cranberry Pumpkin Bread


1 stick butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar

To this, I added (and these amounts are very approximate):
1/4 tsp each of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg,
1/4 cup buttermilk,
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups cranberry sauce

Put in greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. This took 1 hour and 20 min in my oven. With less cranberry sauce and no buttermilk, it wouldn't take as long. The results were slightly scruffy-looking, but tasty.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tasty Tuesday Herb Bread!

I looked in several different stores, but I never did find the kind of toasted bread cubes I usually make my turkey dressing with, so I decided to make my own. Then I got the idea to modify this recipe for herb bread from The New Book of Favorite Breads from Rose Lane Farm, (which I've had for so long, I don't think anyone could call it "new" anymore), to make it taste like more like something you'd stuff a turkey with. I won't know until Thursday if this is going to work, but OMG, the bread is awesome, and the loaves are HUGE! I took this picture sitting next to a regular loaf of bread, and you can see how much bigger it is. And as we all know, bigger is better!

Herb Bread 


Mix together and let stand until foamy:
2 pkgs yeast  (or 2 Tbsp)
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ginger

In a large bowl, mix together:
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp sugar
4 tsp instant chicken broth powder
3 cups white whole wheat flour (a modification I made to make it a little healthier)
1/2 cup soft shortening 
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sage (the original recipe called for summer savory)
1 tsp rosemary

Stir in the yeast mixture and 4 cups white flour and stir until the dough clears the bowl.
Spread 1 more cup of flour on the bread board and knead until you have a smooth, non-sticky dough, adding more flour if necessary. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk. Knead dough lightly, divide, and shape into loaves. Place in greased pans, cover, and let rise until again until doubled in bulk. This recipe makes two large loaves. (And when I say large, I mean LARGE!) Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 min.

To use for stuffing, cut day-old bread into cubes and spread on a cookie sheet. Bake in a 250 degree oven about 30 min until toasty.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tasty Tuesday Orange Blossom Balls!

Since the holidays are rapidly approaching, here's another festive recipe from our own Diva Donna! These were a big hit with my family!

Orange Blossom Balls

1 box (12 oz) vanilla wafers, crushed
1 can (6 oz) orange juice concentrate, thawed, undiluted.
1 cup finely chopped nuts
1 pkg sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup confectioner's sugar

Crush vanilla wafers very fine. Mix with sugar and add undiluted juice and nuts. Mix well. Shape into small balls and roll in coconut. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tasty Tuesday Chicken and Dumplings!

Last week, I ran across a recipe for old-fashioned chicken and dumplings while flipping through a cookbook that I've had forever called A Taste of Homecoming.  Interestingly enough, the original recipe came from a lady in Tennessee who is also named Cheryl, but I modified it enough to call it my own. My only wish after making it was that I had a larger stomach or more people to feed it to because it made a LOT! I'm thinking adding a bay leaf might improve it, but it was darn good the way it was, and the leftovers were just as good reheated in the microwave.

Cheryl's Chicken and Dumplings


1 whole chicken (about 3 pounds)
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 sprigs of fresh sage (or 1/2 tsp dried sage)
8 cups water
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Place the chicken and all of the ingredients listed above in large soup pot or Dutch oven (I use a 6 quart flat-bottom saucepan). Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for about an hour or until the chicken is falling off the bone. Remove the chicken and allow to cool for a bit, then remove all the bones and skin and cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside. If you're using the fresh sage, you can remove it from the broth if desired.

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tablespoons shortening
1 cup buttermilk

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add shortening and cut it into the flour mixture with a fork. Add buttermilk and mix until moistened. Knead briefly on a floured board. Pat into 1/2 inch thickness and cut into 1 inch squares. Bring broth to a boil and add the dumplings. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring gently with a wooden spoon every two minutes or so.  Add the chicken back in, serve, and enjoy!