Family · Family Favorites

Banana Bread with Banana Jam…double the flavor!

Banana Bread is an old time favorite that my Mother and the women before her made for their families. I like it plain, with a little butter, but always shared with family and friends.

This time I decided to try it with the Banana Jam we drooled over in Nicaragua and I wasn’t disappointed.  This combination is great for breakfast, coffee, or dessert. Just say BANANA!

BANANA BREAD

2 cups sifted all purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1 teaspoon flour

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sift together 2 cups flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
  • Cream together shortening and sugar.
  • Blend in eggs and vanilla; mix well.
  • Add dry ingredients alternately with bananas, mixing just until blended.
  • Combine pecans and 1 tsp. flour; stir into batter. Pour into greased 9″ tube pan.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until bread tests done. Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool on rack.

Yield: 1 loaf

Desserts · New Favorite · New Traditions · Vegan · Vegetarian

Cherry Crisp (Gluten and Dairy Free)

Sour cherry desserts are a big favorite. While trying to avoid gluten, I was craving a cherry something, crisp…pie…cobbler. I decided to try a Cherry Crisp with almond (instead of wheat) flour using applesauce instead of butter. The result is a gluten and dairy free dessert. The girls likened the Cherry Crisp to a really good cherry granola bar.

If you prefer to skip the whole gluten and dairy free scene, substitute all-purpose flour for almond flour and margarine instead of applesauce.

Cherry
Cherry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CHERRY CRISP

2 cups cherry pie filling (gluten-free)
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  Spread the cherry filling in the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Combine the oats, almond flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and applesauce together.
  • Crumble evenly over the cherry mixture.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.

 

New Favorite

Gooseberry Tart

Gooseberry bushes are prickly and the berries are tedious to clean but gooseberries lovers are willing to sacrifice for the greater good of a delicious, seasonal tart, pie, or cobbler.   My gooseberry picking buddy, Joe the Golden Retriever, was anxious to eat these sour gems again this year.  I decided to try giving a raw gooseberry to my grand-dogs as well with an equally positive response.  Who knew that gooseberries were a treat of choice for the canine crowd?

I love the slight sweetness of this crust and the creamy custard surrounding the cooked gooseberries.  My kids and their spouses, however, turned up their noses at my creation since they cannot fathom eating gooseberries.  Oh well…more for the rest of us.  Someday…they’ll wish they had a piece, right?

GOOSEBERRY TART

1 pound cleaned gooseberries
3 eggs
3.5 ounces of sugar
10 ounces heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pastry:

1.2 cups flour (or more to reach desired consistency)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup very cold, unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
a little ice cold water

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Make the pastry by processing the flour and sugar together.  Chop the cold butter into small pieces and add to the flour and sugar.  Pulse (or blend by hand) until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.  Mix the egg yolk with a little ice-cold water.  Add to the flour mixture and pulse until the pastry forms a soft ball.  Add ice-cold water if needed to achieve desired consistency.  Chill the dough for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and place on floured surface.  Roll to fit the tart pan and place in pan.  Pierce the bottom and sides of the pastry with a fork. Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool slightly.
  • Combine eggs, sugar, cream and vanilla extract.  Place gooseberries in bottom of tart pastry and pour egg mixture over the top.  Bake for 30 minutes until the center is firm.

Servings:  6-8

Czech Heritage and Dishes · Family · Family Favorites · My Roots

Strawberry Shortcake…sweet summer delight!

Strawberry season is here.  Bring on the shortcake!  This recipe is from an old Czech cookbook that I’ve cherished for years.  The cake is yummy enough to eat by itself, but topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream is to die for.

My girls love the cake more than the strawberries…I’m partial to the entire package.  I have been know to drown the cake and berries in milk, something I picked up from some elderly Norwegian friends back in Iowa.

However you like it, try it.  It’s strawberry time!

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together and bake in 9×9″ baking pan for 45 minutes or until baked through.
  • Cut into squares and top with fresh sliced strawberries and whipped cream.

New Favorite

Pear Cake…seasonal delight!

Pear Cake made with seasonal pears is a true treat.  This recipe, from http://www.usapear.com was a great find and delicious as a morning coffee treat or as a seasonal dessert.

PEAR CAKE

10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 pears, peeled, cored and wedged
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a round baking pan with 2 tablespoons of butter.  Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  • Brush the pear wedges with lemon juice and arrange in the bottom of the baking pan.
  • Combine flour with baking powder, salt and cinnamon, Set aside.
  • Using a mixer, beat the remaining butter with sugar until fluffy.  Stir in eggs and vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture and milk alternating the ingredients slowly.  Continue to beat on low-speed after each addition.
  • Spoon batter evenly over pears in pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes OR until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  (My oven required a longer baking time.)
  • Cool before inverting onto serving platter.  Decorate with walnuts or serve with whipped cream as coffee cake or dessert.

Recipe adapted from http://www.usapears.com; Starkrimson Pear Cinnamon Cake

New Favorite · Vegetarian

Apple Pear Salad or is it really a Dessert???

My good friend, Jan, was telling me about her favorite Fall salad.  It sounded so yummy and had all the things in it that I love.  I made, I shared, I loved.  This is great as a side dish but it’s so yummy, it could easily be a dessert. Thanks Jan for the great idea!

APPLE PEAR SALAD

Fresh crisp apples, chopped
Fresh ripe pears, chopped
Celery, chopped

  • Chop the above into bite sized pieces and place in bowl.

Pecans
Sugar
Butter

  • Melt butter in saucepan and add brown sugar.  Stir together.
  • Add pecans and stir frequently under sugar is melted.
  • Pour mixture over fruit mixture. Stir & serve immediately.

Family Favorites · My Roots · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Apple Butter…Crockpot Style

Apple Butter was a fall tradition in my Mother’s kitchen back on the Iowa farm with plenty of local apples to use.  She would can several jars and store in our ‘fruit room’ in the basement.  Neighbors and friends would share the fruits of their apple harvest with the offer to come pick what remained on their trees.  That’s just how neighbors treat neighbors.

Years ago, a co-worker shared her crockpot apple butter recipe with me.  It’s been in my recipe box ready to be used and this was the year.  The process takes a while but you don’t have to stand over the stove watching it to assure it doesn’t stick and burn.  I’m easily distracted so this is the ticket!

What to serve with the apple butter?  I made a loaf of oatmeal quick bread (see post of October 23) and served a slice of the bread with fresh apple butter on top for an autumn dessert to die for.

Apple Butter Spread on Oatmeal Bread

Apple Butter

12 to 14 apples
2 cups apple juice
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves

  • Wash, core and quarter apples (do not peel).
  • Combine apples and apple juice in lightly oiled Crock pot.
  • Cover and cook on Low setting for 10-18 hours (or on High setting for 2-4 hours).

When fruit is tender, put through a food mill to remove peel. Measure cooked fruit and return to Crockpot. For each pint of sieved cooked fruit, add sugar, cinnamon, allspice and loves; stir well. Cover and cook on High setting for 6-8 hours, stirring every 2 hours. Remove cover after 3 hours to allow fruit and juice to cook down.

You can can the apple butter by spooning into hot sterilized jars and processing according to standard cooking methods.  I chose to refrigerate and share with family for immediate (and I do mean immediate consumption).   It’s too wonderful to last long!

Yield: 5 1/2 pint jars

New Favorite · Vegetarian

Oatmeal Quick Bread

Hearty breads are a favorite of mine and before I try to go gluten-free again (for health reasons), I wanted to try a hearty bread with the apple butter I was making (see my Crockpot Apple Butter recipe on Friday, October 26).  I discovered this recipe on the Good Housekeeping website and it reminded me of an oatmeal bread my Mother used to make.

This is a simple quick bread that would be great for breakfast, with a hearty soup, or, as you’ll see on Friday, a dessert.

OATMEAL QUICK BREAD

1 cup milk
1 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1 tablespoon quick-cooking oats, uncooked
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 8 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ or 9″ by 5″ loaf pan. In large bowl, combine milk and 1 cup oats; let stand 5 minutes.
  • To oat mixture, add eggs, margarine or butter, and brown sugar; mix well, making sure there are no lumps of brown sugar. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt just until blended.
  • Spoon batter into loaf pan. Sprinkle top with remaining oats. Bake 55 to 60 minutes in 8 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ pan (bake 35 to 40 minutes in 9″ by 5″ pan) until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool bread in pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Recipe from Good Housekeeping, Oatmeal-Quick-Bread

Read more: Oatmeal Quick Bread – Good Housekeeping

Family Favorites · New Traditions

Cinnamon Bread Pudding … sweet comfort!

It’s spring and I seem to be in a cake mode…wonder what’s up with that?  After finally cleaning my freezer, I decided to make something with the cherished Cinnamon Bread from the Butterhorn Bakery in Frisco.  What to make….hmmmm….bread pudding?

Serving of Bread Pudding

I don’t recall making bread pudding, but I’ve indulged in several fabulous samples through the years.  This is one recipe where I don’t have a family favorite.  Next best choice…my handy, dandy Farm Journal Country Cookbook.

This cherished cookbook was a gift from one of our client’s at Farm Journal in Kansas City in 1976.  It’s my ‘go-to’ book for a traditional midwest recipe.  No surprise, I found a bread pudding recipe and decided to go for it!

Cinnamon Bread Pudding fresh from the oven

Not to brag, but…it was a slice of heaven.  I instantly knew that if I kept it in the house, I would devour the whole pan.  Neighbors Maribeth and Gary were the recipients of half a pan.  After sampling a piece (or two…), the rest will go to family tomorrow.  The bread pudding was wonderful by itself, but a light vanilla or butterscotch sauce would be great on top.

CINNAMON BREAD PUDDING

2  and 2/3 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups (1″ square) day-old cinnamon bread cubes
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Scald milk; add butter and cool.

Scald milk, add butter and cool

  • Add 3 egg yolks and 1 egg white to 1/2 cup sugar; beat to mix well.  Add cooled milk, teaspoon vanilla and salt.

  • Place bread cubes in buttered 1.5 quart casserole.  Pour egg-milk mixture over bread.  Sprinkle nutmeg on top.

Pouring milk mixture over cinnamon bread

  • Set casserole in another, larger casserole containing at least 2″ of warm water.
  • Bake for 45-60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from oven.
  • Serve warm or cool, both are delicious!

Adapted from Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook, 1972.

Family Favorites · My Roots

Apple Crisp

Apples were plentiful in the Iowa countryside growing up.  My Mother would also can or freeze apples for use during the year.  This is a simple, country Apple Crisp that is easy to make any time of year.  Dollop with a little whipped cream and enjoy.

APPLE CRISP

4 to 6 medium cooking apples
1/3 cup sifted all purpose flour
1 cup oats, uncooked (quick or old fashioned)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup melted margarine
1/2-3/4 cup water

  • Peel, core and slice apples. Place in greased baking dish with a bit of water. Combine dry ingredients, add melted margarine, mixing until crumbly; sprinkle on top of apples.
  • Bake in preheated moderate oven (375 degrees) for 30 minutes or until apples are tender.
  • Serve warm or cold with your favorite ice cream or topping.