Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I made the bread I showed the other day only this time I made it with apples.  The recipe is here: 

This bread is apparently so good that one of my friends said the she was doing cartwheels over it.  I highly doubt that though it does sound like she really liked it.  Just use apples in place of the pears.

And remember to let the apples and apple syrup cool before adding it to the recipe.  If it is too hot it will kill the yeast.

When it rises you get a bread butt.  Kim Kardashian?

I have an aversion to all cinnamon bread.  I think the nasty stuff with raisins did me in when I was a kid.  I hated that stuff. So I did not eat any of this.

But everyone who did said that it was some of the best they ever tasted.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


 This is a sure sign that Fall is close.  The tree peony pods have opened.

 They look like they should be edible.

 Someone asked about Teddy yesterday.  I guess I haven't had her on the blog recently.  So, I went out this morning and asked her if she wanted to be on it today.

 She did not seem too excited about it.

 I almost got her to look at me.

 Then she immediately looked away.  This is typical chow behavior, they are very aloof. 

 But then I mentioned that a treat might be involved.  She jumped up so fast that she is a bit of a blur.

 She still holds her paw up like this when she is standing still.  She does not seem bothered by it at all when she runs or walks.

 The treat word sure got her attention.  She is watching me get her treat in the garden room.

 Watching the treat coming towards her.

 Patience and anticipation.

 The treat.

 Making sure she has a tight grip on it.

 Making the getaway.

 She will not eat a treat in front of anyone.  She needs treat privacy.

And there she goes.  I think she is afraid someone might try to take it from her.  Believe me, that someone would have to have a death wish!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Cinnamon Swirl Pear Bread

I am always looking for new bread recipes so when I saw this on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog the other day, I had to try it.
 But first, look what I scored over the weekend.  Let the decorating begin!

 For the bread, begin by cubing 3 C. of ripe pears and put them in a heavy pot with 1 C. water and 1/3 C. sugar.  Cook them until the sugar dissolves and the pears soften.  Strain the syrup from the pears and let both of them cool.

 In the bowl of your mixer, mix 4 beaten eggs with 1/2 C. softened butter, 1/2 C. honey, 2 tsp. salt, 3 tablespoons of rapid rise yeast and 1 tsp. almond extract. Add the cooled pears.

 Mix in the pear syrup.  You should have 1-1/2 C..  If you have less, add a bit of water to measure 1-1/2 C..

 Gradually add 9-10 C. of flour and kneed until it forms a smooth ball of dough. Place it in a buttered bowl, cover and let it rise for about 1-1/2 hours or until doubled.

 After it has risen, divide it into 3 equal pieces.  Roll each piece out to an 8 X 15 rectangle.  Brush with some melted butter.

 Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  You can make some by mixing 3/4 C. sugar with 1 T. cinnamon.

 Roll it up and place it in a buttered bread pan.  Cover the pans and let rise until the dough crests the top of the pans.

 Bake them in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or to an internal temperature of 190 degrees.

 Cover them with foil part way through baking if they get too dark. 

This is a wonderful bread. I will be trying it with peaches and apples too.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Chicken Schnitzel ala Holstein

This is a delicious meal that can be thrown together in no time at all.  My family loves anchovies so I served them on top but you certainly can leave them out if they don't float your boat.
I set up a breading station next to my frying pan.  Flatten some chicken breasts  by pounding them between waxed paper.  Dip them in the flour first, shaking off any excess.  Dip them in a mixture of 2 beaten eggs and 2 tablespoons of milk whisked together.  Shake off the excess.  Lastly, dip them in some corn meal which you've seasoned with salt and pepper.

Cook in a bit of butter and oil until golden and crisp. Keep warm on a rack placed on a cookie sheet in a warm oven.

Add 3 tablespoons of flour to the drippings in the pan.  Whisk this over medium heat for several minutes and slowly add 1 cup of chicken broth.  Add additional broth if the sauce is too thick. This should be on the thin side.  Add 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley and 3 tablespoons of capers. Whisk in the juice of half a lemon. Season with S & P.

I made garlic green beans as a side dish.

Saute green beans with lots of diced garlic in a bit of butter over high heat.  Season with salt and pepper.

Just before serving, drizzle some of the caper sauce on the schnitzel, top with a fried egg and place the anchovies on top.....or not.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Easy Peach Dumplings

Do you have an overabundance of peaches like I do right now and need recipes to use them up?  This can be thrown together in no time at all and it's simply one of the best desserts you will ever taste.
Of course, I missed taking pics of a few steps.  Quarter 4 large ripe peaches.  Wrap each quarter in a crescent roll or pie dough wedge.  Place them seam side down in a greased 8X8 pan.

  • 1 can crescent rolls or cut pie dough into triangles
  • 3/4 stick butter
  • ¾ cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • cinnamon sugar for sprinkling
  • 3/4 C. orange juice
  • 4 fresh peaches
Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the sugar, stir until the sugar melts. Pour this mixture over the dumplings.  Pour the orange juice around the edges.  Sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar.

Bake them at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until they are golden brown.

The juice thickens as these cook.

Serve them warm in a pool of the syrup.  These would be great with vanilla ice cream but since I served them for breakfast, I thought that would be a bit of an overkill!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fresh Cherry Tomato Spaghetti Sauce

Are you suffering from a tomato overload like I am?  It's that time of year for sure.  We have been eating them in salads and on bruschetta but I still couldn't keep up with them so I made this sauce.  It is very good.
 Saute 4 sliced shallots in 1 cup of olive oil until they are translucent.  Add 1 head of diced garlic cloves.  Saute until they soften and then throw in 6 cups of cherry tomatoes. 

 Add 2 cups of tomato sauce.

 Add about 6 stalks of fresh basil.

 Stir it all around.

 Partially cover the pot and let it cook over medium low heat for about 45 minutes.

 Using a potato masher, break the cherry tomatoes up.  I added 1 beef bouillon cube to enrich it.

 Continue to cook for about 30 minutes or so until the sauce thickens.  It develops a rich, silky texture.

 Boil some spaghetti and coat it with some of the sauce.  Place it in a bowl.

 Top it with extra sauce.

 Sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese and dig in.  Summer in a bowl.