Saturday, February 14, 2009

Buttermilk Pumpkin Bread

I am baking these in loaf pans.... so then they became bread

Pumpkin Bread
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing bundt pan
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (from a 15-ounce can; not pie filling)
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs

For icing
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons well-shaken buttermilk
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Special equipment: a 10-inch nonstick bundt pan (3 quart)

Make cake:Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bundt pan generously, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.
Whisk together flour (2 1/4 cups), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together pumpkin, 3/4 cup buttermilk, and vanilla in another bowl.
Beat butter (1 1/2 sticks) and granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, then add eggs and beat 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add flour and pumpkin mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until batter is just smooth.
Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top, then bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then invert rack over cake and reinvert cake onto rack. Cool 10 minutes more.
Make icing:While cake is cooling, whisk together buttermilk and confectioners sugar until smooth. Drizzle icing over warm cake, then cool cake completely. Icing will harden slightly.
Cooks' note: Cake can be made 3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

That Lasagna

I am sure this is the most unauthentic lasagna.... but bth my kids will eat it.
it also makes enough for days, and army or unexpected guests.

2 boxes or no boil Lasagna noodles (it takes more than one box, but less than 2)
2 cans of hunts pasta sauce
1 jar of Alfredo sauce
1 -2lbs container of ricotta cheese
1/2 pound of sandwich pepperoni
3 cup package of shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 lbs of sweet Italian sausages
1 lb of fresh mozzarella cheese

My Lasagna pan fits 6 barilla no boil lasagna noodles perfectly and it is 3" deep

Cook sausages and cut in half.

The ricotta cheese layer
pour 1/2 can of pasta sauce on bottom
place 6 noodles on top
mix ricotta cheese and Alfredo sauce and spread over first noodle layer
place 6 more noodles over cheese layer

The pepperoni cheese layer
pour 1/2 can of sauce over noodles
spread 3 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese over sauce
cover with pepperoni
cover with noodles

The sausage and fresh mozzerella cheese layer
evenly place the sausage links on the noodles
cut the loaf of fresh mozzarella cheese into 1/4" slices and tuck between sausages
pour whole can over the top

cover and bake @ 350f for 1 hour
let sit 15-30 min and serve.

Lime or Lemon Pickle

I remember buying jars of this at my local Arab grocery store. I can not remember the brand, but I loved it. I spoke to the owner once and she asked why didn't I make my own. Who knows, that was atleast 10 years ago. And why know. She said that you layer lemons and limes in a jar with salt and cheyenne pepper.... and maybe some olive oil. It was a while ago, so there could have been other things too.

I found this and it looks good.
But for me it is an all day thing with toasting the spices and then making it. I would also like a cannable recipe, so I can make a lot and open a new jar as needed. In my google search, I heard this is great with sweet peanut butter on bread. I usually ate this on bread or with some rice. I also spread this one bread dough then rolled it up for pinwheel bread.

Lemon/Lime Pickle
3 cup lemon/lime pieces
1/2 cup salt
3/4 cup chili powder
1 t turmeric powder
2 t mustard seeds
1/2 t garlic
1/2 t fenugreek seeds
2 tea spns oil
1 T chopped green chilies
1 T ginger pieces

Cut the lemons or limes in 1/4" slices and half or quarter.
Heat 1 tea spn oil and fry mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, garlic on a medium heat. Take care not to burn any of these. (mustard turns really bitter when it gets burnt, so be careful) . Take off heat and add turmeric powder. When it is cooled to room temperature, grind it to a smooth powder.

Store this in an airtight container. Leave it as it is for about 2 weeks. Then open the container and see if the pickle is fine. Then close the lid again and leave it for about 45 days. As the pickle gets ready, the lemon pieces get softer. This time largely depends on the kind of lemon/lime used.
To speed up the pickling time, some people boil the pieces and make the pickle. By boiling them, pickle gets ready within 4-5 days, but it does not usually have very long shelf life. Also, the Vitamin-C content in the lemon/lime gets lost. I personally prefer this slow pickling process where the pieces are not boiled.- While making the pickle, make sure all the vessels, spoons, grinder/mixer are very dry. Even a small drop of water makes this pickle spoil soon. Even while serving the pickle, make sure the spoon you put in this container is very dry. Better yet, transfer small quantity in a smaller container which can be used to serve.- As I mentioned earlier, the spices should NOT get burnt while frying. While making my last batch, I accidentally burnt some of the spices and the pickle became very bitter and I had hard time to finish it off.- Any pickle should taste salty when it is prepared. The salt gets absorbed by the pieces as time passes. If it tastes just perfect when the pickle is prepared, it gets spoiled soon.- Use limes or lemons that has lots of juice.

Recipes on this whim...

I am always looking for good recipes...
On the top of my list this whim....

Lime/Lemon Pickle
Dry Spice Blends always
Savory Pies
Floral Jelly Recipes: Honeysuckle, Rose or Lavender
Flavor Honey

Who knows what tomorrows whim may be....

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Seeds for the Garden

Oh how I love my odd little garden filled with heirlooms and things you cannot find at the stores or markets in central Ohio. I cut & paste the list from my receipts and left the prices. That is the first thing I would want to know and to look at the pictures. This year I am going to try to be good about saving seeds.

Seeds for 2009

Territorial Seed Company
French Nicoise Blend - 4 grams $4.35
Super Gourmet Blend Lettuce - 4 grams $3.60
Tangy Mesclun Blend - 4 grams $4.45
Wild Garden Lettuce Mix Organic - 3 grams Organic $5.25

Tomato Bob
Siberian (20-25 Seeds)$2.95 USD
Black Cherry (20-25 Seeds)$2.95 USD
Noir de Crimme (20-25 Seeds)$2.95 USD
Green Grape (20-25 Seeds)$2.95 USD
Hartman's Yellow Gooseberry (20-25 Seeds)$2.95 USD
Spoon (20-25 Seeds)$2.95 USD
Rutgers (20-25 Seeds)$2.95 USD
Cucumber, Boston Pickling (40 Seeds)$0.25 USD
Lettuce, Leaf - Black Seeded Simpson (100 Seeds)$0.25 USD
Radish, French Breakfast (150 Seeds)$0.25 USD
Aunt Ruby's German Green (20-25 Seeds)$2.95 USD
Caspian Pink (20-25 Seeds)$2.95 USD

I like to plant a lot of lettuce. It is one of the best veggies that takes little to no effort when you are busy. I like to toss some herbs in with the greens for extra flavor. My favorites are arugula and dill, Basil is nice and so are chives.
If you stop by while the arugula needs thinning or getting ready for a replant.... Bill plants so much we will stick a bag in your car. I have tossed a trash can full of it out.

I heard that arugula pesto is good, but I also like it on sandwiches.