Citrus Loaf

I love the bright citrus flavour of this loaf.  Easy to make, and easier to eat!

Citrus loaf 5

This loaf takes little more than 10 minutes to put together, and while it is baking the citrus aroma is fantastic.

  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 medium orange
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter (I use salted for baking)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grate 1 tbsp peel from lemon and squeeze 1 tbsp juice, set aside.

Grate 1 tbsp orange peel and squeeze 5 tbsp juice, set aside.

Citrus loaf 1

Citrus loaf 2

Stir the wet ingredients into the larger bowl, and mix only until just holding together.  If you mix it too much the dough won’t be quite as tender.

In large bowl cut softened butter into flour, baking powder, salt and 1 cup sugar.  Stir in peel.  In small bowl beat eggs, milk and4 tbsp orange juice lightly.  Stir into flour mixture just until flour is moist.  Do not over mix!

Spoon into greased and lightly floured loaf pan, baking for 1 hour.  Test, and when you tester comes out clean, remove from oven and allow to rest 10 minutes in loaf pan before removing.

citrus-loaf-3.jpg

If you line the loaf pan with parchment paper it makes removal quick and easy.

 

In saucepan, heat lemon juice, 1 tbsp orange juice and 2 tbsp sugar until boiling.  Cool, stirring, for about 3 minutes.  Brush over loaf once it has cooled off a bit, but not cold.

Citrus loaf 4

Boil the juices and sugar long enough for the syrup to thicken slightly, then remove from heat.

Citrus loaf 6

Every bite is light, juicy, citrusy and that glaze over the top is absolutely divine.

 

Rosemary Cheddar Soda Bread

I’m only a 1/4 Irish, but I’m pretty sure my Irish Nana, Kathleen O’Doherty, would have been pretty happy with this Irish Soda Bread.  It takes about 5 minutes to put together, and your house will smell heavenly while it bakes.

Irish Soda Bread 4

Tender inside, crusty outside – it’s perfect.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 cups buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, use 2 tsp lemon juice and fill to 1 cup milk)
  • 1 whole large egg

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly flour a non stick baking tray or spray with a non stick spray.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, pepper, rosemary and cheese.

  3. Add the egg to the buttermilk and beat until mixed.
  4. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour and lightly mix through until it becomes sticky and a ball forms.

  5. Dump the dough out onto a flour dusted work surface and roughly knead the dough into an ball shape. It may be on the wet side so have some extra flour on hand for dusting.

  6. Place the dough onto your prepared baking tray. Take a sharp serrated knife and cut an X on top of the soda bread.

  7. Season the top with some more salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes and the top is golden brown.

  8. Let cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving with butter.
Irish Soda Bread 1

Combine all the dry ingredients together, and lightly toss.

Irish Soda Bread 2

Once you’ve mixed the dry ingredients together, very lightly combine with the wet, don’t over mix or the dough will get a bit tough.  You want a lightly handled dough.

Irish Soda Bread 3

Gently form the dough into a ball, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Irish Soda Bread 5

Allow the dough to rest before slicing into it …. I know, it’s hard to resist!

Irish Soda Bread 6

Just waiting for some soft butter to spread ….

I reviewed a few recipes looking for the perfect bread to serve with my Irish Guinness stew for St. Patrick’s day, and this is a sure fire winner, it will be on repeat around here!

Check out “foodnessgracious” …. the food is fantastic.

Vanilla Bundt Cake

A perfect dessert, delicious but tasty!  This simple vanilla cake can be changed up so easily.  For this version I added some blood orange juice and zest, which worked perfectly with the fruity glaze.

Vanilla Bundt Cake 2

To create the blood orange cake, squeeze the juice from one blood orange into a one cup measure of milk, fill the remaining cup with milk.  Zest one orange and stir into the batter.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ¼ cups (315 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ¾ cups (370 g) sugar1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (125 ml) canola oil
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk

PREPARATION

  1. With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Generously butter and flour a 10 to 12-cup (2.5-3 litre) Bundt pan.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla at high speed with an electric mixer for about 10 minutes or until the mixture triples in volume and forms a ribbon. Drizzle in the oil while beating.
  4. At low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beating just until smooth. Spread the batter into the pan.
  5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes. Unmould and let cool completely on a wire rack.

No Knead Bread, it’s a miracle!

I’ve been studying these recipes for no knead bread, mistrusting the whole concept.  After all, generally speaking I do things the long way …. you know that, right?  I think of my kitchen time as yoga, peaceful, calming and S L O W ….. Well, this hit all those boxes except for the slow part …. but it worked so well with a late night dinner. Tuesdays the grandkids have gymnastics, and I don’t get home from taking them until after 6.  So, beef stew leftovers just cried for something special like this to elevate dinner.  The night before I prepped the dough (took all of maybe 5 minutes) and forgot about it until after gymnastics.  Pop it into the oven and you won’t believe the results.

No Knead bread 5

Craggy and crusty on the outside, delicate and textured inside.  I’m hooked.

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups room temperature water
  1. DOUGH PREP: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and yeast together until mixed. Stir in the water until a chunky, thick dough forms. If it needs a little more water, add a few more tablespoons, just enough to get it barely wet throughout. It’s gonna look scrappy and weird and you’re going to question me on whether or not this will work, but it will. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for 12-18 hours at room temperature. Overnight is ideal here, kids.
Miracle no Knead bread

That’s it folks!  Stir in the room temperature water to your dry ingredients, and let it sit.  Sure doesn’t look pretty here, but just wait …..

No knead bread 2

Look what happens after it sits overnight!  Soft dough, little bubbles all over and through it.

 

  1. PREP FOR BAKING: When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450. Stick a 6 quart enamel coated cast iron Lodge Dutch Oven (or similar) in the oven for about 30 minutes to heat. At this point, the dough should be big and puffy and pretty loose, with little bubbles in it. Gently scrape the dough out onto a well-floured surface. (Remember: NO KNEAD.) Gently shape it into a ball with flour on the outside, set on a piece of parchment, and cover with plastic while your pan heats up.
No Knead bread 3

Prep …. ha ha …. today that consists of tossing a little flour onto a piece of parchment paper, and then gently turn out your dough onto the flour.  Roll it around just so that flour gets all over the surface, and under the dough.  Leave it on the parchment, and gently lift the whole package by the parchment and set it into the heated pan.

 

  1. BAKE: Remove the plastic from the dough. Lift the dough and parchment together into the pan so the parchment lines the bottom of the hot pan (be careful not to touch the pan since it’s very hot). Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake another 10-15 minutes to get the exterior nice and golden brown and crispy. Voila! Done. Miracle no-knead bread, you boss you.
No Knead bread 4

Just a little peek of it in the dutch oven ….. I was DYING until I could peek.

No Knead 7

Oh my …. the flavour and texture of this bread were out of this world – we loved it.

No Knead 8

Do yourself a favour, and make bread!  This really will make you feel like a boss, go for it!  I recently bought a loaf of bread from a specialty bakery.  It was $7.00 a loaf, and while we thought it was great, try this for pennies …. just as delicious!

 

 

 

 

I’ve reprinted this recipe from “Pinch of Yum” after studying these recipes for months!  Seems so strange to think of a bread that doesn’t require kneading, but this couldn’t be easier, and results in a great loaf of bread.  While the entire text portion is lifted from “Pinch of Yum” I’ve taken my own photos, and I’m hooked on the whole idea.  Thanks!

Cake Donuts with Fruit Glaze

Delish

These fun little donuts are delicious!  So easy to make, and even quicker to bake.  The toppings can be anything you like to suit the occasion.

I bought silicone donut molds to bake with, and they are so much fun!  This recipe comes together quickly, and bakes even faster.  Whatever you top them with, they are sure to be a winner.  Today I did a raspberry glaze and an orange peach glaze, but I included a few others here.

Realistically you can make any toppings you like, next time I might do chocolate with toasted nuts on top ….

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup flavorless oil, like canola or vegetable
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Sprinkles for decorating

Special equipment:

a 12-cavity donut pan and a piping bag

  • To make the donuts: preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Coat a 12-cavity donut pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.
  • Cake Donuts 1

    Always whisk your dry ingredients together first, that way you can use the same whisk for the wet ingredients.

  • Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and water in a medium bowl.
  • Cake Donuts 2

    Yes, I’m often a bit generous with my vanilla ……

  • Whisk the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir to combine.
  • Fill a piping bag with the batter and pipe the batter into the donut pans, filling each cavity halfway. This could get a little messy.
  • Cake Donuts 3

    I used a ziplock bag and just snipped the end off.

    Cake Donuts 5

  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into a donut comes out clean, about 12-14 minutes.
  • Check your oven at 12 minutes, if a toothpick comes out clean, you are done.
  • Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove to a rack and cool completely.
  • Cake Donuts 6

    I think I might have overfilled these a touch, as they did get a little lip on them.

  • To decorate the donuts, dip them halfway into the glaze and then allow excess glaze to drip off. Sprinkle the tops with a little fun and enjoy.

Have you seen “Girl Meets Farm”?  It is on Food Network and features Molly Yeh.  Her recipes are easy to follow, usually contain simple ingredients and I love everything I’ve tried.  This recipe is from her “baby shower” episode.

Cake Donuts 7

Here are some glaze suggestions, also from that episode:

  • Orange Glaze:

    1. Combine the confectioners’ sugar, honey and 4 tablespoons of the juice in a bowl. Add more juice little by little until the mixture is spreadable (you might not need the full remaining tablespoon). It should be quite thick yet spreadable.

    Rhubarb Glaze:

    1. Put the rhubarb, granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water into a small pot on a stovetop. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and the rhubarb is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour into a blender and puree until smooth, then transfer to a bowl. Add confectioners’ sugar as needed for taste and consistency.

    Blueberry Glaze:

    1. Put the blueberries, granulated sugar and 1/4 cup water into a small pot on a stovetop and cook over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the berries have burst and the sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a small bowl, straining if necessary, then add the confectioners’ sugar. Whisk to combine, adding more confectioners’ sugar as needed for taste and consistency.

Homemade Pita Bread

Pita bread

Pitas 3

Can you even imagine the joy when these pita’s puff up like this?  It’s a wondrous sight.

Pitas 4

Puffed, tender and delicious.  Make some hummus to enjoy or serve with dinner as a flatbread, or stuff with your own fixings.  You will be really happy you tried this.

Before you even read this recipe I have to give you full disclosure that it is copied, in totality, from Deb at Smitten Kitchen.  She has some amazing recipes, all created in her tiny New York kitchen, and if you haven’t visited her website yet, you must.  This is one of those recipes that I didn’t even have to tweak, we loved it.  

 

  • 3 cups plus a scant 1/4 cup (455 grams) all-purpose or bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons (13 grams) fine sea or table salt
  • 2 teaspoons (6 to 7 grams) instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups (295 grams) water, at room temperature
About 1 1/2 hours before shaping, or for best flavor development, 8 hours to 3 days ahead, mix the dough:
Mixer method: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the ingredients with the paddle attachment just until flour is moistened, then switch to the dough hook. Knead for 10 minutes at low/medium speed. The dough should clean the bowl and be very soft and smooth and just a little sticky to the touch. You can add a little flour or water if necessary, but when I use the weights above, I haven’t found this necessary.
Mix by hand: In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except for a scant 1/4 cup of the flour. With a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until all the flour is moistened. Knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together, then sprinkle a little of the reserved flour onto the counter and scrape the dough onto it. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, adding as little of the reserved flour as possible; it’s going to be very sticky. Invert your empty bowl over it and allow it to rest for 5 to 20 minutes, then knead the dough another 5 to 10 minutes, until it’s soft a little sticky to the touch.

Let the dough rise: Scrape the dough into a large oiled bowl. Press it down and coat the top with a little oil too. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. With a piece of tape, mark the side of the container at approximately where double the height of the dough would be. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours, or in the fridge overnight (or up to 3 days), until doubled.

Pitas 5

This little ball of dough doesn’t look like much now, but just let it sit for a while ….

Pitas 6

LOOK!  After sitting on the counter for a few hours (you can use it after an hour or so) the dough has more than doubled and ready to be turned into rounds.

To bake pitas in the oven: Preheat your oven to 475°F 20 minutes before baking. Have an oven shelf at the lowest level and place a baking stone, cast-iron skillet, or baking sheet on it before preheating. Do not oil the skillet or baking sheet.

Shape the dough: Cut the dough into 8 or 12 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, on a lightly floured counter, with lightly floured hands, shape each piece into a ball and then flatten it into a disk. Cover the dough with oiled plastic and allow it to rest for 20 minutes at room temperature.

Pitas 1

If you’ve got a 5 year old around, put them to work.  Stella did a great job forming balls and flattening them for their 20 minute rest.

 

Roll each disk into a circle a little under 1/4 inch thick. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes before baking. Spritz lightly with water while resting.

Pitas 2

I don’t have a spritz bottle, so just brushed them lightly with a water moistened pastry brush.

Bake the pita: Quickly place 1 piece of dough directly on the stone or in the skillet or on the baking sheet, and bake for 3 to 4 minutes (less for small ones, longer for big ones). The pita should be completely puffed but not beginning to brown. The dough will not puff well if it is not moist enough. See how the pita puffs, then, if necessary, spray each remaining piece with additional water before baking.

Proceed with the remaining dough, baking 3 or 4 pieces at a time if using a stone or baking sheet. using a pancake turner, transfer the pita breads to a clean towel, to stay soft and warm. Allow the oven to reheat for 5 minutes between batches. The pitas can be reheated for about 30 seconds in a hot oven before serving.

To cook the pitas on the stove top: Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Lightly, very thinly, grease the surface and cook the pitas one at a time. Cook for about 30 seconds, then rotate the dough slightly (about a quarter-turn) and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes more. Small surface bubbles slowly grow to larger ones, and then eventually “find each other” merge and that becomes your big balloon pocket. Make additional small rotations if the process stagnates. The entire cooking process for each pita should be about 3 minutes.

Whole wheat variation: For a whole wheat version, use half whole wheat and half white flour, or you can make these entirely with white whole wheat flour — for this last option, you’ll need 1/4 cup extra water.

Mushroom Turnovers

Turnovers 12

One of my old time favourite appetizers, I’m not sure why I haven’t made these lately, but so glad mushrooms needed to be eaten, giving us a bite this delicious.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  • 1 8 ounce pack cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus 3 tbsp for the mushroom onion mixture
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, finely diced (should yield about 3 cups once diced)
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 egg, beaten

At least 2 hours prior to serving:

in large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer combine the 1/2 cup butter and cream cheese until smooth and well blended.

Gradually stir in the flour until just combined.  Gently knead in a bit more flour only if it is too sticky to handle.  Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Turnovers 3

I love the way this dough feels, so soft and supple that it is also very forgiving.

Turnovers 4

Any type of mushroom works with this recipe, but we were happy to put these Crimini mushrooms to good use when friends cleaned out their fridge prior to a trip.                            Thanks Keith and Jean!

 

Meanwhile, in frying pan over medium heat, melt 3 tbsp butter and saute mushrooms and onions until tender, stirring occasionally.  Allow to cool, then stir in the salt, thyme, sour cream and 2 tbsp flour.

Turnovers 5

I love these silicone cutting boards for food like onions, garlic or meat.  When it goes in the dishwasher I don’t have to worry about my next item smelling funky or carrying germs.

Turnovers 6

Cook just until the mushrooms have released their moisture, and the pan dries out a bit.

Turnovers 7

Cut your dough ball in half, and work with 1/2 at a time, keeping the 2nd ball wrapped.  On a floured work surface roll out dough to about 1/8″ thickness and cut out circles (my cutter is about 2 1/2″ across).

Turnovers 8

Turnovrs 9

When you pinch the edges together make sure you can easily do so, otherwise remove a bit so the turnovers done burst.

 

Onto one half of each dough circle place a tsp of mushroom mixture. Brush edges of circles with some of the beaten egg, fold dough over filling.  Do not overfill or they will burst during cooking and you will lose all that flavour.  With a fork firmly press edges together to seal.  Place on cookie sheet, either non stick or with parchment or silicone lining.  Brush with remaining egg yolk and prick the top with the tines of your fork.

Turnovers 10

These freeze really well (before cooking).  Once you have pierced the tops of the turnovers, put tray in freezer until the turnovers have frozen solid.  Carefully remove and store in air proof container in deep freeze until ready to serve.  Brush with egg wash right before baking, and allow them to bake a little longer.

Bake for 13-15 minutes @ 425, until golden brown and glossy.  Remove from the oven, and allow to cool (if you can) before serving.

Turnovers 11

Brushed with an egg wash prior to hitting the oven, you will be rewarded for the task by the aroma filling your kitchen.  It won’t be easy to wait for them to cool before biting in.