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Recipe: Streusel Topped Cranberry Pear Butter Bread

22 Apr
I have never been a big fan of pears….it’s kinda like the whole banana thing for me….it’s the texture of the fruit.  But I do love pear butter and baked goods with pears….it changes the whole texture.  This pear bread is so good!  It has a crunchy top and super moist inside that is jeweled with sweet cranberries…a perfect combination.  I used the pear butter that my mother canned last summer, but you could use a store bought version.  You could even substitute with apple butter.
Enjoy!
Streusel Topped Cranberry Pear Butter Bread
Bread
2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup pear butter (apple butter may be substituted)
2 tbsp milk
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional
Streusel Topping
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9x5x3 loaf pan.  Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and dried cranberries; set aside.  Combine eggs, butter, pear butter and milk; beat well.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until just combined and dry mixture is moistened, do not over mix.  Add pecans, if using.  Spoon batter into prepared pan.  Prepare topping by mixing flour and brown sugar until all lumps are gone.  Cut butter into flour mixture until pea size lumps form.  Spoon topping onto batter and lightly press down.  Bake for 60 to 65 minutes.  Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack.
I have also made this as muffins as well. 
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Recipe Review: Oatmeal Craisin Breakfast Cookies

20 Feb
I am always looking for breakfast recipes that I can make for my kids during the rush of getting out the door for school.  When I saw this recipe from Prairie Story, I knew that I had to give it a try.  If you love oatmeal, then you will love these cookies.  They are not very sweet, have a crunchy edge and soft inside.  While my kids were not crazy about them, the adults in the house definitely loved them.  They were all gone within 24 hours.  I will keep this recipe in our family cookbook simply because I loved them!
Enjoy!
Oatmeal Craisin Breakfast Cookies
(recipe from Prairie Story)
Beat together:
3/4 cup margarine, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla


Mix in:
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt


Fold in:
3 cups oats
3/4 cup craisins
1/2 coconut shredded, sweetened


Spoon rounded tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet.  Bake at 350° for 12 minutes.

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For another healthy cookie recipe, see my recipe for Andes Mint Cookies
made with white bean puree.

Linked To:
  * Don’t Waste your Homemaking:  Unwasted Homemaking Party
  * My Sweet and Savory:  Let’s Do Brunch
   * Simply Sugar and Gluten Free:  Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays
   It’s A Keeper:  It’s A Keeper Thursday

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Recipe Review: Cinnamon Butter

14 Jan
My girls and I love cinnamon butter especially on homemade bread that has been lightly toasted…so heavenly.  I found this most awesome recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Deals to Meals.  She has a couple more cinnamon butter recipes that I can’t wait to try.  Every recipe that I have made from her blog turns out awesome.  I also used this butter for the filling in my Christmas morning cinnamon rolls and they tasted better than ever. 
Enjoy!
Cinnamon Butter
(recipe by Deals to Meals)
1 cup butter, softened (not melted)

1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk, chilled
1 tbsp light corn syrup (or 1 T. honey)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients together on high speed until light and fluffy.

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Linked To:
 * Not So Homemade:  What’s Cooking Wednesday

Recipe Review: Homemade Yogurt

12 Jan

Two of my girls are yogurt lovers.  They especially love fruit yogurt.  I have spent a small fortune on yogurt over the years.  One day, I was cruising through my favorite blogs, A Year of Slow Cooking, and I came across this recipe for making yogurt in the crock pot.  Can you believe it?  You can make yogurt at home with a couple of ingredients and some time.  Ingredients that you probably already have on hand.  Of course, making yogurt at home is great, but it has the pass the taste test.  I made a batch over the holidays when my sister was here.  The kids that like yogurt, loved it!  My two girls have eaten several bowls.  In fact, I have since made another batch.  This recipe makes a large amount…bonus!  I found a gallon of organic milk marked down to $2.00 so I will be able to make two big batches of yogurt for $2.00.  Yes, that’s right…..two bucks!  Better yet, if you set aside a half cup of the unflavored yogurt from your batch, you can use this the next time you make yogurt and you will never have to buy yogurt from the store again.

While this recipe is very easy and the crock pot does most of the work, it does take some time, so be prepared.  I also strain the yogurt to make it a bit firmer the way the my kids like it.  I strain it in batches through coffee filters and a colander and get about 3 cups of whey (this can be poured out).  My sister made a batch and put a pack of unflavored gelatin and got a firm yogurt.  My girl’s love strawberry yogurt so I take about a cup of frozen strawberries with a half cup of sugar.  I let the strawberries macerate until they are thawed and then smash the berries with a fork to break them up a bit.  I then add the strawberries and juice to the yogurt and mix until combined.  According to my girls the yogurt is perfect and they like it much better than the expensive store bought kind. 

I highly recommend making your own yogurt.  I think you will be surprised by the results.

Enjoy!

Homemade Yogurt
(recipe by A Year of Slow Cooking)

8 cups (half-gallon) of whole milk–pasteurized and homogenized is fine, but do NOT use ultra-pasteurized
1/2 cup store-bought natural, live/active culture plain yogurt (you need to have a starter. Once you have made your own, you can use that as a starter)
frozen/fresh fruit for flavoring
4 quart crock pot

Plug in your crock pot and turn to low. Add an entire half gallon of milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.  Unplug your crock pot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.  When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 2 cups of the warmish milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought live/active culture yogurt. Then dump the bowl contents back into the crock pot. Stir to combine.  Put the lid back on your crock pot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock for insulation.  Let it sit for 8 hours.  After 8 hours, the yogurt will have thickened (it’s not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but has the consistency of low-fat plain yogurt).

Blend in batches with your favorite fruit. When you blend in the fruit, bubbles will form and might bother you. They aren’t a big deal, and will settle eventually.  Chill in a plastic container(s) in the refrigerator. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days. Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make a new batch.

Yogurt after 8 hours.
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Countdown to 2011: Breakfast

29 Dec

I am joining Finding Joy in My Kitchen: Breakfasts.  Here are some of the breakfast recipes that I posted over the past year.

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Recipe Review: Elise’s Homemade Vanilla Granola

2 Dec

In an effort to feed my family more healthy less processed foods, I decided to give this granola recipe a shot.  I love granola.  I love it with milk in the morning but I especially love it by the hand full…:>)!  This recipe is OMG awesome!!  It smelled so wonderful as it was baking away in the oven.  So good that I couldn’t wait for a taste as soon as I pulled it out of the oven.  It was delightful!  I only made one change to the original recipe.  I omitted the wheat germ because I did not have any. 

I now have a full gallon zipper bag of the most delicious granola at my eating whim.  My girls have a healthy snack without the added preservatives and chemicals.  You MUST give this a try if you heart granola. 

Enjoy!

Elise’s Homemade Vanilla Granola
(recipe from Favorite Family Recipes)

8 c. oats
2 c. sliced almonds
1 c. wheat germ
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp cinnamon
craisins or raisins, to taste (optional)
3/4 c. canola oil
1 c. honey
3 Tbsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine first 8 ingredients (dry ingredients) in a large bowl. In a saucepan combine oil, honey, and vanilla and bring to a boil. Let boil for 1 minute then pour over oat mixture. Mix until all ingredients are moistened. Divide and spread mixture over 2 large cookie sheets and bake at 300-degrees for 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and leave on pans until the granola hardens.  Break up granola and store in large Ziploc bags or containers.

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Linked To:
  * Prairie Story:  Recipe Swap Thursday
  * Gnowfglins:  Tuesday Twister
  * Simply Sweet Home:  Friday Favorites

Recipe Review: Vanilla Dutch Baby

28 Sep

Do you watch Melissa d’Arabian’s Ten Dollar Dinners on the Food Network?   I try to watch it when I can and I have tried a couple of her recipes that have turned out pretty well.  She recently featured a breakfast for dinner.  I LOVE breakfast at dinner and so do my kids.  However, I thought I would try this recipe for her Vanilla Dutch Baby out and see if my girls would like it.  Two out of three of my girls love pancakes.  The twins would eat pancakes for all three meals every day.  For their birthday, we took them to Cracker Barrel so they could have pancakes.  Right now CB is the favorite pancake place.  I have to admit, the pancakes are very good at CB.

I was very surprised at how good this Dutch Baby was.  We have never tried anything like this before.  Not only was it tasty but it was easy to make.  As much as I like pancakes, I do get tired of standing over the stove making pancake after pancake.  This was a nice treat to only have to mix, pour and cook.  In about 25 minutes, we had a fantastic breakfast.  Of course, my oldest daughter Hailey, liked it but wasn’t completely sold on it.  She said it had too much of an egg taste.  Go figure!  The rest of us enjoyed ours sprinkled with powdered sugar. 

Enjoy!

Vanilla Dutch Baby (Puffed Pancake)
from Melissa d’Arabian @ Ten Dollar Dinners

3 tablespoons butter

3 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk, heated 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a large saute pan with cooking spray and place the butter in the pan and place in the oven to melt.   Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the eggs, flour, hot milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and pinch of salt, and blend on medium-high speed until uniform.   Carefully, remove the hot pan from the oven. The butter should be melted. Swirl the butter around the pan to coat completely, and then pour the remaining butter into the batter and whisk to blend. Pour the batter into the hot pan and return the pan to the oven. Cook the pancake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pancake is puffed in the center, and golden brown along the edges.

Using a spatula, remove the entire Dutch baby from the pan and place on a cooling rack for a few minutes to allow the steam to escape without condensing along the bottom and rendering the pancake soggy. Slice the pancake into wedges on a serving platter or cutting board and sprinkle with the confectioners’ sugar through a sieve.

Linked To:
  *  My Sweet and Savory – Let’s Do Lunch