Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pumpkin Bread (Starbucks)

I think my third pumpkin bread recipe that I have posted.  This recipe is the one I used to spawn off of for my "better than starbucks" recipe.

This is a great recipe for Pumpkin bread.  Not as good as the other I posted, but pretty darn good.  The texture was moist and flavor was very good.  I felt mine was a bit truer to the texture of starbucks, which is what I really wanted to nail.  Anyone else, would make this bread and say it was like starbucks...  I am a bit more picky than the average joe (who is that anyway!?), but this is a fantastic loaf.  Bonus is, it takes less time than "my version", so you can be enjoying pumpkin bread that much sooner. 

 adapted slightly from: likemotherlikedaughters


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup canola oil (I sub. some drained applesauce)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pumpkin seeds, optional or Streusel
 FOR THE STREUSEL (optional, this bread is still amazing without it)
  • 1/2 cup ( 127 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (half a stick or 56 grams) unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan.
Combine the flour, soda, powder, spices and salt in a bowl.
Beat the eggs, sugars and vanilla together in an electric mixer on high speed for 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin and the oil and mix well.
Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, or streusel if desired.
Bake 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool in pan 10 minutes, and then turn onto cooling rack to cool completely.
Cut into 8 thick slices for a Starbucks pumpkin experience!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hot Potato Salad

 There are those old recipes you have in your recipe collection.  You know, the ones you have forgotten about, or haven't made in um-teen years,  because you got caught up in another cooking rut where you made the same things over and over again, in a never ending rotation, that seemed to go on forever, much like this sentence.

Well, this is one of those recipes I have had forever.  My mom and and aunt made this all the time when I was growing up.  A very simple recipe that is perfect for potlucks.  A definite crowd pleaser.


  • 8-10 large potatoes, peeled, diced and boiled
  • 8 oz. Velveeta cheese
  • 1 cup light mayo
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/4 cup milk (more to thin)
  • 1 finely diced sweet onion or 4-5 sliced green onions
  • 1/2 lb. bacon, cooked very crisp

Clean, peel, dice and boil potatoes.  Preheat oven to 350.  Cube Velveeta, and in a saucepan, mix cubed Velveeta, mayonnaise, onion, cheddar and milk.  Melt over medium low heat until all the cheese is melted and smooth.  Place potatoes in a lightly grease 9x13 or casserole dish.  Pour cheese mixture over potatoes and stir to coat potatoes.  Sprinkle cooked bacon over the top (or stir in if you desire) and place in oven. (or you can chill until you want to bake)  Bake for 30 minutes (longer if coming from fridge) or until browning a bit and hot through. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tomato Galette (Or Pie)

So, way back when I had my cook-off at the Ronald McDonald House, my competitors made a tomato pie.  I didn't think much of it as "competition" until I tasted it.  It was tangy, sweet, salty and a wonderful balance of all those things.  It tasted of the peak of summer and was satisfying and almost refreshing.  I asked her how she made it, and listened carefully to what she did so I could make it and eat it when I was not so full.

I had to make a galette for my baking group, but decided to double the dough recipe so I could make this.  It was very good and we really enjoyed it.  It is also super easy, especially if you use a store bought crust like my competitors did (which being the purist that I am, I felt like it was cheating ;-).  But at home, cheating is good.  Especially with the busy lives we all lead.  Anyway, enjoy!


  • 1 pie crust recipe
  • 3 cups sliced tomatoes (I used 3 large, 5 medium, and a handful of halved grape)
  • 2 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup light mayo
  • 1 cup mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup cheddar
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan
  • 8-10 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.  Slice tomatoes, place on paper towels and sprinkle with about a tsp. salt.  For a galette, roll dough and slice around edges with a sharp knife or pizza cutter to make round.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet.   Spread mustard oven the crust (for galette- leave 1" on edge clean for folding over)  Place tomatoes in/on shell, layer a bit.  Season with pepper and sprinkle with basil.  Mix mayo with cheeses and crumble/spread/sprinkle over tomatoes.  Fold edges up on galette and pleat as needed.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, until crust is golden and top is golden brown and yummy looking.For the galette dough recipe, you can go here.

For pie crust, roll and place in pie tin, and parbake for 10-15 minutes.   Layer just like with galette.  Bake.

TWD: BWJ Whole Wheat Loaves


So, after my last complete failure with a recipe from Baking with Julia, I was looking forward to something I couldn't screw up.  Well, I spoke, or thought, too soon.  I added 1/2 cup too much flour, so I had to go back and add a few TBSP of water to make it a bit more pliable.

 I had to hand knead this bread because my kitchen aid was seizing up (may have had something to do with the excess flour),  and after 20 minutes of kneading, I am happy to report that my arms are now bigger than my husbands.  Just kidding, but I did get a great arm workout.   If I had known, I might have skipped the gym.

Anyway, I opted to make one of my loaves cinnamon raisin swirl, rolling it into a large rectangle, slathering with butter and sprinkling with cinnamon, sugar and raisins.  My kids ate it for dessert tonight.  We really loved both the plain and cinnamon swirl loaves (my kids preferred the cinnamon swirl treat), and even with my little hiccup, they both rose up and baked up beautifully.  A very tender bread, that had a very good flavor.  I did not have the malt extract that the recipe called for, but used a TBSP of molasses instead.

This is a pretty easy recipe that I could see myself making again and again.  Because of copyright, we are encouraging people to buy the book.  But if you want the recipe, go on over to our hosts blog reels.  Thanks to Michele and Teresa for hosting.

Monday, September 17, 2012

White Chicken Chili (Crock Pot)

Still trying to get back on the blogging train.   Life has been busy.  I continue to try to find my house amidst legos, hot wheels and pirates.  Yes, the pirates seem to be looting and leaving a trail.  Sad, really.  Somewhere, under the mountain of legos, lies a clean house.  Just like somewhere under this haggard woman, lies a hot chick.

On to the food.

I love white chicken chili.  Particularly, I love Ruby Tuesday's white chicken chili.  I like the thickness it has.  I made a version a few months back, and never blogged it because it was a disappointment.  I took a bunch of recipes and kinda meshed them, but I was just not a huge fan.  This time, I went with my instincts and also with what was in my pantry.   This had a little kick, but the sour cream took enough of the edge off to make it so all my kids ate it.  My 7 year old had two big bowlfuls!  We all loved this!  Healthy and yummy!

  •  4 cups (32 oz box) chicken stock
  • 3 cans white navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large onions, diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 3 large chicken breasts, halved in thickness
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup green verde salsa
  • 1 TBSP corn meal (sprinkle over)
  • salt and pepper 
  • 2 TBSP fresh cilantro or 2 tsp. dried

 Place chicken, onion and carrots in the crock pot on high.  Let cook 2-3 hours, until chicken is cooked through.  Shred chicken.  Add broth, cornmeal, spices, and 1 can beans.  Mash the other 2 cans with a masher (or your hand, like me)  roughly (meaning does not need to be thorough), and add to crock pot.    Cover and simmer for one more hour.
Garnish with sour cream, Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

TWD:BWJ Nectarine Chiffon Cake

I never thought I was a picky person.  I mean give me something to bake that tastes good, I am happy.  I think I was wrong. I think I must be picky.  Or maybe it's just the fact that my husband is off training for a deployment and I am alone with 4 kids that is making me hard to please and bitter. 

This recipe was such a disappointment.    I am going to a Labor Day picnic and this sounded like the perfect thing to bring.

Why was this disasterous?  Let me count the ways.
 1. First of all, it took F-O-R-E-V-E-R to put together.  I am a fast baker too.  I mean, I can get homemade chocolate chips cookies in the oven, start to oven in less than ten minutes.  I am quick.  But this recipe just had a lot of steps and prep. Sometimes I can enjoy "the process".  But I guess I make things with streusel all the time, and this just took longer than anything like it that I have made.

2. It took like 20 minutes longer than the recipe said to cook. This is not my oven, because the last recipe was done in less time than the recipe said. Still not sure if it is done.
3.  Even with the foil, the bottom of my oven was covered in a sticky gooey burnt mess. 
4. I followed direction to a "T".  It collasped.  The edges stuck to the pan and the center caved in, leaving it... like that.

5. There is a puddle of butter brown sugar in the collasped part with chunks of cake.  EWW! It might be alive!

6. The cake came under the nectarines and looks more like flan (HATE flan!).

AND drum roll!!!

7.  My kitchen reeked like burnt sugar, was smokey, and looked like a bomb exploded when I was done making this.

Now I haven't tasted this yet.  Will update when I do.  But even if the is a-freaking-mazing, I don't think I would ever make it again.  I even had whipped my egg whites to stiff peaks by hand (which if you have never done, I suggest you try.  Great arm workout!) to cut down on equipment cleaning.

The beginning of this portion of the book said these were simple and sturdy desserts.  Mine was neither.  I would rather make and decorate a cake like this any day.
My daughter's birthday cake I made this weekend!

UPDATE: So, this cake was good.  As the saying goes, nothing to write home about, but, the flavor was good.  However, I stand firm.  This cake will not be getting made again by me.  I do hope you have more success than I did.  It could've just been the blue moon that threw me off.  If you want to try it, check our the recipe at our hosts websites.  Thanks to Marlise and Susan for hosting.