Monday, March 17, 2008

Strawberry Nut Bread

This is a very moist bread. It is very good and not too sweet. The next time I make this I am going to put chopped fresh strawberries in as well. This made a great breakfast treat!

Strawberry Nut Bread
1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

3/8 tsp. cream of tartar

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup strawberry preserves

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup finely chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and baking soda. In a small mixing bowl combine the strawberry preserves and sour cream and mix well. Alternately add the strawberry mixture and the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Mix thoroughly after each addition until all ingredients are blended. Pour into the loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes, or until done.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love this soup! It is a very easy recipe to stick in a crock-pot and let simmer all day!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 chicken breast halves

2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained

1 (15oz.) cans Mexican stewed tomatoes

1 cup salsa

4 oz. can chopped chilies

14.5 oz. tomato sauce

2 (14 oz.) oz. chicken stock

1 clove garlic, pressed

1 Tbsp. cilantro

1 Tbsp. cumin

Tortilla chips

Shredded Mexican cheese

sour cream

Cook chicken and shred. Combine chicken, beans, tomatoes, salsa, chilies, sauce, chicken stock, garlic, cilantro and cumin in a slow cooker. Cook for 8 hourse on low. Serve with chips, cheese and sour cream.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

First Post! Tuesdays with Dorie -- Russian Grandmother's Apple Pie-Cake

So, I joined the baking group, Tuesdays with Dorie, who are baking their way through the book, Baking: From my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan. This week's recipe was Russian Grandmother's Apple Pie Cake. This recipe was chosen by Burned Bits.

The recipe was very easy to follow and put together. I thought I may have trouble with the dough, but it rolled out just fine for me. The apples I bought were large, so I did not use as many as the recipe called for. I also did not add as many raisins. I'll definately be making this again!
Check out the other postings at TWD.

Russian Grandmother's Apple Pie-Cake

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 Tbsp. baking powder

Juice of 1 lemon

3 1/4 -- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the apples:
10 medium apples, all one kind or a mix

Squirt of fresh lemon juice

1 cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden)

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Sugar, preferably decorating (coarse) sugar, for dusting

To make the dough:
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted witha paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes more. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the baking powder and salt and mix just to combine. Add the lemon juice -- the dough will probably curdle, but don't worry about it. Still working on low speed, slowly but steadily add 3 1/4 cups of the flour, mixing to incorporate it and scraping down the bowl as needed. The dough is meant to be soft, but if you think it looks more like a batter than a dough at this point, add the extra 1/4 cup flour. (The dough usually needs the extra flour.) When properly combined, the dough should almost clean the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each half into a rectangle. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or for up to 3 days. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months; defrost overnight in the refrigerator.)

To make the apples:
Peel and core the apples and cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick; cut the slices in half crosswise if you want. Toss the slices in a bowl with a little lemon juice--even with the juice, the apples may turn brown, but that's fine--and add the raisins. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together, sprinkle over the apples and stir to coat evenly. Taste an apple and add more sugar, cinnamon and/or lemon juice if you like.

Getting ready to bake:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Generously butter a 9--x--12-inch baking pan (Pyrex is good) and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone mat.
Remove the dough from the fridge. If it is too hard to roll and it cracks, either let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes or give it a few bashes with your rolling pan to get it moving. Once it's a little more malleable, you've got a few choices. You can roll it on a well-floured work surface or roll it between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. You can even press or roll out pieces of the dough and patch them together in the pan--because of the baking powder in the dough, it will puff and self-heal under the oven's heat. Roll the dough out until it is just a little larger all around than your pan and about 1/4 inch thick--you don't want the dough to be too thin, because you really want to taste it. Transfer the dough to the pan. If the dough comes up the sides of the pan, that's fine; if it doesn't, that's fine too.
Give the apples another toss in the bowl, then turn them into the pan and, using your hands, spread them evenly across the bottom.
Roll out the second piece of dough and position it over the apples. Cut the dough so you've got a 1/4-to-1/2-inch overhand and tuck the excess into the sides of the pan, as though you were making a bed. (If you don't have that much overhang, just press what you've got against the sides of the pan.)
Brush the top of the dough lightly with water and sprinkle sugar over the dough. Using a small sharp knife, cut 6 to 8 evenly spaced slits in the dough.
Bake for 65 to 80 minutes, or until the dough is a nice golden brown and the juices from the apples are bubbling up through the slits. Transfer the baking pan to a cooling rack and cool to just warm or to room temperature. You'll be tempted to taste it sooner, but I think the dough needs a little time to rest.
Source: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

Next week's recipe is Brioche Raisin Snails chosen by Culinary Concoctions by Peabody.