Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pumpkin Streusel Bread

(marks on top are from turning out onto rack)

I saw a recipe for Vegan Pumpkin Walnut Bread floating around facebook the other day.  Since I've learned the hard way not to trust "recipes" on facebook, I tracked down an original version from 2009 by Joy the Baker.  I was fully prepared to follow the vegan recipe, but then I decided I just didn't want to.  There is no reason at all for me to forgo eggs and butter and dairy products, especially when the tradeoff is a cup or two of vegetable oil.  I asked in a comment what the substitutions would be...to get the recipe back from vegan.  Well, that was four days ago and I'm still waiting for an answer.  (I know the post is four years old, but still!  Don't I try to answer all your comments here, no matter how old the post?)  Anyway, I do hope I get an answer some day but I just couldn't wait any longer! 

So I did some more searching.  Shell has a recipe on here for Pumpkin Bread.  I found several other recipes around the internet too, each calling for different ingredients (sour cream, milk, oil, butter, etc.) and different spices in different proportions.  I decided to pick and choose the ingredients I wanted and equalize the proportions to make two loaves of pumpkin bread.  I also naturally wanted to use my own roasted pumpkin puree that I had in the freezer.  (directions for roasting pumpkin are within my Fresh Pumpkin Pie post--which the boys requested when they saw the pumpkin thawing!)  Unfortunately I didn't have walnuts, so I went with a streusel topping instead.  Next time I will definitely add walnuts along with the streusel topping, so they are listed below. 

This recipe worked perfectly for me!  I have two beautiful loaves of Pumpkin Streusel Bread cooling right now, although the boys have tasted it and proclaimed it delicious.  The bread is tender and the texture is just right.  I'll definitely be making this one again, and I'm so glad I have two whole loaves!  Okay, a loaf and a half...


Pumpkin Streusel Bread
makes 2 loaves

4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger (I am out of ginger at the moment, but I fully intend to add it next time)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar

4 large eggs

4 cups fresh roasted pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 tablespoon lemon juice + milk to equal 1 cup)

2 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Streusel topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F.

Butter two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans.

 Stir dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, set aside. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until light, about 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually beat in brown sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla.

Whisk sour cream and buttermilk in small bowl. Beat flour and sour cream mixtures alternately into batter in 2 additions each. Fold in 2 1/2 cups of nuts. Spoon batter equally into pans; smooth tops.

For streusel topping, stir together flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon.  Cut in butter, stir in walnuts.  Sprinkle tops of loaves with streusel topping. Bake bread until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Loosen edges with a butter knife, turn out onto rack and cool.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Kaali Daal (Creamy Black Lentils)

My latest favorite recipe, modified from an Indian cookbook my teenage son gave me for Christmas a few years ago.

Kaali  Daal  (Creamy  Black  Lentils)
Serves 6 to 8

1 ½ cups (12 ounces) whole black lentils, soaked 6 to 24 hours
½ cup (4 ounces) split red lentils, rinsed
1 cup heavy cream
7 to 8 ounces plain Greek yogurt, preferably Fage Total
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons ghee, vegetable oil, or butter, or a combination, divided
2 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
6 to 8 serrano or jalapeño peppers, seeded, pithed, and diced
5-inch piece of fresh ginger, finely grated with microplane
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon or more salt, divided
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
Cilantro leaves for garnish
Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream for garnish

1. Drain the black lentils and place in heavy 5-quart pan with the rinsed red lentils. Add water to pan until it is about 1 inch above lentils.

2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pan, and simmer until lentils are tender, approximately 1½ hours. Check occasionally to make sure the pot is simmering. If water seems low, add a cup of water.

3. Meanwhile, in medium-sized bowl, mix together cream, yogurt, and cornstarch. Set aside.

4. In small frying pan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon ghee over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and stir until fragrant but not burnt. Set aside.

5. When lentils are done, drain some of the cooking water, leaving about a cup. The lentils then may be mashed, partially mashed, or neither. Set lentils aside to cool.
6. Heat three tablespoons of ghee in wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Sauté onion, garlic, tomatoes, chilies, and ginger until onion is soft.

7. To onions, add turmeric, chili powder, ground cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook over medium heat 2 minutes.

8. When lentils have cooled to close to room temperature, stir in toasted cumin seeds.

9. Stir in cream mixture until well-combined

10. Stir in sautéed onion mixture.

11. Stir in 2 teaspoons or more salt to taste.

12. Warm daal over medium heat without allowing it to boil.

13. Serve in bowls and, if desired, place a dollop of yogurt or sour cream on top and a few cilantro leaves.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


I cannot remember where I found this recipe originally, but it was a good fall/winter night type dish so I filed it and finally tried it with a few modifications.  Hubs loved it and I will be making it again!
1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 can diced tomatoes with garlic & herbs, undrained
1 package Chicken Stove Top Stuffing
1 KNORR chicken bouillon gel tub
1 cup hot water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden Basil paste
4 slices or 1 cup grated  mozzarella cheese
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Whisk together hot water, bouillon tub, garlic and basil paste until well blended.
  • In a mixing bowl mix together the stuffing mix, tomatoes and bouillon mixture until stuffing is moistened.
  • In a 9x9 baking dish sprayed with PAM, layer evenly first the chicken, then the cheese and topped with the stuffing mixture.
  • Bake 45 minutes - chicken will be cooked through and stuffing will be beginning to crust.
  • Cut it like a lasagna and serve with salad.
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