Category

Bread

Category

Pumpkin Bread 101

For many, walking into a kitchen with the smell of fresh coffee brewing in the morning can be considered “bliss”. But imagine walking into the kitchen with the smell of coffee and warm Pumpkin bread baking in the oven!

Omg, one word comes to mind “Heaven”.

Yes it’s that time of year again. My favorite time of year , Fall. Even though I don’t get to experience colored leaves in Southern California what I do know is I get the chance to dive deep into all the glorious tastes and smells of baking during the season of pumpkins, squash, cinnamon, apples, walnuts and salted caramel.

So lets kick things off with a true classic. Pumpkin Bread 101. It’s pure comfort food delight. You can eat it plain or throw your very own twist on it by adding in a handful of chocolate chips or pecans. Or if you are really looking for pumpkin bread “dreamland” then add a layer of cinnamon cream cheese frosting on top!

 


Pumpkin Bread 101
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breads
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, water and eggs; beat well. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Stir in nuts if desired. Pour into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 65-70 minutes or until bread tests done. Cool 10 minutes in pan before removing to a wire rack

 

Dutch Pancake

 

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The summer before I was set to start my senior year in high school, I took on my very first job as a stock girl/sales clerk at a very cute and unique gift shop in our local mall.

It was called “A Touch of Country”  one could find most unique handmade gifts, pretty scented candles, greeting cards and in the back of the store was a HUGE cookbook section. My boss “Barb” was an avid cook. She assigned me to take care of this section of the store and I was in complete heaven.

It was in this little corner of the store that I discovered who Martha Stewart was and were I cracked opened the Julia Child’s cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” for the very first time.

Back in the 80’s cookbooks were not as colorful and picture oriented as they are now. You had to read instructions to recipes without really getting to see what the end result may look like. I stumbled across a recipe called “German Pancake” (also referred to as “Swedish” or “Dutch” Pancake”) it seemed simple and yummy. But I never made it , I was too preoccupied doing all the things teenage girls do and staying home on a Saturday night to make “German Pancake” was just not a priority back then.

Until one day “Barb” took me to a pancake house for breakfast. It was on this day that I had “The German Pancake” a glorious concoction of 2,000 plus calories that was puffy like a beautiful cloud, had crisp little edges and smothered with melted butter. Then it was finished off with a fresh twist of lemon juice and sprinkled generously with powered sugar……..WOW it was life changing.

It still is life changing and you would be foolish to let time pass you by without ever making it. It’s too easy for words to make and the the toppings for it are endless. Recently I made two of my own versions of this. The base of this recipe was found in Chrissy Teigen’s – Cravings Cookbook.

 

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Here is a list of possible toppings for this gorgeous pancake:

Melted butter

Fresh squeezed lemon juice

Nutella

Mini chocolate Chips

Fresh chopped berries- Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries

Chopped nuts: pecans, walnuts, pistachio’s, toasted almonds

Coconut

Salted Caramel

Chocolate Syrup

Dutch Pancake
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick ) butter, melted, plus softened butter for serving
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees
  2. In a blender, combine the flour, eggs, milk, salt and 2 tablespoons of melted butter and blend until smooth with no lumps. 20 to 30 seconds.
  3. In a 10 inch cast-iron skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter over high heat until foamy. Add the batter and immediately put the skillet in the the oven. Bake until the outside of the pancake is puffed and a deep golden color. 17 to 18 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven, drizzle with melted butter and cut into quarters.
  5. ** You can also pour syrup over the pancake and sprinkle with powdered sugar**

 

 

 

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Bacon/Parmesan Popovers

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Amazingly light, airy and moist popovers made so easily with one bowl. No mixer needed here!

Oh for the love of Popovers- They can be eaten for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. There are no rules.

 

This version pairs so well with a simple egg in the morning. Today was the day!  Now it is noon and they are all gone. I sometimes refer to it as the “Morning Popover” the added touch of bacon and fresh grated Parmegianno Reggioano Cheese make it all so memorable. It’s so good you will wake in the middle of the night just thinking of them!

 

 

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Monkey Bread

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It’s hard for me to make this bread without thinking of the two dear “Monkeys” that have been in my life for many years. My Monkey Man #1 (Efrain Del Real- aka childhood friend that I got into many mischief adventures with) and Monkey Woman #2  (Marisa Rose Trujillo- my little partner in “Bratty Crime” Cousin). The three of us always have referred to each other affectionately as “Monkey”. Way back in the day before any of us married and grew up to have families of our own we where inseparable. I have many sweet memories of the three of us together. These days Efrain is father to 2 children (Chloe & Jacob) , Marisa is mother to 3 cats (plus about an average of 3 more on a monthly basis- she takes in homeless cats and fosters them until they get placed in forever homes and I am the proud mother to my three fabulous dogs – Bailey – Sasha & Copper.

Although I’m almost certain there are no actual monkeys in this recipe, it’s still very good.The best part about this here Monkey Bread? It’s easy. Hard to mess up, honestly. You’ll be just fine.

 

Monkey Bread
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 3 cans Buttermilk Biscuits (the Non-flaky Ones)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (to 3 Teaspoons) Cinnamon
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Open up all three cans of biscuits and cut each biscuit into quarters.
  3. Next, combine the white sugar with 2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon. (3 teaspoons of cinnamon gives it a fairly strong cinnamon flavor. If you’re not so hot on cinnamon, cut it back to 2 teaspoons.) Dump these into a 1 gallon zip bag and shake to mix evenly.
  4. Drop all of the biscuit quarters into the cinnamon-sugar mix. Once all the biscuit quarters are in the bag seal it and give it a vigorous shake. This will get all those pieces unstuck from one another and nicely coated with cinnamon-sugar. Spread these nuggets out evenly in the bundt pan.
  5. At this point, you’re going to want to melt the two sticks of butter together with ½ cup of brown sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. This can be light or dark brown sugar. Cook butter/sugar mixture, stirring for a few minutes until the two become one. Once the brown sugar butter has become one color, you can pour it over the biscuits.
  6. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until the crust is a deep dark brown on top. When its finished cooking, remove it from the oven. If you have the willpower, allow it to cook for about 15-30 minutes before turning it over onto a plate.

 

 

 

 

Roasted Banana-Nutella Bread

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Back in the month of December I professed my love for Nutella. It was at that time that I made a promise to embrace this wonderful spread of uber deliciousness each month for a whole year. So here we are already half way through the month of January. It’s now time to start with this wonderful Roasted – Banana bread (yes I said roasted) I have made Banana bread a lot over the years however I have found that in roasting the Banana’s as this recipe calls for, you are left with a very moist bread not to mention the pure decadence of the Nutella that sends it way over the moon! Mi Amor…………#Nutella #Forever……………..

 

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Roasted Banana-Nutella Bread
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 1 Loaf
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds almost-ripe bananas (about 5 medium bananas; they should be yellow with a few brown spots, not green)
  • ½ cup chocolate-hazelnut spread, such as Nutella
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil, plus more for coating the pan
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ Cup Chopped Walnuts (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F, arrange a rack in the middle, and place a piece of aluminum foil on the rack.
  2. Place the unpeeled, whole bananas on the foil and bake until the peels are completely black, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the bananas to a wire rack to cool, about 15 minutes. Discard the aluminum foil.
  3. Meanwhile, coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil; set aside. Place the chocolate-hazelnut spread in a resealable plastic bag, snip off about ⅓ inch from a bottom corner, and set aside.
  4. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside.
  5. When the bananas are cool enough to handle, peel them over a large bowl, letting any juices drip into the bowl. Mash with a potato masher or fork until almost smooth. Add the measured oil, sugars, eggs, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Add the reserved flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined.
  6. Scrape one-third of the batter into the prepared pan and push it into the corners. Squeeze half of the chocolate-hazelnut spread onto the banana batter in a zigzag pattern.
  7. Top with another third of the batter spread into an even layer. Squeeze the remaining chocolate-hazelnut spread on top in a zigzag pattern.
  8. Top with the remaining batter, pushing it into the corners and smoothing the top.
  9. Bake until the bread is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (test several spots because you may hit a pocket of banana or hazelnut spread), about 60 to 65 minutes.
  10. Let the pan cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of the bread and turn it out onto the rack. Let cool at least 30 minutes more before slicing.

 

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Place the unpeeled, whole bananas on the foil and bake until the peels are completely black, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the bananas to a wire rack to cool, about 15 minutes. Discard the aluminum foil.

 

IMG_3303Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside.

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When the bananas are cool enough to handle, peel them over a large bowl, letting any juices drip into the bowl. Mash with a potato masher or fork until almost smooth. Add the measured oil, sugars, eggs, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Add the reserved flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined.

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Scrape one-third of the batter into the prepared pan and push it into the corners. Squeeze half of the chocolate-hazelnut spread onto the banana batter in a zigzag pattern. ** You can add 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts if desired. I added them to mine and loved the added texture it gave the bread.

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Top with another third of the batter spread into an even layer. Squeeze the remaining chocolate-hazelnut spread on top in a zigzag pattern. Top with the remaining batter, pushing it into the corners and smoothing the top.

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Bake until the bread is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (test several spots because you may hit a pocket of banana or hazelnut spread), about 60 to 65 minutes.

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Let the pan cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of the bread and turn it out onto the rack. Let cool at least 30 minutes more before slicing.

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French Cinnamon Puffs

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For the Cinnamon lover in your life these little muffins can be made with many of the ingredients that very well already may be sitting your fridge and pantry. These can be served as a nice intro to a Sunday Brunch or can be stored in an airtight container for those busy mornings when you are on the run with your coffee mug in hand. OOhh Laaa Laaa these little cuties are so uber delish with coffee!

French Cinnamon Puffs
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Coating:
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) butter
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening. Add the eggs and mix again. Alternate adding one-third of the flour mixture and one-third of the milk to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition.
  4. Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and set aside.
  5. To make the coating, melt the butter in a bowl or glass pan. In a separate container, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Dip the warm muffins in the butter, coating thoroughly.
  7. Then roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture

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From Italia With Luv

 

Gia Final

Cooking With Gia

Friends, laughter and memorable meals- This is what happens in Gia’s kitchen

Meet Gia Loria – My sweet and talented friend who hails from the town of Limbadi, Italy. Everything about Ms. Gia is authentic italian. Beginning with the freshly made cup of espresso that she immediately greets me with minutes after arriving. Homemade sauces, bread and pasta are her specialty. A wife to (Steve) and mother of two who frequently makes little yummy after school surprises of breadsticks and fried rice balls for her daughter Maryann and son Josiah (lucky kids). My request for her this day was to share with me her family’s classic Eggplant Parmesan 101 recipe. This she was happy to share along with a couple of extra specialties Stuffed Eggplant and Homemade bread which will be featured on the blog in the weeks to come. I was honored that she took the time to so generously share her talents and craft with me. Especially when it came to making the bread, it’s truly a lost art. All that kneading of the dough was a very wonderful process.

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Gia's Creations (2)

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Gruyere Popovers

Gruyere Popovers

These are just simply fabulous, sometimes I just eat these by themselves with a glass of vino for din din- The combo is so delish it’s easy to forget about the steak!

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Gruyere Popovers
 
Recipe type: Breads
Ingredients
  • 4 cups milk, warmed
  • 8 Eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1½ tablespoons salt
  • 2¼ cups grated gruyere cheese
Instructions
  1. Place a popover pan in the oven and heat until oven and pan reach 350. Gently warm the milk over low heat and set aside. Whisk the eggs until frothy and slowly whisk in the milk (so as not to cook the eggs). Set the mixture aside. Sift the flour with the salt. Slowly add the dry mixture and gently combine until almost smooth.
  2. Once combined, remove the popover pan from the oven and spray with non-stick vegetable spray. While the batter is still slightly warm or at room temperature (not cool), fill each popover cup ¾ full. Top each popover with 2½ Tablespoons for grated gruyere.
  3. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes, rotating pan half a turn after 14 minutes of baking.
  4. Remove from oven, remove popovers from pan and serve immediately.
  5. Serve with an herb butter and slightly coarse sea salt. Yum!

 

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