Monday, November 23, 2015

Raspberry Poppyseed Bread

We take a break from all the pumpkin goodness of the last few weeks (crepes, danish, muffins, oh my!) to bring you this glorious quick bread - raspberries with poppyseeds, and a lovely lemon glaze to top it off. This recipe is for two standard sized loaves - but feel free to adapt to those adorable little paper loaf pans and give them as gifts! These make a lovely holiday presentation since they are studded with raspberries - and who doesn't love a wonderful quick bread for Christmas?

And if you choose to bake these traditionally in regular loaf pans and keep them both for yourself, well I wouldn't blame you. This bread is spectacular. And you could freeze one loaf for later, if you prefer. Lots of options here, folks! But your best option is to make this bread, and right away. You won't be sorry.

Find more great recipes at Inspiration Monday, Mix It Up, Inspire Me, Full Plate, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Us, Wow Me.

Raspberry Poppyseed Bread

4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
Zest of 2 lemons
2 tsp. vanilla
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
3 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. coarse salt
2 cups frozen raspberries

3 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Using an electric mixer, beat eggs. Add oil and sugar and beat until combined. Mix in lemon zest, vanilla, milk and poppy seeds. Sift in flour, baking powder and salt. Beat on low just until combined. Fold in raspberries.

Pour into two greased 8 or 9" loaf pans and bake at 300 until golden and a toothpick inserted into middle of bread comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove to a cooling rack. Cool in pans for 15 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely.
Once bread is completely cooled, stir together lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar. Spoon over top of bread.

Recipe Source: Imperial Sugar

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

New England Fish Chowder

The weather is just starting to turn here, and with it, my longing for soup and stew. Chowder is the perfect middle ground between soup and stew - hearty, hot and full of delicious ingredients and enough to fill you up as you contemplate hibernation. I've made this chowder now twice in the last two weeks - it is just THAT good.

And here's a little secret: once it's cooked, it's difficult to detect the fish - SO, if you have people who "claim" to not like fish, but you want them to eat it anyway (ahem), this is the perfect recipe. They will be distracted by the bacon, potatoes, carrots and corn and not even realize the other goodness that is in their bowls. And for those of us who love fish, we can just happily eat it without saying a word.

This chowder uses an interesting ingredient - oyster crackers. (These are not crackers made of oysters, but rather, the name of those little white hexagon shaped things that come in small cellophane packages at diners and the like.) The crackers help to thicken the soup and also add a dimension of flavor.

So if you need to warm up, make this soup! Leftovers are great for lunch the next day, if your crew doesn't "chow (der) it down." Tee hee.

Find more great ideas at Hearth and Soul, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, Create, Link, Inspire, Wow Me, Wow Us, What's Cooking, Full Plate, Showcase Your Talent, Favorite Things, Foodie Friday, Friday Frenzy.

New England Fish Chowder

6 slices bacon, cut in 1" pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups peeled & cubed potatoes
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup finely crushed oyster crackers
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. dried thyme
1 lb. mild, white fish fillets, chopped (cod, sole, haddock, etc.)
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can evaporated milk

In Dutch oven, brown bacon over medium-high heat, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain all but 1 tablespoon bacon grease, then add onions and garlic to the pot and saute until soft.

Add celery, carrots and potatoes, and cook and stir for several minutes, being sure to scrape up all the brown bits leftover from the bacon.

Add chicken broth, water, cracker crumbs, salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are soft (7-10 minutes).

Add fish and cook until fish is cooked throughout (5-6 minutes). Add milk, bacon and corn and heat through. Adjust seasonings to taste, and serve! Serves 6.

Recipe Source: Adapted from The Yummy Life

Monday, November 16, 2015

Pumpkin Coffeecake Muffins

We're on a bit of a pumpkin roll here at Cook with Sara - and that's nothing to apologize for, in my opinion. Crepes, danish and muffins, oh my! When I received my assignment for Secret Recipe Club this month, I was glad to see that Chelsey is equally pumpkin crazy as I am. There were lots of great things to choose from on her blog, Mangia, but ultimately I landed on this recipe for Pumpkin Coffeecake Muffins. And I'm glad I did.

Chelsey's recipes feature ingredients for gluten free, nut free, dairy free, paleo, etc. I don't need to cook and bake that way, so I adapted this recipe a bit. If you have dietary restrictions, you should definitely check out all of Chelsey's great recipes. And if you don't have restrictions, you should still check them out! And in any case, make these great muffins.

Get more ideas at Mix it Up, Inspiration Monday, Inspire Me.

Pumpkin Coffeecake Muffins

1/4 c. canola oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. salt

For the streusel:
3 Tbsp. butter, cold and cut into chunks
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon

For glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, pumpkin, egg, milk, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla until smooth.
Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt.

Divide batter between 12 paper-lined muffin cups.

For the streusel, in a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in the butter using your fingers, a pastry blender or two forks until the butter is incorporated. Sprinkle the streusel over the muffin batter.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each muffin comes out clean.

For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until a good consistency is achieved. Drizzle over the cooled muffins. Serves 12.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Danish

It's pumpkin time - last week it was crepes and this week it's danish. And stay tuned for next week, too! I made this danish for a birthday celebration at work and it was a huge hit. And why it shouldn't it be? Pumpkin, spices and cream cheese baked inside crescent roll dough - I'm already dreaming about the next time I get to eat this. It would make a perfect Thanksgiving morning breakfast - or a great way to wake up on Black Friday.

No matter when you serve it, everyone will love it. It's just that good.

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Inspire Me, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Turn it Up, What's Cooking, Hearth and Soul, Showcase Your Talent, Full Plate, Show and Share, Wow Us, Favorite Things, Wow Me, Foodie Friday, Friday Frenzy.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Danish

1 tube crescent rolls (or crescent sheet)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. flour

2/3 cup powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and flour. Stir well until all ingredients are incorporated. Set aside.

Pop open crescent roll dough and unroll, leaving crescents in rectangles. On an ungreased baking sheet, lay the crescent roll rectangles together, then press edges together to even out edges and seal any holes.

Carefully spread cream cheese filling down the center of the dough to be about 2-3 inches wide. Cut 1/2 inch diagonal strips up each side of the dough. Fold 1/2 inch dough pieces up over filling alternating sides to get a braided pattern. Fold up the edges on the ends.

Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until filling is set and crescent dough is golden in color. Cool before removing from baking sheet.

Once danish has cooled, remove to serving platter. In a small bowl, mix together powdered sugar, vanilla and milk to create icing. Drizzle icing over danish. Cut into pieces and serve.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Lauren's Latest

Monday, November 2, 2015

Pumpkin Crepes

Here's a fun and different way to incorporate pumpkin into your breakfast or brunches - I love crepes cause they're a bit lighter than pancakes. And you can dress them up in so many ways - these I kept relatively simple - no filling, just topped with some cooked apples and real maple syrup. With a side of salty breakfast meat, it made a wonderful autumn breakfast.

If you've never made crepes before, don't be nervous! They're really easy - check out my step by step directions on caramel banana crepes. (And then add these to your list for your next dessert!)

Find more great recipes at Mix it Up, Inspire Me, Inspiration Monday, Hearth and Soul, Clever Chicks, Create Link Inspire, What's Cooking, Full Plate, Showcase Your Talent, Foodie Friday.

Pumpkin Crepes

2 cups milk
2 Tbsp. butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the milk and butter until the butter is melted. While the milk is warming, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, and vanilla. Gradually stir the warm milk in the pumpkin mix.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, whisking until totally smooth.

Pour about 1/3 cup batter into a hot crepe pan or nonstick skillet coated with nonstick spray. Cook over medium heat for about a minute or until crepes look somewhat dry on top; flip over and cook for another 30 seconds. Folk crepes into quarters and place onto serving plate. Continue with remaining batter.

Top with apples and maple syrup. Serves 6.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Eats Well with Others

Monday, October 26, 2015

Gingersnap Rum Apple Crisp

We have had such a lovely autumn this year with warm temperatures and beautiful leaves. We are trying to soak up every minute of it and made a visit to a local orchard yesterday. They make their own hard cider on site, and it was fun to see the inner workings of a small cidery. Of course, we couldn't leave without getting some apples, and after seeing this recipe recently, I knew exactly what I wanted to use some of them for - the rest will be eaten quickly, I'm sure - they are delicious! We tried a new to us variety - Keepsake, bred by the University of Minnesota in 1978! - and love the crunchy bite. Not quite as crisp as Honeycrisp, but a wonderful eating apple nonetheless. It may be my new favorite.

Anyway, on to the dessert! I love it when traditional desserts have a bit of a twist and that's exactly what is happening here. Apples mixed with sugar, spices and flour are then amped up with just enough rum/caramel sauce and a crunchy gingersnap topping. The gingersnaps really add a new dimension of flavor and texture and is a nice change of pace from the regular oatmeal-based topping. And you can be sure that this recipe is safe for the whole family - the alcohol from the rum cooks off, and you're left with great flavor - but you can sub orange juice if you prefer.

This crisp is best served warm with a dollop of ice cream. Enjoy this wonderful fall!

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Inspire Me, Mix it Up, Create, Link, Inspire, Clever Chicks, What's Cooking, Showcase Your Talent, Full Plate.

Gingersnap Rum Apple Crisp

1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
2 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ginger
6 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (about 6 medium)
8 caramels
1/3 cup rum (or orange juice)

3/4 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (about 15 cookies)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed

Place the apples in a large bowl. Sprinkle with brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice, salt and ginger; toss to coat. Transfer to an 8 or 9-inch baking dish.

In a small saucepan, combine caramels and rum. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until caramels are melted. Pour evenly over apple mixture.

For topping, in a small bowl, mix crushed cookies, brown sugar and flour; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over filling. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes or until apples are tender. Cover loosely with foil if top browns too quickly.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Makes 8-10 servings.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Taste of Home

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sausage and Apple Flatbreads

I love experimenting with new things to put on flatbreads. They make a fun, easy dinner and can also double as appetizers or snacks, depending on how they're cut and served! Some of my favorite combos have been bbq shrimp, Mediterranean shrimp, (are you sensing a shrimp theme?) and prosciutto and roasted asparagus (fancy!). I tend to improvise with what I have on hand, and so far I haven't come up with a loser.

After trying this recipe for Secret Recipe Club from Jamie's blog, Our Eating Habits, I have a new favorite, especially for fall. Apples and Italian sausage over a layer of cheese. Hello. This is great football watching food, party food, lunch food, you name it. It's just great.

If you don't have a source for naan (Indian flatbreads), both Costco and Aldi have wonderful options. I'm sure wherever you shop has them too - and you could use pitas in a pinch. Thanks, Jamie, for an awesome flatbread idea!

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Sausage and Apple Flatbreads

4 links Italian Sausage, removed from casings
1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
2-3 apples, cored and sliced
6 garlic or plain naan
2 cups shredded Colby Jack or Mexican-style cheese

In a large skillet, crumble sausage and cook with onion over medium high heat, about 3 minutes. Add apples and cook an additional 5 minutes or until sausage is fully cooked.

Sprinkle cheese evenly between naan breads and then top with sausage apple mixture.

Bake at 400 for 10 minutes.

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