Monday, May 1, 2017

Sarah Lynn's Banana Nut Loaf

Banana Nut Loaf

Unusually good bread with cake-like texture

1 mashed banana
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup cooking oil

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
   (or, for an excellent variant, 1 1/8 cup flour and 3/8 cup cornmeal)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel (or 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice) (or both, if you like lemon)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

In mixing bowl, beat mashed banana, sugar, and egg together.  Add oil; mix well.  Stir together flour, cinnamon, salt, soda, nutmeg, baking powder, and lemon (peel or juice or both).  Stir into banana mixture.  Fold in nuts.  Pour into a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan.  Bake at 325° until done, 60-65 minutes.  Check with toothpick -- it shouldn't be gooey when it slides out.

Now, the original recipe (which was actually for zucchini bread) says this:  Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove from pan.  Cool loaf thoroughly.  Wrap and store loaf overnight before slicing.

However, I say 'bah, humbug!' to that!  I get that loaf out of the pan just as fast as possible, using a metal spatula to go carefully around the edges, and pushing the loaf gently toward the middle of the pan until I'm sure it's not stuck to the bottom... remove onto a cutting board... grab the bread knife... and carefully cut myself a piping, steaming hot slice of bread, which I then slather with butter.  

(Be sure to saw with the bread knife, and not push, so as to cut rather than squish.)  How in the world could anybody be such a killjoy as to make people wait until a fresh-made nut loaf is cold before they let anyone eat it???!  Booo, hissss...

"Eat it while it's hot!"  That's my motto.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Tonight's Supper -- in Cute Casserole Dish from Caleb & Maria

Caleb and Maria gave me this ceramic casserole dish for Christmas.  Isn't it cute?
Loren gave us the roast frozen.

Spices on it:  
Weber Steak 'N Chop Seasoning, Schilling Celery Salt, Spice Islands Crushed Sweet Basil, and sea salt.  It's been in the oven on low heat for an hour and a half now, and the aroma is just starting to drift through the kitchen.  Mmmm...

I hunted high and low... and then I hunted low and high -- even looked in the freezer for a bag of fire-roasted vegetable blend from Schwan's from which I might be able to steal potatoes... but it seems we haven't a tater in the house.

But!!! -- I do have Hungry Jack potato flakes and country gravy mix.  So... Hungry Jack and country gravy it is!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Farmer's Almanac Peach Cobbler

This afternoon I picked about 10 gallons of peaches from our tree.

Don't they look good?

Mmmmm; they are good.

So... what shall I make with them?  I know, I know!  I'll make our favorite Peach Cobbler!
At our house, we call this recipe 'Lura Kay's Peach Cobbler', because my sister Lura Kay gave me the recipe about 30 years ago from an old Farmer's Almanac.  But let's call it 'Farmer's Almanac Peach Cobbler'.

Farmer's Almanac Peach Cobbler

1 ½ T cornstarch
¼ - ⅓ C brown sugar
½ C water
4 C peaches
1 T butter
1 T lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375°.

Mix cornstarch, brown sugar, and water in a pan.  Add peaches, butter, and lemon juice to sugar mixture.  Cook over medium heat until it thickens, about 15 minutes.

Cobbler topping:
½ C flour
½ C sugar
½ t baking powder
¼ t salt
2 T soft butter
1 egg beaten slightly

Beat together cobbler topping ingredients until smooth.  Pour peaches into 8” pie or cake pan.  Drop rounded spoonfuls of flour mixture onto peaches. 

Bake until golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.

For another variety, use a mix of blueberries and raspberries with your peaches.  And put a dollop of ice cream or whipped topping on it.  Mmmmm, mmm!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Crustless Zucchini-Broccoli Quiche with Philly-Swiss-Mushroom-Stuffed Deer Brats

What do you do when a friend gives you a giant zucchini from his greenhouse, and you don't want to make 101 Loaves of Zucchini Bread, nor do you like it simply sliced and sautéed in butter?  I've never been particularly fond of Lone Zucchini.

Well, in order to decide, I peeled it... sliced it... and tasted it.

Amazingly enough, I liked it.  It was yummy!  It's always a good thing when the first ingredient of whatever dish you're preparing tastes good.

I cut the zucchini slices into small wedges, put them into a big pot with a small amount of water, turned the burner on medium-high, and generously salted and peppered them.

Next, I pawed through the freezer, and came out with a bag of broccoli and a package of fat Philly-Swiss-Mushroom-Stuffed Wild Game (mostly venison) Brats.  The broccoli went in with the zucchini, and the brats went into a pan of boiling water.

When the brats were nearly done, I took them out of the pan, sliced them, and put them into the pot of zucchini and broccoli, after draining most (not all) of the water.  When the vegetables were alllllmost done to my liking (I don't care for overdone, mushy broccoli), I tasted it to make sure there was enough salt and pepper.

Then I added about 8 eggs, gave them a good stir, set the burner on medium, and put the lid on for 3 ½ - 4 minutes.  Another good stir (making sure nothing was sticking to the bottom), and then I added five slices of Velveeta pepper jack cheese, stirring until it was all melted in.

There you are, crustless Zucchini-Broccoli Quiche with Philly-Swiss-Mushroom-Stuffed Deer Brats.  Or you can cook just the brats, drain them, and then assemble sliced brats and uncooked vegetables into a deep-dish crust, layering with the cheese, pour beaten eggs over the works, and bake at 350° for 45 minutes, or until it is light golden brown on top.

For the rest of the menu:
Dark sweet cherries
Apple pie with black cherry frozen yogurt

Mmmm, good.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Angus Meatloaf Burgers

Supper is served!  
Tomatoes, strawberries, cucumber, and onions are from Victoria's garden.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Use fresh, firm pumpkin.  Cut in sections, remove seeds and fibrous strings.  Bake shell side up at 325º until tender, approximately an hour. 

Remove from shell and blend with water, starting on low speed, then increasing speed until either the pumpkin is completely smooth, or smoke billows from the blender, whichever comes first.

Puree should be a light golden orange color.  Add water until puree is mellow to the taste, rather like squash.

Extra pulp can be frozen for later use.

1 C flour
½ t salt
1/3 C shortening
3 T ice water
Blend together with a pastry cutter.  Roll out, then place in pie plate and flute edges.  Bake at 350º for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

1¼ C cooked pumpkin
3 eggs, separated
1 C granulated sugar, half at a time
½ t salt
1 t pumpkin pie spice mix
½ t nutmeg
½ C half-and-half or evaporated milk
1 pkg. unflavored gelatin
¼ C cold water

In a pan, mix the pumpkin with the egg yolks, ½ C sugar, salt, spices, and half-and-half or milk.

Stir over medium heat until thickened, or just until mixture boils.

Soften the gelatin in the cold water; stir into the hot pumpkin mixture, mixing well.

Cool pumpkin mixture.  Place in bowl over ice water until mixture is slightly thickened, stirring often. 

Beat egg whites until stiff, beating in the remaining ½ C sugar.

Fold whites into pumpkin mixture.  Pour into the baked shell.

Chill until set before serving.  This takes slightly less than a year and a day.

Garnish with whipped cream and pecans, if desired.  About 2 inches of whipped cream slathered all over the top is just about right.

And, whatever you do, if you only make this one pie, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, invite company.  You will want to eat the entire thing yourself.