Banana Peach Quick Oat Bread (Mini’s)

The peaches sitting in my stoneware bowl on our dining room table were ripe and fragrant.  Overly ripe bananas in our freezer were falling out every time I opened the door.  The combination of both of those things could only mean one thing; it was time to bake. 

Sometimes when I decide to bake I’m not quite sure which direction I’m headed in when I pull my mixing bowl and measuring cups out of the cupboard.  All I know is that my impromptu creativity could ultimately prove success or disaster in the kitchen.

This bread definitely falls within the perimeters of success.  The bananas make this bread sweet, but the peaches give it a slightly tart finish that makes you want just one more slice. The oats give it a hearty texture so you feel like it’s good for you – even if it’s not the most healthy choice on earth, and it’s super moist.  So moist, you can hear it when you cut into it.

 Banana Peach Quick Oat Bread (Mini’s)

1 cup of diced peaches

3 very ripe mashed bananas

1/4 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. margarine, or butter

1 egg

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. old-fashioned oatmeal

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

Spray four mini loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, add fruit, sugar, eggs, and margarine; beat with electric mixer on medium speed.  Add salt, baking powder, and vanilla; mix thoroughly.  Beat in flour and oatmeal until all ingredients are completely blended together.  Pour batter into prepared mini loaf pans.  Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Cool before removing from pans.

I would have loved to add some nuts to this recipe.  If you were going to add nuts to this bread what kind would you choose?

Homemade Sweet Rolls with a Secret Ingredient (Pumpkin)

IN CASE YOU MISSED THIS RECIPE THE FIRST TIME AROUND, I’M SHARING IT AGAIN!

THE JOY OF CAKING

One of my most favorite baked treats is the one I tend to make least often.   That might be a good thing for my waistline, but I’ve decided that is just plain unacceptable.

Now, many of you probably call these cinnamon rolls, but from the time I was a little girl I’ve known them as sweet rolls.   Making homemade sweet rolls can take a little time out of your already busy schedules but there isn’t nothing like um…

These rolls have a soft and chewy texture, and their yellow color is a result of using my secret ingredient – pumpkin.   And while I’m talking about the color yellow, some of you have noticed that many of my baked goods tend to be more yellow than other similar recipes.  That’s because I use our very own farm fresh eggs that our busy little chickens lay for us each day.  The…

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Homestead Peach Hand Pie

Friends of ours sent us home with a bag of their homegrown peaches from their small homestead orchard.  They are good people, and their generosity put me on cloud nine.  I haven’t had nearly enough peaches to quench my craving for them this summer.  In fact, this is the first peach recipe I’ve posted and that is just wrong!

Now, some of you are going to argue that a pie should be round and in a pie plate.  And I might have been inclined to agree with you until I got it in my head that I was going to make a square hand pie.

I really like how easy this pie went together and I think you will too.  Minimal crust wrestling required.

 

For this recipe you will need to make your favorite double pie crust recipe.  *Keep dough refrigerated until you have prepared your fruit filling.

Peach Pie Filling

9 small peaches, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced

1/2 c. sugar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

2 dashes of nutmeg

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. chilled butter

Mix all ingredients together (except butter) and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  *Don’t skip the parchment paper because it will catch all the bubbly goodness and will keep your pie from sticking to the baking sheet.

Divide refrigerated pastry dough in half.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the bottom crust into square that will be slightly larger than the top piece; trim edges to square it up if necessary. Place on the prepared baking sheet.  Spoon peach filling on top of bottom pie crust, being careful to keep the fruit and juice on the crust.   Divide and distribute the tbsp. of butter equally over the fruit filling.

Roll the second crust out; trimming edges if necessary.  Place 2nd crust on top of the pie filling.  Use a fork to seal the edges together.

Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees and lower the heat to 350 degrees.  Bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, or until crust is light golden brown.  Remove from oven and sprinkle sugar on top. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

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This pie is not overly sweet and that was deliberate on my part.  If you’d like it a little sweeter then just increase your sugar by 1/4 cup.

Peach and apple pie are my favorite fruit pies.  Do you have a favorite?

If you’re looking for a delicious peach pie recipe –  click here!

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Yesterday’s Post

My post yesterday was all about making One Rise Honey Rye Skillet Rolls.  The only thing that I failed to mention when I wrote that post was that I made skillet rolls with half of the dough and I made a loaf of bread with the other half.  I wasn’t sure how it would work out so I (temporarily) kept it under my hat.

Well now, I’m here to tell you that I was even more impressed with the bread than the rolls.   How could that be?  The bread was absolutely perfect in my opinion.  I’m still amazed that it’s only a one rise bread because it is super moist, flavorful, and slices so easily.   I made egg salad sandwiches for lunch today and I am just looking for an excuse to make another sandwich.

The next time I make this recipe I’m going to make two loaves of bread and pass on the rolls because it was that good!

Holy Cow Parfaits

Milk Chocolate, dark chocolate, mocha, heavy cream, and Kahlua makes this the ultimate dessert.  Or as I’ve named it; the Holy Cow Parfait.  Just you wait and see!

Last month, I wrote a post which I ended up titling Skinny Mini’s.  Yes dear friends, it was a mini dessert that you could conceivably consider a no-guilt necessary dessert.  Sugar-free gelatin, a mini vanilla shortbread bite, and a tiny dollop of Mascato infused whipped cream starred in that show.  A perfect ending to a heavy meal; most definitely. 

This month however, I wanted to get away from the skinny.  I wanted a dessert that was rich, creamy, and delectably smooth.  And that’s how the Holy Cow Parfait came to be.  I decided to serve this parfait in my (oh, so cute) Just Desserts Square Mini Dishes, and my Just Dessert Parfait Dishes that I received from my friends at Libbey Glass.

So, are you ready for The Holy Cow Parfait??

Kahlua Milk Chocolate Pudding (Holy Cow Parfait)

1/2 c. sugar

2 tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

2 c. skim milk

1/2 c. milk chocolate chips, chopped fine

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp. margarine

1 tbsp. Kahlua

In a medium saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  Stir in milk and milk chocolate; cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly.  Cook for 2 minutes more.  Remove from heat and gradually add 1 cup of hot milk mixture to the beaten egg. 

Return all mixture back into saucepan and cook for about 2 minutes more.  Remove from heat;  stir in margarine and Kahlua.  Transfer hot pudding into dessert dishes and place in the refrigerator while you prepare whipped cream.

Mocha Whipped Cream

1 c. heavy whipping cream

1 tsp. instant coffee granules

1/2 tsp. sugar

2 tbsp. dark chocolate, chopped fine (one tbsp. for the whipped cream; one for garnish)

In a refrigerated metal bowl, add whipping cream, instant coffee, sugar, and 1 tbsp. of chopped chocolate.  Beat with electric mixer until whipped cream is formed.   Transfer from bowl into a pastry bag and refrigerate for about 10 minutes.

Remove dessert glasses with pudding, and pastry bag filled with whipped cream, from the refrigerator.  Place whipped cream on top of each dish of pudding.  Sprinkle chopped dark chocolate on top of whipped cream as garnish.  Return to refrigerator until ready to serve.

Makes about 12 mini desserts.

I am really smitten with this dessert because the milk chocolate makes the pudding sweeter, while the whipped cream topping has a slightly bitter taste garnered from the instant coffee.  The two pair perfectly when you take a spoonful that has a little of both on it.

Have you ever made mini desserts?   If you were going to make one of these two desserts, which would you choose?  The Skinny Mini or the Holy Cow Parfait?

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Vanilla Cheesecake Bars with Blueberry Sauce

Anne, one of my most favorite bloggers From My Sweet Heart inspired me to write this post.  (She just doesn’t know it yet.)  All it took was one look at her Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Strawberries and I knew that I needed to make something cheesecakey too.  With a shortage of time and baking supplies I decided to make these Vanilla Cheesecake Bars to hold me over until I get around to making Anne’s delicious recipe which I’ve filed away for future use. 

Typically, I make individual mini cheesecakes but this time I made the recipe into bars.  

*Please note –  if you opt to make bars instead mini’s you will bake them in a 9”x13” foil lined pan. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray and bake the bars for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean when inserted in the center.  The foil helps you lift the baked bars out of the pan for easy cutting.

And for this delicious Blueberry Sauce?  The recipe can be found below.

Blueberry Sauce

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

3/4 c. of blueberries, crushed

1 c. of whole blueberries

3/4 c. water

1/2 c. granulated sugar

2 tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. butter

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

2 drops of blue food coloring (optional)

In a large saucepan, add crushed berries, water, sugar, and cornstarch.  Mix ingredients using a whip until cornstarch is completely dissolved.  On medium heat, bring mixture to a boil and stir constantly until it thickens.  Add in whole berries and remove from stove top.  Stir in butter, vanilla extract, and food coloring. 

Keep in the fridge until ready to use. Re-warm in microwave if desired.

Oh, and I almost forgot, this topping is also great on ice cream too!

What is your favorite flavor of cheesecake?  And what is your favorite topping? 

Quick Zucchini Oatmeal Bread

While most of you are busy creating deliciously crazy desserts with some of my most favorite summer fruits, I’ve been busying myself in the kitchen trying to make good use of our garden veggies.

So far, we’ve had fresh spinach salads, I have packaged frenched yellow beans, grated zucchini, and diced green and purple peppers for the freezer.  I’ve made sweet refrigerator pickles and preserved 4 quarts and 2 pints of dill pickles, and I still  have a quart of sweet banana peppers that I have to do something with.  And if that’s not enough, I made a chocolate zucchini cake, and of course, this deliciously moist zucchini bread.  Our garden is bountiful and I’m thankful.

This bread is awesome.  It’s not overly sweet and it’s super moist.  The oatmeal in it makes it slightly hearty and will leave you wanting just one more slice.  If you have an abundance of zucchini and you’re asking yourself what to do with it; this is the answer!

Quick Zucchini Oatmeal Bread

2 c. grated zucchini

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. granulated sugar

2/3 c. olive oil

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. old-fashioned oatmeal

(Makes 4 mini loaves)

Grease mini loaf pans.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, add all ingredients except flour and oatmeal; mix with electric mixer.  Stir in flour and oatmeal and beat on medium speed until all ingredients are completely blended.  Pour batter into prepared pans.  Bake for about 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool completely in pans before removing. 

Do you have a garden?  Or, do you give the farmers market your business?

Getting Pickled

I have no room to complain about the abundance of veggies we are getting from our garden this year, especially since last year was a total wash.  The only thing that I might say is that when life has you going a hundred different directions, your garden doesn’t wait for you to catch up; it just keeps growing.

The vegetable drawers in my fridge are packed full of zucchini and cucumbers.  And now our jalapeno peppers are coming on strong.  Yes, it’s time to make homemade pepper jelly.

My mother was a domestic wonder woman, and truthfully I think she enjoyed it just as I do.  She made it all look so easy and I know that isn’t always the case.  My daughter just bummed homemade strawberry freezer jam from me (just as I did my mom), and she even asked if we could make my mom’s recipe for homemade spaghetti sauce (together) this year.  Could it be that she looks at me as a domestic wonder woman too?  She does tell me that I make blue ribbon deviled eggs and that makes me laugh every time she say’s it.  Of all the things to be admired for, it all boils down to eggs?  No pun intended.

Today, I want to share one of my mom’s recipes with you.  This is my favorite refrigerator pickle recipe.  You won’t believe how easy they are to make, and if you like sweet pickles, you won’t be able to stay out of them.  They are not overly sweet in my opinion, and they are super crunchy for a refrigerator pickle – yum!

Sheila’s Sweet Refrigerator Pickles

Makes about 2 quarts

8 medium sized cucumbers, sliced thin

1 large sweet onion, sliced thin

1/2 c. salt

In a large bowl, place cucumbers, onion, and salt.  cover with cold water and let stand 2 hours. 

Drain and lightly rinse cucumbers with cold water.  Add the following:

2 c. granulated sugar

2 tbsp. mustard seed

1 tbsp. celery seed (I used 1 tsp. of celery salt)

1 c. vinegar ( I used 1 1/2 cups of apple wine vinegar since the recipe didn’t specify)

Mix all ingredients well; cover and place in fridge. Stir a couple times a day for a day or so.  These pickles keep in the fridge for several weeks.

These pickles make a great snack, go great with a hearty sandwich, and are delicious with hamburgers or pulled pork sandwiches too. 

So, are you a sweet or dill pickle fan? 

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Chocolate Zucchini Cake

If you’ve ever grown a garden then you know all too well how quickly zucchini squash can take over your life.  This year we bought one little plant to put in our garden.  One little plant!  Five zucchini’s later, with more on their way, and I’m asking“what the he– are we going to do with all of this squash?”  We are still trying to get rid of bags of shredded zucchini in our freezer (from year’s past) by feeding it to our chickens.  And yet, we planted more?? 

Did I mention that I don’t really love zucchini either?  It is a veggie that (in my opinion) is pretty tasteless.  I’ve never known it to be the star of the show.  Spaghetti sauce makes it taste better, batter and butter make it taste better, and then of course there is chocolate which makes everything taste better. 

Optimal picking of zucchini is when they are small and don’t have gigantic seeds in them, similar to cucumbers, but you have to watch them closely because they can literally grow too big overnight.  I might add that I’m not always good at picking them in their prime either. 

The best way to use up those slightly bigger than you had planned on zucchini is to grate them up and make a nice bread or cake with them.  And that’s exactly why this Chocolate Zucchini Cake came about.

This cake is super easy to make.  It’s also super moist, on the sweet side, and the reason I skipped the frosting.  Other than seeing a fleck of green every now and then, you will even forget that there is squash in it.  If you have kids and want to sneak some veggies into their diet then this is one way of doing it.  Just maybe not the best way.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1 stick (1/2 c.) margarine, melted

1 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

3 eggs

1/2 c. sour cream

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

2 c. grated zucchini

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Generously grease a 16×10 cake pan.

Put all ingredients (except flour) in a large mixing bowl.  Mix thoroughly with electric mixer.  Add flour and mix completely.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.  Cool completely before cutting.  Sprinkle confectionary sugar on top and serve.

Any suggestions on how to use up all this zucchini?  What is your favorite zucchini recipe? 

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Brown Sugar Double Chip Cookies

The Lemon Iced Shortbread Cookie Bars that I made earlier this week are officially gone.  And to be honest, they have been for a while now.  They never made it to the freezer if that tells you anything.  So, my question to you is this; what is a house without cookies in it?  I’d say boring, while you are probably saying healthy.

As I was about to embark on another one of my cookie making adventures I realized that I was nearly out of granulated sugar.  Oh no…  Oh yes!  But have no fear, after you try this recipe you will understand why it really doesn’t matter if you have granulated sugar on hand or not.   It’s brown sugar that makes these cookies shine!

Brown Sugar Double Chip Cookies

1/2 c. margarine, softened

2/3 c. brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. heavy cream, or milk

1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 c. butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

In a large bowl, cream together margarine, egg, and brown sugar.  Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla extract; mix thoroughly.  Add flour and heavy cream and beat until all ingredients are combined.  Fold in chips.

Using a dining teaspoon, drop dough onto cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 7-8 minutes until outside of cookie starts to turn light golden colored.  The middle of the cookie may look slightly undercooked but it will firm up.  Cool completely on the cookie sheets before transferring to storage container or baking rack.  *Storing these in an airtight container makes them extra soft and chewy.

I love the butterscotch and brown sugar flavors combined with the semi-sweet chocolate chips in these cookies.  I think that sometimes butterscotch chips can overpower the flavor of a cookie but they don’t in this recipe. 

What kind of chips do you prefer in your cookies?  Chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter, butterscotch, cinnamon?

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