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  1. Thursday, November 3

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #46: Nicole Blades and Her Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread Recipe

    This Week for Dinner Podcast #46: Interview with Author Nicole Blades + Her Favorite French Toast Recipe + A FABULOUS Recipe for Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread

    The podcast is back! Yippee! We’re kicking off the second season with a really lovely interview with author Nicole Blades and her family’s beloved Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread recipe. Before we get to the recipe and shownotes, a few quick notes about Nicole! Nicole is a novelist and journalist who has been writing since third grade. She’s worked for magazines like Essence and written articles and essays for pretty much everyone, from NYTimes.com to WashingtonPost.com and more. She also has a blog (link below!) and her second novel “The Thunder Beneath Us” published last week (congratulations, Nicole! Woohoo!). Nicole and I could basically talk forever (we pretty much did) and in this episode we hit on all kinds of topics, everything from the virtues and vices of digital communication, vegetarianism, ancestral DNA tests and, of course, FOOD.

    Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread from @janemaynard

    Nicole shares two recipes in the podcast. One of them is for Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread, a recipe that really represents family for Nicole. I wanted to make the bread before the show went live so I would have good photos to include. I am so glad I did. This bread. It is dangerously delicious! Nicole also took photos of the actual recipes she uses. The French toast came from an old magazine and the sweet bread is in an old Caribbean cookbook. I am so happy to have those photos to share with you, too. Hard copy recipes are one of my favorite things in the world.

    Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread from @janemaynard

    I think it’s time we get down to business! First the shownotes, then the recipes, then the podcast itself! Enjoy!

    Shownotes:

    Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread from @janemaynardLeft: Loaves sprinkled with granulated sugar; Right: Loaves brushed with sugar water. Both techniques work beautifully.

    Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread from @janemaynardPictured: The original recipe from the cookbook “Caribbean Cookbook” by Rita G Springer

    Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    This recipe is adapted from the book "Caribbean Cookbook" by Rita G. Springer. Nicole shared the recipe with me along with a few notes about how she modifies it. I have written it up in my own words below!
    Author:
    Serves: 2 loaves
    Ingredients
    • 4 cups flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 150 grams sugar (this is ¾ cup sugar minus 1 tablespoon)
    • ½ pound melted shortening or butter (Nicole and I use butter)
    • ¾ cups milk
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 cups grated unsweetened coconut (important to use grated unsweetened; Nicole said it's best if you buy a whole coconut, crack it open and grate it yourself, but store-bought grated unsweetened coconut works, too)
    • Sugar for sprinkling OR equal parts sugar-water mixture, for the top of the bread
    • Optional Stuffing: ⅓ cup unsweetened grated coconut + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract + ½ tablespoon sugar mixed together
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
    2. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl then stir in sugar. (I used my KitchenAid mixer, which I highly recommend if you have one.)
    3. Add melted shortening/butter, milk, egg and vanilla extract. Stir in coconut.
    4. Blend ingredients well (this is where the mixer comes in handy!).
    5. Knead slightly on lightly floured board or knead in your mixer with the dough hook for a couple of minutes.
    6. Divide dough into two, shape into loaves and place in greased bread pans, ensuring dough does not fill the pans more than ⅔ full. Optional: Stuff the optional "stuffing mixture" from the ingredients list above into the center of the loaves, opening the loaf and putting the mixture in the middle and then reshaping the loaf again before putting it in the pan.
    7. Score the top of the loaf (Nicole likes to make Xs, a long line down the middle is pretty, too!) and sprinkle liberally with sugar. Alternately, Nicole likes to brush the tops with a sugar-water mixture (use equal parts water and sugar, about ¼ cup each - mix together and let sit a few minutes to dissolve before using). About every 5 minutes or so during the cooking time brush the loaves with the sugar water. Either technique works beautifully.
    8. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until bread is golden brown.
    Notes
    The bread is quite crumbly but far from dry...the flavor and texture are wonderful! Just use a serrated knife when slicing!

    Caribbean Coconut Sweet Bread from @janemaynard

    Here is Nicole’s favorite breakfast recipe, a French toast recipe she tore out of a GQ magazine many years ago!

    Nicole Blades' Favorite French Toast recipe

    GQ French Toast
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Nicole Blades found this recipe in a GQ magazine many years ago.
    Serves: 4 slices
    Ingredients
    • 2 page eggs plus 1 yolk
    • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
    • 1 pinch of cinnamon
    • 1 pinch of nutmeg
    • 1 pinch of salt
    • 2 drops vanilla extract
    • 1 drop almond extract or dash of amaretto
    • 4 slices brioche or other high-quality white bread, cut 1 inch thick (Nicole uses a brioche bread made in France that is sold at Whole Foods - whatever bread you use, make sure it's good - that's the key!)
    Instructions
    1. Whisk together all of the ingredients except the bread. Cook in a skillet greased with unsalted butter on the stove over medium heat like you would any regular French toast!

     

    It’s easy to listen to the show!

    • Via the web: Just click play below!
    • Via an app: For iPhone and iPad, subscribe to the This Week for Dinner Podcast on iTunes and listen to it through the purple Podcasts app. For Android devices, use the StitcherPodcast Addict or Pocket Casts apps. In all cases, launch the app, then search for This Week for Dinner Podcast. The benefit of using an app: once downloaded, you can listen to the show without an Internet connection.

    Other Stuff!


  2. Friday, July 29

    Cora’s Sour Cream Banana Bread Recipe + The BEST Way to Eat Banana Bread (How have I never done this?!)

    Right now I’m in New Jersey visiting my family. Despite the fact that my sister-in-law Cora had a baby just six weeks ago, she has still been caught cooking us delicious food. Yesterday she made four loaves of banana bread, which (unsurprisingly) are already gone! Cora has been kind enough to share her sour cream banana bread recipe with us today. Everyone say thank you, Cora! {Thank you, Cora!}

    Cora's Sour Cream Banana Bread Recipe from @janemaynard

    Cora’s recipe is wonderful and tastes like butter. The day it is baked, the top is wonderfully crispy, while the bread itself is soft and moist. And as happy as I am to now have Cora’s great recipe, I’m even more happy about the fact that Cora and my brother Christian shared the greatest tip ever for eating banana bread.

    The Best Way to Eat Banana Bread | Cora's Sour Cream Banana Bread Recipe from @janemaynard

    You know how when you make banana bread or brownies or whatever that has a crispy top and it goes soft over night? WELL…Cora and Christian always toast their slices of banana bread and then slather the slices with butter. The top gets crispy again, the edges are awesome, and the bread stays soft and delicious. And then, of course, melted butter. It’s basically the greatest and I may never eat banana bread any other way again. These toasty slices of heaven might be even better than fresh-from-the-oven banana bread. Crazy talk, I know, but true.

    The Best Way to Eat Banana Bread | Cora's Sour Cream Banana Bread Recipe from @janemaynard

    Enjoy! BonANA Appétit!

    Cora's Sour Cream Banana Bread Recipe
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    From my wonderful sister-in-law Cora, who is an excellent cook!
    Author:
    Recipe type: Baking
    Serves: 2 loaves
    Ingredients
    • ⅔ cup butter
    • 1⅓ cup sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla or coconut extract (either are delicious!)
    • 1½ cup mashed bananas
    • 2¾ cup flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ c sour cream
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
    2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
    3. Add vanilla or coconut extract then add eggs, beating well after each egg.
    4. Add mashed bananas and mix well.
    5. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
    6. Beating on low, add ⅓ of the dry ingredients until just combined. Add ¼ cup of the sour cream, beat on low until just combined. Repeat with ⅓ of the dry ingredients, then the rest of the sour cream, then finishing with the last ⅓ of the dry ingredients, making sure to mix until just combined with each addition.
    7. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans and bake for 40-45 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

     


  3. Thursday, September 6

    Crispy French Toast

    Have I convinced you yet to make cornflake or crispy crunch? If not, maybe today’s post will tip the balance!

    Years ago I stayed at the Parker Palm Springs, a Jonathan Adler paradise with very delicious food and beautiful grounds. For breakfast one morning I ordered French toast that was coated in…wait for it…I bet you can’t guess…or maybe you can…crisped rice! That French toast was SO GOOD. Okay, so I think you can figure out the rest of this story…when Cora started telling me about cornflake crunch in the Milk Bar cookies, visions of crispy French toast danced in my head.

    This week we tried making French toast with both the crispy crunch and the cornflake crunch. The crispy crunch was good, but I LOVED the French toast with cornflake crunch coating. It had a great crisp texture and was very tasty!

    So, that’s all I’ve got so far for the cornflake and crispy crunch…but I’m sure I’ll think of more ways to use it! And if you think of other ways too, please share!

    Crispy French Toast
     
    From Jane Maynard, This Week for Dinner
    Author:
    Recipe type: Breakfast
    Ingredients
    • Sliced bread of your choosing (French, brioche, whatever!)
    • Eggs whisked with about 1 tablespoon of milk per 2 eggs or so (2-3 slices of bread per egg)
    • Cornflake crunch (you can use crispy crunch, too, but I liked cornflake better)
    • Butter
    Instructions
    1. Dip bread slices in whisked egg. Dip in cornflake crunch to coat both sides. Dip bread AGAIN in the egg – some of the crunch will fall off, but that’s okay, most of it will stay on and you can just sort of pat it back in place.
    2. Cook in a buttered pan over medium-low to medium heat until both sides are browned.
    3. Delicious coated in butter and pure maple syrup!


  4. Friday, April 27

    Grandma Wallin’s Bulle

    My Grandma Wallin was a wonderful cook. A reluctant American, she never stopped eating and cooking like a Swede, despite living in the United States for the last 45+ years of her life. Many of my memories of her are centered around food. Amazing ham for Christmas Eve dinner, rice pudding with a hidden almond for dessert. Swedish meatballs for Sunday dinners. Cheese and hard bread every single day of her life. Despite all these food memories, my strongest by far is of cardamom bread. Officially called vetebröd, our family calls Swedish cardamom bread “bulle,” which means “roll” or “bun” in Swedish. Every time I taste cardamom, no matter what dish it is in, I immediately think of my grandma and her bulle.

    Grandma Wallin served bulle pretty much every time we saw her. My memories of Grandma’s bulle involve buns that looked like cinnamon rolls, but flavored with cardamom rather than cinnamon. I remember one time when I was around 9 years old she came to visit and baked a batch, specifically making a cinnamon version for me. I laugh when I think that I would have asked for cinnamon bulle since I always liked the cardamom version anyway. Crazy 9-year-old Jane.

    My mom has continued the tradition of making bulle, especially at Christmastime. While the little rolled buns remind me of my grandmother, the beautiful braided version of the bread reminds me of my mom and Christmas. Since I’ve been married and have started a family of my own, I always make bulle on Christmas Eve so we can have it Christmas morning. Like my mother, I braid the dough.

    I was thinking about my grandmother’s version of the bread the other day, so I gave my mom a call to find out how Grandma Wallin made her bulle. My mom started to describe the process for making the braid. I stopped her and said, “Yeah, I know how to do that. That’s how I’ve always done it. How did she make the buns?” My mom laughed and said, “She switched to the buns when she was older. My memories of her bulle are of the braids!” While we both had the same Grandma Wallin bulle memories, it was funny to us that the shape of her bread was so different in our minds.

    I was talking to my sister about these memories the other day. She’s nearly nine years younger than I am, so her memories are not always the same as mine. When I was telling her about how my recollections of Grandma Wallin’s bread were similar but different from our mom’s, she laughed and said, “I always thought that Grandma made cinnamon rolls…but now that I think about it, I’m certain it was bulle. I never even realized those buns were the same as the braided bread Mom makes.” I love that one type of food in the same family can have such different associations for the different family members.

    As I write this, I have a batch of bulle baking, the familiar scent filling our home. I am delighted that my daughters love bulle as much as I do. I look forward to teaching them how to make the bread and then watching them one day make it for their own children. It remains to be seen what shape of bulle they will associate with me and ultimately make themselves!

    Please share your own family food memories! Would love to hear them!

    Note: I’ve shared the vetebröd recipe previously, but I’ve only ever made the bread into a braid. This was the first time I made bulle into buns like my grandma did and they turned out deliciously. I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit here to tailor to the bun shape. If you want to try your hand at the braid, click here!

    Grandma Wallin's Bulle
     
    Makes 48 buns…I promise you can eat them all.
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Ingredients
    • 2½ cups milk
    • 2 cakes compressed yeast OR 2 packets active dry yeast OR 4½ tsp. active dry yeast
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 8 cups sifted flour
    • 1 cup melted butter
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ~3 teaspoons ground cardamom
    • ½ cup or so of butter, melted
    • Sugar
    • Powdered sugar
    • Milk
    Instructions
    1. Scald milk and cool to luke warm. Crumble yeast in bowl: add ½ cup luke warm milk and stir until yeast is dissolved. Add remaining milk and ¼ c sugar. Beat in 3 C flour and continue beating until smooth. Cover and set aside to rise until double in bulk, ¾ – 1 hour.
    2. Add remaining sugar, 1 cup melted, cooled butter and salt. Add about 1½ teaspoons of the cardamom and 4½ C flour to yeast mixture. Place remaining ½ C flour on board or pastry cloth for kneading. (I let the KitchenAid do the kneading, so add 5 cups of flour at this point if you are going to do the same.)
    3. Turn out dough and knead until smooth and elastic. (If you are using the KitchenAid to knead, use the dough hook and knead for 10 minutes or so on low.) Place dough in greased bowl. Cover with cloth and let rise until double in bulk, ¾ – 1 hour.
    4. Divide dough into four even pieces. Roll each piece out into a rectangle, about 15″ x 20″. Brush rectangle with butter, then sprinkle evenly with sugar and cardamom (dividing the remaining 1½ teaspoons of cardamom between the four rectangles…it may be more than that). Roll the dough up so you end up with a 20″ long roll. Slice off pieces so you end up with 12 pieces per rolled rectangle. Place rolls in buttered muffin tins. Let rise until double in bulk, 30-40 mins. Brush with egg. Bake in moderately hot oven (400 degrees F) 12-15 minutes, until tops and bottoms are golden.
    5. Drizzle rolls with glaze (see below).

    Vanilla Glaze
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Ingredients
    • 1¼ cups sifted powdered sugar
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla
    • Milk or half-and-half or light cream
    Instructions
    1. Whisk sugar and vanilla together. Stir in enough milk/half-and-half/light cream to make drizzling consistency (a little goes a long way!).


  5. Thursday, April 28

    Easy Homemade Rolls

    Growing up my mom would always make the best butterhorn rolls for the holidays. The recipe came from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, I believe. Once I was off on my own I followed what I thought was the same recipe in my version of the same cookbook…but they never quite tasted the same. Then, one year, my mom was looking at the recipe and she noticed they had actually changed it in the newer version of the cookbook. No wonder! But, since we’ve made that discovery, her cookbooks have been packed away in a storage unit and I haven’t been able to get my hands on the recipe.

    Last Thanksgiving, our friends Peter and Nikki invited us over for Thanksgiving and took on the task of making homemade rolls. Their crescent rolls (which I guess are the same as butterhorn…I have no idea!) were DELICIOUS…better than mine, definitely rivaled my mom’s. Who knows, it might even be the same recipe that my mom used to use!

    Until that old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook sees the light of day once again, I’m sticking with this recipe from Nikki.

    P.S. This recipe is easy enough that I always end up making at least one more batch a day or two after whichever holiday we’ve made them for. We just can’t get enough and I don’t mind making them one bit!

    Easy Homemade Rolls
     
    From Nikki and Peter Conti-Brown (I’m not entirely sure where they got the recipe…it was very sparse on directions, so I have filled in the details)
    Author:
    Cuisine: Side Dish
    Ingredients
    • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast, dissolved in ¼ cup very warm water (let yeast sit in water until it’s all foamy and dissolved)
    • ¼ cup butter, softened
    • ¾ cup milk
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • ¾ teaspoon salt
    • 4-4½ cup flour
    Instructions
    1. Mix all the ingredients except the flour in your KitchenAid mixer with the paddle attachment or with your beaters. Slowly mix in the flour. Knead dough or mix on speed 1 or 2 with the dough hook on your KitchenAid (when I knead with the KitchenAid I let it go about 5 minutes). Let rise to double in size in a bowl, about an hour or so (cover the bowl with a light, clean towel and let rise in a warm/non-drafty place).
    2. Punch dough down. Divide into two. Roll each piece of dough into a large circle, that is quite thin (1/8″ – ¼″). If you like a buttery flavor, brush melted butter onto the dough at this time, although they are great either way. Cut the dough like pizza into 16 pieces (you will end up with 32 rolls total). Roll each piece from the large end of the triangle and place on an ungreased cookie sheet or a silpat-lined cookie sheet with the tip tucked down and under the roll. Let rise again until about double in size, or about an hour or so (cover the rolls with a light, clean towel and let rise in a warm/non-drafty place).
    3. Bake at 375 for 12 minutes or until browned on top and bottom.
    Notes
    Note: See comment #4 below – my mom found her recipe and posted it here! It’s VERY similar to this recipe, just a little bit different proportions.

     


  6. Wednesday, January 5

    Bread Pudding Experiment

    I love bread pudding. There’s nothing quite like it. Especially when there’s chocolate involved.

    Today I found myself with a loaf of 2-day old pugliese Italian bread that we really had no use for. I’ve only ever used soft breads for bread pudding, you know, brioche, that light fluffy white Italian bread from the grocery store bakery section, croissants, etc. Recipes always called for that kind of bread and some of them even said things like “cut the crust off.” So it comes as no surprise that I was always scared to try making bread pudding with a more rustic, crusty bread. And that fear has been the waste of several decent loaves of stale bread because….

    That crusty, rustic pugliese worked GREAT in bread pudding. That’s right, I took the plunge. And the water felt good, people. Don’t be scared, use that crusty bread!

    I did slice off the pointy crusty top from the loaf, and, after I cut the bread into 1″ – 2″ slices, I cut the bottom crust off each piece. The rest of the crust I left on. I liked having varying textures in the pudding, and the crusty parts absorbed the custard and cooked beautifully.

    I am so glad I experimented with that bread today. Because, turns out, chocolatey bread pudding makes a mighty tasty lunch. Nutritious, too.

    Bread Pudding Experiment
     
    My creation after reading through a whole bunch of recipes and picking what I liked best.
    Author:
    Recipe type: Dessert
    Ingredients
    • 3 eggs
    • ⅔ cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon (more if you use raisins or fruit as the mix-in)
    • 4 tablespoon butter, melted
    • 3 cup milk
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • 16 ounce loaf of white bread (brioche, Italian, whatever you have on hand)
    • Chocolate (chips or chopped) OR raisins, optional. If you don’t add anything at this point, it will be delicious topped with fresh fruit upon serving.
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place a tea towel or cloth flatly in a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Butter an 8″ x 8″ baking dish (I actually forgot to butter the dish, and everything was fine). Get a bunch of hot water ready for when the pudding is ready for the oven (I just filled my tea kettle and turned the heat on so it would be hot when I was ready for it).
    2. Cut off the ends of the bread and slice the bread into 1″ – 3″ cubes – no need to be exact. Cut off any particularly thick or crusty pieces of crust. Place bread pieces in the 8″ x 8″ dish, being sure not to overcrowd.
    3. If you are adding a raisins or chocolate, do so now just by sprinkling over the bread.
    4. Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt with a hand mixer or in your stand mixer until it’s that pretty light yellow color. Stir in the milk and butter then pour the mixture over the bread. Dunk the pieces of bread down into the egg mixture with your fingers so all the pieces have been soaked. Let sit for 10 minutes.
    5. Place dish in the prepared 9″ x 13″ pan, laying 8″ x 8″ pan on top of the cloth. Place both pans in the oven. Pour hot water into the 9″ x 13″ pan until the level is about halfway up the side of the 8″ x 8″ dish.
    6. Bake around an hour. Mine was done at exactly 65 minutes. You can tell it’s done when you poke around in the middle and the custard is mostly set. There may be a little bit of liquid left, but not a lot.
    7. Serve cold or warm, with whipped cream or not. I love it a few minutes after baking because the tops are still crispy. YUM! Keeps in the fridge for several days.

    Happy Eating!


  7. Thursday, November 4

    Skillet Biscuit Bread

    We hardly ever watch any food shows on TV. Once in a while, though, Nate and I will watch Jacques Pépin’s show More Fast Food My Way on PBS. It’s low-key, simple food and I especially like it when his daughter is on. Their interactions are so, I don’t know, un-produced. It’s kind of fun. On a recent episode, Jacques made a simple skillet bread that I quickly jotted down and decided I had to try.

    Try I did. This week, in fact. It was good. And I’m naming it Skillet Biscuit Bread because the bread tasted a lot like biscuits. And it really was so easy to throw together. Anna, my 2-year-old, couldn’t stop eating it!

    Here’s a side shot so you can get an idea of the texture. The outside is quite crusty and cripsy, while the inside is very moist and biscuity (how’s that for an adjective?). So, if you’re tight on time and ingredients and want a simple biscuit-like bread to go with dinner, give this a try.

    Skillet Biscuit Bread
     
    As described by Jacques Pépin on More Fast Food My Way
    Author:
    Recipe type: Side Dish, Bread
    Ingredients
    • 1½ cup flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 cup water + a few more tablespoons
    Instructions
    1. Mix the dry ingredients, then add water and mix.
    2. Pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil (I have also used butter with great success) in a 9-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Immediately pour the batter into the pan, spreading evenly and letting some of the oil come on top as you press the dough down. Add a few tablespoons of water around the edge of the bread then cover with a lid.
    3. Cook for about 7 minutes (until browned), flip and and then cook covered about another 7 minutes or so. Bread should be browned on both sides.
    4. Cut up, butter the bread and enjoy! Would also be delicious with a bit of honey!

     


  8. Tuesday, May 4

    Tuscan Bread Soup

    Wanted to share a quick recipe with you today. It’s another one from Everyday Food: Fresh Flavors Fast. While the pasta dish I shared with you last week was definitely yummier than this one, I still really like this soup.

    tuscan bread soup web

    One quick note. You’re supposed to add 1-inch chunks of bread into the soup and simmer for 20 minutes or so. The theory is that the bread absorbs the broth and thickens the soup. We all agreed that the bread was too slimy. And I liked the broth soup before the bread supposedly thickened it. I think the best approach would be to make homemade croutons and top them on the soup when serving. If you really want to stay true to the soup, just make sure your bread pieces aren’t too big.

    Tuscan Bread Soup
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    Ingredients
    • 6 ounces country bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
    • 2 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 large onion, cut into ¼-inch pieces (I used only ½ of an onion)
    • 3 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ¼-inch thick pieces
    • 2 celery stalks, cut into ¼-inch thick pieces
    • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (I used 2-3 tablespoon)
    • ½ head napa cabbage, halved lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced crosswise (6 cups)
    • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) chicken broth (I used vegetable broth to make it completely meatless. I also used about 1 additional cup than called for.)
    • 2 cups water (I think I did an extra cup or so)
    • 1 cup loosely packed fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spread bread pieces in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until dry, tossing half-way through, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven. (Jane note: Next time I make this I will toss the bread with some olive oil, salt & pepper, then toast as directed.)
    2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add onion, carrots, celry and garlic; season with salt & pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute.
    3. Add cabbage, chicken broth, the water and toasted bread. (Jane note: Next time I will add about ⅓ of the bread pieces at this point in the recipe and reserve the rest as a topping for the soup when served.) Simmer over medium heat until soup is thickened, 15-20 minutes. Season with salt & pepper, and stir in parsley.

     


  9. Thursday, March 29

    Featured Recipe: Baked French Toast

    Today’s featured recipe is Baked French Toast. While I listed this recipe under main dishes, I gotta admit it may be more appropriate under desserts. But I’m going to continue to think of it is a main dish so I can have it for dinner once in a while.


    A few quick notes on this recipe. This last time I used Brioche bread and it was PERFECT for this recipe. Also, pecans are by far my favorite nut to use in this. Not much else to say except it’s mighty delicious. Oh – and sorry there’s no picture of the final product… I forgot to take one, but the ingredients sure are pretty!

    Featured Recipe: Baked French Toast
     
    Prep time
    Cook time
    Total time
     
    Mighty delicious baked french toast!
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Breakfast
    Ingredients
    • ½ C brown sugar
    • ⅓ C butter
    • 2 T corn syrup
    • Chopped pecans, almonds, whatever
    • 2 t. orange zest
    • ½ C OJ
    • ½ C milk
    • 3 T sugar
    • 1 t cinnamon
    • 1 t vanilla
    • 3 egg whites
    • 2 eggs (or 4 eggs)
    • A bunch of slices of bread (probably 12, give or take – depending on the size of the bread, enough to fill the cookie sheet)
    Instructions
    1. For the bread, I love to use a loaf of brioche (which is pictured here). Sliced french or italian bread would work, too. But a nice rich, soft bread like the brioche is my favorite.
    2. Mix brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Spread with nuts on cookie sheet and lay slices of bread on top. Mix rest of the ingredients and pour on top of bread. Sit for 1 hour in fridge. Bake 350 for 35 mins.

     


  10. Wednesday, January 31

    Chocolate Zucchini Bread

    Chocolate Zucchini Bread
     
    From TWFD Reader, Elise!
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 3 squares unsweetened chocolate
    • 3 cups flour
    • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
    • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 4 eggs
    • 3 cups sugar
    • 1½ cups vegetable oil
    • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1½ teaspoons almond extract
    • 3 cups grated zucchini (squeeze water out)
    • ½ cup sour cream
    • 1 cup chopped nuts
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2. Melt chocolate and let cool. Sift dry ingredients. Beat eggs, add in sugar, oil, chocolate, and extracts. Fold in dry ingredients. Fold in zucchini, sour cream, and nuts. Bake in poled bundt or 10″ tube pan for 1 hour and 15 minutes.