Archive for the ‘Breads’ Category

For our retreat to Mala Duba, we decided to make a few casseroles ahead of time and cook them once in Mala Duba.  This was a yummy, comforting casserole that did great being frozen and then baked a few days later.  I combined a few different recipes to create this dish.  The ground turkey was an unexpected and delicious change from the normal ground beef, and it’s less expensive here than beef is. 

Tamale Pie with Cornbread Crust

Adapted from this and this recipe

500 g ground turkey                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 28 oz can tomatoes, chopped
1 pkg. taco seasoning, plus additional cumin, chili powder, and salt to taste                                                                                                                                                                                                    
1 can kidney beans (rinsed)
1 small can green chilis
1 can corn
2-3 cups shredded cheese
1 box jiffy corn bread mix or one recipe cornbread crust (below)

– In large pot, brown turkey with chopped onions. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. – Add all other ingredients up to cheese. Simmer for a few minutes, adjusting seasonings as needed. Meanwhile, prepare cornbread crust.  Pour meat filling into 9×13 pan. Top with shredded cheese.  Spread cornbread onto top of casserole. Bake at 375 uncovered for 35-45 minutes or until cornbread is browned and filling is bubbly, or cover with foil and freeze.  To freeze frozen casserole, defrost for 30 minutes at room temperature, bake covered with foil for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until crust is done, about 30-45 minutes.

Cornbread Crust

2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk

1 egg

Whisk together dry ingredients.  Add wet ingredients and stir to mix.


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The perfect pumpkin bread – dense, sweet, slightly tangy, and perfectly pumpkiny.  I adapted it from this recipe.  I baked it the day before our team retreat to Mala Duba, and when it had cooled, removed it from the pan and wrapped it tightly in plastic wrap.  Four days later, it’s still perfectly moist and delicious.

Cranberry-Walnut Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/3 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 c. chopped walnuts, plus more for topping
3/4 c. dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare loaf pan (or mini loaf pans).  Chop dried cranberries, place in a small bowl and submerge in boiling water to soften for a few minutes.  In medium bowl, combine flour, soda, powder, salt, spices and whisk to combine.
In large bowl beat oil, butter and sugars until creamy until lightened in color and texture, about 3 minutes.
Beat in eggs one at a time.
Add pumpkin puree and beat until combined. Add milk and vanilla and beat until combined.
With mixer on lowest setting, add flour mixture just until barely combined.
Drain cranberries and fold cranberries and walnuts into batter.  Pour into greased loaf pan.
Bake about until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour for regular loaf and 35-40 minutes for mini loaf.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 20 minutes.
Turn out onto wire rack and let cool completely.

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YUM, YUM, YUM!!! I concocted the idea for these wraps while sitting on the beach yesterday, and couldn’t wait to try them once I had the idea in my head. And I wasn’t disappointed! They were delicious, although I couldn’t help but think while making the wraps and bbq sauce how much quicker they’d be to make if I lived in the States and could just buy the ingredients already prepared. But we were blessed to have received some Ranch dressing in a package from the States, so at least I didn’t worry about having to create my own dressing!

Adapted from Homesick Texan’s Flour Tortillas

1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp veg oil
3/4 cup warm milk

Stir together all dry ingredients. Add milk and oil and stir to combine. Knead until just mixed, adding water a teaspoon at a time as needed for a supple dough. Divide into six piece, roll each into a ball, and let rest for a few minutes. Heat up a griddle on medium-high heat, and roll each ball into as thin a wrap as possible. Cook on the griddle until just forming golden spots on each side. Keep covered until ready to use.

*I really dislike these “tortillas” in Mexican food – they taste more like a pancake than a tortilla to me. However, because they’re a little thicker and chewier than tortillas, I think they work great as wraps. They take a little effort to roll out – try to get them as thin as possible, because they will puff up a bit when being cooked.

Barbeque Sauce
from Serious Eats’ Basic Barbeque Sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/8 cup cider vinegar
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/8 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoons molasses
1/2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1/4 – 1/2 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a pan and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

*A half of a tablespoon of Tabasco makes for a pretty spicy sauce. Yum!

BBQ-Ranch Chicken Wraps

1 b/s chicken breast
4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
Tomato, sliced into half moons
Whole lettuce leaves
Few tablespoons of chopped onion
Ranch Dressing
BBQ Sauce

Coat chicken breast with bbq sauce, sprinkle with salt, and bake in 200C oven until done. Slice into 1/8 inch thick slices and let cool.

Spread bbq sauce on wrap. Lay down large leaf of lettuce and top with chicken, bacon, tomato, onion, and ranch dressing. Add more bbq sauce as needed, roll into wrap, and slice in half. Enjoy!

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Recipe Dump

I’m so behind on posting…partly I don’t even care, but I’m going to make myself dump several recipes on here before I forget what I made, how I made the recipes, and where I got the original recipes from. So here goes…
These yummmmmy muffins were just sweet enough to satisfy a sweet tooth, but also hefty enough to serve as breakfast or an afternoon snack. I’d like to try them with honey instead of white sugar next time. And some chopped walnuts also sound good. I forgot to include the cinnamon, but I’m sure it just makes them even yummier. They keep really well – I ate one today (Tuesday) that I made on Saturday, and it’s still delicious.

Whole Wheat, Oatmeal, and Dried Fruit Muffins
Adapted from Cooking Light via My Recipes
12 servings (serving size: 1 muffin)
1 cup whole wheat flour (about 4 3/4 ounces)
4 tablespoons white flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup chopped pitted dates
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup boiling water

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in oats, dates, apricots, and cranberries. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in boiling water. Let batter stand 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 17 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pans immediately; place on a wire rack.

Granola Bars
YUM, YUM, YUM! These were really quick to put together, and turned out simply divine. I carried them around with me all day in Budapest, and snuck covert bites of them (which had crumbled into bite-sized pieces as a result of being jostled around in my purse for a few days) as we trekked all around the city. Since I can’t buy granola bars here, this recipe will become a go-to for me in the months to come. I can’t wait to try different variations of it: with dried apricot and flaked coconut; with peanuts; with sesame seeds; with tiny pieces of crystallized ginger. The first batch were a little on the sweet side for my taste (I used 1/2 cup of honey and 1 cup dried cranberries, which are sweetened) so the second time I used dried apricots instead and subbed out 1/4 of a cup of honey with molasses. Perfect!
Golden Granola Bars
2 c. rolled oats
1 c. chopped almonds, walnuts, or a mixture of the two
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. molasses
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c. pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
1 cup dried apricots, chopped


Preheat oven to 350-ish F, and line a 9×9 cake pan with a sheet of parchment paper. On a cookie sheet, spread out the oats and nuts and toast for about 7 minutes or until starting to smell fragrant and become golden (stir once or twice to ensure even toasting). In a saucepan heat up remaining ingredients (sans pepitas and apricot) and melt, cooking until all of the sugar is dissolved and the mixture bubbles for a minute or two. Dump the toasted ingredients into a big bowl, add the liquid mixture and the pepitas and cranberries, and stir to coat evenly. Press into the pan and press firmly all around the pan. Now bake for about 10 minutes, or until the bars begin to become a deep golden color. Remove from the oven, cool completely, and cut into 8 bars. Store in an airtight container.

So I guess the “several” recipes turned into…two. Sigh. Oh well…up next time: the fish Rachel and I finally got around to making (heavenly!), spicy greens and bulgur, white chili, and tortilla soup. There, now maybe at least I won’t forget what I’ve cooked…Stay tuned!

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Homemade Tortillas

Homemade tortillas are sooooo easy and delicious! I don’t know if they’re cheaper to make than buy in Arizona, but they’re about 1/10 of the cost of buying them here (and definitely way yummier)! Here’s the recipe:

4 cups of flour (can use 1 cup whole wheat and 3 all-purpose if you’d like)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 – 3/4 tsp salt (I like them a little on the salty side, and our salt is kind of mild here, so I prefer to use about 3/4 tsp)
3/4 cup oil
1 cup warm water

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in oil with a fork until evenly distributed and crumbly.  Add warm water and mix until blended, then knead a couple of times to ensure all ingredients are distributed. Separate into 12 balls, and let rest for 5-10 minutes (if you have time; this step isn’t necessary but makes them easier to roll out). While dough is resting, preheat a dry skillet to a high heat. Roll out one tortilla and place on the hot skillet. While first tortilla is cooking, roll out the second one. Flip the tortilla when it begins to get the faintest golden bubbles, and watch the second side closely (second side cooks a little more quickly than the first side). When cooked, remove to plate and cover with clean cloth to keep warm.

I think the cooking of the tortillas is the hardest part to get right. I’ve found a high heat (#5 out of 6 settings on my stove) works great for me, and I prefer the tortillas to be a little fluffy rather than leathery, so I don’t roll them paper thin. Enjoy!

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Most Delightful Scones

After at least four failed attempts at making my own scones, and great skepticism that any American scone recipe could ever compete with the delicious scones I’ve eated in Ireland, I decided to give it another try. With great delight I pulled the golden scones from the oven, and cautiously tested the piping hot, flaky bread. It was heavenly! Perhaps even better than my beloved Irish scones. And three or four days later, they were still delectable. This recipe is adapted from a recipe found on Allrecipes.com.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 egg white

1.Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in dried cranberries.
3.In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.
4.Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)
5.Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

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