Thursday, November 29, 2007

Monkey Bread

The other day my husband sent me a quick e-mail mentioning monkey bread. {edit: I have to make a correction here. Joseph's coworker, Brent, needs to be mentioned here for bringing Monkey Bread to Joseph's attention. If it were not for Brent and his keen eye for sweet delectables, my family would have missed out on this wonderful bread. Brent, thank you, thank you, for bringing this recipe to the forefront of my to-make list.} (I think he was actually hinting that I should make some and send it in for breakfast.) He even went so far as to include the Wikipedia link in case I needed more information on finding a recipe. I guess he had never heard of it and thought that I hadn't either. I'm actually familiar with the bread but I have never eaten it or made it...which I guess, in his mind, would signal that I am totally unaware of this sweet treat.
Last night I thought I would surprise him and make it for dessert rather than wait for the weekend and make it for breakfast. (If he thinks I'm going to drag myself from our warm and cozy bed at 4:30 in the morning to make this and have it ready for him to take to work by 5:30, then he is nuts!) So, I got everything out and let Gabe do most of the heavy work. I only had to cut the biscuits and take care of the sauce.

My husband ended up being late last night so Gabe and I snuck a few bites before it cooled too much, and I must say that we are both fans of this fun monkey bread.

(Here I've made a mini-bundt pan that takes about 1/3 of the original recipe.)
Monkey Bread
1 can buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup sugar
2 t cinnamon
chopped walnuts or pecans - optional
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 T butter
Combine brown sugar and butter in small saucepan. Boil for 1 minute.
Cut each biscuit into 6 pieces. Drop biscuits into ziplock bag containing sugar and cinnamon mixture. Shake to coat. Layer in small bundt pan. Pour half of sauce halfway up the bundt pan. Continue with biscuits. Pour remaining sauce on top. Bake for roughly 40 minutes at 350 degrees. (After 30 minutes I begin checking by pulling up on a biscuit and checking to see if it is cooked through. It all depends on your particular pan.) Let cool 5 minutes and then invert onto plate. Cool another 8-10 minutes and then enjoy.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pumpkin Bread

A friend of mine made this wonderfully moist, flavorful bread the other day and she was kind enough to send me the link to the recipe. It comes right from the Libby's Pumpkin site...these people know what to do with their pumpkin! I love this bread because it stays moist and tasty for days...but don't count on having it around very long. I made a mock Thanksgiving dinner the other night since I won't be making one of my own this year and I used this bread in place of pumpkin pie (which I made last week!) It worked really well for dessert, but I especially liked it for breakfast with a cup of tea. This recipe will be staying around and I don't think I'll even bother putting it in the recipe box until after Christmas.
I'm reposting it here but you can see the original here.
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups granulated sugar
1 can (15 ounces) 100% Pure Pumpkin
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice or water
1 cup sweetened dried, fresh or frozen cranberries (I made one loaf with dried and the second loaf (pictured) has some of each - dried and fresh cranberries.)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil and juice in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in cranberries. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Lentil Soup

I have a pot of this wonderfully tasty soup on the stove right now. I can't wait for dinner to get here so that we can have a big bowl with a hunk of bread for sopping up the broth. Yum, I love cold weather and it's food!

This is a repost from February.

Lentil Soup
Adapted from Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis

2 T olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 inch Prosciutto end, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (14 ½ oz) can diced tomatoes
1 ¼ cups lentils
11 cups chicken broth or water
4 sprigs thyme
Parmesan cheese and rind
Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add prosciutto and let saute for 1 minute. Add onion, carrots, and celery. Add garlic, salt, and pepper and saute until all the vegetables are slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add the cheese rind and tomatoes with their juices. Simmer until the juices evaporate a little and the tomatoes break down. Add the lentils and mix to coat. Add the broth or water and stir. Add the thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

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