Brown Sugar Banana Bread

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I love the library! I have borrowed many cookbooks lately, Back in the Day Bakery is one that I would buy. There are so many recipes in it that look and sound amazing. The first recipe I tried was chocolate chip cookies which baked up really thin and flat, but the flavor was one of the best I have tried. I will have to make those again, and hopefully work out the kinks so I can bake a batch worthy of photographing…

Anyway, onto the bread – it bakes up with a dense crumb, but it’s not at all tough or chewy. I didn’t have any mace on hand (who does?), but I replaced it for freshly grated nutmeg instead. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Brown Sugar Banana Bread – from The Back in the Day Bakery

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground mace (I used nutmeg instead)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 pecans, toasted and chopped (I omitted)
  • 1 1/2 cups well mashed, very ripe bananas (about 3)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP dark brown sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Directions –

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, light brown sugar, baking soda, salt, mace, cinnamon and pecans; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the mashed bananas, sour cream, eggs, butter and vanilla with a sturdy wooden spoon. Gently fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, spreading it evenly with a spatula. If using, sprinkle the dark brown sugar on top of the loaf. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool the bread in the loaf pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Wrapped in parchment, the bread will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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His All-Time Favorite

Simple Amish White Bread

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I’m always on the look out for my next favorite bread recipe, and this one is high on the list. There is a lot of liquid in this recipe, so I used all the 7 cups of flour and my dough was slightly tacky but smooth. Don’t fret about the full stick of butter – you should be able to cut each loaf into 18 slices, so that stick goes a long way. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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*I loved the texture and flavor of this bread and I decided to make the suggested buns.

Simple Amish White Bread Recipe – The Slow Roasted Italian

makes 2 9×5” loaves or 16 big hamburger buns
  • 1 ½ tablespoons active dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 2 ½ cup warm water (110° to 120°)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 6-7 cups bread flour (I used all 7)
Directions –
Melt ¼ cup of butter.  I microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time until it is mostly melted.  I recommend covering with a paper towel to avoid messes.  Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer add sugar and water.  Sprinkle yeast over top and swirl with spoon or fingers to combine.  Allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes while the yeast bloom and become aromatic.
Add melted butter, 4 cups flour and salt.  Mix on low, using dough hook, until smooth.  Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until a soft dough ball forms (I use the entire 7 cups).  Turn to medium and knead for 5 minutes.  Your ball of dough should be tacky (not sticky).  If it is sticky, add a little more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it becomes tacky (does not leave dough on your fingers when you touch it).
Turn onto a floured board; knead about 10 turns. Place 1 tablespoon butter in a large microwave safe bowl.  Heat butter in the microwave until butter is melted.  Place dough into bowl, turning once to grease top. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and a cloth over top and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down and shape into two loaves (or 16 hamburger buns).  I like to make half and half.  Place loaves in greased 9-in. x 5-in loaf pans.  For hamburger buns, grease a cookie sheet.  Divide dough and roll into balls.  Gently press on dough balls with the palm of your hand (creating a bun shape).  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
If bread starts to brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.  When bread is removed from the oven, brush with remaining butter.  Serve and enjoy!
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Cafeteria Sloppy Joes

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Yum! These are the least fussy sloppy joes that I came across in my search. The flavor was kid friendly without too sweet or bland – I loved it and happily ate leftovers the next night. My picky eater quickly ate her portion without any coercion from me – that almost never happens and that is a win in my book 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Cafeteria Sloppy Joes – adapted from Food Network

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Brown 1 pound ground beef in a large skillet with olive oil. Add 1 chopped onion, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons each ground cumin and smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper; cook 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1/2 cup water and simmer until thick, about 15 minutes. Serve on slider rolls with potato chips

Hamburger Potato Buns

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Quick Post: Once you have made homemade buns, there will be no going back to store-bought! These are fluffy, flavorful and substantial enough for all your toppings. Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

Hamburger Potato Buns – adapted from King Arthur Flour

**Recipe modified for a double batch**

  • 4 cups AP flour (5oo grams), hold back about 1/4 cup
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (240 grams), hold back about 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup potato flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups milk, warmed

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Directions –

1) Combine all of the dough ingredients and mix and knead them — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a soft dough.

2) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until it’s almost doubled in bulk.

3) Turn the dough onto a lightly greased surface, gently deflate it, and divide it into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.

4) Place the balls into the greased cups of a hamburger bun pan, flattening gently. Or place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 2″ to 3″ between them; flatten gently.

5) Cover and let rise until the buns have doubled in size, 60 to 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

6) Bake the buns for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they’re light golden brown.

7) Remove them from the oven, and brush them with melted butter, if desired.

8) Transfer the buns to a rack to cool. Store buns, well-wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

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Whole Grain Waffles

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My kids love waffles – what’s not to love? I get to make a weeks worth of school breakfasts in less than an hour, and the kids get another maple syrup delivery system 😉 I I like to use wheat pastry flour because it’s mild enough that the kids don’t mind, and I like that I can sneak a little fiber into breakfast. This batch makes about 10 waffles, most of which get cooled, divided, bagged and frozen. Warm them up in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or mere seconds in your microwave. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Whole Wheat Waffles – adapted from Cookie and Kate

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (you can also use spelt, rye, cornmeal or buckwheat)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk (make your own: add 2 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice to 2 cups milk, and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter (original recipe called for one full stick of butter)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions –
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and heat up your waffle iron.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs and syrup or honey.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir just until they are mixed.
  5. Add the melted butter and mix well.
  6. Pour batter into your waffle iron until the butter reaches the edges of the iron. Cook until crisp and golden.
  7. Place each waffle on a rack in the oven (in a single layer) to keep them warm until you’re ready to serve. Five minutes in the oven may actually help them get a little crispier.

Chocolate Cream Pie with Oreo Crust

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Quick Post: I know I’m late to the game here, but this was our first year to “celebrate” Pi Day. This chocolate cream pie was amazing, and the flavor was even better with age. The first day, it was all mocha; but the next day it became the most perfect chocolate flavor – swoon worthy, amazingly rich, velvety and thick! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Chocolate Cream Pie – adapted from King Arthur Flour

Crust – *recipe link*

  • 24 Oreos
  • 4 TBSP butter, melted

Filling –

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional; for richer chocolate flavor
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 2 cups milk

Stabilized Whipped Cream – *recipe link*

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 tsp powdered gelatin
  • 2 TBSP water
  • pinch of salt
  • chocolate curls (optional)

Directions –

For the Crust – 

In a medium-sized bowl or a food processor, add the Oreo cookies and blend until the texture of coarse meal or crumbs. Add the melted butter and blend until well combine. Place the ground crumb mixture into a 9- or 10-inch deep-dish pie pan and press onto the bottom and up the sides evenly. Try to make the crust about 1/8 inch (1/3 cm) evenly all around. Refrigerate the crust for at least an hour before you add the filling of your choice.

For the Filling – 

1)Place the chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla extract in a 2-quart mixing bowl; set aside.

2) In a medium saucepan away from heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, espresso powder, and salt. Whisk in 1/4 cup of cold heavy cream until the mixture is smooth, with no lumps. Repeat with another 1/4 cup of the cream. Whisk in the egg yolks.

3) Place the saucepan over medium heat, and gradually whisk in the remaining cream and milk.

4) Bring to a boil, whisking constantly as the mixture thickens; boil for 1 minute.

5) Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture over the reserved chocolate and butter.

6) Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

7) Pass the filling through a strainer into a bowl to remove any lumps.

8. Place plastic wrap or buttered parchment paper on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and chill thoroughly.

9. Pour the chilled pudding into the chilled Oreo crust and top with whipped cream and chocolate curls.

For the topping – In bowl sprinkle gelatin over cold water. Scald 2 tablespoons of whipping cream and pour over gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Refrigerate about 15 minutes. Then whisk until smooth. Mix remaining cream, sugar and salt. Mix in smooth gelatin mixture stopping to scrape bowl twice.

Stromboli

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If you couldn’t tell, this family loves pizza and “pizza-ish” recipes! This is a simple and satisfying meal and makes for easy school lunches 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Stromboli – adapted from The Spiffy Cookie

**I made two with this recipe**

  • 2 lbs pizza dough, divided (I used this one)
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce, plus more for dipping
  • 2 cups grated cheeses (*I used mozzarella, Monterey jack, Romano and Parmesan*)
  • 5 ounces pepperoni (*I used Applegate Farms*)
  • 4 ounces of deli ham (*I used Applegate Farms*)
  • Olive oil, garlic powder, pizza seasonings and salt for topping, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line large rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Spread pizza dough out on baking sheet to be approximately 10×16. Spread pizza sauce over 2/3′s of the dough lengthwise, leaving a 3×16 rectangle of plain dough along one of the edges. Top sauce with half the grated cheese, pepperoni and ham.
  3. Roll up like a jelly roll lengthwise starting along the long edge of dough topped with all the fillings and ending with the plain strip of dough on the bottom of the roll. Repeat for the second dough ball.
  4. Brush the entire Stromboli with oil and sprinkle the top with seasoning if desired, and gently cut slats in the top of the dough every 1-2 inches. Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes and slice into pieces. Serve with more pizza sauce.

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Pancake Mini-Muffins

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Planning ahead saves time, right? I love when I find recipes that make life a little easier, especially school mornings! There are far more mornings than I care to admit when I have had to force my eyes to open; and the last thing I want to do is think about breakfast. These are so quick, easy and the kids love them 🙂

The best thing about these is that I don’t have to stand over a hot stove and flip each one! I made some minor changes by replacing all the AP flour with half whole wheat pastry flour, and buttermilk because I had plenty on hand. When ever I use this muffin tin, the baked goods love to stick; so instead of adding the chocolate chips to the batter we added a few to the tops. Once they finished baking/cooling completely, I bagged them and placed them in the freezer. In the morning, we microwave them for about 3 minutes at 50% power so they don’t dry out or become rocket hot. Once they’re all gone, I will make another batch because I’m sure they’ll fight over the last 6… Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

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Pancake Mini-Muffins – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
  • Chocolate chips, optional
  • coconut oil to prep the tin (or whatever you prefer)

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs and vanilla

Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients, then stir in melted butter. If batter is too thick, stir in a little milk.

Spray a mini-muffin pan generously with coconut oil. Fill cups 2/3 full. If using chocolate chips, drop 2 to 3 onto each cup.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let sit in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then turn them out of the pan. (Use a small knife if any are stubborn.)

Serve warm with warm syrup!

Tres Leches Rice Pudding

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Rice pudding is the nostalgic comfort food of my childhood. My dear Gram would often make a big pot of arroz con leche for breakfast, which I happily ate then and will continue to enjoy – even if the pot is all for me. Sadly, (and strangely) my family doesn’t have an appreciation for this kind of treat. Last night, I did get my girl to try two small tastes of this (she’s the picky one), and she said it was pretty good. I will make a believer out of her yet! 😉

Most recipes call for chilling the pudding for a couple of hours in the fridge – forget that! Why wait when this stuff begs to be eaten hot with just a pinch of cinnamon on top? This pudding was luxurious and creamy and not too sweet. Near perfect! Gram’s will always be the standard, but I think she’d approve of this 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Tres Leches Rice Pudding – adapted from Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

  • 1 cup (180 grams) long- grain white rice
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 large egg
  • One 12- ounce can (11/2 cups or 355 ml) evaporated milk
  • One 13.5- ounce can (1 cups or 415 ml) unsweetened coconut
  • One 14- ounce can (11/4 cups or 390 grams) sweetened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon, to finish

Cook the rice: Put the rice, 2 cups of water, and the salt in a medium saucepan with a tight- fitting lid. Bring to a boil- you should hear the pot going all a flutter under the lid and puffing steam out the seam. Reduce to a low simmer, and let the rice cook for 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Remove the rice pot from the heat.

Once the rice is cooked, whisk the egg in a medium bowl, and then whisk in the evaporated milk. Stir the coconut and sweetened condensed milks into the rice, then add the egg mixture. Return the saucepan to heat and cook the mixture over medium- low heat until it looks mostly, or about 90 percent, absorbed (the pudding will thicken a lot as it cools), about 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the vanilla, then divide the pudding among serving dishes. Chill your puddings for at least an hour if desired – I love mine warm with a sprinkling of cinnamon 🙂

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