Quick breads

    Quick Breads. One pan. One bowl. No frosting. Quick. Easy.

All of these describe this week’s Donna Hay selection for Wednesdays with Donna Hay. Chosen by Chaya it was the perfect sweet treat for the post holiday dessert.


Greek yogurt, lots of blueberries, resulted in a moist loaf with sweet bites of blue. I used Splenda instead of the sugar and I didn’t notice any change in the texture or the taste. I also used low fat Greek {It is January afterall…..}. I sprinkled the loaf with a little powdered sugar.

The loaf is now gone. On to the next treat….

Check with

BTW you can find the recipe on Donna’s website.


AS far as I’m concerned, there is nothing better than a nice quick bread. I usually make banana nut because I always have at least 20 bananas breeding in the freezer. I was just about to make up a batch when Chaya posted her choice for this weeks Wednesday with Donna Hay. As luck would have it – it was a variation of Banana Nut Bread. GREAT choice, Chaya.


Bananas. Chocolate and Hazel…. wait, I don’t have (and really don’t like) hazelnuts. But I love and had plenty of PECANS in the freezer. So here we are with banana, PECAN and chocolate bread!!

The only real difference between this bread and the one I usually make is the addition of 1 cup (90g) chopped dark chocolate. Which of course I didn’t have enough of so I subbed the remainder with bittersweet chocolate shavings {thanks, Mom} and increased the sugar just a smidgeon. Perfect!!! The cake was good. And even after a week it is still moist. Yes, a WEEK!! I have had a cold and couldn’t taste ANYTHING so I saved about 4 sliices JUST FOR ME!! Definitely taste the chocolate in this one.

The recipe is from Donna’s Blog so yo can try it quite easily.

And while you are buzzing around the NET hop over to
Chaya’s blog
Kayte’s blog,
Gaye’s Blog, and
Sarah’s blog for their breads.

And if you want to join us we have a weekly recipe and post it on Wednesdays (DUH!!) No pressure, just leave one of us a comment!!

Today is the first Monday in March (ALREADY!!??) which means its REVEAL DAY for the Secret Recipe Club. Each month the memebers are assisgned a blog to enjoy, cook from and drool over!! This week I had the pleasure of meeting Katherine of Katherine Martinelli. She describes herself as writer, photographer, wanderer. She is …”an internationally published food and travel writer and photographer who contributes regularly to publications on three continents. A native New Yorker, she currently calls Be’er Sheva, Israel home.” Her recipes look delicious, her photographs are outstanding, and she has a cookbook – Puff Pastry at Brunch so cooking from her blog was a joy! And as usual it was soooo hard to pick one. Three was hard, but that is what I had to finally stop with.

Here in the south we don’t have much cold weather but when it is cold I love to make soup. Any kind of soup. So one of the recipes was easy.


    Chicken and Corn Chowder

While Gumbo is my first soup to make every winter I am always willing to try something new. Usually something full of goodies, thick, and flavorful. Can you see all the goodies in this one – chicken, potatoes, BACON, celery, carrots???

    1 tablespoon butter
    3/4 cup diced onion
    3/4 cup diced carrot
    1/2 cup diced celery
    6 cloves garlic, minced
    5 tablespoons flour
    6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
    2 medium potatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
    2 cups whole milk
    ½ cup cream
    1 3/4 cups shredded cooked chicken
    2 cups corn kernels (frozen, canned, or fresh)
    1/4 teaspoon dried ground thyme
    Salt and pepper
    Chopped chives, for garnish

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the onion, carrot, celery, Bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add 3 tablespoons of the flour and stir until fully incorporated.
Stir in the broth and potatoes, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pot.
Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the corn, milk, and cream and allow to simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the chicken and thyme and cook until chicken is heated through.
Put the remaining 2 tablespoons flour in a small bowl and add a ladle full of broth. Whisk together to form a slurry and add back into the chowder. Stir to combine.
Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately and top with chopped chives, if desired.

This soup was sooo good. Comfort food at its best. While Katherine did not put bacon in her version (which was in the original) I added it back in. The only change I would make next time would be to used cream corn rather than whole kernels. I think it would add more tender corn and creamyness. But this was deliclious.

Especially when I made her Garlic Bread Buttermilk Biscuits to go with it.


Yes, I said Garlic Bread and Biscuit at the same time. Made with chopped garlic and garlic powder there is plenty of flavor in these. These are different from any biscuit I have ever made. Instead of making a dough and rolling it out and cutting biscuits these are made from a batter poured into a pan and sliced after baking.

    1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1 tablespoon sugar
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    2 teaspoons Kosher salt
    13/4 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 400F.
Spray an 8- by 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Melt the butter and stir in the garlic, garlic powder and dried oregano.
Pour the garlic and herb butter into the prepared baking dish.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Add the buttermilk and mix until you get a smooth, thick batter.
Spoon the batter on top of the garlic butter. Smooth as much as possible with a spatula so it’s evenly distributed.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Place a plate upside down on top of the baking pan, then flip so the bread comes out with the buttery part on top.
Slice and serve.

Oh! My! All that buttery goodness. All that garlic taste. Oh! My! I love biscuits but don’t always have time when I am thinking of supper. With these I don’t have to take lots of time because they aren’t rolled and cut.

And then Katherine started coming up with variations she wants to try and now, if we meet, she will be my BFF! You have to visit this post to see what I am talking about!!

After the soup and biscuits we really needed (well, wanted) something sweet to end the day. Fortunately there are lots of sweets to choose from. And since I am retired with no children at home I have lots of time so of course I HAD to choose one of the more time consuming desserts.


Rakott Palacsinta aka Layered Crepe Cake.

It is a long process so I will let you look at her recipe and process pics instead. Making crepes. Filling crepes. Stacking crepes. Covering crepes with ganache.

If you look at her picture and then at mine you an see I need more practice with this one. but it was fun to try. And good, too. I made 1/2 of the total recipe (because we didn’t NEED a whole cake to tempt us) and ended up with 10 6″ crepes which I cut in half and stacked. I used strawberry preserves and ground chocolate/sugar between the crepes. Chocolate and strawberry is always a good combination. My problems came because while baking the fillings melted out from between the crepe layers and the crepes got tough. I will have to ask Katherine how to fix that problem. But it was still sweet and tasty.

I have several of Katherine’s recipes Pinned and have more I want to try – Wine braised chicken with saffron cream, Garlicky Shrimp Pasta, and her Cinnamon Bun Cake just to name a few. You really should visit Katherine, browse her RECIPES, and enjoy her photographs.

And if you want to join in the fun visit The Secret Recipe Club and sign up. You won’t be sorry! I mean, really, look at all the great dishes for March (Link below).

    A picture is worth a 1000 words!

We love Pumpkin Bread. I would not have thought of putting in fresh cranberries as Ellie suggests. She says the bread is “..enhanced with bursts of the crimson tart cranberries,..”
They definitely add something extra to the sweet bites of bread.

    Nonstick cooking spray
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry or whole-wheat flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup canned pumpkin puree
    2/3 cup honey
    1/3 canola oil
    2 large eggs
    1 large egg white
    1 cup fresh whole cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, allspice, and salt.
In another large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, honey, oil, eggs, and egg white until well combined.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing just enough to combine evenly. Gently stir in the cranberries.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake until the top is browned and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Makes 8 servings SERVING SIZE one 1-inch-thick slice

PER SERVING Calories 290; Total Fat 11 9 (Sat Fat 1 g, Mono Fat 6.4 g, Poly Fat 3 g);
Protein 5 s. Carb 45 g; Fiber 3 g; Cholesterol 55 mg; Sodium 290 mg
EXCELLENT SOURCE OF Magnesium, Selenium, Vitamin A
GOOD SOURCE OF Fiber, Iron, Niacin, Phosphorus, Protein, Riboflavin, Vitamin K

While we enjoyed this bread I really didn’t care for the fresh cranberries. I know they are better for you but we would have liked dried better. Still good!!

Join in for CEinMB. No pressure, but if you make something of Ellie’s just post it on the website.
This recipe is from Ellie’s Comfort Food Fix page 45.

Ilke describes herself as, “A Turkish Girl Cooking it up in the American South”. And her blog, Ilke’s Kitchen , is wonderful mix of Southern Cooking and Turkish Recipes. Recipes range from a beautiful Baklava (wish I had had the time for this one) to Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip) to Simit (Turkish yeast bread). Just so many wonderful Turkish dishes to choose from. I knew I didn’t have time for ALL of them, so I settled for just a couple.

I love oatmeal. And I love grits ( I am a southern girl, afterall). But I am always on the lookout for something new and different. And I found it with this Turkish Breakfast dish:


….described by Ilke as, “which is just a simple combination of cornmeal, butter, and cheese”. How can you go wrong with those ingredients?

Love the stringy Mozarella Cheese in this…..

    Cheesy Cornmeal (Kuymak)

      •2 cups of water
      •1/2 teaspoon salt
      •2 tablespoon unsalted butter
      •3/4 cup cornmeal
      •1 cup mozzarella cheese or Oaxaca cheese
      •1/2 teaspoon black pepper
      •1/2 teaspoon paprika to garnish

    1. Boil water, salt, black pepper and butter in a deep skillet.
    2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add cornmeal and stir frequently to break up all the clumps until it reaches a thick consistency.
    3. Add cheese and stir until all melts.
    4. Sprinkle paprika on top and serve hot.

    This was one of the most filling breakfasts ever. But then it is cooked cornmeal. Like Oatmeal and Grits it sticks to your ribs. I cooked it in a cast iron skillet (which is what I think Ilke used) and had plenty of left overs. It is hard to reheat this type of dish so I decided to try browning it in butter like left over grits. WIN!!

    I spooned the leftovers into a small cake pan and cooled. Then I sliced it into large wedges and browned quickly in butter. Perfect!


    You all know I am a big-time Tea Drinker. Earl Grey is one of my favs. I always have some loose tea in the kitchen to make a cup (or 5) of CREAM Earl Grey. I had seen a recipe before for an Earl Grey TeaCake, but had not made it yet. When I saw this one had CHOCOLATE in it I knew I had to try it.

    Earl Grey Tea Cake

      1 teabag of Earl Grey black tea
      1 cup of hot water
      3 large eggs
      1-1/2 cups of sugar
      1 stick of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
      2-1/4 cups of cake flour {no cake flour so made a sub: 1 3/4 cups AP + 1/4 cornstarch = 2 cups cake flour}
      1 tablespoon baking powder
      1/4 cup Hersey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder
      1/2 cups of chopped hazelnuts
      Zest from one orange (optional) {not a single orange in the kitchen so I used a dash of orange oil}

    1. Steep the teabag in 1 cup of hot water for 15-20 minutes.
    2. Beat eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl until all blend well.
    3. Discard the teabag. Add cooled black tea and butter, continue beating until everything is well combined.
    4. Add cake flour, baking powder and cocoa. Stir until all well blended.
    5. Stir the chopped hazelnuts. Pour the batter in a bundt pan or 9-inch cake pan.
    6. Bake at 350-degrees for 45 minutes {since I made mini-bundts mine only needed 35 minutes to bake} or until the toothpick inserted comes clean. (Do not preheat the oven.)

    This cake is not real sweet and the taste of orange from the tea and the oil is subtle but tasty. Because it wasn’t too sweet I knew it wouldn’t hurt it to drizzle with a little Nutella. It is already full of chopped hazelnuts – what’s a little more.


    Finally, a quick and tasty side dish….

    Turkish Pilaf

    Serves 4

    1 cup of basmati rice
    1/4 cup of thin broken vermicelli
    1 tablespoon butter
    1 teaspoon salt
    1-1/2 cups of water or chicken stock {I used veggie broth.}

    1. Wash the rice in a colander until the water runs clear.
    2. Melt the butter in the pan and add vermicelli. Saute vermicelli until it browns slightly.
    3. Add rice and salt, saute the rice for another 1 minute.
    4. Add water and cover the pan, turn the heat up until it starts to boil. Once the water boils, turn the heat down to low and cook another 20 minutes. The rice will be fluffy when all water is gone.

    This is great side dish and a good alternative to everyday rice. Finding this recipe made me very happy I had bought that package of Vermicelli at the local, and very small, MidEast Store last month. I KNEW there was a reason it found it’s way into my kitchen!!

    When you get a chance, go visit with with Ilke in her Southern Turkish kitchen and enjoy some of the recipes I am looking at real closely. Like the Borek.

    And if you want in on our monthly fun come join Amanda and her Secret Recipe Club.

I love it when my Twitter Buddies suggest fun things to do. Last week Phyl had a Pumpkin “Meal” lined up for us. This week for Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook we made loaves. Any kind. Any type. Just make a loaf – preferrably Fallish. I didn’t want to make Pumpkin although it is perfect for fall. I had a TWD apple cake sitting on the counter so apples were was out. I needed something different. Luckily I had a Butternut squash sitting on the counter. All I needed was a recipe. And I found one at Jamie’s Site – My Baking Addiction.

It was SOOOO good. Dark with spices, moist, and delicious. I had never made a quick bread with Butternut Squash and this was the perfect one to start with. Definitely one to repeat – often!!

    Butternut Squash Bread

1 cup butternut squash purée
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cardamom

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inch loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the butternut squash puree, eggs, oil, water and sugars until thoroughly combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom.
3. Stir the dry ingredients into the butternut squash mixture. Combine just until incorporated; do not over mix. Pour into the prepared pan.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

One of the things I got to try with this recipe was my steamer. I cannot say it is new because I have had it for years. And maybe I have used it once. But it was perfect for cooking the squash to puree it.
The squash had tons of flavor and it was such a great texture the I don’t think I would have had if I had boiled the squash.

I HAVE to make this one again. Thanks to Jamie.

Di will have the round up real soon so check her site.

The wonderful thing about quick breads is that they are QUICK!!

    Guess that’s why they are called Quick Breads, huh?

      Date-Nut Loaf

Not only was this quick it was very very tasty. But then it has walnuts and butter and cream cheese and brown sugar. I mean, really, what’s not to love!! Oh, and Dates!! And even though I am NOT a fan of dates, they were good in this loaf since the dates are cut into small pieces.

I made just 1/2 of the recipe and that was enough for 3 small loaves. They baked up perfectly (which is a new one on me!!) in just 33 minutes in the convection oven. I may use nothing but the convection oven from now on out. I did not even have to tent them with foil.

This weeks tasty treat was chosen by my friend Mary of Popsicles and Sandy Feet (don’t you love that name??!!)Thanks, Mary. I really liked this one, a lot!!

You can find the recipe on her blog or on page 228 of Dorie’s Baking From My Home To Yours.

We only have a few months left to bake from this great book, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t pleny of great tasty treats left. Buy the Book!!

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