Tag Archives: quick bread

Sweet Potato Bread

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASweet Potato Bread

Some people like to collect stamps, some people like to collect trading cards.  Me?  I like to collect different types of pantry ingredients.  For example, I don’t have just one or two bottles of vinegar in my cupboard, I have well over a dozen different varieties of vinegar.   When it comes to throwing together a quick or an exotic meal, I have all my bases covered.  My pantry is chock full of wide range of ingredients that would make most discerning home cook squeal with delight.  However, I make it a point to avoid purchasing pre-made mixes or boxed dinners.  Finding a box of “Hamburger Helper” sitting in my cupboard is as likely as me becoming the next new swimsuit model for Sports Illustrated.  Just not happening…

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One of the random ingredients sitting on the pantry shelf was a little can of organic sweet potato puree.  I have to tell you that when I bought it puree, I had no idea what I was going to do with it.  I’ve never used canned sweet potato puree before, so I simply wanted to taste it and see how it compared to sweet potato puree made from scratch.

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I was surprised to find that the canned sweet potato puree tasted really good.  The sweet potato puree was creamy, sweet and is reminiscent of cooked pumpkin.  It also made a decent substitute for canned pumpkin and it saved me about an hours worth of time if I decided to prepare it myself.  With all that said, I still stand behind my opinion that fresh ingredients always tastes better than canned.  However, there is no shame in using a good quality canned ingredients.  I just did, and I was pleased with the results.

My easy to make Sweet Potato Bread is light, moist and has the wonderful flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.  It’s great sliced for a quick breakfast on the go or as a snack with a warm cup of tea.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 15 ounce can sweet potato puree
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly grease two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch baking pans.  In a medium sized mixing bowl add the sweet potato puree, canola oil, eggs, water and vanilla.  Mix well.  In a separate large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Divide mixture between the two baking pans.  Bake in oven for about 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on wire racks, slice and serve.  Makes two loaves.

Blueberry Bread

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABlueberry Bread

Yesterday morning while Bruce was opening the mail he noticed that our natural gas bill was unusually low as compared to years past.  He was concerned, shouted out to me and asked me what I thought of it.  Well, the answer was easy.  Our kitchen stove uses natural gas and I have hardly cooked anything for the family over the course of the past month or two.  If it was not for fast food, roast Costco chicken, or frozen dinners the members of my family would have starved to death…

I’ve been working long hours lately and I’ve rarely spent time in my kitchen.  My refrigerator, coffee maker and microwave have been the only appliances that have been put to use.  My stove, ovens and stand mixer have been idle and collecting dust.  My camera has remained in the closet and has not been touched.  By the time I get home in the evenings all I want to do is sit on my couch in complete peace and quiet.  I stopped reading my magazines, books and favorite food blogs.  I’ve hardly checked Facebook and ignored my personal emails.  Feral Kitchen has been mothballed and a good home cooked meal has been nonexistent in our home.  On the bright side, I know that these long hours are temporary and life will be back to normal before I know it.  I look forward to getting back into the kitchen.  Cooking makes me happy.

Well, all things considered, today is a brand new day.  Today is different.  Today, I have a day off!

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This morning while out shopping for groceries for the week, I spied two pounds of fresh picked blueberries.  They were just gorgeous!  Bright blue, fat and juicy.  Without hesitation, they went straight into my shopping basket.  I knew what I wanted to do with them.  I wanted to make some blueberry bread for breakfast and maybe even share some with coworkers during the busy work week.  The rest will be packed in my lunch and the others will be made into a tangy blueberry ginger vinaigrette.  If the vinaigrette turns out the way I want it to taste, I will be sure to share the recipe with you sometime soon.

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I love blueberries!  I love the flavor and color.  What’s funny about blueberries is that I refused to eat them as a child.  How weird is that?  I find it so interesting how my palate has changed as I’ve aged.  I’m curious, has that happened to you too?

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My blueberry bread is packed with fresh plump blueberries and is not too sweet.  A slice or two is great with a cup of coffee or tea.  Any leftover loaves are perfect for sharing with friends and family or as a hostess gift.  Makes 3 delicious loaves.  It’s good to be back.  See you again soon!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp lemon extract
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, canola oil, and lemon extract.  Add blueberries to the wet ingredients.  Now add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moist and lumpy.  Don’t over mix.  Add mixture to 3 greased 4 x 8 loaf pans.  Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on wire racks before slicing.  Makes 3 fabulous loaves!

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

When Bruce came home from work last week I saw him walking up the stairs from the garage with a large bright orange pumpkin in his arms.  He received it as a gift from a friend who has a large vegetable garden at her home.  I love pumpkin but the only time I ever bake or use pumpkin in a recipe it is always with the stuff that comes out of a can.  Shocking huh?  So, obviously, the only thing that came to mind was to carve it and place it on the front porch for Halloween.  Halloween was nearly a month away so I put it on my kitchen counter and there it sat…

Every time that I looked at that pumpkin, I would wonder if it would even make it until the end of October.  And then it happened…. I received an email update from Barbara Bamber from Just A Smidgen with a recipe on how to roast and puree a pumpkin.  Thanks to Barbara, I got a big chunk of my kitchen counter back and I even learned a new kitchen trick. Click here to get her beautifully detailed step by step instructions on how to do it. And as a bonus I made a couple of delicious loaves of Pumpkin Cranberry Bread with my puree!

This is the pumpkin that hogged all the real estate on my kitchen counter.  It would have carved nicely but I think it made an even better puree :D.

Making pumpkin puree is easy.  All I had to do was to cut the top off, scoop out the seeds and slice it in large pieces.  I put the pumpkin chunks on a baking sheet, covered it tightly with foil and baked it at 350 degrees for about an hour or until fork tender.  Once cool enough to handle, I peeled the skin off and tossed the pumpkin pieces in the food processor and pulsed it until well blended.  I measured the puree and popped what I did not need into the freezer for use at a later date.  The plan is to make a pie or two for Thanksgiving with the leftover puree.  Canned pumpkin is now officially banned from my kitchen!

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread…. Moist and flavorful and made with sweet dried cranberries that I purchased from my last trip to the Oregon coast.  I made two loaves and I thought I’d share one with my coworkers at the office.  I sliced it up, put it in the break room and it was not long until it was gone.  Thank you Barbara for the easy pumpkin puree lesson!  Enjoy!  Tessa

Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups dried cranberries

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9″ by 5″ baking pans.  In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.  In another bowl mix together the white sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, eggs and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until moistened.  Fold in the cranberries and add mixture to the prepared baking pans.  Bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 – 10 minutes.  Carefully, remove loaves from pans and place on baking racks until cool.  Makes 2 delicious loaves!

Lime Zucchini Pineapple Bread

Lime Zucchini Pineapple Bread

Over 25 years ago I created a quick bread called Lemon Zucchini Pineapple Bread.  I posted the bread recipe on my website about a year ago and it was a real hit.  Since limes are some of my favorite citrus fruits, I naturally thought it would be a great idea to substitute the lemon flavor with the lime.

With zucchinis growing like crazy in my little garden, I thought I would give my new quick bread idea a try…  I grabbed my garden basket, a sharp knife and my camera and headed out to the garden.  While picking my zucchinis I had to stop and check out the other plants in the vicinity.

Fresh picked zucchini.

Grape leaf.  I just love the shape, color and its jagged edges.

Some of the first tomatoes of the year.  These are the Sun Gold variety.  Whenever I weed or water my garden I stop by and pop a few of these juicy tomatoes in my mouth.  I also like to pick a handful for my lunch or for a snack while I am working at my desk.

Part of my little garden.  I try to utilize as much space as possible.  Lemon cucumbers share the same pot as edible nasturtiums.  Winter squash, yellow zucchini and green zucchini share a small 3 by 8 foot planting strip.  There’s even mammoth sunflowers growing behind them in the strip.  No space in my little garden goes underutilized.  Plants have to learn to share space if they want to exist in my garden.  I make it a point rotate my crops from year to year to ensure good soil health.  Rotating crops means I will not put plants in the same place as they were planted last year.  Zucchini squash might get planted where tomatoes used to reside the prior year and vice versa.

Fresh home grown zucchini ready to be picked.  Later on that afternoon this zucchini ended up in my Lime Zucchini Pineapple Bread.  Adding the fresh squeezed lime juice, brightly flavored lime zest and sweet crushed pineapple makes a delicious loaf of zucchini bread.  It’s light, moist and perfect for a quick breakfast or with a cup of coffee on break.

To prove that my recipe was a keeper, I had to test my new bread recipe on Bruce without telling him what was in it…  First of all, the man claims to hate zucchini.  He would not try it in a million years if I told him that there was zucchini in it.  Unknown to him, I slip zucchini in many of the dishes that I prepare for him.  Okay… I guess what he does not know won’t hurt him.  I look at it this way.  I’m doing him a huge favor.  He’s eating his veggies without really knowing it.

After I pulled the loaves out of the oven and let them cool, I walked downstairs with a huge grin and popped a piece of the Lime Zucchini Pineapple Bread in his mouth as he relaxed on the couch.  He looked back at me and told me that it tasted good.  I then happily confessed to him that there was zucchini in it… Makes 2 fabulous loaves.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple drained well
  • 2 cups zucchini grated
  • 1 Tbs lime zest
  • 1 Tbs lime juice

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  Grab 2- 4″ X 8″ baking pans and grease well.  In a medium sized bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, canola oil, pineapple, zucchini, lime juice and lime zest.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened.  Do not over mix.  This will look like a thick cake batter, and that is okay, it’s supposed to be that way.  Add the mixture to the two baking pans and bake for 1 hour or until done.  Cool on wire racks then remove loaves from pans.  Slice and serve!

Pear Bread

Pear Bread

I cherish my weekends.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love sipping coffee, reading the paper, and doing whatever the heck I want.  In my opinion, weekends are way too short.  I never seem to finish all the things that I set out to do.  Well, early this morning I decided to make a loaf of Pear Bread to enjoy with my cup of coffee.  My Pear Bread is made with my home made Pear Sauce that I made a couple of days ago.  This bread is easy to make, has a light texture with a hint of lemon and a sweet pear flavor.  If you don’t have pear sauce, don’t despair!  Use some good quality applesauce instead.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. baking sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. pear sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  Grab a 4″ X 8″ baking pan and grease well with non stick cooking spray.  In a medium sized bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the pear sauce, eggs, oil, and lemon zest.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened.  Do not over mix.  Add the mixture to the baking pan and bake for 1 hour or until done.  Cool on a wire rack then remove the loaf from the pan.  Makes one fabulous loaf.