Tag Archives: cinnamon

Sweet and Spicy Pecans

Why hello easy, delicious, make-ahead appetizer!  You’re the perfect crunch that’s not quite sweet, not quite savory and yet completely addictive.  I think I love you.

yum1

Another recipe from the Holiday Appetizer Buffet in Vegan Holiday Kitchen, these pecans were coveted by party guests at this year’s New Year’s Eve party.  Holiday parties are super fun, but happen when you’re most busy and stressed.  This nice little appetizer is the first guest to invite.  🙂

ingredients

  • 1/3 cup agave or maple syrup (I used maple!)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 cups pecan halves

Preheat oven to 300F.

Combine the maple syrup with cinnamon, chili powder, ginger, nutmeg and salt.

combine maple with spices

Stir in the pecans to coat them evenly.  (Ack!  What possessed me to think stirring with my whisk was a good idea?!  The pecans got all caught in there….Just use a spoon.  Really.)

add pecans

Spread coated pecans in a 9×9, aluminum foil-lined baking pan, or an aluminum pan if you have one.

spread in aluminum pan

Bake for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes, until pecans are nicely glazed and toasted.  (This is a departure from the original recipe which says to heat oven to 250F and bake for 20 minutes, stirring after 10.  My location is considered high altitude, and the original temp and time didn’t result in a crunchy glaze for me.)

Let cool and break apart any clumps.  Serve in a pretty dish.

yum2

I wasn’t sure I liked the ginger in these at first–I thought it was a bit too floral.  However, something about the spice combo makes these super addictive.  If you have any leftover after the party, store in an air-tight container and then count out how many you plan to eat as a snack.  Reseal the container.  If you don’t follow this advice, you may end up eating all that are left.  Not that I’d know. 😉

These would be super-delish garnishing a spring spinach and strawberry salad.  Yummmmmm!

Leave a comment

Filed under appetizer, Holiday foods, recipe, vegan, Vegetarian

Peach Pie Filling (to make now and freeze for later!)

I have wonderful friends who pack peaches for an organic grower here in the Valley.  The grower comps them boxes of “thirds”–peaches with bird damage, split pits, bruised, etc.  Perhaps not beautiful from every angle, but still delicious and perfect for cooking.  Anyway, my friends had more boxes than they could deal with and gave three boxes to me!  Score!  Have a look at my bounty:

big peach

lots of peachesI decided I could make lots of peachy things (including daiquiris!), and decided to start with some pie filling.  Won’t a freshly-baked peach pie be spectacular on a snowy day?!  I tackled the peeling and pitting first.  Peeling is easier when peaches are dropped into boiling water for a minute or two and then placed into cold water.  The skins tend to slip right off.  Some people score a small x  into the skin of each peach before boiling to help the process, but I’m too lazy to do that and have never had trouble with just the boiling water-cold water thang.

After peaches are peeled, assemble ingredients.  Here’s what’s needed for each future peach pie; recipe from The Prairie Homestead Blog:

ingredients pie filling

  • 5 cups peeled, sliced peaches
  • 3 Tablespoons arrowroot powder OR cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (or more to taste) sugar or other granulated natural sweetener
  • 2 Tablespoons pure lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt

Mix everything thoroughly in a bowl.

combine all in bowl

Pour into labelled freezer bags and voila!  Freeze until you need them.

place in freezer bag and label

When you’re ready, defrost the frozen filling, place in a crust and bake 25 minutes at 375F.  Or make a cobbler!  Or a crisp!  Or defrost, heat and serve over ice cream!  Or bake into cinnamon rolls!  Oh, your house is gonna smell good this winter, and your people will be so happy you froze these yummy peaches for them!  I just love baking for others.  How ’bout YOU?

2 Comments

Filed under Canning and preserving, comfort food, dessert, food gifts, recipe

Apple Pie Filling (To make now and freeze for later!)

When I was little, my Mom was the queen of Thanksgiving dinner.  Turkey and all the fixin’s, often other game meats as well, and pies of course.  Mincemeat for Dad, pumpkin, and apple.  After our fall trips to Wisconsin for apples and cheese, she’d organize my sister and I along with herself into a pie-building assembly line to make a jillion-jillion apple pies to put in the freezer, crust and all, ready to bake.  At least two of these were thawed and baked for Thanksgiving dinner.  I still make apple pies in the fall and winter, and always for Thanksgiving. The pie tradition continues into the day after Thanksgiving–one MUST have pie for breakfast that day!  Why am I blogging about Thanksgiving in August?  A free box of apples landing in my kitchen this week, that’s why.  🙂

Our friend, the winemaker at Reeder Mesa Winery, has summer apple trees–the kind that get ripe at the end of July.  These apples are green and tart and perfect for pie.  He called the other day and asked if we’d like a box….well, of course!  However, July and August are usually not my choice for pie baking, so why not make the filling now and bake when I crave fresh hot, spiced apple wonderfulness this fall?!  Of course, I couldn’t resist baking one, for blogging purposes–the last bag of filling just happened to fall right into a crust!  If you’re more of an apple crisp sort of person, this filling is perfect for that as well.  Or maybe use it inside some cinnamon rolls?  Mmmmmm!

yum1

I found this recipe on line and adjusted the spices a bit.  Here’s what you’ll need to make filling for one eight-inch pie.  I made my filling in one-pie batches, but if it works better for you to do one giant batch and divide it out, do that.  I found I memorized the recipe, which made it easy, and liked that the peeling and slicing didn’t need to happen all at once.

ingredients

  • 8-9 small to medium apples
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice 
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom

Peel, core and quarter the apples.  Place them in a bowl that has water and a splash of lemon juice to help stop browning.

peel and quarter

Thinly slice the apples, but don’t worry if they’re not perfectly the same.  The pie or crisp you make from this filling will be so yummy, no one will be measuring your pieces.  Just keep them close enough to cook evenly.  Add the rest of the ingredients.

slice and add sugar etc

Stir until well combined.

mix

Place in a freezer ziploc, label and freeze up to 3 months.

bag label freeze

To bake a pie later, thaw the filling, preheat oven to 375F, and prepare a crust.  I’m a huge fan of those rolled, ready to use crusts.  Place one in the bottom of the pie pan, and trim excess.  Add your super-yummy filling, mounding it a bit in the center.

thaw place in crust

Place the top crust, trim excess, fold it under the bottom crust, and crimp it closed with your fingers making it all pretty, or use a fork to crimp the edges down.  Do it however your Mom did; it will feel just right that way.  Cut vents in the top–again, use Mom’s pattern.  Brush the top and edges with a bit of milk–dairy or non-dairy–and sprinkle with sugar.  Isn’t that pretty?

add top crust

Bake 55-60 minutes; until the vents ooze with bubbling yummy sauce.

bake

Let it cool to let the yummy sauce firm up, or cut it warm and have a delicious ooze perfect with ice cream.  Add a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream if you like.  Oh.  Yum.

yum2

Yup, just like Mom used to make.  What’s your favorite pie?

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under breakfast, Canning and preserving, comfort food, dairy-free, dessert, food gifts, Food memories, Holiday foods, recipe, Vegetarian

Celine’s Spiced Pecans

These pecans are a holiday staple in my family.  After Mom and Dad moved to New Mexico, they met a pecan grower in the area around Deming.  A bag of shelled pecans could be expected to arrive here just after Thanksgiving, and then just before Christmas, I’d get a call from Mom asking if I’d made “The Pecans” yet.  Mom served these at every Christmas open house, and shared the recipe with lots of people.  She had a cute story of one friend who loved them, but had decided to never make them again because they were too tedious and time-consuming to make.  This baffled Mom, so she asked why.  The friend had dipped each individual pecan in egg white and then hand-coated the dipped pecan in the cinnamon sugar mix!  I can still hear Mom’s “Ha!” after sharing that story.  🙂 

Anyway, this week I made “The Pecans” because my sister wanted a bread pudding recipe, and I always use them in that recipe.  Look how cute they look in one of my new little birdie bowls!

Beware, these can be addictive….and you really don’t need to dip and coat the pecans individually!

  • 1 egg white + 1 tsp water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 pound shelled pecan halves

Preheat oven to 300F.  Line a jelly roll pan (baking sheet with sides) with parchment paper or a silicon baking liner.

Place cinnamon, sugar, and salt in a gallon-sized ziploc bag.  Seal and shake/swirl to mix.

Place egg white and water in a large bowl.  Beat until frothy.

Add pecans to the bowl and stir to coat.

Place coated pecans in the ziploc with the cinnamon mixture.  Shake/swirl to coat pecans evenly.

Pour onto prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes; give ’em a good stir after 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and stir again.  Cool in the pan.  Be careful if you decide to sample before they’re completely cool….not that I do this.  Well, maybe I ALWAYS do this.

 

Crispy, crunchy, spicy, a little sweet with a hint of saltiness, “The Pecans” are a perfect holiday buffet sort of yummy, a lovely addition to a platter of cookies, and are also perfect for gifting. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

slideshow

1 Comment

Filed under dessert, food gifts, Food memories, Holiday foods, recipe

Perfect Bread Pudding

I have to thank my sister for this post.  (Thanks Sissy!)  This week, she texted me for a bread pudding recipe.  I hadn’t made this in ages, but thought she’d enjoy the recipe with pictures, ala Somethin’ Yummy, rather than an emailed recipe.  So happy she asked, because now I have a whole muffin tin full of perfectly portioned bread puddings that filled the house with the yummy aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.

I had everything I needed:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 cups 1/2″ day-old bread cubes
  • 1 cup chopped/crumbled spiced pecans (Mom’s recipe–to be blogged soon!) or pralines

Wisk eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla together.

Wisk in cream and milk.

Fold in bread cubes and pecans.

Tap floating bread cubes with a spoon to submerge them as much as possible into the custard.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Generously butter the 12 wells of a muffin tin with 1 TBSP butter.

Spoon bread and custard evenly into the 12 wells.

Bake for 30-35 minutes; until the centers are firm.

Serve with a spoonful or two or three of melted vanilla ice cream.  If you want to be all fancy, call this melted ice cream Creme Anglaise.  (They are essentially the same thing!)  The tops are crisp, the centers creamy and soft and yummy, with a lovely pecan crunch.

Michael and I enjoyed the fresh, slightly tart flavor of red raspberries with the yummy just-sweet-enough, cinnamon-y bread pudding.  I’m also loving the perfect portions created using the muffin tin; just enough to have that comfort food pampering, not enough to sabotage the efforts to eat more healthily.

I think just a bit of butterscotch or caramel sauce would also be yummy…or a scoop of ice cream….or strawberries….or with a late harvest riesling….or maybe just a quick zap in the microwave later for a midnight snack!  Hope you enjoy these, Sonia–did you notice Aunt Katrine’s plates?!  ❤

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

slideshow

4 Comments

Filed under comfort food, dessert

Cinnamon-Swirl Banana Bread

I confess.  I am an eater of green bananas.  Not so green that they won’t peel, but just at that stage where they are still firm and almost crisp.  I will not eat them when they start getting spots.  I do not like anything banana flavored, except banana bread and banana muffins.  I especially dislike banana runts.  Yes, they are cute; looking like tiny bananas and all, but….blech.  Mr17 LOVES banana runts….I just don’t get it.  😉

I guess I’m picky where bananas are concerned, but I love, love, love this banana bread.  It’s what spotted bananas dream of becoming.  Just look at the sparkly sweet and spicy crust, the bands of cinnamon and sugar running through it….imagine that warm, fresh-from-the-oven banana bread smell, but even better because of the cinnamon….

I made a double batch the other day, because of the number of spotted nanners I had.  These ingredients are easily cut in half, as they appear in The Better Homes and Garden Cookbook under “Banana Nut Bread.”

Makes 2 loaves:

  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups mashed ripe banana
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (pecans are yummy, too!)

For the cinnamon sugar topping and swirl:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.  Liberally grease 2 9x5x3-inch loaf pans.

Cream together butter and sugar.

Add eggs and beat well.

Sift together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt); add to creamed mixture,

alternately with banana. Blending well after each addition.

Stir in nuts.

Mix reserved sugar and cinnamon.

Pour half the batter into prepared loaf pans, top with half the cinnamon mixture.

Pour in the rest of the batter, spreading over the top of the cinnamon layer.

Top each pan with the remaining cinnamon mixture.

Use a knife to swirl through each loaf.

Bake 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.  Remove from pans and cool on racks.

Here’s where the recipe says to wrap and store overnight.  Yeah.  That’d probably be best.  This banana bread cuts better when fully cooled or even chilled.  But who can wait when your kitchen smells so gosh darn yummy?!  Not me.  I had to have a slice warm from the oven with butter melted in to it. 

If you look closely, you’ll see the cinnamon swirl  It’s much more defined, you guessed it, when you slice AFTER cooling. 

I dare you to resist the tempting aroma and wait.  I double-dog dare you!  Don’t you think this banana bread would be perfect for breakfast? Or dessert?  Or to make as a gift for your BFF?  (Especially when you make two loaves–one for her, one for you!)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

slideshow

 

Leave a comment

Filed under breakfast, comfort food, dessert, food gifts, recipe