Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tea and Crumpets Egg Salad sandwiches

So Saturdays are usually sandwich days in our house with so many things going on and housework to be done, sandwiches of some kinds are almost always on the lunch menu. I decided today would be the perfect time to try out a new egg salad recipe from my brand new Tea and Crumpets cookbook by Margaret M. Johnson. I received this book in the mail on Wednesday and have enjoyed flipping through the pages of tea ideas. Each spring I try and help host a women's tea at our church, so trying out new recipes for the tea is a fun pastime leading up to the event. I was unable to do the tea this year and really missed the fun, but perhaps I'll decide to host one at Christmas this year instead. I collect tea items throughout the year, including cookbooks, tea cups and pots, etc. and this book is a wonderful addition to my library. I hope to have time to actually sit down and read it soon as it is full of information about European tea houses and the art of having tea. Here is a link to the book which was just published in April.

One of the first recipes in the book is for Spiced Egg Sandwiches from the Clarence hotel's tea room in Ireland. This hotel is owned by Bono and The Edge of the band U2. The author explains that this salad is called "egg mayonnaise" in the UK and Ireland and is used as a filling for tea sandwiches. This version has both curry and chutney in it.

The Recipe

Spiced Egg Sandwiches

  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp Major Grey's chutney
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 12 slices whole grain or multigrain bread, crusts removed
In a medium bowl, mash the eggs. Stir in the mayonnaise, curry powder, chutney, and lemon zest until smooth. Spread the egg mayonnaise on one side of each of 6 slices of bread and cover with the remaining slices. Cut each sandwich in half diagonally into 2 triangles. Cover with a damp tea towel or paper towels until ready to serve.

Makes 12 sandwich halves.

Note: Try Pepperidge Farm 12-grain bread (from its Farmhouse bread collection) for these sandwiches.

My results:

First comment is that I LOVE curried egg salad, so the idea behind this one immediately appealed to me. That said, I would definitely increase the amount of both curry and chutney were I to make this again. I also would strongly suggest a little salt (perhaps 1/4 tsp) be added to the mix as I ended up salting the salad after spreading it on the sandwiches. Here is a photo of my ingredients:

You will notice I had 5 eggs in my bag. I always make one extra in case of problems in the peeling department and in this case it was a good thing I did as one egg literally self destructed when being peeled. So make an extra if you want to be on the safe side.

For those who don't have a good way to boil eggs and avoid that gruesome gray ring around the yolks, here's the trick: Put your eggs in the pot and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Put the pot on to boil and once it comes to a rapid boil, cover the pot and remove it from the heat. Let it sit for 15 minutes with the lid on, then rinse the eggs under cold water to stop the cooking. No more grey ringed yolks!

It usually helps to peel the eggs right away after boiling and cooling enough to handle. That tends to keep the inner membrane from adhering to the whites. I refrigerated my eggs overnight and had a devil of a time getting them to peel well, so strongly advise you to peel them while still slightly warm to avoid this.

You'll also notice that my curry powder is in a mason jar. We buy curry powder in bulk at the Asian market and then keep it in a mason jar or two in the freezer. To help keep it fresh, stash two or three bay leaves in the powder before freezing. This helps keep it fresh for a good long time.

The only other thing to notice is that I did not have fresh lemon zest to use and instead substituted dried. As a result I decided to make up the spread in the morning and allow it to meld in the fridge until lunchtime to rehydrate the peel as well as get the flavors to blend. As I mentioned, should I make this again, I would probably double the curry and the chutney as well as add salt. I also did not have any wholegrain bread on hand so used white instead and since it was just for our lunches, I didn't bother to cut off the crusts :)

Here is the completed spread right before I refrigerated it:

Now, the recipe states that it makes enough for 6 sandwiches...but unless you were to mash the egg up quite a bit more than I did (as in, smooth) and the spread it thin on the bread, I can't see this making more than 4 sandwiches at the most. As is, we made 3 sandwiches and they were still not as "filled" as I usually make them. So perhaps if I were to cut off the crusts and puree the mix, then spread it super thin...but I would say that it's better to say it makes 3 regular sandwiches than 6.

All in all it had good flavor and is worth a second shot with the additions I mentioned. My husband, brother-in-law and 10-month-old daughter seemed to enjoy it so that's always a good start. Hope you're enjoying reading along and will post some comments to let me know if you're trying any of the recipes or enjoying just reading along.

You may also notice the addition of my "Library Thing" on the sidebar of my blog. If you click on the Library Thing title, it will take you to my cookbook library where you can browse the titles on my cookbook shelf. I will be adding to it over the next few days as I get the chance to catalog my books but if you see a book there you'd like me to try a recipe from be sure and let me know. Or if there is a book that is on my shelf that you'd like to cook along with me from, give a holler. I'd love to hear from you!

Yum Yum Rice Pudding!

Sorry for the late posting on this one, but the day got away from me yesterday and I didn't get my post up. We did, however, have a wonderful dish of rice pudding for dessert last night courtesy of The Boston Cooking School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer. This cookbook is one of my "antique" collection and was published in 1943. It is the seventh edition of the cookbook and one of my favorites. Here is a link the current version of the book (which may or may not have this recipe in it!) on

This recipe is from page 518 in this edition of the cookbook and is simply titled Rice Pudding. At the end of the recipe is an alternate version which uses peaches or pears and since I happened to have thawed some of the Fredericksburg peaches that we put up last summer, I decided to follow those directions and add the peaches at the end. Here is the original recipe.

The Recipe

Rice Pudding
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 or 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
Scald milk with rice. Beat egg yolks with sugar. Add hot mixture slowly. Cook in double boiler until thick and fold in egg whites, beaten stiff. Flavor with 1/2 tsp vanilla or grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon. Or reserve egg whites, beat with 2 tbsp powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp lemon extract or vanilla and spread over pudding in baking dish: bake in moderate oven (350F) . Serves 4 to 6.

Pear or Peach
Condé . Omit egg whites. Mound on serving dish. Cook canned peach or pear halves in their own syrup (sweetened to taste) until soft and arrange around rice. Sprinkle with finely chopped ginger. Serve hot.

My results:

I decided right away to double the recipe as I had 2 cups of leftover rice to use and as I mentioned also decided to follow the directions for the Peach Condé, so I decided to use a total of three eggs, separated since I was unsure whether to use 1 or 2 as called for. Here are the assembled ingredients, minus the peaches and ginger which I didn't decide to add until after taking the photo!

Mike separated the eggs and mixed them with the sugar for me (thanks honey!) while I scalded the milk and rice. For anyone who's never scalded milk before, the best description I can give you is that scalding is complete just before the milk comes to a boil. It becomes bubbly and a little thicker around the edges of the pan. When scalding milk be sure to stir frequently so it doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan!

One thing I noticed quickly is that the recipe does not specify when/where to add the salt in the process. I decided to add it to the sugar and yolks before adding the hot liquid, but you may decide to add it to the milk while it heats. Either way, make sure to add it at some point as the salt enhances the sweet flavors of the pudding and shouldn't be omitted.

After scalding, you'll want to add the hot mixture SLOWLY to the beaten yolks and sugar. It helps to have an assistant for this and I was blessed to have my best sous chef on hand, my husband Mike :) He slowly poured the hot milk mixture into the pan while I whisked the yolk/sugar/salt mixture. This keeps the yolks from scrambling (who wants scrambled egg in their pudding!) and allows the sugar to melt throughly.

Next I set the metal bowl on top of a simmer pan of water to act as a double boiler and began slowly stirring the mixture until it thickened. This is purely a judgment call, but I stopped cooking the pudding after about 20 minutes when it seemed to be pretty thick. It was still a little soupy while hot but after cooling thickened just right. This is the point at which I added the vanilla. You'll notice in the photo of my ingredients that my vanilla looks a lot like a vodka bottle...and you'd be right! I make my own vanilla using vodka and vanilla beans. This is the best vanilla and quite a bit cheaper than the extract you can buy in the grocery. Here is the photo of the finished pudding before serving:

You'll notice the peaches that I just reheated briefly in the microwave. The recipe doesn't specify, but I chose to use candied ginger instead of fresh for the topping. This was a great addition! Here is the bowl that was all ready to be eaten:

This was a very very good pudding! Hubby liked the pudding with and without the peaches, with and without the ginger and my daughter loved the pudding as I was sure she would. I refrigerated the leftovers and it set up very well when chilled and was just like I expect a good cold rice pudding to be. I'm sure this would also be great with some grated nutmeg on top, a spoonful of nice preserves, other fruit, etc. It is a great basic rice pudding and one I hope you'll try. Enjoy and be sure to check back later this evening when I'll post today's recipe for a nice tea sandwich filling!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thai tastes really good!

So the Thai experiment went very well today. I started with making a green curry paste with fresh ingredients, but you can choose to use a bottled or canned version if you prefer. I then used some of that curry paste in a Green Curry Chicken with Eggplant dish that was a big hit with hubby and brother-in-law. Fair warning, this curry paste is HOT, although the author mentions in her side notes to the recipe that you can tame the heat by either removing the seeds from the bird chilies and/or using fewer chilies. Since we like our Thai food hot, we loved this as is, but you may want to start with a milder paste or use less of it in the final dish if you don't.

Here is the recipe for the curry paste that I began with:

The Recipe:

Green Curry Paste

  • 3 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh green chilies (about 15 bird's eye chilies)

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, coarsely chopped

  • 5 shallots, coarsely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 1 tbsp chopped galangal or fresh gingerroot

  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro roots or stems

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander

  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp shrimp or anchovy paste (optional)

  • 1. In a food processor or using a mortar and pestle, combine chilies, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, galangal, lime leaf, cilantro and water. Blend until coarsely chopped.
    2. Add coriander, cumin, pepper and shrimp paste, if using. Process until a paste forms, scraping down sides of food processor. Add extra water 1 tsp at a time, if necessary.

    Makes about 3/4 cup.

    Make ahead: Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze in small portions for up to 3 months.

    And here are the assembled ingredients:

    As I mentioned in my previous post, the three most difficult to find ingredients, the lime leaves, Thai basil (in the chicken dish) and lemongrass can usually be found either in your better grocery stores or in your local Asian market. They would also be a good source for the Thai bird chilies. I have purchased them there in the past and have quite a few stashed in my freezer which I used for this dish. For those who are unfamiliar with these chilies, they pack quite a punch for such a small package, so be extra careful when preparing them and make sure to either wear gloves or wash you hands throughly after working with them so as not to burn any sensitive portions of your anatomy :) Here is a link to a great on line source for Thai groceries. I have purchased from them in the past with great success:

    For this recipe I followed the directions pretty much to the letter, using ginger root instead of galangal as I didn't have any on hand and omitting the shrimp/anchovy paste as again, it was not on hand. I used about 25 bird chilies since they were small and the end result was VERY HOT! When used in the chicken dish though, we thought it was the perfect amount of heat for your average Thai food lover, but for the two of us (hubby and I) I might even use a little bit more... Here is a photo of the completed paste:

    To me it looked more like a well processed salsa than a paste, but worked wonderfully regardless. I did end up using a bit more water when finishing the paste to get it to puree smoothly. From this you will only use 2 tbsp in the following dish, so the rest can be refrigerated or frozen for later use. I froze mine in a ziplock bag so I can snip off as needed for future use.

    Next came the actual dish we used the paste in, Green Curry Chicken with Eggplant!

    The Recipe:

    Green Curry Chicken with Eggplant

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 2 tbsp green curry paste

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

  • 2 tbsp fish sauce

  • 1 tbsp palm or brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups diced Asian eggplant

  • 4 lime leaves

  • 1/2 cup fresh sweet Thai basil leaves

  • 1 tbsp lime juice

  • 2 tsp sliced fresh red chilies (optional)

  • 1. In a wok or saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add curry paste and stir-fry for 1 minute, or until fragrant, but be careful not to burn.
    2. Add chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
    3. Add coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, sugar, eggplant and lime leaves. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and eggplant is just tender. Remove from heat.
    4. Stir in basil and lime juice and garnish with chilies, if using.
    Makes 4-6 servings.

    Green Curry Chicken with Bok Choy:
    Omit eggplant. Add 8 halved baby bok choy (about 2 inches long) for last few minutes of cooking time.

    Again, a photo of my assembled ingredients. You will notice that those are NOT Asian eggplants. Our local grocery did not have any Asian eggplants in stock, so I went with traditional black beauties, but definitely will try the Asian variety next time can get them. I also used brown sugar rather than palm sugar since that was on hand.

    I followed the initial directions for this dish but had more eggplant than called for (about twice as much) and a little more chicken than called for (about 1.5 lbs total). I also chose, in the end, to add the remainder of the coconut milk from the can (about 1/2 cup additional) and then at the very end, prior to adding the lime juice and Thai basil leaves, mixed in a slurry of cornstarch to thicken the broth just a bit. I used about 1 tbsp of cornstarch dissolved into 2 tbsp of the left over chicken broth which I brought to a boil before removing the dish from the heat in the end. Here is a photo of the dish simmering away on my stovetop:

    I didn't think it looked very pretty when it was cooking , but adding the Thai basil at the end brightened up the color so it was indeed very pretty on the table. Here is a photo of the finished dish along with the sides I chose, steamed Jasmine rice and edamame.

    And finally of the dish in it's finished state:

    This served three hungry adults with enough left over for at least two more portions. Both hubby and brother-in-law said they loved it and hubby said the flavors were "right on". I really enjoyed the soft silkiness of the finished eggplant which takes on a kind of custardy consistency and the fresh Thai basil lent that licorice-y taste that brightens up the whole dish. All in all this was a big hit and one we will definitely do again. I hope you will try it too and let me know how it goes... Tune in to the blog tomorrow for a use for leftover rice... old fashioned rice pudding!

    New day, new recipes, new cookbook!

    Today is "Thai Day" in our house. We'll be experimenting with making our own green curry paste and then using that paste in a dish for dinner. Thai food is one of M and my favorite kinds of food and learning to cook Thai-style has been an ongoing adventure for us. I have made several Thai dishes in the past, but always use jarred or canned curry paste, so making my own will be fun. This will be a green curry when I usually use red, so another turn in the adventure. I grow lemongrass, Thai basil and have a Thai lime tree (kafir lime) growing in a pot, so the three most difficult to get ingredients aren't a problem for me, but for those of you out there without such resources, your local grocery or ethnic/Asian grocery can probably provide you with the resources you need. You can usually find fresh lemongrass in the produce section of better groceries these days and the lime leaves and basil can often be found in the frozen section of Asian groceries. Today's cookbook is the Complete Book of Thai Cooking by Linda Stephen. Here's a link to it on Amazon for those interested:

    I'll post the recipes and my results later today, but wanted to give you a head start on the book. The recipes we'll be using are on pages 205 and 207, Green Curry Paste and Green Curry Chicken with Eggplant. I'll post more later!

    Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    Last for today... Snickerdoodles

    Well, today was a big baking day...with zwieback, banana bread and finally, Snickerdoodle cookies. These are my 10 month old daughter's favorite cookies so I went on a hunt to find a recipe for them in my books. I have several recipes on my computer and there are lots on the Internet, but I had a hard time finding one in my cookbooks for some reason! Finally found one in the old standby The Joy of Cooking. If you don't have this one on your shelf, do yourself the favor of picking up a copy. It is definitely the "go to" for all your basic recipes and is full of great information on the hows and whys of cooking as well. Here's a link to a copy on Amazon if you would like your own:

    The Recipe:


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tsp cream of tartar

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease or line 2 cookie sheets. Whisk flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt until well blended. In a large bowl, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Add eggs and beat until well combined. Stir in the flour mixture. In a separate bowl, combine cinnamon and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Shape the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls, roll in the cinnamon sugar, and arrange about 2 3/4 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are light golden brown at the edges, 12 to 14 minutes. Let stand briefly, then remove to a rack to cool. Yields thirty-six 3-inch cookies.

    My Results:

    For this recipe, I did not substitute any ingredients, however I did alter directions just a little bit. For instance, I beat the butter and sugar for a full two minutes to fully incorporate. I also refrigerated the dough before baking it, partially because the butter was so soft and partially because my little E woke up right as I finished mixing the dough. So I wrapped the dough in plastic wrap and stashed it in the fridge for about an hour while I played with her, then got back to making the cookies. Here are my ingredients:

    And a photo of my dough, ready to be wrapped up for the fridge:

    Here are the balls of dough ready for the oven. I used a 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop to make them uniform and even though the recipe says it only makes about 36, I got 47 cookies out of the dough, not counting a little bit of dough shrinkage ;)

    Finally, here are the baked cookies, cooling for 5 minutes before being removed to the rack to finish cooling:

    And of course I can't resist sharing a photo of the joy on my little E's face as she eats her first bite of homemade Snickerdoodles... I call it Snickerdoodlishous!

    And that, my friends, is the end of day one of this year long journey! That last photo makes it all worth while... I hope you've enjoyed reading along with me and will give a try to some of these recipes. Tune in tomorrow for an adventure in Thailand...something from one of my Thai cookbooks!

    Banana Tea Bread

    On to our second recipe of the day... Banana Tea Bread. I have a recipe that is my favorite one that comes from an old copy of The New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook by Jean Hewitt that my mother has (it is NOT in the "New" version, copyright 1982) and so trying a new recipe is quite a change for me :) But this version is a good, solid banana bread, very basic and moist. It is also from the Pennsylvania Dutch cookbook mentioned in my previous post,

    Again, in this recipe I substituted whole wheat flour for part of the white flour (1 cup white, 3/4 cup wheat) and I chose to use butter for the "fat" called for in the recipe. I also did not measure the bananas but have found in the past that 4 large bananas are about 1 cup mashed.

    The Recipe:
    Banana Tea Bread

  • 1 3/4 cup flour

  • 1/3 cup fat

  • 3/4 tsp soda

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 1 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 cup mashed bananas

  • Sift the flour, salt, soda and cream of tartar together.

    Beat the fat until creamy and then add sugar gradually.

    Add eggs and beat well.

    Add dry ingredients alternately with crushed bananas.

    When well blended, pour batter into a greased loaf pan, 8x4x3 inches.

    Bake at 350F for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

    Cut in squares and serve cold.

    Mrs. Frank Raber, Detroit, Mich.

    So here are the ingredients I used. Note the very ripe bananas:

    I creamed the butter and sugar together for a good 2 minutes before adding the eggs. This helps the fluffiness of the batter, which is doubly important in things that are normally dense, like banana bread. Then, make sure not to overbeat the batter once all the flour and bananas are incorporated. Just beat enough to make sure it's well mixed, but don't go too long or your bread will be tough from the gluten buildup in the flour. I baked my banana bread in my Pamper Chef stonewear loaf pan which I adore. Here's a photo of the bread as I slid it into my convection oven:

    Having an extra small oven was very helpful today with all the other baking I was doing but remember when you cook on convection mode to lower the temperature by 25 degrees. So I baked this at 325F rather than the 350F mentioned in the recipe. And here is the final results:

    As I mentioned, this is a very good, dense, bread, although I'll honestly say I prefer my other recipe. This one would be great for times when I wanted a more plain bread or for those who don't like nuts in their bread. It is very good and my daughter, who LOVES bananas, loved it as well. Since she's not old enough for nuts, I may have to continue making this recipe for her at least for a while :)

    Let me know if you try the recipe and what you think of it!


    Ok, so the zwieback is now finished and we're on to the banana tea bread. Zwieback takes a good long while to make since it requires two separate rising times, so plan ahead. Most of the time is in the rising, so it's hand-off, but it will take the better part of a day to do. This recipe, as well as the Banana Tea Bread that I'll post shortly, are both from the book Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking: A Mennonite Community Cookbook by Mary Emma Showalter. Here's a link to the book on Amazon if you're interested:

    The Recipe:


  • 2 cups scalded milk

  • 1 cup shortening

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 2 eggs (optional)

  • 2 tsp sugar

  • 1 yeast cake

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 8-10 cups sifted flour

  • 4 tbsp sugar

  • Scald milk, add shortening, salt and 4 tbsp sugar.

    Crumble yeast in a small bowl, add 2 tsp sugar and 1 cup lukewarm water. Set in a warm place until spongy.

    Add yeast mixture and beaten eggs to lukewarm milk.

    Mix well and stir in flour gradually.

    Knead dough until very soft and smooth.

    Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk.

    Pinch off small balls of dough the size of a small egg.

    Place these 1 inch apart on a greased pan.

    Put a similar ball, but slightly smaller, on top of bottom ball.

    Press down with thumb.

    Let rise until double in bulk (about 1 hour).

    Bake at 400-425F for 15-20 minutes.

    Yields approximately 4 dozen.

    Mrs. J. J. Voth, North Newton, Kan.
    Mrs. Dietrich Warkentin, Mountain Lake, Minn.

    My Results:

    First off, let me say that I've never made Zwieback before, but I have purchased it in the store and this didn't come out anything like that...I think because it did not have the final "toasting" directions in the recipe. I will be slicing and slowly drying these "rolls" to make them into zwieback toasts. Recipes elsewhere direct you to slice them and then bake them in a low oven (200F) for 15 minutes or until dried out and crisp, so that is what I will do.

    I did make a couple of substitutions in ingredients. I don't use cake yeast so I substituted instant yeast instead using 2 tsp of instant yeast for the cake called for. I also used a combination of white and wheat flours since I am trying to include more whole grains in our family diet so instead of the 8-10 cups of flour called for, I ended up using 3 cups whole wheat flour and about 5 2/3 cups white flour. I say "about" because your results may vary depending on the humidity in your home, time of year, phase of the moon, what-have-you so this is an approximation.

    Here is a picture of the gathered ingredients (minus the eggs which I did decide to use at the last minute):

    And for anyone wondering what the "sponge" stage of the yeast looks like:

    Now, I scalded the milk on the stovetop and then mixed it with the shortening, sugar and salt in my handy dandy KitchenAid mixer, which I absolutely love...

    My mixer is a 5 quart capacity Artisan and it could NOT handle this amount of dough, although it did well with the dough hook until the last cup and a half of flour or so was added and it started to climb the hook. At that point I removed it from the mixer and kneaded in the remaining flour by hand. Here is a picture of the dough after it has been kneaded and is ready for it's first rest:

    And here it is at the end of that first rest period, before dividing into the individual rolls:

    Now, because it said that it makes about 4 dozen, I decided to divide the monster dough ball into quarters and bake 1 dozen on each cookie sheet instead of guessing on sizes. I also did not do the one ball on top of another as instructed because I am a bad guesser on egg size :) So I just went with 1/12 of each dough quarter and baked as is, pressing down the dough with my thumb after placing on the cookie sheet. Here they are just before going into the oven:

    And here is a photo of the final result, fresh from the oven:

    As I mentioned, I will be slicing these "rolls" and drying them in the oven for my little E to munch on. I did eat one of the rolls and they are pretty good. Taste like a light wheat bread roll with just a hint of sweetness. I think E will probably enjoy munching on them and I will enjoy the fact that they aren't full of hard to pronounce ingredients or lots of salt and sugar!

    If you decide to give this one a go, please let me know how it turns out for you! Now on to the banana bread!

    TODAY'S THE DAY! Join me for the Kick-off!

    Today's the day I kick off this year long adventure. Since I had already planned tonight's menu using a recipe from Food Network's Alton Brown (altered for the crockpot), I had a good time checking through my cookbooks for something fun to make today. I'm actually going to be making THREE recipes today, two of which are specifically for my daughter E. She LOVES Snickerdoodle cookies, so that will be one of the recipes. I had no idea how difficult it is to find a recipe for Snickerdoodles in a cookbook! I have a pretty large assortment of cookbooks, but after searching through quite a few of them only found a recipe in the old standby, The Joy of Cooking. So that's one of the recipes I'll be making today. The second recipe I'll be making is to use up some very ripe bananas I have sitting on my counter :) It's a recipe for Banana Tea Bread from a Pennsylvania Dutch recipe book I own (one of two). Also on the page with the tea bread recipe is a recipe for Zwieback, which is a kind of twice-baked sweetly flavored bread that is often used as a teething biscuit for babies, thus perfect for my little E. So today will be a baking day for me with those three recipes. I'll post the recipes, photos and results later in the day or this evening, so be sure to check back and see how it goes! If there are recipes or ideas you have for me to try out over the next year's journey, please leave me a comment and let me know, and if you decide to join me in this journey, be sure to leave your blog address so I can add you to the blogroll!