Apple Cider Spice Bread


 It’s here in the flesh! My mom’s cookbook: Baking with Whole Grains. This is a good one, folks. I’m not biased at all, of course. Nope, not at all.

 It was an exciting day when the first box arrived. It was several years in the making and what fun to see it all finished.

 We got to do a lot of taste testing along the way and it was all delicious.

The other day I tried a recipe that I hadn’t tasted before. We weren’t disappointed.

 Perfect for fall and with soup. Won’t you make this for dinner tonight? Pretty please? And then love it and buy the book. You know you want to.

My mom knows a lot about wheat. If you are confused about whole grains, she’ll help you out. I promise. There are tips and tricks for baking everything from yeast breads to muffins. And even a section on what to do with your failures. I love that part.

PS. $20 for a signed copy. You may pick them up at my house or I can mail. Shipping charges apply.
 Apple Cider Spice Bread

From Baking with Whole Grains

2 eggs

1/2 cup apple cider

1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 t vanilla extract

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup oil

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup whole wheat bread flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1 t cinnamon

1/2 t nutmeg

Scant 1/2 t salt

1/3 cup chopped golden raisins (I used regular)

1 cup grated apple

1 t grated orange zest

Whisk the eggs. Add the cider, yogurt, vanilla, brown sugar, and oil. Whisk well and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking  soda, spices, and salt. Mix and then add raisins, apple, and orange zest.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently stir, blending the dry ingredients up from the bottom. Don’t over mix. A few lumps are fine. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan.

Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

Yield: 1 9×5 loaf

Mashed Potato Pancakes

I thought I didn’t like mashed potato pancakes. Turns out I was doing it wrong. The egg in the batter is important. And by all means, please fry them in lard. Mmmmmm.   

Mashed Potato Pancakes

2-3 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1 large egg

Handful of grated cheese


Flour (whole wheat, white, or a combo)

Mix everything together, using enough flour to make a thick batter. It will depend how much milk you used in your mashed potatoes. Fry in 1/8-1/4 inch hot lard. Be sure to let them brown well on both sides. Don’t mess with them prematurely or you’ll break the seal of good taste! Serve hot with sour cream or ketchup. 

Yield: about a dozen 3-inch cakes

At this year’s soirée, my aunt served us the most wonderful soup. It was smooth and warm, flavors perfectly balanced. I don’t think my version beats hers, but this is what I came up with using what I already had on hand.  I really wished for more cilantro but the tiny volunteers in the garden only gave me six little leaves. Parsley had to do. 

 Only one child gagged, so I consider that a win. Baby even begged for more spoonfuls!  

 Winter Squash Soup with Corn Relish

Adapted from here

2 T olive oil

1/2 of a small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 t minced cilantro 

4 cups cooked butternut squash 

1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk

2-3 cups water 

1 1/2 t salt

Pinch red pepper flakes 

Corn relish, below

Heat oil in pot. Add onion and sauté for two minutes. Add garlic and stir and sauté another minute or so. Add remaining ingredients, except for corn relish, and cook until corn is soft. Purée with stick blender until smooth, adding more water if you want a thinner soup. Serve warm with corn relish sprinkled on top.

Serves: 4-6

Corn Relish

1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

1 T minced parsley

1 T lime juice

1 T olive oil 

1/4 t salt

Dash black pepper 

Mix all together and serve with soup. 

Apple Raspberry Pie

I made a pie recently. 

It was wonderful.  

 I never thought to combine apples and raspberries before but when you pick a handful of them, and decide you don’t feel like eating them on the spot, you throw them in the pie you happen to be baking. And if it ends up being a winning combination, you decide to tell people about it.   

Apple Raspberry Pie

(If you skip the raspberries, this is my normal apple pie recipe.)

5 cups peeled, sliced apples (a variety of sweet and tart is best)

3/4 cup sugar

2 T cornstarch

1/2 t cinnamon

Splash of water or cider

3/4 cup red raspberries

1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked

About 1/2 cup pie crumbs 

Cook the apples with the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and liquid of choice until just beginning to soften and the liquid is clear and thick.  Pour into prepared pie crust, sprinkle with raspberries and crumbs, and bake at 425 for 12 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 30 or so minutes or until good and bubbly and crust is golden brown. Serve warm or cool with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired. 

Tomatoes in Cream

Oh dear me. This is my new favorite breakfast. It can simmer on the stove while I prepare everyone else’s eggs and then they all run off to their respective duties while I sit and enjoy these molten juices.   

The tomatoes really do melt in your mouth. The way they slump in the cream. Ooohhhh. I want another pan of them and I am full.   

Tomatoes in Cream

Adapted from my cousin Jennifer’s blog

Roma tomatoes, cored and halved

1-2 t butter per tomato

1-2 T heavy cream per tomato

Salt and pepper

Melt butter in a skillet. Place tomatoes cut side down in the butter. Sprinkle with salt and poke the backs with a knife. Simmer 5 minutes and then flip them. Continue simmering and flipping at 5 minute intervals until tomatoes are pretty much falling apart, about 20 minutes total. Pour in the cream, sprinkle with pepper, and heat through. Serve hot with buttered toast. 

3 tomatoes and two pieces of toast fills my belly right up. 

Tomato Platter


This dish will forever remind me of grandma’s house in the summer time. One of my favorite food memories. Juicy summer tomatoes are difficult to beat, especially with a sprinkling of sugar!

Tomato Platter

Thickly sliced tomatoes

Minced celery

Minced onion


Cider vinegar

Arrange tomatoes on a platter or plate. Sprinkle with a smattering or celery and onion.

Mix sugar with enough vinegar to make it just so runny enough to drizzle. Drizzle over veggies. Serve.

Well. If you need dessert in 5 minutes and you happen to have cream, bananas, and apricot preserves, you really ought to try this.   

A sprinkling of granola would be spectacular, too.  As is, it’s a deliciously light summer dessert.  

I wish I could give you the apricot preserve recipe, too, but I forget what I did.   

Bananas with Spiced Cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 t cream cheese

1/2 t vanilla

1 T cinnamon sugar

1/4-1/2 cup apricot preserves

5 bananas

Place the cream cheese in a large bowl. Drip in a few drops of cream and work it around with a spoon. Repeat this several times until the cream cheese is thin enough that it will disperse evenly in the whipping cream when added. Add the remaining cream and beat a bit. Add the vanilla and cinnamon sugar and beat hard until medium-stiff peaks form. 

In serving bowls, slice bananas. Top with cream and apricot preserves. Serve immediately. 

Serves: 10


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