Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella

My Aunt Johnnie brought this Artichoke and Tomato Panzanella salad over to one of our family dinners and we all loved it! I had never tried Panzanella salad before but had been curious about it for a while now. I thought that the bread would get soggy and yucky and that didn’t appeal to me at all. The bread in this salad was delicious and even though it absorbed some of the flavors it still stayed crisp arround the edges. The bread with the fresh tomatoes, artichokes and olives was wonderful! Aunt Johnnie adapted the recipe from one of Giada De Laurentis’.

The ingredients are:

  • 3 cups 1-1/2 inch-cubed Ciabatta bread
  • 2 cans artichoke hearts in water (it looks like halves or quarters)
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 3 large red tomatoes, cut into wedges (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup pitted black olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup manzanilla olives, halved
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (about 1 bunch)
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  1. Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the bread until golden brown at the edges, about 6 minutes total, turning every 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bread from the grill and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives and basil to the bowl and toss to combine. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, white wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

Breakfast Buns

I was looking for something to make for breakfast when I came across this recipe in an old Taste of Home magazine. This is an old-fashioned recipe said to be more than 70 years old. These Breakfast Buns are similar to a scone and are very good! Even the kids and husband who complained at first that there were raisins in them, loved them. I served them warm with butter.

The ingredients are:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 Tablespoons cold butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raisins (I only used a 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar and baking powder; cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Beat eggs, milk and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Add raisins. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Combine the cinnamon and remaining sugar; sprinkle over buns.
  3. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown. Serve warm.

Yield: 16 servings.

Banana Crumb Muffins

 

Oh My Goodness, was my first thought when I bit into one of these Banana Crumb Muffins. These are so delicious, was my second thought. If you are a fan of banana muffins, bread, or just bananas in general then this is a must try recipe for you! These muffins are moist with the perfect amount of banana flavor and the crumb topping just puts them over the top. I found the recipe in my Taste of Home 30-Minute Cookbook. These muffins are definitely going on to my favorite muffins list!

The ingredients are:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

TOPPING:

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon cold butter
  1. In a large bowl, combine the first four ingredients.
  2. Combine bananas, egg, sugar and butter; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.
  3. Combine the first three topping ingredients; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over muffins.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until muffins test done (mine only took 18 minutes). Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Yield: about 1 dozen

Morning Glory Muffins

I have seen so many recipes for Morning Glory Muffins over the years and I have always wanted to try to make them. I liked the idea of these muffins being packed with so many good for you ingredients like carrot, apple, and raisins. I’m so glad that I finally did because we really liked these muffins! I don’t know if the kids realized that they were getting fruit and veggies in their muffin. I would definitely make these again. The recipe came from my Taste of Home 30-Minute Cookbook.

The ingredients are:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium tart apple, peeled and shredded
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir in carrots, raisins, coconut and pecans.
  2.  Combine eggs, oil, apple and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  3. Spoon into greased or paper-lined muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until muffins test done.

Yield: about 1-1/2 dozen

Jellied Biscuits

  These cute Jellied Biscuits are what we had with our breakfast this morning. We all loved them! They would make the perfect addition to any breakfast or brunch. We spread a little butter on the tops and they were perfect. Tender in the center with a slight outer crunch. The jelly gives them the perfect hint of sweetness. Yumm! The recipe is out of my cookbook Taste of Home 30-Minute Cookbook. If you don’t have any Taste of home cookbooks I would go get some. I have gotten so many great recipes out of their books. They are all easy, down home recipes. The ingredients are:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup jelly
  1. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cream of tartar. Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk; stir just until moistened.
  2. Drop by rounded Tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet. Make an indention in center of each biscuit; fill each with about 1 teaspoon jelly.
  3. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned.

Yield: about 1 dozen

Tropical Muffins

 

 

The runner-up in our muffin contest this morning were these Tropical Muffins! The only reason they got runner-up and didn’t win was because my daughter doesn’t like nuts. Both my husband and I thought that both these and the Poppy Seed Pound Cake muffins were equally as good. These Tropical Muffins were so moist and the combination of the pineapple, coconut, and the rum extract really gave these muffins the tropical flare that the name implies. I got the recipe out of my cookbook Taste of Home’s Contest Winning Annual Recipes 2006 The ingredients are:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons rum extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  1. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg, sour cream and extract; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in the pineapple, coconut and pecans.
  2. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 375 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes removing from pan to a wire rack.

Yield: about 1 dozen.

 

Poppy Seed Pound Cake Muffins

 

I thought it would be fun to throw our very own muffin contest this morning! So I chose 3 new, never tried before recipes for muffins and we all voted on which one we liked the best. Both kids thought that these Poppy Seed Pound Cake Muffins were the best! My husband and I couldn’t decide between these and the Tropical Muffins ( I’ll post that recipe next). One thing was for sure ,we were all in agreement that these poppy-seed muffins were delicious! They are moist with the perfect amount of sweet and vanilla taste. They would make the perfect addition to any breakfast or brunch. I’ll spare everyone the third muffin recipe that no one voted for. I got the recipe for these muffins in my cookbook Taste of Home 30-Minute Cookbook.

The ingredients for Poppy Seed Pound Cake Muffins are:

  • 2 cups all-purpose
  • 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) plain yogurt, (I used greek yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Combine flour, poppy seeds, salt and baking soda; set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add yogurt and vanilla; mix well. Stir in flour mixture just until moistened.
  3. Spoon into greased or paper-lined muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until muffins test done. (It took me about 18 minutes).
  4. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Yield: 1 dozen

 

Apricot Scones

Well I have to say, this was my very first attempt at making scones. I have been wanting to make some for a long time now, I don’t know why I haven’t. I have always liked them, they make the perfect breakfast/brunch addition. The texture is like a biscuit, the flavor like a muffin. The apricot flavor really showed through in this recipe (if you are not a fan of apricot this is not the recipe for you).

The family really liked them. My son took his first bite and said Mmmmmmm! Now that I have found that they are not hard to make I will be trying other scone recipes, I have some for lemon, strawberry, and oatmeal. I think the only thing I will do differently next time is drizzle a little icing over the top. That would put them over the top and make them even prettier!

I got the recipe out of the cookbook Taste of Homes Contest Winning Annual Recipes 2006. The ingredients are:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots

Filling:

  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon quick-cooking oats
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, softened

Additional sugar

  1. In a bowl, combine the first five ingredients; cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. In a small bowl, beat eggs; set aside 1 Tablespoon for glaze. In another bowl, combine sour cream, milk and remaining beaten eggs; add apricots. Stir into crumb mixture until the dough clings together.
  2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead 12-15 times. Divide dough in half. Pat one portion into a 7-in. circle on a greased baking sheet.
  3. Combine the brown sugar, oats and butter; sprinkle over dough. Roll out remaining dough into a 7-in. circle; place over filling. Brush with reserved egg; sprinkle with additional sugar.
  4. Cut into wedges but do not separate. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until scones are golden brown. Cool slightly; cut again if necessary. Serve warm. We spread a little softened butter over the top. Yield: 6 servings.

Quick Loaf Bread

Happy Late New Year Everyone! Well I’ve decided that since I have over 200 cookbooks and cooking magazines (I know a bit excessive, I can’t help it, I collect them) it’s now time to use them or loose them. I guess you can say that’s my New Years cooking resolution! The first cookbook I chose out of my collection is The Best of Food & Wine The Italian Collection. That is where this recipe for Quick Loaf Bread came from. I have to say I wasn’t so sure that this bread was going to  turn out. I’m pretty much a beginner when it comes to  bread making and it seemed to me that my dough wasn’t rising enough. My worries were put to rest with the end result. My bread loaf looked nice and tasted great!

This recipe makes two loaves. I served this fresh bread New Years Eve and we dipped it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar (I used the rosemary infused olive oil I made a few weeks ago). It was very very good!! The ingredients are:

  • 2 2/3 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons honey or sugar (I used sugar)
  • 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cups unbleached bread or all-purpose flour (I used all-purpose)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  1. In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast and honey. Stir briefly and let stand until the yeast dissolves and begins to foam, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Stir 3 cups of the flour and the salt into the yeast mixture and beat well until smooth and bubbly. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, to make a fairly soft dough; do not add more flour than the dough can absorb.
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until the dough is just barely nonsticky, about 2 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and turn to coat with a light film of oil. Cover and let rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes.
  4. Punch down the dough and divide in half, place each half in a well-greased 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Bake the loaves for 30 minutes, or until the tops are browned and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped. Turn out onto racks and let cool before storing.