Instead of making the infamous list of New Year’s resolutions, I prefer the phrase “start fresh”. Starting fresh for me means to examine my priorities, come up with new and different plan(s) to make life work better, a new focus, renewing friendships that have been neglected, or trying all (or some) of the recipes that I have printed and piled in a special place.
One reality from this last (crazy) year – time is not on my side. No longer do I have the leisure of planning one special project on a lazy Saturday. On any given day, most of us can only accomplish the “must do” list. For most of us, the days of having multiple hours to organize and clean our home is truly a thing of the past. The real truth… we are struggling to seize time just to keep up with the daily tasks of family, food, laundry, schedules, and work. So with this thought, I went on a quest to figure out a better way.
I have found what I think will be a huge help to “Glo-girls” everywhere and will enable us to keep up with some things that we have to overlook due to time restraints. Check out the “5-10-15 Minute De-Clutter Plan” from Better Homes and Gardens. I think you will see several suggestions in the article that might make your life easier. Who knows, it might even afford you some time to prepare this week’s yummy recipe – Walnut Streusel Bread.
Walnut Streusel Bread
Cooking Light OCTOBER 2012
- Yield: Serves 16 (serving size: 1 slice)
- Hands-on:15 Minutes
- Total:1 Hour, 15 Minutes
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Dash of salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup fat-free buttermilk
- Baking spray with flour (such as Baker’s Joy)
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. To prepare streusel, combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons melted butter, stirring until well combined. Stir in nuts. Set aside.
3. To prepare bread, weigh or lightly spoon 9 ounces flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine 5 tablespoons butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition; beat in vanilla. Beating at low speed, add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat just until combined. Scrape half of batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with baking spray; sprinkle with half of streusel mixture. Spread remaining batter over streusel; swirl. Sprinkle remaining streusel on top of batter. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.
Since I live on the Gulf Coast, weather is usually not the signal for the arrival of the glorious fall season. My first clue is when the pumpkin patches start popping up around town AND they are here. I am so very excited – it just brings a smile to my face as I drive by. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I love the beautiful decorations, anticipation of the days and weeks ahead and enjoying the few days of cooler weather we experience in our region.
Another wonderful thing that comes to mind is all the wonderful, traditional goodies made with the fruits and nuts of the season. I am a pecan pie addict so when I discovered this recipe a few months ago, I just had to try it out! It is the best of many worlds and after one taste you will discover it is a “keeper” for your fall and holiday baking.
My son-in-law, Kelly, loves seafood. He would eat seafood in some form every day of the world. So when his birthday rolled around this year I decided to “kick it up a notch” and try some new recipes. Thus, a new family favorite recipe has been discovered – crab cakes with lemon dill sauce. I chose to make them appetizer size since that was exactly what they were and it was such fun and oh so good! Don’t let the length of the recipe keep you from trying them. They are truly scrumptious and will be a big hit with young and old. Note: This time I sauteed them in a pan but next time I am going to try the oven method. The oven will be a real time saver when you have a hungry crowd!
Recently I found myself with unexpected guests and needed a quick dessert. As I opened the pantry door, a bright idea came to mind – “let’s have a group participation dessert”. I gathered the ingredients for this week’s recipe and quickly prepared it. Everyone was then invited to the kitchen and when I shared the plan, the smiles started. It turned into such a fun time of creating their “own” design complete with garnishes including strawberries, whipped cream (a staple in my refrigerator at my grandchildren’s request), ice cream, chocolate syrup, caramel syrup and raspberry jam.
This is an inexpensive and quick dessert. Next time you find yourself without a planned dessert – try these delicious funnel cakes. I think you will have a big hit on your hands!
I am so thankful God gave us friends! Friends are such an important part of our lives, but being an only child, many of my friends have become like a sibling to me. They offer me unconditional acceptance, love, encouragement, fun times and help. Two of my friends recently sent me some wonderful tips and I am going to share them with you for a few weeks. Thanks to Susan and Mary – love you both!!
*Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster. (After all, just how much banana bread can you make?!)
*Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and stronger flavored.
* Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if you want a stronger taste of garlic.
* Reheat leftover pizza in a non-stick skillet on top of the stove, on medium low heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy – no soggy micro pizza.
Here is one more “reunion” recipe. This is a wonderful bread to make and “share with a friend”. Be sure your peaches are very ripe and have a full, peachy fragrance.
Okay girls – as promised, here is the next wonderful recipe I want to share with you from our recent family reunion. Everyone (from the youngest to the oldest) raved about this dish. It can be thrown together and ready in a flash. The recipe is for a single recipe but I highly advise you to double the recipe (unless it is just you and a friend or two). Be sure you use a sturdy chip ’cause there are lots of gooey goodies to scoop up.
My family and I just returned from my husband’s family reunion. One of the best things about this annual event is the many recipes that you glean from the fabulous smorgasboard of goodies. Besides seeing everyone and catching up on the past year’s events, this takes top priority on my list! For the next couple of blogs, I will be sharing some of the treasures I brought home.
My sister-in-law, Virginia, hit a home run with a wonderful blueberry-lemony light, low-fat cake. Does that encompass everything we have ever dreamed of in a dessert? Plus it is made from scratch so your guests will be even more impressed – what more could you want? Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
O.K. girls, be honest – how many times have you already had that thought run through your mind this summer?
I’ll go first – too many times to keep track. Added to the heat is the fact that it is summer vacation and yes, we want a break like everyone else. Well today’s recipe is a home-run. Your family will think you spent a lot of time preparing this delicious salad and that can be our little secret. Because the truth is – you can actually have this on the table in about 30 minutes.
We made this salad for our Father’s Day meal and the guys loved it. I am also thinking you could add some grilled or rotisserie chicken to the mix and have a hearty one-dish meal. A dish of cold watermelon would be the perfect dessert. Hope you like it!!
Summertime brings many wonderful opportunities to enjoy life (minus mosquitoes gnats, flies, etc)! But, I choose to ignore those little annoyances and look forward to one of my favorite things about summer - homemade ice cream. As far back as I can remember, the signal for summer’s arrival was my dad going to the garage and retrieving the crank-type ice cream maker. Then you would find mom in the kitchen ”whipping” up a batch of her famous ice cream mixture (which was a “production”). Next I would have the privilege of sitting atop the cold mound of ice and rock salt while my dad cranked and cranked and cranked some more. I must admit my spirit was not so sweet by the end of the process. But the end result was delicious.
Now I am a traditional girl through and through but one tradition that I did not carry on – the crank ice cream maker. Today one of my absolutely favorite kitchen appliances is my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. It is simple, fast and successful every time. (Success is a big thing since the last thing I used the ice/rock salt method, we had a rock hard layer on the bottom of the container and soup for the remaining layers.)
For Memorial day, I asked my family what flavor of ice cream – they unanimously agreed on Mint Chocolate Chip. My husband googled this recipe and it is the best I have ever tasted and so very easy. So as we prepare for our July 4th celebration, we are repeating this delicious find. I think it will become a family favorite for you, too!!