Carrot Bread

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Carrot Bread

  • Difficulty: easy
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DSC04578

1 cup finely grated carrots
2 eggs
1 / 2 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 1 / 2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 / 2 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 / 3 cup oats
1 / 2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease a 8 x 4 x 2-inch loaf pan. Combine flour, oats and baking soda in a bowl.
Sift together. In a larger bowl, beat butter or margarine, add sugar. Then add eggs, milk and vanilla. Gradually add in carrots.
3. Add flour mixture slowly to the carrot mixture. Lastly, stir in walnuts. Spread batter in loaf pan.
4. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until golden. Test with a toothpick until it comes out clean from the bread. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, loosen around the edges with a butter knife and then remove bread from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Optional – Double the recipe and make 2 loaves. Serve one now and freeze the other. This recipe freezes well!
6. ENJOY! – Delicious and nutritious!

©  This recipe courtesy of Somebodys-Mom.com


Years ago, a reader requested some healthy snack recipes for her children. This carrot bread is a perfect example of a healthy snack for kids as well as a great breakfast bread or afternoon tea bread.

Having 3 children of my own, I know how they can have bottomless stomachs when it comes to eating. My son, Tom, was the ultimate eating machine. He was born hungry. My first child came into this world at 9 pounds and 13 ounces. The nurses came to see who had this big baby. One of the nurses commented, “You didn’t have a baby, you had a man”. The doctor said to feed my child every 4 hours but Tom wanted to eat every 2 hours. It has been that way ever since. Mind you this son of mine had a hard time gaining weight as a teenager. He was 6’3’ and his built was slender, still is; lucky him. One time when Tom was about 12 years old, I was woken up at about 3:00 am in the middle of the night from the sound of humming. There was Tom in the kitchen eating big bowl of cereal. His reasoning was he woke up hungry and had to eat at 3:00 am. Do you know the saying, “Feed me, I’m yours”, well it is true. It is very hard for a mother not to feed a hungry child at any time, day or night.

Providing healthy snacks for my son and 2 daughters had been a challenge for me. When I was growing up the only thing I was allowed after school was a small sweet and then nothing else until our 6:00 p.m. dinner. I remember it was torture to wait those 3 hours until dinner was ready. My mother always kept celery and carrots cleaned and in the refrigerator for a ready snack all the time. I followed this practice with my own children. The only difference with mom and me is that I let my kids dip their celery and carrots in salad dressing. After dinner and after dessert, the kids were always still hungry. “You can have some fruit”, was always my answer. The simple things in life are usually the easiest answers.

Fast forward to present day and some things never change. Whenever I go to my son, Tom’s, home I bring food, whether cookies, macaroni and cheese, chicken soup, etc. I never go empty handed. But,just recently, I went to his home immediately from work and arrived to babysit my grandkids without bringing anything. My grandson, Tommy, after a hug and kiss, said, “Tima, did you bring me anything to eat!”
When I said not this time, he let out a big disappointed cry of, “Ahhhhhhh,I’m so hungry!” Like I said, some things never change, like boys and their bottomless stomachs.

The breads I make like this carrot bread, provide a great snack. Instead of candy or chips, a slice of bread is delicious and filling for a child or an adult. Bake, bake and bake some more. The house will be warm and their tummies will be full, at least until the hungry cry of, “Mom, can I have something to eat!”

OLIVE OIL AND ROSEMARY CAKE

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Olive Oil and Rosemary Cake

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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DSC041443/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
2/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Oven 325 degrees.
2. Grease a 10-inch loaf pans, (or 6 mini loaf pans ).
3. In a medium bowl cream together eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add olive oil slowly and beat thoroughly blending well.
4. Gently stir in chopped rosemary into the batter.
5. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Add to wet ingredients.
Beat on a low speed until mixed well.
6. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 35-50 minutes or until cake is done.
( Test with a toothpick in center, until it comes out dry.)
7. Cool cake in pans 20 minutes. Remove from pan and place on racks until
completely cooled.
8. ENJOY – Savory and sweet, makes this cake complete!

©  This recipe courtesy of Somebodys-Mom.com

Summer is over and fall is here! On my deck and awaiting my attention is my herb garden, now overgrown and ready to be stored for winter use. A seemingly delicate and fragrant herb, my rosemary has proved to be the hardiest of all. For the last few years I felt a calling to use her creatively, and the result is this rosemary olive oil cake.

I surfed the Internet and browsed through my many cookbooks, and the one recipe for rosemary olive oil cake that I thought was the best was Chef Mario Batali’s version. I remained faithful to his recipe except for the amount of rosemary used. As soon as I read that he used 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary, my gut told me that it might be too potent. Pungent and actually related to mint, I realized that a little rosemary will go a long way in any recipe. Whether preparing roasted potatoes, a pork tenderloin roast, or baking a cake, just a little bit of fresh rosemary added to any dish will do the trick in my opinion.

My version of rosemary olive oil cake uses only 1 tablespoon of rosemary, and I feel it is just the right amount. My family and friends, aka taste testers, all agree that the rosemary in the cake was powerful enough and twice the amount of rosemary would have been too much. However, if you’re really into rosemary, follow Mario Batali’s version.

Lemon Bread

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1/3 cup of butter, softened
3/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Topping
1/ 8 cup sugar
juice of one lemon (1/ 4 cup)

1. Oven 350 degrees
2. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time.
3. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Add flour mixture along with milk to wet mixture. Fold in lemon rind and walnuts.
5. Pour into a greased loaf pan.
6. Bake for 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool and remove from pan while still warm.
7. Poke some holes on top of bread with a fork. Mix topping of sugar and lemon juice. Spread over top of bread. Let stand overnight before slicing. (But we can’t wait in my house that long.)
ENJOY – Sweet and sour lemon loaf……

Brioche Rolls

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1 1/ 3 cup milk
3 eggs
1/ 4 cup sugar
4 cups flour
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
2 ½ teaspoons yeast

1. Mix together in a bowl until dough forms. (Or use the dough option on your bread machine.) Let dough rise and then knead again.
2. Divide dough into 12 or 16 large balls and an equal amount of very small balls. Place large balls of dough into greased muffin tins.
3. Press down in the center of each one to form an indentation into which you will place the smaller ball of dough. Cover muffin pans with a clean cloth.
Let rolls rise another 40 minutes or more.
4. Brush tops of rolls with a mixture of 1 beaten egg and 1/ 2 tablespoon of sugar.
5. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden.
6. Serve warm with butter.
7. ENJOY – I bet you can’t eat just one!

Can we talk? If you’re a subscriber to Somebody’s Mom, my gut tells me that you are already in my corner. I am not a perfect person, but I think my readers “get” me. I appreciate you and am delighted folks take an interest in my passion for cooking.

I have a bread machine that was given to me by my good friend, Kazue, over 15 years ago. When she had to return to Japan after residing in New York for a few years, she left her bread machine behind. Never having owned one, I was thrilled to become the honored recipient. I eventually came to the conclusion that what I enjoyed most was creating different types of dough more than using the machine to bake the actual loaf. I love the fact that it does the hardest part of preparing bread; it kneads the dough for you. I have made every kind of bread dough imaginable in my machine, such as potato, sweet potato, sour dough, dill, etc. I remove the dough after the dough cycle ends and then place it in individual mini loaf pans or muffin pans and allow it to rise again, for extra fluffy breads.

I’ve made Brioche many times before using my bread machine. One sad day, my bread machine started to smoke and the dough overflowed from the dough bucket inside the machine. Not one to waste good dough, I salvaged most of it and shaped it into rolls and placed them in greased muffin pans. To my great relief and delight, the rolls were delicious!

After 15 years of hard use, I figured my little inherited bread maker had lived way beyond its life expectancy. Seriously, if I get 10 to 12 years out of any of my machines, I feel I am ahead of the game. I mentioned to my husband, Tom, that I would be looking to buy a new bread machine, because I couldn’t live without one now. Tom said he could fix it; it’s in his DNA to tinker with something before he throws in the towel to buy something new. True to his word, he took apart the whole bread machine and patiently cleaned every nook and cranny, then put it back together. Perfect! No smoke came out and the pizza dough I made was fine. I should have known he would be able to fix my bread maker from what my friend, Tilly, had told me months earlier. She had a 25-year-old Robot Cupe food processor that wasn’t working. She told me she was confident that Tom could fix it. Sure enough, she asked Tom to take a look the next time he was at her house. He took the look, fixed it, and it is still working as of today.

Some things in life are worth fixing – even old kitchen machines!!

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding

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ROAST BEEF

3 to 4 pound boneless silver tip roast beef
1 teaspoon thyme
Salt and pepper

1. Oven to 325 degrees.
2. Place roast beef in baking dish, fat side up. Sprinkle thyme, salt and pepper over top.
3. Bake for 20 minutes per pound. After the time is up, leave oven on and check with meat thermometer by sticking it in the center top of the meat. It should be about 145 for medium rare. (Another way that I check the meat is to poke a small hole on top and if the juice comes out clear it is good, if the juice comes out bloody, the meat is still too rare and I continue to cook it.)
4. After removing meat from the oven, let it sit for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
5. ENJOY – Savory is the way for this roast beef!

YORKSHIRE PUDDING

3 Eggs
1 1/ 2 cups flour
1 1/ 2 cups milk
1/ 2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons drippings from roast beef
(substitutes can be vegetable or canola oil, or bacon grease)

1. Oven to 425 degrees.
2. Beat eggs and milk. Sift salt with flour. Gradually add the flour to the milk mixture and continue to beat until you have a smooth batter.
3. With a spoon, ladle roast beef drippings into 12 muffin cups. (Another option is to use a 9 x 13 baking pan.) Swirl to coat the bottom and sides of muffin cups. Pour batter into cups filling to 2/ 3 of the cup.
4. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges and center of Yorkshire pudding popovers.
5. After removing meat from the oven, remove from pan immediately. Serve warm. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
6. ENJOY – Bit o’ the English taste for ya!

Roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy — you can’t beat that for a Sunday diner! If you want to go that extra mile, then add Yorkshire pudding to the menu. The combination makes for a good hardy meal to serve family and friends. Honestly, roast beef is one of the easiest roasts to make; I just keep it simple and only lightly season it. Yorkshire pudding looks quite impressive, but the level of difficulty in preparing it is quite low.

Sunday is family day. This belief was instilled in me at an early age; Sunday dinner was sacred and missing dinner was a major crime in my house. Nearly every Sunday I make a huge dinner and try to invite someone over. Family or friends, it doesn’t matter because there’s always an abundance of food. When my mom was alive, I treasured her presence at our dinner table several times a month.

I will never forget a Sunday dinner that I missed when I was about 10 years old. My girlfriend, Joanne, asked me to go with her to see her dad, a conductor with the Long Island Railroad who was divorced from Joanne’s mom. This particular Sunday was Father’s Day and Joanne was excited about giving her dad a Father’s Day present. We went up to the train station about 8 blocks away and waited; unfortunately, the train was delayed. Finally, the train pulled in and her dad jumped off. Big hugs and kisses went around, and gifts were exchanged. Joanne’s dad gave us a wave goodbye, and their mini visit was over. We headed home feeling pretty good. When I walked into the house I was met by a wall of silence, totally abnormal for a Sunday at home. Seated at the head of the table was my dad, sitting all alone. There was a big bowl of raviolis in front of him, and he was clearly unhappy. I was late, my brother was late and my mom and dad must have had a fight because she wasn’t there either. I had to sit next to my dad and listen to him for the entire dinner describing how upset he was. Repeatedly he exclaimed, “Why were you with Joanne’s dad and not your dad on Father’s Day.” Trust me, I was never late for Sunday dinner again. I learned the importance of Sunday dinner that day and every Sunday thereafter. That is, until my dad died when I was 12 years old. Those sacred Sunday dinners with my entire family stopped.

Now, I carry on the tradition of the Sunday dinner because I realize that time passes quickly and my children will be gone or I will be gone. They need family traditions, holiday traditions and memories to carry with them. They need to pass these traditions on to their families. One day they will appreciate the significance of sitting down to a meal with your family — it is so much more than just a meal, it is a memory.

MONKEY BREAD

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2 Cans Grand biscuits
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinammon

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter

1 cup walnuts

1. Oven 350 degrees.
2. Spray a Bundt pan with a canola oil spray.
3. Quarter the Grand biscuits toss in a bag with sugar and
cinammon. One can of biscuits for the first layer. Sprinkle
1/2 cup of walnuts all around. Repeat biscuit and walnut
layer again.
4. In a sauce pan, melt butter and add brown sugar. Stir over
heat until well blended. Pour over nuts and biscuits.
5. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, until done. Let sit for 5 minutes
only. Place a dish over the cake. Reverse and let the cake
fall onto plate. Take another dish and re-reverse the cake
onto the dish you want to serve it on. Serves 10.
6. Enjoy – Great bread for your little monkeys!

Monkey Bread has been around forever. My first experience with monkey bread was when my friend, Edith, made it for me many, many years ago when we were having a playdate with our kids.

Well, now the kids are grown and going on playdates with their own kids. And Monkey Bread is still with us and even making something of a comeback. Why? My guess would be that Pillsbury refrigerator biscuits have been on sale lately, and in this economy, products on sale look very attractive! The fact is that it is also one of the simplest coffee cakes to make when time is of the essence.

There’s nothing like trying to save both time and money, now is there? A sale on anything will determine my shopping list. I shop whatever is on sale. Always have and always will. That is not to say I don’t buy anything unless it is on sale, but it really doesn’t help when planning my weekly menu. If my husband and I are in the mood for something, like steak or shrimp, we just buy it. Usually, I am faithful to the supermarkets’ weekly flyers. There are three stores that I check for sales and will shop at the one with the best prices for the items I need that week. For example, toilet paper and paper towels are pricey and we are always in need of both. If one of the supermarkets is having a sale on either one of these items, and I have a coupon for that particular item, then that will determine which store gets my business that week. It drives me crazy to pay full price for something if I don’t have to. As the saying goes, “penny wise, pound foolish”, really is true. You’re really not gonna save any money if you need to drive an extra 15 miles to find that sale. With the rising gas prices today, some sales are just not worth the trip.

Oh yes, now back to that Monkey Bread…..some monkey bread recipes call for icing. I never make it that way, because of personal taste. Monkey bread can be prepared anyway you like it, with nuts or without, with icing or without; it’s just one of those breads that can be enjoyed with or without the frills!

Pumpkin Bread

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3 1/2 cup flour
1 16 ounce can natural pumpkin
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/ 2 tablespoon nutmeg
1 cup Canola oil
4 eggs
3 cups sugar
2/ 3 cup water
1 cup chopped nuts

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
2. Grease 2 loaf pans ( 9 x 5 x 3).
3. Mix together pumpkin, sugar, eggs and oil in a large bowl.
4. Add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder.
Sift together in another bowl.
5. Gradually add dry ingredients to the larger bowl of wet ingredients beating on a low speed. Lastly, add water and chopped nuts. Beat on low or with a wooden spoon until mixed altogether well. Fill ½ to ¾ of the way of loaf pans.
6. Bake on middle rack of the oven for 1 hour. Take out and cool for 20 to 30 minutes before removing from pan. Cool on wire rack for at least an hour or more. This recipe freezes well if frozen in a Ziploc bag after completely cooled.
5. ENJOY- Autumn tastes like pumpkin bread…..

Autumn is that clean, crisp, clear season that’s gone before you know it! I love taking walks on those special days when the sun is shining and nature seems at its brightest. The best thing about autumn and the approaching winter is that after you’ve enjoyed that chilly air, you can anticipate the warmth of your cozy home. That’s what baking does for me; I look forward to the aroma permeating my home and the heat overflowing my oven. A very close friend of mine gave me a candle last year that gives off the scent of pumpkin bread when you light it. It’s such an enveloping, comforting smell, and it makes me feel like all is right with the world.

When I combine the smell of pumpkin with a great spice like cinnamon, it becomes one of those moments when I close my eyes and just focus on the present! I find cinnamon so enticing, that nearly all my pumpkin recipes contain this knockout spice.

This recipe is easy enough to be a success every time. When making moist breads, I find the smaller the bread the better the odds that it will stay intact. I like to bake many smaller breads rather than larger ones – it makes it easier to spread the wealth. I recommend those dollar ceramic loaf pans found in the discount stores so you can give them away without worrying about folks returning a pan or dish. Last time I counted I had 13 of these small loaf pans, ready to be filled and shipped to our American soldiers. Our heroes deserve the best!

Honestly, I find cooking with real pumpkin pulp from real pumpkins is something that’s not realistic for most of us hard working folks who don’t have a lot of extra time. I’ve tried it, but it took way too much time and energy and the bread wasn’t wonderful enough to warrant all that. The timesaver option is to just pop open a can of pure pumpkin and get that ball rolling, all to the tune of about a mere $1.39.

So, after all is said and done, we don’t need to prepare delicious baked goods entirely from scratch – especially not this wonderful Pumpkin Bread. I don’t need to be perfect in the kitchen anyway, just happy!