Applesauce Oatmeal Bread

This wholesome quick bread really caught my eye. I made it as a special after school snack for my kids (and me!). They enjoyed it with a glass of fresh apple cider. I thought it was absolutely perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee.

The recipe was adapted from King Arthur Flour.com. I baked the loaf in a Pullman pan, used freshly ground allspice and freshly grated nutmeg, and substituted pecans for walnuts. Yum!

Yield: One standard or Pullman loaf

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla or boiled cider
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, plus more for sprinkling top, optional
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • cream cheese, for serving, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, preferably on convection. Lightly grease a Pullman loaf pan or a standard 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. (I used cooking oil spray.)
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and soda, and spices.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  5. Mix in the rolled oats, applesauce, and nuts.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
  7. Sprinkle rolled oats over the top, as desired.
  8. Bake the bread for 40 for a Pullman pan or up to 60 minutes in a standard loaf pan, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove the bread from the oven, and cool completely.
  10. Store cooled bread, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.
  11. Serve with cream cheese, or as desired.

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Roman Egg Drop Soup (Stracciatella alla Romana)

My husband prefers creamy or stew-like soups to brothy versions. This classic Italian soup had caught my eye in the past, but he “rejected” it as a dinner option. :/ When it was featured in the New York Times as the recipe of the week, I had to have it. I made it when my husband had a work dinner! My son and I gobbled it up. What’s not to like? Eggs and cheese with loads of pepper. I used homemade stock as the base as well. Delicious.

This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Samin Nosrat. We ate it with warm naan on the side (not very Italian, I know). Perfect warm and cozy comfort food on a cold night.

Yield: 6 servings

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • coarse salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • ½ cup finely grated fresh Parmesan, rind reserved, plus more for serving
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (I incorporated 4 cups of homemade Turkey Stock.)
  • 2 T finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  1. Set a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add oil. When it shimmers, add the onions and a generous pinch of salt.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Stirring occasionally, cook onions for 10 to 15 minutes until tender. It’s fine if they start to take on a little color.
  3. In a large measuring cup or medium bowl with a spout, thoroughly whisk together the eggs, ½ cup grated Parmesan, nutmeg, black pepper, and a generous pinch of salt.
  4. When onions are tender, add Parmesan rind and stock to pot.
  5. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a strong simmer.
  6. While gently whisking soup with one hand, pour egg mixture into pot in a thin stream with the other.
  7. Once all of the egg mixture has been added, turn off the heat.
  8. Remove Parmesan rind. Taste and adjust for salt.
  9. Ladle soup into bowls and serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan, black pepper, and parsley.

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German Lebkuchen

I love having at least one spice cookie in my Christmas cookie assortment. This year, I selected Lebkuchen because I know my mom is a fan of them. I only made one batch- what a mistake! I should have doubled it (at least)… Next time. 😉

This recipe is from Hannah of the beautiful blog Domestic Gothess. I glazed the finished cookies and omitted dipping them in chocolate. I weighed the dry ingredients and freshly ground the spices in the dough. They were wonderful!

For the Lebkuchen:

  • 150 g (1/2 + 1/3 cup) dark brown soft sugar
  • 150 g (5.3oz) runny honey
  • 50 g (4 T,  1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • finely grated zest of 1 naval orange
  • 300 g (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 150 g (1 1/4 cups) ground almonds
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 large eggs

For the Glaze:

  • 150 g (1 1/2 cups) Confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 T water

  1. Put the sugar, honey, butter and orange zest in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, ground almonds, cocoa powder, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda; set aside.
  3. Beat the eggs into the sugar mixture one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  4. In two or three additions, mix in the flour mixture until well combined.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least half an hour or (ideally) up to overnight.
  6. To Bake: Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 (on convection) and line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Scoop out portions of the dough using a large cookie scoop (1 1/2″ in diameter) or measuring spoon (about 1 1/2 tbsp at a time), and roll between slightly damp hands into smooth balls.
  8. Place them well spaced apart on the baking sheets and flatten them slightly with your fingers.
  9. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes until firm and lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  10. Transfer the Lebkuchen to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  11. To Make the Glaze: Place the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl and gradually mix in enough of the water to form a slightly runny icing – not too wet though or it will all run off. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet.
  12. Dip the tops of the Lebkuchen in the glaze, allow the excess to drip off then place them right-side up on the wire rack to set.
  13. Once set, store in an airtight container. The cookies improve over time. An apple placed in the container may keep them more fresh.

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Maple Dijon Roasted Rainbow Carrots

When I saw this recipe on Brooklyn Homemaker right before Thanksgiving, I immediately added it to my menu. I loved the flavors and rainbow carrots are just irresistible. Thank goodness some of my fellow bloggers post wonderful side dishes before a holiday! Maybe I’ll do that someday. 😉

Yield: Serves 6

  • 2 lbs rainbow carrots
  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, preferably dark amber
  • 1 T dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 to 4 T chopped flat leaf parsley, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F on convection roast.
  2. Wash, dry, and peel carrots and place in a shallow dish long and wide enough to fit them all. (I used a parchment lined (rimmed) baking sheet.)
  3. Add butter and thyme to a small saucepan and heat over a medium flame to melt butter. Continue to warm the butter for 1 to 2 minutes. The butter should take on a green-ish tint from the thyme leaves.
  4. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes.
  5. In a small bowl combine maple syrup, mustards, nutmeg, and salt and pepper.
  6. Whisk in butter until smooth and well combined.
  7. Pour the butter/syrup mixture over the carrots and toss to coat.
  8. Arrange the carrots on a parchment lined baking sheet, and use a spatula to scrape any remaining butter/syrup mixture over them. You may want to use two sheets of parchment to make sure the whole pan is completely covered.
  9. Roast until tender and brown, for about 35 minutes or up to 1 hour, using tongs to turn each carrot about 20 minutes in. Watch carefully to ensure that the sugar in the maple syrup doesn’t burn onto the parchment.
  10. Top with chopped parsley or additional fresh thyme before serving.

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Almond-Crusted Pork Scallopini with Apples & Arugula

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I rarely get a chance to watch “The Chew”- thankfully for everyone I caught this episode while obsessively cleaning my house before my in-laws came to visit! 🙂 Mario Batali made this delicious dish before my very eyes and I knew it would be perfect to serve to our guests. It had a wonderful combination of flavors: the spicy wild arugula, almond-crusted pork, and bourbon-flambed tart apples. I adapted the recipe by adding extra garlic and arugula (tons!) and by substituting bourbon for brandy. Perfect for a special dinner. Delicious!!

I know that I’m super late… but I am going to share this special dish with my blog friends at The Novice Gardener this week for Fiesta Friday #34– Happy Fiesta Friday-Saturday!?!? Enjoy!

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds pork tenderloin, 2 tenderloins, cut into medallions and pounded thin
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 tart apples, peeled & thinly sliced (I used 2 Granny Smith’s and 1 Pink Lady)
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 ounces brandy or bourbon
  • 4-8 cups arugula, chopped if leaves are large (I used wild baby arugula)
  1. Season the pork with salt. Place the almond flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Dredge the pork in the almond flour, allowing excess to fall off.
  3. Heat a large pan with 1/4 inch of Olive Oil over medium-low. Place a few coated pieces of pork into the hot oil and cook until golden, then flip and cook until golden on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a second skillet over medium-high with a few tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic and cook until light golden, and then add the apples. Season with a pinch of salt and freshly grated nutmeg.
  5. Once the apples take on a bit of color, pour in the brandy or bourbon and carefully ignite with a match or long-stick lighter. Cook until the flames subside.
  6. Serve the scallopini over the arugula topped with the apples, with a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.

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