Saturday, November 19, 2011

Carrot Apple Spice Bread

Hello All. I’ve been researching a variety of dishes for this upcoming Thanksgiving. We probably won’t be buying a turkey, but I think we will be serving more than the Thanksgiving Pizza this year, LOL. Along with working on recipes for the big meal, I thought this quick bread would make a nice breakfast to start off the day.

I experimented with this Carrot Apple Spice bread for a recent homeowner’s association meeting that I hosted. I couldn’t post this at the time because we cut the loaf and served it as soon as it came out of the oven- not really something that I recommend for pretty slices, but there is something about a piece of quick bread that is still warm from the oven.  Since the reviews were positive, I just knew that I had to make it again for you (and this time get pictures to post). I have learned that if you are making this for a group of people, you may want to omit the raisins. In this instance, both Ray and I love organic raisins, so I included them.

This really doesn’t taste like a carrot cake, since the carrots play a more minor role in this concoction (especially compared to my 3 Cup Carrot Cake).  I added the milk by tablespoonfuls, until I had the batter the way that I wanted it, but it is still stiffer than what you may be used to in a quick bread. Remember that the chunks of apple and carrot will add to the moisture of the end product.  As always, tweak away, my friends, and enjoy!

·         ½ cup butter
·         1 cup sugar
·         2 eggs
·         2 cups flour
·         1 tsp salt
·         1 tsp baking powder
·         ½ baking soda
·         ¼ tsp cinnamon
·         1/8 tsp cardamom
·         1/8 tsp coriander seed powder
·         1/8 tsp ginger
·         1/8 tsp cloves
·         1/8 tsp nutmeg
·         1/8 white pepper
·         1/8 tsp mace
·         1 cup of finely shredded carrot (app 3-4 of medium size)
·         1 peeled, cored & diced apple
·         ¼-½ cup raisins
·         6 Tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 350°F (app. 175°C*)- if using stoneware, check the recommendations of your manufacturer regarding oven temperature.
Prepare loaf pan
Cream butter and sugar & add eggs one at a time
Add flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda & spices combine well.
Fold in carrots, apple chunks & raisins, and spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 60-80 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the loaf comes out clean. I needed app 70 minutes, but I monitored the loaf the whole time).
Remove from the oven and allow the loaf to cool a few minutes in the pan before removing to a plate to rest.

*I use an online conversion chart and round up or down, as seems appropriate. Please adjust according to your judgement, and send me a message if you find an error. Thank you.

Showing on this day 2010: Olive Oil Tortillas

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Coconut Matcha Tea

As I have mentioned before, I love tea in many forms. While my favorite teas are generally brewed strong and served piping hot with lots of milk and sugar, there are notable exceptions. One of the best of these is matcha tea, which I have wanted to try for years. A few months ago, we were in a tea shoppe and I finally took the plunge and bought a canister of this finely-milled green tea. The young lady that rang me up enthusiastically told me about its grassy taste, which made me wonder, but I decided to try it anyway. Sometimes you build something up in your mind, yearn for an item for years, only to be disappointed when you finally have it. Thankfully this was not one of those times. I opened the canister to see the most beautiful green powder, carefully read instructions and, since I didn’t have a ceremonial whisk, improvised to make my very first matcha. I have experimented very little, since the basic drink is so good, but what follows is one idea that I just had to try.

This is the vibrant green of the matcha powder.
So pretty, tastes great, and chock full of anti-oxidants

I was soaking dried coconut to reconstitute it one day, and realized that I didn’t want to waste the water that I strained off. In doing some research, I realized that this is essentially a light form of coconut milk, and I have included a link to a website that describes how to make your own coconut milk.

·         8 oz coconut milk heated to 175-185°F (app. 80-85°C)
·         8 oz whole milk
·         1 tsp matcha tea (sifted into the cup that you will mix the drink in)
·         Sweeten to taste with raw sugar, sucanat, etc.
Pour warmed coconut milk over the matcha tea and whisk (or use a stick blender) to blend the powder thoroughly into solution.
It is a good idea to add sweetener now, since it will dissolve easily in warmer liquids- I go light on sugar with this drink. If it is handled carefully it has none of the bitterness of many teas, and really does have a light, grassy note.
Add milk and blend again. Pour and serve (any leftover tea can be covered and refrigerated to drink later that same day).

Coconut matcha with Spiced Apple Oatmeal
cookies and yogurt.