Archive for the ‘loaf’ Category

Smiling New Years Pumpkin Bread

January 2, 2011

Over the past few months I have had the pleasure of sharing so many good recipes with you.  I love talking and thinking about food.  And I love sharing that love with others.  But I have a secret you see… on this blog you only see my successes, the things I cook that make me go “yummmm” and antsy to share the recipe with others.  Like anyone who’s spent a decent amount of time experimenting in the kitchen however, I’ve had my fair share of failures.  I’ve burnt things.  I’ve had recipes end in disaster, and ultimately – I’m sad to say – in the garbage.

This loaf of pumpkin bread was nearly one of those disasters.  Bake 30-40 minutes the recipe said.  Long story short, after 40 minutes I took the loaf out, confident that it should be done, only to cut into a bread shell, filled with batter…  Back into the oven for fifteen minutes they went… still not done.  I think it cooked for about an hour total, but to be completely honest, I couldn’t tell you.

If you look carefully at the bread, you’ll see a smiling artifact – welcoming you to the New Year.  Despite the lack of clarity in terms of cook time, this pumpkin bread came out beautifully :)

 

Pumpkin Bread

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, lightly bean
  • 16 ounces canned unsweetened pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 2/3 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour 2 9 by 5 loaf pans.

Stir together sugar and oil. Stir in eggs and pumpkin.

Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl.

Blend dry ingredients and water into wet mixture, alternating.

Divide batter between two loaf pans.

Bake for well… probably about 50 minutes, but until the cake tester comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool.

For the Women Who Came Before Me Cake

December 30, 2010

Exams are officially over.  It was a long haul.  Let’s take stock: two breakdowns, 60ish hours of studying, four outlines, a backache, and several hard-to-sleep nights.  I woke up before the crack of dawn to make it to three 8:30 AM exams.  This was even less fun than standing in line for 45 minutes at the Post Office to mail holiday packages.  But, you know what?  I am grateful for this.  Why?  Because there were many impressive women who fought bloody hard for my right to be here.  The first women to take the bar were denied admission on the basis of their gender.  The Supreme Court even upheld the denial of their applications.  Now women account for nearly half of law school applicants, and we have a record three women Supreme Court justices.  Things are not completely rosy in law-land; women still suffer from a terrible wage gap, and an even more horrendous gap in leadership parity (known as the 50-15 problem—fifty percent of law students are women, but only fifteen percent of law firm equity partners and chief legal staff are women).   Nevertheless, my “right” to sit among my peers is a privilege that was hard earned.  The women who came before me had to prove that we are good enough, smart enough, and tough enough to make it.  As for me, I get to bake because I choose to, and I get to attend law school because I choose to.  It’s a beautiful gift.  For all the women who came before me—thank you for teaching me how to make my cake and eat it in style.

For some specific history on women in the legal profession, see: http://www.abcny.org/Library/FeaturedExhibitions2.htm

Lemon Cranberry Cake

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped

1)      Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease two muffin tins, or one muffin tin and a loaf pan.

2)      In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly between each addition.  Beat in the vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon rind.

3)      In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk the ingredients together thoroughly.

4)      Add half the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix thoroughly, then add half the milk and mix again.  Repeat this step until the batter is thick and even.

5)      Gently stir in the chopped cranberries.  Distribute batter into loaf or muffin pans.

6)      Bake a loaf for 50 minutes; bake muffins for 25 minutes.

Ginger Ale Bread

October 31, 2010

I’m always tempted to start these entries with something to the effect of “necessity is the mother of deliciousness” because every time I go to make something, it seems I can never find all the right ingredients and have to substitute something.

This is a variation on “bubbly beer bread” one of my favorite bread recipes.  This is probably partially because this is the easiest bread I’ve ever made.  Bar none.  You can find the original recipe, made with beer here, but if you’re forced to be… erm… creative… like I was, then gingerale makes a delicious substitute :)

Ginger Ale Bread

3 c.  sifted flour

4.5 tps baking powder

1/3 c. brown sugar

1 bottle ginger ale (or any other carbonate beverage)

1/2 stick melted butter

1)  Mix dry ingredients

2) Add ginger ale and stir well until dough comes together

3)  Put into greased and floured loaf pan

4)  Drizzle butter over the loaf, covering it evenly

5)  Bake 55 minutes at 375 F.

Rosh Hashanah Honey Cake

September 18, 2010

honey cake

It’s altogether wonderful to celebrate a New Year in September.  It’s even more fun to invite people over for a big breakfast.  Conveniently, my law school cohort was separated into “pods,” and we have a block schedule.  So, I invited everyone in my pod to join me in a delicious spread of tea, coffee, and cake before heading off to Civil Procedure and Contracts.  As I explained to those who were not opposed to eating cake for breakfast (and what are muffins and loaves, really?), honey cake is a traditional Jewish food for the holidays.  The meaning is simply to add a little something sweet for the New Year.  I alter my recipe a bit each year for something a bit different—enjoy version 2010!

— Little Ms. Muffin

Honey Cake

2 ¼  cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. allspice
½ tsp. salt
3 tbs. vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup honey
2 medium eggs
grated orange zest
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
½  cup brewed dark coffee
½ cup minced or crushed walnut chunks
brown sugar for dusting over the top, if desired

1)  Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour loaf pan.

2)  Place honey in a bowl, beat with electric mixer for approximately three minutes until opaque.  Beat in sugar.

3)  Add egg and wet ingredients to honey sugar mixture and beat until well combined.

4)  In a seperate bowl mix together remaining dry ingredients.

5)  Combine two mixtures .  Stir in walnuts.

6)  Pour into loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes.

7)  Dust with brown sugar if desired.