Thursday, December 27, 2012

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Panettone

The December 2012 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by the talented Marcellina of Marcellina in Cucina.  Marcellina challenged us to create our own custom Panettone, a traditional Italian holiday bread.

The word Panettone is derived from the Italian "panetto" meaning small cake, but adding "one" to the end of the word changes the meaning to "large cake".  It's association with Christmas was first written about in the 18th century as a "Pan di Tono" or "luxury cake".  There are several romantic legends surrounding it's origins, one having to do with a baker named Antonio (Pan di Tony) but it seems unlikely since only Americans use this nickname for Antonio.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Rainy Winter Days

On rainy winter days, my Garden Supervisor likes to spend the day in bed purring to Nora Jones on her iphone.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cranberry Nut Muffins

These cranberry nut muffins are perfect for a holiday morning breakfast  They're made with whole grain flour, coconut sugar and tomato juice so they aren't too sweet and the nuts add protein.  I can hear you say "tomato juice?" Yes, these tasty muffins are made with tomato juice, but they don't really have a tomato flavor.  The acid in the juice helps to activate the baking powder and soda which allows them to be egg free.  I love the science aspect of cooking, I find it fascinating.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Planting Bulbs

The sun was out this weekend after a lot of rain and flooding.  We decided it was time to do a little garden clean up and plant some bulbs.  We bought this big box of crocus bulbs some time ago and never got around to planting them. After raking up all of the fallen leaves and acorns and composting the dead flowers, cucumber, bean and squash plants, we  planted the bulbs. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Wild Rice and Corn Chowder

Seriously, I could eat soup for dinner every night and never get bored with it, especially during the winter months when the weather is cold.  Soup is the perfect one pot meal, full of vegetables, warm and hearty.  I like to make a really big pot so I have leftovers for lunch.  Today, to combat a week of rain and flooding,  I made a wild rice and corn chowder.