Archive | 3:45 PM

Esther’s Lemon Poppyseed Bread

8 Apr

Back to a “Vose Favorite” recipe – this is my great-grandma Esther’s recipe…one of my holiday favorites. We have this bread at Christmas and Easter, almost every year. It’s always a hit – I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t like it (at least in my family). You can see the recipe card has gotten some use over the years!

It’s quick and simple to whip up too, usually made the night before the day of the ‘big meal’.

Ingredients: (Makes 2 loaves)

  • 1 package of Duncan Hines lemon cake mix (this is the brand we usually use, but I’m sure any brand would do…as you can see it was Betty Crocker this time)
  • 1 package of instant lemon pudding (make sure it’s instant!)
  • 4 eggs (yes, 4)
  • 1 cup of hot water (not warm, not scalding, but hot)
  • 1/2 cup Crisco oil (I used vegetable oil and you could too…unless you’re really into Crisco.)
  • 1/4 cup poppyseeds (This is one entire thing of the small 1.25 oz containers)
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts – but experiment with whatever you’d like!)

How to Make:

Preheat that oven to 350 and then locate your hand mixer or if you’re extra special, electric mixer. (Again, very very very very jealous if you have the latter.) You are going to mix up everything (yes, even the nuts).

You’re going to mix everything for 4 minutes. Little arm workout in for those of us without the fancy schmancy electric mixer. (I had to find a bigger bowl because I was a moron and used a little, small one. Mom kindly suggested I use a bigger bowl to mix in. She’s so smart.)

Grab your two pans and spray them with Pam or rub them down with vegetable oil. Sprinkle flour into the pans and get all sides and the bottom coated in flour.

Pour your batter evenly amongst the two pans…even if you have two pans that aren’t quite the same size, like me. You want everything to cook evenly in the oven!

Try to restrain yourself from taste testing the batter….it’s soooooo tasty. But there are raw eggs in there, so it’s probably not a good idea.

Put the timer on 40 minutes, pulling the bread out to test for doneness at that time. It may need a few more minutes if your toothpick/wooden skewer/other doneness-testing device doesn’t come out clean from the top of the bread.

Here’s before the oven:

Once your breads are done, let them cool for a few minutes in the pans. Then gently slide them out to cool on a wire cooling rack or cutting board to finish cooling completely.

Here’s a slice, cooled and ready to be enjoyed. This is a perfect bread for holidays – easy to make ahead of time and it seems somewhat fancy, which is ideal for a festive occasion! It’s also extremely good to boot. Just sayin. 🙂

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Chipotle & Rosemary Nuts

8 Apr

I’m back for an Easter morning post. (Happy Easter to all!)

This was a recipe I tasted for the first time back during my Memphis visit with my friend Marissa (can you tell we ate a lot of delicious food?!? Marissa knows her stuff, let me tell you.)

This is an Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa) appetizer/snack recipe from her cookbook How Easy is That (one of my new favorite cookbooks. It’s awesome. Go buy it.). It went over very well for the visitors we had at the Vose house this weekend, and the whole amount is almost gone. You can also keep these in Tupperware to pull out for another event days down the road.

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 cups whole roasted unsalted cashews
  • 2 cups whole walnut halves
  • 2 cups whole pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (I used a mixture of pure and store-bought syrup. Mom mixes up a concoction of both so you get the best of both worlds.)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (Mine was not freshly squeezed – I used Simply Orange and it was tasty. Use whatever orange juice you have, but if you can do freshly squeezed – DO! 🙂  )
  • 2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder (Took me a bit to locate this on the grocery store shelf as not all spice brands had it…but it’s worth the time of looking. This is the key ingredient.)
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided (Highly encourage fresh> dry)
  • Kosher salt

How to Make:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Locate a nicely sized sheet pan and rub it down with vegetable oil. Or Pam would work too. Up to you.

Now time to mix some nuts! Mix up your cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds…

Add in 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, orange juice and chipotle powder. All of those items were added though there aren’t pictures of all steps below.

I encourage you to mix it up in a bowl as it’s a bit easier than Ina’s direction of mixing it up on the pan. But perhaps you possess greater “mixing abilities” and the pan would work for you. Toss everything around so all nuts are evenly coated in tasty goodness.

Now grab the rosemary and mix that it too. Ina suggests adding 2 Tbsp now and 2 Tbsp after cooking. I plain forgot this and added 4 Tbsp right up front. It may make a difference adding it after, it may not. Up to you and your personal preferences with rosemary. But I think adding it all in prior to the oven works just fine. Add in 2 tsp of salt as well and toss everything evenly.

Spread the nuts in one layer, as best you can. Roast them in the oven for about 25 minutes, pulling them out to mix things about 2-3 times during that time. You’ll know everything is done when the top is “glazed and golden brown” – according to Ina. Below is the halfway point.

Once the 25 minutes is up or the nuts look done, pull ’em out of the oven. Add in 2 more tsp of salt and (if you didn’t add all 4 Tbsp in prior to the oven…) the remaining 2 Tbsp of rosemary.

Toss everything so the salt and rosemary (if you added it after) are evenly coating all the nuts. It will be sticky due to the maple syrup and brown sugar, so you’ll want to continue to mix the nuts around as they cool to prevent as much of the sticking together as possible. They will naturally clump a bit, which is alright, but you don’t want the whole thing to be one, big, massive pile. Which is what it will become if you don’t get in there and fix the situation. Serious.

I used wax paper to let everything cool while spread out and at the same time, not causing more unnecessary mess to the pan or another surface.

Store in Tupperware and pull it out to astound your guests with your amazing cooking skills (they don’t need to know there are only a few steps and it’s extraordinarily simple to make)! Enjoy!

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