Showing posts with label West Palm Beach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label West Palm Beach. Show all posts

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pumpkin Bread

I'm so excited about my Pumpkin Bread, which I rarely make...my daughter is the Pumpkin Bread 'queen' and also makes the best Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving, with her amazing homemade crust.
When I was  a 'kid' I hated pumpkins, and squash...how absurd was that! Even now, it's still not my favorites; but I've learned to adapt a liking to all of these wonderful fall treasures!
I normally would not have even made it, but my daughter and family were away for a long weekend last week, kids were out of school the following Monday. I was happy to  'dog sit' for my favorite little guys that I have spoiled since the last few years and they were so excited to have me around to give them treats and take them for walks. In the meantime, I was treated royally by my son and family to invite me over for dinner each evening, so I didn't even have to cook, and just bring dessert which happens to be my 8yr. old granddaughter's favorite...Pumpkin Bread!...my, how times have changed...tastes have changed since I was their age. Kids are so much more adventurous with their foods and are offered a lot more healthier choices!
Instead of googling for a Pumpkin Bread recipe, I decided to look for one in Martha Stewart's cookbook, which was of course a 'thrift find'...a 1995 edition that has so many great recipes...even if the book does not have any photos...you gotta love anything from Martha Stewart! Instead of making one loaf of bread spending precious time to make it, why not make 2 or 3 loaves? I can't even find this recipe online so I will have to type it out, and the modifications I had to make, that even gave it a nicer and much more flavorful, moist bread!
I was totally looking forward to making the Pumpkin Bread, and have an extra loaf to keep. I love these cute little loaf pans, and they're so perfect and handy being attached instead of separated.

Pumpkin Bread
source; Martha Stewart, from the Martha Stewart
cookbook...1995 edition

my modifications in blue

12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
I used 1 stick of butter
3 Tbsp. molasses
I omitted the molasses
2 cups sugar
I used 1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup orange juice or water
I used 1 cup fresh orange juice from 2 oranges
also grated the zest from one of the oranges
2 cups pumpkin or squash puree
I used 1 can (15 oz. 425g.) Libby's pumpkin puree
3 1/3 cups flour
I use 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
I used 1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
I used 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
I used 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raisins or currants
I omitted raisins and currants

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 3- 9x5x3-inch loaf pans.
I sprayed cooking spray (for baking that has flour mixed in) Used 1 used 4 attached mini loaf pans, and 1- 9x5x3 loaf pan.
With an electric mixer, cream the butter, molasses,and sugar until light and fluffy.
I used a metal whisk to cream the butter,eggs and sugar until light and fluffy
Beat in the eggs one at a time.
I added the 4 eggs to the butter, and sugar, the vanilla extract, and whisked it until a light lemony color.
Add orange juice and pumpkin puree and mix well.
Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl.
No need to sift...just mix them all together without sifting. 
Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, stirring well incorporated.
Add the raisins at this time. I omitted the raisins.
Spoon into prepared pans. Bake for 1 hr. or until toothpick inserted comes  out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out unto racks to cool.
I baked the mini pans for 35 minutes at 350 degrees F. along with the larger loaf pans...took the mini pans out of the oven, leaving the 9x5 loaf pan in the oven...lowered temperature to 325 degrees F. and bake for an additional 20 minutes...tested with toothpick and it was done in 55 minutes.

For Orange Glaze; 2 cups of powdered (icing) sugar, and 1 Tbsp. orange juice...mix it well together, until smooth (you should have a thick paste) ...drizzle on the bread with a soup spoon, or omit the drizzle.

Note: This was the best Pumpkin Bread that turned out so moist, the orange zest and the extra orange juice gave it such a pretty color, and flavor with the vanilla extract addition. The glaze is optional, but you don't have to use it on all the Pumpkin Breads...leave some without it if you prefer!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Baked Potato Soup

Hi Everyone! I'm back again with a (not so exciting) new post...which you're probably asking "what's with the Baked Potato soup?" After all these weeks of absence, you would think I would come back with some exquisite, and amazing food to show off....hey, but just look at the gorgeous 'hand stitched' Italian table cloth (never used), the antique silver plated soup spoon, and the Italian napkin...all these things handed down to my daughter from her sweet M-in-law from Italy...except for the soup spoon which an entire set inherited from my Hungarian aunt (Mariska)

This is truly an amazing comforting soup...'for the soul'...just look at the crispy yummy bacon bits, and the chunky pieces of 2 boiled potatoes, which was an addition to the homemade vegetable broth that it was boiled in, and added 2 peeled leftover baked potatoes...all mixed together in the blender, heated up and added 1/2 cup sour cream at the end. You can substitute Greek yogurt instead! Creamy soups are so easy to make...all you need is a blender, food processor, or even a 'hand held immersion blender/mixer) and your creativity!

I missed so much opportunity to be posting so many different foods that I actually made in the last weeks that just flew by...not photographing anything...could also have had the chance to do a few Restaurant Reviews...(no photos)...well, could've...would've...should've...all have gone by, not focusing on it. I admit, I do regret procrastinating, and feeling 'down in the dumps' (no excuse)...can't take everything to 'heart' that we have no control over!
As you know, I'm a huge Pinterest fan...love, love, finding some awesome things on Pinterest...especially foods, fashion, home décor, and travel...my oh, my...the amazing places we could go to...just have the $$$!
Well, as you may, or may not know, but I have a board on Pinterest called #soup love where I found this most gorgeous and yummy Fully Loaded Baked Potato Soup and decided that I want to make it, just did not have 6 slices of bacon...only 3~ I did not follow their recipe all the way thru...so I made it my own...next time I will follow through the step-by-step recipe. When you see a photo on Pinterest, just click on the photo and it will lead you to the 'source' and most likely you will find the recipe, or the 'link' that it came from. In this case, I did find the source; which is called...
Tasty Kitchen...you will find the step-by-step recipe for this amazing soup!
Here's the recipe and my adaptation in blue:

Fully Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 whole Extra Large Baked Potatoes Or 8 Regular Baked Potatoes (I used 2 med. leftover baked potatoes and 2 med. peeled, and diced potatoes boiled in 2 cups of 'homemade veg. broth)
  • 6 slices Bacon, Diced (I used 3 slices of bacon)
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter (no butter used)
  • ½ whole Onion, Chopped (1 med. onion chopped)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ⅓ cups All-purpose Flour (2 Tbsp. all-purp. flour)
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock (2 cups homemade vegetable stock)
  • ½ teaspoons Sea Salt (or To Taste)
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Pepper, Or To Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (I used 3 Tbsp. olive oil)
  • 3 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (no cheese)
  • 4 whole Scallions (Green Onions), Sliced (no scallions) used sprig of parsley
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt (1/2 cup sour cream)

Preparation Instructions

Scoop the white insides out of the baked potato skins. Roughly chop the white insides and set them aside. Chop potato skins and set aside.
In a large stock pot brown the diced bacon over medium heat. Once it’s crispy, remove bacon from the pan and drain off the grease.
Add 4 tablespoons butter to the brown bits at the bottom of the stock pot. Add onion and continue to cook over medium heat until onion is caramelized. Add minced garlic and flour. Stir flour until absorbed by the butter and cooked, about 1-2 minutes.
While stirring, slowly add chicken stock to the flour mixture to prevent lumps. Bring to a simmer then turn heat to low. Add the insides of the diced baked potato. Add sea salt and pepper. Cover pot and continue to cook over low heat.
In a large saute pan add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat and heat until all of the butter is melted. Add the chopped potato skins and fry them until crisp and heated through.
Add 1/2 of the crumbled bacon, 2 cups of cheddar cheese, 2/3 of the scallions and Greek yogurt into the pot of soup. Stir well and continue to cook over low heat until heated through and cheese is melted.
Serve soup topped with remaining bacon, cheddar cheese, scallions and crisp potato skins.
 

OK...now that this recipe is out of the way...I'd like to share with you our typical S. Florida cloudy skies...so close that you can almost touch it...followed by a super storm immediately after the clouds, lasting for about an hour and followed by sunshine, or again more storms!
A typical Sunday afternoon...4:00PM; returning from the PGA Mall w/family...going over the Southern Blvd. bridge in West Palm Beach...stopped at the red light on the bridge, when suddenly realizing the huge rain cloud hovering over our heads.
Got out of the Jeep...so did other people, to snap photos of the storm cloud!
You would think this is a 'black and white' photo...but it's not; it is actually the grey color that it was taken with color!
Ten minutes later at my destination...on the beach! The clouds look like they could just 'devour you'...a bit 'scary'!
Another 10 more minutes later; have you every seen clouds like that?...as they say..."this is South Florida"...indeed it is...a 'typical S. Florida weather'! (just an hour earlier, it was sunny, with a few scattered clouds)

Have a beautiful week, my dear friends! (readers, followers, and all!) ...xoxo

 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wild Mushroom Risotto...and Pinterest

Since I've been hooked on Pinterest, I've been neglecting my own posts, and photos to upload to blog about and making excuses to feature other bloggers' foods...and why not? I have been so impressed with all the various wonderful things I find on Pinterest among them my foodie friends' pins, and as soon as I visit someone's food blog these days, I immediately want to pin their amazing creations....is that good, or bad...or just a little crazy?!

linking to: 
Full Plate Thursday, @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherines Korner

We all have are different style of foods...different presentations...different photo technique; some bloggers just want to make photos small, and concentrate on the actual recipe, some bloggers want sheer elegance and make sure to set up fancy props, flowers, concentrate on the dish that is being served in...some blogger get a real in your face close up (guilty)...and why is that? I even ask myself. Well, the answer is clearly, that we want you to see how perfect it turned out, how it tastes, just by you reading the recipe and imagining, picturing, lingering on the aroma and the amazing flavors.

Friday, December 2, 2011

TooJay's Reuben Sandwich...and West Palm Beach


Since I have not made anything in the last few days that is worthwhile to post...due the bad lighting at night for photo taking, I will brag about TooJay's Gourmet Deli. Their Reuben Sandwich is still the BEST...ever, of any deli that you can mention, and they are located, right here in South Florida, and throughout various N. Florida, and West Coast Florida!

I have this passion for thirty years now, and still can't quite shake it...for Reuben Sandwich! It is basically a corned beef sandwich, on rye, with Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, and of course the yummy sauer kraut, grilled to perfection, with the cheese melting, and combining the flavors. You can't just skimp on the corned beef, you have to really pile it high! A side  of coleslaw, dill pickles, and french fries fruit salad, and you're "good to go, on your holiday shopping, errands, or what have you, after a Saturday early lunch!
How could you possibly resist a comforting sandwich like the Reuben?...so filling, hardy, yummy, and delicious. I rarely eat a Reuben sandwich these days, but when I do, I always, but always order it from TooJay's!
My friend ordered a cup of Matzo Ball soup, and a scoop of Egg Salad, on half a sandwich. She said it was very good...and from the looks of it, not to mention that they are famous for their egg salad, their tuna salad, chicken salad, and various other salads, as well!
Just a few minutes from our location, on the Island of Palm Beach, tucked away in this famous little Shopping Center, in Royal Poinciana Way, where all the local Palm Beachers, and from over the bridge, in West Palm, locals frequent this famous deli, that has been around for over 30 years, that I know about...and maybe longer!
So, what did I tell you?...yes, it's really tucked away! You could hardly see the sign, or the entrance, but I assure you, if you ask anyone, they will direct you right here if you can't find it!
Next to our car, I noticed this cute little car, which I thought was a golf cart!
On the curb, was sitting a local worker, munching on his sandwich assured me, that this isn't a golf cart, it's some kind of an expensive little recreational car, used around town...go figure, what do I know about the different types of vehicles, anyway!
I took this photo from the car, while stopping at the red light (of course at the passenger side)...looking at the famous Biltmore Hotel, from years, and years ago, which is now a Condominium!
Route through Flagler Drive, now in West Palm Beach, leaving TooJay's! On the right is the Intracoastal Waterway, that divides West Palm Beach, from Palm Beach!
Leaving TooJay's. and driving over one of the bridges, dividing West Palm Beach, from Palm Beach...West Palm Beach, is of course, west of the island, which is called Palm Beach, and they are both part of the Palm Beach County. On the right is the Intracoastal Waterway!
Driving through a well known West Palm Beach neighborhood, to downtown West Palm Beach, to stop at the Public Library! As you can see, our city takes pride of their clean streets, well manicured lawns, their homes, and well preserved old neighborhoods.

One of the entrances (side entrance) to the library!...no, that's not me in the photo, just a local on a warm Saturday early afternoon, in November!

I was already pre-warned by my daughter "don't you dare take a picture of us!"...OK, "I won't"...didn't promise that I wouldn't take a picture from far behind, while the two were walking to the library, from across the street! You can also park on the street for $1.00 which will cover an hour, or for free inside the garage, if you have a "token"
(a chip)
People walking their little dogs in the smaller section of the city, where local shops and  the library is located!

Sign, showing the way to the Green Market, which is located by the Intracoastal Waterway!

The Kids' section f the library, on the second floor. They have 4 floors of books, DVD movies, computer rooms, classes, etc.
So, there I was sitting in the waiting room, with some of the books we were checking out! BTW, I will be purchasing this Gelato book from Amazon, as well!
Just one of the events, sponsored by the Public Library (sorry we missed that)
That's all for now, I hope everyone has a wonderful, and enjoyable peaceful weekend! Hugs, to all!
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