I am always on the search for interesting food items to incorporate into my cooking and my blog. When I saw Farmer’s Daughter Jams and Preserves this past weekend, I just have to buy a few jars. The cute jars and catchy batch names such as Blackberry Julep Jam and Strawberry Honeysuckle Preserves were calling my name. I spend of bit of time researching the company and found they are headquartered in Hillsborough, NC. After checking their website (http://www.farmersdaughterbrand.com/index.htm) I found the following information that tells their story:
Farmer’s Daughter is a farm-driven artisan food business celebrating the flavors of the South and the soils of the North Carolina Piedmont while gaining inspiration from authentic food cultures worldwide. It was founded in 2007 by April McGreger, who learned the art of preserving at the elbows of her mother and grandmother amidst a rural farming community in Mississippi. Farmer’s Daughter seeks to promote the value of sustainable, small-scale agriculture as well as traditional, handmade methods of preserving.
I am always impressed with those that continue the traditions set by their mothers and grandmothers. We tried both of the above varieties, they are wonderful and especially delicious on my whole wheat biscuits- YUM!
These biscuits are incredibly easy to prepare and the results are always great. I rolled my dough approximately 3/4 inch thick, if you want event taller biscuits, you can roll the dough up to 1 inch thick. You will have fewer biscuits, but very impressive when over the top in height!
Whole Wheat Biscuits
whole wheat flour
cream of tartar
softened and diced
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl. combine the flours, baking powder, sugar, salt and cream of tartar. Add butter and using a pastry blender, cut butter into mixture until the butter is the size of small peas. Make a well in the center, add egg and milk and combine with a fork until all of the dry ingredients are moist. Turn dough onto a well floured surface and knead until all is smooth and all dry ingredients are incorporated. Roll dough to 3/4 inch thick, cut with three inch cutter. Place biscuits on parchment lined baking sheet, 1/4 inch apart. Bake 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Did you know that blueberries are one of the few fruits native to America? Our early settlers in Plymouth, MA were exposed to blueberries by the Native Americans and now they are grown in many regions of the US and Canada. Springtime always seems to bring the blueberries, strawberries and raspberries to center stage in any produce department. I couldn’t pass by the blueberries, perfect for my Sugar Crusted Lemon Blueberry Muffins. I top these with coarse grain sugar for that extra crunch.
One more note, you can make these the night before and bake in the morning – what a wonderful way to start the day!
Sugar Crusted Lemon Blueberry Muffins
washed and drained
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the flour with 1/2 cup sugar, the baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center. Combine the egg, oil, and milk. Add to the dry ingredients, stir until moistened. Toss the blueberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar and the lemon rind. Fold into the batter. Fill muffin pans lined or greased 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
While the muffins are cooking, melt the butter and stir in the lemon juice. Dip the warm muffin tops in the butter and sprinkle with sugar. You can use coarse sugar or granulated sugar for the tops.
Make ahead - you can prepare the batter and fill the muffin cups, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Just bake, dip and serve.
One of our favorite local Italian restaurants serves the most delicious rolls, always hot out of the oven and served with an olive oil dipping sauce. The last time we were there I was convinced I was going to try to duplicate those rolls. I think this recipe is as close as I can get. Since I make yeast breads frequently, I tweaked one of my existing recipes. . Not a fan of making yeast breads? Try this one – 4 ingredients in this recipe and your bread skills will go from zero to hero! Give them a try – you will not be disappointed. Next time I make these, grilled Italian sausages and peppers are going along with these rolls!
active dry yeast
1 1 /4
for brushing on top of rolls
If using a food processor - stir the yeast into the water and let stand for 10 minutes. Put flour and salt in processor bowl, turn processor on and slowly add the water, if the dough is too dry, add a bit more water until it forms a ball. Let processor knead the dough for approx. 4 minutes.
If using a mixer - repeat the steps above using the paddle attachment, once incorporated use the dough hook and knead for approx. 4 minutes
If by hand - stir the yeast into the water and let stand for 10 minutes in a large bowl. Stir in flour, one cup at a time - add the salt. Using your hands; incorporate all of the flour, turn out on to a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic - 8 - 10 minutes.
Place dough in a greased bowl, let rise until double, approx. 1 hour. Turn dough onto a floured board, divide dough into 10 equal portions, make each roll into a ball. Brush each dough ball with olive oil. Cover the dough balls and let rest for 10 minutes. Flour a baking sheet. Make a deep indentation with the side of your hand in each roll down the middle, place the roll indentation side down on floured baking sheet, repeat with all of the rolls. Cover rolls and let rise for another hour. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Oil another baking sheet, after they have risen, place rolls indentation side up on this sheet, Bake rolls for 15 - 18 minutes or until golden brown. To make a crisp crust, spray water three times into the oven during the first 10 minutes of baking.
Most quick bread recipes you see are for sweet breads, this is a savory quick bread. Another recipe gem from a family friend. Perfect to serve along side a bowl of soup, as an appetizer (slice thin and add to any cheese tray), or dipped in your favorite marinara sauce. Quick, easy and exceptionally good.
Crusty Pepperoni Bread
A hearty quick bread
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup diced pepperoni (4 oz.)
- 1/4 cup chopped ripe olives
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and Italian seasonings; set aside. In a mixer bowl, beat cream cheese and eggs at low speed until smooth. Add milk and oil; continue beating until blended. Stir in pepperoni and olives. Add liquid mixture all at one to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Pour into a greased 9 x 5 inch bread pan. Bake 375 degrees for 55 - 65 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted come out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Now that Thanksgiving is over, I was thumbing through my recipes and I came across another family favorite. I remember always having Cranberry Nut Bread during the holidays. I think my favorite memory of this bread was on skiing trips. I grew up very close to a ski resort and every Saturday and Sunday would spend the day skiing with my friends. My mom always packed goodies for me to eat and one of my favorites was cranberry bread slathered with cream cheese and put together as a sandwich. These were highly sought after as my friends were always hoping she would pack extras (and she typically did). Always great with coffee, tea or my favorite; sandiwiched with cream cheese. Perfect to bake one for now and freeze one for later.
Cranberry Nut Bread
- 4 cups flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups chopped pecans
- 2 cups chopped fresh cranberries (coarse chop)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 2 oranges, grated then juiced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease 2 - 8 1/2 x 5 inch loaf pans.
- Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add cranberries and pecans, mix. In a 2 cup measure, melt butter, add grated orange peel and juice from both oranges. Add enough water to make 2 cups. Add liquid and eggs to dry ingredients. Mix well with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are incorporated. Divide dough between the two prepared loaf pans. Bake for one hour or until tester comes out clean. Cool slightly and turn out of pans to finish cooling.
- Freezes beautifully.
After a beautiful weekend exploring the Virginia countryside, I came home and decided it was time to pull out my mom’s recipe box and find a fall recipe. This bread features fall’s best – pumpkin, walnuts, chocolate chips and topped with a spiced glaze. I have to add, the aroma in your kitchen while it is baking is sensational. It embraces the best of fall, crisp weather, turning leaves, apples, pumpkins and fall spices – what more can I say – I just love the change of seasons!
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Spice Glaze
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 - 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease one 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the pumpkin and mix well. Combine the dry ingredients and stir into the creamed mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 70 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan, remove from pan and top with glaze.
- Spice Glaze
- Combine powdered sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, stir in milk. Spread over warm loaf.
I cannot walk past a display of farm fresh ripe tomatoes this time of year. I am such a huge tomato fan, my husband is convinced that I could eat them everyday for every meal. He is pretty much on target with that comment. Tomato Toast is my latest tomato creation. Crispy grilled bread, cheese filling, topped with tomato slices – perfect for an appetizer or side dish.
- 4 slices of crusty bread cut 1/2 inch thick
- olive oil
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- Prepare grill or grill pan. Brush both sides of bread with olive oil. Slice tomato. Combine ricotta cheese, pesto and parmesan cheese. Grill one side of bread until golden brown and crusty, turn bread slices. Spread grilled sides of bread with ricotta cheese mixture. Cover grill and heat until hot. Remove from grill. Top with sliced tomatoes, salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve
In my previous posts I mention our love for poppy seed bread. Specifically because that is what I made for a picnic on the day I met my husband. I am always trying new things with poppyseed bread. The addition of blueberries and orange was a sweet success.
Poppyseed Orange Blueberry Bread
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon poppyseeds
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine milk, oil, egg, orange peel and orange juice. Stir in dry ingredients, mix until all combined. Fold in blueberries.
- Pour into a greased 8x4 inch loaf pan. Bake 45 - 50 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.
Recently, we spent a delightful weekend in Charleston, SC. Charleston is a great food town with lots of various eateries to try. One of our friends recommended the Fat Hen on St. John’s Island for brunch. After a fun evening celebrating at a wedding and a late Sunday morning start, the idea of coffee and brunch was just what we needed. When we arrived at the Fat Hen, we were asked if we would like to start with their bakery basket. Well, of course, we were definitely interested. The bakery item of the day was chocolate chip muffins. What a wonderful way to start brunch with a great cup of coffee. I decided it was time to bake some chocolate chip muffins. Time to brew some coffee!
Chocolate Chip Muffins
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 12 muffins cups.
- Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder and add to the egg mixture alternately with the milk. Fold in the chocolate chips. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar prior to serving.
These yeast rolls are not your everyday rolls, these are the rolls to bake when you have a special occasion, brunch, or luncheon. They are over the top delicious with the orange filling and orange glaze. If you want a show stopper recipe, Orange Twist Rolls are just what you are looking for. Serve these for breakfast or brunch, it will be hard to eat only one!
Orange Twist Rolls
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated orange rind
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a small bowl. In the large bowl of electric mixer using the dough hook, combine 1/4 cup sugar, salt, eggs, sour cream, yeast mixture and butter. Add the flour and combine until a soft dough forms. Let dough rise in a warm place for 2 hours. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead 15 times. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 12-inch circle. Combine the sugar and orange rind in a small bowl. Brush each circle with 1/2 of the melted butter and sprinkle with 1/2 of the sugar mixture. Cut the circle into 12 wedges. Roll up staring with the wide end and place rolls in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish with the points down. Repeat with the other half of dough. Cover rolls and let rise 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls for 20 - 30 minutes until golden brown. Top with glaze while warm.
- Combine the sugar, cream, orange juice, and butter in a saucepan and boil for 3 minutes, stir constantly. Pour over the rolls when removed from the oven. Cool rolls slightly; serve warm or at room temperature.