Date Bread…..

orng chx slm patDSCN3137_2817I am in love with old-fashioned recipes that remind me of my Grandmothers.   I got this recipe out of Cooking Light Magazine years ago and it’s my go-to Date Bread recipe.  Add walnuts or chocolate chips if you wish.   Stir them in with the dry ingredient to keep them suspended during baking.   Moist and delicious and love that it isn’t loaded with fat.  This bread freezes beautifully as well.

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I baked my batter in small loaf pans.  I love doing this because the baking time is significantly shorter.  This recipe makes 4-5 small loaves (about a cup and a half of the batter)  and it takes about 30 minutes.  Check with a toothpick after 30 minutes and add time if necessary one to two minutes at a time.

I don’t know about you but I am SO ready for fall!  This 90′ weather has got to go.  Bring on the comfort foods!!

Have a nice day~


Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake…..

When I think of coffee cake I get warm fuzzies.  This coffee cake is very much like the one my Mom would serve after Sunday Mass.  We’d have my Aunt Anita and Uncle Jerry and our cousins over for coffee and cake.  This is a simple coffee cake that everyone will love.  I make it in the small loaf pans as it takes only 30 minutes to bake.  You can also make them into muffins.

If you look closely, you can see that I put a layer of streusel in the middle of the bread as well.  Streusel on the top and in the middle is twice as nice!

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

For the streusel:

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
dash of salt

For the cake:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled

1)  For the streusel.  Put all ingredients into a small bowl and work them together with your fingers until you have a crumbly mixture.  Preheat the oven to 350′.  Coat 4 mini loaf pans with well with cooking spray.
2)  Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center.
3)  Add the egg, milk, sour cream, and melted butter into the well.  Mix until just blended.  Fill the pans 1/3 full, sprinkle a little streusel over the batter, then top with the rest of the batter.  Top with the remaining streusel.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Test with a toothpick for doneness.  Cool for 10 minutes on a cooling rack before you remove from pans.  Cool completely on rack.  Wrap with plastic wrap or put into a cellophane bag.

*For muffins.  Line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners and coat the liners well with cooking spray.  Fill each cup 2/3 full and top generously with the struesel.  Bake for 17-19 minutes.    Makes 12-15 muffins.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting….

Cinnamon rolls…..I don’t think there is a more delicious treat on the planet!  They take some time to make, but they’re sooooo worth it.  Try making them up until the second rising (right before baking) and put them in the refrigerator until morning.  Then right into the oven to bake.  Top the hot rolls with cream cheese frosting….your people with sprint out of bed when they smell them!  Here we go:
Step #1
In a large mixing bowl add yeast to warm water, sugar, salt, and a small amount of flour, whisk to blend.  Allow these ingredients to get acquainted for about 10 minutes.  (The water should be warm, not hot.  Use water the same temperature you’d give to a baby to drink)
Once the water and yeast ingredients are well acquainted, add the beaten eggs, warm milk, and cooled melted butter.  Whisk to blend.
Step #2
Add the whole wheat flour and some of the all purpose flour.
Beat until smooth, without lumps.  Add additional flour and continue to mix….
Step #3
Dump onto board when it looks like this.  Knead with your hands to bring all the ingredients together for 2-3 minutes.  Use enough extra flour to do so without the dough sticking to your hands.
Once you have a nice ball of dough, generously butter a medium size bowl and plop the dough into it.

Butter the top of the dough with soft butter as well.

Cover with a clean kitchen towel.  It being Christmas time, I thought red appropriate.  Allow to rise for 45-60 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Step #4

 Once doubled, press your fingers into the dough. 

If you leave imprints, it’s ready.
Punch down the dough to release most of the air.
Plop onto floured board….
Roll into a large rectangle.  I had to take the picture from this angle because it was so wide!
Smear the entire piece of dough with butter…generously….In the video, I brush melted butter over the dough.  I find you can get more butter onto the dough by smearing softened butter.  Either way is good.
Now a good sprinkling of cinnamon….
and brown sugar….
Step #5
Roll from the bottom edge up to the top….

Pinch the seam to close.  Pinch the ends closed as well.  Slice into 1″ pieces and into two well buttered 9″ cake pans or a 9″x13″ pan.

Aren’t they pretty?  Now cover with the clean kitchen towel to rise for another 45-60 minutes.  If you want to bake in the morning, you would cover and refrigerate at this point.
They have risen….you can see that they have filled the pan nicely.  Bake in preheated 350′ oven for 25 minutes.  While baking, prepare the frosting….
Step #6
Add the softened butter and cream cheese to a deep small bowl. 
Beat until blended.  Add powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. 
The frosting should be thick and rich….
Step #7
Ah, can you imagine the smell in my house????  Cool for a few minutes and invert onto a plate, then onto a serving plate.
Ice the hot cinnamon rolls.
Enjoy immediately!
Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 package dry yeast, about 2 ½ teaspoons
1 cup warm milk (microwave 30 seconds)
2 beaten eggs
3 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
¼ cup whole wheat flour
4 ½ to 5 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons softened butter
1-2 tablespoons cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 tablespoons softened butter
4 ounces softened cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1) In a large mixing bowl, add warm water, salt, sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour, and dry yeast, whisk to blend. Let stand for 10 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, melt butter in microwave and cool until warm. (no hot ingredients can go into the yeast mixture, it will kill it!) Add to yeast mixture. Add warm milk and beaten eggs as well.
3) Add whole wheat flour and 3 cups of all purpose flour. Beat so there are no lumps. Add 1 ½ cups flour to the bowl. Stir until most ingredients have moistened.
4) Dump onto lightly floured board or counter top. Knead for about 2 minutes or until the dough has come into a soft ball of dough.  Use enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the board.
5) Grease a medium size bowl with butter and place the dough ball into it. Butter the top of the dough with one teaspoon of softened butter. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and place in a draft free, warm space. Allow to rise for 45-60 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Press with fingers and when you leave fingerprints in the dough it’s ready.
6) Punch down the dough to release the air. Plop the dough onto a lightly floured board. Roll into a large rectangle, about 16”x 24”.
7) Smear the two tablespoons of softened butter over the dough, distribute evenly.
8) Generously sprinkle the rectangle with cinnamon. I do not measure the cinnamon, just be sure to have an even coating of cinnamon.
9) Evenly distribute the brown sugar over the rectangle.  If you like, add chopped walnuts or pecans.
10) Starting at the bottom of the rectangle, roll to the top, rolling as tightly as possible. Punch the ends together and the seam down the roll.
11) Generously butter two 9” cake pans. Cut the log of dough into 1” pieces and place into pans. Cover with the kitchen towel and allow to rise again for 45-60 minutes.
12) While the rolls are rising, make the frosting. In a small and deep bowl, beat the softened 3 tablespoons of butter and 4 ounces of cream cheese until blended. Add powdered sugar all at once and 2 tablespoons of milk, and vanilla. Beat on lowest speed. Add the last tablespoon of milk, scrape down the sides. Add a little more milk if necessary. I dare you not to taste!
13) Preheat oven to 350’. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven. Cool for about 5 minutes. Invert onto a plate to get it out of the pan and then onto serving plate so that the cinnamon rolls are right side up. Ice with the frosting. Enjoy!
*do not allow to cool for long in the pans, the butter/sugar mixture will harden and make the rolls stick to the pan.
*If you’d like the rolls in the morning, right after you shape them into cinnamon rolls, cover with plastic wrap and kitchen towels. Refrigerate overnight. Go right from the refrigerator to a 350’ preheated oven. They may take a few minutes longer to bake. Cinnamon Roll Demonstration

Fruit and Cream Cheese Kringle…..Detailed Instruction…..

As promised, Kringle!  I’ve been blustering and blustering about it.  Be warned,  you will not be able to stay away from it.  It’s a delicious butter/yeast dough with a cream cheese and fruit filling…..It stays moist for up to three days, if it lasts that long!  This is one of the easiest pastries I’ve ever made.  It is a yeast dough but it isn’t made the typical way yeast is used.  You mix the dough the night before, refrigerate overnight, then shape and bake the next morning.  Shaping takes only 20-30 minutes.  This will be your go to recipe for any holiday going forward.

You MUST try this!  It is so beautiful and you will be so proud to bring it to gatherings with your family and friends.  Here we go….

Step #1:

To begin you blend the butter with the flour and a little salt.  I use the food processor but you can use a hand pastry blender.  Be sure to really incorporate the butter into the flour.  It should look like coarsely ground cornmeal.

Step #2:

Add the liquid.  This is so interesting, you mix cold milk, eggs, and yeast in a measuring cup and beat with a fork to blend.  Then you dump these ingredients into the flour/butter mixture.

Step #3:

Mix so most of the ingredients have moistened  it should look like this.

Step #4:

Empty the bowl onto your counter or board.  Now the fun part.  Knead this mound of dough into a ball.  This should take only a minute or two.  No need to add more flour here unless absolutely necessary.

Step #5:

Are we having fun yet???  I love the feel of a lovely dough such as this on my hands, it’s very therapeutic.  Divide that large ball into two.

Step #5:

Wrap each ball loosely with cling wrap and put into a large zip bag.   You’re done until morning.

Step #6:

The first thing to do in the morning is beat softened cream cheese with sugar.  Get your fruit preserves out as well.

Next, on a lightly floured board or counter, roll out one of the dough balls into a large rectangle.  About 12″ x 18″ or so.

Step #7:

Using half of the cream cheese/sugar mixture, spread evenly over the rectangle of dough, leaving about a one inch boarder.

Step #8

Spread the preserves evenly over the cream cheese.  Ok, can you even imagine how delicious this is going to be???  Cream cheese, fruit preserves, butter dough…..

Step #9:

Start to roll one end of dough towards the center.  Once you get about half way, roll the other side towards the center.  Once both ends are rolled inward, pinch the ends together.  Place on a large parchment lined cookie sheet. 

They should look like this.  I did one raspberry and one apricot.  Into the oven at 350′ for 25 minutes.  While the Kringle is baking, make the icing…

This icing is very simple, just powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk.  This is the consistency you want.  Not too loose but will cling nicely to the warm pastry.

When they’re finished baking, simply slide the paper with the kringle right onto the cooling rack.  Cool for about 10 minutes and they’re ready for drizzle.

Drizzle back and forth with the icing.   Every try drizzling a Kringle with one hand and taking a picture with the other???

I originally found this recipe in a Penzey’s catalog but made some slight changes to the recipe.  Ever since I first made it, it has been my absolute favorite for Christmas morning.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family!



4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 package of dry yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons

Cream cheese filling:

1 8 oz. package softened cream cheese
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons your favorite fruit preserves or filling


2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4-6 teaspoons milk

1) Add flour, butter, sugar, and salt to your food processor. Blend until the flour resembles coarse corn meal-or-blend in a large bowl with a pastry blender.
2) Measure out 1 cup of milk in a two cup measuring cup. Add yeast and eggs. Beat with a fork to combine.
3) Add liquid to the dry ingredients. Mix well with a fork until the dry ingredients are moistened.
4) Empty bowl onto counter and knead with your hands to make a soft dough. Divide into two pieces and shape into balls.
5) Wrap in plastic wrap and put into a large zip bag. Refrigerate overnight.
6) Preheat oven to 350’. Line a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Set aside.
7) Roll out one of the dough balls into a 12” x 18” rectangle. Spread half of the cream cheese over the dough, then spread 2 tablespoons of the preserves evenly over the cream cheese.
8) Roll both short ends of the dough towards the center. Pinch the ends together. Place on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar, vanilla, and 4 teaspoons of milk. Mix well, add more milk if necessary to get the right consistency.
9) Remove from oven and slide the kringles right onto a cooling rack. Cool for 5-10 minutes before drizzling. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Glazed Mini Lemon Poppy Seed Cakes…..

Can you imagine the smell in my house?  I took advantage of this cool day and made these mini poppy seed cakes.   They take only 30 minutes in the oven.  Glaze while they’re still warm.  Lemon zest gives this cake a nice gentle lemon flavor.  The fresh juice from the lemon makes for a delicious and true lemon tasting glaze.  Serve for dessert, also fabulous with brunch.

Mini Lemon Poppy Seed Cakes

2 cups flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1/3 cup poppy seeds
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
¾ cup canola or vegetable oil
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 ½ cups powdered sugar

1) Preheat oven to 350’. Coat 4 mini loaf pans with cooking spray. Mix flour through salt together in a large mixing bowl, set aside.
2) In a medium size mixing bowl, measure out milk, oil, and add eggs. Add zest  from the lemon. Juice the lemon into a small mixing bowl and set aside.
3) Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the egg mixture. Mix well. Divide batter among 4 pans. Bake for 30-33 minutes.
4) Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pans. Place on cooling rack with a layer of wax paper underneath. Add powdered sugar to the bowl with the lemon juice and mix well. Drizzle over warm cakes and allow to set up before you store. Store in cellophane bags and tie with a ribbon. Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread, Coffee Talk!

Good morning!  I’ve had requests for zucchini recipes and the first thing that came to mind is zucchini bread.  This bread is hearty, made with whole grain, and freezes well. 

Imagine a nice visit with your girlfriend on the deck, a hot cup of coffee and a delicious piece of homemade zucchini bread…. (try to block out all the interruptions from the kids, fighting, crying, and questions)  Just be in the moment….

Back to reality.  Make this bread, you and your family will LOVE it!

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

1 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
4 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1) Preheat oven to 350’. Spray 7 mini loaf pans with Pam for Baking. Set aside.
2) In large mixing bowl, mix oil through zucchini, set aside.  Mix all remaining dry ingredients in medium bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture all at once and mix until dry is just incorporated into wet. Divide evenly among mini loaf pans. Bake for 28-32 minutes. Toothpick should come out clean. Cool 15 minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely and wrap tightly in cling wrap. Place into labeled and dated large freezer bag to freeze.

*you may add raisins, chocolate chips, or nuts if you wish. Add them to the dry ingredients. This will prevent them from all settling to the bottom.  You may need an additional pan depending on how much extra ingredient you add.

Blueberry Streusel Muffins…..

What’s not to love about fresh blueberry muffins with streusel no less?  These are very moist, delicious, and easy to make.  Use fresh or frozen blueberries.  Great for breakfast, brunch, or after school…come to think of it, great at anytime of the day!

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

For the muffins:
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 cup fresh blueberries, or frozen blueberries, thawed

For the streusel:
¼ cup flour
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons softened butter

1) Use muffin cups to line muffin pans, coat with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 350’.
2) In a small mixing bowl, combine all streusel ingredients well with your hands. Set aside.
3) In a large mixing bowl, add all dry ingredients, blend well with a whisk. Make a well in the center. Add wet ingredients and mix until just blended, do not over mix.
4) Scoop about a tablespoon of batter into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Top with about 5 blueberries, use them all. Evenly distribute the rest of the batter over the top of the blueberries.
5) Top with a good amount of streusel topping. Bake for 17 minutes. Test with a toothpick. Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm.

Egg & Sausage Breakfast Bake

Hello!  I’d like to share one of my favorite “make ahead” recipes for Christmas morning.  You can add any ingredient you like.  Simply put it together the night before & when you get up, before you open presents, put it in the oven.  It takes 45 minutes to bake and after only about 20 minutes you start to smell the aroma of breakfast, yum!  It’s also nice to serve some sort of bread, try the blueberry streusel, it’s very good and you can make it a couple of days ahead and freeze.  I defrost in the microwave for 2 minutes and it’s ready to go!  Stress free and delicious breakfast, so easy.

1 lb. sausage, cooked and drained (any kind you like, you could also use cooked and crumbled bacon or no meat at all)
Vegetables-any you like, cook them first, otherwise there would be too much moisture.  Mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomatoes, any one or all of these would be great!
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups milk
6 slices of whole wheat bread, cubed
2 teaspoons dried mustard
6 eggs, beaten

Evenly coat a large casserole dish or a 9 x 13″ pan with cooking spray.  Add cubed bread.  Cook and drain sausage, add evenly over bread.  (if you want to add any vegetables, cook and add them now) Beat the rest of the  ingredients in a mixing bowl and pour over bread and sausage.  Cover and chill overnight.  Place in cold oven and set temperature to 350′, bake for 45 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Blueberry Streusel Bread

3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
8 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups milk
½ cup canola oil

Streusel topping:

1 cup sugar
½ cup flour
5 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1)  Pre heat oven to 350’.  Evenly coat 7 mini loaf pans with cooking spray, set aside.
2)  In a small bowl, combine all streusel ingredients with your hands until you have a nice crumbly mixture.  Set aside.
3)  In a large mixing bowl, combine first 5 ingredients, mix well, add blueberries, gently stir to coat, make a well in center.
4)  Add wet ingredients into well, stir until just combined.
5)  Add a large spoonful of batter into each pan, top with a small amount of streusel, add more batter to fill pan to 2/3 full.  Top each loaf evenly with remaining topping.
6)  Bake for 30-33 minutes.  Test with a toothpick for doneness.
7)  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, then carefully remove from pans and allow to cool completely on rack.  Package in cellophane bags or wrap in saran.  Freeze if you will not be using immediately.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Bread

This pumpkin bread recipe is so delicious. Extremely moist and the spices leave a lovely aftertaste on the pallette. I recommend having it with a nice cup of coffee or tea. I would also recommend sharing, why not wrap one in a cellophane bag with a pretty ribbon. Great for teacher gifts, hostess gifts, or just to cheer someone up. The bread also freezes very well.


Preheat oven to 350′.

Prepare 8 small bread pans with cooking spray. (you can buy mini aluminum bread pans in the baking isle in most any grocery store)

In a large mixing bowl, combine:

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon each of nutmeg,cinnamon, cloves, & baking powder

Mix well with a whisk. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add:

1- 15 oz. can pumpkin
4 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 cup of water

Mix well until all dry ingredients are incorporated. You may add 1 cup chopped walnuts & 1/2 cup raisins if you like. (optional) Bake for 30-35 minutes. Insert a toothpick to check for doneness, also, when you lightly touch the top it should be firm. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then carefully remove from pans and let cool completely and wrap in cling wrap. I prefer the pretty cellophane bags you can buy at the craft store. Enjoy!