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Pinterest, Food Network, & Snacks, Oh MY!

I’ve been struggling with making lunches and snack interesting again. I’ve looked to Pinterest and Food Network and Bento Mama home pages. I’ve tried so many different things. Some, like the pizza bagels (easy peasy: toast a bagel, put it in the lunch box, add a tub of pizza sauce and a tub of shredded cheese and send to school for kids to assemble) and the Turkey/Cheese Skewers (with festive skewers ordered online) have been instant hits. Others, like the Cherry Angel Food Dump Cake (again, easy: dump one can cherry pie filling into greased 9×13 pan, dump box of angel food cake mix on top of that, dump one stick of butter on top of that. cook for 40 minutes at 350 degrees), no one loved (it fizzed in your mouth. it was disturbing).

Today I made a version of Puppy Chow that I’ve taste tested before the kids get home. It’s got chocolate and peanut butter and bits of dried fruit and random dry cereal. It has a couple substitutions for kids likes/dislikes, but I’m still thinking it won’t be a hit. Or maybe it will be. I just don’t know.

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Neighbor Bread

Here’s the story: on Wednesday morning, I went to my friend Stephanie J’s house for coffee. She served the MOST DELICIOUS coffee cake EVER. It turned out to be a recipe one of the neighbor’s had given her…and she had used figs that another neighbor had given her to make it. Wednesday night I was over at the (recipe) neighbor’s house for a wine tasting party and asked for the recipe. She laughed and introduced me to Debbie, who is her “neighbor” at work who had given HER the recipe.  Hence the name Neighbor Bread. So I posted about it to facebook and this recipe now has a following. I’m posting it here in slightly edited form (It was originally sent in to a newspaper and “my” copy of it has the newspaper bit at the top, with bits crossed out, underlined, and whited out & written over, with copious notes at the bottom.).

Neighbor Bread

AKA Fresh Fig Bread with Sherry

Spread the slices with cream cheese or butter and serve at breakfast or teatime, or for dessert.  Moist, sweet, and lightly perfumed, fig bread goes well with tea, apple juice, or sherry.

 

1 ½ cups stemmed and coarsely

chopped ripe dark or light figs

1 teaspoon  each ground cinnamon and baking soda
¼ cup dry sherry ½ teaspoon each ground nutmeg and salt
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour 1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts ½ cup salad oil
2 large eggs

Combine figs and sherry; let stand at least 15 minutes. Mix together flour, walnuts, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt.

In a mixer bowl, beat sugar, oil, and eggs to mix. Blend in flour mixture; gently stir in figs and sherry. Pour batter into a well-greased 5×9 inch loaf pan. Bake in 350 degree oven until bread feels firm when gently pressed in center, about 1 ¼ hours. Let cool in pan 10 MIN. Invert onto rack to cool. Slice to serve. To store, wrap airtight and keep at room temperature up to 4 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Makes about a 2-pound loaf, or 12 servings. —Lee Jordan, Concord, California.

Notes on page from Connie (as passed on from her friend Debbie):

-can substitute port for sherry (or marsala)

-if using “cooking sherry” omit the salt

-place wax paper along bottom of pan & grease generously

-takes about 16-17 small figs, or 2 cups untrimmed figs

-can substitute pears for figs (takes about 3 pears- peel them)

-maybe add extra yolk if using pears.


Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

Scone versus biscuit

ImageWe’re having breakfast this morning, one of those Martha White bagged breakfast bread kind of mornings, when the topic of biscuits versus scones comes up.  These drop biscuits really resemble unfettered muffins more than biscuits or scones, with their weird shape and overwhelming sweetness.

So we took to the Internet and found that most sites will tell you that yes, there’s a difference, but nowhere did they state that exact difference (other than the whole “one is Scottish, one is associated with the American South” thing).  So later in the week when we’re not so pressed for time, do expect us to have a scone versus biscuits extravaganza.  Yes, we’re going to bake this out.  🙂