This blog... a compilation of my favorite recipes. They have been collected over several years found in various places: the internet, magazines, and cookbooks to name a few. These recipes are meals that I consider to "feed more than your body". These are meals that I hope nurish the heart and soul of those who eat them. I hope that when you have cleaned your plate, you feel like you have taken part in more than just a meal-that you have taken part in something bigger than yourself and food. Whether it is culture, your local place of living, or the life of the plant or those who share this planet, I hope these meals help your family-and mine-to appreciate that we are more than just beings consuming food; we are all connected. And more than that, I hope that these meals help you remember how fortunate you are and that "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.".

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sweet Potato Bread

1 2/3 cup flour
1 ½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
½ c oil
½ c water
1 c mashed sweet potato
2 eggs
½ c chopped nuts (optional)

Oven at 325. Stir all dry ingredients together. Add oil, water, potatoes, and eggs. Mix well. Stir in nuts. Spoon in a greased loaf pan. Bake 75-90 minutes until bread pulls away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

First Birthday Banana Sour Cream Cake

1 pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3)
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup oil

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese , softened (full fat or reduced fat)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 pkg. (16 oz.) powdered sugar
1 cup finely chopped walnuts**

Oven at 350°F. Beat first 5 ingredients with mixer on low speed just until moistened, stopping frequently to scrape bottom and side of bowl. Beat on medium speed 2 min. Pour into greased and floured 13x9-inch pan. (Or you may choose to use 2 9-inch circle pans) Bake 35 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (If using circle pans, follow cooking time on box.) Cool completely.

Beat cream cheese and butter with mixer until well blended. Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition.

Remove cake from pan. Carefully cut cake crosswise in half using serrated knife. Place 1 cake half, top-side down, on plate; spread with some of the cream cheese frosting. Top with remaining cake half, top-side up. Spread top and sides with remaining frosting. Press nuts into sides. Keep refrigerated. (If using circle pans, frost traditionally, using nuts if wanted).

**Note-Since this was a first birthday cake for my son, we omitted the nuts.
**Note-I made this for two separate birthday parties and both time got rave reviews!

Grapefruit Pecan Quick Bread

1-2 large pink grapefruit (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon grated grapefruit rind
2 cups all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour or a combination of the two
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped pecans

cooking spray
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water

Coat an 8 1/2 x 4 ½ inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Peel and section grapefruit over a bowl, reserving juice and membranes. Set sections aside.
Squeeze membranes to extract juice and discard membranes. Place sections and juice in a food processor and pulse 3 times. Set aside 1 and 1/4 cups mixture and reserve remaining grapefruit mixture for another use.

Combine rind, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine grapefruit mixture, oil, vanilla and egg. Stir well. Add to grapefruit mixture dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Stir in pecans.

Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Combine powdered sugar and water and stir well with a wire whisk. Drizzle over bread and let cool in the pan 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and let cool completely on wire rack before serving.

**Note-This bread freezes well. If you are freezing it, do not cover with the sugar and water mixture. The sugar mixture adds a lot of sweetness to an otherwise slightly sour bread; I would not omit it!