Archive for the ‘Cinnamon’ Category

Here’s a dessert I really enjoy and is simple to make.  While this site usually advocates using produce in season, here’s a recipe that is fairly forgiving if the strawberries are not at their peak – though of course, in season tastes better and costs less.  Also remember to clean your strawberries well as they are listed among the fruits with the highest levels of residual pesticides.  Beginners: slice off and discard the tops.

This is recipe is a mild variation on another web recipe but this time the changes are few but significant.  The original recipe calls for ¾ cup of vegetable oil.  Here I cut the oil in half and compensate by increasing the amount of strawberries.  Strawberries when they bake give off a lot of water so do not be concerned that your batter will be barely moistened when you add in the strawberries.  A note for dieters – even with cutting the oil in half, the entire recipe is about 2700 calories – which per serving (no matter how small you serve) is not slimming.IMG_0318

The other change is that I use an 8×8 pan rather than a loaf pan.  The best parts of this recipe are the top and the sides (the rest is very good too).  Also cooking in a flatter pan also reduces baking time and you do not get that gooey middle that sometimes forms when oil based breads take a few days to eat.  If you want, a 7×11 pan should work well too.  I find that many dessert breads turn out better in an 8×8 pan than a loaf pan.

Oatmeal Strawberry Bread – 1 Rolling pin


  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup oats (I have not tried the quick variety)
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pound strawberries roughly chopped (about 3/8 “ dice +/-)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8×8 glass pan.
  • Stir together in a large bowl: flour, outs, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt
  • In a smaller bowl, whisk together the oil and the eggs until well mixed
  • Stir the oil-egg mixture into the dry ingredients until all the dry ingredients are moist
  • Fold (stir) in the strawberries
  • Place batter in the pan, spreading it out evenly
  • Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 – 60 minutes (check out 45 minutes if using a 7×11 pan).
  • Cool on a wire rack.

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Every Sunday night my friend Ben hosts a potluck dinner for our group of friends.  It’s a great way to kick back and enjoy new food.  Each week has a theme: “Japanese Curry,” “Crepes,”  “Russian Food,” etc. These potlucks give me a chance to experiment with foods and cultures I wouldn’t ordinarily cook.  As I explore different foods, or sometimes go into my own recipe archives I will share them here so we can explore together.

This Sunday is “Red, Green and Ham” themed.  I decided to bring two dishes: the spinach-artichoke dip recipe from yesterday and bread pudding.  I have a rock-hard, couldn’t-get-more-stale-if-it-tried loaf of French bread that must go so bread pudding it is!  This recipe is in the “New Orleans” style and has lots of great flavors, and goes well with the WWOZ FM New Orleans Jazz Radio I have playing in the background.  So on to the cooking!

Bread Pudding – 1 Knife


  • 1 loaf stale French bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter (half a stick)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup Sweet Bourbon or Rum (or vanilla extract)


  1. Take the raisins and place them in a bowl with the Bourbon or Rum and let soak for one hour.  Stir halfway through to make sure all of the raisins are coated.  After an hour remove raisins from the liquid and discard the liquid.
  2. Cut the loaf of bread into 1 inch pieces.


  1. Preheat your oven to 350º Fahrenheit
  2. In a large mixing bowl add sugar and melted butter.  Mix in eggs and milk until smooth.
  3. Add vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and raisins to mixture and stir until incorporated.
  4. Add bread to the mixture and stir so that all of the bread is coated.  Let the mixtures sit for 15 minutes to allow the bread to soak up the liquid.
  5. Transfer the bread mixture into a 9×13 inch pan or 2 quart casserole.
  6. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes to an hour.
  7. Let pudding cool before serving and enjoy!

Now things don’t always go right in the kitchen.  In my case I only had ½ cup of sugar and my loaf was closer to half a loaf when I cut it up – and of course I had already melted the full amount of butter and was soaking a full load of raisins.  My bread was also so rock hard (really, really stale) that I soaked for 30 minutes to let the crust soften  a tad.  I do LOVE the flavors used in this recipe though, so I did not hold back on the spices.  My revised experiment in bread pudding in the end was:

  • 1 loaf stale French bread (the small baguette from Whole Foods)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cups brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter (half a stick)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup Wild Turkey American Honey

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