Pecan Streusel Bread

A sweet friend and her husband just finished building their dream home.  When going over to see the new diggs, I wanted to bake something special to celebrate.  She and I sat, talking for hours, enjoying the gorgeous view and each having two generous pieces of this bread.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, October 2012.

Substitution made.  The original title for this recipe is Walnut Streusel Bread.  I just don’t do walnuts, so pecans (the better nut) were substituted.

pecan streusel bread 1

Pecan Streusel Bread

1/3 c packed brown sugar
1/3 c old-fashioned rolled oats
1 tblsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of salt
2 tblsp butter, melted
2 tblsp chopped pecans

9 oz all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 tblsp butter, softened
2/3 c granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c fat-free buttermilk
Baking spray with flour (such as Baker’s Joy)

pecan streusel bread 2

Preheat to 350 degrees.

To prepare streusel, combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl.  Add 2 tblsp melted butter, stirring until well combined.  Stir in nuts, set aside.

To prepare bread, weigh or lightly spoon 9 oz flour in to dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk.  Combine 5 tblsp butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at med-high speed until well blended.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition; beat in vanilla.  Beating at low speed, add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat just until combined.  Scrape half of batter into a 9×5-inch loaf pan coated with baking spray; sprinkle with half of streusel mixture.  Spread remaining batter over streusel; swirl.  Sprinkle remaining streusle on top of batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center come out with moist crumbs clinging.  Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack.  Remove from pan; cook completely on wire rack.

pecan streusel bread 3

cartoon-strawberry-9 This quick bread is a buttery, crumbly coffee cake.  Meant to be enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee and a dear friend.

Individual Gooey Butter Cakes

The first time I had Butter Cake was at a restaurant here in Nashville, I was splitting a piece with a friend.  We very politely fought over every last bite and both considered licking the bowl.  Maybe a year later I came across a recipe for Butter Cake on Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen Blog.  So far I’ve always halved the recipe, not wanting to over indulge in the deliciousness.

Then my darling friend Leslie had the best idea EVER, why not use a muffin pan and make individual cakes?

Here is the link to the original recipe – Gooey Butter Cake

butter cake 1

Individual Gooey Butter Cakes

1 1/4 c flour
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c milk
1/2 stick butter – melted
1/8 c beaten egg

4 oz cream cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 stick butter – melted
1 1/2 + 1/8 c confectioners sugar

butter cake 2

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously butter muffin cups.

Prepare crust first.  In a large bowl, combing all crust ingredients with a wooden spoon until moist.  Measure out 1/8 c of crust mixture into each muffin cup, press down evenly and set pan aside.

Prepare the filling.  With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Add eggs, vanilla and melted butter and continue to mix.  Add sugar 1/2 cup at a time until all sugar is mixed in.  Pour 1/8 c of filling over crust in each muffin cup.

Bake for 20 minutes until tops are slightly browned.  Cool 15 minutes before serving.  Use a small offset spatula to remove the cakes.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or fresh berries (or both!).

butter cake 3

Cheese Tortellini with spinach, peas and brown butter

Husband was away on a business trip, and I was looking for a recipe that included tomatoes or mushrooms for me to try.  Have I mentioned he doesn’t like tomatoes or mushrooms?

This recipe is from Real Simple, September 2012.

I did not alter the recipe in any way.

cheese tortellini 1

Cheese Tortellini with spinach, peas and brown butter

1 lb fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
1 c frozen peas
4 tblsp unsalted butter
1 small bunch flat-leaf spinach, thick stems removed (about 6 cups)
1 medium beefsteak tomato
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tblsp fresh lemon juice
kosher salt and black pepper

Cook the tortellini according to the package directions, adding the peas during the last minute of cooking.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the spinach and tomato and cook, tossing occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and the tomato begins to soften, 4 to 5 minutes more.

Add the tortellini, peas, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper to the skillet and toss to combine.

cheese tortellini 2

cartoon-strawberry-9I still haven’t perfected the brown butter technique, I think I should have cooked the butter just a little longer.  This was a wonderful dish, filling and light.  To make it a little more hearty, I would add a cup of shredded chicken and maybe saute some mushrooms before adding the spinach and tomatoes.