Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Cinnamon Pumpkin Quick Bread #BreadBakers

Cinnamon Pumpkin Quick Bread is made with the muffin-method. Bowl of wet ingredients mixed quickly with the bowl of dry. The texture is light yet moist with just the right amount of sweetness. 

This month my Bread Baker group is doing one of two things. Jumping the gun, if you aren’t ready for pumpkin recipes yet. Or fulfilling your what-the-heck-took-so-long needs for pumpkin bread, if you’ve been waiting.

If you are in the former group, hey, pin them for later. If you are in the latter, you are most welcome. Either way, you are going to love this creative group of recipes. Many thanks to our host this month, Kylee of Kylee Cooks. Kylee is a fellow expat in reverse. She was born and raised in New Zealand but lives in the US now. I can completely relate to her regrets that her boys don't get to spend as much time with their grandmother as she did with hers. There are pluses and minuses to this expat life and missing family is a big downside.

You know what helps ease the pain though? Sweet pumpkin bread with cinnamon. This recipe has been adapted from one on the King Arthur website. I have no idea why they complicated their lives by using beaters for quick bread but my way is much easier and completely delicious.

1 3/4 cups or 220g flour
1/2 cup or 100g granulated sugar
1/2 cup, firmly packed, or 100g dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup or 200g canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup or 120ml vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1/3 cup or 80ml water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To decorate:
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your loaf pan by rubbing the inside with a little oil or by lining it with baking parchment.

Use a large bowl to mix together your flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. My brown sugar tends to get lumpy. If you have the same problem, use the tines of a fork or even your hands to get rid of the lumps.

In another smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the canned pumpkin, oil, eggs, water and vanilla extract.

Pour your wet ingredients into your dry.

Fold until they are just mixed. There may still be a little flour showing.

Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle on the pumpkin seeds, then top them with the cinnamon sugar.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 60-70 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. For the last 20 minutes or so, cover the top loosely with foil.

Allow to cool completely in the pan before slicing.


Check out all the lovely pumpkin or pumpkin spice breads we have for you today.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Spring Onion Pancakes #FoodieExtravaganza

Flakey, light and tasty, these reduced oil spring onion pancakes are a crispy delight, dipped in a spicy, salty sauce.

Pancakes. Growing up this meant one thing. An ever-so-slightly sweet batter cooked to golden perfection on a buttered griddle pan, then slathered with more butter and syrup. Then I learned that if you are in the UK and order pancakes, you’ll get what I would call crepes. These are made with a much thinner batter and are properly eaten with a sprinkling of sugar and a good squeeze of lemon. In our family, my husband is the crepe master and our girls like to eat his special crepes with lemon, sugar AND some chocolate syrup.

I was just about grown up when I met my first Chinese pancake, which really isn’t related, except by shape, to either of the other two. Spring onion pancakes start out as a dough. There are no leavening agents, just some oil between the layers that makes them puff up and gives them their flakey texture.

Typically, spring onion pancakes can be a bit oily. After all, they are supposed to be shallow fried, plus the dough’s been oiled to make it separate into flaky layers. It may not be traditional, but at our house, we like my way better, which is to use a non-stick skillet, and just a little bit of oil to still get the necessary crunch.

For the pancakes:
2 1/3 cups or 290g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup or 156ml lukewarm water
1/4 cup or 60ml canola or other light vegetable oil
1/2 cup or 25g spring onions, minced

For the spicy dipping sauce:
1/3 cup or 80ml light soy sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon kecap manis or sweet dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onions or chives
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 small red chili pepper, sliced

Sift your flour into a large bowl, along with the salt. Make a well in the center and add in your lukewarm water.

Start on the inside of the well and gradually mix the flour into the water until it is all absorbed.

It looks quite dry but turn it out onto a clean work surface and knead it all together until you have a smooth stretchy dough.

Put the dough ball back into the bowl and pour over the 1/4 cup or 60ml of oil. Turn the ball to coat and cover the bowl with cling film. Leave to rest for one hour.

While the dough rests, make the dipping sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.

When the hour is up, remove the dough ball from the oil and set the bowl aside. We are going to use that oil to cook the pancakes, so don’t toss it out.

Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces, cutting them with a sharp knife, then using your hands to rub the oil around each piece.

Use a rolling pin to roll each piece out into a circle of 6 in or 15cm. Sprinkle on the chopped green onions.

Roll the circle into a tube.

Starting at one end, roll the tube up into a spiral, tucking the end of the tube under. Press down on the spiral with the palm of your hand to secure the end.

Now use the rolling pin to roll the spiral into a circle of 6 in or 15cm. Set each aside on a lined baking sheet. Repeat till all of the pancakes are rolled out.

To cook the pancakes, heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over a medium heat and use your spatula to drip just a little of the oil from the dough resting bowl into the pan.
Cook each pancake for a couple of minutes on one side, watching carefully as it puffs up and gets golden spots on the underside.

Flip the pancakes and cook on the other side for another minute or two, until they puff again and have brown spots on that side. Keep the pancakes warm as you repeat the process until all of them are cooked.

Purists say you have to tear the pancakes and dip small bites into the sauce because cutting them flattens the flakiness. I’ve been served them whole or cut in many Chinese restaurants though, so do what makes you happy.

Do serve the spring onion pancakes warm, with the dipping sauce.


Are you a lover of pancakes? Then this month’s Foodie Extravaganza event is going to be your favorite! We’ve got all sorts of pancakes, both sweet and savory for you. Many thanks to Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking for hosting this month!

Foodie Extravaganza celebrates obscure food holidays or shares recipes with the same ingredient or theme every month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook group Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out here.

Pin Spring Onion Pancakes!


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Bacon-wrapped Shrimp Jalapeño Poppers

Bacon-wrapped Shrimp Jalapeño Poppers are made with four of my favorite things: spicy jalapeños, sharp cheese, pan-fried shrimp and bacon. They are super easy to put together and bake up crispy in the oven. Make them ahead of time and bake when you are ready to serve.

My grocery stores here in Dubai are hit or miss when it comes to some ingredients. All year-round we can find the little red chili peppers that are often used in Asian cooking but habaneros and jalapeños turn up less frequently. I’ve learned over the last almost four years of living here to take advantage, and quickly, when I see those two.

I make my own habanero sauce that we eat on just about everything so I buy the peppers, remove the stems and wash them immediately. Then I freeze them in a Ziploc bag until I am ready to make sauce. Making habanero sauce requires weather cool enough to open the windows and doors to let some fresh air in and that won’t happen here until a little later in the year.

When decent-sized jalapeños appear, I make poppers. Traditional jalapeño poppers are filled with cheese, breaded and deep-fried but for many years, I’ve been either breading and baking mine, or wrapping them in bacon and baking them. Either way makes a fabulous, delicious jalapeño popper.

I’ve been on kind of a shrimp kick lately, with last week’s bacon-wrapped spicy baked shrimp and spicy salmon shrimp burgers on this blog and, even today, make sure you check out my Cucumber Shrimp Cups on the Sunday Supper Movement website. They are pretty and tasty!

When there were jalapeños in my local grocery store and Sunday Supper announced a football food theme, I knew what I had to do! Add shrimp to my bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers as well. Best decision ever! If you are gearing up for football season, you'll want to make these and possibly everything else on the list below. Let the games begin!

24 medium shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 oz or 100g cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 oz or 100g extra sharp cheddar, grated
2 cloves garlic, garlic pressed or very finely minced
12 fresh jalapeños
12 slices streaky bacon

Preheat your oven to 425°F or 218°C.

Heat a skillet and drizzle in the olive oil. Quickly cook the shrimp for a few minutes, sprinkling them with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Cut jalapeños in half lengthwise. I like to cut carefully through the stem as well so each half still looks like it has a stem.

Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and membranes. If you don’t like things too spicy, you can discard these. I like to add them to the cheese filling.

Mix together the cream cheese, cheddar, garlic and salt. Chop the membranes of the jalapeños and add them in along with the seeds, if desired. Give the whole bowl a few good grinds of black pepper and mix again.

Fill the jalapeño halves with the cheese mixture. Top them with a shrimp each. Cut the bacon slices in two and wrap one around each shrimp topped jalapeño popper.  Secure the bacon with a toothpick.

Set them in a baking pan.

Bake for 20 minutes in your preheated oven or until bacon is crispy and cheese is turning golden as well.


Many thanks to our host today, Coleen of The Redhead Baker and our event manager, Shelby of Grumpy's Honeybunch. How I wish I could get together with all my Sunday Supper friends to watch football. Who am I kidding? I really just want to eat all these fabulous dishes!

Main Dishes
Side Dishes

Pin Bacon-wrapped Shrimp Jalapeño Poppers!