Monthly Archives: April 2015

Bread and Jam for Frances – Toasted Sourdough Bread with Goat Cheese and Raspberry Spread


Bread and Jam for Frances –
Toasted Sourdough Bread with Goat Cheese and Raspberry Spread

Growing up, going to the public library was a big event. Once a week my mom would take my brother and I to our home town library. We were allowed three books sometimes four, if they were small. If we visited on the right day and everyone behaved, we were able to stay for story hour too. This may not sound like much today, with all the internet options we have now but in the 1960’s in a rural area is was wonderful to have access to all those books. I loved books and I still do both in print and in ebook form. But I digress, who is Frances and why does she have bread and jam.

“Bread and Jam for France’s,” is a children’s book by Russell Hoban. The author had a series of books about a little girl badger who is a very picker eater and will only eat bread and jam. She was just my “bull headed,” ideal.  Not that I was a picky eater, no never, but I liked to do things my own way. Some say I still do.

I passed on the love of the book to my daughter, as well as a love of cooking. Who says it skips a generation? When I bake bread or make jam I think of Frances. So here are a couple of recipes the might hit the spot.

Sourdough Bread

(King Arthur Flour Site)

1 cup “fed” sourdough starter
1 1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
4-5 cups all purpose flour or bread flour, or a combination of the two.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine all ingredients and knead to a smooth consistency. Allow to rise for 90 minutes in a grease bowl covered.
Divide the dough in half and shape into loaves.
Cover and allow to rise 1 hour.
Spray loaves with warm water, slash loaves and bake for 25-30 minutes.




Raspberry Spread

1 pint raspberries
1/4 raw sugar

Combine in a sauce pan and reduce down. This is more of a sauce than a jam but drizzled over the goat cheese this is the right consistency.


Toasted Sourdough Bread with Goat Cheese and Raspberry Spread

6 – 8 slices sourdough bread
4 ounces goat cheese
Raspberry Spread

Slice and toast the sourdough on the grill, the flavor you get from the grill is awesome. Spread with goat cheese and drizzle raspberry on top, no picky eaters here!

“Leftover” Steak Pie

Tuesday nights are the one of those nights, at supper time, that I have a tendency to end up scavenging in the refrigerator, because I usually go to the store come Wednesday morning.  The refrigerator will have bits and pieces from the previous week, but it will also have the leftovers from whatever restaurants that my husband and I have been to that weekend.  Yes, we like to eat out, too!

I throughly enjoy leftovers, and think that you should always use up as much as you possibly can.  Not just of economic reasons but because a lot of dishes just get better, with a little time for the flavors to meld together.

Inventory of the pantry; potatoes, onions, garlic, canned tomato sauce; refrigerator, leftover steak, very nice piece of ribeye but not enough for two and some lovely bone marrow butter. I have hamburger that needs to be cooked before it goes bad. Leftover beet greens from roasted beets earlier in the week, and frozen peas and carrots. And I have about a ounce of extra sharp cheddar cheese, go figure how did that end up in the back of the frig.


Beet Leaves

Beet Leaves


Supper Time


Diced Ribeye and Bone Marrow Butter


Leftover wine, yeah!

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“Leftover” Steak Pie

4- 5 ounces of diced steak

1 pound ground hamburger

beet leaves, leaves only not stems, from 3 beets

1 small onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil, or whatever is leftover I used the bone marrow butter

1 teaspoon dried pepper flake

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 can tomato sauce

1 can diced tomatoes

1/4 red wine

1 12-oz package frozen peas and carrots

1-2 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese

4 medium sized potatoes, yellow yukon work nicely

milk and butter to taste, for mashed potatoes

Salt and pepper should be used sparingly because the food has already been seasoned from their previous cooking processes.

Chop potatoes, if the potatoes have a thin skin I don’t always peel them, and place in a medium sized pan, cover with cold water, lightly salt water and bring to a boil. When fork tender, drain and mash with butter and milk.

Chop beet leaves and give them a good rinse. Blanch for 3 minutes and drain.  Brown hamburger, drain and set to one side. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil, and add drained beet leaves.

Combine tomatoes, wine, diced steak, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flake, hamburger, and onion, garlic, beet leaf mixture. Spoon into oven safe dishes, or one medium sized casserole and top with mashed potatoes and grated sharp cheddar cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes to brown the top of the potatoes. Make 3-4 servings.


Hot Cross Buns

Coming in for a Landing

Poppies with Bee

With Easter two days away, hot cross buns are something I try to make every year, time permitting.  This year will bring some new traditions. This year is the first that I won’t have my children around to cook Easter dinner for.  So making these rolls are bringing on a wave of nostalgia.

Its said that the Anglo-Saxons were the ones to create cross buns as an offering to their goddess Eostre for a fertile year. There are many different stories, whichever you believe just have a good time with these “fun buns.”

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Hot Cross Buns

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/3 cup unsalted butter melted
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
3 cups of purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 cup raisins, plumped and cooled
1 egg beaten, for brushing on top

Icing glaze:
2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla paste

Adapted from the Food Network Kitchen.

Warm the milk and  water to 100 degrees and remove from the heat add yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of the flour, allow to bloom for 30 minutes or so.  Whisk in melted butter, egg yolk and vanilla paste into the bloomed mixture.

Combine flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and grated ginger in a large bowl. Create a well in the center of the flour and stir in the yeast mixture with a wooden spoon.  The mixture will be sticky.  Turn the dough onto a floured counter, knead the raisins into the dough.  Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes, work the dough into a smooth ball. Brush a bowl with butter, roll the ball in the bowl coating all sides.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to raise for 1 1/2 hours.

After the dough has raised form it into 2 oz balls, place in a buttered 9×13 baking pan. Cover once again and allow to rise for 45 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake 20-25 minutes.

Once baked and cooled, stir together glaze. Place in a ziplock bag and clip the end and ice buns.