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Monday, April 20, 2015

(SRC) Nutella Peanut Butter Braid

Every. Single. Morning.  My beloved youngest daughter, Colette has Nutella and peanut butter on whole wheat bread. On one half of the bread I spread the Nutella and on the other is the PB and then I gently fold over the bread and (kindly) cut off the crust.  I'm a sucker for that kind of thing. Hey, if it's going to make my morning that much calmer and smoother I will cut off those silly crusts any day! Needless to say we go through a LOT of Nutella and peanut butter in our house.  I wonder if I could buy stock in Nutella?? 

When I came across this recipe for Nutella Peanut Butter Bread Bread on sweet Stephanie's blog, Dessert Before Dinner I was smitten right away.  I really tried to pick a different recipe for my Secret Recipe Club assignment but I kept coming back to this one.  I even tried to convince myself to make Stephanie's delicious looking recipe Breakfast Crescent Roll and her Sand Dollar Almond Cookies - but nope, my self-c0ntrol for Nutella and peanut butter together as one was very low.  I had to do it.  If not for me for my youngest daughter for all of you. Yes, I strive to bring all my precious followers only the best.  And Nutella is truly only the best.

I loved the technique and process that it took to create this bread.  It starts with a simple sweet dough along with making a sheet of Nutella and peanut butter.  The two are brought together after the dough rose and the sheet froze (goodness, that could be a song!!).  The sheet of N and pb is placed in the center of the rolled out dough.   The dough is folded over the chocolate sheet and then gently rolled to be repeated multiple times to create this marriage of amazing-ness. After feeling satisfied with the layers of Nutella, PB and sweet dough all as one,  then you divide the dough into three equal pieces and braid them together.  Viola! - a masterpiece! A sweet, beautiful and delicious masterpiece.

I thank you, Stephanie for sharing such a treasure of a recipe with me.   And now I pass along this gem to all of you.  Enjoy! 

 Nutella Peanut Butter Braid  
          (recipe from Dessert Before Dinner

1 packet of yeast (2 1/4 tsps)
1/2 cup milk, room temperature or heat in microwave for 25 seconds
2 TBSP butter, melted
2 TBSP sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup flour 
2 TBSP Nutella
2 TBSP peanut butter

 In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, melted butter, sugar and vanilla.  Sprinkle yeast over this mixture and stir together gently.  Allow for mixture to sit for about 10 minutes and then pour into a large bowl.

Add in flour to wet mixture 1/4 cup at a time until a soft dough forms.  Set dough in a warm draft-free location and let rise for at least 45 minutes.  

While dough is rising spread Nutella and peanut butter on a sheet of parchment paper into a rectangle of about 9x5.  Place into freezer while dough is rising - at least 45 minutes.

Roll out dough into a 11x7 rectangle and then flip the N and PB sheet into center of dough.  Fold sides of dough over N and PB pinching the ends.  Fold dough into 3rds starting at each end making a square.  Gently roll out your square and then repeat folding dough into 3rds on top of one another to form a square.  Do this sequence as many times as you can - the more layers you make the flakier your bread will be. 

Roll dough into  12-16" long strip and then cut into three long strips, keeping one end in tack. Braid the strips together.  

Allow braid to rise for 45 minutes before baking in a 350 degrees F oven. Bake for 30 minutes.  Cool slightly and dig in! 


 Happy Nutella Peanut Butter Braid Baking!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Triple Lemon Bundt Cake #BundtBakers

It is with great honor and delight that I present to you my first post as being part of a lovely group of food bloggers called, #BundtBakers.  #BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the BundtBaker home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.  This month the lovely Anshie from SpiceRoots  has chosen the theme as "Hidden Surprise" - Bundt cakes with fillings or stuffing. There was no constraint on filling and flavor choices. The only requirement was that the cake be filled/stuffed inside.  Thank you so very, very much Anshie for all the work you put into hostessing this group this month.  It has been so much fun for me!  This month there are about 36 participants who have baked up a bundt cake with Anshie's theme of "Hidden Surprise" in mind. Please scroll to the bottom of this post to see the links to every one's cakes.  I can't wait to see what everyone has come up with.  I choose to bake a Triple Lemon Bundt Cake.  I have always loved baking with lemon.  It's fresh and light and has a lovely fragrant flavor. 

 If you are a lemon lover this is the cake for you as it is packed with lemon goodness both inside and out.  The cake starts off with the simplicity of a lemon pound cake that surrounds a decadent tunnel of lemon curd.  The cake is then topped off with a delicate lemon glaze. 

The beauty of this cake not only comes from it's visual presentation but also because it can feed quite a lot of hungry lemon loving mouths.  I shared the cake with my family, multiple friends and even my knitting group and I still have a nice size portion remaining.

I loved every one's happy reaction to the discovery of the surprise of the lemon curd that was slightly swirled within the cake.  The pound cake had a perfect texture that held the lemon curd enough so that it didn't fall to the bottom of the cake. If the cake had been lighter in texture it would not have worked as well. 

Grab some lemons and join me in baking up a wonderful cake that is sure to please and surprise all your lemon fans. 

Triple Lemon Bundt Cake 
(recipe slightly adapted from The Christan Science Monitor)

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2-3 large lemons 
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup lemon curd (I used Dickinson's - homemade is fine too)  
1 cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan - set aside. 

Beat butter until light.  Add in sugar and beat together until light and fluffy -  about 2-3 minutes.  Add in eggs one at a time - beating well in between each egg.  

Grate rind of 2 lemons (1 will be for the cake batter, the other for the glaze) and juice enough lemons to equal 1/4 cup + 2 TBSP of juice (set aside for glaze).  Add rind of 1 lemon and 1/4 cup lemon juice to the butter, sugar and egg mixture.  Mix well all together.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Scrape down sides of bowl when needed.

Pour 1/2 of cake batter into prepared cake pan.  Spoon lemon curd into center of batter and then carefully run a butter knife through the curd and batter to slightly incorporate.  Spoon remaining batter over curd.  Smooth batter evenly with the back of a spoon or an off set knife. 

Bake for 50-55 minutes - the top will be golden brown and will not wiggle when shaken.  Cool cake for at least 30 minutes before inverting to a serving plate.  

While cake cools completely make glaze by combining powdered sugar, 2 TBSP lemon juice and 1/2 of the remaining grated rind. Add in more lemon juice if you wish to have thinner glaze.  Spoon glaze over completely cooled cake. Sprinkle remaining rind over glaze.  Slice and serve. 

Happy Triple Lemon Bundt Cake Baking!

Please enjoy the links below to see what my fellow #BundtBakers have created too! If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to

Sunday, April 5, 2015

(SRC) Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake

Happy Monday!  It's always nice to start off the week on a happy note.  It sets the mood for the rest of the week I believe.  Setting the mood for the week on a delicious note is not a bad idea either.  And I've got just the treat for you - Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake.  A delicious cake layered not once but twice with a surprise sweetness and then topped off with an almond crumble. There is a cinnamon sugar layer and then a layer of precious raspberries in this coffee cake making it extra special. 

Speaking of extra special, the blog I discovered this recipe on is more than extra special - it's SUPER DUPER extra special!! I found this recipe on Inquiring Chef - my assignment for the Secret Recipe Club this month.  What an absolute gem Jess is from Inquiring ChefJess lives in Bangkok, Thailand (YES, Bangkok, Thailand) with her hubby and twin baby girls.  She whips up gorgeous, gorgeous dishes and sweets that make your heart pitter patter and your mouth drool.  She writes her posts with simplicity yet with details that bring you right into her world.  And best of all she allows you to follow the growth of her beautiful, beautiful girls Molly and Clara.  In fact she updates their pictures and developmental progress every month.  I am on the edge of my seat for their 1 year old update coming up at the end of this month.  Please make sure you check out Inquiring Chef not only for Jess' cutie pie girls but also for all her fantastic recipes.  Jess' blog is not to be missed. 

 The next time you are looking for delicate yet delicious cake to serve for brunch, a snack or simply as a dessert please don't hesitate to whip up this very cake.  It can be made in a 9" spring form pan (as both Jess and I did) or you can use a 9x13 pan.  Either size pan would be just fine.  And for the raspberry layer, fresh or frozen berries can be used.  I actually used a combo of both as I didn't have enough fresh to fully cover the batter as I wanted to do and it came out just fine.  I would also like to point out that this cake is really not overly sweet as often cakes can be.  Only 3/4 of a cup of granulated sugar is used in the batter.  The almond topping also call for sugar which gives a perfect pairing with the "not too sweet" cake.

With a lovely cake recipe in hand and the promise of Spring to arrive soon I wish you all a fantastic and fabulous week ahead of you! May it be a happy, successful and easy week each and every one of you. :-)

Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake 
   (recipe from the lovely food blog, Inquiring Chef)

Topping Ingredients - 
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (my addition
1/2 cup silvered or sliced almonds
6 TBSP cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" cubes

Cake Ingredients - 
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 TBSP cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt 
3/4 cup granulated sugar + 3 TBSP sugar, divided 
6 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature 
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen 
1 TBSP cinnamon 

Directions - 

Make topping mixture by whisking together the flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon until well combined.  Add in cold butter cubes and mix into dry ingredients with your fingers or pastry cutter.  Butter should be incorporated into the dry ingredients until large crumbs form.  Refrigerate topping mixture until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9" spring form pan and set aside.  Make the cake batter by using a medium bowl to combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set dry ingredients aside.  Beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Add in eggs one at a time - beat well with each addition. Add in vanilla extract too. 

 Add in dry ingredients to the wet mixture in 3 separate additions - alternating with the buttermilk - starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Once all has been mixed well together pour 1/2 of batter into prepared pan. 

Combine 1 TBSP cinnamon and 3 TBSP sugar in a small bowl.  Sprinkle evenly over 1/2 of cake batter layer.  Spoon remaining batter over cinnamon & sugar layer.  Carefully spread with the back of a spoon or an off set knife if need be.  Sprinkle raspberries over this layer and then the topping mixture.  Bake for 55-60 minutes or until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  

Cool cake, slice and enjoy! 

Jess has stated that this cake is great as a "make ahead" cake as it only gets better each day.  Store in an air-tight container at room temp for best results. 

 Happy Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake Baking!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Maple Marinated Salmon

This past winter here in Southern NH has been down right rotten.  Its been cold. Its been grey. Freezing COLD temperatures for days and days in a row.  A s$#@-ton of snow + ice.  And REALLY, really COLD temperatures....opps, I guess I already said that.  But the good news is that now we have entered into the month of April so fingers crossed, the warmer weather is not too far away.  The other good news is that maple sugaring is in full swing right now in these parts of the woods.  The sap is running in our beautiful maple trees and loads of sugar houses have that lovely, fluffy steam coming out of it as the sap boils down into syrup.  In an effort to celebrate warmer temps ahead of us, I recently whipped up a delicious, simple and full of flavor salmon dinner.  And not just in ordinary salmon dinner at that.  Salmon that was marinated in a wonderful sauce of the sweetness of maple syrup, the saltiness of soy sauce and the awesomeness of crushed garlic.  A fantastic trio of flavors! 

Believe it or not I don't have much experience preparing fish.  It has only been in the past few years that I have been really making an effort to cook fish more often.  I was on top of the world with happiness when this salmon recipe came out so good.  In all honesty I was extremely proud of myself because of my lack of experience in the kitchen with fish.  I now have a new found confidence with making fish and I can't wait to make this recipe again!   I know that you will enjoy this treasure of a salmon recipe as much as my family and I did. 

You will need to marinate the fish in a mixture of maple syrup, soy sauce and crushed garlic for about 30-45 minutes before you bake it.  So just keep this time frame in mind when you plan to make this recipe.  For a perfect spring-time meal serve this fish along side some tender green beans and brown rice. You may actually think you are in a gourmet restaurant when you bit into the fish.  It's that good!

And if you are in need of some maple syrup I highly recommend you purchase it from my dear friends at Woodard's Sugar House - Mark and Katie's syrup is the BEST! And Katie even has a fabulous blog called, Maple Mama. So many great sources in one spot!! :-)

Maple Marinated Salmon 
 (recipe discovered on Cooking Classy)

Ingredients -
2 (4-6 oz) skinless salmon fillets 
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
green onions and freshly ground pepper, for garnish 


In a medium bowl, whisk together maple syrup, soy sauce and crushed garlic.  Place salmon fillets into a baking dish and then pour marinate over the fillets - coating them well before covering them with plastic wrap and refrigerating.  Allow to marinate for 30-45 minutes - turning fish at least once as it marinates.  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Being careful to save the marinade, place the fish into a greased 9x13 pan and bake in preheated oven until fish is baked through - about 15 minutes.  

While fish is baking pour remaining marinade into a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat.  Bring to a boil stirring frequently.  When it boils reduce heat and cook for another minute or two.  Pour sauce over baked fish before serving. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and freshly ground pepper. Serve and enjoy! :-) 

Happy Maple Marinated Salmon Baking!


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