Pumpkin Bread

I love Fall! It gets a bit cooler here in Southern California during the last few months of the year (specially at night!) and it’s the perfect time for everything pumpkin, apples, soups, stews, and chili!

Starting September, I start baking a little more and definitely crave something that is “warmer” than a Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips that we usually have – https://athomewiththeresa.com/2020/08/06/banana-bread-2/

So here is the recipe that I made to look like my favorite Starbucks Pumpkin Bread. I usually buy a slice or two when we are on the road and stop by Starbucks. I like it as the seeds on top gives it another layer of texture and the bread itself is moist and flavorful. And totally perfect with coffee!

As I was trying to figure the ingredients while eating one, I can definitely taste the cloves over any other spices. So, even though I give you a range to use half the amount, I always make it with the full 2 teaspoon of cloves.

This is the very reason I make my own food, because I can tailor it to how I like it. I also happen to like pepitas so I just covered the top of the batter with pumpkin seeds until I do not see the batter anymore. You can definitely use less, or omit it completely if you do not like it.

This recipe uses oil instead of butter as I always have enough oil in the pantry, but sometimes just a pat of butter in the fridge. It is also so that the pumpkin and the flavor of the spices shine through.

I hope you like this recipe as much as my family does. It makes 2 big loaves so that you have enough to share with those near and dear. Happy Fall my dears!!

Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/At-Home-With-Theresa-100255438410727/

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 (15 oz) can pure pureed pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 – 2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup whole Pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 big loaf pans with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl combine white sugar,

3. Brown sugar,

4. oil,

5. eggs,

6. pureed pumpkin,

7. and water.

8. Stir together until combined.

9. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour,

10. baking soda,

11. salt,

12. ground cloves (I like yto use the

13. pumpkin pie spice,

14. and ground nutmeg.

15. Stir together using a wire whisk to mix evenly.

16. Pour dry mixture into wet mixture and stir together. Stir just until everything is mixed together. Do not over mix.

17. Divide batter evenly into prepared loaf pans.

18. Sprinkle whole pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) over the top of batter. I like to use a lot – enough to cover the top completely.

19. Bake at 350F for about an hour, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

20. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

21. Slice thickly and enjoy! 🍂🍁 🎃

Ciambellone 2

I posted a recipe for this Italian Breakfast Cake a couple of weeks ago, but this is the version that my son cannot get enough of.

This cake is still lemon flavored, as we have some really good, fragrant lemons in the backyard right now. For this recipe though, I make use of the lemon juice as well as the zest. Double lemon goodness!

The sun was out when I was preparing the batter so I got out the #SunOven to bake it in. I had nowhere to be so I just enjoyed preparing this cake and being in the moment instead of rushing because I had to be somewhere soon.

Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/At-Home-With-Theresa-100255438410727/

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar to garnish, optional
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray the a 10 – 11 inch donut/bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl beat together the eggs and sugar using a hand mixer for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the oil, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract and beat until well.
  • Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the liquid ingredients and beat on low speed until combined.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Level the batter with a spatula.
  • Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool in the pan for 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Run a plastic knife along the edges and the middle tube, and carefully invert the cake onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  • If desired, turn cake over onto a serving dish, and dust top with powdered sugar and serve.

Ciambellone 1

First off, Happy Birthday to my beautiful mom!!!! Found time to type this up to greet her here with a cake delicious enough to be served on a birthday!

Breakfast Cake!

I mean, that totally got my attention! Italian food is one of the best food in the world, hands down, but did you know they actually have a breakfast cake? As in a cake traditionally eaten for breakfast?? 😋 The few Italians I know who grew up in Italy remember eating a citrusy cake for breakfast. Must be so nice!

I can’t wait to try this as when I mentioned it to my son, he was equally excited to try it too. He said “why can’t WE eat cake for breakfast too?” And I told him I’ll make sure we will have it for breakfast one day!

So here! I actually made a whole cake to take to work for my coworkers at Quest on my last week there too. It was good enough to be next to my famous Rum Cake https://athomewiththeresa.com/2020/05/29/bacardi-rum-cake/

You’ll need a tube pan, and for this one, I used a traditional tube pan used for angel food cake as I’m quite sure most bakers have this pan.

I’ll be sharing a couple of recipes with you as I did make several but was happy with 2 experiments. This is the first one.

I hope you’ll like this cake as much as we did! It’s easy to make and will bring a bit of sunshine to your breakfast menu!

Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/At-Home-With-Theresa-100255438410727/

Ingredients:

4 eggs

250g sugar

5g salt

Zest of 1 large lemon

120ml vegetable oil

75ml milk

300g all-purpose flour

7g baking powder

Procedure:

1. Separate the eggs, placing the egg whites in a clean, medium sized bowl. Set egg whites aside.

2. Place the yolks into a large bowl.

3. Add in the sugar,

4. the salt,

5. and the lemon zest.

6. Beat well, using a hand mixer or a wire whisk.

7. It’ll look like bight yellow granulated sugar.

8. Add in the vegetable oil,

9. and the milk. Beat well.

10. Add the flour,

11. and baking powder and mix everything together until it is well combined.

12. Go back to the egg whites we set aside earlier. Using a clean hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

13. Fold in half the egg whites into the yolk mixture.

14. Fold everything together carefully until blended.

15. Fold in the rest of the egg whites until well mixed.

16. Pour the mixture into a greased 10-11 inch(28 cm) ring-shaped baking pan (a bundt pan or angel food cake pan will do in a pinch) and bake at 350F for about 40-45 minutes.

17. Leave the cake to cool before removing from pan.

18. Enjoy with coffee, hot chocolate, or tea!

*can also bake this in the #SunOven!

Naan Bread

Happy New Year everyone!

Totally late and I apologize for not posting in a long time! It’s hard to find time now that everyone is so busy!

Thank you to my wonderful reader Joyce Ciotti for asking for this recipe! I had it typed up and almost ready to post so, here you go!! I hope you’ll like it!

Perfect as a side for any Indian inspired meal, used in a sandwich wrap, or even eaten plain, these naan breads are a breeze to make!

I had purchased my first naan bread frozen from Trader Joe’s. It was smeared in garlic butter and only required heating it up or toasting it before serving. It was so good!

I had read somewhere that they sometimes stuff these with Laughing Cow cheeses so since I had it in the refrigerator, I ate some with cheese and some plain. Both were so good I couldn’t stop eating it!

I love making breads and baking in general so I thought it was time I make my own naan. I found several recipes and tried a couple of it.

Here is a recipe that uses the Thermomix to make the naan with hardly any effort on your part. Don’t worry, there is instruction on how to make it without the Thermomix right below!

Hope you’ll enjoy it!

Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/At-Home-With-Theresa-100255438410727/

Look at the heart shaped char on the bread!

Ingredients:

For the naan:

For topping:

  • 450 grams unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 30 grams Olive oil or Canola oil
  • 190 grams warm water
  • 90 grams Greek yogurt

For topping/serving:

  • Ghee or garlic butter to brush on bread
  • Cheese, optional

Procedure:

  1. Place all ingredients for the naan bread into the Thermomix bowl and mix for 6 seconds on speed 5.
  2. Set to Knead for 2 1/2 minutes.
  3. Leave dough in the bowl, with the measuring cup in place, at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Roll dough into sausage shape and divide into 6 even portions. You can use the thermomix’s scale function to weigh the dough and divide it into 6, to get evenly sized dough balls. Roll each portion into a thin, oval shape.
  5. Place dough onto a hot, ungreased grill or fry pan. Cook for about 1-2 minutes per side then flip to cook the other side.
  6. Brush with ghee or garlic flavored butter. Serve plain or stuff with cheese.

* To make without the Thermomix:

Place all ingredients for the naan bread in a large mixing bowl and mix using a wooden spoon or spatula until it comes together. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Return to the mixing bowl. Cover with plastic warp and let rest at least an hour, or until doubled in size. Continue with procedure #4 to #6.

Taho (Philippine Tofu Pudding)

“Taho….taho….taho….”

Early mornings in the Philippines, you’ll normally hear the man selling this warm, caramel tofu pudding calling out these words. He would have two metal pails balanced by a bamboo rod on his shoulders. Totally hard work, but surely, it made our day.

Kids and adults alike would wait patiently, holding their little cups, glass containers, and tumblers, for the taho vendor to come by their home. I remember a several times our nanny got a whole Coleman cooler (a gallon one I believe) for us. It’s that delicious!

Everyone asks for extra caramel, as it is the highlight of this sweet dessert/breakfast in a cup.

So…it’s been a while since I’ve had that taho that you can purchase. Taho here in the US is mostly an anemic cousin of the real stuff, flavor wise and texture wise. What to do but make it yourself, right?

I had been making soy milk and sometimes tofu for a while now but I never made a super soft, silky tofu like taho should be. It literally disintegrates when jiggled. I tried to make it but it just curdled, not really forming any solid you could scoop up. Oh well…

My co worker Lisette gave me this tofu mix a few months back. She said they use it to make taho, and you just need the sago pearls and the caramel and you’re good to go. Since my “from scratch” tofu pudding failed, I reached for the box and tried it.

It worked beautifully! See my photo below! And it’s super easy to make!

All you’ll need are the following:

For the tofu pudding:

1 box (6.06oz) Tofu mix

10 cups water

For the caramel:

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup water

For the tapioca pearls:

1/2 cup Tapioca pearls

5 cups water

To make the tofu pudding:

Mix 10 cups water with the tofu packet mixture in a large saucepan. That is the big envelope in the tofu box. Set over medium heat. Bring to a boil.

Stir constantly with a whisk. Lower heat and for 3 minutes.

Add the coagulant, which is in the smaller white envelope, into the mixture, slowly. Give it a quick stir. And stop.

Remove from heat. Cover. Set aside to set. Do not touch or move it while it is setting. I just left it to set in the saucepan I cooked it in. 😊

In the meantime, prepare the Caramel.

Place 1 cup dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium low heat. When it comes to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the sugar is dissolved and the caramel is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool completely.

For the Sago Pearls,

Bring 5 cups water to boil. Add 1/2 cup sago. Simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes until translucent. Drain and rinse. Place in a bowl of water until ready to use.

To assemble your “taho”

Using a spoon, carefully scrape thin layers of the warm tofu pudding into a glass, cup, or bowl. You only want a few spoonfuls as we will be layering this with the other ingredients.

*If the tofu is getting watery, scoop out and discard the excess water.*

Next, place a spoonful or two of the cooked tapioca pearls in.

Then a spoonful or two of the caramel(I always add more when no one is looking! It’s super delicious!).

Continue layering until you fill the glass almost to the top. I am stopping midway as I might eat everything at one go.

Remember to wipe of any caramel that dripped outside the glass! It will be a sticky mess if you don’t!

You can eat this with a spoon, as we do, or stir it up and drink it like I see some folks do.

Either way, it is a nutritious and very delicious breakfast/snack/dessert.

I hope you all like this!

Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/At-Home-With-Theresa-100255438410727/

Sourdough Focaccia

We have been making homemade pizza for a few years now and it’s become a staple that I have 2 outdoor pizza ovens at the moment.

I also make our sourdough bread every week and need to switch it up with a few varieties using different flours, inclusions, or liquid to flavor the bread. Marshmallow stout instead of water for a chocolate chip sourdough batard anyone??

Between bread and pizza, there’s also focaccia! And here is a very easy recipe complete with a timeline to guide you!

You can split this bread in half crosswise to use for sandwiches, or just cut into squares, or rectangles to eat as is! Dip in olive oil, Trader Joe’s Garlic dip, hummus, baba ganoush…..It’s crunchy and soft, salty and herby…just delicious specially when still warm from the oven.

I use really good olive oil and salt as I believe it contributes to the overall taste of the focaccia. The olives are dry cured from Trader Joe’s, tomatoes and rosemary are from the backyard.

I doubled the recipe and made 2 13”x9” focaccia to eat and have enough to trade with a dozen home grown eggs. So please don’t be confused by the discrepancy between the instructions and the photos. 😊

I hope you will like this recipe as much as we did!

Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/At-Home-With-Theresa-100255438410727/

Ingredients:

423 grams all purpose flour

181 grams bread flour

460 grams water

11 grams salt, plus more for sprinkling

115 grams starter, I used one straight from the fridge

12 grams good quality olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Toppings of choice, chopped herbs, olives, tomatoes, etc.

Procedure:

1. 10 am to 11 am

In a large bowl, mix flours, water, salt and starter. Mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the dough comes together.

Set aside for about 15 to 30 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the water.

Then mix the dough thoroughly, drizzling in the olive oil and pulling the dough up until well mixed. Use a plastic bench/dough scraper to help you pull up the dough and mix the oil in.

Cover (I use a clean, unused plastic hair cover!) and set aside for 30 minutes

#1

2. Bulk 11:15-1:15

#2
#3

Perform 4 sets of stretch and fold every 30 minutes, for 2 hours.

Photos 1 – 4 are the stretch and fold in the first 30 minutes, #2 at an hour, #3 at an hour and thirty minutes, and #4 was after 2 hours, the last of 4 folds. See how stretchy and smooth the dough looks after?

#4

3. Proof 1:15- 5:15

Pour some olive oil in a 13 x 9 inch pan.

Transfer dough to the pan and cover.

Every 30 minutes on the first hour, uncover the dough and stretch gently to fill the pan.

Cover and let rest for the remainder of the 4 hours.

4. 5:15 Preheat oven to 450F.

5. Drizzle the dough with about 2 -3 tablespoons of good olive oil.

6. Wet your finger tips and dimple the dough all the way to the bottom of the pan, multiple times.

7. Sprinkle with chopped herbs, olives, capers, cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, etc.

*I used halved cherry tomatoes, chopped rosemary, olives, and Maldon sea salt. The other focaccia had the same toppings except it did not have tomatoes, as I only got a handful from the garden.*

8. Sprinkle with good quality salt.

9. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown.

*After baking, tops should be golden and edges crusty.

*Bottom should be toasted. This looks perfect!

Cut for sandwiches, this is what the crumb look like on my bake. Yummy!

Home made Natto (Fermented Soybeans)

Have you heard of, or even maybe TRIED, Natto (fermented soybeans)?

When you see it in Japanese or other Asian grocery stores, they come in a package of 3 little white, styrofoam boxes. It is usually served with rice in Japanese meals, most often breakfast. You stir it well to make it super stringy and slimy, add the tiny mustard and soy sauce packets that come with it, and pour everyting over hot rice. Then, you dig in!

It is for sure an acquired taste, even for those who grew up eating Japanese food. You either love it or loathe it. However, with all the fermented food craze lately, I read that it is added to everything, and I even saw it used to top a pizza! Now that is something I have to try! 😋

I prefer to use these small, organic soy beans when making natto and soy milk. The ones at the grocery stores are bigger, but are okay to use too.

So, in this post, I will show you how to make this super healthy, fermented food at home. In case you are like me and my mom, who happen to love natto, you can have an unlimited supply if you make it.

You will need an incubator that can keep a constant temperature of 100F. You can use an oven, a proofing box for bread making, yogurt maker, or an Excalibur Dehydrator.

*yogurt makers keep a temperature of about 105-112F and natto fermentation needs a temperature of around 100-105F, which is almost in the same range. I suggest checking the temperature first, if using a yogurt maker.*

A few years ago, I purchased a Japanese Yogurt maker specifically because you can adjust the temperature, unlike the ones available here in the US. The brand is Tanika and it is really a handy little appliance that I always use to make my homemade natto.

Of course, I also have an oven, an Excalibur dehydrator, 3 different kinds of yogurt maker, and a Brod and Taylor Folding Bread Proofer, but I do not like warming up that much space for a little jar of natto.

So, this Tanika yogurt maker is just perfect for me. Labels on the appliance and the manual are in Japanese but I recently saw some on Amazon that are made for the US market with English labels.

Just like yogurt, you need to buy a package first to be able to get the bacteria you need to make natto, then if you make it regularly, you just get a little from the prepared batch to make more. This is the easiest way to get started. Of course, you could also buy some natto spores to start the Bacillus Subtilis culture. Mitoku is the brand I use. It’s from Japan and makes really tasty natto. It comes with a tiny measuring spoon so you get a lot of natto even though the culture bottle is tiny.

Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/At-Home-With-Theresa-100255438410727/

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups soybeans, preferably organic

Water

Store bought natto, or natto spores

Procedure:

1. Rinse 1 1/2 cups of soybeans in water and soak in at least 5 cups of water overnight at room temperature.

*the soybeans will more than double its size, see photo below, so make sure you use a lot of water when soaking the beans.*

A dry soybean on the left. After soaking for 12 hours, it will look like the one on the right.
I use this footed strainer basket with a handle to steam the soybeans in an Instant pot.

2. Rinse and strain soybeans and place in a metal footed strainer basket (or a colander over a trivet).

3. Pour 1 1/2 cups water in the pressure cooker liner.

4. Place the strainer with soybeans in the pressure cooker and pressure cook for 45 minutes.

5. Let pressure drop for 10 minutes, then release pressure, placing a kitchen towel over the vent to help dissipate the steam.

Cover the vent with a clean towel. I just took a photo to show the release of pressure.
Soybeans after cooking for 45 minutes.

6. In the meantime, prepare your yogurt maker.

7. Place 1/4 cup of water in the Tanika Yogurt Maker’s inner container, place the spoon inside and cover with the clear cover.

8. Position the spoon so that the handle sticks out of the cut out in the cover.

9. Microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds to sterilize. Dump out the water.

10. If using the natto spores, mix 2 teaspoons boiled and cooled water with 1 tiny spoonful (included in the spores box) of the culture. Mix well and set aside.

*water mixed with natto spores*

11. Take one soybean and squeeze it between two fingers, it should be soft enough that it will crush easily.

12. Transfer half of the hot soybeans in the prepared yogurt container.

13. A. *If using spores, pour the half of the diluted culture over the hot soybeans.

13. B. If using ready made natto, add a spoonful of it onto the hot soybeans. Stir with the sterilized spoon.

14. A. *Add the rest of the soybeans to the yogurt container and then the rest of the diluted culture, if using spores. Mix well.

14. B. *If using pre made natto, add a spoonful more to the soybeans, then mix throughly.

15. Make sure to mix well, but be careful not to crush the beans.

16. Set the container into the yogurt maker, cover with a clean towel and place the blue cover over, slightly ajar to allow air in.

17. Set the fermentation temperature to 45C and the timer to 24 hours.

18. Carefully remove the blue cover and check the beans after 24 hours.

19. They should have a white, fuzzy growth around most of the beans.

20. Cover with the clear cover then the blue screw, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating.

*this is how it looks like from the bottom of the container.

21. Take a big spoonful of the natto and place on a serving dish. Cover and return the rest to the refrigerator. Using a spoon or chopsticks, thoroughly mix the natto until stringy and slimy. I was told to stir vigorously 100 times! Add a little soy sauce and hot mustard, serve over hot plain rice. Enjoy!

Mackerel Pate

Hello my friends!

Today I’ll be making a delicious fish sandwich spread. As you might know, I make our bread at least once a week and of course, I want the best sandwich fillings to go with it.

My very favorite will always be butter and orange marmalade, but tuna salad, and BLT are close contenders.

We do have the usual Turkey and/or Ham with cheese and mayo quite often too.

My mom was taking about how she eats some canned mackerel more often now as it is very good fo your health, so imagine how excited I was when I found these at Trader Joe’s.

I was going to mix it up like my tuna salad but figured out I can make a more tasty spread using cream cheese. It makes a thicker spread that you can thin out using some mayonnaise. I hope you’ll like it!

Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/At-Home-With-Theresa-100255438410727/

Ingredients:

1/4 red onion, chopped

4-6 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of ground black pepper

Pinch of Salt

1 6oz can mackerel, drained

1 hard boiled egg, peeled and chopped

*you can add 1 – 2 tablespoons mayo to loosen up the pate if you like it more spreadable*

Procedure:

1. In a bowl, mix together onions and cream cheese.

2. Add garlic powder,

3. Ground black pepper,

4. And salt.

5. Open the can of mackerel and drain well.

6. Place the fillets in the bowl.

7. Mash and mix everything together.

8. Add in chopped eggs.

9. Mix well. Add mayonnaise if using.

10. Spread on a thick slice of toasted bread.

11. Enjoy!