Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Autumn is in the Air!


We had a wonderful Summer making new memories that we will treasure for a lifetime! Swimming, blowin' bubbles, making snow cones, watching fireworks, and enjoying our road trip to San Antonio...
And now...
School summer break is officially over. My "baby" started her first day of
high school this year and she loves it. We wake up well before the sun and she boards the big yellow school bus in the dark. She will be learning French this year and we have
begun to incorporate a couple of the words into our conversations to help it become more natural.
For me, there is something so cozy about this time of year. The new school year is a time of new beginnings and the anticipation of cooler days and holidays make me downright giddy! I've been in the mood to nest more, cook more and bake more. Our Autumn decorations are slowly making their way to their seasonal perches to inspire dreams of heavenly golden days to come, and the heady scents of mouthwatering apple, sweet cinnamon and spicy nutmeg fill the air. Mmm...can't you just smell the delicious aromas of Fall in the air!


Along with my desire to provide tasty, nourishing meals to my family, I also feel compelled to be more careful with the wonderful foods that we are blessed with. Lately, I have allowed myself to become lazy and not as diligent about planning meals and using up leftovers before they find their way to an obscure corner in the back of the fridge, only to be found long after they are of any use to us anymore. So wasteful of me!


With a creative, open mind and with ingredients I had on hand I was able to make a delicious bread pudding, beef fried rice (from leftover steak the night before), breakfast casserole with country ham (the ham was stored away in the freezer in a FoodSaver bag from a meal many moons ago), a tasty brisket (that had been hiding out in the deep freeze a while), beef stroganoff (from the leftover brisket meat. I also froze half the cooked brisket for a future meal. Those prepared frozen dinners come in handy many a night! ;) ). I also made this cinnamon perfumed buttermilk coffee cake one Saturday morning. It was a hit with the hubby! So, see what you have on hand, search through your collection of cookbooks (and when all else fails, you can search the internet for recipes!). You may find that you do have to purchase and ingredient or two to make the recipe, but the challenge I like best is to find a recipe that calls only for what I have on hand! It helps me use up (not waste!) what I've already spent our money on rather than spending MORE.

Why don't you bake a Buttermilk Cinnamon Coffee Cake for your loved ones too...

Ingredients:

2 1/3 c. sifted flour
2 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c. butter
1 egg, beaten
1 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
nuts (optional)

Get your oven going by setting it too 350 degrees. Grease, or spray with cooking spray, a round or square 9" pan. Mix two cups of the flour (set 1/3 cup aside) and the brown sugar in a bowl and, with a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like coarse meal. Set aside 3/4 cup of this mixture to be used for the topping. Add the reserved 1/3 cup of flour to the larger amount of remaining butter mixture and mix well. Add the beaten egg, buttermilk, soda and cinnamon, mixing just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Pour into the 9" pan. Sprinkle reserved butter mixture over the batter in the pan (*you can add chopped nuts to the topping mixture if you like them About a half cup should do!). Bake 50 - 55 minutes. Cool. 6-9 servings, depending on how much your tummy is growling!





*If I am baking for company or a gift recipient, I usually don't add nuts because you never know who may be allergic to them. AND...something I can't comprehend...some people just don't like nuts!?!?










Buttermilk






Want to make your own buttermilk? It's easy...I make it Candy's way and try to keep it on hand for all my baking. But there is also an interesting approach over at Our Little Homestead . Hmmm, maybe I'll buy some goats milk at the Farmer's Market next weekend...











It's good to be back after taking the summer off! Thanks for stopping by, "see" you soon!




























































































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