Thursday, September 23, 2010

Do you sometimes need applesauce for your recipes?

We don't go through very much applesauce in our house.  Jim likes to eat it with his meals, but it isn't my preference.  So I learned quite awhile back to not buy the big containers as it ends up spoiling before we get to the bottom.  I buy the smaller containers for Jim and for my baking recipes I get the little 4 oz containers that are meant for individual servings.  They usually come in packs of 6 or 8 containers.  4 oz equals 1/2 cup so you have a perfect portioned size.  I usually get natural applesauce with no sugar added.  Many of the recipes that I'm making these days call for applesauce to replace the oil, so it is very handy to have on hand.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pistachio Nut Bread

I cannot believe I haven't blogged about pistachio bread!  This is one of our family all-time favorites!  It is super moist and delicious.  The pretty green color makes it especially popular at our annual St Patrick's Day festivities.  My mom made it many times over the years to the delight of her 7 children and many grandchildren. When I make it now I try to always make a loaf to send to my niece Angie that lives in Chicago.  I'll send it with her mom (my sister Patty) or try to put a loaf in Angie's hands when she visits.  It is just a nice reminder of "grandma".

Pistachio Nut Bread

Cake ingredients
1 box yellow cake mix
1 (4 oz) pkg pistachio pudding
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp almond extract
4 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil

Topping ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup nuts, chopped fine

Mix dry cake mix and pudding mix together.  Add sour cream, almond extract, eggs and oil.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Pour half the batter into 2 lightly greased bread pans (4-1/2" X 6-1/2" X 2-1/2").

Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle half of the topping onto the batter in the two pans.  Top with remaining batter.  Sprinkle with remaining topping mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until it tests done.

Ready to go in the oven!

Ready to eat!  Delicious!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Croissant Du Jour

 Croissant Du Jour, 3531 Mt Vernon Rd SE, Cedar Rapids

Last weekend my sisters Patty, Cathy and I got together for a little "sister" time.  Cathy had suggested that we meet for breakfast at Croissant Du Jour which is blocks from her home.  Walking in the door you felt like you were in a French cafe.  The music, the decor, everything contributed to a wonderful ambiance! The display case  was filled with wonderful, yummy looking pastries.  The lady who took our order had a wonderful French accent.  We each ordered something different along with lattes.  And WOW were they great!  Here is what they looked like:

Almond Croissant

  Chocolate Croissant

Fruit Tart

So which would I doubt in my mind - the fruit tart.  The price was $4.00 - very reasonable for what you get.  Very filling, very tasty, and isn't it lovely to look at?  I had ordered the almond croissant, Patty ordered the chocolate croissant and Cathy the fruit tart.  Cathy had offered tastes of her tart to both Patty and I and I was smitten!  I got a "to go" bag for my croissant and ordered a fruit tart - which was delicious.  I would highly recommend it. 

The hours for Croissant Du Jour are Monday to Friday 6:30 to 4:00, and Saturday from 7:00 to 4:00.  They also serve lunch Monday thru Saturday from 11:00 to 2:00.  Web address is:   Check them out!