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Sweet Quick Breads 3

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I wanted to make a set of quick breads again, this time Christmas themed!

Bread flavors:

peppermint
pistachio cherry
eggnog with rum glaze
cardamom swirl
fruitcake
coconut snow
sugar plum
gingerbread
cranberry
mulled wine
sweet potato
red velvet cream
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These were a ton of fun to make. I made them in mini loaf pans to bring to work and give out as gifts. I don’t know if I can choose a favorite. I definitely loved cardamom swirl, eggnog, and sugar plum.

Peppermint

This was delicious and several people’s favorite at work. If you want it to be even stronger peppermint flavor add 1 tsp of peppermint extract.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Andes peppermint crunch chips

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray 1 standard loaf pan or 3-4 mini loaf pans.
  • Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in vanilla
  • In a separate bowl mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa powder.
  • Add half the flour mixture to the butter and sugar and mix. Stir in the milk then the remaining flour mixture. Stir just till combined. Fold in Andes chips.
  • Pour into pan and bake for 60-75 minutes until a toothpick or knife tests clean.

Pistachio Cherry

This bread comes out light and cakey. It has a pretty green and red festive color and is delicious! The topping is definitely a good addition!

Ingredients:

  • 1 18.25oz package yellow cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 3oz packages instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup maraschino cherries

Optional topping:

  • 2 tbs butter, softened
  • 4 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray 2 standard loaf pans or 6-8 mini loaf pans.
  • Mix together cake mix, eggs, oil, pudding mix, and sour cream. Fold in cherries
  • Pour into pans. Optional: mix together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pistachios and sprinkle over the top before baking.
  • Bake for 45 minutes until a toothpick or knife tests clean.

Eggnog with Rum Glaze

This bread comes out incredibly moist and is the most cake-like with the glaze icing on top. It was one of my favorites!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups eggnog
  • 2 tsp rum flavored extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 3oz package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Glaze

  • 1 tbs eggnog
  • 2 tbs rum
  • powdered sugar

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray 1 standard loaf pan or 3-4 mini loaf pans.
  • Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in extracts and eggnog
  • In a separate bowl mix together flour, pudding mix, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar and mix. Stir just till combined.
  • Pour into pan and bake for 60-75 minutes until a toothpick or knife tests clean.
  • Stir powdered sugar into eggnog and rum until a good consistency is reached (thinner if you want a light glaze, thicker if you want it to be more frosted). Pour over bread once bread is mostly cooled.

Cardamom Swirl

I am absolutely in love with Swedish cardamom buns so I did a twist on cinnamon swirl bread to have the cardamom flavor come through. This was probably my favorite bread of the set.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray 1 standard loaf pan or 3-4 mini loaf pans.
  • Mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and white sugar. Combine egg, milk, and oil and add to the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened
  • Pour half the batter into the pan, pour half the cardamom sugar mixture over and use a knife to swirl through the batter. Repeat with the remaining batter and cardamom sugar mixture. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture to make a nice crunchy coating.
  • Bake for 45-55 minutes until a toothpick or knife tests clean.

Fruitcake

Dense and flavorful with sweet candied fruit, this tasted great and I love the way it looks as a classic Christmas baked good. I loved this one!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup red glazed cherries
  • 1/2 cup green glazed cherries
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray 1 standard loaf pan or 3-4 mini loaf pans.
  • Mix together the sour cream and baking soda and set aside
  • Toss dates, cherries, and nuts with 1/4 cup flour and set aside.
  • Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in egg. Mix in orange zest then sour cream/baking soda mix. Mix in the 1 3/4 cup flour and salt.
  • Fold in dates, cherries, and nuts to distribute evenly
  • Pour batter into baking pan and bake for 60-75 minutes until a toothpick or knife tests clean.

Coconut Snow

 Wonderful coconut flavor and an excellent bread texture. This one is a winner!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 6 tbs melted butter

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray 1 standard loaf pan or 3-4 mini loaf pans.
  • Whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add in sugar and coconut and stir to mix. Pour in egg mixture and stir until just combined. Add melted butter and stir until smooth.
  • Pour into pan and bake for 60-75 minutes until a toothpick or knife tests clean. Sprinkle with more coconut flakes while still warm.

Sugar Plum

 This one was so delicious with its crunchy sugar coating. I loved the way this turned out.
You can make this one with fresh plums if you are able (for a more fruity/tart flavor) or do what I did and use jarred prunes which makes the bread sweeter.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup jarred prunes, drained (or chopped fresh plums)
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • purple food coloring (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • White sparkling sugar for topping (sugar sprinkles)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray 1 standard loaf pan or 3-4 mini loaf pans.
  • Stir prunes (or plums) with 1 tbs flour to coat.
  • Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in vanilla and food coloring (if using)
  • In a separate bowl mix together flour, salt, and baking soda.
  • Add half the flour mixture to the butter and sugar and mix. Stir in the yogurt then the remaining flour mixture. Stir just till combined. Stir in prunes (or plums). (I let the prunes get mashed slightly in stirring)
  • Pour into pan. Pour  white sugar sprinkles over the top. Bake for 60-75 minutes until a toothpick or knife tests clean.

Gingerbread

 I love the flavor of gingerbread! This may be my favorite gingerbread thing to make. The soft bread with tons of spice and flavors is amazing. This would pair great with Christmas morning coffee.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 tbs butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray 1 standard loaf pan or 3-4 mini loaf pans.
  • Cream together butter and brown sugar till light and fluffy ~5min. Mix in molasses. Mix in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in vanilla
  • In a separate bowl mix together flour, salt, baking soda, and all spices.
  • Add half the flour mixture to the butter and sugar and mix. Stir in the milk and sour cream then the remaining flour mixture. Stir just till combined.
  • Pour into pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until a toothpick or knife tests clean.

Cranberry

 This cranberry bread is SO delicious and moist and the cranberries are a perfect tart flavor with the sweet bread. One of the best ones for sure!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • zest from 1/2 orange
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 cups whole fresh cranberries

Optional Topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray 1 standard loaf pan or 3-4 mini loaf pans.
  • Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  • Add in softened butter and beat with a hand or stand mixer until mixture is crumbly. Add egg, orange peel, and orange juice and mix. Fold in cranberries.
  • Pour into pan
  • To make topping, mix together all ingredients and sprinkle over the bread along with some additional cranberries.
  • Bake for 60-75 minutes until a toothpick or knife tests clean.

Mulled Wine

 This bread was beautiful and dark with a wonderful spiced flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cocoa
  • zest from 1/2 orange
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup wine
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1/2 cup walnuts plus more for top
  • 1/2 cup raisins plus more for top

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray 1 standard loaf pan or 3-4 mini loaf pans.
  • Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in eggs.
  • In a separate bowl mix together flour, salt, spices, cocoa, baking soda, and orange juice.
  • Mix together wine, orange juice, and honey in another bowl.
  • Add half the flour mixture to the butter and sugar and mix. Stir in the wine mixture then the remaining flour mixture. Stir just till combined. Fold in raisins and walnuts.
  • Pour into pan and top with more walnuts and raisins. Bake for 45-60 minutes until a toothpick or knife tests clean.

Sweet Potato

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup cooked mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1/2-1 cup chopped pecans
  • mini marshmallows for top (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray 1 standard loaf pan or 3-4 mini loaf pans.
  • Beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat one and a time.
  • Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Add half the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and mix. Mix in the water, then the rest of the flour mixture. Mix in the sweet potatoes and pecans.
  • Pour batter into the pan. Top with a layer of mini-marshmallows. Bake for ~60 minutes until a toothpick or knife tests clean.

Red Velvet Cream

Ingredients:

Red Velvet Bread

  • 1 package red velvet cake mix
  • 1 3.5oz package vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Swirl

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray 2 standard loaf pans or 6-8 mini loaf pans.
  • Beat together all Red Velvet Bread ingredients.
  • Beat together all cream swirl ingredients.
  • Spread batter into the pans, alternating between red velvet batter and cream.
  • Bake for ~50-60 minutes until a toothpick or knife tests clean..

Gingerbread Granola

dsc_0089The 2nd Christmas granola I made to send out with gifts was gingerbread granola. I absolutely love the flavor of gingerbread and this granola was no exception! I’ll be eating the leftovers with my breakfast yogurt to get me in the holiday spirit each morning.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups oats
  • 3 cups raw nuts (I used whole almonds, pecans, and walnuts)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbs molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325 F
  • Mix oats and nuts together in a bowl
  • Mix together olive oil, maple syrup, molasses, vanilla extract, and spices. Pour over the oats and nuts and mix till everything is coated.
  • Spread the mixture over a baking sheet and bake for ~20 minutes, stirring ever 5 minutes, until the mixture browns.
  • Cool completely before storing, keep in an airtight container.

Cranberry Coconut Granola

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I had never made granola before but I wanted to make a few Christmasy seeming granola flavors to send out with some other baked goods and gifts to family. It was so easy and delicious! I will certainly be making more granola in the future.

This granola tasted very “classic” granola with the honey for sweetening and the coconut and cranberries were a delicious addition.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups oats (I used the Old Fashioned Quaker oats, not quick cook)
  • 2 cups coconut
  • 2 cups sliced almonds
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup golden raisins (could also use more cranberries instead)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325 F
  • Toss oats and almonds together in a bowl. Mix together the vegetable oil and honey and pour over the oat mixture. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the top and stir together until everything is coated with the oil and honey.
  • Spread oat mixture over a sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes. Add the cranberries, raisins, and coconut and stir. Bake for another 10-20 minutes until the mixture gets golden brown. (I just kept checking every 5 minutes and stirring until the mixture browned).
  • Allow to cool completely before storing. Store in an airtight container.

 

Candied Nuts

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This is a recipe we make almost every year around Christmas. These are great to have around for snacking or to give out as gifts. They aren’t very healthy but they are delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 lbs nuts (whole almonds, pecan or walnut halves)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 250 F. Grease one large baking sheet or 2 smaller baking sheets (I use a silpat liner for easy cleanup)
  • In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, water, and vanilla extract until frothy. Add nuts to the egg white mix and stir to coat.
  • In a small bowl mix together sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Pour over the nuts and stir to coat.
  • Spread nuts onto the prepared baking sheet(s). Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes.

Brownies

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This is one of my favorite brownie recipes. It makes a fudgy delicious brownie with a decadent frosted top.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Topping

  • 6 tbs butter, softened
  • 6 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

  • Preheat over to 350 F. Grease a 9×13″ baking pan.
  • In a saucepan, melt 1 cup butter. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 tsp vanilla. Beat in 2/3 cup cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into a prepared pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes (careful not to overcook).
  • To make topping: combine softened butter, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Frost the brownies right after they come out of the oven. If you have a hard time spreading the frosting you can stick the brownies back in the oven for 1-2 minutes to warm it up and make it easier to spread.

Egg Cups

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I made several varieties for fun:

  • Breakfast sausage, bell peppers, Monterrey jack cheese
  • Bacon, bell peppers, Monterrey jack cheese
  • Ham, onion, green bell peppers, cheddar cheese
  • Apple, turkey, brie cheese
  • Chorizo, red bell peppers, jalapenos, pepper jack cheese
  • Taco seasoned ground beef, bell peppers, green chilies, Monterrey jack cheese
  • Seasoned steak strips, onions, mushrooms, blue cheese
  • Sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, sweet Italian sausage, Mozzarella, pesto
  • Red peppers, black olives, feta, cherry tomatoes, asparagus
  • Hot Italian sausage, spinach, mushrooms, Gruyere
  • Turkey, zucchini, parsley, green onions, goat cheese

These egg cups are a great way to use up eggs and miscellaneous sausage/bacon, vegetables, etc. you might have in your fridge. You can freeze them or keep them in the fridge all week for a quick grab and go breakfast.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • ~1/2 cup cheese
  • add ins (sausage, bacon, peppers, vegetables, etc.)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or line 12 muffin cup tin.
  • Spoon add-ins and cheese into muffin cups.
  • Beat eggs together with salt and pepper in a large bowl and then pour over the add-ins into the muffin cups.
  • Bake until eggs set 20-25 minutes.

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Variations

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  • Breakfast sausage, bell peppers, Monterrey jack cheese

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  • Bacon, bell peppers, Monterrey jack cheese

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  • Ham, onion, green bell peppers, cheddar cheese

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  • Apple, turkey, brie cheese

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  • Chorizo, onions, red bell peppers, jalapenos, green chilies, pepper jack cheese

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  • Taco seasoned ground beef, bell peppers, onions, Monterrey jack cheese

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  • Seasoned steak strips, onions, mushrooms, blue cheese

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  • Sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, sweet Italian sausage, artichoke hearts, Mozzarella, pesto

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  • Red peppers, black olives, feta, cherry tomatoes, asparagus

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  • Hot Italian sausage, spinach, mushrooms, Gruyere

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  • Turkey, zucchini, parsley, green onions, goat cheese

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8 Flavors of Rice

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Coconut rice, Indian spice rice, pineapple lime rice, chicken rice, spicy green rice, Mexican  rice, soy ginger rice, lemon dill rice

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I rarely make plain white rice, it never was a staple in my household. I have very much trying simple add-ins to make basic rice more flavorful as well as coming up with different options for vegetables to load up the rice with and make it more healthy/nutritious. Most of the recipes below show 2 options for each rice flavor, 1 for the simple rice, and 1 that includes add-ins to mix in with the rice or cook with the rice.

 

Coconut Rice

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This has long been one of my favorite side dishes. It is sweet and absolutely delicious. I love how easy it is to make!

Simple version

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white or Jasmine rice
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1.5 tsp Kosher salt
  • Splash of white vinegar
  • 3 tsp white sugar
  • Handful of chopped green onions for garnish
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Combine rice, coconut milk, water, salt, vinegar, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil
  • Turn heat to low and cover for 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Allow to stand 5 minutes.
  • Add green onions, black pepper (if desired), and additional salt if necessary.

Add-in version

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  • For add-ins I sauteed 2 small yellow squash and 1/2 cauliflower head (both chopped) until tender, then threw in some snap peas (~1 cup) at the end (since they take less time to cook).
  • After the rice was cooked, I mixed these vegetables into the rice

 

Indian Spice Rice

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I make this dish frequently. It is such a delicious way to pack in lots of veggies and makes the house smell amazing. This is just a very simple set of spices to try out that turns out well, it is very easy to try adding different quantities of other spices.

Simple version

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tbs cumin seeds (if you don’t have these just add extra ground cumin)
  • 2 cups uncooked basmati rice
  • 1 tbs curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbs salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (change the amount of cayenne to suit your spiciness preference)
  • 4 cups water

Directions:

  •  Heat olive oil and cumin seeds in a large pot until cumin is fragrant
  • Add uncooked rice and all the spices. Stir rice to coat with spices and toast ~2 minutes.
  • Add water, bring to a simmer, cover the pot and cook ~20 minutes until rice soaks up all the water. Stir occasionally to keep bottom from burning. If rice is still slightly hard, add more water 1/4 cup at a time to reach desired consistency.

Add-in version

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I never make this dish without veggie add-ins! As opposed to some of these rice dishes, I add the veggies during the cooking process instead of at the end.

  • When I add lots of veggies I double the spices added (so 2 tbs curry powder, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tbs salt, 1/2 tsp cayenne)
  • Veggies I used – 1 onion, 1 green bell pepper, 1 small head broccoli, 1/2 head cauliflower, handful green beans, handful peas
  • Heat olive oil, onion, and cumin seeds in a large pot until cumin is fragrant
  • Add chopped veggies (except peas) and all spices. Stir for ~5 minutes to begin cooking the vegetables.
  • Add the rice and peas. Stir to coat rice with spice and toast for ~2 minutes.
  • Add the water, bring to a simmer, cover, simmer about 20 minutes until rice is cooked through. Add more water as needed 1/4 cup water at a time.

Pineapple Lime Rice

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This sweet and citrusy rice dish is a great accompaniment to all kinds of different different grilled meat or you can add meat in directly to make this a main dish. The flavors here are great, and again this rice is so easy to make!

Simple version

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups long grain rice
  • 20 oz can crushed pineapple
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 tbs butter
  • zest from 1 lime
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • handful chopped cilantro
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 3 chopped green onions

Directions:

  • Combine rice, pineapple, water, butter, lime zest, and salt into a pot. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until rice is soft. Stir occasionally to make sure the rice on bottom doesn’t burn. Add more water if needed (the rice starts to burn or you run out of liquid before the rice is soft).
  • To cooked rice, add chopped cilantro, lime juice, and green onions, stir to mix.

Add-in version

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  • I added some veggies to this dish by sauteing 1 orange bell pepper and a handful of green beans (both chopped) with a bit of olive oil and salt ahead of time and mixing them in after the rice was cooked.

 

Chicken Rice

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Using stock (chicken, beef, vegetable) instead of just water to cook rice is an extremely easy way to add some flavor to plain old rice. For the add-ins I used classic soup vegetables that pair well with the chicken stock flavor. Depending on the flavor strength of the bouillon you use you may want to do 1.5x or 2x the needed amount for the water in this recipe to give it extra flavor, especially if you’re adding vegetables. You can also certainly use actual chicken stock instead of bouillon!

Simple version

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups water
  • chicken bouillon (optional: double the amount needed for 4 cups water)

Directions:

  •  Add rice, water, and bouillon to a pot. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for ~20 minutes until rice is cooked. Add more water if needed, stir occasionally.

Add-in version

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  • I used carrots, onions, celery (chopped somewhat small to help with cooking time), and sliced mushrooms.
  • Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add water and bouillon, bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add rice and another 1/2 cup water. Simmer for ~20 minutes, or until rice is cooked.

Spicy Green Rice

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This is the only recipe where I did mix in any add-ins because I included the peppers and zucchini in the base recipe. This turned out delicious! I enjoy this method of blending up vegetables to add to the rice and might play around with this even more.

Simple version

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Ingredients:

  • 14 oz vegetable broth
  • 2 poblano peppers, stems and seeds removed, roughly chopped
  • 3 serrano peppers, stems and seeds removed, roughly chopped (the amount of serranos can be adjusted depending on spiciness preference, using 3 made it fairly spicy. You can also substitute jalapeno peppers if you prefer)
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice

Directions:

  •  Add peppers and zucchini to vegetable stock in a pot, bring to a simmer, simmer for 15 min
  • Pour peppers, zucchini, and stock into a blender. Add cilantro, garlic, and salt and blend together until not chunky.
  • Heat oil over medium-high  heat, add onions and cook until tender, add rice and toast for ~2 minutes. Pour pepper mixture into the pan, bring to a boil then simmer for ~20 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through.  (add more water if needed)

Add-in version

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  • I ended up not adding any additional vegetables to this dish since I blended the zucchini up with the peppers, but it would be easy to saute some bell pepper, more zucchini or squash, or a variety of other veggies and stir them into the mix.

 

Mexican Rice

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The simple version is a take on classic Mexican rice you get at restaurants. Tomatoes and spices add a great flavor to the rice.

Simple version

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  •  Put all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 min until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through. Add more water if needed, stir occasionally to make sure the bottom rice doesn’t burn.

Add-in version

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This recipe makes a great base for adding in all kinds of veggies.

  • Cooked with the rice – 1 chopped onion, 3 minced cloves garlic, 1 cup frozen peas, 1 cup frozen corn kernals, 1 cup diced carrots
  • Added into the rice after cooking – 2 chopped Roma tomatoes, chopped cilantro
  • I doubled the spices from the recipe above
  • Heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium-high heat in a pot. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in rice and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add tomato sauce, vegetable broth, corn, carrots, peas, and spices. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer ~20 minutes until rice is cooked through
  • Stir in chopped tomatoes and garnish with cilantro

Soy Ginger Rice

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Delicious Asian flavors make this rice awesome. This is an alternative to making fried rice where you add already cooked rice in with the stir-fry.

Simple version

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbs sherry
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tbs Sriracha
  • 1 tbs minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup uncooked rice

Directions:

  •  Mix all ingredients into a pot. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for ~20 minutes until rice is cooked. Add more water if needed, stir occasionally.

Add-in version

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  • You can load this recipe up with tons of veggies and they taste great! I added: 2 cloves garlic, 1 red bell pepper, 1 head cauliflower, 1 head broccoli, 1 carrot, a handful of snap peas, 1 can of cut baby corn.
  • Double the sauce ingredients if you are adding several vegetables. (double soy sauce, sriracha, brown sugar, ginger, and sherry).
  • Option 1: cook plain rice and mix into stir-fried veggies with more sauce to make fried rice
  • Option 2: Cook rice alone in the sauce as in the simple version, stir-fry the veggies in more of the sauce and add them into the rice after they are cooked
  • Option 3: Stir-fry veggies in pot with sauce, add rice and water and simmer until rice is cooked. Directions: heat 1 tbs sesame oil in pot. Add garlic and cook till fragrant. Add all veggies and the soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, sriracha, and ginger. Stir fry until veggies almost cooked. Add the rice and water, simmer 20 minutes until the rice is cooked through.

Lemon Dill Rice

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Simple version

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • chopped fresh dill
  • chopped green onions

 

Directions:

  •  heat olive oil in a pot, add lemon zest, rice, and turmeric, stir to coat.
  • Add vegetable stock, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes until rice is cooked through.
  • Mix in dill and green onions.

Add-in version

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  • For this rice I added some garlic and onions in while cooking and then afterwards stirred in some dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes, and pine nuts.
  • Before adding lemon zest, rice, and turmeric, add onions and garlic to the oil and cook for a few minutes, then proceed with the rest of the recipe
  • Add in other components after rice is cooked.

Cornbread Stuffing

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This stuffing has so few ingredients but it is so delicious! The brown butter and sage flavors come through very strongly. You can use store-bought cornbread, make it from scratch, or use a box mix. I used a box mix this time and it turned out great!

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Ingredients:

  • 6 cups cornbread (cubed and crumbled)
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 tbs butter
  • 12 large fresh sage leaves, stems removed
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (or water to make it vegetarian)
  • salt and pepper
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • In a large skillet melt 2 tbs butter over medium heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook until lightly browned about 8 minutes.
  • Put cornbread in a large bowl. Melt 6 tbs butter in a small pan over medium heat and cook until it starts to brown. As soon as the butter starts to brown add the sage leaves and fry in the butter for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and pour the butter and sage mixture over the cornbread.
  • Add the cooked onions to the cornbread. Add the eggs and mix. Season further with salt and pepper.
  • Add chicken stock or water until mixture is evenly moistened but not soggy.
  • Pour the dressing into an 8″x8″ pan and bake for ~30 minutes until the top is golden brown and the dressing is set in the middle.

Sweet Potato Casserole

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This sweet potato casserole always goes over well with everyone! We usually serve it as a side dish but it’s pretty much as sweet as dessert. It has a delicious sugary pecan crust on top of the mashed sweet potato layer.

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Ingredients:

  • ~5 cups cubed sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbs butter, softened
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325F.
  • Put sweet potatoes in a pan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender. Drain and mash (I mash potatoes in my stand mixer)
  • Mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk, vanilla extract, and spices. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9×13″ baking dish.
  • Mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
  • Bake in the preheated over for 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.

You can prepare this the day before or earlier in the day and bake right before serving. This also reheats well as a leftover.

Cranberry, Apple, Turkey Sausage Stuffing

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We had a Thanksgiving potluck at work so I wanted to try out a few side dishes. They all turned out great! You can use this stuffing to actually stuff a turkey or bake it on its own. It’s extremely flavorful and delicious! I will for sure be making this again next year. You can mix and match different kinds of bread.

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Ingredients:

  • 8 cups cubed bread (white or wheat or sourdough)
  • 1.2 lbs ground turkey sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 6 large fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary, leaves stripped from stem
  • 5 springs fresh thyme, leave stripped from stem
  • 2 apples, chopped 1/2″ or smaller chunks (I used granny smith)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 tbs melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Spread cubed bread on large baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes until toasted. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Cook sausage and onions over medium heat in a skillet, stirring until onions are browned and sausage is cooked through.
  • Add celery and fresh herbs to skillet with onions and sausage and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Pour sausage mixture over the bread. Mix in the apples and dried cranberries. Drizzle the melted butter and chicken stock over the bread mixture and stir to mix everything.
  • Pour mixture into a 9″x13″ pan and bake for 30 minutes until heated through and top layer starts to brown.
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