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Pleasant Hill Grain Blog

Helping you achieve your culinary dreams.

Autumn Spice Jubilee Dessert

Autumn Spice Jubilee Dessert featured image

This cake is an autumn greeting with its spread of spices and pureed fruits!

Brown Sugar Pecan Glazed Apricot Spice Cake

Ingredients

  • 10.5 ounces of pureed apricots (or a mixture of apricots and applesauce)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-1/3 cups Xagave syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups self-rising flour (or your favorite flour blend with 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans chunks

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F, then grease and flour your bundt cake pan. For this cake I used our Jubilee Nordic Ware bundt cake pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl or mixer, beat apricot puree, vegetable oil, and Xagave. Add eggs and beat well. Add all the spices and self-rising flour, and stir until well combined. Stir in finely chopped pecans.
  3. Pour batter into prepared bundt cake pan and bake 45-65 minutes, or until the cake springs back and a toothpick comes out of the cake clean. The baking time will depend on the size and shape of your cake pan.
  4. Remove your cake from the oven and let it cool in its pan for 10-15 minutes, then gently flip it out onto a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  5. For the glaze, melt butter in a small sauce pan and add brown sugar and milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the 1/2 cup of pecans chunks and remove from heat to cool a bit before drizzling over your cooled cake.
  6. Serve with ice cream of freshly whipped cream and enjoy!
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A Brewing Kind of Summer

A Brewing Kind of Summer featured image

Who said coffee can’t be delightful during summer? Summer is typically hot and so is coffee, but let’s expand your coffee world with some chilling tricks!

Toddy

In order to make coffee toddy (which is just a fancy term for iced coffee) you need a large container with a hole or spigot in the bottom. Making a large amount of iced coffee is a great idea because the strong flavors taste good for several days, so you’ll have a refreshing beverage ready when you want it… like on an early summer morning!

Fill:

Start by pouring 1 cup purified water and 6 ounces freshly roasted and coarsely ground coffee (check out our coffee grinders here) into the bottom of your brewing container, added cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg, if you’d like to spice your toddy. Slowly pour 3 more cups water, in a circular motion over the grounds. Then add the remaining 6 ounces ground coffee, wait 5 minutes, then slowly add the last 3 cups water. Don’t stir! Gently press the top of your ground coffee to make sure they’re all wet.

Brew:

Let steep at room temperature or in the fridge for 12-36 hours. The longer it brews the stronger the coffee concentrate will be.

Strain: 

When finished brewing, release your spigot over a glass pitcher or other glass container covered with a fine mesh strainer or double layer of cheesecloth. It’s best to have your brewing container and pitcher set up so you can walk away from them for a few hours since this process takes a little while. This brew will stay fresh and strong in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Serve:

Remember, this a concentrate so when you serve it you should mix 1 part coffee with 2-3 parts, dairy, nut or soy milk. If you prefer, you could also mix this concentrate with hot water for a rich cup of coffee.

Espresso Every Way

Get expressive with your espresso this summer by icing it with dairy, blending it with ice and dairy, or your favorite homemade ice cream. Here at PHG we have the perfect blenders for cold coffee drinks!

Coffee Cola?

Believe it or not, coffee Cola does exist. If you like coffee and you like Cola, you might want to give this a try!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups coffee, double strength, chilled
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 pint ice cream (4 scoops)
  • ¾ cup club soda, chilled (or any pop of your choice)
  • whipped cream for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine coffee and sugar.
  2. Blend in half-and-half.
  3. Fill four tall glasses halfway with coffee mixture.
  4. Add scoop of ice cream to each glass. Fill to top with soda.
  5. Add dollop of whipped cream and enjoy! You can also garnish with sprinkles, cherries, cinnamon, chocolate shavings, etc.

We All Scream for Ice Cream… Shakes

For a simple snack that will refresh you on a hot summer day, and one the kids will love too, combine freshly brewed coffee with several scoops of vanilla ice cream.

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A Midwestern Staple: The Nebraska Runza

A Midwestern Staple: The Nebraska Runza featured image

In our gorgeous cookbook The New Midwestern Table, Amy Thielen explores the Midwest and all of its culinary wonders. It is modern comfort food at its best. I proved this by making her recipe for one of the most popular Midwestern dishes of our region, the runza. She nailed this recipe and I can’t wait to try more of her modern twists on other favorites! IMG_9890

Nebraskan Runzas

Ingredients

DOUGH

  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water (approx 110 degrees)
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • Pinch plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 large eggs (3 for the dough, 1 for the wash)
  • 3-3/4 cups bread flour (plus more for the counter)
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) salted butter, softened (plus more for the bowl)
  • 2 teaspoons salt

FILLING

  • 1 pound medium-lean ground beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (plus more for the baking sheet
  • 1/2 head of green cabbage, finely diced (Amy used spinach for those who don’t like cabbage)

IMG_4581

Instructions

DOUGH

  1. Combine water, yeast and pinch of sugar in a large mixing bowl and let sit until foamy (about 10 minutes).
  2. Add 3 eggs and whisk to combine. Add half of the bread flour and beat with a wooden spoon until good and thready, about 3 minutes. Add the butter, remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, remaining flour, and the salt and mix well.
  3. Leave to rest and hydrate for 15 minutes.
  4. Knead for 5 minutes and transfer to a buttered bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour at room temperature.
  5. Transfer to fridge to chill for 1-2 hours or overnight.
  6. Remove from fridge and divide into 8 portions. Roll each into a ball and leave on counter to warm up. (Meanwhile make the filing.)

IMG_3951 FILLING

  1. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat and add the beef. Season with salt and pepper and cook, chopping to separate the beef, cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a bowl. Drain and discard all but a film of the fat from the skillet.
  2. Add the butter and melt. Add the onion and cabbage and cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and rosemary and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Scrape the mixture into the bowl of beef and set aside to cool.

IMG_8155 ASSEMBLY

  1. Flatten a dough ball on a heavily floured surface, and roll it to form a 3×5 inch rectangle. Then make wrapping flaps form the four corners by rolling each corner out thinly. You will have a thick rectangle in the middle with four thinner triangle wings.
  2. Spoon 1/2 cup of filling onto the rectangle and wrap the flaps over it, pinching to close. Flip over in your hands, gently forming the runza. Set seam-side down on oiled baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough balls.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Let the runzas rise, uncovered for 45 minutes.
  5. Mix together remaining egg and 2 tablespoons of water and brush thinly over the tops of the runzas.
  6. Bake until dark golden brown, about 25 minutes and serve hot.
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Show Stopper Popsicles

Show Stopper Popsicles featured image

As a young girl popsicles were a major treat for me and I’d like to re-inspire your excitement for this snack with a tantalizing Cherry Amaretto recipe. These popsicles are pleasing to the eye and pallet, with their fun flavor and color.

Cherry Amaretto Popsicles

Indgredients

Amaretto Mixture

  • 1 can (13.5 oz) full fat coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoon amaretto
  • 2-3 drops pure almond extract

Cherry Mixture

  • 2 cups bing cherries, pitted and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon amaretto

Directions

  1. For the Amaretto mixture, whisk together coconut milk, sugar, salt, amaretto, and almond extract in medium bowl. Chill mixture for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. For the cherry mixture, combine cherries, sugar, and Amaretto in a medium bowl. Let stand 15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Place cherries and their juices in a heavy saucepan over medium heat; cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until cherries have softened. Pour mixture into a food processor and let cool to room temperature. Process until almost smooth, leaving some texture.
  3. Fill popsicle molds with alternating layers; swirl together with a metal skewer. Freeze for 90 minutes, then insert popsicle sticks and freeze overnight. To unmold, let popsicles stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Carefully remove from molds and serve.

Tips & Tricks

For this recipe, a couple ingredients and instructions are optional. Instead of using a food processor go ahead and pull out your blender. If you intend on serving these popsicles to children, substitute the real amaretto for amaretto syrup.

You don’t have a popsicle mold? There are quick, easy alternatives for it! Simply use disposable cups or a large ice cube tray.

If you don’t have popsicle sticks on hand, caramel apple skewers work great for handles.

WARNING: These popsicles melt fast outside of air conditioning!

Recipe from Tutti-Dolci.com

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Fresh-squeezed: Vanilla-Rosemary Lemonade recipe

Fresh-squeezed: Vanilla-Rosemary Lemonade recipe featured image

Run on over to your rosemary bush and snap off a few stems for this recipe because summer is here and you’ve got to make this refreshing rosemary-vanilla infused lemonade! With the perfect amount of deep vanilla, icy herb, and zesty lemon juice, you’ll be ready for the heat and sunshine in no time.

Fresh Squeezed: Rosemary-Vanilla Lemonade

Fresh-squeezed: Vanilla-Rosemary Lemonade

Yield: 6 glasses

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican vanilla extract
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cups lemon juice, squeezed from 8-10 lemons
  • Ice
  • 1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine water, sugar, vanilla, and 4 sprigs of rosemary in a medium pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Strain the rosemary from the liquid. Allow it to cool 10 minutes before placing in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.
  2. Pour rosemary water and lemon juice into large pitcher and stir to combine. Serve the lemonade in glasses with ice, lemon rounds, and rosemary sprigs.

Tips & Tricks

  • Keep fresh herbs usable for longer with our new Norpro herb keeper.
  • Juice lemons in a matter of seconds using the Citrus Juicer attachment for the Bosch Universal stand mixer.
  • Hosting a summer party? Try serving this rosemary lemonade in 16-ounce or 20-ounce Mason jar tumblers. Your guests are sure to love it!
  • Would you like to experiment with making more delightful summery drinks like peach juice, pear cider, rose hip tea and mixed berry mead? Check out Drink the Harvest for a wide variety of fresh, delicious beverage recipes with stunning photographs, numerous illustrations and detailed step-by-step directions.

Aladdin_mason_jar_scene_2_900

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