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Melba Toast Crackers

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

One of the easiest ways to be frugal in the kitchen is to present food differently. This helps in using what you have in creative ways, and thereby having new food, or at least food viewed as new. For instance I made a loaf of bread that was good. But no matter how good something is, it cannot be eaten everyday without getting tired of the taste.

There are many options available to eliminate waste. I could have cut the loaf in half and froze part for another time, or I could have given half to my neighbor as an act of generosity and friendship, or I could make crackers from the remaining bread and have a new type of food to enjoy and eliminate waste at the same time. Lets re-purpose bread into crackers.


Here is approximately 1/3 loaf of the bread, left after several breakfast. Although I have enjoyed this loaf, it is time to make something more from this and eliminate it from being pushed aside and left to waste.


Using an electric knife (quick breads are more crumbly, than yeast breads) which I prefer, cut slices approximately 1/4 inch thick.

Prepare a large baking sheet, I used coconut oil to film it lightly.


Take a small amount of coconut oil and "cream" it on a plate with a spoon. I have found that a spoon will spread the coconut oil on the bread slices easier than a knife will.


Cut the slices in half ( this is easier if you stack them up in 2 side by side stacks, and run the knife down the center), arrange on the tray and gently spread (or smear) a small dab, about 1/4 t of coconut oil on each piece. This is not specific, simply smear a bit of oil on each piece.

Homemade Melba Toast Crackers
Homemade Melba Toast Crackers

Place in a 250 degree oven and bake for 45-60 minutes until golden and crisping. Turn oven off and leave to dry, while oven cools. Keep the oven door closed. When cool, make sure there are no moisture pockets, you may need to preheat the oven, bake 5 minutes and then turn off and let finish drying.

Note: This will be based upon your oven and the density of the bread being made into crackers.

That's it, re-purposed bread into crackers. Made with the ingredients you want to eat, so you know that they will be good for you. Great as a snack, or with meals like soup or stew. Crunchy and good!

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 


And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

This post is part of Tuesday Twister , Two for Tuesday  ,
Pennywise Platter , Food Renegade and Foodie Friday.
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Festive Jam Loaf

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Frugal Jam Sweetened Quick Bread, Festive Jam Loaf
Festive Jam Loaf

This is the freshest time of year! Not a kitchen I know of is not in the middle of something delicious and seasonal. One of my favorite summer time activities is jam making. I can never have enough, it is great to have on hand for eating and enjoying, as well as a gift to say "thank you" to a friend that offered a helping hand.

This easy loaf is tasty, as well as a great way to use up last years jam. You can also drop the mixture into muffin cups for a handy personal size treat to eat out of hand.

 I chose a jar of fig and orange jam, I added cinnamon to the flour mixture, and stirred in 1/2 c walnuts at the end.

Festive Jam loaf
adapted from: Seasonal Ontario Food
350 degree oven
1 c jam
1/3 c oil
2 eggs

1 c flour
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour - I prefer spelt flour
3 t baking powder
3/4 t salt


3/4 c milk

optional ingredients:  chopped nuts, diced dried fruit, chopped apples, cinnamon, the only limits would be your own preferences.

Stir together until mixed well jam, oil and eggs. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt, whisk to combine. Add the jam mixture and 1/2 of the milk, mix well to combine. Add remaining milk, mixing until combined and no streaks of any one ingredient remains. Stir in an optional ingredient if desired.


Bake 40 - 50 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes then turn loaf out to cool completely.

Makes 1 loaf, 12 - 15 slices.

Remember quick breads once cool and sliced, toast up just like yeast bread.

If you happen to have some left over you can make melba toast, which is delicious, here is the link for homemade Melba Toast Crackers, also made from this tasty loaf.

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!


Update:  This post is being shared with:
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage

This post is a part of Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Whats on your plate ,
Make it from Scratch.  and Food Renegade.
                                                           ###          
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Chocolate Cardamom Cake

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Chocolate Cardamom Cake
Chocolate Cardamom Cake
Last week's oats and prune bread, was delicious. I enjoyed thick slices for breakfast toasted and spread with butter. I would think that most folks place prunes in that category, you know on the quick bread or muffin list. Prunes are elegant too, now wait, yes they are. Look at what we are making today.......

Chocolate Prune Cardamom Cake
adapted from: Kitchenography
350 degree oven

Steeping step:
3/4 c water
1/4 c sherry
3/4 c prunes

Heat water and sherry to almost boiling, add prunes, cover with a lid, turn off heat.


Leave on stove burner to steep, until lukewarm. When steeping is complete, drain well. (Reserve liquid for another use if desired*) and chop prunes into 1/2 inch dice. Reserve.


Cake:
1 c flour
2 T dry baking cocoa - plus additional cocoa to dust the baking pan
1/2 t cardamom
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder









1/2 c oil
1 t vanilla
1 egg
3/4 c sugar


1 T lemon juice and enough milk to make 1/2 cup total liquid - let sit while assembling ingredients


In a medium size bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk together to combine. In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients, whisk to beat well, the mixture will fall in a ribbon from the whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the egg and sugar mixture, along with 1/2 of the soured milk. Combine well, add remaining milk, whisking to combine. Beat will for 1 - 2 minutes. Batter will look glossy and fall in a ribbon from whisk. Fold in the steeped prunes.

Prepare an 8 inch spring form pan, and dust with additional cocoa.


Tap out an excess cocoa powder. Pour in the cake batter.

Bake 30 minutes or until tests done in your oven. Let cool in the pan 15 minutes. Run a spatula or thin knife around edge of cake to make sure it is free from the pan. Leave in spring form pan to cool completely.


Carefully run a spatula around the edge of the cooled cake, this will help when you are ready to remove the ring, after glazing.


Glaze:
2 T butter
2T milk
1/2 c semi sweet chocolate (chips)
1/2 c powder sugar

Heat butter, milk and chocolate until hot and chocolate begins to melt. Whisk until smooth, whisk in powder sugar, whisking until smooth. Return to burner on low and whisk until shiny. Pour over cake, and carefully rotate cake to "spread" to edges of the pan. Let cool.


 Run a thin knife around the edge of the glaze to separate from the pan. Set spring form pan on serving plate, carefully remove ring from around cake.

Serves 8 - 10, serve with a whipped cream crown or a small ball of vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 


And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!
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Jars of happiness, no canning equipment needed.


I love gift giving, I love gift giving from the heart even more. All of my favorite gifts have been love inspired, some purchased and the others made at home, just for me. Or by me, I give gifts too!

As I have made little changes along the way to the slower life I want to get back to, gifts made at home, play a larger and larger role. Never once have I ever thought as I travel this familiar path back to my old, new life, gifts will not be given.

A quieter life, made at home is not about removing the joys of celebration, gifts and visiting. It is about life lived, enjoyed and created at home. Homemade. With care. With pride. For those you love and care about.

I have been gifted to, very generously in my life. I love gift giving so much, I tend to gift to others in the same fashion. It is not unusual to get multiple gifts on birthdays or special occasions. One of the gifts might be a jar of happiness.

I have made quote jars for a landmark birthday, where there is a quote for each year celebrated. This is especially fun for a birthday of say age 50 or so. You can fill a good sized jar and have fun in the process.

You can find quotes at many different sources, or make up anything you want. If they have a serious funny bone, jokes are fun. Or even questions to answer. Mini Crossword puzzles can be fun, especially if they say something special and meaningful to the person receiving the gift. What would be fun for your gift giving occasion? 

Here are some quote links, also a quick internet search will reveal many more.
http://www.quotegarden.com/wise-words.html

http://www.famousquotesandauthors.com/

http://www.filmsite.org/greatfilmquotes.html


This is a jar I received. I enjoy it daily, and have read the little notes many times. It sits on the bookshelf in my little computer/sewing/cookbook shelf/grandma's toy-box and sleep over couch/ room!


This is a memories jar. Each piece of paper is a memory written down by a member of the family. A simple jar, decorated with care and full of happiness. It is the little things, they really are the biggest gifts of all!

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello, I appreciate your visits.
This is linked to:
Fresh Clean and Pure @ la bella vita
Simple Lives Thursday.
and Make it from Scratch 
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Chocolate Mint Zucchini Cake with Walnuts

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Chocolate Mint Zucchini Cakes with Walnuts
Chocolate Mint Zucchini Cakes with Walnuts

Like my cooking, this blog is subject to my going back and making a change in already posted recipes. Such is the case with the Chocolate mint zucchini bread with walnuts. I had put notes in bold script on how to turn that basic recipe into a cake. Well that is simply not going to work, I don't know what I was thinking (or not thinking as the case may be!).

When I purchased the zucchini, I made sure I got enough to cook at least 2 recipes from it. It was a real toss up I will tell you, the Tomato Zucchini Gratin or this cake. The deciding factor? It is simply that the mint is coming to an end. I really wanted to perfect this little cake, so much so, that I can't let it go, I needed to make it.You can bet I will go out to the organic farmer again, real soon!

Zucchini Mint Chocolate Chip Cake with Walnut Garnish
by the seat of my pants!
oven 350

2 c flour
1/2 c dry baking cocoa
1 1/2 c sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking soda

Combine in a large bowl, then add

2 eggs
3/4 c yogurt (or buttermilk)
2 t vanilla
1/2 c oil

Beat well for 2 minutes with an electric mixer, stir in


1 1/2 c grated zucchini (3 small to medium zucchini )
1/3 c chiffonade mint leaves


when mixed well, stir in

2 c chocolate chips


Pour into 3 - 5 small loaf pans, it will depend upon your pan size OR a standard 9X5 loaf pan.

garnish with chopped walnuts (this is where I like walnuts, on top to get golden and toasted!)


bake 35 - 40 minutes for small loaf size, up to 55 minutes for standard loaf size. Let cool 10 minutes, turn out and cool completely.

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 


And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!
1

Oat and Dried Plums Bread

 finally it is time for breakfast, warm with butter.

I could go on and on about the healthy virtues of prunes, but I have learned that the way to eat well, is to cook well. Cooking well means, quality ingredients, used in creative ways that will entice a meal shared. I used the word entice for that sentence because sometimes you do have to entice folks to eat a food that they have already formed a negative opinion about. And that is OK, because it is all about learning for the first time or relearning if need be. For a lot of folks relearning is usually needed with prunes.


This is such a beautiful book, it holds today's recipe. Lets get started shall we.........oh and just a reminder, quick breads toast up great in the toaster.

Cooks notes and possible words of wisdom:  For an easier to slice loaf of bread, cut the dried plums in smaller pieces that the recipe states. The large chunks of fruit while delicious, makes for a chunky and easily broken loaf of bread.


Oats and Prunes Bread
adapted from:  Herbal Breads
by, Ruth Bass
350 degree oven

2 c pitted prunes, snipped into thirds
1/2 c orange juice
1/2 t dried thyme leaves, crumbled (don't leave this out, it is delicious!)




1 c oats, whirl in a processor to chop - pulsed only - do not make flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon

3/4 c yogurt (or buttermilk)
2 eggs
1/3 c oil

chopped walnuts for top of breads, if desire

Snip prunes into thirds, add thyme and orange juice let soak while preparing rest of the ingredients.

In a medium bowl combine flours, oats, sugars, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Whisk to blend ingredients well.

In a large bowl, blend the yogurt, eggs and oil. Quickly stir dry ingredients into wet. Add prunes and orange juice mixture, stirring well.

Divide into two 4X8 loaf pans, top with walnuts.

 I currently do not have 8X4 inch loaf pans, I do have this lovely Danish* loaf pan that I prefer to use. 

Bake 40 - 45 minutes or until tests done in your oven. Cool in pans 10 minutes, turn out on rack or towel to cool completely.

 This danish pan takes longer than the 8X4 pan listed in the book, by about 12 minutes. A standard 9X5 loaf recipe will bake in the same amount of time.

 This is what happens in my kitchen, how about yours?

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 


And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!



* a Danish style pan is narrower and longer than our standard 9X5 inch loaf pan, yet holds the same amount or a standard recipe.

Shared with:


Cookbook Sunday @ Brenda's Canadian Kitchen
Potluck Sunday @ Mommy's Kitchen
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Homemade Gift Bags



I come from a long line of gleaners! During times of good humor, my Mother was know to describe herself as a "natural born junk picker". But gleaning is not the same as picking through junk. Gleaning is the gathering, of the usable. This could be food in a field or tree, as well as needed information to complete a project.

I have been know to take gleaning an addition step. I enjoy and find it a challenge to glean the usable, and make something more from it. Of course I always remember my manners, and only glean when it is appropriate. In my last position, each Thursday my boss would bring in coffee service from Starbucks. Everyone loved the coffee, and when the morning meeting was over, there was loads of stuff left on the conference table to clean up.

With that said, my enjoyment of gleaning would not allow simple cleaning! Any new (unused) paper coffee cups were set aside and brought home. In addition so were all the little packets of sugar in the raw. Oh and lets not forget the paper napkins. Although I do not buy paper napkins, these work great as disposable clean up wipes, for many needs. It could be the cat or even one of us!

The most fun item to bring home were the little carry out bags. They are the same size as a gift bag, and although not as pretty they can be made attractive for your best gift, in a minute, with yet another gleaned item the Sunday comics or a splashy ad.

Come on, I will show you. 
This is a simple yet fun way to make more out of what you already have, now that is my kind of frugal.

You will want to make a weight, so that your bag will not travel away from you. This is easy to do as well, simply wrap a couple of cans up in newspaper and secure with a rubber band, then you can set them in the bottom of the bag and begin making it into a gift bag.


 

At our house the gifts for children are usually wrapped in the Sunday comics. Sometime however you need a gift bag. In our Sunday paper the comic section is a full sheet and a half sheet. The next step is to put the two pieces together.

Lay the two pieces together over lapped by about 1 1/2 - 2 inches. Line up the edges and staple on the edge and then twice more, working toward the center. What I think works best is the staple the edge, move as far downward at the stapler will reach, and then again halfway in the middle. Complete this staple process on the other edge as well.

Then place a couple of pieces of tape in the center, simply to keep it stable.


Place the weight in the bottom of the bag. Lay the bag down on the paper, and start "wrapping" the bag. It does not matter if the paper is upside down or downside up. It is a funny paper gift bag. But if you have a preference, now is the time to make that happen.


For continuity I like to have where the two pieces come together on the corner edge, but again that is not absolutely necessary.

You are simply wrapping the bag in funny paper. You will want to tape the edge when the wrap is complete.

To make the bottom flat, fold the sides in, creasing the paper to keep it flat. Then fold the two remaining flaps over each other as shown, you have room to slip in the stapler and give it a couple of staples on each side. I then will take a piece of tape and tape down the point.

Stand the bag up, and begin rolling down the top. When you have rolled to with in an inch (or so) then  fold over the edge of the bag and staple.

When you get to a handle, simple tear the comic and continue to fold and staple. As you can see from the photo below, nothing appears torn.

Remove the weight and you are ready to add the gift.

It is fun to use an ad that might depict what the person receiving the gift loves as a hobby. If your gift receiving person loves to do crafts, a colorful craft store ad would be fun. You can use any type of paper you want, it is all up to you.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by! This post is being linked to Simple Lives Thursday.
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