Fall Baking Begins wih Mother's Vintage Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Pecan Topping and Fresh Baked Pear and Pecan Bread

Mother's Hand Written Recipe.
Today was the first baking I have done for awhile and it bears the flavors of fall.  Mother made this  vintage recipe for Oatmeal Cake for years and it was my favorite as a child.  The one I always asked for!  It is dense and moist and the broiled pecans and coconut topping are way beyond my candy with cake?

This broiled coconut pecan topping is perfect.
Mother's Vintage Oatmeal Cake Ingredients:

1 C. rolled oats
1 1/2 C. boiling water
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. sugar
1 stick (1/2 C. ) soft butter
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 1/3 C. flour
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. soda
1/2 C. raisins (optional)
1/2 C. chopped pecans (optional)

Broiled Coconut Pecan Topping Ingredients:

2 sticks butter
1/4 C. cream or evaporated milk
2 C. brown sugar
2 C. sweetened flaked coconut
2 C. coarse chop pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and place the rack so the top of the cake is in the center of the oven.  Butter and flour a 9" x 13" baking pan and set aside.

Pour the boiling water over the oats and leave to sit for 20 minutes.  Cream together the sugars and butter in a large mixing bowl. Next stir in the eggs and vanilla until well combined.

Using another bowl whisk together the dry ingredients and add 1/2 to the batter.  Add 1/2 of the oat mixture and stir just until combined.  Add the rest of the flour then the res of the oats stirring well.  If desired add the nuts and raisins just until combined.  Bake 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile combine the topping ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan.  Stir as you bring to a boil.  Boil 1 minute and remove from the heat. 

When you remove the cake from the oven spread evenly with the warm topping.  Place the cake under the broiler for about 2 minutes until bubbling!  Do not walk away.  Watch closely as not to burn.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  This cake travels well and is always a hit.

Beautiful Fresh Pear and Pecan quick bread.
I saw this recipe on the Iowa Housewife blog and had to try it.  It came out beautifully and is delicious!  Love something a little different and this did hit the spot. I did adapt the recipe a bit as one of our sons does not care for the flavor of nutmeg.  I used ginger instead and it was great with the pears.

Wish I had a jar of my Grandmother's Pear Honey to slather onto this beautiful bread!
Fresh Pear and Pecan Quick Bread Ingredients:

2 lg. eggs
1 C. sugar
3/4 C. sour cream
1/4 C. vegetable oil
1 t. fresh grated lemon zest
2 C. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
good pinch of ginger (or nutmeg if you prefer)
1 1/2 C., 2 medium fresh pears, peeled, cored, and chopped.
1 C. rough chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees  F. and butter and flour a 5" x 9" loaf pan and set it aside.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl.  Add sugar, oil, sour cream, and lemon zest mixing altogether well.  Add all of the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  Stir in the pears and pecans.  Spoon into the loaf pan and spread evenly.  Bake 60-70 minutes until it tests clean.  Cool 10 minutes and remove from the pan.  Cool completely before wrapping tightly in a large plastic bag.  Store in the refrigerator if you have any left.  Most of mine was gone after one setting!


Restoring a Vintage Cast Iron Roasting Pan

Vintage 12" x 19" cast iron roasting pan after scrubbing and drying.
Last night my husband brought home quite a lovely surprise compliments of our good friends the Linton's.  It seems Mike discovered a bit of treasure he thought I might appreciate and indeed I do!  I have a better than average collection of cast iron cook wear but had never seen a cast iron roasting pan, and it is a dandy!  Measuring 12" x 19" and 3 1/4" deep.  I can see 2-3 hens sitting pretty atop a bed of root vegetables, a beautiful ham, and a turkey, standing rib roast etc. in it's future!

The first step in it's new life with us was to scrub away the debris with a brush, coarse salt, and hot water.  I lined my white porcelain sinks with towels as not to beat them up in the process.

After preheating my oven to 200 degrees F.  I placed the damp roasting pan in the oven and set the timer for 40 minutes to ensure it was well dried before seasoning.  I often dry my cast iron by placing it on the gas burner of my store a few minutes to ensure it is really dry.  JUST DO NOT WALK AWAY IF YOU DO THIS!

Clean, dried, and seasoned, ready to go for years more service.
Upon removing from the warm oven I seasoned well with vegetable oil and wiped well with paper towels.  She is ready to go!  Thank you again to the Linton's.


Triple Chocolate Brownie Feast, Eat Half Now and Freeze Half for Later

Eating brownies or making sundaes, both hit the chocolate spot!
Today I decided to get up and bake brownies and to serve them as the base for brownie ice cream sundaes for dessert Sunday evening.  I think that sounds just about right after the spaghetti and meatball supper I am planning!  This recipe makes two 9" x 13" pans so I am freezing the second pan for another day.  This is a recipe adapted from Ree Drummond's TV program, The Pioneer Woman.

Ingredients for Triple Chocolate Brownies:

1 pound butter (4 sticks) plus 2 T. for the pans
10 ounces dark unsweetened chocolate (2 1/2, 4 ounce packages)
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa
6 large eggs
2 T. vanilla
4 C. sugar
2 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 C. semi sweet chocolate pieces

Easy lift out and storage for freezing the second pan after baking.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two 9" x 13" pans with foil then butter generously and set them aside.

Melting butter and chocolate, divine.
Use a medium large heavy bottom pan to melt the butter and chocolate together over low heat. 

I measure cocoa over a paper plate.
Stir until smooth then add the cocoa and stir again until smooth.  Remove from the heat and cool for five minutes.

This recipe was made very simply with a pan and a spoon.
Add the sugar and the vanilla and stir together well.  Beat in the eggs all at once.  Fold in the flour until combines then add the chocolate chips and blend. 

Three chocolates are better than one.
Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes.  Test with a toothpick.  The toothpick can be damp but should not have batter clinging to it.  Bake 5 more minutes if needed,

Glistening and ready to bake.
Cool completely.  Lift foil with the brownies out and place on a cutting board.  Slice into squares using a large knife.  I double wrapped the second pan and froze for another day.

For sundaes place a dip of your favorite ice cream atop a brownie, top with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and maybe a cherry or sprinkles!

My theory is chocolate makes everything better!


Crispy Fried Zucchini Patties with Horseradish Sauce

I have several zucchini to use from the bottom of my refrigerator so tonight this is my vegetable side dish.  I have gotten to really like a bigger variety of zucchini sides.  Used to be we all just made zucchini bread!  No more!  This is my adaptation of Trisha Yearwood's Zucchini cakes.

Ingredients for Crispy Fried Zucchini Patties:

3 C. shredded zucchini
2 C. bread crumbs
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 t. finely chopped fresh basil
2 t.  finely chopped garlic
2 t. kosher salt
1 t. black pepper
4 large eggs
1/2 C. buttermilk

1/3 C. vegetable oil for frying

I shred the zucchini an hour or two ahead and salt with 1 t. of the salt in a colander in the sink.  I leave it to drain for a crisper finished product.

Mix the wet ingredients (eggs and buttermilk)  in a medium bowl and whisk together.  Using a larger bowl stir together all of the remaining ingredients.  Pour the buttermilk and egg mixture into the larger bowl of the zucchini mixture and stir well.

Using a heavy skillet heat the oil over medium high heat.  Form into patties using a 1/4 cup measure and fry until golden on both sides, 4-5 minutes.  Drain on paper towels.

Ingredients for Horseradish Sauce:

1 1/2 C. sour Cream
1/4 C. buttermilk
2-3 T. horseradish
pinch of red pepper flakes

Stir all of the ingredients together and serve along side hot and Crispy Fried Zucchini Patties!

Silly me forgot to take pictures but these are too tasty not to add to our recipe collection!