It’s rhubarb season guys! Yes, rhubarb is plentiful, fresh, and ready to be included into lots of glorious dishes. I especially love rhubarb in desserts, maybe paired with strawberries, or in jams and jellies. I am a pro at eating rhubarb but I have only actually made one dish with it years ago. It’s about time I get to baking and tasting, because ……. (drum roll please) …….. I have been asked to be a judge at the Rhubarb Festival at Kitchen Kettle Village in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They have been holding this festival for over 30 years! Every year people bake their most loved rhubarb desserts and bring them to the “Best Rhubarb Dessert in Lancaster County” baking competition. That’s where I come in. I will be judging one category and then helping other judges choose an overall grand champion. Let me tell you, my taste buds and I could not be more excited!
To prepare myself (and those taste buds), I went to the store and bought almost all the rhubarb they had. I came home and got straight to work baking up a storm. I made Almond Rhubarb Tea Cakes, Rhubarb Raspberry Scones, and this delicious Cinnamon Rhubarb Bread.
Rhubarb has a wonderful tart flavor that makes it perfect in desserts because it can easily be balanced out by adding some sweetness. That is why you will often see it paired with strawberries or made into a jam. I also love it’s beautiful bright pink/red color. That’s just awesome!
This Cinnamon Rhubarb Bread doesn’t require much work and really lets the rhubarb shine. This is a quick bread, so everything gets mixed in one bowl, which is another bonus because who doesn’t love minimal cleanup!?
While baking, the rhubarb releases juices which help this bread stay moist. When you take a bite, the tartness of the rhubarb really comes through but isn’t overpowering when paired with the brown sugar and cinnamon batter. It was just meant to be!
34th Annual Rhubarb Festival here I come!
- Butter, for greasing the pan
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups diced rhubarb
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with softened butter.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in the brown sugar, oil, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Mix well. Fold in the rhubarb and walnuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool before slicing.
Slightly Adapted from Today
You do not have to peel the rhubarb.
All last week I had been hearing about this big snow storm that was headed our way. My town was supposed to get 10-16 inches, or so they said. Well once again I woke up to hardly any snow :(. I think we had maybe 4 inches. Not cool! I was ready for the big one. I went to the grocery store and hoarded toilet paper and milk, just like you are supposed to. I was even interviewed by a news crew at the store doing a story on people preparing. Which, by the way, I think is really silly. I don’t know about you, but I buy toilet paper every week, not just when it snows! With the lack of snow this Winter has given us, it was nice to have a day “stuck” inside, watching the snow fall. It wouldn’t feel like a snow day without a comforting meal going in the crockpot. That called for….Chicken N Dumplings.
I watch YouTube videos quite often, and one of the people I follow is Rachel Hollis. I came across her videos one day and have been a fan of hers ever since. Soon after I learned about her, she came out with a cookbook called “Upscale Downhome”. I just had to get it! My sister got it for me for a birthday present and I have been happily trying out many recipes. I haven’t been disappointed with one yet! One that I am totally in love with is the Chicken N Dumplings.
Since the slow cooker does all the work for this Chicken N Dumplings, it is the perfect comforting weeknight meal. The hardest thing you will have to do is pull apart a already cooked rotisserie chicken that you bought at the store. You don’t even have to sauté the vegetables first. Just throw everything in, turn it on low, set the timer for 6-8 hours, and you are good to go. Thirty minutes before serving, you drop your biscuit dough on top. The dough will puff up as it cooks, turning into the perfect vehicle to soak up all of that creamy goodness.
Another plus to making this is I get to use the chicken carcass to make homemade chicken stock! Yes!
When it’s all said and done, you won’t believe how thick and creamy this turns out. Crispy bacon on top really adds something special and chives bring some freshness.
I love recipes like this where I can toss all the ingredients in the crockpot in the morning and enjoy an amazing home cooked meal that night, with minimal effort. Thank you Rachel Hollis for this amazing recipe!
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced,
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 rotisserie chicken, skinned and shredded
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 (10.5 oz) cans cream of chicken soup
- 2 tsps. garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/3 tsp, dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- 2 cups Bisquick baking mix
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup crispy bacon, chopped
- 3 tbls. chives, chopped
- Combine all of the ingredients except for the baking mix, milk, bacon, and chives in the bowl of your crockpot.
- Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
- About 30 minutes before serving, combine the baking mix and milk in a large bowl. Drop the dough by the spoonful in the crockpot. Cook until the dough is cooked all the way through. This should take about 30 minutes. Serve with bacon and chives on top.
Source: Upscale Downhome by Rachel Hollis
I recommend cooking it on low for a longer amount of time. This really allows the flavors to marry and vegetables to get tender. But if you are in a hurry, you can the cook on high method.
Banana Bread. There are so many variations on banana bread and I love them all. You know I am always trying new recipes, so this traditional bread is constantly undergoing some sort of tweaking in my kitchen. Once again, and not by accident, I found myself with tons of overly ripe bananas. Yay! I thought about making my Chocolate Chip Banana Bread but then I remembered a recipe for Banana Oat Bread I had tried a while back and loved. So here it is, the beautiful and delicious Banana Oat Bread.
One of the things that sets this banana bread apart from all the rest is it’s texture. It is packed with rolled oats and walnuts, which gives it some added crunch. In every bite you can taste a little hint of cinnamon that brings everything together.
There is quite the snow storm headed our way tonight, so I am glad I have a loaf of this bread to munch on while watching the snow fall. I also have a few delicious soups in my meal plan that I can’t wait to make!
Now back to eating my Banana Oat Bread….
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup + 2 tbls. rolled oats, divided
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9X5in loaf pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until well combined.
- Add mashed bananas, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, milk, and chopped walnuts. Mix until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, 2/3 cup of oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the remaining 2 tbls. of oats on top.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes. If the bread is getting too brown, you can cover it with foil around the 45 minute mark.
- The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Let the bread cool before removing from the pan.
Adapted from Spiced Blog.
A couple of weekends ago, Alex and I spent a Saturday in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with the kids. It turned out to be such a beautiful day, and I was glad Alex was able to be off work and go with us!
There is one place we always go while in Lancaster County and that is Lapp Valley Farm. Lapp’s is a working Amish farm where they raise Jersey dairy cows and make the most delicious ice cream out of their milk. Every time we have visited this farm, I am impressed with how beautifully maintained it is and I love that the kids can get out of the car and stretch their legs a bit.
Before buying our ice cream, we always head down to the barn to say hello to the bottle fed calves. If you are lucky, you may even be able to watch some cows being milked. We always really enjoy watching this and it’s great for the kids to see where their milk and ice cream comes from. You will also see a couple bulldogs, cats, and even peacocks roaming around the farm.
After all the animals have been greeted, it’s time to head into the Dairy Store. They have sixteen varieties of ice cream that they feature throughout the year, so chances are they will have your favorite. I’m a plain chocolate kind of gal, so that is what I always get. 2 scoops of chocolate ice cream in a homemade fresh waffle cone. Oh did I mention they make fresh waffle cones? Well, they do! They smell amazing and taste even better.
After getting our ice cream, we head out onto the porch to enjoy it in the beautiful weather. This past visit we learned you have to watch out for the cats! They are sneaky little things and will come take a lick of your ice cream cone if you aren’t looking.
In the Dairy Store you can find more than just ice cream. They also offer butter, milk, and eggs. Did you know that milk from a Jersey Cow is 20% higher in protein and 15% higher in calcium than that of other dairy cows? All of Lapp’s products are hormone free, which means they do not give their cows any unnatural products to increase production. Whatever they are doing is working. Lapp Valley Farm always has us coming back for more. I don’t think we have made a trip to Lancaster County without paying Lapp’s a visit!