Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fall Feast!

To kick off the real fall weather (and because I got a big bag of free apples!), we made a fall feast yesterday and today in my classes. We made roasted pork loin, apple stuffing, and pumpkin bread. The pork loin was great because it was marinating overnight and we made some random cuts in it to get the flavor all the way through. The apple stuffing was defnitely different, but I liked it. A little less liquid next time, in my opinion. We also cut the onion in half. The pumpkin bread was SO great. It was so full flavored, and a little spicy with the nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. It was incredible--definitely my favorite! Good thing, because we are going to use that recipe for our fall food sale!
Fall food sale choices were finally made; we will be making that pumpkin bread, the apple spice bars, pumpkin pie, lemon poppyseed bread, cinnamon sugar biscotti, and cloverleaf yeast rolls. We will put the order forms out tomorrow and start baking up a storm in a couple of weeks! Hopefully we have a lot of orders from the teachers in the building--we wrote on the order form that people who order can "fool your family members into thinking you made it yourself!" If that's not a selling point, I don't know what would be !! :)

Today's menu and recipes:

Roasted Pork Loin (from allrecipes.com)

6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (4 pound) boneless pork loin roast

Combine spices and rub over pork loin.
Randomly cut 20 deep slits, 1 in. wide, on inside surface of roast. Fill slits with some of spice mixture. Wrap in foil. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 6 hours (overnight is fine).
After marinating, remove foil and place pork in a shallow baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 450 for ten minutes. Then lower oven temperature to 275 to cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours longer. Check internal temperature to determine doneness.

Apple Stuffing

(I looked at a whole bunch of different recipes, from allrecipes to Joy of Cooking, to decide on the following recipe. It's mostly from Joy of Cooking. I would change it for next time by using about 3/4 of the liquid we used this time.)

8 slices white bread, torn into small pieces
3 apples, peeled and cut fine
½ t rubbed sage
¾ t salt
1 dash pepper
½ c margarine
1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
½ c milk
1 egg, beaten

1. Mix bread, apples, sage, salt, and pepper in a bowl and set aside.
2. Melt margarine over stovetop and add chopped onion. Simmer a few minutes.
3. Remove from stove and add milk and egg.
4. Pour this mixture over dry ingredients and mix well.Bake in greased casserole pan at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Pumpkin Bread

from Good Things Catered; originally from Joy of Cooking; funny because I found it in Joy of Cooking and figured I'd browse the internet quickly to see if there were any better ones, and saw it again, and knew it must be good! It is the best pumpkin bread I've ever eaten and I am a pumpkin lover!
We took the allspice out of one batch and left it in the other; they tasted pretty similar; if you don't have it you don't have to go out and buy it for this. It is tasty both ways!

½ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/3 c. milk
½ tsp vanilla
6 Tbsp butter, at room temp
1 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 c. pumpkin puree


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Have all ingredients at room temp and prepare 9x5 loaf pan.
Whisk together flour, soda, powder, salt and spices thoroughly.
In another bowl combine milk and vanilla.
In large bowl of mixer beat butter until creamy (about 30 sec).
Gradually add sugars and beat on high speed until lightened in texture (3-4 min).
Beat in eggs one at a time.
Add pumpkin puree on low speed until just blended.
Add flour mixture in 3 parts alternating with the milk mixture in 2 parts beating on low or stirring with spatula until just combined.
Scrape batter into pan and spread evenly.
Bake about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.