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Cuban Bread

I love the Columbia Restaurant. We are blessed with several in the state to visit. One in St Augustine, that  we frequent with my daughter and her family, one in Celebration, and of course the original in Ybor City. We enjoy their  1905 salad and warm Cuban bread. The bread is amazing. This is my interpretation of their bread. The key to this deliciousness is lard. I read an article on La Segunda bakery that has supplied their bread forever. I saw in the article that they used to use beef tallow in the early day but switched to lard soon after. This recipe uses both. This is not a make in an hour or two recipe, but one that takes 2 days to make. Day one is a prefermentation. Day two is making the bread. Ingredients:  Preferment 1/2 cup bread flour 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast 1/2 cup of warm (not hot) water Dough 2 1/2 cups bread flour 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 2 teaspoons instant yeast  2/3 cup of warm water 100 to 110 degrees 3 tablespoon

Italian Rice Casserole

This recipe started with a sandwich at my daughter place. I was up helping her and her husband.  She went to get lunch, and brought back Italian subs. They were delicious. A couple of weeks later, I was coming home from her place and drove by the deli. A quick visit and I was bringing home some of their Italian sausage.  Ingredients: 1/2 lbs ground round 1/2 lbs Italian sausage removed from casing 1 can San Marzano tomatoes  1/2 cup diced sweet onion divided  1 small diced red pepper divided  1/4 cup celery diced 1/4 cup diced carrot 2 cloves garlic finely diced  1/2 teaspoon fennel seed 1 tablespoon Italian spice 1/2 teaspoon basil 2 cups beef broth Extra virgin olive oil as needed. Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Begin by browning the sausage and ground round in olive oil until no pink remains. Break the meat up into  medium crumbs. Remove meat and add the celery, carrots, garlic and half the onions to the pan cooking until fragrant. Remove and puree veget

Ginger-Molasses French Toast

It's no secret that I love ginger flavored foods. This is a great recipe for an absolutely delicious breakfast.  Ingredients: 6 eggs 8 slices of bread 1 heaping tablespoon ginger  1 1/2 teaspoon ginger 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract  1/4 cup heavy cream  Begin by preheating a cast iron griddle over medium heat.   Combine all the ingredients except the bread in a large bowl. Whisk well. Pour about one quarter cup of custard mixture in a flat bottom dish. Coat both sides of one slice of bread. Allow excess custard to drip of brad and add slice to the lightly oiled griddle. Grill for one to two minutes and flip grilling the other side. Remove from the griddle and place in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. Whisk the custard as needed to keep enough mixture in flat bottom dish to coat a slice or two of bread at a time. Always remember to whisk mixture before adding to second dish. Remove from oven, add a pat of butter, syrup,  and enjoy!

Pumpkin Yeast Bread

 A while back I did a recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls. While making French toast for breakfast, I thought how great the toast would taste made with a pumpkin a swirl bread. This recipe can be made two ways, one plain and the other with pumpkin spice swirled in the center. Ingredients:  4 1/2 cups of bread flour 2  cups pumpkin  puree 1 tablespoon instant yeast 1 1/2  teaspoons salt  1/2 teaspoon diastatic malt 4 tablespoons melted butter 4 tablespoons cane syrup 2 tablespoons molasses Filling: (Optional) 3 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons cinnamon 1 tablespoon ginger 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1 pinch cloves 2 tablespoons melted butter In your stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, combine all the bread ingredients.  Start on the lowest speed until all the ingredients are combined. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Start mixer again and mix about five minutes on speed 3. Dough is ready when it is shiny and pulled away from the sides of t

Pumpkin Custard

It's fall and time for everything pumpkin.  Whenever I bake a pumpkin, the extra filling goes into ramekin cups for my wife. This recipe is made with Splenda brown sugar mixture to reduce the carbs. Ingredients: 2 cups pumpkin puree 1 cup half and half 2 eggs 1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar mixture  1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp ginger 1/4 tsp nutmeg  1/2 tsp salt Pinch cloves  Mix all the ingredients in your stand mixer. Pour custard into 3 ramekins. Add the dishes to a large deep pan. Carefully add boiling water about an inch up the side of the bowls.  Place pan in a oven preheated to350 degrees. Bake about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Carefully remove pan from oven. Allow to cool about 10 minutes, then carefully remove ramekins from water. Allow to cool completely, the move to your refrigerator and chill. Serve with candied pecans or whipped cream. Enjoy.

Pressure Pot Pot Roast

This is a great recipe for delicious comfort food. With the pressure pot, dinner is ready In about an hour and a half. Ingredients: 1 1/ 2  pound chuck roast 1 small can tomato sauce  3 cups low sodium beef broth 4 russet potatoes 3 to 4 carrots coarsely chopped 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 small, sweet onion Rub: 1 teaspoon pink  salt 1   teaspoon  dried crushed rosemary 1 teaspoon  dried thyme 1   teaspoon   fresh ground black pepper 1/2   teaspoon   granulated garlic  1/2  teaspoon   onion powder 1/4  teaspoon  smoked  paprika                                                                                                                                          Begin by cutting your chuck roast into four to six pieces.  Remove as much fat as possible.  Mix rub ingredients in a small food processor or using a mortar and pestle grind into a smooth powder. Place meat in a one-gallon sized zip top bag, add rub, and shake to coat meat evenly.  Let rest several hours

Pumpkin Pancakes

It's officially fall, and time for pumkin recipes. This was made from some leftover pumpkin puree. Ingredients: 1 cup AP flour 1 cup pumpkin  1 egg 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ginger 1/8 teaspoon clove 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar 1 tablespoon cane syrup 1 tablespoon molasses 1 cup milk 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon melted butter  Begin by combining all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  In a smaller bowl mix all the wet ingredients. Slowly fold the liquids into the dry. Combine until well mixed. Don't over mix or pancakes will be tough. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium low heat. These pancakes will need a slighty lower heat to keep from burning due to the addition of the puree. Pour about a 4 to 6 inch in diameter of batter in the middle of your skillet. When the sides start to show signs of baking, carefully flip. You may or not see bubbles form li