Category Archives: cinnamon

Mini Mango Bread

After spending the day hiking and exploring Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, a few slices of mango bread in a day pack or back at the lodge with a cup of hot tea would have been a welcome treat! This recipe is adapted from ‘Baking’ by Dorie Greenspan, a cookbook that I would describe as a treasure trove of baking goodies. The recipe is easy to adapt, I added finely chopped crystallized ginger which I love in breads, scones, muffins or cookies. I also like the size of the mini breads, nice for sharing with tea. I loved hiking in the park and went a little crazy taking pictures of ferns in the rain forest, I could start a blog about ferns with all my photos!


Okay, just one more!

Descending through rain forest on the Kilauea Iki trail into the still steaming crater, back out and around the rim of the volcano was amazing, my husband Scott took this photo looking out onto the Kilauea crater.


We also hiked out onto the lava flow which closed the Chain of Craters Road by the ocean and enjoyed incredible views of the windy coast and the cliffs.


The haze in the air is from the volcanic gas, it looks like smog and is dangerous to breathe.

I also saw a Nene bird, an endangered Hawaiian goose, and I think he saw me too!


And for those of you who don’t have Dorie Greenspan’s masterpiece, ‘Baking’, I’ll share my adapted recipe for fresh mango bread.

Ingredients and Directions for Mango Bread

3 large eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
2 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup organic light brown sugar
2 cups diced mango, I used 2 large peeled and pitted mangoes
Grated zest of 1/2 lime

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Butter and flour or spray mini bread pans, depending on the size, 6-8 little bread pans.

Whisk the eggs and oil together.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix together with a wooden spoon. The batter will be thick, more like dough than a batter. Not to worry, stir in the mango, crystallized ginger and zest. Divide the batter up between the mini pans and smooth out the tops with a spatula.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, depending on size of mini pans. The loaves should be browned and a thin knife inserted should come out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before unmolding the loaves.

Wrapped in plastic the bread should keep for about 4 days at room temperature.

Serves 12-16

Banana Yeast Bread

I found this recipe for banana yeast bread at Monet’s anecdotes and apple cores on my computer this morning and by this afternoon I was enjoying a wonderful PBJ sandwich on my own freshly baked bread. Thank you Monet, modern technology, my pantry, mixer and oven. And don’t forget the ripe bananas on my counter! Now if this isn’t the most delightful combination of flavors all combined into one sandwich made with fresh home made bread, I don’t know what is! I had all the ingredients in my kitchen except the white whole wheat flour so I substituted Irish whole meal flour and all-purpose flour from King Arthur’s Flour. My grandchildren will love this bread and it will be a pleasure to serve it to them.

I had fun taking these photos of the bread making process, starting with the mashed bananas and ending with the sandwich.

The dough was sticky and had big chunks of soft ripe banana, that’s why you don’t want to over mash your bananas.

I added more flour to get the dough to come together in my mixer. I kneaded it until it was smooth and soft, around 5 minutes.

I kneaded it a few times on the counter and placed it in an oiled bowl, covered it and let it rise for approximately 1 hour.

I removed it from the bowl, kneaded it a few turns and formed it into a loaf to fit into a 8×4 inch loaf pan.

I covered it and let it rise for another hour before preheating the oven to 350°F.

The dough rises up in the pan and even more in the oven forming a beautiful golden loaf of fragrant banana yeast bread in just 35-40 minutes.


Wow, these slices of bread look good but they look like they’re waiting for something….

Peanut butter and jelly!

I can’t believe I’m going to Hawaii next week where I’ll be putting on a bathing suit! This is my last post for awhile and the next one just has to be salad!

Here are the ingredients and directions

2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup lukewarm water
3 cups white whole wheat flour, I used 2 cups Irish whole meal and 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 ripe bananas, slightly mashed

Place the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer, add 1 pinch of sugar, cover with the water and mix.
Set aside until foamy.

Add the flour, salt, honey, cinnamon and banana to the bowl. Stir everything together and mix, using the dough hook until you have a smooth and soft dough, around 5 minutes. I started with 3 cups of flour but added the additional cup of flour because the dough was too sticky, may have been my choice of flours? The final dough should be smooth, not sticky.

Place the dough on the counter and knead it by hand a few more times. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 & 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl, place it on a lightly floured surface, knead it a few times, form into a loaf and place into a lightly greased 8×4 inch loaf pan. Cover the pan with a damp towel and allow to rise for another hour, until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 350°F, bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove from the oven to a cooling rack, let cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

PS. The ‘J’ in my PBJ was D’Arbo Black Cherry Fruit Spread!

Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake


Family traditions are the best part of the Holidays, we create new ones with our loved ones and celebrate the past, especially at Christmas. I must be missing my Grandmother because this season I am reminded of all the family gatherings which started with her coffee cake and a pot of freshly brewed coffee. I decided to make coffee cakes this year for my baked Christmas gifts. I found the 8″ paper cake pans from King Arthur’s Flour baking catalog which are perfect for the coffee cake recipe. I doubled the recipe which makes four cakes, enough for yourself, friends and family. I turned my kitchen into a Scandinavian bakery for the afternoon and it was fun! This recipe was adapted from King Arthur’s Flour Baking Cookbook.

For the crumb

3 & 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract

For the cake

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sour cream
4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
Powdered sugar, for sprinkling
Red and green sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Place oven rack in the center position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 4 8″ round cake pans and set aside.

1. Make the crumb in a medium size mixing bowl. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Stir the vanilla and almond extracts into the melted and cooled butter. Drizzle the melted butter over the dry ingredients while stirring and tossing with a large fork. Crumbs size will not be uniform just try not to over mix and end up without any large crumbs. Set aside while making the cake batter.

2. Make the batter in a stand mixer. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl, mix on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and sour cream, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the sour cream mixture and beat on low speed until combined.

3. The batter will be thick, drop by large spoonfuls into the prepared pans and spread evenly with a small spatula. Divide and sprinkle the crumb mixture over the batter in the cake pans. Sprinkle the tops of the cakes with the green and red sanding sugar. Bake the cakes for 30 minutes until a tooth pick comes out with a few small moist crumbs. Cool cakes on a rack. Dust with powdered sugar. Transfer cake to a serving plate and dust with more powdered sugar to serve or cover with plastic wrap to give away or freeze. This cake freezes well.

Makes 4 8″ coffee cakes.

Pear Preserves





Thanks again to Luis and Christie for the large bag of pears from their ranch. I was inspired to make honey colored preserved slices of pears to go with cheese.

1 large bag of pears, about 30 medium size
9 cups of sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
3 tablespoons crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon whole cloves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 cups water

1. Core and slice pears, peel if desired.

2. In a large heavy pot simmer pears, cinnamon sticks, ginger, cloves and 1 cup of water. Cook until tender.

3. Put the sugar and 2 cups of water in another heavy pot and bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes until sugar turns light brown.

4. Pour the sugar into pears and cook uncovered for about 1& 1/2 hours, stirring frequently. The pears should be a deep golden color and thick like honey. Add lemon juice before taking off heat.

5. Ladle hot preserves into canning jars.

Banana Blueberry Bread


This recipe is from the Williams-Sonoma Bread cookbook. This is a delicious recipe that I’ve made many times for my son-in-law, Shane. I’ve always made banana bread with my ripe bananas. I like the addition of blueberries and sour cream in the bread.

2 medium ripe bananas, mashed with a fork, about one cup, set aside in a small bowl
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 heaping cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Grease a 9X5″ loaf pan

1, In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nuts.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, vanilla, butter and the mashed bananas.

3. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the banana mixture. Stir together the wet and dry ingredients just until combined. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Gently fold in the blueberries, taking care not to break them. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top of the bread is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Let cool in the pan 30 minutes. Turn the loaf out onto the rack and let cool completely.