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October 31, 2013

Powdered buttermilk (Recipe: apple spice bread)

First published in August 2006, this updated ingredient post features new photos, links, and tweaks to the recipe. I think I've made this apple spice bread more than any other quick bread, ever. My family loves it, so I try to keep one in the freezer at all times. (Doesn't everyone keep an emergency apple bread on hand?)

Apple spice bread (make ahead and freeze).

When most people think of Rhode Island, they think of Newport mansions. Jazz festivals. Clambakes on the beach. Rhode Island Red chickens. (Okay, not everyone thinks of chickens....)

Until I moved here, I was one of those people. If you'd told me I was moving to apple country — that, in fact, I'd be buying my Macouns at an orchard named Apple Land — I would have said "hah!". But here I am, smack dab in apple land, where I can buy Jonagolds and Cortlands, Mutsu and Macintosh, from August until March.

The thing about apple land is that it's miles from here to anything like a grocery store. So I always keep powdered buttermilk, an essential ingredient in my favorite apple spice bread and other baked goodies, in my pantry.

What is buttermilk? And what makes it cultured

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October 27, 2013

Irish soda bread muffin recipe

Irish soda bread muffins, with golden raisins.

In my family, there are people who remember in detail the dreams they had days, weeks or years ago. I don't mean hopes-and-dreams; I mean I-just-woke-up-where's-my-coffee dreams. I'm not one of those people, so when I tell you that the idea for these Irish soda bread muffins came to me in a dream, and I remembered and then actually made them, you'll understand why in every sense of the word, these muffins are a minor miracle. I know that Irish soda bread purists will cringe at the notion of golden raisins, but they add just the right amount of sweet. Though it's good to let the muffins cool for a few minutes so you don't burn your fingers, my husband Ted and I couldn't wait, and we slathered on some butter as soon as the muffins came out of the oven. It was the right thing to do.

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October 13, 2013

Recipe for Canadian breakfast turkey meatballs with maple and bacon

Canadian breakfast turkey meatballs with maple and bacon.

Later this morning, our family from up North will crowd around the small dining table here at the log house for coffee and juice and fried eggs, and Canadian breakfast turkey meatballs with maple and bacon. My husband Ted requested a Canadian recipe for my latest e-book, A Flock of Meatballs: Easy turkey recipes with around-the-world flavors, and when I asked him what, exactly, a Canadian meatball might contain, he didn't hesitate: "maple syrup, bacon and beer!" These turkey meatballs coated with a maple-bacon-(non-alcoholic)-beer glaze have it all, and happily take the place of bacon and sausage on any breakfast menu. They're actually quite good atop a green salad, too, so don't limit your meatball intake to first thing in the morning. You can make the basic meatballs ahead and keep them in the freezer. Then, when you're ready to serve, defrost the meatballs and boil the glaze, which takes only a few minutes on the stove top.

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September 29, 2013

Recipe for herb and ricotta frittata {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Herb and ricotta frittata, a romantic dinner for two.

In Something's Gotta Give -- yes, yes, it's a chick flick, and I love it -- the most romantic scene catches Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson in their bathrobes, in her kitchen, at night, sharing a pan of eggs by candlelight. I think eggs are romantic, too. Maybe it's because they're warm and familiar, or just so silky soft and sensuous. If you love eggs, here's a simple little herb and ricotta frittata a deux. All you need are eggs, fresh herbs (whatever's left in your garden), creamy ricotta cheese and a bit of sharp Parmigiano-Reggiano, an onion, candles, and two forks. Or, make this as a treat for yourself, and eat it straight from the pan while watching the movie in your bathrobe.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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