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Indulging my interest in food and flavor, I love to write about cooking, gardening and life's bounty. My new book - "Discover Cooking with Lavender"- is now available

Friday, April 16, 2010

On Following Rules and Recipes

If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun!”

                                                 ~Katherine Hepburn

I used to follow recipes just as they were printed. I’ve never been one to follow directions and rules, so I’m not sure why I made recipes an exception for so many years.

When I began developing recipes for my cookbook, my perspective changed. Now I consider a recipe to be a guide, and I feel free to add or eliminate ingredients to suit myself.

Rhubarb in the garden


Rhubarb brings back memories of my childhood. My parents grew it, and we ate lots of it. When April comes around, I crave rhubarb.

Rhubarb Growing


So when I came across a recipe for bread with rhubarb in my Pillsbury booklet “Brunches and Desserts”, I wanted to try it. Rhubarb, with its tart taste, color and texture, makes this bread a hit anytime or anyplace. 




At first I made the bread strictly following the recipe, no added ingredients or improvisation.

Toasted Pecan & Rhubarb Bread

Then one day, I thought about lavender and wondered how it would taste with rhubarb. Then I remembered this delicious bread and replaced the plain sugar with lavender sugar.

What did I discover? I now know if you always follow the recipe, you miss the fun (and the flavor, too)!

Kathy’s Toasted Pecan and Rhubarb Bread

This recipe is a variation on one I found in a Pillsbury booklet titled “Brunches and Desserts."  I’ve added more flavor by using lavender sugar. Lavender flatters rhubarb infusing it with a hint of floral essence.

 3/4 cup lavender sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 cup buttermilk

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb (do not thaw)

1 tablespoon lavender sugar

 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 9x5 or 8x4-inch loaf pan or 2 smaller (7.5x3.75) loaf pans. Line parchment paper in baking pan(s).  In large bowl, combine 3/4 cup lavender sugar and butter; beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs; beat well. Add buttermilk; blend well.

2. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In small bowl, combine flour, pecans, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix well. Add to buttermilk mixture; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in rhubarb. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over top.

3. Bake at 350°F. for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool 1 hour or until completely cooled. Store in refrigerator.



http://foodconnections.blogspot.com said...

I'm just curious was it an old Pilsbury pamphlet? I loved the old ones. I love the use of rhubarb and pecans--the nuts would soften the tingling tones of rhubarb.

Kathy said...

Yes, you are so right! The pecans add bioth texture and flavor offseeiong the tangy sour taste of the rhubarb. And yes,it is an old Pilsbury pamphlet ( crirca 2001 ) Thia little booklet is full of great recipes. I have used it over and over again. So much value for the price of $3,50 back then.