Sunday, December 18, 2016

Cardamom bread recipe & other happenings

Sounds like there was some interest in the recipe, and I haven't found anything similar online, so here goes. This is an old family recipe (my great aunt brought it from Germany). We eat it at the holidays, toasted, with melted butter, for breakfast. ;-) It's a bit of an acquired taste, as it has candied fruit & a glaze. We typically toast in the oven, as the toaster can get finicky with that melted glaze.

Recipe below, as well as a few modifications I make. Also, I buy extra chopped fruit (this is the glazed kind) & use it to top the bread with, while the glaze is still sticky. This year, I got 3 larger loaves out of it, so you may get smaller ones, depending on how big your yeast gets. I did get some very nice loaves, Rivulet. ;-) I laughed when I saw your comment. I make mine ahead & freeze, as I'm traveling with it. I hope you enjoy!

Cardamom Bread Recipe:
1 c milk
¾ c butter
¾ c sugar
3 eggs, beaten
7 c flour
1 c chopped mixed fruit
½ c nuts (I skip this)
1-1/2 tsp ground cardamom (based on your taste preference)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp dry yeast
½ c warm water

Scald the milk & butter (bubbles along the pan, don’t boil). Stir in sugar, cardamom, & salt. Let that cool all the way to room temperature.

Dissolve yeast in water. Stir into cooled milk mixture, & beaten eggs. Stir in ½ of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in fruit & nuts. Add enough flour to form a soft ball. Turn & knead until elastic. Add only enough flour to keep from sticking. Let rise until doubled. Punch down & divide into rolls. (small four loaves). Let it rise again, bake 375 for 35 minutes.

1 c powdered sugar
2 tbsp of hot water.

Makes small four loaves
Other than that, we are busy getting the house cleaned (sheets, towels, etc) before we leave town, & exchanged our gifts to & from the boys this afternoon. It's hard to travel with everything, so they each opened up the gifts they had purchased for each other. Nick received a cool duffel bag for sports tournaments, etc. Sam received a puzzle. I gave M his jam. Nick was helping him take it out of the bag, and as Nick handed him one of the jars & reading the labels, he's said, here's the "lemon crud Mom got you. Enjoy." Totally deadpan. It was actually lemon curd. Hopefully it's an improvement on crud. ;-) Love kids.

The boys may have had as smidge of financial help buying me my gifts, as I received a replacement Clarisonic & a new food processor. I had my eye on a replacement, after my 20 year old Cuisinart gave up the ghost & was beyond repair. With my arthritis (lupus complication), lots of easy things like grating cheese are challenging, so this really helps. I'm thinking that the allowance savings didn't fully cover this. ;-) M also received a pair of expensive running socks ($12/pair), but they are amazing. He' thrilled. What, with the crud & new socks, how can you go wrong?

We will have pumpkin soup, goat cheese crostini, salad & grilled chicken for dinner, and then go drive around to see Christmas lights. Should be a fun & snuggly evening.

Oh, and one recommendation for you. I had some leftover frosting (canned, bought on impulse for an impromptu cookie making session with Nick), & didn't know what to do with the rest of the can. I tried this frosting cookie recipe (yes, you use the frosting to make cookies!) & they were good. Not the best cookie I've ever had, but good with a hot cup of tea. I thought they could have used a little glaze, but that would get me back to where I started. . . ;-)

Thanks for all of the great NYE meal suggestions! Do you menu plan between the actual holidays, or just nibble on what's in the fridge? Our kids don't like a lot of holiday food, so I meal plan, at least for them. And, how are your holiday preparations coming along? Are you feeling ready?


  1. I can do without the chopped mixed fruit (long story), but love cardamom. Can I substitute just raisins or dates? We had a Swedish au pair when I was young that baked us cardamom cookies - they were divine.

    1. I'm thinking raisins would be great. Haven't ever tried it, but sounds delicious. And, if you like the flavor of cardamom, I'd definitely bump up the amount of spice.

  2. I can't wait to try this. I love the flavor of cardamom. i make a Polish cookie at christmas that uses cardamom. It's actually not just Polish but Eastern European. We always called them Krusts.. but its really is Chrusciki. you can google it.

    1. Buying the cardamom is the most expensive part, so if you already have it, I definitely recommend trying the bread! Let me know what you think.

  3. My to do list is pretty long for Friday, my next day off, nut all things I'm choosing to do, not feeling I have to do them! I want to add this bread to the list-would be a hit Christmas morning. Crud-so child like funny, particularly the dead pan delivery.

    1. I have Friday off as well, and we are flying to Portland. I need to squeeze in some of my chores between activities & camp drop offs & pick ups this week (no school). Fingers crossed. I've streamlined SO much these last few years, so that I could survive the insanity of work, but I like where we landed in terms of holiday activities.

      Hope you get a product day on Friday!! I'll let you know how M likes the crud. ;-)

  4. Lemon crud, yay! :) Lovely gifts, glad everyone was happy with theirs. We are almost done with our holiday preparations, I'm still working on planning our packing for travel on Christmas Day.

    Can I just say how impressed I am that you're so consistent with the meal planning and cooking? I am normally pretty decent at it but the past three weeks have been tougher than usual. I've lacked the energy or the motivation, the pain has ratcheted up a few notches with the onset of the really cold weather (hah, cold for us, I mean), so I'm super impressed, particularly with the lupus. (I know the pain of the arthritis type symptoms.)

    1. M is very excited by his jams & crud. ;-) I've invited the jam lady over to pick up more of our oranges - she's part of my goal to ensure I don't generate food waste in our yard! She makes homemade jams & donates all of the money to charity, so it's a huge win for me to help out. But, I have to remember to pick all of the fruit! They are in a fenced backyard, so we don't feel comfortable having anyone else back there, in the event they fall, etc.

      Everyone loved their gifts. They will get a few more from my family, but generally, we try to keep things under control. The puzzles have become a huge hit with the "cold" weather!

      On the meal planning, it helps reduce stress for me. I typically get home "early" for the bay area (5:30), although I get to the office by 7 am or so, so it all evens out, and if I don't have a plan, I get really stressed & snappy with the kids. It's no good. So, the meal plan helps me, even if the meals are not terribly complex. I also give myself a hand by preparing many of our proteins in bulk & freezing them (we grill 20 pounds of chicken at a time, then freeze. I make taco meat for the freezer, homemade spaghetti sauce, bolognese, and I cheat & buy meatballs from Costco). Hope you are feeling better with the arthritis!!

  5. Hooray for gloriously high loaves!!!
    Fresh yeast for the win :)

    And now, I can't stop giggling about the socks and crud for Christmas. I have a feeling you guys will be laughing about M's gifts from 2016 for years to come. "Remember that year when you got socks and crud for Christmas?" It's sounds so funny!

    Also, I read your comment on the other post. It's great to hear that Nick made some Christmas cards! I felt the same way about little Abe's cards. It was truly a blessing to me to see his little kid artwork and know that family would be receiving it. I bet Nick's cards are just fantastic! Was he pretty excited to give them to people?

    1. Oh, it's so much more fun now that the boys get us gifts, and I feel no pressure. It makes it truly enjoyable to see them & their excitement. Yes - Nick is absolutely thrilled about the cards. He'll be handing them out on Saturday. My family loves getting hand made cards from the boys. We don't buy cards (I actually don't really do it from a cost perspective, as much as because I find a handmade card is so much more personal) & some of Nick's have been gems. I don't give them much instructions & sometimes the notes are just hysterical. My mom's birthday card this year said something like, "Nana, you are so great. I love how you make the bed for me when you stay with us. You are very kind, and I hope you make Papa take special care of you today on your birthday. Because you are getting old, you need to enjoy every day. Love, Sam." A classic card! My mom cried with laughter. No store bought card could accomplish that! :)

  6. Oh kids, I used to take 5 grandkids to Duluth Mn each fall and on one trip there was a very nice children’s store call Toys for Keeps. When driving by it one kid hollered out look “ toys for creeps” (honestly thinking that)! Boy for the laugh and we’ve called that store that every year ha!

  7. Oh kids, I used to take 5 grandkids to Duluth Mn each fall and on one trip there was a very nice children’s store call Toys for Keeps. When driving by it one kid hollered out look “ toys for creeps” (honestly thinking that)! Boy for the laugh and we’ve called that store that every year ha!