Pumpkin Cranberry Bread


Christmas is 13 days away.  It’s time to start baking.   The first Christmas treat I am making is a small loaf of quick bread to be the center of my Christmas eve treat plate.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Adapted  from Libby’s.com

¾ cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp  cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger

1/8 tsp cloves or allspice

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

¾ cup sugar

1/4 cup  pure pumpkin

1 egg

¼ cup vegetable oil

¼ cup oj or water

¼ cup fresh, frozen or dried cranberries

Pre heat the oven to350 degrees.  Spray 2 5 inch x 3 inch loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.  In a medium sized  bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon,  nutmeg, allspice, ginger,  baking soda, salt and sugar.   Mix well.   In another bowl,  combine the pumpkin, egg,  canola oil, and  oj or water.  Mix well.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened.  Fill each loaf pan half full.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 – 60 minutes.


Michelle’s All Purpose Stir Fry Sauce (Whole 30)

Last weekend my friend, Steph, visited the Shady Hollow flea market on the way to a family function.  Every year there is a big booth of vintage pyrex near the front of the flea market.  I don’t usually shop there because I can usually find what I want a lot cheaper at the other places I look for pyrex. but this time I was looking  for a piece that I had only ever seen at the flea market.  I gave Steph some money, told her what I wanted and in what patterns.  Steph didn’t find what I was looking for but she did find some interesting pieces in one of  the patterns I wanted.

The pattern is the 1970 reissue of the Spring Blossom design.  I had never seen salt and pepper shakers or the sugar and cream dispensers before but the thing that really intrigued me was the all the pieces had their original lids and the lids, as well as the pieces themselves, were in excellent condition.  It isn’t common to find pyrex with their original lids.  The lids are too easy to break or damage beyond repair.  I told Steph if she could get all the pieces for $50 I would take them, if she couldn’t, I didn’t want any of them.  I really didn’t think she would be able to get them for the money I was willing to spend. I didn’t count on Steph’s dad bargaining for me.  Thanks, Roger.

Since I only buy pieces of Pyrex I will actually use, I will use the salt and pepper shakers  for some of the seasoning blends I make and use often. The cream and sugar dispensers will be used for salad dressing and sauces that I make all the time.

Speaking of sauces, this stir fry sauce is one of the best things I ever put in my mouth.  The only change I would make is the next time I use it I may thicken it up a little.

Michelle's All Purpose Stir Fry Sauce

adapted for Nom Nom Paleo Ready Or Not

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup coconut aminos

1 TBS rice vinegar

2 TBS fish sauce

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp ginger

1//2 tsp sesame oil

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Use over any vegetables you want to stir fry.  Keeps about 2 weeks.

Cleaning Out ThePantry #5 Irish Soda Bread, 2 Ways


St. Patrick’s day is just two weeks away so I have scoured the internet for the best soda bread recipes and here is what I found.  Your good at making soda bread #1.*

When I found this recipe for  soda bread using pumpkin, I just happened to have some pumpkin puree leftover from a millet recipe I made earlier in the week.    The rolls don’t really taste like pumpkin. The pumpkin really is there to make these rolls nicely moist, which is really nice as one of the biggest complaints about soda bread is its often dry, crumbly texture. This soda bread is best right out of the oven or toasted.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Soda Bread Rolls

1 cup rolled oats

1 1/4 cup flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a blender, place 1/2 cup of the rolled oats and blend until you have a four.  Meanwhile, combine the half cup of whole rolled oats, oat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well.  In a small bowl, mix the pumpkin puree and buttermilk; mix well.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Dust your counter with flour and turn out the dough and knead it for 1-2 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 pieces.  Place each roll  on a baking pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Using a sharp knife cut a 1/4 inch x in the top of each roll.  Bake 30 -35 minutes. Remove the rolls from the pan to a cooling rack and cool completely.  

I tried this cinnamon and raisin soda bread recipe in honor of my best friend, Steph, whose answer to life’s most difficult questions is to add more cinnamon.

Pantry items used – canned pumpkin and buttermilk powder

Cinnamon Raisin Soda Bread

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp caraway seeds

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

6 TBS raisins or Craisins

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 tsp vanilla, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, caraway seeds, cinnamon, salt, and raisins. In a seperate small bowl, combine the buttermilk and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined .Dust your counter with flour and turn out the dough and knead it for 1-2 minutes. Place the dough on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Using a sharp knife cut a 1/4 inch x in the top of the dough.  Bake 30 -35 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan to a cooling rack and cool completely

10 Recipes Every Beginning Cook Should Know #6 Pancakes and Waffles


Everyone says breakfast is the most important meal of the day but no one tells me how to incorporate breakfast into an already packed morning especially since I don’t do processed food. Often I make a small batch of pancakes or waffles and have one serving in the morning and the second serving the next morning.

For my sixth  10 Recipes Every Beginning Cook Should Know I choose pancakes and waffles.

The following recipes are basic recipes, feel free to experiment with add ins like chocolate chips, pumpkin, fruit, spices or all of the above.  You never have to make them the same way twice.

Basic Pancakes


½ cup all purpose flour

1 ½ tsp sugar

1 ¼ tsp baking powder

2 TBS buttermilk powder

1/8 tsp salt

3 TBS lightly beaten egg

1 TBS canola oil

½ cup water

In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, buttermilk powder, and salt; mix well. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil and water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients mix until just moistened. Drop by ¼ cupfuls onto a heated pan coated with cooking spray. Cook until the bottom is golden, 2-4 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until the other side is golden. 2 2 pancake servings.


Basic Waffles


1 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1 egg

¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

¼ cup canola oil

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, milk and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened, some lumps are okay. Spread ¼ to 1/3 cup batter on each side of a preheated waffle iron coated with cooking spray. Bake 7 minutes.

Red Curry Chicken and Vegetables


One of the best things about being a blogger is all the awesome people you met through the comments section of your blog and other people’s blogs. I have met so many kind, supportive people who really have an appreciation of what I am trying to do here. My followers and all the people who have commented on A Solitary Feast have given me confidence to keep doing what I am doing and built me up in my non blogging life too.

One of the not best things about blogging, is the occasional person who feels they have to tear you down for whatever reason. I don’t get these kind of comments very often and long ago decided not to feed the bullshit by approving the nasty comments. However, I feel the need to address one persistent troll who calls my food redneck  and swill among other nasty things.

Dear nasty person,

I am sorry you don’t like the recipes I post on my blog. However, I don’t post my recipes for you. I post them for me. The recipes aren’t a reflection of what you like to eat they are a reflection of what I like to eat. They are a reflection of the foods I grew up eating and some of the food traditions of the region I grew up in and still live in. If you don’t like the recipes I post you are more than welcome to stop visiting me and go visit any of the billion and one other food/recipe blogs on the internet.

You say I don’t post your nasty, petty little comments because I can’t take criticism. I take constructive criticism just fine.  I have made many adjustments to my recipes based on what people I trust have said about them.  My blog is happy, positive place. I don’t post your comments because they are cruel and mean spirited to me and the people who follow and read my blog. You have been reported to the Word Press authorities.  Sincerely,  Me.

Now with that bit of stuff over and done with those of you who actually come to A Solitary Feast because you actually like the recipes I post here can move on to the recipe for today.   One of the hardest things to do when adapting recipes for one or two is finding ingredients in sizes that don’t leave a lot of leftovers.  You can skirt the issue by making a lot of ingredients, like spice blends, sauces and things like taco seasoning yourself, in small amounts. However, some things just aren’t the same when you make them yourself so I am always on the lookout for small size ingredients.

On one of my many visits to Natural Grocers during my vacation, I found small (5.46 ounce, about 2/3 cup) cans of coconut milk.  I was so excited!!!  I have several recipes in my to try file that take coconut milk but I have never tried them.  Once I reduced the recipe, it used so little coconut milk I would end up wasting almost a whole can of coconut milk.

The first recipe I decided to try was from the back of the can of coconut milk.  It was a recipe for Red Curry Chicken and Vegetables. I have never tried making any kind of Indian food before because I can’t handle a lot of  spicy hot in my food.   I thought, wrongly, that all Indian food would be too hot for me.  I didn’t stray to far from the recipe for this one.  I looked up what vegetables would traditionally be used in a curry and used carrots and onions because that was what I had on hand .  Although I liked the recipe as it was written, the next time I make it I will play around with different  spices and vegetables.

Red Curry Chicken and Vegetables


2/3 cup coconut milk

1 TBS Red Curry paste

1 1/2 tsp brown sugar

8 oz cooked chicken

1/2 cup assorted cut up vegetables

1 TBS fish sauce

2 TBS fresh Thai basil, optional

Bring the coconut milk to a simmer in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Stir in the curry paste and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in the chicken and vegetables.  Cook 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are crisp tender.  Stir in the fish sauce and basil, if using.