Maple Glazed Baby Carrots

Maple Glazed Baby Carrots -- A Pinch of Joy
Maple Glazed Baby Carrots -- A Pinch of Joy

They are really good, my sister Vee said, when telling me about the glazed carrots she’d made. That was a couple of years ago and I’ve had the recipe in my “let’s try this” stack ever since. Last time we visited her family, she made Maple Glazed Carrots with Pecans. And she was right – again! They are good! But let’s just keep that between us okay – she doesn’t need to go gettin’ the big head!

I’ve gotten lazy and grab a package of frozen vegetables to microwave instead of cooking the real deal. This recipe starts with baby carrots – no need to peel and slice. Put a cup or so of water in a medium pan, add carrots, cover and bring to boil. Steam/boil until carrots are crisp tender when pierced with a fork. That only takes about 15 minutes. So easy, it was not worth the fussin’ on my part –. The glaze is simple.   The predominate flavor is the maple as the dressing just enhances it without competing or changing it. Glaze the carrots, add nuts and you have an impressive dish. That is really, really good.

Back to the “big head”  — I worked for a season in a children’s program with an elderly volunteer who was a gifted teacher. She could explain complex things so simply anyone could get it, keep the room organized and things moving. But she was old school and did not believe in praising children because, she said, they would get the “big head”. They were told, rather sternly I thought, what they needed to do to improve. We worked with her gifts and others praised the effort and all was well. But I’m so glad not everyone thinks praise gives people the “big head”!  We all need an “atta girl”. Vee, here is yours! And thanks for sharing!

Maple Glazed Baby Carrots

Yield: 8 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Maple Glazed Baby Carrots

An impressive dish for holidays and guests -- or just the family. Impressive and delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 pounds baby carrots
  • ¼ cup light catalina dressing
  • ¼ cup maple flavored syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Put water in medium pan, add carrots and cover. Cook 12 –14 minutes or until tender, then drain.
  2. Mix dressing and syrup, stirring frequently, until glaze is thickened.
  3. Add carrots and butter. Stir until butter is melted and carrots are covered with glaze.
  4. Add pecans and stir to distribute.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/11/maple-glazed-baby-carrots/

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It’s been so busy around here and I’ve gotten a lot done.  Just not what I planned!  Everyday I have put on my painting shorts and not lifted a paint brush.   At least we didn’t have to shovel 7 feet of snow off the roof. Sorry, Buffalo!  Lots of great ideas linked this past week so obviously other people were getting things done.  I’m so glad because reading your posts inspires me!  Thanks for stopping by each week! 

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Chai Bread

Chai Bread -- A Pinch of Joy
Chai Bread -- A Pinch of Joy

I served chai bread for a ladies luncheon last summer. Subtly spiced, it was a lovely addition to the tea breads. It is also perfect for holiday dinners and buffets. And, as my friend Apple Valley Sue pointed out, it makes a very nice gift! Sue was my Secret Sister one year and gifted me with some chai tea bags – my introduction to the beautiful flavors of chai. I promised to get the recipe to Sue before the holidays so chai bread can be gifted to a hostess, a teacher, a neighbor or anyone else! So here it is!!!

Cardamom adds to the distinctive chai flavor. It is a rather expensive spice so do watch through the year for a spice sale or check the ethnic aisle (or ethnic stores, if you are lucky enough to have them nearby.) I use a chai tea bag to make the tea, but you can also use regular Lipton orange Pekoe. Let it steep at least 5 minutes to strengthen the chai flavor. Then make another cup to take five after you have the bread in the oven. The high baking temperature creates a crisp crust with a soft center. If the crust is deeply browned and the center wet and gooey the first time you do the toothpick check, reduce the temperature to 375. Your oven’s temperament outranks the directions always. Don’t be afraid to adjust temperature and time as needed. You can make a powdered sugar glaze for the top of chai bread, however we prefer it plain (fewer carbs). The bread will keep up to four days without refrigeration or up to 10 days with refrigeration. Also freezes well, unsliced, for up to 3 months.

Chai Bread

Yield: 1 loaf with 16 slices

Serving Size: 1 slice

Chai Bread

A subtly spiced quick bread, perfect for a buffet, a holiday dinner or just because.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup tea
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Instructions

  1. Place one chai tea bag in half cup of hot water and let steep until needed.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray bottom only of 9x5 loaf pan.
  3. Beat sugar and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
  4. On low speed, add tea, milk, eggs and vanilla until well mixed. The mixture will be thin and will look curdled.
  5. Add all dry ingredients and stir gently until just mixed.
  6. Pour into baking pan and spread batter uniformly across the pan.
  7. Bake for 40-50 minutes until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. Edges should pull away from sides of pan and be golden brown. Do not underbake.
  8. When done, remove from oven and let cool in pan for about 10 minutes, before turning out on cooling rack.
  9. Slice and serve at room temperature.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/11/chai-bread/

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