I have loved Taste of Home magazine, for years, and have often tried, and experimented, with the recipes featured in each new issue. When I was in New York, this summer, at the BlogHer conference, I had the great pleasure of previewing their new Best Loved Recipes cookbook and meeting with Taste of Home’s Food Editor, Karen Berner. Karen had worked as both a private and sous chef, after attending The Culinary Institute of America, focusing most of her creative cooking energy on French cuisine, so I was curious as to what had drawn her to Taste of Home. It turns out that it isn’t any different than what draws me to the magazine — real food, for real families with stories and memories connected to the tasty recipes. There is a familiarity, a homey-ness, a family “comfortableness” about Taste of Home magazine and the recipes they share that draws me into each issue and gets me excited about trying out the dishes pictured in their delicious photos! The recipe creators cook the way I cook, or maybe it’s better described as “feel” the way I cook. I have a passion for creating beautiful, tasty dishes that create family memories and bonding time in the kitchen and around the table, just the way I want to do. It is comfort food, family and “home”, at its finest. The magazine seems to have that affect on most all of the people fortunate enough to pick up the latest issue.
The most unique characteristic of Taste of Home is that all the recipes are reader-submitted, not chef-created in a test kitchen, somewhere, which probably explains its wide appeal. Karen told me that Taste of Home receives over 40,000 recipe submissions each year, but only 3,000 can make the cut, to be included in the magazine. The recipes that are selected for inclusion are tested and prepared in the Taste of Home kitchen and then photographed for the magazine. After 20 fabulous years of recipes, Taste of Home rose to the challenge of selecting their best loved recipes over the the last two decades. Out of those 60,000 or so recipes, 1,485 have the great distinction to be called “Best Loved” and have been included in Taste of Home’s new cookbook, Best Loved Recipes. You won’t be disappointed with the variety and scope of the highlighted recipes and it won’t take long to see how they were selected as “best loved”. Recipe categories included are: Appetizers, Beef, Beverages, Breads, Breakfast & Brunch, Cakes, Candies, Celebrations, Holidays, Condiments & Sauces, Cookies & Bars, Cooking for One or Two, Desserts, Grand-Prize Winners, Mealtime Express, Mom Made it Best, Our Favorite Contributors’ Meal, Pasta, Grains & Rice, Pies & Tarts, Pork & Lamb, Potluck Picks, Poultry, Salads, Sandwiches & Pizza, Seafood, Sides and Soups.
There are so many recipes I want to try from this beautifully illustrated cookbook, that it will take me years to get through all of them. My husband sits and browses through the full-color photographs of the finished dishes and makes his request list. 🙂 Today, I decided to share a unique and delicious bread recipe I discovered in the cookbook’s treasures, Buttercup Yeast Bread. It’s perfect with squash coming in season, now, and cooler weather ushering in those stirrings to have the oven going. There is nothing like stepping into the house after a time out in the brisk, fall air and being greeted by the warmth and aroma of something delicious baking. This recipe is a tasty way to get you back into your fall and winter baking routine. Your family and guests will be delighted!
- 3 pkgs (1/4 oz each) active dry yeast
- ½ cup warm water
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2½ cups mashed buttercup or butternut squash
- 2 cups 2% milk
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- ⅔ cup butter, softened
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 13 cups all-purpose flour
- Peel, cube and steam your squash. Then mash it.
- In a very large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar; let stand for 5 minutes.
- Add the squash, milk, brown sugar, butter, eggs, salt and about 6 cups of the flour.
- Beat on medium speed for three minutes.
- Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elatic, about 10 minutes.
- Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1¼ hours.
- Punch dough down and divide into three equal portions. Shape into loaves. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 45 minutes).
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool ten minutes and then remove from pans to wire racks to finish cooling.
The recipe, above, is exactly as it was included in the cookbook (contributed by Kelly Kirby). I adapted the recipe, slightly, to accommodate the ingredients I have in my own kitchen and it turned out really well. I always by my yeast in bulk and it is SAF Instant. I used 3 Tablespoons. I also used whole milk, instead of 2%. Next time I make this slightly sweet and gorgeously golden bread, I will also add 3 Tablespoons of granulated lecithin to increase the softness and flexibility of the slices. We loved the flavor of this bread and it made the best grilled cheese sandwiches you’ve ever tasted! It’s only one of more than 1400 fabulously, tasty dishes your family is going to love eating as much as you enjoy making them! Be sure to get your own copy of Taste of Home’s Best Loved Recipes to try them all!
I received a copy of Best Loved Recipes in order to test it in my own kitchen and gather data for this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own, and based on my personal experience with the product.