We all have weaknesses, and one of mine is bread. I am not the only one who eagerly eyes full restaurant baskets kept warm under soft linens. And the smell of risen yeast in a bakery, whether it be salty or sweet, is enough to cause my heart to beat quickly with anticipation. There’s something about the heartiness of bread–its filling and comforting nature–that also makes it enticing. Bread is more than just the outer layers of a sandwich or the foundation of a crostini. It is an accompaniment that pairs well with salads, soups, stews, and more. Slices or chunks of a loaf can transform into toasted crumbs sprinkled over eggs, French toast with bacon or bread pudding and whipped cream. Versatility is a key feature of an amazing ingredient. Here are a few sweet and savory bread recipes, as well as a few muffins throw in for fun.
Halfway through the first month of the New Year, and here’s the first new post! Not the best way to start out, but that’s how it goes. There have been many delicious meals since November, thanks to the bountiful holidays, but not one has been shared here. Well, here’s the first one that was shared with friends for Thanksgiving dinner. It is a salad that combines a few of my favorite items in one bowl. They were perfect in the fall, and they’re just as great now. Continue Reading »
The fall and winter usher in short days, rainy mornings, blustery winds, and a million reasons to bake with wild abandon. In addition to a few savory and sweet breads, there was a cake that popped up around these parts not too long ago. It was inspired by two bags of bananas in the back of the freezer, plus the desire to re-make an addictive caramel sauce from last year. Although I am in no way a fan of raw bananas, I often find myself baking or simply eating banana bread, banana muffins, banana cake, etc. Their flavor changes after a long stint in the oven, and they also create a product that is always moist, appropriately dense and somewhat nutritious. If you ignore all of the sugar, flour and butter. This dessert combines everything you love about bananas and caramel in an upside down cake that is as pretty as it is delicious. Continue Reading »
Thanksgiving has come and gone again, and it was a doozy. Food galore, and good times with friends. One of the classic side dishes we always have on the table is cornbread. It’s a Southern holiday menu must, and even though Thanksgiving was spent on the West coast, cornbread was an absolute. This cornbread is a little different than the traditional mix of cornmeal, flour, butter, milk and eggs. One of the sneaky ingredients in the blend is pureed butternut squash, and of course, there’s the parmesan. It’s a bit fancier than down home, Southern cornbread, but that’s what makes it stand out.
When it comes to cooking, the less clean up, the better. Outside of blogging, I work on various television and online projects that center around food–cooking shows, live chef demos, talk shows with chef guests, commercials, etc. Sometimes, we have someone on our team who handles all of the dishes. It’s the biggest saving grace you’ll ever know! There’s nothing like cooking when you don’t have much to clean. Perhaps, at your house, you have a trade off with the voracious eaters at the table. You cook, they clean. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have anyone to scrub my plates and bowls–hired or otherwise–so a one-pot meal makes my life that much easier. And with less clean up, the meal somehow tastes better. Here are a few one-pot meal ideas that would be great for you to try this winter.
Have you ever discovered something that everyone else knows about, but it’s new to you? On a recent trip to Santa Barbara, from the back seat of a friend’s car, I just happened to spot a towering sign that read “Pea Soup Andersen’s Inn“. Andersen’s is actually in Buellton, just a few miles from Santa Barbara, and it’s a well-known landmark. News to me! We ate breakfast at a popular diner across the street, and as soon as the bill was settled, I walked over to the inn. There was a market inside, and I scurried through folks waiting to dine to peek at the goods on the shelves. Thanks to Andersen’s peas, this recipe was born. Continue Reading »