Currently viewing the tag: "quick bread"

pumpkin bread

Happy Merry. I hope you and yours had a wonderful Holiday season, however it looked and was celebrated. We do Christmas here, and had a loud and lovely Christmas Eve with family, then ended up being rained in (which is very weird for Minnesota – freezing rain and howling winds, but no snow) Christmas Day. So we watched movies, ordered Chinese food (my father-in-law was nice enough to venture out), read books, and put together elaborate Lego sets.  Both days were perfect, and I felt completely content as I fell asleep.

The tree was thrown out the day after Christmas, sadly. We picked a bad one this year (I blame it on 2016) and it needed to be out of our house. I usually hang on to those green pine needles as long as I can, not willingly to let the jingle bells and the silent nights go. But it felt nice, actually, to pack everything up just a little early and start thinking about the New Year. I’m not really one for resolutions and crash dieting come January, but I do like to spend some time reflecting on what I hope for in the next year. I also like the feeling of a fresh start. After a whole month of too many cookies and too much peppermint bark, focusing on health and wholeness is a necessity.  I enjoyed adding Pulses to my diet this year (although I will admit December didn’t see as much of them), and want to carry out my Pulse pledge in 2017 as well.

pumpkin bread

pumpkin bread

This bread is another baking recipe I’ve created as a Pulses Ambassador this year. The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of the Pulse, and I’ve taken the Pulse Pledge, committing to eat pulses once a week for the next year. Pulses are beans, chickpeas, lentils and dry peas; leguminous crops that are good for your health and good for the environment. I’ll be posting recipes involving them periodically this year, incorporating pulses not only in my savory cooking, but baking recipes as well. I’d love for you to join me! If the Pulse Pledge sounds interesting to you, you can read more about it here. It’s a 10 week commitment, and it doesn’t require elaborate baking: a serving of hummus and a bowl of soup are good ways to take them in, too. Also check out my Vanilla Lavender Cupcakes.

This post was sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada. All opinions are my own.

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scone loaf
As someone slightly obsessed with scones, you can imagine my delight flipping through Molly’s new cookbook only to discover this take on my favorite breakfast. A scone loaf! Of course! Why didn’t I think of this years ago? I’ve adapted her recipe slightly, turning chocolate marzipan into chocolate orange, one of my favorite scone combinations.

I met Molly for the first time several years ago in Las Vegas of all places, and liked her immediately. Warm, kind, hilarious, and genuine are all words that belong to her. I’ve eagerly awaited her new cookbook, and am happy to report it is lovely, with unique recipes, stories worth curling up with (I’m a cookbook-as-novel type person), and photographs that capture her engaging personality perfectly.
scone loaf

molly on the range

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blood orange quick bread
Sorry again for the lack of posts in February. The shortest month somehow zoomed by rather quickly; I’m still finishing up on my book, and my children have been taking turns each week being sick. The common cold, the flu, and now strep throat has knocked down our door. But we are surviving, one day at a time.

‘A kind of light spread out from her. And everything changed color. And the world opened out. And a day was good to awaken to. And there were no limits to anything. And the people of the world were good and handsome. And I was not afraid any more.’ -John Steinbeck

Here’s hoping March has such an ending.
chickpea flour

 

blood orange quick bread with cream cheese icing

 

blood orange quick bread with cream cheese icing
This quick bread is another baking recipe for the Pulse Pledge. The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of the Pulse, and I’ve taken the Pulse Pledge, committing to eat pulses once a week for the next year. Pulses are beans, chickpeas, lentils and dried peas; leguminous crops that are good for your health and good for the environment. I’ll be posting recipes involving them periodically this year, incorporating pulses not only in my savory cooking, but baking recipes as well. I’d love for you to join me! If the Pulse Pledge sounds interesting to you, you can read more about it here. It’s a 10 week commitment, and it doesn’t require elaborate baking: a serving of hummus and a bowl of soup are good ways to take them in, too.

This post was sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada. All opinions are my own.

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lemon almond bread | the vanilla bean blog

Happy Monday, dear readers. I woke up this morning to thunder, lightning, and two littles climbing in my bed, sort of scared but mostly using the storm as an excuse to play games on my ipad. Yesterday was 85 and sunny – our first perfect summer day, filled with a family BBQ, swimming, and so much laughing I’m still smiling. Autumn may be my favorite season, but summer is just the best.

This lemon almond bread was also a nice way to start the day, with a light lemon flavor and the perfect fluffy-but-not-too-fluffy texture that made each bite a good reason to be out of bed, even on a Monday. Next time I might stir some blackberries or raspberries in to celebrate July’s sort-lived seasonal fruits.
lemon almond bread | the vanilla bean blog

lemon almond bread | the vanilla bean blog

yogurt culture

This delicious bread comes from Cheryl Sterman Rule‘s new book, Yogurt Culture. I’m really loving this cookbook – so many great recipes involving all types of yogurt, from slightly complex (making your own yogurt) to very easy (coffee yogurt and simple compotes) to everything in-between: cardamom pancakes, artichoke-almond soup, labneh-stuffed peppers, creamy pasta marinara, and salted caramel panna cotta, just to name a few. I’m glad to have this book on my shelf. (Also, check out her Team Yogurt page!)

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Autumn Harvest Breakfast Bread | The Vanilla Bean Blog
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
-Robert Frost, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”
Autumn Harvest Breakfast Bread | The Vanilla Bean Blog
Autumn Harvest Breakfast Bread | The Vanilla Bean Blog
Autumn Harvest Breakfast Bread | The Vanilla Bean Blog
Autumn Harvest Breakfast Bread | The Vanilla Bean Blog
Autumn Harvest Breakfast Bread | The Vanilla Bean Blog
This Autumn Breakfast Bread is from Amanda Paa’s new book Smitten With Squash. It’s a lovely little book, celebrating that underappreciated vegetable, with knowledgeable tips and creative recipes. I’m giving away one copy of her book – leave your name and email in the comment section to enter.

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Lately I’ve been rocking a well-worn copy of Molly Katzen‘s The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. I’ve loved this cookbook for a long time; it was a staple at my beloved Blue Heron Coffeehouse, and Larry and Colleen were frequently seen thumbing through it, shocking the sleepy town of Winona with Chinese mushroom soup and eggplant salads and all kinds of other goodness that were found handwritten on it’s beautiful pages.
And there was this bread one day, one crisp fall day when Adam and I were off again and most my grades were off again, and I had skipped another lecture and there were piles of homework in my dirty red back pack. I stopped in for lunch before my work shift, and scrawled on the hanging chalkboard under ‘soup of the day’ was ‘creamy zucchini’ and ‘maple oatmeal bread’. I don’t know if they were meant to be together, but they both sounded so good that I ate them together anyway and went back for seconds. And I had never had creamy zucchini soup or maple oatmeal bread, but that first taste is forever etched in my mind; Me: greedily hunched over a well-used cream-colored bowl, eating my bread and soup and feeling comfort for the first time in weeks. I will never forget those flavors on my tongue and how warm they were to my belly; the maple and oatmeal and cream and zucchini relieving my heartache for a few precious moments. Each bite held kind voices, my sister’s laugh, the tall oak trees that watched over me as a child. When my bowl was empty I took it in the back, and there, as my shift was starting, I couldn’t bring myself to wash it.
I’m sort of obsessed with blood oranges. As I am immersed in gray winter days, the shock of bright purple segments hiding under that rusty orange peel brings light and warmth into our little home.
This loaf cake is the perfect vessel for these oranges. It’s crammed full of zest, complimented by olive oil, and brushed with a blood orange glaze. The oil keeps the loaf light and moist, and the orange flavor is perfectly sweet-tart. There is some sun in this snow country after all.

banana bread | the vanilla bean blog
I know there are a million recipes for banana bread out there, all of them claiming to be the best. Is there a bad recipe for banana bread? I don’t think there is. I’ve tried many different variations over the years, from healthy versions made with whole wheat flours and flaxseed to loaves that were basically cake, crammed with chocolate chips and peanut butter. They were all delicious. But there is one recipe that has traveled with me from coffeehouse to coffeehouse, and now is a staple in our home. It has won our simple hearts.

I’m not going to lie. It’s not on the healthy end of the spectrum. There is butter, and sugar, and sour cream. Pecans, white flour, and eggs. It is rich and delicious, always moist, full of banana flavor. And it’s the best.
banana bread | the vanilla bean blog
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