Indulge every morning – Chocolate rye bread

chocolateryebread

Second warning of the day: This might be the best bread I’ve ever baked. And I know bread is one of those things (like cookies) which you can’t say there’s an absolute winner, because that choice will always depend on what you’re eating it with, whether it’ll be eaten cold or warm, what time of the day you’re having it, etcetera, etcetera. But this recipe turned out to be so rich in flavor, with a slightly bitter bite from the rye and cocoa, balanced out with sweetness of the cranberries and raisins, and soft and fluffy on the inside but crusty on the outside. What more could you ask for?? Nothing I say. Plus, you can bake it as a sandwich loaf, as baguettes, as diner rolls, whichever way you like! Because the dough is so easy to manipulate once kneaded, you don’t have to struggle a lot to get it to stay perfectly shaped.
And then once you bake it, you can have a thick slice with gouda, spinach, and a poached egg on top. And if you cover that with creamy mustard sauce, then you might just forget it’s monday and that you have to hurry up to get to work on time.
Read more for the recipe!

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Quick Treats – Baked cinnamon donuts

cinnamondonuts

If you’re a foodie like me you might relate to the both terrible and awesome experience that is visiting a cooking/gourmet store. Endless shelves of stuff that you dream of having in endless supply, molds to bake any cookie or cake imaginable, all sorts of decorations, appliances that keep you from crying as you dice onions (Ok that one doesn’t exist, but what are you waiting for inventors??) shiny new knives, bowls of every size, and every kind of spice under the sun. It’s sheer torture. The truth is you’d need a kitchen the size of a soccer stadium and a wallet the size of Bill Gates’ to be fully satisfied at such a place… but still, every time I walk out of there with even just a little bag, I feel like a kid with a brand new toy. And that’s exactly what I got, a brand new toy for making baked donuts, which are way better than regular donuts….only because they’re not fried. Its strange, but I’ve never been a fan of donuts. I think they’re just too oily, or maybe too thick…or something else entirely which I can’t exactly pinpoint. But what’s great about my new toy is that it makes medium sized donuts that don’t require tons of oil… and baked donut recipes abound in the blog-pinterest-foodgawkersphere! So the very next day from getting my toy, I found this awesome recipe at The Chic life, which will give you freshly baked donuts in under half an hour. Yup, that’s right. You can bake them pre-breakfast! Because nothing compares to having a just baked, quick, easy delicious treat to accompany your morning coffee. Read more for the recipe! Continue reading

Easily satisfied – Artichoke and spinach grilled cheese sandwich

Artichoke and spinach grilled cheese sandwich

Lately I’ve been sick every other week. I’m used to having a rough winter when it comes to the flu, but this year I started in October! And I’m sick of being sick. But you know what else gets old after your third round of stay in bed the whole weekend? Chicken soup. In spite of all its glorious, warming, nutritious, homey goodness, you can actually find yourself not wanting to see another bowl of the stuff for quite a while. But that doesn’t mean you’re over comfort food. Oh no. That only means that it’s time to up the comfort food. So as soon as I felt strong enough this weekend to get my butt out of the house I went grocery shopping (because that’s what normal people do, trust me) and I ran into some delicious artichoke hearts. All ready and cut up and tasty. Screaming “please turn me into grilled cheese! please!”. And because artichoke heart screams are really hard to ignore, that’s exactly what I did. And because the spinach, jocoque (labneh), olive oil and garlic powder in my house were surely going to protest, I bought a big loaf of garlic bread to put them all together over butter and grill.
Talk about comfort food! Interested? Read more for the recipe. Continue reading

Secret ingredient – Sour cream 100% whole wheat bread

Sour cream whole wheat piloncillo bread

From the title of this post you might think that I’m talking about sour cream as the super star here… but you’d be wrong. I’m actually talking about piloncillo. That awesome, very mexican unrefined sugar which you’ll find in cafe de olla, atole, capirotada (mexican bread pudding), calabaza en tacha…. or in most barns. (Because I’ll let you in on a little secret: mexican horses don’t eat sugar cubes, they eat tiny piloncillos).  Piloncillo is great because it’s unrefined…but unlike sugar, it has a lot more flavor. It’s sweet and smokey and caramel-y. And it comes in little cone shapes. The only downside to it is that it has to be dissolved before you can use it in most recipes, but that’s not really a problem since all it takes is a little bit of hot water. So I went ahead and used it in a delicious and easy recipe for 100% whole wheat bread, with a dollop of sour cream, which resulted in a moist, rich, slightly sweet loaf. The perfect breakfast bread, with a couple slices of smoked ham and a little bit of butter, or as toast to accompany a creamy soup. (And on the plus side, if you don’t have, can’t or won’t find piloncillo, you could always use maple syrup, molasses or agave nectar!) But I won’t bore you anymore with the details about little cones of sugar, instead why don’t you go and read more the recipe?

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Caribbean muffins? – Banana rum coconut muffins

Banana coconut crumble muffins

Bananas are one of those foods that hardly anyone dislikes. They’re sweet and mushy, one of the friendliest textures ever. But the truly great thing about bananas is that when you mix them with butter, flour and eggs and then bake them to produce banana bread, no one, not even that one person who claims to hate bananas, will refuse to eat them. So I took my go-to banana bread recipe, which I found eons ago on Deb’s Smitten Kitchen (yet another great recipe from her!) and turned it into muffins. But wait, I thought, it’s not enough to have delicious bites of banana bread. I should definitely add coconut flakes, because they’re so crispy…. and bananas and coconuts together make me think of monkeys and palm trees and caribbean islands. Which of course makes me think of pirates…and well from pirates to rum it’s only one small jump right? So why not add a small splash of rum…or maybe a not so small one?  So I did all of those things, and the result is an insanely delicious breakfast muffin, which packs a whole punch because of all the flavors, and because it’ll make you think of Jack sparrow. (And who doesn’t love thinking about Jack sparrow right?).Ok, ok..I’ll stop rambling about all the crazy things I think about when presented with coconut flakes and jut tell you to read more for the recipe.

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