irish soda bread with dried cherries

Good morning world. Today while I was making my ritual cup of pour over coffee, I looked out the kitchen window and noticed a man dancing. He was two houses behind ours, two backyards away. Our backyards are stitched together, with a wooden fence between, if that makes sense. He brought a smile to my face. His dancing. And we aren’t talking a little bob and sway. He was getting right down. And forty-five minutes later he’s still at it. His coat is now off. Awesome.

I’d say he’s in his twenties or thirties. Appears to be quite fit (um, dancing will do that), and to be honest, it’s hard to take my eyes off him. He appears to be so full of life. Joyful, even. I wonder to myself if he’s worshiping, or if he’s getting in his morning exercise, or both. I wonder if he has children. I… Continue reading

pumpkin streusel bread

This was a mighty large loaf of pumpkin bread. And we successfully finished it off in four days. Not terrible. We’ve done worse. It was really, really good. I decided I wanted something pumpkin on Sunday night and thought I’d whip something up quick. Well, it did take a bit more time than I anticipated (the stand mixer was used thus categorizing it as a somewhat-involved recipe) and the kitchen looked like a tornado had swept through when I was finished, but it was all worth it. This bread was really, really good.

The loaf was the perfect density, not oily or buttery at all and perfectly semi-sweet. The streusel topping was scrumptiously filled with oats and slivered almonds and toasted up beautifully in the oven. I reduced the sugar originally called for by over 1 cup(!), if you can fathom that, and as I mentioned, it was still plenty… Continue reading

lemon-poppy squash bread

If e’er I had a hobbit drop by for second breakfast or elevenses, this would be the quick bread we’d share… with a pot or three of tea. Earthy and sugary, this bread is the perfect balance of sweet and savoury. Each bite is filled with subtle traces of candied winter vegetables, hints of carrot, roasted sweet potato and freshly-forked-out spaghetti squash, yet is balanced by the tang of lemon and punch of poppy. And perhaps the best part? That fine little layer of crunchy turbinado sugar atop the loaf. Simply perfection.

This was the first time I had ever made a quick bread using yellow summer squash, and I’m so glad I did. I’ve baked countless loaves using green summer squash (aka zucchini) but never thought of using its sister, yellow summer squash. I grated the squash super fine (the tiniest option on my grater) so that it almost… Continue reading

zucchini chocolate bread

During the summer months when zucchini is plentiful, I find myself making this bread quite a bit. Not overly sweet, but just sweet enough. Each bite is packed with heavenly goodness. I’ve made these loaves dozens of times and played around with the recipe quite a bit.

I’ve cut way back on sugar, swapped out the traditional vegetable oil for coconut oil and yogurt and replaced a good bit of the called for all-purpose flour with a hearty whole wheat. I am more than pleased with the revisions I’ve made, and this bread has proved to be the perfect morning, afternoon or evening snack and makes a lovely addition to any meal or dessert.

Oh, and did I mention that no mixer is required and this batter comes together in a jiffy? Hmmm… perhaps that’s where that company name came from. Anyway, the baking time is all the patience required,… Continue reading