Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

I love breakfast. It is my favorite meal, but during the week I fly through the house getting ready for work and can only manage to grab something quick. At the most I scramble a few eggs or an omelet. Just so you know it is a really crazy looking omelet that is actually just fancy scrambled eggs. For those of you that have kids, my hat is off to you. You are pretty friggin’ amazing in my eyes, because I can’t even imagine how frantic my mornings would be if we had kids.

Ahh but that wonderful feeling on the weekends, where I wake up slowly and I plod down the stairs to my quiet kitchen. Turning the knob on the stove, hearing the clicking of the igniter, seeing the crown of blue flames warming the water kettle; I know coffee will be coming soon.

This morning as I sipped my coffee, I decided I would like to bake some bread. Baking bread permeating the house is one of my favorite smells.  And the smell of cinnamon sugar swirled in the middle takes it to the next level. Yum!

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Dough
1/2 cup sourdough starter, fed or unfed
3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 large egg
5 tablespoons soft butter
2/3 cup lukewarm water

Filling
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup raisins

Directions
To make the dough I combined all of the dough ingredients in my bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a soft, smooth dough. Allow dough to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until it’s just about doubled in bulk.
While the dough is rising, make the filling by stirring together the sugar, cinnamon, and flour.
Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.
Roll and pat the dough into a rough rectangle approximately 6″ x 20″.
Brush the dough with the egg/water mixture, and sprinkle it evenly with the filling and raisins.
Starting with a short end, roll the dough into a log. Pinch the ends to seal, and pinch the long seam closed.
Transfer the log, seam-side down, to a lightly greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan. Cover and allow the bread to rise until it’s crested about 1″ over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour.
While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after the first 15 to 20 minutes. The bread’s crust will be golden brown, and the interior of the finished loaf should measure 190°F on a digital thermometer.
Remove the bread from the oven, and gently loosen the edges. Turn it out of the pan, and brush the top surface with butter, if desired; this will give it a soft, satiny crust. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.

Skillet Fried Breakfast Potatoes

I love making this dish for a filling and delicious breakfast. Plus it is very economical. Win Win!

creative noshing

My yoga teacher is pretty inspirational, she is constantly trying to beat positive thinking into our heads with her little “isms” that she throws out during an intense pose. I like it because I need the positive reinforcement to keep me at it. Of course, I show up to get rejuvenated, but most of the time I leave enlightened.

This last class, two of her statements stuck out to me that I thought was pretty cool. In the beginning of class after basic stretches, we normally go through a couple of sun salutations. On that particular morning, it was pretty overcast and she said, “Remember guys, you may not see it, but the sun is shining behind the clouds.” It made me smile, because it was an updated version of my mother’s “And this too shall pass…” It is true, each storm in our life will move on and the…

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Winter Meal Plan – 10

 

Breakfast

Snack 1

Lunch

Snack 2

Dinner

Monday

2 Scrambled eggs and a banana

Gorilla Bar

Frozen Black bean burrito and Apple

Handful of dried fruit

Taco Salad

Tuesday

Omelet and Yogurt Handful of Nuts or seeds Leftovers and apple String cheese BBQ chicken and broccoli salad

Wednes-day

Omelet and Yogurt String Cheese Leftovers Hummus and baby carrots Broiled Salmon in herb mustard glaze and side salad

Thursday

2 Scrambled Eggs and 1 large grapefruit Hummus and snap peas Turkey Wrap and Apple Handful of almonds and a Yogurt Linguini in garlic oil and side salad

Friday

Baked Oatmeal and grapefruit String cheese Leftovers Broccoli Salad Roasted Chicken with Mediterranean Farro Salad

Saturday

Peanut butter on Toast and 1 banana

 

Hummus and cherry tomatoes Chicken salad Sandwich and apple Handful of almonds Eat Out

Sunday

 

Skillet breakfast potatoes

Gorilla Bar Frozen Black bean and cheese burrito and apple string cheese Grilled Tri Tip & Mediterranean Farro Salad

 

In order to save time and money, I make a meal plan every week. This is my meal plan for next week.

Also, I like to have a good mix of quick to grab convenience foods and fast prep meals interwoven into my week. I have lots of recipes that are consistently in our diet, but I also like to try new recipes. Next week I will be trying a couple of new recipes that get pretty high ratings on other cooking sites.

Anyway, happy cooking everyone!

 

Mediterranean Farro Salad

Though we are young at heart (i.e. super immature), my husband and I are now trying to keep up with our metabolisms that are seeming to slow down at a much quicker rate than we would like. In our 20s and early 30s, we could eat anything and not really worry about exercising and we looked fine and felt fine.

My husband turned 40 this year and I am close behind him for closing out this decade and we have noticed changes in our overall health. Which is why we are desperately trying to hold onto any remnants of our youthful selves that we can. My husband has started running everyday and I have joined a pilates studio.

My pilates instructor told me that only about 20% of a healthy lifestyle happens during your workout. 80% happens outside of the class, mostly what you put in your body. Booooo! I want to eat birthday cake every night for the rest of my life. WHY CAN’T I HAVE THIS REALITY? WHY!!!!

Okay, reality in check, the other week, we went to Costco and loaded up on bulk items. I love having a stocked pantry that you can make up all kinds of wonderful meals. In the past  year, my husband and I have started focusing on having healthier pantry items in order to be able to whip up more quality meals for ourselves. During that trip we picked up a large sack of farro to test out and a flat of canned garbanzo beans because my husband has a fabulous hummus recipe that I love. If any of you have farro recipes, send them my way!

Farro tastes like rice and barley mixed together. It has a nice chewiness to it. I made this cold salad out of it which was such a delicious side dish to grilled tri tip, but also can be eaten on its on as a lunch. Anyway, enjoy everyone.

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Ingredients

Continue reading Mediterranean Farro Salad

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

This is my Grandma’s recipe for Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread. It has been in our family for a very long time and is one of my favorites.

Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Bread
Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Bread

creative noshing

Last night, we decided to have chili and a variation of my Grandmother’s jalapeno cheddar cornbread. After the visit from my cousin, it had me thinking of my family, especially my Grandma who seemed to be the glue of our family most of the time.

A placard beside my Grandparent’s back door read “back door guests are best.” Through the first threshold was a mudroom area where you took off your shoes. You did not dare wear your shoes on my Grandma’s hardwood floor. Grandma was meticulous. She lived her life by the motto that there was a place for everything and everything was in it’s place.

When you entered through the second threshold you were greeted by my grandma, hair in curlers and her signature third person conversations. “Hey there, Baby! You give your Grandma a hug! Grandma has missed you so much!”

You were also greeted with the…

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Spicy Ham and Bean Soup

Here is the perfect dish for a cold winter day.

creative noshing

Today, it is a rainy, cold day across much of the United States.  It is definitely one of those days where you want to snuggle up on the couch, under a blanket, and watch a really good movie. Personally, Ferris Bueller is my go to rainy, day movie, but to each their own.

More than watching a movie, I LOVE having something warm to put in my tummy. This kicked up soup, layered with spicy flavor, will definitely warm your belly on these lingering cold, gray winter days. I used leftover black eyed peas, but you could use any cooked bean hanging out in your kitchen. Get creative and make it your own!

Spicy Ham and Bean Soup

Spicy Ham and Bean Soup Spicy Ham and Bean Soup

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp thyme and 1 bay leaf

1 ½ cups celery, chopped

1 ½ cups carrot chopped

1 cup red bell pepper, chopped

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Winter Meal Plan – 9

 

Breakfast

Snack 1

Lunch

Snack 2

Dinner

Monday

2 Scrambled eggs and a banana

Gorilla Bar

Frozen black bean burrito and an apple

Handful of dried fruit

Ham and Bean Soup and cornbread

Tuesday

Omelet and grapefruit String Cheese Leftovers and apple almonds Glazed Salmon and broccoli rice

Wednes-day

Peanut butter on Toast and Grapefruit Yogurt Turkey Avocado Club Sandwich and apple String cheese Asian Chicken Salad

Thursday

Oatmeal and grapefruit Yogurt Leftovers Almonds Grilled Sausage, Sautéed Cauliflower and Brown Rice

Friday

Omelet and Yogurt Gorilla Bar Frozen black bean burrito and an apple String Cheese Veggie Burger and sweet potato fries and side salad

Saturday

 

Peanut butter on Toast and Grapefruit

Cherry tomatoes and hummus hummus and veggie pita and apple Yogurt and a handful of almonds Eat Out

Sunday

French Toast and banana String Cheese Eat Out Popcorn Glazed Salmon and broccoli rice

 

In order to save time and money, I make a meal plan every week. This is my meal plan for next week.

Also, I like to have a good mix of quick to grab convenience foods and fast prep meals interwoven into my week. I have lots of recipes that are consistently in our diet, but I also like to try new recipes. Next week I will be trying a couple of new recipes that get pretty high ratings on other cooking sites.

Anyway, happy cooking everyone!

 

Life Hits Hard

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
― Sylvester Stallone, Rocky BalboaIMG_0392