Tag Archives: bread

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!

IMG_0449

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.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Zucchini season is here and one of the items that I love to make annually is zucchini bread. Because my husband is a chocolate lover, I throw some chocolate chips in the batter for good measure. Out of love, I use the mini chocolate chips so that he can get the taste of chocolate spread evenly through out every bite. If you need a great way to use up zucchini this season, this is a great idea for not only a family treat, but bake sales and gifts for neighbors. Also, after the bread has baked, it freezes well, so you can always have a nice sweet treat ready to go for any pop over guests. Enjoy everyone!

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

(2 loaves)

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Gratitude Apple Bread

One year ago today, I had just quit my job writing technical reports for a pharmaceutical company to go on a new adventure following my husband’s career.  As I found out the hard way, working with Big Pharma had left me stressed out and tired after having worked under three different company logos, three different company names, and three different company mantras in three years without ever leaving the same cubicle, due to acquisitions. Always worrying about my job security, I stayed later than most of my colleagues and came in earlier. I was part of the rat race. Me, the carefree art student, found myself in a black hole of negotiating quality agreements, understanding and enforcing government regulations through various systematic protocols and procedures to ensure compliance, and completing trend analysis of testing data and providing these reviews to not only my superiors, but any regulatory agency that showed up for surprise audits. I had a lot of responsibility on my shoulders and needless to say, this was not how I had pictured my life going.

Moving yet again, I had asked my husband if it would be okay for me to take a bit of time off before venturing out into the working world again. I needed to get back to calm, to an even-ness, before I made a decision of the new direction of my life. He obliged a six month reprieve to do exactly what I wanted, a sabbatical. So I finished projects on our house to prepare it for the sale, I had a huge yard sale, we drove across the  country, I decorated and organized our new apartment, took care of all the paperwork that accumulated from moving and selling our house, and then after about three months, everything just stopped. There were no immediate projects that I needed to work on or complete, nothing.  After 5 years of scrambling around, my chaotic life had come to a dead stop and I noticed something, a deafening silence. It was increasingly evident that I was in a place where I knew no one. A melancholy quietness had blanketed my life and I started to feel like I was starring in my own version of “Lost in Translation.”

I prepared my resume and started throwing my hook into the water, a few nibbles, but after months nothing came of it. I started to feel trapped in my life, desperate. As January 2012 neared, I started to make New Year’s resolutions. I was going to live my life with gratitude, I felt that I was being too negative and I had a lot to be happy for; I just wasn’t seeing the picture clearly. Everyday, I was going to write down one thing I was happy about. After about ten days, I noticed I was happiest when I was cooking and began to think about how I have used food to interface with people over the years. It is what I love, so I decided that I would share with the world my recipes, my stories, my love. My thinking was, if you blog about it, they will come, so “Creative Noshing” was born.

Today’s post though, isn’t about what I’ve given to you, it’s about what you all have given to me. Each and every day, you give me inspiration, validation, and a community to feel part of. I have laughed and smiled and cried at some of your posts and comments. Every person who has clicked my follow button, I am so honored and amazed that you did. Some of you have touched me even further by giving me a stamp of approval through trying my recipes and blogging about it, reblogging me, “pinning” me, and/or nominating me for awards. Not to mention those of you take time out your day to comment, especially the one’s who I ended up having great back and forth conversations with. This post is for you, I want you to know I appreciate your generosity, kindness and hospitality and in turn I want to promote your blog to others, because you are the real deal and genuine. In no certain order, I want to give a special thank you to the following blogs:

Sugar Dish Me

Sweat Like Mambo

Mon Food Blog

Shecall

The ObamaCrat

Tabkhet el yom

“Round the Bend

Sheepless in Rhode Island

My Gulity Pleasures

A Dollop and A Pinch

rosewinelover

lostdododesigns

What to Cook?

Ginger(ly) Homemaking

Mama Miyuki Easy Pantsy

A Chef in Thyme

The Sugared Pecan

Liberez Vous

Susartandfood’s Blog

Hot, Cheap & Easy

Danny’s Kitchen

kiwsparks

Filing Away Cupcakes

Green Pocket Protector

Chez Chloe

Foodashion’s Blog

Hot Rod Cowgirl

Year of Healthier Living

Go check out their blogs!

Just like my Grandma taught me, you don’t come showing your appreciation empty handed. Below is the perfect thank you present. Good old fashioned apple bread. Yum!

Gratitude Apple Bread

Gratitude Apple Bread
Gratitude Apple Bread

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Easy Focaccia

About once a month, we find ourselves making homemade pizza around here. We love it and a lot of times I will make two doughs, because it takes just as much effort to make two doughs as it does to make one. Sometimes I do find myself with extra dough on my hands that I need to use up. One of my favorite ways to use pizza dough is to make this easy focaccia.  Honestly, in no time flat, you can turn out some flavorful focaccia that you can turn into bruschetta, or sandwiches, or simply just eaten as is.

Easy Focaccia

focaccia
focaccia

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Croutons

Day old bread? More often than I would like to admit, I have half a loaf of  hardening bread. Even though it is stale, it is still quite edible.  My favorite use of old bread is to make croutons.

Croutons are great accompaniments to top salads and soups; to scoop up dips; and in a crunch, you could spin it down in a food processor for great Italian bread crumbs.

Croutons

Croutons
Croutons

Day old bread, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup Olive oil

1 tsp Lemon pepper

2 tsp Oregano

½ tsp Salt

½ tsp Garlic

½ tsp pepper

1 tsp red pepper flakes

Mix together olive oil and spices in medium bowl. Add bread pieces and toss to coat well. Lay pieces of bread on cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until browned, turning once. Let completely cool and store in airtight container.