I'm often up late, working at my desk. It's nice to take a break and throw something in the oven to bake while I'm doing data entry. I love baking up a loaf of breakfast bread, filling the house with the aroma of apples and cinnamon. It somehow feels like the morning has to start out in a good way. Who could wake up crabby with such loveliness in the air, right? So far my theory holds true and midnight baking equals agreeable children in the morning...even The Teenager.
This bread has all sorts of goodness in it: Apples, spices, yogurt, applesauce. You could add nuts and/or flax oil to bump up the healthy even more. I like to serve it warm, slathered in butter though so that could cancel out some of the healthy, I suppose. Maybe I should add some shredded carrots or something next time...
Apple-Cinnamon Breakfast Bread
Makes One Loaf
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Pre-grease one loaf pan
In a medium bowl mix up all of the dry ingredients:
1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup rolled oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup of sugar
6 tbsp softened unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 cup apple sauce
1 cup apples that have been peeled and diced
In a large bowl, mix together the softened butter and sugar until whipped and creamy. Beat the eggs in one at a time. Add the vanilla and mix. Add the yogurt and apple sauce, mixing well.
Slowly, add the dry ingredients from the medium bowl. Do not over-beat. Add the diced apples and mix just until incorporated. Pour into pre-greased loaf pan.
Baking time is about 1 hour and 5 minutes, but start checking at an hour. Your bread is ready when a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the center of the loaf.
It's been a little over a week since the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. Aftershocks, fear of nuclear meltdown and winter weather conditions are currently hampering relief and recovery efforts. Like the rest of the world, I've watched the destruction and utter devastation from afar with heartbreak and a sense of helplessness. The enormity of this tragedy feels so overwhelming that it's hard to know where to begin to help. I've been so inspired this week by everyone that has been moved to assist in any way that they can. If you have a few moments, here is a small list of individuals, smaller charities and fundraisers that have come across my radar:
1) One of my favorite local blogs: Abby Try Again. Abby is an incredible photographer and she is offering a special print for the purposed of raising funds. $8.00 from the sale of each print will go to the Red Cross relief efforts. She is also contributing 20% of her sales in her Etsy store to the Red Cross through today (3/20).
2) For Japan With Love:
An effort spearheaded by Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours, For Japan With Love is an effort to raise funds to purchase shelter boxes. "ShelterBox provide emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families around the world who are affected by disasters at the time when they need it the most. Each large green ShelterBox is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items." The amazing thing to me is that the initial goal was to try and raise enough funds for five of these boxes ($5000.00). At last check they had raised over $51,000.00!! That's just freaking amazing.
3) Studentsrebuild.org - "Help Japan by making paper cranes. These simple yet powerful gestures will trigger a $200,000 donation from the Bezos Family Foundation - $2 for each crane received - to Architecture for Humanity's reconstruction efforts in Japan." This is a great way to incorporate your children into the conversation on whatever level works for your family.
4) Architecture for Humanity - "Our team will focus on providing a suite of design and construction services as well as construction financing for small 'urban acupuncture' centers; transitional shelters, health clinics, community structures, schools, hospitals and civic structures."
If you are local (ATX) please follow this link to join us and see how to contribute by donating funding/pledging to bake or to get more information on how to attend the Bake Sale on April 2nd. (Image from Austin Bakes for Japan).
*If you have read this far...thank you. And if you have been moved by any other charities or fundraising efforts for Japan, please share them with us in the comments section here on the blog.*
Reminiscent of a White Russian, this drink has great coffee flavor without the overwhelming sweetness of the Irish Creme and Kahlua. I've recently been turned on to cold-brewed coffee that is sold ready for consumption in the dairy section of some local markets. I tried this recipe with two different local coffee brands; Chameleon Cold-Brew and Kohana Coffee. Both are concentrated coffees, with higher levels of caffeine, meant to be mixed with water and/or milk. Both have the smooth, low acidity that cold-brew is known for, making them perfect for this drink. I've made this drink with home brewed coffee with great success, but right now I'm digging this pre-brewed stuff for a quick cup of iced coffee (spiked or otherwise.)
(Spiked) Iced Vanilla Coffee
Fill a Highball Glass halfway with ice
Add 1/2 cup of Concentrated Cold-Brew Coffee and 1 tbsp Vanilla Syrup or Vanilla Simple Syrup. Add 1 oz. quality Vodka. Stir to blend. Add 2/3 cup of cold milk and 1 oz. Half and Half. Garnish with a 2" split section of Vanilla Bean or a long stick of cinnamon.
There are only a few things that I love to eat that get a 'no' vote from *every* other person in the house, but cabbage is one of them. Oddly enough a buttery bowl of Cabbage and Tomatoes is a total comfort food for me. My mama used to make it all the time when we were kids, and I guess the taste for it stuck. Lucky for me I was able to pick up a personal-size head of cabbage from Johnson's Backyard Garden the last time I was at the farmers' market. My mama used to add roasted caraway seeds, and while I don't mind the flavor of caraway, I'm generally averse to seeds in my food. Something about aging teeth or something? Anyway, if you'd like to add caraway, just throw 1/4 teaspoon on a hot skillet for a couple of minutes in order to release the flavor from the seed. Then add the roasted caraway to the cabbage and tomatoes in the last 5 minutes of cooking. To me this is one of those dishes that just contains a few simple flavors that compliment each other beautifully. I wish I could get the rest of my family to feel the same way...
Cabbage and Tomatoes
serves 2-4 depending...
1/2 cup of water
4 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage
1 can of diced tomatoes with liquid
3 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
Add the water to a medium saucepan on medium/high heat and bring to simmer. Add cabbage and tomatoes with their liquid to the pan. Cover and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally until the cabbage is tender. Add butter and salt and pepper to taste.