Pumpkin Oat Bread

Hey!  Just thought I’d pop in and give you a quick update.  And hey, thanks for stopping by and checking on me.  I know you are out there, I see you on my site stats!  So, thanks.

Guess what?  In October, I (a) sold a house, (b) bought a house, and (c) landed a HUGE contract for my chocolate business.  Oh, and I worked the last 12 days in a row.  The first two things happened with the help of my husband of course – and the third is happening with his (long-suffering) support.  As in, he’s been doing a lot of the cooking and cleaning and general taking care of business around our house!

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Banana Bourbon Bread Pudding

banana bourbon bread pudding

So this is what you do with that stale loaf of challah bread.  Whaaat, you don’t have a stale loaf?  Because you ate it all? I know, I know, it’s good stuff.  I had to hide our second loaf, my husband and I polished off the first one in a space of an evening.  Okay, maybe it was half gone when he got home, whatever.  So, go make some more challah, and let’s get on with the show.  The Bread Pudding show.

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Holla for Challah

challah

For me, there is a direct correlation between how many items are on my to-do list, and how much I want to bake bread.  The more stuff I really should be doing, the more I find myself thinking about diving into the long, meditative process of mixing, kneading, rising, shaping, rising, and baking bread.  It’s wrong.  Very wrong.  Bread isn’t difficult to make, don’t get me wrong–but you do have to schedule yourself around it, be attentive to it, and certainly at some point set everything aside for it, because when it’s ready, it’s ready! It’s not the thing you make when you are Continue reading

Spoonbread!

spoonbread

Cornbread is one of those things I’ve always wanted to love, but instead have come to fear.  When cornbread is good, it is really really good . . . moist and just a little bit sweet, dripping with butter, nothing could be better.  But too often, cornbread is bad.  Really, really, bad.  Dry and scratching and brick-like, the kind of thing that no amount of sweet cream butter can rescue.  The kind of cornbread that requires a full glass of water after each bite.  That is the cornbread I fear.  That is the kind of cornbread that can ruin even the most delicious of dinners.  I am banishing that cornbread, once and for all.  At least in my house.  And hopefully in yours!

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Cinnamon Swirl Bread, “healthified”

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One of my favorite snacks is a slice of swirl bread, toasted and slathered in butter.  Oh my.  The problem is, I never stop at just one slice!  And that store bought stuff, well, it’s not so good for you.  This way, I make it myself, I get to pretend I’m being healthy, I get the freshest bread possible, and I still get to toast it and slather it with butter!  And, let’s not forget, I get to change the raisins to currants because I like them much better, and sub in some brown sugar for white sugar cause it tastes that much better.  And put in more cinnamon or less cinnamon, depending on my whim.  Hmmm, this is starting to sound like control-freak-ism, rather than healthy-ness.  Eeenteresting . . . . but let’s move on.

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Honey Bran Whole Wheat from Farmgirl

wheat-mini-chompers

Is there anything prettier than some just-baked bread?  I think not.  Sorry, super models.

Don’t get me wrong–I’ll admit, I too suffered through the craziness of Low Carb and Carb-Free Eating.  I bought the ticket.  I jumped fully on the bandwagon.  I even (gasp) put my breadmaker in the basement for a couple years.  Thankfully, all phases pass.  I’m solidly in my mid-30’s now, and while I exercise often and faithfully, I also completely own the saddlebags that have now found a home on the outside of my thighs.  I earned that baggage.  Why not love it?

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Recipe For a Sweet Start

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A few months before my 30th birthday (umm, a few years ago now), I was taking stock of my life and somehow coming up short.  I had the wonderful husband, beautiful home, friends, hobbies, career, etc. . . . but somehow I still felt empty.  I was missing my bliss.  Since then, I’ve made a lot of changes in my life–some small and seemingly insignificant, and some so big I even surprised myself.  I learned a lot, and mostly I learned that you can find a bit of bliss in every day, if you just look for it.

Chocolate & Toast is about the bliss I find in my life–in chocolate, in a loaf of freshly baked bread, in so many things large and small, edible and otherwise.

I hope you’ll share the journey with me!

Recipe

1 piece thickly sliced, freshly toasted, really good bread

1 hunk chocolate, any kind you like

1 mug of your favorite hot drink

Find a comfy spot, think happy thoughts, and savor life!