Several weeks ago, I had a chance to visit one of my best friends up in Maine. I made the drive with another childhood friend of ours, and the three of us spent a wonderful couple of days catching up, playing with Maine friend’s baby, eating, and enjoying each other’s company. It’s a rare occasion that the three of us spend time together, but it’s pretty special when it happens. It was one of those weekends that gave me pause, and really made me take a step back from life to realize how great mine is.
Granola is not a frequent indulgence in my life, but I do really love it. Store-bought varieties are often sugar- and fat-laden, and of course quite delicious, but not particularly nutritious. I like to get my fat and sugars (when I have them) from baked goods (duh!), so I try to steer clear of other sources of that stuff. Hence, granola gets ousted more often than not. I’ve tried making it on my own before, which allows you to control exactly what goes into it, but I find that the process is a little bit time intensive, and for some reason the results just don’t justify the effort. (more…)
Prior to Thanksgiving weekend, it had been many, many months since I made something yeasted. Fortunately yeast doesn’t intimidate me as much as it used to, but I still don’t make a regular practice of utilizing it in my recipes. I think that’s the impatient side of me coming out — why wait hours for bread to rise when I can wait only one hour and have a tasty quick bread ready for immediate consumption?
Somehow I’ve managed to make it through nearly 27 years of living without realizing that late (second) harvest strawberries exist. Perhaps I knew once and forgot? Or just never gave it much thought to begin with? At any rate, on a weekend home a few weeks back, my Mom presented me with a quart of super flavorful late harvest berries, and let me have at it! After tasting a few on their own, I decided to find a recipe that would do them justice.
These muffins have been one of my favorite offerings at Flour Bakery for as long as I can remember. To other people, these always seem like a rather bland pick — why choose an oat-and-wheat-filled muffin when you can have flaky homemade pop tarts or luscious lemon scones or cream-filled brioche? I don’t really know what it is, but there’s just something about the flavors and textures that come together to make these muffins especially magical to me. They’re rich and hearty and delicious and satisfying. They aren’t always available, but when they are, they’re my go-to. (more…)
I said I’d be back with another peach recipe, and here I am! Finally! I was really sick for much of the past week (what is up with getting sick in the summer?!), so it’s been really hard to write this post — either because the thought of food made me nauseous, or I was so starved for food but couldn’t eat it that looking at these photos made me ravenous. I got some crazy stomach bug or really intense food poisoning, so my diet the last several days has consisted of white bread, white rice, applesauce and bananas. Delicious! As someone who only eats predominantly whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, it’s been an interesting diversion… and certainly not an experience I need to repeat anytime soon. I do take it as a good sign that I’m craving most foods again though, and I seriously cannot wait until I’m finally able to eat veggies again — especially the beautiful tomatoes hanging out waiting to be picked in my back yard! (more…)
Scones. These scones. They say so much about where I am in life at this moment, what things have transpired to bring me to this day and this batch of deliciousness. I have been struggling mightily lately to find a block of time where I can summon both the energy and enthusiasm needed, and also the time necessary, to settle into my kitchen and bake. Baking has always been a source of comfort for me, but in the harder moments when energy and passion are at a minimum (or simply don’t exist at all), sometimes I just can’t be bothered. But on a recent trip home, I plucked some luscious red rhubarb stalks from my mom’s garden, vowing that I would make them into something magical. I found a recipe online that seemed like a good starting place, then put together my own recipe with the usual tweaks and changes, and came up with something that I really love. (more…)