A Heartwarming Breakfast

Berry season!

There’s no better breakfast than some fresh-made jam from your own kitchen (we made twoberry, our combination of raspberry and blueberry). Serve it on top of flaky tea biscuits and a hot cup of joe – and you’re golden!

 

Another Grain in your Bread? How's that Spelt?

A week or so ago we picked up some amazing spelt flour from Monckton Organic Farms. It makes tremendous bread, and also pasta. We even made some pizza this week, using their amazing flour in the crust. Every bit turned out to be delicious.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to make the bread yourself, you can find the good folks from Monckton at the East Lynn Farmer’s Market. Stop by and say hi, and buy some flour or bread. You won’t regret it.

This Week's Bread

Saturday was supposed to be gardening day…but the weather did not cooperate. So instead, faced with depressing rain, it was time to take out my frustrations on another batch of innocent flour from Better Bulk.

This time, I used my usual whole-wheat recipe, but substituted the flour: 1/3 dark rye flour, 1/3 whole wheat, and 1/3 unbleached white flour. Otherwise, the method was the same. For the infamous fourth loaf, I made a round one – and sprinkled in some raisins and caraway seeds. It was promptly devoured within a day or so, starting with the next morning’s breakfast.

Celebrating William and Kate

Wedding days are full of promise…and we had fun watching the promises being exchanged between the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge this morning. In honour of the intertwining of two lives, our bread this week is braided whole wheat (wholesome, with some fibre for the tough times, but a little sweetness, too). And what better than a bottle of something (cheap or expensive, no matter, but sourced by walking to our local liquor store).

A loaf of bread, a jug of wine…and thou.

Wishing a lifetime of happiness to the Cambridges.

Easter Bunny Cake

Bunny CakeFor our family, it wouldn’t be Easter dinner if there weren’t a bunny cake.  Long after kids aren’t really kids any more, they aren’t willing to dispense with this cake, in all its ’50’s style glory.

It starts as two round cakes (8 or 9 inches in diameter). Make a carrot cake (traditional) or use a mix – any flavour will do.

One cake is cut into sections, with two ears, leaving the centre of the circle to make the bow tie.

The whole thing is iced with Italian Meringue Frosting, tinted appropriately. Each year there’s an argument about whether the bow tie should be pink, or mauve, or green, or yellow. Mauve or pink are easiest, since the pink frosting for the ears can be prepared, and then a little blue food colouring added as necessary.

The candies are Smarties(TM) but other small round candies such as M&Ms (TM) would work as well. The whiskers are made of shoelace-style red licorice. The fur is coconut, preferably the long-shredded variety.

Hot Cross Buns for Easter

Hot Cross BunsSome say it is traditional to eat Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday, but in our family they have been Easter breakfast for as long as we can remember. The cross traditionally symbolizes the crucifiction, and they serve as a reminder to us that Easter is not all about bunnies and candy (although we indulge in our share of those, as well).

There's Never Enough Bread

This week’s bread: multigrain!

When I posted the recipe for whole wheat bread, I mentioned that you can dress it up, or dress it down. You can also turn it into a completely different kind of bread…and suddenly it’s not just whole wheat any more.

This one’s multi-grain. (Don’t worry…those dark brown spots are a couple of stowaway raisins that got into the recipe!)

Instead of the six cups of whole wheat flour, for this batch I used two of whole wheat, two of rolled oats, and two of cornmeal. I also tossed in half a cup of flax seeds that needed to get used up. The recipe takes the same amount of white flour as in the original recipe, and all the other instructions are exactly the same.

Mmm…Yeasty Goodness

My bread obsession knows no bounds. This batch, just getting ready for the second rising, is whole wheat. When I was a kid, my grandmother would make most of our bread – sometimes every day. I would have preferred the squishy white bread that some of the other kids had in their lunches. I didn’t know how good I had it!

On the left is my “fancy loaf”. Most of the recipes I make yield four loaves, allowing a more energy-efficient use of the oven (and the bread-making hands). So I always do something special with at least one. In this case, when shaping the loaf, I sprinkled in oregano and snippets of sundried tomato. Then I also sprinkled a little oregano on top. Perfect for a savory accompaniment to some cold-day food.

Sure, the bread-making tends to fall off a little in the summer when it gets too hot. But as much as possible, I prefer to make my own rather than buy it in a store. I guess my grandmother was a pretty smart cookie after all! (And speaking of cookies…naw, let’s save that for another time).

End of Season Vegetarian Chili

The long, cold winter is finally winding down. Mostly this is a time for jubilation. For celebration because spring is finally on our way (the tomato plants are started for the urban farm)! However it’s also a chance to enjoy that classic winter warmer: chili. This vegetarian chili is a great option on a meatless meal day, or if you’re a vegetarian. For us, it wouldn’t be the same without cornmeal muffins – a classic cornbread taste in an easy-to make format. If you have leftovers, they freeze beautifully – but good luck getting them to the freezer before the snackers get to them!

Want to save on sodium? Use beans you’ve cooked yourself, and frozen, without salt. The kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas in this recipe all started their journey to our house from Better Bulk (see our blogroll!)