Showing posts with label quick bread. Show all posts
Showing posts with label quick bread. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cranberry Pecan Sweet Potato Quick Bread

Warning: this post contains explicit language & delicious bread.

Cranberry Pecan Sweet Potato Quick Bread// Loves Food, Loves to Eat I don't think I've told you guys about the fucking yams yet, have I? Well, it happens to be my very favorite holiday story. 

Cranberry Pecan Sweet Potato Quick Bread// Loves Food, Loves to Eat So, to set the stage… my parents certainly didn't have the mouth's of angels when I was a kid, but the F-bomb was a place they never went. I think I heard my mom say it once my whole childhood, when a thrift store wouldn't accept her donation (she was really riled up that day). Then, when I was in like, 7th or 8th grade, Amanda, Mel, and I spent one super hot summer reading through Stephen King's The Green Mile out loud together. That's what you do out in the country when you don't have cable TV…sort of like old timey radio stories. So we all took turns reading chapters. We were at one super intense part in the story, my mom was reading and Amanda and I were leaning forward in anticipation of what would come next. All of a sudden, Mel stopped reading, her face got super red, and then she continued "Eff-You-See-Kay, Percy Said!" Amanda and I looked at each other, then fell on the floor laughing. She couldn't even read the F-word out loud to us, she had to spell it out. Needless to stay, we lost our steam after that, and it took us awhile to carry on with the story. 

Cranberry Pecan Sweet Potato Quick Bread// Loves Food, Loves to Eat So, fast-forward to a few years ago. It's Thanksgiving day, and Mel is hard core stressin'. We have a house full of people, and she's pulling everything out of the oven, just about ready to serve dinner. From the living room, we hear a giant crash in the kitchen, so we all run in, and Mel is standing there, covered in yams. Orange mush on the walls, the floor, every where. My dad asks "what happened?" And then she bursts into tears and wails "THE FUCKING YAMS!" So, of course, Amanda, John, and I all die laughing. And then, to make her feel better, one of us says "we don't really like the yams anyway." If bullets could shoot out of peoples eyes, that's what would have happened at that moment.

Cranberry Pecan Sweet Potato Quick Bread// Loves Food, Loves to Eat The next year, Amanda and I wandered out Thanksgiving morning in shirts we had made with a cartoon yam and Mel's new catchphrase "THE FUCKING YAMS." Needless to say, this time her tears were laugh-tears, and the phrase sort of just stuck. So now every year we make sure we add some sort of fucking yam to the Thanksgiving menu. 

Cranberry Pecan Sweet Potato Quick Bread// Loves Food, Loves to Eat But the truth is, we weren't lying when we told her that we didn't really love the yams. The mushy, sweet, marshmallow covered yams. So ever since that day, we try to do something new with them. Roasted sweet potatoes, scalloped sweet potatoes, etc. This year, I figured we could go in a whole new direction, and make a sweet potato quick bread!

Cranberry Pecan Sweet Potato Quick Bread// Loves Food, Loves to Eat I based this off of the pumpkin quick bread in my trusty Fannie Farmer cookbook, and was inspired by the recipe just below it for cranberry quick bread. Full of nuts and tart cranberries, with warm fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, this bread is perfect for the main meal, the dessert table, or even breakfast the next day.  

Cranberry Pecan Sweet Potato Bread
Based loosely on a Fannie Farmer recipe

Plan ahead so your puree has time to cool before mixing with the egg, otherwise you'll have weird cooked egg pieces. To make the sweet potatoes, I just peeled and cubed one orange sweet potato, then steamed it (in a veg steamer) for about 15 minutes, until it was super tender, and then mashed with a pastry blender until smooth. You can also roast a whole, unpeeled sweet potato, or try boiling the peeled chunks, ala Martha Stewart (minus the salt & pepper).

1.5 cups flour (I used half whole wheat, half all purpose)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sweet potato puree, cooled 
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup water
1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
2 teaspoons course turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 350, and butter a loaf pan.

Whisk together flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, stir together potato puree, oil, eggs, spices, and water until properly mixed. Add sweet potato mixture to dry ingredients, and stir until just combined, don't over mix. Stir in nuts and cranberries. Pour into loaf pan and sprinkle course sugar over top. Bake 55-65 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on rack. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Peanut Butter Porter Bread

I do this thing where I go to people's houses and imagine what it would look like if I lived there. Almost in a creepy way, where within fifteen minutes of walking through the door, my plans for the place are fully mapped out. In older houses, I like to imagine what it looked like when the very first owners lived there. 

A few months ago we ended up this house party, in an awesome giant home built in the 50s, mid-century modern design at it's finest–huge wooden double door entrance, split level where you go up just a few steps to the living room. I didn't even care about socializing, I just wanted to explore that house. "No, I'm fine here alone in the dark sitting room, don't mind me." I can totally picture Betty Draper hosting a swanky little shindig there, passing around a tray of rumaki or some other retro cocktail snack (ps. I LOVE rumaki!).

I also like to do that at furniture stores. Yesterday Evan and I walked to a new consignment store in our neighborhood. The place is two floors with little rooms, which the consignment shop had fully decked out like living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms. Looking for a late 1991 style bedroom, complete with gold bed frame and pastel water color painting? Look no further! Would you like a drink? Step up to my 1970s home-bar, I'll mix you up a martini! There were even a few pieces that could have come straight out of Downton Abbey. I pulled Evan into my little fantasy world, and we wandered around for awhile, pretending to live in the little rooms. Imagining where that furniture had been when it was new. Who's homes it had been in. 

By the time we got home, it was pretty chilly out. Evan cozied up to a video game, and I cozied up to the oven to make peanut butter bread. I've made Fannie Farmer's peanut butter quick bread a bunch of times, but this time decided to do something a little different. I had one can of coconut porter in the fridge that Amanda brought back from Maui recently, so I decided to swap out the milk in the recipe for beer. I had been saving it for a special I-need-a-really-delicious-beer-right-now occasion, but then I saw that my local grocery store is carrying it (!!).  That coconut porter is SO good. Rich and dark but not too heavy, slightly sweet and coconutty. 

And, add it to peanut butter bread? Perfection. This bread is great–dense, slightly sweet, and peanutty, with just a touch of beer-tang. The best part about this recipe–aside from the fact that it's a breeze to make–is that while it's baking, you can drink the remaining half of the beer. My kind of bread! 

Peanut Butter Porter Bread
Adapted from Fannie Farmer

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 egg, beaten
1 cup dark beer (like coconut porter)

Preheat oven to 350, and grease a loaf pan (or line with parchment paper). Add dry ingredients to a large bowl (I used my stand mixer) and whisk/mix together. Add in peanut butter, egg, and beer, and mix until incorporated. Spoon into loaf pan, and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.