The Broken Bread

Pop Up Shop

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When it’s all said and done, there is one main reason why I bake; and that is to bring people together. As long as I can remember, I have had a love for bringing my friends together and making memories with them, and this coming Saturday is another opportunity to do just that. I am happy to announce that I will be holding a Pop-Up Shop for The Broken Bread! My friends at The Fat Hen have graciously allowed me to use their beautiful cafe for the afternoon, so please come join me from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. I will be serving a selection of my favorite pastries along with some espresso drinks. This opportunity is extremely important to me, because it will be the first time that my efforts at The Broken Bread can move out from behind the computer and love people in the real world. I really hope to see you there!

 

Baked Oatmeal

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This week has been a complete whirlwind for me. As of now John and I have started our 30 day countdown until we move back to California; which basically means we have a lot of work to do. One of the greatest joys about moving back to my hometown is that I get to be near my family again. I took for granted all those years where they were only minutes away. But now I am ready to make the most of our time together, given I have lived so far away for the last few years.

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This whole moving process has been a little overwhelming. Oddly enough, John and I are leaving Seattle the same way we came, just our two cars packed to the brim with everything we own. Needless to say, our house is currently upside down and boxes are everywhere. I am more than halfway through packing up all my kitchen equipment. Right now we have two plates, two cups, two skillets, and a bowl or maybe two. Not having all my equipment has really limited what I can make for John and I to eat, but it also has made me a bit more creative.

Thank goodness for my skillet, because it has been a life saver for me. I can cook practically every meal in it, and now I have another amazing breakfast recipe that I can add to its list. I came across this baked oatmeal from  myblueandwhitekitchen. The recipe has been adapted by a few others, but is was on her site that I was inspired to make my own.

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This meal reminded my that breakfast doesn’t have to be too complicated; just a few simple ingredients can come together and make a breakfast that is not only healthy, but delicious and easy to make.

Lastly, this week has been exciting because I was nominated for the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards, and voting is still open until April 9th! Click on the image below to visit the site; you can find me under “Best Baking & Desserts Blog.” Thank you for your support!

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For the recipe, Read more here »

Buttermilk Cake Doughnuts

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This past monday I received some news that took me completely by surprise. I was out and about doing my usual Monday grocery run, when I got a text from John saying “you were listed as a finalist on Saveur”. I was instantly overwhelmed with joy and excitement, but then I quickly feared that John might have been mistaken. I knew I had to see it for myself to be sure, so as soon as I got home I hopped onto my computer. I discovered that, just as John had said, my blog was nominated as a finalist in the Best Baking Blog category in the Fifth Annual Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. I was over the moon! This was such amazing and incredible news to receive. To be nominated in a category with such insanely talented bloggers is such an honor. I am honestly still in a state of disbelief, but can’t help being giddy with excitement!!

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Since I was alone when I received the news, I decided to turn up the music and bake something to celebrate. I mean, that’s what I should do considering my category, right? Well my friends, I did just that. I cranked up my guilty pleasure music and made a delicious batch of these cake doughnuts that I am eager to share with you.

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These doughnuts are dangerous. Crispy on the outside, but oh so delicate, and soft on the inside. I am referring to these specifically as cake doughnuts since I didn’t use yeast in this recipe, but instead used a baking soda/powder combination to make them rise. So I guess you can say that this is basically a cake recipe, that is then fried to utter perfection. I personally think that these doughnuts are much easier to make than the versions that use yeast, plus, you can fry these as soon as you cut them, no need to wait for them to rise. The dough was a little tricky to work with, so be sure to check out the notes section below for some tips that will make the process even easier.

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Since I was celebrating, I was especially excited to break out my sprinkles. I hardly use them, but I’m pretty sure that this exciting news qualifies as sprinkle worthy. I ended up making three different glazes: strawberry, chocolate, and maple. Each doughnut was then frosted and dressed with a generous amount of glorious sprinkles.

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After making way too many doughnuts, I finally got to sit down and think about how blessed I am to have this blog, and how lucky I am that I get to share with everyone my passion for seasonal baking and cooking. I am so thankful that you are taking time out of your day to visit my blog, it really means the world to me. If you would like to vote for me, please click here. Thank you again for all of  your support!!

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For the recipe, Read more here »

The Old Fashioned

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Spirits, bitters, water, and sugar. These serve as the fundamental components of the Old Fashioned, a drink that perfectly typifies the essence of the cocktail. Kristan and I have been enjoying this drink recently and she suggested I share the recipe on The Broken Bread. Though I know little about cooking or baking (besides perhaps a mean French Toast), I have developed a knack for rudimentary mixology. Even then, I only know how to create a few drinks, all of which feature whiskey as their base ingredient. But the Old Fashioned is quickly becoming a favorite of ours.

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Usually the first question people ask is, “what’s in an Old Fashioned?” Well to begin with, it has the ingredients listed above, with whiskey as its spirit and occasionally an orange or lemon peel as its garnish. The bitters provide a special characteristic herbal taste, which along with the orange provides a welcoming citrus aroma. The sugar and water, which used to be a dissolved cube of sugar and now is usually a simple syrup, serve as a sort of “smoothing agent,” that is, a component which takes the edge off the brisk kick of the alcohol while contributing to its flavor. The Old Fashioned needs a very small amount of sugar; just enough to give the whiskey boxing gloves if you will. And speaking of whiskey, I almost exclusively prefer bourbon, as its natural notes of brown sugar, molasses, oak, and honey are all elaborately supported and enhanced by the other elements. Lastly, as with any good cocktail, the Old Fashioned must be well-iced. My choice is a large, spherical cube, which adds to the beauty of the drink, keeps it satisfactorily chilled, and yet refrains from causing dilution.

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The second question that is asked usually runs along the lines of, “why is it called the Old Fashioned?” Remember the ingredients listed before? Well spirits, bitters, sugar, and water were established as the basic parts of the original cocktail, which first found prominence in the late 18th to early 19th century. Therefore, as cocktails began to evolve, when an individual wanted a classic, timeless drink, it was prepared the old fashioned way. It is quite an interesting fact actually, as the Old Fashioned cocktail is itself literally the Old Fashioned cocktail. The taste of this drink is intricate in light of its simplicity; sophisticated in light of its directness. I encourage you to enjoy this wonderful concoction, cheers!

For the Recipe, Read more here »

Mini Creme Fraiche Cheesecakes With Rhubarb Compote

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Last week John and I went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Seattle; OddFellows. After having a very enjoyable meal, I had this intense desire to order dessert, which oddly, is something I rarely do. Thankfully the portion wasn’t too big because I ended up eating the whole thing by myself, which, by the way, I was completely at peace with. For dessert, I had this insanely decadent creme fraiche cheesecake, that was topped with an orangey-rhubarb compote. The second I finished eating this, I knew I had to come up with something similar.

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After a bit of brain storming, I realized that I didn’t want to come up with a recipe that you would have to bake. I wanted something that would be not only be easy to make, but also take less time than if you were to make a traditional cheesecake. Thus, I am happy to share with you my recipe for these mini no-bake cheesecakes. After playing with the ratios a bit, I came up with a dessert that is so smooth and silky; perfect for those who want just a small sweet treat after a meal.

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Although, these cupcakes are lovely on their own, they needed a bit of color, and a little extra tartness. I researched how to make a compote, and then experimented in the kitchen until I came up with the right flavors to compliment these mini cheesecakes. The combination of vanilla and rhubarb, mixed with the filling of these mini cheesecakes is one that tastes just as good as what I had the other night.

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Since my goal was to create a no-bake dessert, I do warn you that these mini cheesecakes are delicate, but they  are perfect if you have a fork and plate handy. At first glance, you might want to eat these by hand, but since there is no baking involved, the crust ends up being quite delicate.  Apart from that, these are the ideal no fuss treat to make for you and your loved ones. I hope you enjoy these mini cheesecakes as much as I did.

For the Recipe, Read more here »

Fennel & Cabbage Spring Salad

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I absolutely have Spring fever. Spring does not officially arrive until March 20th, but the signs of the changing season are quite obvious. One of the most visible clues to the arrival of Spring is the hundreds of blossom trees that seemed to have simultaneously blossomed overnight. Hues of soft pink, white, and vibrant fuchsia can be seen throughout the streets; these colors instantly make me happy. In addition to that, our home is slowly being accented by golden daffodils and bright tulips. Just the presence of these flowers will be enough motivation to keep my heart aching for spring days; despite the fact that the Seattle grey will be around for quite some time.

I originally found this recipe in a cookbook by What Katie Ate. This salad caught my attention, mainly due to its  lovely color palate of vibrant purples and reds. I instantly thought this would be a perfect recipe to play with because to me, this salad feels like a transitional meal. Meaning, this salad contains a little bit of winter in the fennel and cabbage, and a little bit of  spring in the juicy strawberries. Being a California native, I know that strawberry season is getting started down south, so I thought it would be great to use them. I might be jumping the gun a little, but I couldn’t help myself. This salad is insanely tasty, and only takes a few minutes to put together. The yogurt dressing makes this salad and has such a wonderful flavor which pairs so nicely with the fennel and strawberry. This dressing can also be used as a delicious topping for fish, chicken, or maybe some steamed veggies; the options are endless.

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For the Recipe, Read more here »

Carrot, Ginger & Apple Muffins

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I have a bad habit of consuming myself with various projects in our house, whether big or small; in my mind there is always something to do. At times I find this to be a bit funny because I realize I am turning into my mom (love you!). I find it incredibly hard to sit still and relax when I have a list of things that need to get done during the day. Thankfully, John lovingly reminds me to be intentional about resting. He often urges me to simply relax, and take some time out for myself. That seems simple enough right? Sadly, it is harder for me than I would have thought, but I know that it is possible. As instructed, I made a small batch of muffins, found a comfortable spot in our house, and sipped on my favorite tea. And despite my immediate inclination to clean the kitchen right away, I instead sat down and began to reflect on what has been going on in my life. Setting aside that time for was a reminder of how important it is for me to disconnect from my duties, and be left to my own thoughts. Maybe my situation resonates with you, maybe it does not, but at the very least, I hope this can serve as a sweet reminder to take some time out of your busy week, and indulge in whatever activity brings you peace.

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I knew that I would want to snack on something during my time of reflection, so I ended up baking a batch of these tasty muffins. I had been wanting to come up with a recipe for a breakfast muffin for a while now, one that is healthier than the traditional muffin, but one that didn’t compromise on flavor.

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Freshly grated carrots, diced green apples, and fresh ginger, are folded into a spelt batter that turns out to be a great flavor combination for these muffins. What is great about these, is that you can play around with the ingredients, add some nuts for crunch, or some fresh berries perhaps.

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These muffins are perfect for breakfast, a meal on the go, or simply a delicious snack to accompany you during some much needed personal time.

For the Recipe, Read more here »

Bacon, Pear & Brie Panini

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Bless my father’s heart. Growing up he often took me to a local diner for breakfast, which was warm and inviting though it had poor decor and funky leather booths. Despite the hole-in-the wall appearance, I really loved going there; especially just to spend time with my dad. It was here that my strong distaste for bacon was born. From time to time, my father would order me a side of bacon, and what usually arrived at out table was what appeared to be a few strips of something horribly burnt. This bacon was so overdone that after one small bite it would fall apart into a pile of crumbs. But, I couldn’t tell my dad that, so I would take a few bites to appease him, and after a few years of doing that, I couldn’t imagine eating bacon again.

But about a year ago, I finally enjoyed a properly cooked piece of bacon. It was amazing, thick and juicy, and cooked to the just the right texture so that you could actually taste bacon, not char; I now understand what all the fuss is about.

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Bacon is a great partner to a multitude of flavors, especially when paired with something slightly sweet. With that in mind I made a sandwich that possesses a delicate balance of savory and sweet, and of course, is fully blanketed in melted cheese. The key ingredient here is definitely the bacon, but the other important flavor in this sandwich is the fig jam that I used. I know that this is something most people wouldn’t have on hand, but I strongly urge you to buy some, because it really is that amazing.

For the recipe, Read more here »

Buttermilk Cake with Whipped Blood Orange Cream

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Spring is almost upon us, and I couldn’t be happier. I saw a patch a crocuses yesterday on my way to work. Some were barely bursting through the dirt, while others appeared to be a few days shy of blooming. Crocuses are simple, yet  beautiful flowers, but most importantly their presence in the city marks the impending arrival of spring. I read that spring officially starts on March 20th, so I suppose all of the flowers in the city have a few more weeks to prepare themselves before the can greet us with their beauty.

With the changing season comes the availability of new produce that will begin to fill the markets. I am overjoyed to start making subtle transitions in what I cook at home, as-well-as what I share with you here on the blog. Due to my overly excited nature about the upcoming season, I thought it would be fitting to make a cake. I wanted to make a dessert that possessed a delicate balance of sweet; making it a great after dinner dessert, or dare I suggest breakfast?

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This buttermilk cake is so good that you will enjoy it no matter what time of the day it is. This cake is quite moist, yet also posses a pleasant heartiness to it. In each bite the flavors of buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon zest will warmly greet your tastebuds, ensuring a pleasant experience for anyone who tries this cake. I debated frosting this cake in a rich buttercream, but I decided to keep it airy and light, so I topped it off with a fresh blood orange cream. I am using the curd recipe that I posted last week, but feel free to use another curd of your choice.

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The delicate texture of the blood orange cream ended up being the perfect companion for this cake.  As a finishing touch, I added some raspberries that I had on hand, which also added a wonderful splash of color. I know they aren’t exactly in season, but I couldn’t help myself. Their tart flavor complemented this cakes in a way that I wasn’t expecting, so while berries aren’t necessary for the recipes, I do urge you to snag a pint if you can, it will be worth it.

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I hope that you are as excited as I am for arrival of spring. Let us enjoy these last days of winter, but also, let’s keep an eye out for all the beautiful flowers that will be making their appearance shortly.

For the recipe, Read more here »

Blood Orange & Coconut Curd

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I hope you all had a lovely Valentine’s day. I was sadly a bit under the weather, so our night was fairly mellow. A low-key pasta dinner, a few episodes of House of Cards, and a bit of ice cream for dessert. It was perfect. I do love to go out, but a night in with my love is all I need to be a very happy lady. Simple pleasures, right?

So let’s talk about curd.

Lemon curd is a very interesting condiment isn’t it? Awful name, but extremely tasty. I love it in bars, pies, and even smothered on some pieces of bready goodness, like a crumpet or something. I never find my myself buying lemon curd at the store, it is actually something I prefer to make at home. This recipe is quick and easy, it really only takes about 15 minutes to make. And in the end you are left with a jar of fresh curd that isn’t packed with excessive amounts of sugar or chemicals.

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I was going to make a traditional lemon curd, but then I bought a bag of blood oranges, which was enough to motivate me to turn them into a small batch of curd.  I am love with blood oranges; their color blows me away every time I cut one in half. The color of these oranges lends itself to the curd, creating a delicate pink tint.

For this recipe I opted to use coconut oil instead of butter, and honey as opposed to sugar. The combination of the flavors in this curd are bight and dynamic. I decided to add some lemon to it, to balance out the sweetness of the orange juice. I am so glad that I experimented with new ingredients. The possibilities of flavor combinations are endless, so feel free to substitute the orange juice for something else.

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I have big plans for this curd. I am currently creating a recipe that uses this curd, so be sure to return on Monday!

For the Recipe, Read more here »