The Broken Bread

Blackberry, Mint & Cucumber Gin Spritzer

 

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Can you believe there are only a few weeks of Summer left? That means now is the time to squeeze in as many of your favorite summer activities before Fall is officially here. I still have a pretty long list of things that I want to do this summer, but to be honest I just want to eat as many peaches and plums as I can before they are out of season. You might already be thinking of the different ways you plan on enjoying your last days of summer. Maybe you want to take one last trip to that lake you love? Or how about that hike you have been wanting to go on? I am sure the options are endless, but may I humbly suggest carving out a night where you and your friends get together, make a fleet of summery drinks, and watch the sunset. Sounds pretty good, huh?

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Summer cocktails are the best, aren’t they? I mean a margarita tastes great anytime of the year, but a frosty margarita on a hot summer day? Perfection. So you might already by thinking, “oh yeah, a cocktail sounds great right now, but I don’t know what to make”. Well my friend, you are in luck!  The lovely ladies Sherrie, from With Food + Love and Renee from Will Frolic for Food have gotten a group of incredible bloggers together who have each created a delicious seasonal drink for you to make and enjoy. There are so many summery drinks for you to choose from, so find one that tickles your fancy, make it, and enjoy each sip while you enjoy a warm and pleasant evening. To check out all these recipes, simply click on the links above and you will find a list of over 30 creations from fellow bloggers that will show you how to make the drink of your dreams.

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For my contribution to this virtual cocktail party I present to you this ever-so refreshing blackberry, cucumber & mint gin spritzer. What’s great about this drink is that it tastes just as good without the liquor, but you know you want that gin in there.

 

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Remember this is the time to enjoy that sun and #drinkthesummer!

For the recipe,  Read more here »

Blackberry & Peach Cornbread Buckle

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Since I grew up in California I was never in fear of a time where the sun wouldn’t show its face, but as I got older I quickly realized that I took many of those warm sunny days for granted. I kind of regret that now because California, although sometimes a bit too hot for me, is really such a lovely and wonderful place to live. I really do miss it. Since moving back to Seattle I am fully aware of the fact that summer won’t last forever, so I am doing my best to enjoy every minute of it. There are so many wonderful things to do in this state, so John and I often find ourselves acting like tourists, trying to make the most of each day because we both don’t want to take one day of this gorgeous weather for granted. If we only have time for a short walk around the lake, we’ll do it. Or, if we need some time to relax and wind down from the day we try to head down to a waterfront bar were we can grab a drink and watch the sunset. We made a promise to each other to be outside as much as we can and we are going to try our best to do just that.

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Another way I’ve been enjoying the Seattle summer is by eating all of the wonderful produce that’s in season! Berries, stone fruits, tomatoes, I swear everything I love is in season right at this very moment. With berries taking over my refrigerator as of late, I have been making my share of cobblers and crisps, but I wanted to try something different. I began searching for other ways to use my insane amount of fruit and I eventually found a few recipes like crumbles, grumps, and buckles. What the heck is a gump you ask? Well, check out The Huffington Post because they explain it all.

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The one recipe that caught my eye was a berry buckle, which is a cake with a bunch of berries dumped right in the middle. Sounds amazing doesn’t it? There so many versions out there, some with a streusel topping, others with the berries mixed in as opposed to dumped in the middle. Of course I wanted to put my own spin on this classic treat so I made a batter using both all purpose flour and cornmeal. The added texture and flavor of the cornmeal really makes this a cake/cornbread hybrid, which I am really into. I would say that this recipe leans more towards the cake side than cornbread side in terms of flavor, so if you prefer more of a cornbread vibe then simply swap out 1 tablespoon of flour for cornmeal and you will be well on your way to a slice of comfort.

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Feel free to use any berries you have on hand for this recipe; I am sure blueberries and raspberries would taste just as delicious. I hope you are all having a lovely summer!

For the recipe,

Read more here »

Coconut Panna Cotta

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Can you believe August is just around the corner? I can’t. Time seriously needs to slow down because I am entirely prepared to enjoy this gorgeous summer weather for a few more months. It’s kind of crazy, but since my last post John and I finally made our big move back to Seattle! It was such a long process to get up here, with a few, okay, a ton of hiccups along the way, but we endured it all and I finally get to say that we are back in the city we love! Being in Seattle has felt like a dream. You know, those dreams that you are totally aware of and don’t want to wake up from. I mean, spending time with old friends, exploring new restaurants, having picnics in the park, oh, and enjoying a back yard (a luxury not readily available in L.A.)! It has all been so perfect, and my heart is overflowing with joy.

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Since being back, I have had the pleasure of reconnecting with the ever so lovely Sasha Swerdloff. We met briefly before I moved to California a year ago, and thankfully our love for food and photography has kept us connected ever since. After chatting a bit, we both felt a collaboration was in the cards for us, and I couldn’t think of a better person with whom to do one. Over the years I have realized that an odd aspect of blogging is that I spend a lot of time alone, so creating a recipe and shooting it with someone as sweet as Sasha was so much fun.

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Photo by Sasha Swerdloff

 

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We wanted to create a refreshing dessert that would make use of all those blueberries filling up the markets, so we came up with this coconut panna cotta topped with a balsamic blueberry compote. The flavor combination in this dessert is insane, and it’s seriously such a delicious treat to enjoy on a summer day. This recipe has two parts, so in order to get the recipe for the compote, head over to Sasha’s incredibly beautiful blog, Tending the Table.

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For the recipe,  Read more here »

Chamomile Tea Loaf

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Walking through my mother’s garden proves to be a constant reminder that Spring is in full swing. Many of her trees are just a few weeks shy of letting me raid them of all their fruits, and her wild flowers seem to be sprouting up in every nook and cranny possible. Last week, I went deep into her garden and found a small shady spot where I was able to take a much needed break. I just sat there for a while, watching all of the humming birds and monarch butterflies enjoy a quick meal all because of my mother’s hard work. I appreciate the effort she puts into her garden, I know it’s not an easy hobby, but she loves it so much. And let’s be honest, I have nothing but support for her since she always lets me walk out the door with an armful of fresh flowers and produce. Just the other day I realized she had some chamomile growing in a corner of her garden. I cut a few blossoms and threw them into some hot water to make some tea, and as the flowers were steeping, I starting dreaming of other ways I could use chamomile. There are so many ways to implement the flavors of tea into a recipe, so after a bit of debating, I decided to infuse the wonderful flavor of chamomile straight into this tea loaf.

So how does one infuse tea into a baked good you might ask? Well, as I was doing a bit of research I came across this blog that broke down the different ways to get the most tea flavor into whatever you are baking. All of Stefani’s helpful tips come from Robert Wemischner (author of Cooking with Tea). He tried grinding tea and mixing that directly into the batter, steeping tea bags in hot milk (if recipe called for milk), or simply steeping tea bags in butter. All of these methods didn’t work out too well, but what did work, was steeping the actual tea leaves in melted butter, and I couldn’t agree more.

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Making a infused butter might take an extra step or two, but the result is an utterly fragrant, and delicious tea infused baked treat, like this chamomile tea loaf. Moist on the inside and a little crisp on the outside, this loaf is so good. It’s sweet enough to be enjoyed on its own, but I also included a recipe for a minneola & honey whipped cream, which adds even more flavor. I made this loaf the other day and took it to my mom, where we each enjoyed a slice while siting in her garden. It was such a peaceful moment, and I couldn’t have been more thankful for it.

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On another note I am SO happy to announce that my blog was nominated by Saveur magazine for Best Designed Blog. This nomination is such an honor, and I am so incredibly thankful to be nominated amongst such freaking talented people. Voting ends in 5 days, so if you have time, I would LOVE it if you would cast a vote in my favor. Click here to vote.

Thank you so much for all the love and support. Hope you have a lovely weekend!

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For the recipe, Read more here »

Strawberry Muffins

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I can see the signs of a new season everywhere, from my mother’s blooming jasmines to the ever-lengthening days. Spring is here and I welcome it with arms wide open, especially now that strawberries have arrived! Well, at least in Southern California for now. Local strawberry stands are popping up all over town eager to sell their bright and juicy delights, and I couldn’t be happier. I have quite a few ideas as to how I want to use these berries during their season, and I thought these muffins would be the perfect place to start. I debated on whether or not I should have added a frosting to these and treated them like a cupcake, but I really wanted the sweetness of the strawberries to shine through. So here you have it, a delicious muffin that is jam-packed with Spring’s finest.

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This recipe is actually an adaptation from Izy’s book, Top With Cinnamon. I doubt there is a food lover out there who doesn’t know about her amazing blog. She is a very talented lady, whose site is filled with inspiring recipes and beautiful photography. I was quite happy to get my hands on her book, and when I did I happily made her dutch apple cake, which was SO satisfying. I used this as the foundation for my muffin recipe and only made a few changes, the most notable of which being the addition of lemon zest and the use of fresh strawberries for apples.

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These muffins are moist and balanced with just the right amount of sweetness; but most importantly they are surprisingly easy to make. Time has been of the essence for me lately, so these muffins are perfect for those looking to produce a batch of baked goodies in little to no time. And besides, who could reject a classic seasonal fruit muffin recipe that’s an absolute breeze to make?

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For the recipe, Read more here »

Ricotta & Cardamom Citrus Cake

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Sometimes I find myself bursting with creativity, and other times I find myself struggling for a clear perspective on what I want to bake next, or how I want the pictures of it to look. Most of the time I try to push through, but then I only end up more frazzled, which helps no one (just ask John). I have realized that most of the time I just need to give myself a change of scenery as a way to help me get through these seemingly stagnant times. A trip to the farmers market, a long walk, or just looking through my endless stacks of cookbooks and food magazines always seem to help me clear my mind.

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Well, I was having a bit of a rough week and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make next. I had a few recipes on my mind, but nothing that I was really excited about. But, thanks to my beloved Bon Appétit that changed in an instant. I was reading through my latest edition and came across this amazing ricotta and raspberry cake, so I made it and fell in love upon first bite. I was tempted to make this cake again, but this time around I wanted to use up all of the wonderful winter citrus I had on hand, so I after playing around with the flavors a bit, I came up with this beauty.

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This cake is incredibly moist with the perfect hint of cardamom. When making this cake I left the rhine on the orange slices which imparts a lovely bitterness to the cake. If that’s something you prefer not to do, feel free to cut off the rhine, I promise it will be delicious either way.

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I was especially excited to make this cake, because it gave me a chance to use my new batter bowl from Le Creuset. I loved this bowl the moment it arrived, but even more so when I actually got to use it. The size of it, the convenient handle, it really is such a beautiful bowl to have on hand, especially when making cakes that only need one bowl like this one.

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I am thrilled to say that the people at Le Creuset are giving me another bowl to give you! To enter simply submit your email address and leave a comment below telling me what you would create using this bowl. Included below is also an option for a bonus entry, just follow both Le Cresuet and Thebrokenbread on Instagram. Good Luck!

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For the recipe, you will need  Read more here »

Tiramisu for deux

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Ah, Valentine’s Day. When I was a little girl I loved this holiday. I mean what’s not to like? Up until 5th grade I remember having the best parties at school, where we had games and a card swap (which was my favorite), and reveled in sneaking a little “I love you” or “let’s kiss” inscribed on those heart-shaped candies. It was glorious. And although I still find joy in Valentine’s Day, its meaning has changed over the years, especially since I married the love of my life.

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It seems like as soon as the day after New Year’s, every store begins to fill their shelves with a red and pink array of flowers, chocolates, and jewelry to remind everyone that Valentine’s Day is on its way. And though it might sound a bit silly, I am actually quite thankful for the visual reminder. Because it is all too often that life, work, or a bad mood can get in the way of how I treat John, yet each time I see those giant stuffed tigers that say “I’m wild for you,” I smile and just think about how lucky I am to have him. And so this holiday has a deeper significance for me, reminding me to love John not just on Valentine’s Day but every day.

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This year, I wanted to celebrate my love for John by making something really meaningful. Tiramisu is not only one of his favorites desserts of all time, but we also enjoyed it together on the last day of our honeymoon. So at the first bite, this simple dessert can instantly transport us back to that tiny cafe in Paris, where we were making each minute last as long as possible because we didn’t want to go back home. I knew he’d love it.

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With this recipe, I decided to use a whipped cream and mascarpone filling as opposed to a traditional approach that would require a few egg yolks. Thankfully, without the yolks, this recipe is just as delicious and quite a bit easier to make.

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I wish you a very lovely Valentine’s Day, and hope you enjoy spending time with those whom you love!

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For the Recipe,

Read more here »

Spiced Pear Coffee Cake

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I saw this recipe for an apple coffee cake on Melissa’s website, ThefauxMartha, a while back, and I promised myself that I was going to make this. I currently have a long list of recipes that I want to try, but since I write most of these lists by hand, I typically end up misplacing them. I have this awful habit where I will often grab anything to jot down a burst of inspiration, then I usually tuck in some “safe” place. At this point in my life I have found this bad habit of mine to be more humorous than anything else. For instance, just the other day I happened to pick up a cookbook that I haven’t touched in while and the second I opened it, out fell two of my missing/lost recipe lists! It was covered front to back with my horrible chicken-scratch writing, but legible enough for me to read about a dozen recipes that I wanted to make just a few months ago. As I was looking at my lists, I quietly mumbled, “well that’s where I put them”,  like I should have know better. Then I just shrugged my shoulders and carried on with my day. What am I doing?! I know, I know, I should really digitize all of this stuff, but I just love writing physical notes. There is something really special about having something handwritten, like old family recipes for instance. Those are seriously one of my favorite things to collect. For now, I guess I will just need to be a little more organized from here on out.

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One of those notes that I recently rediscovered was actually a reminder to make this recipe. I am quite thankful I came across this when I did because this random note gave me the nudge I needed to finally make this coffee cake. It’s moist, sweet, and packed with fresh fruit. I love coffee cake, but add a little fruit in there and I will definitely cut myself a slice that is way too big for my plate. Melissa used fresh apples in her cake, but since I have been on a pear binge lately I thought I would use those instead. I only made a few changes to this already delicious recipe, the most notable of which is that I threw a ton of spices into it because I was really craving a spice cake.

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This coffee cake is a classic recipe which I see myself using for years to come. Substitute the spices, and/or fruits inside and make this coffee cake your own. If you have apples on hand, head over to theFauxMartha to see her original recipe. I just absolutely love her blog, for not only is it beautiful, but her recipes are always spot on.

For the recipe, Read more here »

Persimmon & Walnut Scones

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I wanted to start of by saying THANK YOU!

I am so thankful for all of the love and support I have received over the past few weeks. Your kind words truly motivate me to keep on pursuing my dreams. So if you are new to this space, or if you visit from time to time, I want to let you know how thankful I am for you taking time out of your day to come and explore my recipes and photographs.

Now, moving on to these tasty scones I have for you….

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Persimmons are one of my favorite fruits, and each winter I eagerly await their arrival. A lot of homes in my neighborhood have persimmon trees, many of which are filled with bunches of small orange orbs, waiting to be enjoyed. I remember when I was little, my mother taught me that you can place these fruits in the freezer, and once frozen, cut of their tops and enjoy them like a little bowl of ice cream. It pretty much blew my mind back then, and here I am 20 some-odd years later, still a fan of frozen persimmon. With persimmons on the brain, I though it would be great to dice them up and put them into my favorite scone recipe. I ended up adding some chopped walnuts for crunch, and a few spices for extra flavor, both of which combine to make this my latest breakfast obsession. Now, breakfast can be hit or miss for me. Sometimes I wake up incredibly hungry, and other times I end up enjoying my first meal well past lunch time. Since my morning meals fluctuate so much I often appreciate having something small to snack on, and lately these scones have been fitting the bill.

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You can enjoy these scones straight out of the oven, or you can add little bit of softened butter and a drizzle of honey. Either way, a batch of these is the perfect companion for a cup of hot coffee or tea. What I especially love about these scones is, contrary to what some might think, they’re actually very easy to make. If you want to have these in the morning, simply prepare all of your ingredients the night before and you will be enjoying fresh scones in about 20 minutes.

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Hope you enjoy these as much as I do! Also, if you’re looking for more scone flavors be sure to check out my Blueberry Buttermilk scones.

 

For the recipe, Read more here »

Oh, hello again

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Happy New Year!

It feels like an eternity since my last post, when in reality it has only been 3 months. I love this blog with all of my heart and I have been so eager to start posting recipes again. But I do have a very exciting reason for why I have been gone so long, and I am SO happy that I finally get to share this news. During these past months I have had the fortunate opportunity to work on two books that will be out this year. I still find myself thinking, “Me, writing a book? ME?!!” I cannot believe that I get to utter those words, and am so extremely thankful and honored that I finally get to do what I love full time. I honestly didn’t think that was going to happen when I started this blog; I just knew that this was a space in which I was able to share my love of food and photography with others. I remember so many instances in which I felt quite embarrassed when people would ask me, “What are your hopes for your blog?” I would always respond by explaining to them why I started this blog, and that this was a creative outlet for me. Then, if I had mustered up enough courage, I’d say under my breath, “but I would love for this to become my full time job!” I don’t know why in the world I was so afraid to mention this out loud. I guess I had convinced myself this “dream” of mine was never going to happen. So I figured why tell someone my innermost hopes and dreams, just to be embarrassed later on when they didn’t true. I could seriously kick myself for having such a negative disposition, because here I am a few years later doing what I love most full time! Now neither of these books are an official “The Broken Bread” cookbook, but that is still something I am hoping to accomplish in the future. For now, friends, I am sharing all of this with you because I want to encourage you to pursue your goals with diligence and confidence. I now realize that I allowed my fear of failure and embarrassment to prevent me from boldly pursuing my craft, which is absurd. This year is going to be different, more positive and ambitious. I hope the same for you, and not in some cheap New Year’s resolution sort of way, but as a sincere encouragement.

Now that I am almost finished with one of my books, I will get back into the rhythm of sharing recipes with you all. The photo above is a preview of my next post, but in the meantime head over to Go Bold with Butter to check out a recent cookie recipe of mine.

Also, in the past few months I have been continually refreshed by many wonderful bloggers. I am quite thankful for them, for when I need it most, they serve as a source of inspiration on so many levels. Below are some delicious recipes from these lovely ladies who constantly keep me motivated!

The FauxMartha and her yummy recipe for here mom’s lucky black-eyed peas.

The Minimalist Baker and her deliciously bright rainbow spring rolls

Two Red Bowls and her beautiful Budae jjigae (Korean “army base stew”)

My Blue and White Kitchen’s stunning Nordic Canapés

Not Without Salt’s tempting roasted green pozole

Rustic Joyful Food’s tasty sun dried tomato hummus

Offbeat & Inspired’s super tempting eggnog White Russians