parmesan bread pudding with baby broccoli, mushrooms, and pancetta

Parmesan Bread Pudding with Baby Broccoli, Mushrooms, and Pancetta

It seems that I can’t get too far away from thinking about food and blogging, even if I wanted to. Last Monday, I had a day off from work and I had planned on a rmuch-needed day of rest and relaxation. I was going to read magazines on my iPad, get a mani/pedi, and order some takeout from my favorite Chinese restaurant down the street. I wanted a day away from the blog, which meant no cooking, writing, and taking photos. I even banned myself from Pinterest to try to disconnect from anything that might remotely lead me back to the blog.

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caramel brioche sticky bun

Ever since I came back from my trip to New York City, I’ve been obsessed with trying to recreate the fabulous foods I had – the melt in your mouth sticky buns at Maialino, the pretzel croissant at City Bakery, the goat’s milk ice cream at Victory Garden, and the Chocolate Green Tea Lava Cake at The Spot, among others. Continue reading

orange hazelnut pull apart bread

I’ve been feeling pretty lousy since Thursday with flu-like symptoms. Yesterday was to be my first day back to work after the holiday break, but I kept coughing so I did my co-workers a favor by staying home. (Sidebar: I wish more people would stay home when sick so as not to infect everyone else.)  As I laid in bed, coughing and generally feeling miserable, I read entries from my blogroll.  Lo and behold, I came upon Joanne’s post on her blog, Fifteen Spatulas, featuring the Cinnamon Pullapart Bread.  After seeing the photo and reading the recipe, a miracle happened!  Suddenly, I found the energy and strength to get out of bed and check the pantry for the ingredients I needed to make this bread. Luckily my pantry is pretty well-stocked.  Although it felt like I was moving in slow motion, I managed to bake this beautiful and absolutely delicious bread.   Continue reading

caramelized fig breakfast bruschetta

This is reprinted from The Thompson Family Cookbook, a collection of recipes from my extended family that I compiled last year.  The recipe was adapted from the Breakfast Bruschetta served at Starling Diner, a cute little neighborhood restaurant in Long Beach, California owned by my cousin, Joan.  Starling Diner is a wonderful place to hang out and have a leisurely breakfast.  The food is outstanding and the ambience is comfortable and relaxed.  My favorite things on the menu are the creamy Breakfast Polenta, the decadent San Francisco Stuffed French Toast and these Breakfast Bruschettas.  At Starling Diner, the bruschetta is served with seasonal berries, but I think the recipe works beautifully with caramelized figs as well.  Perfect for a casual brunch, this is a quick and easy dish to prepare that may be assembled ahead of time.

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jalapeño cheese bread

You will all be relieved to hear that there will be no jalapeño posts for awhile since we have used up the few remaining peppers to make this bread and some salsa. To be honest, I only bought the jalapeño seedlings because I thought the little peppers were “cute.” I had no idea that I would harvest more than 50 peppers from them this summer. Through my enjoyable gardening experience, I discovered that I like the flavor of jalapeños, but I am running out of ideas on how to use them. Of all the jalapeño recipes I’ve tried, this one’s my favorite. I had a slice right out of the oven with some butter and it was fantastic!

Jalapeño Cheese Bread
Yields 1 loaf

Ingredients:
1 packet yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg
2 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more if needed
1 cup semolina flour
1 cup of buttermilk
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
1 cup (or more, to taste) jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese (or more, to taste), grated

Method:
Mix together the yeast and water in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the melted butter, egg and buttermilk and add to yeast and water. Add the salt, sugar and bread flour to the liquids and mix well. Then incorporate the semolina flour to the dough. If the dough is too wet, gradually add more bread flour 1/4 cup at a time. Place dough on a floured surface and knead for five to ten minutes until dough is smooth. Form dough into a ball and place into a bowl greased with butter. Cover the bowl, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size—about an hour.

Turn out dough on a floured surface, and slowly knead into the dough the jalapenos and cheese, a little bit at a time. (I used the “lazy swirl method” I described yesterday since I really didn’t want to knead the dough again, hence, the swirly appearance.) When cheese and jalapenos are incorporated into the dough, place dough into a greased bread loaf pan. You can also sprinkle semolina in the bread pan for additional friction. Cover the pan and let dough rise until doubled in size (it should be at the top or a bit over the top of the pan)—about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake bread for 40-45 minutes on a center rack (when you thump the top and it sounds hollow, the bread is done). Let cool for ten minutes, and then slide it out of the pan, slice and enjoy!

Adapted from HomesickTexan

© Daisy’s World, 2011-2012. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Daisy’s World with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Feta Cheese and Olive Swirl Bread


I was actually in the middle of making another type of bread when the idea for this came to me. I opened the refrigerator for something and caught a glimpse of the feta cheese. Hmmm! How about a feta cheese and kalamata olive bread? Chris loves this combination so I decided to surprise him. I took just enough dough from the bread I was working on to make this one, but I provided the full recipe below for those of you who might be interested. The recipe for the dough is adapted from a recipe by Sheila Lukins, the author of The Silver Palate Cookbook, but the method I am sharing below is my lazy way to incorporate flavors to dough in an evenly-distributed manner without any additional kneading.

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homemade french baguette

Homemade French Baguette

There is nothing like the fragrant aroma of bread baking in the oven and it is actually simple and easy to do.  There are only six ingredients for these french baguettes, most of them common pantry items – water, sugar, yeast, flour, salt, and cornmeal.  When it all comes together, the dough requires kneading, which is one of my favorite parts of baking bread by hand.  I love the feel of the dough as it turns from a sticky, squishy mess to a soft, smooth ball.  It does takes at least 10 minutes of kneading and a couple of hours for yeast breads to rise and double, but the effort and wait are well worth it.  The resulting baguettes are crusty on the outside and soft and on the inside.  Slathered with butter, it is absolutely delicious!

Here’s my serving suggestion for the baguette – Sirloin Steak Crostini with Chimichurri Sauce, adapted from Martha Stewart’s Sirloin Kebabs.  Chris made a half batch of the Chimichurri Sauce and marinated a little piece of steak so we could taste test the recipe before serving it to Paul and Tracey for dinner tomorrow. Chris grilled the steak perfectly and my homemade baguette soaked up all the tasty olive oil from the Chimichurri Sauce.  Absolutely delicious!  I hope Paul and Tracey will enjoy it, too.

Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

© Daisy’s World. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Daisy’s World with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.