Friday, August 28, 2009

Cranberry-Walnut Celebration Bread


So I am running a little bit behind on the BBA challenge but I still feel pretty good with my progress.  This week I made the Cranberry-Walnut Celebration Bread.  Funny thing is I almost skipped this one.  But the girls went back to school this week and I found myself with a couple of free minutes and an empty house.  When I saw that it wasn’t a 2 bread I jumped right in.  I am so glad I did…

About the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Group: Nicole of Pinch my Salt sent out a twitter message saying “I need a challenge. Am thinking of baking my way through every single recipe in The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Anyone want to join me?” Well I jumped right in. Both feet, no thought at all. I think I was one of the first 5 that joined…did I even have the book? Nope but I ordered it that night!!!


The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread

We are now over 200 strong with members everywhere on the globe. It’s an incredibly enthusiastic group that wants to share like no group I have ever belonged to before. Awesome!

Our goal is to bake our way through Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread. An  intimidating book at anytime but to think that you are going to be baking one of these recipes a week is slightly overwhelming to say the least. But I love a challenge and feel a real need to get out of my comfort zone. Oh yah, I bake all of our bread but I never seem to have the time or the desire to try something new and different. This will change all that!!!


I really, like this bread.  I followed the recipe to a tee.  Right down to the huge amount of cranberries and walnuts that went into it. It did take a while to get them all incorporated but with some patient kneading they all fit in. Someone on twitter (so sorry that I forget who!!!) suggested that these would be an incredible addition to the Thanksgiving table made into muffins!!!

Will I be making this again?  I think so.  I liked it and the family liked it and I really think that it would make the best turkey sandwich with leftover roasted turkey from Thanksgiving!

Check out the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Blogroll to see some other really nice Celebration Bread!

Want to Bake Along With Us?

There are several ways for you to join in the fun! First of all, you need a copy of Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. Then just start baking! Even if you are starting late, just begin with the first recipe and start working your way through. There are several ways to communicate with the group as you begin your journey:

Flickr: We have set up a BBA Challenge Flickr Group where you can upload photos, see photos from other members, and even post questions and comments in the group forum. It’s a private group, so you will need to click on the link that says ‘join this group’ if you want to be able to post photos. As long as you are willing to bake bread all of the bread from the book, you are welcome to join the Flickr group!

Twitter: If you use twitter, you can follow what the group is doing by searching for #BBA or #bba using Twitter’s search box. You can join in on the conversation by adding the #bba or #BBA tag to the end of your tweets when you are talking about anything related to the BBA Challenge. For me, following what people are doing on twitter has been the most fun!

Facebook: If you’re on Facebook, you can join the BBA Challenge Group there and share photos, ask questions, and talk about your bread baking experiences with other BBA members on Facebook.

Next up…English Muffins!!!!

I am submitting this to BYOB (Bake Your Own Bread) hosted by Sandy of At the Baker's Bench. This is a great challenge to get you baking more of your own baked goods. Better for you and cheaper in the process!

As Always…

Happy Entertaining!!!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Finest Foodies Friday – August 21, 2009

Jenn, The Leftover Queen has asked me to step in and help her out with this weeks FFF so without further ado…


As always here is what the FFF is all about. Finest Foodies Friday! FFF is a weekly Friday post featuring favorites from The Foodie Blogroll! We do this so we can share in the rich diversity of what The Foodie Blogroll has to offer by featuring some of our favorites and yours!
What is the Foodie Blogroll? It is the first and fastest growing free membership blogroll for food bloggers and has become a wonderful community to share ideas about all things food related. With a membership of over 4700 food blogs, I am sure you can find much inspiration and new friends! :)

The only requirement to be featured here on FFF is to be a member of The Foodie Blogroll and be displaying The Foodie Blogroll widget on your blog. If you are not yet a member, but you have a food blog and would like to join us, please click here!

If you have a favorite foodblog on The Foodie Blogroll, that you would like to be featured here on FFF, please join us over on The Leftover Queen/Foodie Blogroll Forum, and post your favorite Foodie Blogroll foodblogs here.

These are my 5 blog choices for the week.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

Whole Food Whole Family

This is a beautiful vegetarian blog written by Chandelle who has a wonderful dream “My dream is to live self-sufficiently on a little plot of borrowed earth and save the world.”  Nice huh?

You need to check out her post on Fresh Spring Rolls with Thai-inspired Almond Dip

The Dessert Nook

This blog is written by 19 year old Laura from Helsinki, Finland who has had a life long dream to become a pastry chef.  What a great dream!  She sure does make a mean looking Strawberry Ice Cream!

Mango & Tomato

Great blog written by Olga who is a DC blogger.  She writes about a huge variety of things from restaurant reviews, to Daring Cook and Baker posts and then she posts some really great frugal hints…Love the one about freezing the last little bit of a bottle of wine but I have to question the dumpster diving???  LOL!

Mixing Bowl Kids

What an inspiring blog by a woman who is passionate about families spending time together in the kitchen.  Long been a passion of mine as well.  She offers cooking classes for children which I personally think is a wonderful idea.  what a way to inspire a life long love of food?  She is also a fellow Canadian.  Check out her creative corn coins…made to help accommodate a toothless child!

Playing House

Fun blog by a self confessed amateur foodie living in the Pacific Northwest.  I was scrolling through all of her posts and I have to say that I would be hard pressed to choose just one recipe that she has posted on her blog as a favorite.  I love the Thai beef, Oreo brownies, Panzanella, ice cream, cookies.  I could go on and on!

That’s it for this week! I hope you enjoyed this week’s FFF. Remember, if you would like to see a blog featured here, who is part of the FBR please visit the forum and nominate them.

Also we all love to know how people came to find our blogs, so please visit all of our featured bloggers today and don’t forget to tell them that you found them via Finest Foodies Friday!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Using up some leftover corn…

Last week was a crazy week for me. My Mom was here and that was so incredibly, super awesome! But sadly she is gone now and we were so busy that the week passed in a huge blur! Please Mom, figure out the dog and come and stay with me!!!

Anyway, we ate last week and we ate really well but I was always flying out the door to some event or thing that I never really got any pictures. This week all that is going to change. It’s only Tuesday and already I have made something that is blog worthy from dinner last night!!!

We had some corn on the cob leftover from my youngest daughter’s birthday dinner. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it to. This is easily my favorite way to use up corn that doesn’t get eaten.

I eat this as a salad but it could also easily be used as a salsa. If I have any leftover I sometimes wrap it up in a corn tortilla for lunch the next day. This is fast, easy and delicious!!!


Black Bean and Corn Salad (adapted from CDKitchen Black Bean and Corn Salsa)


1 (15 oz.) can black beans ( rinsed and drained)
1 cup fresh corn kernels, removed from cob
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped


Mix all the above well. Refrigerate over night to let flavors blend.

As Always,

Happy Entertaining!!!


Friday, August 7, 2009

Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies


I have been a bad blogger, a very bad blogger!  I have not posted since the end of July.  I really have no real excuse other then the fact that I have been pretty busy with a new job and then just being a little lazy and hanging out with the kids.

But get ready.  I am back and raring to go.  I have my Mom here visiting me next week from Toronto so I am sure we will be cooking up a storm!

I have to clean my house and work so I am going to leave you with my guilty pleasure from yesterday…

I adapted these from the original Toll House Chocolate Chip recipe by adding some cocoa powder and dried cherries.  I still have 1/2 of the dough in my fridge (I have realized that 5 doz. cookies around are not such a good thing so I always save some in the fridge to make when the first couple of dozen are gone) and I think I am going to add some pecans to them.

These were wonderful and chock full of chocolate and cherries.  Great for an afternoon snack and equally as good for a quick breakfast (shhh…don’t tell the kids!)


Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies (adapted from the Nestle website)


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) semi sweet chocolate chunks and chips
  • 1 cup dried cherries (rehydrated slightly in some hot water)


PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
COMBINE flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in cherries and morsels and cherries. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

* May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.

As Always…

Happy Entertaining!!!