Monday, November 26, 2018

Mashed Potato Bread

This soft, sweet Potato Bread is brioche-rich and makes both great sandwiches (hello, PB&J!) and simple toast. Sesame seeds on top add an optional but decadent crunch!


Now that we're in the home stretch of the year, our fridge and freezer space has become premium real estate. While cleaning out one of the shelves of our deep freezer, I stumbled on a plastic container of mashed potatoes from our (Canadian) Thanksgiving that I had set aside for baking after the success of my Chocolate Mashed Potato Cake. Turns out I saved way more than I thought, and with the holidays approaching there is no space or need for 5 chocolate cakes lying about!

However, the need for bread at my house is constant. I did a quick Pinterest search and landed on this recipe on Num's the Word. The original bread was white and looked airy and fluffy with a crumb perfect for holding onto a Toast Topper, but my mom prefers her starches whole grain so I swapped the all-purpose flour for whole wheat bread flour. This bread is sweet and almost brioche-like, and I wanted to compliment this flavour (and the nuttiness of whole wheat) with a topping of sesame seeds. The seeds added a delicious crunch as well! I was extremely glad that I doubled the batch, since the leftovers freeze beautifully and my mom couldn't get enough of it. In fact, this recipe (made into rolls) was nominated by my family as the bread dish for our annual Christmas Eve party! I'm sure I'll have plenty of leftover potatoes in the New Year to play with as well, I can't wait to try a few variations like stuffing it with dried fruit, swirling in some jam or even making the bread more savoury with less sugar and some herbs like thyme, rosemary or dill!

When do you usually eat bread? With us it's either a lazy weekend breakfast or alongside a soup or salad with lunch. Comment below!


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Chocolate Mashed Potato Cake

This lovely Bundt cake is made with an unusually moist and tender ingredient: potatoes! Buttermilk, butter and melted chocolate up the flavour even more.


Since we're in between Thanksgivings here in North America (Canada's was back at the beginning of October) I thought I'd share a couple ways to make use of the one thing we always have leftovers of - mashed potatoes. We don't eat a lot of potatoes in my family day-to-day - most often time determines pasta is the starch of choice - but on special occasions we can be guaranteed to mash up a good couple of pounds of them. Not all the potatoes we mash are used right away, some we pack away for the next day where we twice bake them mixed with cheese and herbs (yum). However, this past Thanksgiving saw the beginning of a period of much personal craziness in our lives so the potatoes found themselves in the freezer.

Apparently, mashed potatoes are supposed to freeze fine. Well, say what you like internet sources, but what I thawed out was not the pillowy plain goodness I was hoping for. However, the potatoes still had a double use, for breakfast and dessert. Since dessert comes first, so does this cake! I found the basic recipe on Food52, and while I kept the ingredients (mostly) the same I reverted to the traditional cream - dry - wet - dry method of mixing rather than the reverse creaming in the original. Making sure to beat the batter smooth with electric beaters (I'm not strong enough with just a spatula) was crucial for the texture, which was velvety and moist without being damp like some other cakes can be. In fact, it was flavourful and rich enough to serve without adornment (although a dusting of icing sugar or a drizzle of chocolate (or cherry) sauce wouldn't be out of place) and disappeared in the staff room, even when the school is filled with all us sickies!


Monday, October 29, 2018

Whole Wheat Hokkaido Milk Bread and #TheGivingPlate

Hokkaido Milk Bread is given a whole wheat twist in this recipe, which stays incredibly soft and moist thanks to lots of cream, milk and eggs!

IMG_20181029_175146_573

I love making bread, and it's no secret that I love trying new recipes almost every time I bake it. I've always been tantalized by Hokkaido style bread because of it's impossibly soft and tender texture, but the effort that goes into making the tangzhong (not much I know) just put me off of it. Bread making tome is supposed to be cathartic and by feel, not fussy about temperatures. Anyways, I finally came across a straight-dough Hokkaido bread that maintains it's super-soft texture thanks to a multitude of cream and milk, and decided to adapt it to a whole wheat version since that's what we eat around here!

In addition to boosting the fibre (and flavour) of my loaves with whole wheat flour,  I also filled each of the "rolls" in the loaf with sesame seeds for added crunch! What dough I had left over (it made just a bit too much for my loaf pans) I filled with cinnamon and sugar instead of sesame seeds for a sweet treat. Like everything I bake, the rolls are perfect sharing, and to pass them on I used a lovely "giving plate" that I received from the people at Precious Moments.

The script on the plate is gorgeous and is a lovely poem in itself:

“Celebrate life’s precious moments with FAMILY and FRIENDS
Enjoy the gifts on this plate and the LOVE it sends
To make sure the GIVING never ends
Fill it up pass it on and watch how JOY transcends!”

In addition, the slightly beveled edge keeps treats on the plate without unduly tilting them, which is great for frosted cupcakes or round items like truffles. On the back is an inscription detailing how the plate is helping the community (see below). It would make a wonderful housewarming or hostess gift and is meant to be passed from person to person. I'm looking forward to seeing where this plate travels to!

From Precious Moments:
This year, with the Precious Moments Giving Plate, start a new holiday tradition that will last for many years to come. A giving plate is filled with goodies and given as a gift to a friend or family member. But this is just the start of the journey because the recipient then refills the plate and gives it to yet another friend. As the plate travels from home to home between family and friends, blessings are shared again and again. In a way, the beautiful journey of a giving plate never really ends.

Along with the heartwarming feelings inspired by the giving plate, the pure joy of charitable giving will inspire your loved ones each and every time they exchange this beautiful gift. From July 15, 2018 through December 31, 2020, Precious Moments will donate 5% of the sales price of each Giving Plate to Feed the Children. These donations are used to help eradicate childhood hunger and create a healthy foundation for children and families to break the cycle of poverty.
Find the Giving Plate here

IMG_20181029_175938_379

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Guest Post #infographic: Gluten Free Halloween Candy for 2018

With Halloween coming up quickly, and candy sales rampant in almost every store you walk into, navigating the holiday with food allergies, intolerances or other restrictions can be tough. For kids going trick-or-treating, restricted diets often result in their haul being carted away and replaced with home-made or "safe" snacks. However, for those with celiac or who are gluten free for other reasons, there are many options available! The kind folks at Dentably Magazine sent me this infographic, updated for 2018, featuring the gluten-free-friendly treats you can enjoy worry-free this Halloween.


This is a sponsored post.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Apple Crisp for One

Apple Crisp for One is buttery, sweet and full of apple-y goodness, all while being gluten free!


Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to everyone! While today I am deliberately doing no cooking (the kitchen has been usurped in favour of turkey / stuffing / potatoes, etc), I did have a chance to whip up a few little Thanksgiving-y desserts. The first round of baking featured mini-versions of my "famous" apple butter pumpkin pie - one for yesterday's feast with Dad, the other for my boyfriend's mom. Now, I'm really not a fan of pumpkin pie at all (yeah yeah, I know), my mom's apple pie has always been the perfect ending to fall dinners. She doesn't add sugar, uses a simple, shortening-based crust, and packs each pie with as many apples as she can fit. 

That said, while tonight will feature mom's signature pie, not everyone is a fan of the dessert. The boyfriend (A) is one person who doesn't enjoy pie crust, and loves his fillings sticky-sweet. So, instead of leaving him dessert-less this holiday, yesterday I whipped up an apple crisp perfect for one, fitting neatly into a little stoneware ramekin. While the methodology of crisp-making remained the same, I added a few little flairs of my own. First, since A is lactose intolerant, I used a fantastic lactose free butter I found - it tasted like European style cultured butter but wasn't labeled as such. The second thing I did was to change up the filling a bit. Instead of your standard sugar-flour combination, I used honey, cornstarch, a pinch of nutmeg and a dash of vanilla. Finally, I bumped up the protein in the "crisp" portion by swapping out the all-purpose flour for red lentil flour that I had ground in my Mockmill - it adds no taste, but adds a lovely colour and extra nutrition.

Apple Crisp for One

At any rate, this apple crisp is a satisfying, early-fall comfort food that not only is perfect for Thanksgiving dessert but even a decadent breakfast! What is your favourite fall dessert? Comment below!