Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mr. Potato Bread #BreadBakers

While I haven't been exactly regular at posting these days (I could point fingers as to why but don't have 26 hands), one of the things I've been keeping up is baking bread for the family. I call it a combination of creative release, stress relief and procrastination - as always, work schedules are jam-packed from day in to day out and my weekends (at least for now) are sucked up with a combination of lesson planning and trying to get to the gym after spending all week sitting down, so the break of even a few minutes to punch down, knead or pull a loaf of fresh, aromatic sustenance out of the oven is gold to me. 

This latest bread is technically called "Mr. Potato Bread" by the folks at Australia's Bourke Street Bakery, who documented the original recipe in their cookbook: Bourke Street Bakery: The Ultimate Baking Companion. However, I like to call the hearty, herbed boule The International Bread of Mystery, and when you break down the ingredients it makes sense - black sesame seeds originating in Africa, nigella seeds with Indian heritage, Mediterranean thyme and rosemary, South American potatoes and 100% Canadian rye and wheat. Not only does it have a worldwide pedigree, but it also has a local flair thanks to my backyard wild yeast. The process is definitely a long, multi-step one, and the loaf is a slow riser, but trust me, the flavours marry and enhance each other and the sourdough, the crumb turns tender with a hint of richness from the oil and the whole thing turns into something more than the sum of its parts. The long timeframe is perfect for people like me who can break away from their days for a few minutes at a time to tend to the loaf, and the reward is definitely a delicious one (especially spread with hummus and topped with alfalfa sprouts!)

Mr. Potato Bread

This month's Bread Bakers event is embracing hearty Fall breads... whether it's apples and pumpkins, spices or the dense, "meal in a slice" type of loaves perfect for pairing with soup, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm has picked a theme that is sure to appeal to everyone!

Let's take a look at the other Fall Flavors being shared today!

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Christine's "X-Treme" Beans

I love being able to make my own versions of "craveable" grocery store, restaurant or bakery items. I've whipped up marshmallow fluff, creme eggs, apple fritters and pretzels over the years, as well as a Baked Haddock and Seafood recipe my mom couldn't get out of her mind after enjoying it out east. Whenever I try to do these "copycat" style recipes, I always want to make them better - fresher ingredients, varied flavour or texture profiles and most importantly, tailored to the intended eater's tastes!

Christine's "X-Treme" Beans

One of my co-workers (the Christine of the recipe title) brings a jar of spicy pickled green beans (adequately called The Extreme Bean) regularly to have with her lunch, and I have to admit, they're delicious! Since our garden was nice enough this year to give us not only beans, but a couple different hot peppers, I couldn't resist the urge to whip up a batch for a future Christmas gift! The quart jar makes for a gorgeous and delicious addition to any gift basket, showcasing the prime ingredients in all their glory. Now it just comes down to filling out the rest of the basket!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays and Waste Not Want Not Wednesday

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Roasted Peach BBQ Sauce

Although the "official" BBQ season is in the books for another year (sigh), it's been warm enough this past week that the outdoor grills have remained fired up. On any given day, I can come home to a neighbourhood filled with the aromas of world-wide outdoor cooking - from our "two doors down" Jamaican neighbours making a killer jerk recipe to the Portuguese family across the street grilling herb and garlic fish and chicken and our "native" Canadian next door neighbours tossing on burgers and hot dogs for their family of five. Ironically, I've never been a fan of grilled food as a rule - chalk it up to a childhood of once too often charred protein from the backyard barbecue (and currently living in a household that adores emptying a whole canister of lighter fluid onto the charcoal before lighting it each time) - but I do love the smell of it cooking when it's done properly. 

That said, even dried-out (and hopefully NOT charcoal-black) grilling can be enhanced - even saved - by a good, balanced and flavourful sauce. Normally, you would never see me bring fruit to a savoury party willingly (I'm not talking "fruit vegetables" here), but I'm not opposed to sauces with certain fruity tones. You'd find me enjoying Spicy Plum Sauce (and it's apricot / pumpkin based Western version) on broiled pork chops or chicken breasts, pineapple marinades do wonders for tofu, shrimp and flank steak, and while I personally shy away from the whole "apples and pork" cliche my mom goes for it whole hog (sorry!).

Roasted Ontario Peach BBQ Sauce!

So when I came across this roasted fruit BBQ sauce in Brown Eggs and Jam Jars, by the fabulous Aimée Wimbush-Bourque, I knew I had to make it - not only for me, but for Mother Dearest who has an almost unnatural passion for fresh Ontario Summer peaches. I gave my batch a few twists along the way, amplifying the caramel sweetness of the peaches with roasted Vidalia onions and raisiny, long-aged black garlic. For a kick of savoury in with all the bittersweet notes, a whisper of smoked paprika and smoked salt kicked up the flavours of the fire, even if your BBQ is tucked away for another year!

Shared with  Waste Not Want Not Wednesday and Gluten Free Fridays

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Apple - Swirled Pumpkin Yeast Bread #SundaySupper

Well, Fall is here. Amidst the collective grumblings of parents, kids and kid-like adults, this beautiful season is beginning to lend its colours and flavours to the neighbourhood and table. I recently picked up a few of my favourite Winter squash - delicata - at the farmers market and can't wait for the crops of crispy local apples to start coming in. With luck, we'lleven have a chance to go picking again this year, after last year's harvest was wiped out by the previous Winter's ice storm.

Fall is also the opportunity to embrace the warmth and comfort of the baker's kitchen again, after avoiding any significant prolonged sources of heat for the past few months. I love diving headfirst into the brisk temperatures with pies, muffins and loaves - and this year there's nothing more Autumnal than this spicy-sweet yeast bread! I started with a pumpkin-packed whole wheat dough laced with warm spices, then rolled a ribbon of luxurious, unsweetened apple butter inside. The apple butter keeps the bread moist and tender for days on end, and is a fantastic addition to breakfast either toasted (with cultured butter or cream cheese!) or straight up. I've been enjoying it so much that I actually need to procure some more apples now - I have more Fall treats to try!

Apple Butter-Swirled Pumpkin Bread

#SundaySupper this week is celebrating the arrival of Fall as well, featuring all types of dishes suiting the cooler climate. What's your favourite Fall treat?

Apple-Currant Dutch Baby Pancake by The Weekend Gourmet
Apple Swirled Pumpkin Yeast Bread by What Smells So Good?
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread by Party Food and Entertaining
Giant Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tart by Pies and Plots
Sweet Potato Buttermilk Biscuits by Tara’s Multicultural Table

Appetizers and Sides
Butternut Squash, Cauliflower and Cabbage Soup with Lentils by Monica’s Table
Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins by Pancake Warriors
Pumpkin Spice Roasted Sweet Potatoes by Love and Confections
Roasted Veggie Tart by Books n’ Cooks

Main Dishes
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Roasted Veggies & Couscous by Momma’s Meals
Butternut Squash Lentil Curry Soup by Food Done Light
Curry Beef Pies by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Fantasy Rice by The Petit Gourmet
King Prawns in Red Sauce – Mauritian Style Creole Sauce by Peachy Tales
Pasta with Creamy Butternut & Bacon by Cooking Chat
Pork Chops with Apple Dijon Sauce and Arugula Salad by Crazy Foodie Stunts
Pork Chops with Glazed Apples and Vegetables by The Complete Savorist
Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash by Feeding Big and More
Roasted Tomato Soup with Bacon/Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich by A Gouda Life
Salt Roasted Salmon over Roasted Butternut & Yam Soup by Lifestyle Food Artistry
Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken, Delicata Squash and Olives by Foodie Tots
Sweet Potato French Bean Lentil Salad by Food Lust People Love
Sweet Potato Alfredo Sauce by Sew You Think You Can Cook
Thai Curry Pumpkin Soup by Eating in Instead
Whole Roasted Chicken with Vegetables by Life Tastes Good

Desserts and Cocktails
Apfelkuchen by Curious Cuisiniere
Applesauce Cake with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Swirls by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Apple Gingersnap Refrigerator Dessert by Recipes Food and Cooking
Autumn Bellini by An Appealing Plan
Autumn Spice Cookies by Desserts Required
Caramel Apple Napoleons by The Crumby Cupcake
Caramel Apple Pie Bundles by The Freshman Cook
Caramel Apple Streusel Muffins by The Redhead Baker
Caramel Apple Swirl Cheesecake No-Churn Ice Cream by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Cheesecake Swirl Pumpkin Muffins by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Chestnut and Pear Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream by Caroline’s Cooking
Dark Chocolate-Espresso Pumpkin Tiramisu by Brunch with Joy
Dutch Apple Pie by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Butterscotch Drizzle by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
Pumpkin Chocolate Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
Pumpkin Crisp by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake by Flour On My Face
Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Cookies by Palatable Pastime
Roasted Maple Pears by Amee’s Savory Dish
Spiced Pear Cake by Simply Healthy Family
Spiced Pumpkin Bread by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
Sweet Apple Skillet Cake by Nosh My Way

Plus, A Guide to Apples plus Best Fall Recipes Ideas for #SundaySupper
Sunday Supper Movement 
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It's easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tomato Pasta Soup #TheRecipeRedux

We're in the middle of a run of rainy, cloudy, damp, dark and generally blah weather here. Given that school's in session, it's not like I could be spending my days out in the garden anyways, but less than glorious weather manages to drain the energy out of the day faster than normal for me. By the time I get settled at home (after the tasks required for the next day's lessons and general housekeeping while my mom is away), I'm ready for comfort food and a good night's sleep. I'm still not far enough into the "cold weather blues" to crave super hearty stews though - while soup is still definitely an "in a pinch" go to for me, I've fallen back onto the brothier, chunk-filled variety that satiates without weighing down. Tomato-based vegetarian bowls are perfect examples of what I'm talking about - today's, for instance, is filled with brown rice rotini, red lentils, nutritional yeast and a punch of bright flavour from the Summer's garden scallions, carrots and (home-roasted) tomatoes. Taking the soup up a notch in elegance, Ontario-made red wine vinegar and home-infused Cabernet Salt sprinkle in and fit beautifully in the melange of flavours. Since I'm cooking for one, I portion and freeze the batch right after cooking and either add barely cooked pasta to each container or wait until reheat time and add freshly cooked pasta then. I haven't tried rice (just rice pasta), but suspect it would probably hold up better, especially the "Wild Pecan" brown rice I've recently fallen in love with.

Tomato Pasta Soup

This month for #TheRecipeRedux our group is serving up Fantastic Freezer Meals. Since it’s the end of the gardening season for some of us, storing that produce in heat-and-eat-from-the-freezer-meals is a great way to keep the flavour going all Winter long! Let us show off how convenient healthy freezer breakfast, lunches or dinners can be, and feel free to chime in with your own experiences - I'd love to hear what you do!

Tomato Pasta Soup