Breads

This is the time of year I love being in the kitchen the most. On some days, I feel like I am cooking or baking not just for the enjoyment of it, but to actually warm up as well! We’ve had a pretty mild autumn but recently the very late snow has started to make a presence. The temperatures are dropping and it’s coming. For the past week, we’ve been making and happily eating various recipes out of Donna Hay’s new cookbook, Life in Balance. It’s full of gorgeous photographs and fresh, healthy recipes. I am always on the hunt for ways to change up my morning breakfast routine, so the seeded morning bread was the first recipe to try. No-knead breads are great to have on hand when you can plan [...]

Just when I thought I wasn’t ready for summer to end, cooler mountain air moved in and I’ve succumbed. I’ve found myself craving warmer flavors and lots of spice. Are you? This is a beautiful time of year in the mountains. Scrub brush turns vibrant reds, purples, and yellows. The grasses are wheat colored and seeded. And the aspens are getting their first whispers of gold- it starts in a small cluster of leaves that eventually spreads throughout the whole tree. My only harp is that this season never seems long enough. Thankfully we have plenty of pine tree varieties to give the mountains some color all winter. For those of you itching to start your fall baking, I’ve compiled my pumpkin recipes here: Pumpkin Crumb Bars Pumpkin Crumble Muffins [...]

We’ve been having great, mild weather in Colorado this past month. Mid 50’s, blue skies, plenty of sunshine. I know more snow will come, but I am so enjoying this spring-like spurt. There have even been a couple of day where I’ve been lucky enough to sport shoes, not boots! With Valentine’s Day approaching, I’ve been thinking about extra sweet touches you can add to your morning courtesy of the kitchen. Valentine’s Day always brings berries to mind, and this recipe incorporates plenty of them with a sunny, citrus burst of lemon. I like this scone recipe because it has an egg in it, which I feel makes a better-textured scone (at least to my preferences) and an extra does of richness from sour cream, instead of milk or buttermilk, [...]

This morning we woke up to more snow. Our winter storm warning is in effect through tomorrow, so Zack’s been outside shoveling like crazy. I think he is a little obsessed with shoveling! He claims that he’s making paths for our dog, but I think secretly he also enjoys playing in the snow as well. We’ll see how long this shoveling affection lasts, as we are only in November. As they headed out, I set to work on some cheese biscuits. I made these a few weeks ago and we were blown away. Biscuits can be temperamental sometimes, and the letdown of a dense, heavy biscuit is never fun. These are quite the opposite- despite all that butter and shredded cheese, they are incredibly light and pull off in the [...]

My, what a busy time of year! I’m sure everyone else feels the same way.  In between wintery wedding cakes, business trips (pictured above is snowy Aspen), Christmas shopping, preparing for our puppy, and other work, it’s been hard fitting in any holiday baking. But the show must go on… Thankfully we have a multi-tasking recipe to work with: brioche. I’m a big fan of brioche. Not only does it taste fantastic- it’s rich, buttery, tender… like the love child that would result from bread + cake. But it has many, many uses.  1. It makes THE BEST french toast ever.  2. Shape dough into balls and bake up into dinner or breakfast rolls.  3. Roll the dough out and use it to make cinnamon rolls or coffeecake. 4. Fry [...]

A few years ago, I discovered this recipe and haven’t looked back. These yeast rolls are for when you are seeking bread that is tender, soft, and simply white. Not whole grain, crusty or heavy (which can be good, but just not for this instance). Back in elementary school, one Thursday a month we’d have chicken and noodles, served with mashed potatoes and a roll. Those rolls were great! My mom would sometimes join me for lunch and she’d try to come on those days. These rolls remind me a lot of them. They’re pillowy and so soft.  I like to dress them up a little with a honey butter glaze so they have a glossy, shiny look (everyone oohs and aahs when you put them on the table).  If [...]

I can hardly believe it, the holidays are almost here! I’m getting emails regarding Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so you know it’s official (let me also mention that I get a particular thrill over online shopping post-Thanksgiving. I really can’t put it into words. The deals!).  So what will you all be making this Thanksgiving? I’m not sure what’s on our list so far, as we’ll be going to a few Thanksgiving celebrations. I wish I could spend it with my family in Indiana too because my mom makes the best turkey (and she knows it).  Last year Zack and I hosted for a bunch of friends. It was a great meal, but we got a little carried away. We realized this too, somewhere between cramming too many dishes [...]

Every baker has a bad day in the kitchen from time to time. Last week I was so excited to try some fluffy, buttery biscuits after spending the previous week in the South. I swear, every time I’m fortunate enough to be down there, I could melt (literally and figuratively) with bliss. The humidity takes a little adjusting to, but when you have a beach right there, coupled with the salty ocean breeze, it’s no big deal. I’ve decided that beach walking is good for my soul…if only I could make it happen more! Our whole family got to hang out for an entire week and just relax. It was really wonderful. So when it was time to part ways, I was sad, but then again, there are far worse [...]

Well here we are, almost into September. Once again, summer has breezed by!  A few weeks ago I was on a major canning kick. Any produce we got our hands on I tried to preserve- crushed tomatoes, cucumber pickles, peach salsa, peach jam, apricot lavender jam, fig jam, plum butter, apricot orange marmalade…the list goes on. Zack picked a bunch of wild raspberries from the woods out back and we even made a jam out of those. It’s a labor of love but the sound of a jar sealing is so satisfying to me. It gives me a little thrill. It’s the simple things… Last week my mom was visiting and we drove to Palisade for the day. I have never seen so many produce stands in one area in [...]

This time of year you may notice that things get a bit quiet around here. The fantastic summer weather paired with wedding season means I am not in front of my laptop very often. We recently returned from a trip to Moab, Utah. One thing that I love about living in Vail is our proximity to a variety of towns and places. A scenic 3-hour drive to the west, Moab is a very hot, but stunning desert playground. It was a fun experience sharing our camping style with my younger brother, who joined us. We like to eat well, and each day was particularly memorable at dinner time- marinated & grilled chicken, crisp iceberg wedge salads with homemade blue cheese dressing, charred poblano pepper and onion salsa, chocolate chip cookies [...]

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