Wednesday, September 29, 2010

beerish bread

this is beer bread. want to make it yourself? it's easy, and quite delightful to eat.


3 1/4 cups flour (i use 2 cups plain flour, 1 1/4 cup whole wheat)
3 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs sugar (Tbs = tablespoon. not sure if that's the correct abbrevation, but i'm usin it)
1 3/4 ounce (just under 1/4 cup. or 50 grams) butter, chopped
1 1/2 cups beer

  • preheat oven: 415 F
  • mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt. cut in the butter until crumbly. (alternatively: process all those things in a food processor. i don't have one)
  • add the beer slowly, and mix it in. i just use a wooden spoon and i mix until it comes together to form a soft dough.
  • knead dough on floured surface until smooth.
  • divide dough, into 4 or 6 portions, and form ovals or spheres. place on a greased pan, slash the tops with a knife, brush with a bit of water (or milk or whisked egg).
  • bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F and bake for another 10 minutes. bread is usually ready when you can tap the bottom and it sounds hollow (please use an oven mitt when holding the bread. otherwise you will scald your hand and it will probably be quite painful).
love this recipe. (which i got from the book baking: a common sense guide) it's quick, easy, hard to mess up. no fussy yeast, no waiting for the yeast to do its magic, no worries. instead of yeast as a rising agent, this recipe uses beer, and beer has its own yeast already in it. the only downside to this bread recipe is the slight taste of beer, but i noticed that using a honey lager instead of a pale ale helped lessen the beeryness of it. makes fantastic sandwich bread, and goes great with mustard and pickles and all things savory. however, does not go as well with jam or peanut butter or other sweeter bread toppings. try it at home and let me know how it works out for you!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

apple cinnamon muffins

do something for me. take a quick peek at what katie ate and tell me you do not want to devour everything katie makes and photographs. i know i do.

in case you are too lazy to click on links, here are a few of her photos:


i wanted to bake something with apples today. my sister and i ordered a large box of gala apples from the okanogan valley last week and we've already made 2 batches of apple sauce, one pan of apple crisp. we still have copious apples left. so, i wanted to bake something with apples today. and i did. i looked to katie for inspiration, and was debating between this apple tea cake and these apple cinnamon muffins. the tea cake looks amazing, but my relationship with my springform pan is a bit dubious and i would like to avoid using it until i find a better replacement. so i made the muffins. loved that the recipe didn't call for any butter or oil (don't get me wrong, i love butter. LOVE it. it's just that it costs so much money and i'm trying to be a bit more frugal than normal these days), but called for applesauce. hey, i just made some last week! anyway, they are pretty quick and easy. the result? not bad. a bit chewy, (maybe i over-stirred), but pleasantly moist and good-tasting. you can look at katie's lovely photos here, and compare them with mine. i like hers better, but i'm pretty happy with mine too.

here's the recipe:

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup applesauce
1 cup peeled, cored, chopped apple

topping: sugar & cinnamon (just guess at the amounts, however sweet you want it, baby!)

preheat the oven to 390F

i always like to mix all the dry stuff before i mix in any wet stuff, no matter what the recipe tells me. so i mixed the sugar, cinnamon & ginger together, then sifted in flour, baking powder and salt in a big bowl. add the milk & applesauce and mix with a spoon until it comes together. don't overmix! add the apple pieces. spoon into muffin cups or a greased muffin tin. sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar on top and pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes. makes about 12 smallish muffins.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

the start of a day

today i started my day with a nice, simple breakfast. scrambled eggs (with yogurt instead of milk), toast, coffee, gala apple slices, and homemade salsa. what a nice start to a sunny, autumn day.

Monday, September 20, 2010


finch's is what i want my home to be like: lots of natural light, beautiful vintage furnishings, simple, and full of good food and people.

located in downtown vancouver on the corner of homer and pender, finch's serves an assortment of sandwiches, salads, teas, coffees. the sandwiches are created with a variety of tasty combinations on sliced baguettes. i've had 2 so far, the baked brie & olive, and the avocado, edam, dijon and roasted walnut (picture below). delicious.

all their sandwiches come with fresh, crisp, red leafy lettuce and are served on brown butcher paper, creating a very aesthetically pleasing eating experience.

their coffee is fair-trade and organic (i think it's saltspring but i'm not too sure), and they have many varieties of loose teas. my sister loves the chocolate chip cookies made in-house (from free-range organic eggs, says one of their black-board signs scripted beautifully and framed in ornate golden frames).

if you live in vancouver and haven't been to finch's yet, you really need to remedy that. keep in mind that they hold short hours. monday to friday 9am-5pm, and saturday 11am to 4pm.

Finch's Tea & Coffee House on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 5, 2010

summer lovin

summer. my favorite time of year. it may not be the prettiest here in vancouver (dead grass just doesn't appeal the eye as much as rich green grass or spring blossoms or fall colors), but as far as weather goes, i love heat and i love summer.

i have lots of photos waiting to be sorted through.. photos of copious meals outdoors, camping & hiking trips, blueberry picking, lots of delicious food. but since they are still waiting for me, patiently, i'll leave you with a few photos of some food-related things i've enjoyed this summer:

(some edible, some non-edible. guess which is which)

a fresh egg from our landlords' backyard chickens: