Monday, February 27, 2012


Blurry banana bread. Because we loves us some alliteration.

Not feeling super inspired this month by the Daring Bakers. This month's challenge was/is quick breads, which for me are something that I've been making for decades. Not much of a challenge.

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

For those not in the know: quick breads are all the breads that don't have yeast in them, i.e. much more "quick" to make. This includes pound cake, scones, coffee cake, biscuits, and most of those loaf breads that you can buy at the coffee shop (banana, zucchini, pumpkin, etc.).

Banana bread is not my favorite. But if you add chocolate chips, I'm in.

I will tell you two things:

Thing one

I made a banana bread with chocolate chips for the Superbowl party I was attending. I used the Moosewood cookbook recipe, which includes things like coffee and lemon rind and almond extract and is disarmingly delicious. But you should probably go buy the cookbook instead of me plagiarizing it.

A. Maze. Ing. Grapefruit Pound Cake
Thing two

I used some of that candied grapefruit peel and added it to a loaf of grapefruit pound cake (which I adapted from all the lemon pound cake recipes I could find)...and it was amazing. A. Maze. Ing.  Now you can too:

Super A. Maze. Ing Grapefruit Pound Cake (makes one loaf)

1/2 cup butter, softened
1.5 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 tablespoons grapefruit juice
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1 teaspoon grated grapefruit peel
1.5 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt
heaping 1/2 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla. You can use sour cream too.)
Handfuls of candied grapefruit rinds, chopped into little nuggets

1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in juice, extract, and peel.

2. Combine dry ingredients; add to the butter mixture alternately with yogurt. Beat until just combined. Stir in candied grapefruit rind.

3. Pour into a greased and floured bread pan. Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes (or 90 minutes if you have my oven) or until a toothpick/skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before popping out of the pan.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

granny...don't be so square

the granny square in her natural environment
I'm on it.

Number one on the sort-of list.

Crocheting myself an Afghan of granny squares in an attempt to whittle my yarn stash down so that it fits into its two assigned boxes.

squares of plenty
Also: granny squares rock. They are adorable, quick to whip up, and hilariously 70s-reminiscent. I was a child of the late 70s, and though the colors in favor have changed, nothing can take away my love for this ridiculous form of sofa-decoration. (Yes, when I looked it up, Wikipedia told me, in North American tradition, Afghans are for draping across your couch or "large chair" for decoration. No mention of keeping you warm while you read or knit or...never mind.)

These little guys are still missing their final borders, which will be a matching off-white, nine skeins (9 skeins? yes.) of which are supposedly coming in the mail courtesy of my mother courtesy of her mother courtesy of a friend who was trimming down her significant (like...think warehouse) yarn collection.

heaps o' squares

I'll take it. Nine skeins of free yarn.

Until they arrive, I'll probably keep making these innards, testing out every three-color combination/order there is, until I run out of yarn, or the cows come home, or something else demands my interest.