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Restorative Weekend & Fun Food Finds

Well, contrary to what it may appear based on the lack of blogging, I have been baking, cooking and otherwise living my normal day to day life. This past weekend I went back home to Chicago to see some friends and family and get a change of scenery. Before I went I made some Almond Shortbread and french bread, and some bagels (although those are certainly old news by now).

The shortbread was composed of:

  • 1 cup Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup almonds sprinkled on top and pressed in

It was delicious and buttery. I think next time I would use more almond extract and maybe some ground almonds in the dough in place of the flour for ultimate almondy flavor. I think these will definitely be reincarnated sometime during my holiday baking.

I also made some french bread, using my recipe, but making 2 smaller loaves for each of my friends. Unfortunately pretty stale by the time they got to my friends. Oh well… they still make good croutons!

I got to go grocery shopping while I was there too! I know there are grocery stores here, but not Whole Foods and Trader Joes! I got nice, cheap wine (Charles Shaw!), some peanut butter Larabars, granola planks and Middle Eastern Couscous! I want to use the couscous for something for dinner tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes.

Meanwhile, as I was off discovering new fun foods, Brent existed on groceries he picked out for himself:

and a lot of bagels I made for him.

See you later for a couscous update!

6 responses »

  1. Hooray, you’re back to blogging!! Glad that you had a lovely weekend.

    WOW that shortbread and French bread look delish – yum!

  2. Is that bread crusty? Have you ever heard that to get steamy bread you have to use steam? I tried to make crusty Italian bread Sunday and it got soft when it cooled. I am wondering why.

  3. Heather,

    It is crusty, but it does soften a little after it cools, but not a lot. To make it crusty, I soak it with water (by painting it with a basting brush) before baking, and then I splash water into the hot oven right as I put the bread in. This has produced the crustiest loaves I’ve made so far, but I still occasionally put some bread back in a hot oven for a few minutes to freshen up the crust. Hope this helps! I myself am still on the hunt for the perfect crust.

  4. Interesting. Thanks a bunch. I am going to try again soon.

  5. Everything you bake always looks delicious!

  6. My daughter and I are addicted to those salt and pepper potato chips!

    Your breads look wonderful!


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