Category Archives: Bread

Irish Soda Bread

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Irish Soda Bread 4--100116

Visiting Cork, Ireland was probably one of the best things that could have happened to me when it did. When I boarded my flight after 10 days in the UK, I was tired, emotionally drained, and frankly, a bit of a mess. Alex (the friend I would be visiting) and I used to swim together back when he was in the States, but that had been over a year ago and part of me was a bit nervous that I’d receive the same welcome that I had earlier in the trip.

Mistake #1: Never underestimate the incredible good-will of a proven, amazing friend.

Mistake #2: Never underestimate the incredible good-will of the Irish, period.

The atmosphere of my arrival could not have been more different. The moment I stepped out of my gate at ORK, I was engulfed in a gigantic bear hug (at 6’3″, Alex just towers over me), my luggage was swiped genially from my hands, and I was introduced to my friend’s beaming mom–who also pulled me into a grand towering hug–faster than I could say “luck of the Irish.” 30 minutes later, we were speeding through the small, quaint downtown of Cork and happily en route to Blarney Castle, legendary home of the Blarney stone that (apparently) grants you the “gift of gab” if you kiss it.

Turns out that the rumored gab-gifting wasn’t in particularly high supply–I certainly didn’t feel very eloquent afterward!–but we did buy ice cream cones afterward to make up for it (and maybe to cleanse our mouths after kissing the wet, suspiciously dark patch of rock). The ice cream, which was my first official taste of Ireland, surprised me with its freshness and flavor: I had heard about the beer, but to be completely honest, I hadn’t had high hopes for the food…

Mistake #3: Never underestimate the universality of good food options if you know where to look for it (or know someone who knows where to look for it).… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bread

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding for #SundaySupper

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding 2--121915Have you ever brought something to a potluck and the only thought running through your mind as you’re dragging your feet from the car to the front door is: “Oh my god, this is SO hideous I hope nobody knows I brought this“?

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding 4--121915

Truth be told, over half of the desserts I make when I’m alone at home look like they were pooped out of a woolly mammoth and left to fossilize for a few dozen centuries under mountains of snow. That’s one of the big reasons why food blogging is such a godsend. Making delicious stuff that looks like elephant dung, deeming it unpresentable to the public eye, and eating all the evidence so that nobody ever finds out you’re a big food phony with zero presentation skills…well, that’s kinda my specialty around here.

Then every once in a few Ice Ages, you uncover a real gem. A dessert that is absolutely horrendous to look at–something between burnt toast and your Aunty May’s leftover fruitcake–but tastes like a million bucks, and then some. This bananas foster bread pudding is exactly thatSo ugly and so, SO insanely good. Maybe you should bring it to your next ugly sweater party just so you can fit the theme!

The recipe is a twist on my favorite bread pudding recipe. It’s creamy, boozy, and sinfully good without feeling too heavy on the palate. Eggs, heavy cream, sugar, cinnamon, leftover crusty bread, and bananas are basically all you’ll need to make this last-minute dessert. Oh yeah, and a generous dose of coffee-flavored liqueur rum! You know, for that extra-great holiday cheers ;)

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I may have been cringing when I brought this bread pudding to our most recent holiday party, but you can bet your fancy pants that I was a proud pudding parent when I left that evening.… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bread

Pull-Apart Cheesy Garlic Crack Bread

Cheesy Crack Bread 2--120415

As usual, life has caught up with my sorry behind and that means I’m behind here! I’ve been taking a 1-week sanity break after the World Food Championships, and another week to accommodate a nasty flu that popped up on Thanksgiving day. There’s so much to catch you guys up on!

Item number one is the amount of holiday festivities that have been going on here. Oh my goodness gracious, guys–the amount of food coma-ing happening has been obscene. Anybody else in the same boat?

Last night I hosted a White Elephant party for my international friend family, and it was SO much fun. By 5 PM, there were 18 people crammed into my stuffy apartment, and pretty soon there was a cheerful chatter filling up the tiny room as folks chowed down on all the great food my friend & I had whipped up that afternoon. (Fried rice, green onion pancakes, squash casserole, cheesy crescent rolls, jello cheesecake, maple brussel sprouts–forget stopping at “full,” you don’t go home from my food parties until you hate yourself :) ) It’s strange to think that we all met each other for the first time a scant two months ago, but one of my favorite things about international communities is how quickly they pull together. A few weeks ago, another friend of ours hosted a Friendsgiving at his much larger, much more impressive and jacuzzi-swaggering residence. There was turkey, this cheesy garlic crack bread which was praised over-the-moon, s’mores made over a real fireplace, and so much merriment that I just about thought I would burst! It’s joyous moments like these that make me swell with the holiday spirit and ooze candy canes out of my pores, not that anybody needs an image of that stuck in their heads today…

Cheesy Crack Bread 4--120415

Cheesy Crack Bread 5--120415

In other news, my friend J is visiting for his residency interviews and he’s such a boss!… Read more


Filed under Bread

Scrumdiddlyumptious (Caramelized Banana & Toasted Coconut) Banana Bread

This recipe is brought to you by INSOMNIAbecause when you’re single and have the biggest exam of your life scheduled for Valentine’s Day 2014, this is as wild as the nights around here are gonna get.

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Thank goodness I stumbled across a simply scrumdiddlyumptious banana bread recipe that can make even 4 AM sleeplessness taste amazing. More about this bread in a second. (FUN FACT: The appellation ‘scrumdiddlyumptious’ was inspired by a friend who tasted some of this insanely moist and flavor-packed banana bread, but it’s also a nod to my first attempt to join the blogging world three years ago <–check it out if you’re interested…It’s almost crazy to think how far this blog has come since those days of phone food photos!)

Scrumdiddlyumptious Caramelized Banana and Toasted Coconut Banana Bread 18--013014

With my brain constantly kicked into over-over-overdrive these days (like, headache-and-insomnia-inducing overdrive!), it’s almost ridiculously comforting to do something that requires zero thinking. Just me, the Frozen soundtrack drifting in the background, and the therapeutic rhythm of your hand as it slowly swirls fragrant coconut and chocolate chips into a bowl of thick, creamy, chunky banana bread batter.

Scrumdiddlyumptious Caramelized Banana and Toasted Coconut Banana Bread 2--013014

Since I moved back and the time crunch has gotten crunchier than a jar of chunky peanut butter, life around here has been one huge mind-brain  (wow, I can’t believe I just typed that) mind-body disconnection. For example, as I was taking a post-dinner break and writing this blog post, I was simultaneously trying to spread peanut butter on a baby carrot. No biggie, right? I had just managed to get a sizable chunk of peanut butter out of the jar (think golf-ball-size per baby carrot–hey, these are stressful times! And stressful times = more peanut butter) when, by some trick of I-know-not-how, my spoon pressed down on the carrot and it shot out of my hand into the air.… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bread

Honey Sweet Rolls

Honey Sweet Roll gif 1

I, like every reasonable person, am extremely fond of excuses. I love excuses because they can come in a variety of forms. Observe.

Please excuse these honey sweet buns. I’m sure your boss didn’t even notice you salivating, so you can wipe the drool off your keyboard and continue browsing these pictures at your leisure–er, or discretion.

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You will also need to excuse my lack of consideration in posting yet another fluffy yeast-filled gif that makes you wish they’d hurry up and figure out a way to make the stuff you see on your computer screen edible. 

Honey Sweet Roll gif 2

Passionate advocate for all victims of first-world problems–that’s me. I should seriously consider a career change.

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Some excuses make me want to eat my words. For instance, I am about to offer you an excuse about why I haven’t been updating recently. The excuse is called a nasty bout of food poisoning followed by a feverish round of stomach flu. The sight and smell of food for the past week made me feel like poor Grimsby on board Prince Eric’s ship. I did not want to eat food, or my words, or anything else.

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The one thing I did crave when my symptoms started to subside was bread. Plain, slightly sweet and incredibly fluffy buns were in order, and I was at the same time suffering from a drastic case of kitchen withdrawal by this time. As soon as I could stand on my two feet again, I ran straight for the oven.

Well, I sort of ran more into the oven. And I was a complete hazard because I could barely see straight at this point. If I had to hashtag my miserable baking experience, it would look like



Honey Sweet Rolls 5--050113Honey Sweet Rolls 11--050113

Ain’t nobody got time for your excuses about why you’re not in the kitchen right now baking up this bread, either!… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bread

Classy Overnight Blueberry French Toast

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Every once in a while, something happens in our lives that makes us put the gear in park, turn off the ignition, and just wonder.

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I consider myself a fairly happy-go-lucky person. I am, after all, a hybrid donut and crepe type on my Breakfast Breakdown of Personality Types. That’s not my gushing description when I step into the interview room, but gloomy funks and I don’t mix-‘n-match well. For better or for worse, I am no Eeyore.

Blueberry Hawaiian Sweet Bread Toast 4--012713

Without getting into too much detail here–the story is long, weighty, and (only for the purposes of my musings here, though certainly not personally) irrelevant–someone close and dear to me is suffering. I flew home suddenly this weekend when I heard the news, and while I’d love to say that it hasn’t thrown a complete wrench in what has already been a particularly rough school term–the wrench has definitely been chucked, toolbox and all.

I found it difficult to teach on Friday, when I was being observed by the professor in charge of teaching assistants. I’m finding it even more difficult to concentrate now, when I know I should be working and then the cycle creeps in.

Oh, come on–you know the one!

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It looks something like:

Emotionally unstable –> stress bakes instead of works –> stuffs face with freshly baked goods –> gets gloomy over indulging in so many cookies or pastry of your choice –> even more emotionally distraught –> throws shoe against wall in frustration –> makes hole in wall –> goes to fix wall instead of work –> ginormous pile of work going, “You’ll never finish me nooooooowwwwwww” –> despair dresses up in an all-consuming black hole costume.

And so on. With minor tweaks along the way.

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Despite my moment of Eeyore-like indulgence here, though, one thing that this past month has really brought to the forefront is just the undeniable fact that I am so, so incredibly lucky.… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bread, Breakfast & Brunch

Apple Pie Streusel Bread


This has an embarrassing amount nothing to do with the fact that I’ve just started teaching an undergraduate course.

Have you ever had a teacher you respected to the core?

Like an apple core–you know, strong, sturdy, and full of so many little seeds of great ideas?

Now that I’m a full-fledged apple-core teacher of sorts, I’ve also crowned myself queen of magnificent metaphors. Because apparently everything I says actually has weight now, or at least so I’ve gathered from the fact that every ounce of word vomit that spews forth from my lips is written down by a dozen zealous pen-wielding university undergrads.

Funflour Fact #7: Did you know that (according to the average teacher…a) Spends an average of $443 per year of their own money to meet the needs of their students, and b) spend an average of 50 hours per week on all teaching duties, including non-compensated school-related activities such as grading papers, bus duty and club advising? 

Teachers have been on my mind a lot lately. Just last week, I graded my first full batch of papers and nearly flew off my rocker at the sheer amount of work that goes into such a seemingly “simple” task.

Probably the only thing we got right about our teachers when we were still little bright-eyed brats was that they basically live in their classrooms. I’m stuck in my office at 9 PM as I type this, but I guess that’s about the same thing. And until I started teaching this fall term, I never really–I mean really–appreciated how much our teachers have done and continue to do for us.

Just this morning, I attempted to channel massive levels of anxiety into productive writing energy for nearly half of my students, whose second paper is due this week.… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bread, Fruit Desserts

Pineapple Custard Coconut “Bun” Breakfast Braid

Before I get started on anything else, I wanted to let you all know for what fabulous occasion I made this (equally fabulous, if I say so myself) breakfast braid. If y’all don’t already know her, Julie from Willow Bird Baking is hosting her first challenge series ever and all of you should join! She’s fantastic. This week’s challenge is breakfast braids. And at the risk of exposing you to yet another countless hours logged browsing awesome blogs, I’m sending you on over there to check it out.

Do it.

Admit it–it sounds better to you than washing that pile of laundry glaring at you from the corner of your room.

So about this pineapple custard coconut bun.

Breakfast braid.

Hybrid thing.

Have you ever had a Chinese pineapple bun before? I’ve always wanted to try this recipe from Christine’s site, but a) I haven’t quite worked up the courage to make “fluffy” pastries yet, and b) I’m scared (read: terrified) out of my size who-knows-what pants even thinking about replicating a food that I grew up eating.

Because usually it ends up with my parents poking at it and going, “Ehhh, why you make this? Give up and buy from store already. Much better.”

Okay no, my parents don’t have absurdly martian accents. I just like to add them in for effect, sort of like I adopt a really corrupt British accent every time I imitate the snooty people I occasionally encounter in my department, even though I’m pretty sure all of them popped out of the womb singing “America, The Beautiful.”

It doesn’t really make sense. Neither do a lot of things in my pell-mell life, and neither do these hybridized, slightly mutant buns/bread that are deliciously awesome.

What’s special (or what I’d like to think is special) about them is that actually combine three awesome foods and jam them into one crazy concoction that actually resembles edible sustenance.… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bread

Pumpkin Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

Ever feel like you’re being pulled apart by the seams from all the stress?

You know…the stress that always seems to converge on the very spot on which you happen to be standing at any given moment? That stress?

I feel that way all the time. Fortunately, this bread does, too. And I always say that there’s nothing better than food that understands exactly what you’re going through.

With the minutes ticking down to the first day of the school term, I can already feel the jitters creeping up all around me, as if someone’s broken into a museum of entomology and set loose all the live specimens.

I didn’t want to bog down this (truly wonderful!) post with my pre-term anxiety, but I’ll get to this amazing recipe in a second. Pinkies! But there are some major changes going on this autumn that make it different from the rest.

First off, I’m going to be teaching this year! Scary, right? Anybody who has ever been a teacher, thought of becoming a teacher, known a teacher, or had a teacher (all right, do we have everyone on board now?) knows at least something of how nerve-wracking it must feel to get up in front of an entire classroom for the first time.

Sure, I’ve been a teacher and workshop instructor before. This past summer, I taught enrichment high school writing and media classes that totally sucked up my life and threw my soul back bright and shiny new–that lesson planning does some major buffing on your self-esteem! I had a total blast, and I know I will be fine as soon as I set foot into the classroom and actually get this teaching gig on the road.


Until then.

Did I mention that the kids (I say “kids”–I mean “people who are probably an average of 1-3 years younger than me; in many cases, they may be older) are all college-age?… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bread

National Eat Dessert First Month Challenge Day 4: National Chocolate Chip Day

It’s the third day of National Eat Dessert First! Month, an entire 31 days dedicated to a different themed dessert but, more importantly, getting those desserts onto our plates and palates! Each day will feature a new guest chef’s photos and recipes for each theme. If you’re interested in joining in for a dessert-tastic month, read the details at the Dessert Month Challenge post. It’s never too late to start!

Our delectable Day 4 entry features mavinmaverick, who has whipped up an absolutely fantastic and classic banana chocolate chip bread recipe in honor of this staple ingredient’s day.


Courtesy of: Mavin Maverick

Source of original post: Here

Original Post:

Okay, as promised, here is my recipe of the day. I had several chocolate chip related recipes, so I had to figure out which one I wanted to do; cookies? fudge?…Ahhh…Banana Bread! So, without further ado, here is my creation. And yes, we did sample this before dinner. MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

I figured since the day was about chocolate chips, I would take a picture of the batter before the chips were mixed in:

And here is what it looked like after all was baked and done. This made two loaves, because I only have a couple of small loaf pans, but the recipe calls for one larger pan. Keep that in mind if you want to make it!

And here is the recipe!



Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bread, Brownies & Chocolates