Oh, how I love quick breads. They are delicious, easy and, most importantly, quick. This month’s challenge was quite versatile and so fun. I was able to make one loaf of savory bread to serve with dinner and then a sweet loaf a couple days later for breakfast. Getting started on this challenge more than a day before the posting date was immensely helpful and I hope I can do the same thing next month. But we shall see…I have a history of acknowledging how great it was to work on something and get it done early and yet still managing to go back to my old ways of procrastination.
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.
This jalapeño bread was a big hit. I made a meal of barbecued chicken, creamed corn and cole slaw (all recipes I’d never used before and all of which were flops) and then this bread. My husband told me the bread was the best part of the meal, and he was right. I used a sharp cheddar cheese, pickled jalapeños, crumbled bacon and a bottle of Shiner. We ate it with dinner warm from the oven and the next couple of mornings toasted with butter. I’m bummed it’s all gone, so I’ll probably have to make another loaf.
Jalapeño, Bacon and Cheese Beer Bread
3 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup chopped pickled jalapeños
1/2 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup grated cheese
12 ounces beer
1/4 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 9×5 loaf pan.
Measure and then sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl.
Mix in the the chopped jalapeños, cheese and bacon.
Pour one can of beer into the mixing bowl and mix until blended.
Pour mixture into the loaf pan, then pour half of the melted butter over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes, then pour remaining butter on top of the loaf. Bake for another 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool for 5-10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool an additional 10 minutes.
The blueberry almond bread recipe came from Joy the Baker. She used raspberries in her bread, and I might try that next time, or maybe a mix of berries. I used frozen blueberries that I’d thawed out and drained, and dried as much as I could on paper towels. I added a buttery almond streusel to the top of this bread that was so delicious, sweet and crunchy. It might have been my favorite part of the loaf.
Blueberry Almond Streusel Bread
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cups sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
Mix together all ingredients except for almonds and butter.
Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives until the butter pieces are mostly the size of small pebbles with some larger pieces, then mix in the almonds. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup blueberries, fresh or thawed and drained if frozen
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and sugar a 9×5 loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and almond extract until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the flour and sour cream. Fold in the crushed fruit and almond slivers.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, then top with streusel. Bake in the center of the oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool the bread in the pan for 20 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack, turn right side up and cool completely.
Who would have thought? Peas. And, to shock you even more, it was GOOD. And not just so-so, but really, really good. Like I finished it off by scraping the sides of the bowl. That kind of good. And you still feel good because at least half of the bulk of this guacamole is pureed green peas and not high fat (even though it is good fat) avocado.
I made this for a Superbowl party. It was a small gathering and we probably didn’t need any snacks along with our pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw, baked beans, fruit salad and cookies. But it was the Superbowl, and for some reason that has become an excuse for Americans to stuff themselves silly. I made a compromise with myself to still have guacamole, but to make it a little healthier. I don’t know where I originally saw this idea. Maybe Pinterest? I found many recipes, some using peas and avocado, some using all peas and no avocado. I decided a combination would be more like the original and therefore more likely to fool people.
I love cilantro. If you don’t so much, use less. Same with the jalapeno, but I didn’t find the amount I used below to be too much. As with all guacamole, taste as you go and adjust your seasonings accordingly. I like to taste test on what I’ll be serving with the dip. Since I was serving this with tortilla chips, I probably used less salt than if I was serving it with crudites. Enjoy!
Pea and Avocado Gaucamole
1 ripe avocado
1 10-ounce bag of frozen peas, thawed
1/3 cup finely minced red onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
1/3 to 1/2 cup seeded and chopped tomatoes (I used about 15 quartered cherry tomatoes)
salt and pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
dash of garlic powder (or use finely minced fresh garlic to taste)
Puree peas in food processor until smooth.
In a bowl, mash avocado with peas. Stir in onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno and tomatoes.
Season with salt, pepper, cumin and garlic. Taste and adjust.
Serve immediately or cover directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
A few weeks ago Ben and I decided to invite some friends over to watch Texas A&M play in the Cotton Bowl. The game didn’t turn out the way I would have liked, but this chili exceeded my expectations. This photo below of the delicious chili, however, is quite disappointing. Sorry.
With the little guy keeping me pretty busy I knew that I had to be really on top of things in order to get the house cleaned and dinner made in time. I chopped all my veggies and prepped all that I could the night before while Ben was home. This made the cooking process simple and clean up a breeze.
I found this recipe on allrecipes.com. Here is the link. I didn’t change much. I used a rotisserie chicken to further simplify this soup, and I used more green chiles than the original recipe calls for. The extra green chiles made it a bit hotter, so use a 4 ounce can if you don’t want that added heat. I also added a chopped red bell pepper in with the onions for more flavor and color. We ate left over chili for a few days, and it was even better. I like to crush Fritos or blue corn chips and mix them in the chili, then top it with sour cream and cheese. Enjoy!
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (4 ounce) can diced jalapeno peppers
1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
3 (15 ounce) cans white beans, rinsed and drained
shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or cheddar, or a mix)
tortilla or corn chips
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly cook and stir the onion and red pepper until tender.
Mix in the garlic, jalapeno, green chile peppers, cumin, oregano and cayenne. Continue to cook and stir the mixture until tender, about 3 minutes.
Mix in the chicken broth, chicken and white beans. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve garnished with cheese, sour cream and corn chips.