Tag Archives: butter

Cinnamon Toast

One morning, I sat at my grandparent’s kitchen table and watched as my Pop-Pop put a few slices of bread in the toaster and slathered them with butter when they were golden brown– not a notable breakfast by any means. He then grabbed a shaker filled with a combination of cinnamon and sugar, sprinkled it on the buttered, crunchy toast and put it in front of me. I can distinctly remember thinking I was beating the system because I was essentially eating dessert for breakfast and, from that day forward, cinnamon toast became one of my comfort food staples.

One of the most basic breakfasts I make, cinnamon toast is effortless and practically impossible to mess up. It can, however, get better with a few extra ingredients, a couple extra steps and way more butter.

The man who introduced me to cinnamon toast deserves lots of kisses.

The man who introduced me to cinnamon toast deserves lots of kisses.

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Brown Soda Bread with Honey Butter

Planning ahead for Saint Patrick’s Day I did zero research for a recipe, banking on someone in my mom’s family sharing an ancient family dish with me. After all, her maiden name is Brady, so someone had to have a stained, faded, chicken-scratch written Irish recipe hidden in their vault, right? Good food is inevitable at any Brady celebration, and Saint Patrick’s Day is no exception.

My major specifications were: I didn’t want to make a potato dish (because if it serve 6, I’ll eat 3 servings); corned beef and cabbage was out (I have my fair share of each throughout the year); and I wanted to bake. I contacted my Aunt Colleen, thinking if anyone had an original Irish Soda Bread recipe, it would be her. No such luck- though she has many specialties in the kitchen, it seems a Brady family soda bread recipe simply does not exist.

My next inquiry consisted of only Google and persistence; requesting recipes from the popular search engine requires endurance and an open mind. Google’s new “recipe” search function helps a bit, but still, with a return of over 70,000 Irish Soda Bread recipes I didn’t even know where to begin. Before I could develop a list of groceries, or head into the kitchen, I figured I needed to learn the history and tradition of soda bread and why it is important in Irish culinary culture.

According to The Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread, the product we see packaged in grocery stores and markets around this time of the year is, most likely, not even bread. Traditional soda bread consists of solely flour, buttermilk, salt and baking soda. Some conventional versions will go as far outside the box as adding butter, but anything with dried fruit, sugar or honey, eggs, or even whiskey sounds more like ingredients for cake. The appeal of soda bread, when it was first created, was that it was inexpensive, practical, and required very little time to make. Additionally, the loaves were baked in bastible pots, or dutch ovens, over a fire. This authentic recipe can be whipped up in less than an hour, including baking time.  Read More…

Food Processor Puff Pastry

The Petite Palmiers are super easy to make using store-bought puff pastry, but if you’re feeling ambitious and have an entire day to spare you can make the dough yourself.

There are several things you must be aware of, though. First, this recipe calls for over an entire pack of butter. Not only is this good to know for the sake of preparation, it’s also a little heads up to those counting calories or cholesterol.

Second, and I’ve already hinted toward this, reserve an entire day. Making puff pastry involves a lot of rest time for the dough to become cold in the refrigerator in between repeated processes of rolling and folding the dough. I must emphasize the importance of the dough’s temperature as well; when the recipe instructs you to let it sit in the fridge for a specific amount of time, don’t expect to cut corners. If the butter in the dough softens, you won’t wind up with a light, airy, flakiness.

Finally, when you wake up the next day and feel as if you’re coming down with either a wicked flu or meningitis, don’t call the doctor. You’re sore because you used a crazy amount of muscle rolling out you’re beautiful, buttery puff pastry. I guarantee, though, whatever you make with it, be it savory or sweet, will be so delicious you can ask for back rubs from those lucky enough to snack on your puff pastry. Read More…

Petite Palmiers

Typically, I’m a chocolate person. When I need something sweet, my preferences are likely to point me in the direction of Oreo’s, Hershey Kisses or M&M’s (plain, peanut, pretzel, you name it). There are occasions, though, where I’m in need of a buttery, flaky, pastry. Maybe something light, and delicate, and perhaps even aesthetically pleasing.

For example last summer, one of my Kitchen Kapers shopping sprees added a tart pan to my collection of kitchen toys; I decided, in the dead of summer, to make a blackberry tart. From scratch. Maybe the heat and humidity got to my head; I learned very quickly that working with pastry dough in inferno-like conditions is absolutely impossible. Not only was I practically melting in the hot kitchen, the dough itself pretty much liquefied.

Taking advantage of the chilly conditions, I was able to make a simple, buttery pastry that’s delicious for breakfast with jam or satisfying as a dessert. Though I spent the day making the dough from scratch (which will be posted to CleanPl8.com), here is a recipe using store bought, frozen pastry dough. Read More…

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