Harvest Focaccia Bread

If I had to choose my favorite type of bread, I think focaccia would be the clear winner. When I saw a recipe for Harvest Focaccia from Food Network, I had to give it a try. Topped with herbs, fruit and nuts, this bread showcases the flavors of fall – and with winter right around the corner, this bread is the perfect accompaniment to seasonal soups.

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Homemade New Jersey Deli Bagels

There are a lot of things I miss about New Jersey.  I miss being familiar with a place because I grew up there.  I miss the weekly football gatherings at my dad’s house, having about 50 authentic Italian restaurants within a 5 mile radius, only being a few (traffic-filled) minutes away from Manhattan, the “accent” that I didn’t realize existed until I moved to Kentucky – and I miss the bagels.

Every deli in New Jersey sells bagels.  I’m not sure which are better, New York bagels or New Jersey bagels, but I have to say the texture and flavor of both are something I haven’t found anywhere else.  We have a Panera nearby and they definitely make a decent bagel – but the slightly dense, slightly sweet, slightly salty, steamy and rich bread encased in the chewy caramelized crust of a fresh New Jersey bagel just can’t be beat.

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Hungarian Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Bread making has always intimidated me.  I’ve sheepishly tip-toed around the subject, baking everything BUT bread ever since I was tall enough to reach Mom’s measuring cups in the cabinet above the stove.  I’ve drooled and gazed longingly at recipe pictures of fresh baked baguettes and dinner rolls, and I’ve purchased all kinds of books with titles along the lines of “Bread Making: TRY IT ALREADY!”, yet I had never actually made real bread – until last night.  I was browsing AllRecipes.com when I came across a recipe for a cinnamon swirl bread.  I skimmed the ingredients list and I had everything I needed, so I put on the apron, rolled up the sleeves and decided to finally take the bread leap.

I’ve had an adorable pale yellow KitchenAid stand mixer for a few years now.  It’s my prized possession.  It has whipped up buttercreams, meringues, macarons and lots of other yummy things that I’ve had the pleasure of serving, gifting and of course, eating.  The mixer made this bread recipe an absolute breeze.

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