Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Bread

In the Fall months I tend to go for more comfort type sweets and for me one of those are sweet breads.  Sweet breads, or quick breads, are the easiest breads to make the probably one of the more versatile ones out there.  Do you know the difference between sweet breads and say bread you make a sandwich with?    Sweet breads are breads that are prepared with leavening such as baking soda or powder, rather than yeast. As a result, the bread does not have a long proofing and rising time, like yeast breads. The result, like regular yeast bread is that it can vary widely in texture and flavor, from light and fluffy to extremely dense, and they can be both sweet and savory.

The leavening in quick bread expands as the bread as baked. As a result, it often has a less complex flavor than yeast bread, because the dough does not ferment at all. Plus with sweet breads there is no rolling, kneading, or proofing.  The more common sweet breads are your banana, pumpkin, zucchini and so forth.  Unlike yeast bread there is no proofing here or starters.  One of the most common ways involves mixing the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately, and combining them at the very end. The ingredients are stirred until they just come together, and then the resulting dough or batter is quickly baked. And unlike yeasted bread, the batter isn’t meant to be completely smooth.  Some lumps are okay.  Why?  You don’t want to incorporate air into the batter.

Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Bread

WTH dude?  What’s up with all this learnin’ stuff?”  Yeah I know, I know but you should know me by now.  I’m not one to just say “here’s a picture and a recipe… Tada!”  Well okay maybe I’d do a “Tada” and a “curtsey” to be cute but I’m one that talks and shares.  I believe that’s part of why you are here.  I try my best to connect with you all.  My goal is to not just provide recipes that make you crave something and want to go create in the kitchen but also teach something along the way, share a few laughs, memories and just create a family type environment.  I love when you guys comment back and engage here. Grab some coffee and we’ll share some sweet bread!

Weekly Menu

Happy Sunday TKW Family! How was your past week?  For me it was really, really awesome.  I started my new job on Monday.  Driving into town (Pittsburgh) so early in the morning I had such a huge smile on my face.  See I have always loved working in town.  One, it’s absolutely GORGEOUS; two, there is always something to do.  See Pittsburgh is a veritable melting pot with down home folks.  The people are genuinely nice and pretty much anything you want (other than sunshine) is there. There are a bajillion places to eat and you’re not limited to the same ol’ same ol’ either. For me though it’s like the city is alive with the hustle and bustle however it’s not so big say like Manhattan where you get lost in the crowd.

With it being a cool Fall week my best friend and I (she works for the same company.. how lucky am I?!) walked around during lunch.  I had a perpetual smile the whole time. Now I’m not saying it’s all fuzzy bunnies and glitter as there are downsides of working in town. Parking.. yes, parking! My first day there I parked in town and let’s just say I went into shock on how much it cost for an entire day.  $20!  Yes, $20 a day to park in town.  Oh hell no!  Since Oprah won’t return my calls and Brad & Angelina won’t adopt me I can’t afford that.  Fortunately I was able to find a different place to park that is only $8 a day.  Now it’s not close (maybe 5 minutes away) and requires me to take the under water t-rail system (which still kinda freaks me out).  The downside of that is I still don’t have a parking permit for there so I have to pay full rate.  AND if there is a game that day the lots are closed to non-permit folks.

10-26-14

Now on to the job itself.  It’s exciting and totally in my geekdom lifestyle (which I love). I’ve met so many new people who were so warm and inviting.  So many went out of their way to meet me which really made such a great impression. Half way through my first day Mr. Fantabulous called me to see how I was doing, what I thought.  My exact words were “Honey it’s like I fit in; like I belong here.”  It just felt right you know.  Leaving a job that you had for years working with folks that were comfortable with is scary.  While I never questioned my decision to leave I was worried – what if I didn’t like it?  What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t like them?  But after only a couple of hours in my new office I felt at ease and comfortable.

Gone are the days of the 3 hour daily commute on top of the 9-11 hour days.  It’s weird coming home “early” – normal folk time.  It’s like I have so much free time which is kinda weird for me.  Like I don’t know what to do with myself. So what do I do?  I cook more.  Which actually Mr. Fantabulous wants.  See he said something to me the other day that I didn’t think he would ever, EVER say.  He said “Honey, I think I need more food intake”. Wait, what?  How is his humanely possible?  He eats super healthy but due to how intense he works out his body requires a lot of food.  Like 4-6,000 calories a day.  Yet the man has maybe 3-4% body fat <hate him>.  I look at a cupcake online and my thighs start to jiggle!

So last Sunday I power cooked.  I mean we’re talking I made roast, soup, 2 types of chicken dinners, ebelskivers, sliders, hubbard squash and 2 New York Strip Steaks.  As we were talking on the phone Monday afternoon he was heating up his lunch – steak and half of a squash.  He was raving over the steak – it’s one of his favorite things I make. Now knowing him this was his way of saying “Honey can you make me more of these?”  On the way home I stopped at my butcher shop and my jaw dropped to the floor.  Why?  They had their NY Strip Steaks on sale for $5.99 a pound!  Seriously that’s insane! So I picked up 10 of them thinking they would last me for a while.  Um.. BAHAHAHAHA!  Yeah, right!  He was eating 2 a day so come Thursday I picked up another 10 to put in the freezer.

This Friday is Halloween and sadly we won’t be having our annual BooFest party – 2nd year in a row.  With my getting sick recently and our house still being a construction zone we just couldn’t get everything done in time.  We’re both pretty bummed out by this but it is what it is.  We both agreed that once the downstairs is done then we’ll have a party.  Fortunately one of girlfriends is having a party this upcoming weekend.  Now Mr. Fantabulous already knows what he wants to go as but me.. HA.. no clue! Knowing me I’ll wait til the last minute to throw something together.

How about you?  Are you dressing up?  What are your kids or pets going as?

With it being Halloween week, what’s your favorite Halloween memory?  Or better yet, what’s your favorite Halloween candy?  I’d have to say one of my favorite Halloween memory is actually the year we moved into this house, 8 years ago.  See where we used to live we got a to of trick or treaters.  So naturally in the new house I bought a boat load of candy.  I mean A TON.  However living in country bumpkinville, we got zero trick or treaters.  None. I was devastated as I honestly look forward to it.  Well Mr. Fantabulous could tell I was upset so he disappeared for a bit.  Around 8 or so that night the doorbell rang and immediately I ran to the door all full of smiles.  When I opened it up there was Mr. Fantabulous in a sheet saying trick or treat.  Yeah I know it’s corny but honestly it was one of the most touching things that I will always remember.

So here’s to a great week full of love, laughter and amazing candy that you may or may not steal from your kids *wink*

Best Kitchen Wishes!

♥ Monday - Pork Ragu over Pasta
♥ Tuesday- Gluten Free Crispy Chicken Parmesan
♥ Wednesday – California Tilapia Soft Tacos
♥ Thursday – Pressure Cooker St. Louis Ribs with Whiskey BBQ Sauce
♥ Friday – Chunky Shrimp Burgers with Avocado Aioli sauce
♥ Saturday – Bacon Mushroom Florentine Quiche with Olive Oil Savory Crust
♥ Sunday – Crock Pot Italian Style Pot Roast
♥ Dessert of the Week – Itsy Bitsy Spider Cookies

Crock Pot Italian Style Pot Roast

For me growing up Sundays were typically a huge pot roast dinner.  This is one of those recipes that I can really only ever remembering my Dad make though I’m sure Mom was there with him adding stuff while he wasn’t looking.  While Dad never wrote down recipes, heck Mom almost never did, I had to recreate this all from memory and taste.  This recipe took me FOREVER to  get to near perfect like his.  I still think I’m missing “something” but for the life of me I can’t figure it out however I’m persistent.  Or if all else fails I’ll take some to my sister and brother and see if they can recall.

I’m sure you can recall (unless you’re brand spankin’ new to the site – if so, welcome to the TKW Family!), growing up we had a big household/big eaters.  4 older brothers, my sister, parents and at least 3-6 friends were at every meal.  These people ate a lot.  I mean A LOT!  This recipe is made in a standard crock pot (actually one of my favorite crock pots) but when Dad made it he made in Mom’s HUGE 21.5 quart blue pot that she used for canning (like this one!).  No for real, he made 21.5 quarts of pot roast for dinner!

Italian Style Pot Roast1

In this pot would easily be 15 pounds of pot roast, a 10lb bag of potatoes, 2-3 pounds of carrots and a whole bunch of other stuff.  Come join me for a Sunday classic pot roast dinner!

Cookie Butter Toffee Crunch Granola

Granola is one of those things that I never used to like as a kid.  It was dry, flavorless and boring.  It was oats, plain – no nothing on them, MAYBE some nuts and if you were lucky a few straggler pieces of chocolate.    I mean seriously dry oats aren’t exactly sexy or exciting.  I like them now, but when you’re a kid you need stuff in it!

So apparently I’m still a kid when it comes to granola as I need stuff in mine. Now normally it’s more healthy – oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruits and yes chocolate.  At least a smidge of it.  I’m a girl and girls needs chocolate. Well this recipe came out of a challenge.  See I was on this major Cookie Butter binge. I mean it was pretty sad and one that I shouldn’t admit but I was going through a jar every 2 weeks… myself!  I’m not going to lie.  This stuff is SUPER fattening and unhealthy but dear sweet baby Jesus this stuff is amazing!  It’s so wrong… in all the right ways!  But in moderation.. unless you’re me as I have no moderation when it comes to this stuff.  And my BEST advice to you is this:

Do not buy a jar and take it to work with a spoon.  I did this and THIS was my snack only my snack turned into my getting full on cookie butter.  Bad Lori *wink*

CookieButterToffeeCrunchGranola1

So to use up the last bit of cookie butter I had (at that point in time – we won’t discuss the 4 jars I have in my supply room, k?) I opted to make some granola with it in place of my traditional peanut butter.  And to keep it quasi healthy I went with coconut oil.  Hey, I have to cut corners as much as I can when using this stuff. Plus for me adding butter would have been *too much* richness.  The coconut oil adds a very light flavor to the granola letting the cookie butter shine through.

Now for me the best part of making granola is the what can I add to it to make it rock??? For me I opted to go with toffee baking bits.  Now there is a difference here.  I use only toffee baking bits, not the chocolate toffee bits.  Why?  Cause I’m like a child when it comes to granola.  I want stuff in it… a lot of stuff.  I feel like using chocolate toffee bits is cheating and depriving me of another thing to put in.  Make sense?  No… go with it *wink*

Have you tried cookie butter yet? NO?? Oh you so need to

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