Winter’s Bounty Breakfast Cake Recipe

Winter's Bounty Breakfast Cake

– A quick breakfast cake recipe for those snowy winter mornings –

As anyone with a CSA membership knows, winter can be a season of consistency; when you open your weekly winter produce box, you generally find a rotating cast of kale, beets, fennel root, carrots, celeriac, parsnips, and other cold-weather goodies. I’m 100% pro-hearty greens and root vegetables, but even I can only make so many root-based soups and creamy gratins. After a while, I get bored and need something else to do with all of these starchy roots… I need a recipe compelling enough to curb my winter veggie box ennui.

This breakfast cake recipe is an ode to my January/February CSA produce box. I needed a dish that would put all those carrots, beets, and parsnips to good use, along with anything else that has been languishing in my root cellar (read: forgotten in the bottom drawer next to my refrigerator). Born of necessity desperation, I’m hoping this quick loaf will help you use up the roots you’ve been hiding for weeks because your family threatens mutiny at the mere mention of one more roasted beet or carrot. Veggies for breakfast? Who would’a thought? [Read more…]

An Unfortunate Affinity to 70s Soft Rock, and Sweet Potato Biscuits

Sweet Potatoes Biscuit Recipe on

Mmmm sweet potato biscuits… /homerdrool

Here’s an annoying fact: I get music from my parents’ generation stuck in my head. All. The. Time. Perhaps it’s because my mom listened to music constantly when I was small, but regardless of the cause, the end result is the vast majority of the 70s soft rock genre has wormed its way into my subconscious like an earwig on a coke bender. Air Supply, Chicago, Bread, the Carpenters, the entirety of the Yacht Rock canon. It’s all very good music, to be sure, but it’s little out of context in the land that is Steph’s Brain… And it’s become one hell of a distraction. [Read more…]

How to Make Homemade Breadcrumbs

How to Make Homemade Breadcrumbs on

– Learning how to make homemade breadcrumbs in insanely easy. – 

We have a lot to say about breadcrumbs in Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese, but I thought it might be worth a mention to you all as well. Breadcrumbs don’t generally merit much consideration. They’re just ground up stale bread, right? What else is there to consider?

If you’ve recently tried the overly milled, poorly spiced powders they sell in cardboard tubes at the grocery store, then you realize there might be more than you thought.

[Read more…]

Apricot, Cherry, Cranberry and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Apricot, Cherry, Cranberry and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns Recipe– Apricot, Cherry, Cranberry and Cardamom Hot Cross Buns Recipe – 

When I was a little girl, my grandma lived to drive out of her way for something she loved to eat. A food lover above all else, she would drive twenty miles north for her favorite enchiladas, half an hour south for the best gingerbread, and over two bridges to find what she considered a superlative bowl of soup. She appreciated the process of seeking out dishes that made her happy, and the adventure was a savory extension of the flavor she was so looking forward to.

Like any teenager in a hurry to get away from home, I turned 16 and promptly earned my drivers license. Then I because my grandma’s chauffeur, driving in circles around the Bay Area to ease her cravings. I ventured to Hayward for French bread, got lost in Half Moon Bay looking for Christmas cookies, and on a near-weekly basis, braved traffic down 101 to Palo Alto for smoked ribs from a very specific butcher at a very specific Lunardi’s. [Read more…]

Fat Tuesday! Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe – Stand Mixer-Free

 Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe on– A Mardi Gras king cake Recipe for your Fat Tuesday pleasure! –

It’s king cake day! Or rather, today is Fat Tuesday, which means it’s time to get your grub on before the Lenten fast begins. Ok, I’m not really going to fast – that tradition died out in my family ages ago. But, in celebration of Mardi Gras, I did dig out my favorite king cake recipe.

If you’re not familiar with king cake, you might be surprised to read that most recipes require you to knead the dough. Dough in a cake recipe, you may ask yourself? [Read more…]

Hippyfied Light and Tender Sugar-Free Banana Bread

Light and Tender Sugar-Free Banana Bread Recipe on http://www.theculinarylife.comThe sugar-free banana bread recipe in this post is a joint effort. Thad loves his banana bread – to the point that he bakes it sometimes twice a week. Sadly, it’s got a cup of sugar in it, and we all know that I try to avoid sugar, lest my body dissolve into something that can only be described as biological Chernobyl. He’s trying to avoid it too… “trying” being the operative word.

Anyways – while lamenting the fact that I couldn’t eat another slice of his grandma’s beloved banana bread, it occurred to me that I should just search the internet for a sugar free banana bread recipe. Duh. Google revealed this recipe, which I modified pretty heavily to change the sweetness, leavening, and types of flour used.

I was excited. Thad, on the other hand, balked. Not terribly interested in “hippie-dippie” banana bread sans-sugar, let alone whole grain baking, he stuck his tongue out at the recipe and said that he probably wouldn’t like it. And that, dear readers, is where the challenge started. I’ll let Thad explain the rest.

Challenge accepted! First, let me make it clear that everything Stephanie has introduced me to, I have loved. Certainly I would be a fool not to try this banana bread, lest it be amazing; though my sugar craving brain had already made the decision that, ‘Nope, it won’t be good at all’. Just the thought of freshly baked banana bread, with sugar, wafting throughout my apartment sent mad amounts of dopamine careening throughout my neural chemistry. To me, baking anything sans sugar is akin to a water park without the water. In other words, why try? [Read more…]

Easy Banana Bread Recipe

Easy Banana Bread Recipe on
Thad Jones is back with his favorite easy banana bread recipe, another one of the lovely treats he’s cooked for me over the past few months (be sure to check out his cucumber salad and Bavarian torte with nectarines). I’m one spoiled girl, I tell ya! Having a boy in my life that cooks for me just leaves me breathless.

Thad quickly is becoming a weekly contributor here on The Culinary Life, and I’m very glad to have him (and his amazing dishes!).

Coffee. That magical bean that must be roasted to unlock it’s flavour, aroma and that specialness we call caffeine. All around the world at any given moment, you can walk into a cafe and see countless people frantically typing away on their computers, no doubt jazzed by any number of caffeine-related drinks. What interests me, though, are the quality of the snacks you can get at a cafe. Gone are the days when just a scone would suffice. Now there are macaroons, high end cupcakes, small torts, salads, and just about anything else you can think of. Along with those treats comes high prices, and I’m just not willing to shell out three dollars or more for one small little item. [Read more…]