Tag Archives: cherries

Braided Swedish bread with cherry preserves…

Not sure if you believe in spiritual guides or not, I usually am a grain of salter regarding spirituality in general. I do, however, spend a lot of time thinking about these things, especially when it comes to food. There is a theory of a “collective voice” being heritable, generations of knowledge passed down biologically, that we then feel and label as intuition. We somehow figure out how to make things work without explicitly being taught. I find some comfort in the hybrid of a spiritual voice and a biological pathway. It gives people the freedom to interpret these feelings in any way they choose.  Hey, if it works for migrating butterflies, why not with humans?

I can always feel the “collective voice” of the women in my family guiding me with food and through the kitchen. This bread in particular came very easy to me.  For some reason with this bread, I just knew what to do.  I saw this basket of cherries at the farmer’s market and instantly knew they belonged in a sweet Swedish dough, braided, and wrapped up for the eating.  You can do a simple icing to make it more of a dessert, but it is delicious as a coffee cake.  This recipe makes two loaves (which was a nice surprise!), play around with the fillings and find what speaks to you at the market. Give one to someone whose heart needs a little love, and indulge in one yourself. 

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Braided Swedish Bread with cherry preserves…

Bread:

1 ½ tsp yeast

¼ cup warm water

 

4-5 cups flour

1 tsp salt

½ tsp ground cardamom (optional but I LOVE)

 

1 ½ cups plain yogurt

¼ cup butter (room temperature)

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

Egg wash:

1 egg

splash of water to thin slightly

 

Topping:

Handful of raw sliced almonds

 

cherry preserves:

2 cups pitted cherries

1/3  cup sugar (I like mine tart) adjust sugar to your liking

Dash of bitter almond extract

¼ tsp agar agar flakes dissolved in ¼ cup water (optional) or ¼ cup orange juice

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Prepare dough. Mix together yeast and water set aside.  Mix together flour, salt, and cardamom and set aside. Then in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine yogurt, butter, sugar, and egg.  Then slowly add yeast mixture.  Then cup by cup, add flour mixture and once tacky switch to a dough hook attachment.  Keep adding flour little by little until dough forms a nice ball.  You may not use the whole amount.  Transfer to a floured surface and kneed gently for 1-2 minutes, then form into a ball and place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.

 

While dough is rising, make preserves.  Pit and roughly chop cherries.  Place in a saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and stir regularly as the cherries breakdown.  When simmering, I added the agar agar flake mixture to thicken the preserves so that while baking, the preserves would not excessively ooze out of the bread. Sometimes the natural pectin just is not enough.  You can also add apple peel for another source of pectin.  Once thickened, and the preserves cover and stick to your spoon, they are done. Remove from heat and cool completely.

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

After bread has risen, punch dough down. Cut in half.  Roll out dough into ovals. With a sharp knife, make cuts along both long sides of the oval about 1/3 of the way into the oval.  Make sure they line up on both sides. Then spread preserves down the middle and wrap, alternating sides. Seal at the bottom with a little water. Brush with egg wash and top with almonds.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. 

 

Slice and serve warm with coffee.

 

Eat together, toast to each other, and share!

 

 

 

 

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Homemade garden burgers…

So hitting rock bottom can be an intimidating but exhilarating place to be.  I found myself sitting on the floor in sweats, eating a frozen, microwaveable, garden burger…rubbery patches and all.  No bun, just the burger and some melted cheese.   My little daughter came toddling over and said “bite?”, and my heart sank  as I shook my head and went scrambling for something worthy for her to eat.  Shameful performance mom. But… I will never cheat on good food again.   My instincts reminded me that I should not be eating food that I do want my daughter eating. I began to see my kitchen in a whole new way, why buy granola bars, I’ll make my own! crackers, those too!  So these garden burgers are not only delicious and healthy, but they can save you when you are in a cooking depressive state…or just in a pinch.  The recipe makes about 15 burgers and they freeze well, and don’t crumble apart when you cook them.   We toasted ciabatta bread and adorned the burgers with grain mustard, Havarti cheese, cornichon pickles, and crunchy lettuce.  Swoon.

 

Homemade garden burgers…

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup rolled oats processed into flour

2 cups breadcrumbs

½ cup sliced almonds

½ cup pepitas, toasted

3 large carrots, shredded

1 ½ cup black beans, smashed (dried preferably)

¾ cup dried cherries, chopped

1 small onion, diced and caramelized

1 tbs harissa powder

1 tsp gram masala

for the binder:

1 ½ cup water mixed with 3 tbs flax meal

Prepare the binder by mixing ingredients together and set aside.  Over medium-low heat, caramelize onions in olive oil.  Add all ingredients together and mix.  Then add the binder at the end and mix again until evenly combined.  Using your hands, scoop out palm sized portions and roll and flatten into paddies.  Reserve a few for dinner, and then freeze the rest. We fried ours on a pan with a little olive oil, but you can grill them or bake them at 350 in the oven on a baking sheet for 10-15 minutes- flipping in the middle. 

Eat together, toast to each other, and share!


No bake peanut butter oat treats…

Some times I like to have a sweet treat with my morning coffee, especially on cold, grey days like today when you feel like life needs a little extra pizzazz. Something about the combination of sweet indulgence with a piping hot French roast, feels so satisfying.  The other part of me, however, believes in breakfast. It is by far my favorite meal of the day, and it should be substantial and nourishing. Well, I discovered a recipe that, although not originally intended for breakfast, can be adapted as such.  These no bake, tasty treats are packed full of protein and fiber, make you feel satiated while at the same time naughty for eating what feels like cookies for breakfast. I imagine that all you parents out there would also feel guiltless about giving these to your children in multiples, as they are pure, wholesome, goodness.  I am extra fond of this recipe because it evokes memories of a snowy afternoon…in the Colorado mountains…with family.

No bake peanut butter oat treats…

Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 cup organic crunchy peanut butter

1 cup organic rolled oats

½ cup dried cherries

2-3 tbs honey

2 tsp orange zest

1 tbs sesame seeds

**This recipe is extremely adaptable, and can be made from anything you have in your pantry.  You can exchange peanut butter for any other nut butter, dried cherries with any other dried fruit, sesame seeds with flax seeds…what have you***

In a small heavy pot, heat peanut butter, honey, and orange zest. Mix well.  Once nicely softened and well combined, add oats, cherries, and sesame seeds. Mix until evenly combined.  Roll in to tablespoon sized balls and let stand for 20 minutes. Voilà!


Eat together, toast to each other, and share!