I’m not sure if anyone Irish will take issue with me for this bread, but I like to tinker. Consider authenticity thrown out the window with this one.
I’ve taken out the raisins and seeds and put in chocolate chips and cocoa. As a result, I’m a very happy girl right now.
The bread itself isn’t sweet (except for the chocolate chips here and there), but there’s a lovely chocolate flavor throughout that makes this quite a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day snack!
Now that the Oscars are over, can I get in on the controversy? Hey, better late than never.
Back in the day, I got really excited about the Oscars. Hey, I was a kid. I didn’t overthink the situation. All I knew was that the fashion was fun and that for a few hours, I could watch celebrities hobnobbing and performing. It was just a fun TV night.
As you know by now, this year things got really heated. There’s no doubt that equal representation in Hollywood (in the movies themselves or at the awards shows) has not yet been achieved, and I am duly upset about it. But there’s something else about all awards shows that bothers me.
Why do we give actors so much screen time for recognition? I mean, we’re talking endless hours of airtime, media coverage, and money that gets poured into awarding people who have made it in the television and film industry. They’re all talented, so I’m not trying to hate on their craft. But why are they the heroes? Why do they get all those moments in the sun?
People risk their lives every day (or actually give up their lives) to save humanity, and I don’t see them being recognized or rewarded. Heck, they’re not even paid that well. Instead, people who pretend to be heroes, who play the part, get all the credit. It’s so much more glamorous to play a firefighter who dies to save others than to actually be one.
The real heroes have been taught not to expect appreciation as a matter of course, and that’s the way it is. But the way we celebrate Hollywood is positively obscene. Do you know about the gift bags that Oscar nominees receive? Some publications have estimated the worth of these gift bags to be around $200,000 each. Really? Is that necessary?
And that doesn’t include the expense of the show itself, or the parties, or the fashion, or the salary bumps that the world’s most successful and well-paid actors receive once they win that gold statuette. I’m not all about the money (I did go into teaching, after all), but that’s just insult to injury when you consider how much time and attention is spent on rewarding people in show business.
Okay, rant concluded. Deep breath. Soda bread.
Every year on St. Patrick’s, someone brings a soda bread into the office. It’s the standard issue soda bread, which has a lovely flavor and texture and goes perfectly with butter. I enjoy it, to a point. But man…those caraway seeds. Not my thing.
What I’ve done here is probably super not okay with traditional St. Patrick’s Day revelers, so I apologize. But I had to. The bread gets a shot of cocoa and some chocolate chips. And it’s not hard to put together at all. The video is the proof!
This bread is simple to make and accessible. Nothing fancy going on here! Nope, we save that for the Oscars. They can have the overdone display of exclusion and artificial emotion. I’ll keep it real with the baking!
I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner.
This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker.
Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.
How many of you still have guests in the house over the holidays? Show of hands, people!
After a while, it gets rough to keep feeding everybody. Sure, it’s nice the first day, but as house guests linger on, keeping up the hosting duties can be a real drag. That’s when it’s nice to make a really quick coffee cake for breakfast. Not for them, you understand. They can have Cheerios. This cake is for you!
I like having a warm, fresh cinnamon-laden treat first thing in the morning. I mean, who doesn’t? That’s why cinnamon rolls are popular. But this is a much simpler option, and all those flavors are still there.
Ahhhh…TGIF. Almost. Before I breeze through the last day of the week, it’s time to make some serious bread.
Challah, that is.
Challah is too awesome to fly so much under the radar. It’s traditionally an egg bread made with white flour and sugar, kind of like brioche. It makes amazing French toast. There are also water versions, calling for no egg, as well as challahs filled with anything from raisins to chocolate chips.
And lately, whole wheat challah has begun to pop up in bakeries with more frequency, though it’s often put down by challah traditionalists, and who can blame them? Challah is an indulgence, a bread so good that spreading butter or jam on a slice can actually take away from the yeasty, fresh-out-of-the-oven perfection of the bread itself.
I was pretty hestitant to give the whole wheat thing a try. Why fix what ain’t broke? But in a world where whole grains are healthier and white bread is just an occasional indulgence, I wanted to have my challah and eat it too.
The gas light comes on in the car. Your six-month dental checkup comes due. You realize you didn’t pay your credit card bill. Somebody gets the promotion you deserved. Your favorite pair of shoes loses a heel in the middle of the workday. And the bananas lie forgotten on the counter, turning from green to yellow to spotty to brown.
But that last one has a definite upside because all you do is bake it into banana bread. Moist, delicious, banana bread filled and glazed with brown sugar. Just for those days when things aren’t going quite your way!