Almond Poppyseed Bread

almond poppyseed bread featured photo

Like most quick breads that are done right, this bread is super moist and super easy to make. I love making quick breads because they don’t require the use of yeast, i.e. less time waiting in anticipation to eat delicious goodness. Because they don’t require yeast, they’re also less fussy. No need to worry about the temperature of your liquids for fear of killing your yeast or not activating it properly. And even though quick breads are often moist and cake-like in nature (especially this almond poppyseed bread!), they’re easier to make than cakes because you don’t have to worry about the order in which you add ingredients or whether your eggs/butter are room temperature. For instance, with this almond poppyseed bread, you simply toss all your ingredients (sans the poppy seeds) into your bowl, mix until combined, and then stir in the seeds. Pour the batter into your loaf pan and voila! Easy peasy.

almond poppyseed bread photo

Note that I only used one pan since I only have one loaf pan that I trust with my breads, but this recipe would better suit two pans. They’ll bake faster when divided into two. I also baked my bread for an hour and 15 minutes (vs. 50 minutes) because 1) there was more batter to bake through and 2) I like the exterior of my bread really crispy. Either way, you’ll end up with a moist bread that’s got the subtle taste of almond, butter, and vanilla mixed together for a fragrant and mouthwatering combination. See just how simple it is to make this bread by watching the tutorial below.

Almond Poppyseed Bread
Yields 2
A deliciously moist and sweet almond poppyseed bread.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 c all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 tsp salt
  3. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 1 1/8 c vegetable oil
  6. 2 1/4 c sugar
  7. 1 1/2 c milk
  8. 1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
  9. 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  10. 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  11. 1 1/2 tsp butter flavoring extract
For the glaze
  1. 1/4 c orange juice
  2. 3/4 c sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp almond extract
  4. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1/2 tsp butter flavoring extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 nine-inch loaf pans (or 6 mini loaf pans) with baking spray.
  2. To make the bread, simply combine all of your ingredients, except the poppy seeds, together in your mixing bowl until combined well. Then, stir in the poppy seeds. Pour the batter into your loaf pans and bake for at least 50 to 60 minutes. If you like your exterior really crispy, bake longer until golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, create the glaze by heating the O.J., sugar, almond, vanilla, and butter extracts together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the sugar is completely dissolved (about 3 minutes). Remove from the heat and set aside until bread is ready.
  4. Once a toothpick inserted in the center of your loaves come out clean, remove the loaves from their pans. Spoon glaze over bread and use a knife or spatula to collect the glaze that's spilled over and reapply it to the bread until it sticks.
Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
Mon Petit Four http://monpetitfour.com/

Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto

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I’m so excited to share this recipe with you today because it’s classified as one of my favorite types of food: cocktail party appetizers. As much as I enjoy a good meal like any other person, I absolutely adore finger foods. I’m the type of person that likes to eat a little bit of everything when it comes to any food spread, and finger foods allow me to do that by being small and bite-sized. Most appetizers also tend to be pretty easy to make, at least compared to the main course. These cheese-stuffed dates with prosciutto are no exception.

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The combination of the sweet date with the salty prosciutto is absolutely marvelous. And of course anything with cheese is just 10x better, right? Well, it is so in my book. The cheese used is a combination of mascarpone, which is a somewhat neutral, slightly sweet Italian cheese, and goat cheese, a somewhat tangy cheese. Both are soft cheeses that make mixing seasoning and herbs into them easy to do. In this case, a pinch of salt, pepper, and chopped basil are all you need to season the cheese. The basil brings an element of freshness to the mix, which balances out the sweetness of the date and saltiness of the prosciutto. 

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To create this tasty appetizer, you’ll need a package of Medjool dates. They’re the the best to use since they’re the perfect size. 

cheese-stuffed dates with prosciutto

You’ll want to make a cut (not all the way through) lengthwise in the date, creating a sort of envelope/pocket.

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You’ll then remove the pits, leaving hollow dates ready to be stuffed.

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Then you’ll want to create your cheese stuffing. To do this, you’ll mix a combination of mascarpone cheese and goat cheese with a pinch of salt and pepper.

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Add in some finely chopped basil, then use a spatula to mix it all together until combined well.

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Set the filling aside for a minute while you prepare a slice of prosciutto. Since prosciutto strips are pretty wide, you’ll want to slice them in half lengthwise.

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Now, use a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop out the cheese filling into a date. Then place the date on the end of one of the prosciutto strips. 

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Roll the date with the prosciutto towards the empty end of the strip so that you end up with a prosciutto-wrapped date. Secure everything in place with a toothpick inserted diagonally.

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Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto
Yields 20
Medjool dates are stuffed with a combination of mascarpone cheese and goat cheese, then wrapped in prosciutto.
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Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pkg (14 oz) Medjool dates
  2. 2 pkgs (3 oz each) of prosciutto
  3. 1/4 c mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  4. 1/4 c goat cheese, room temperature
  5. pinch of salt and pepper
  6. 1 handful of fresh basil leaves (about 5 or 6 extra-large basil leaves), chopped finely
Instructions
  1. Make lengthwise cuts into your dates, making sure not to cut all the way through. You want to create a sort of pocket or envelope with the dates. Remove the pits.
  2. In a medium bowl, add your cheeses, a pinch of salt and pepper, and your chopped basil. Mix together until combined using a spatula. Set aside.
  3. Take out a strip of prosciutto and cut it in half, lengthwise to end up with 2 equal size strips. Take one of your dates and fill it with the cheese filling using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon. Place the date at the end of one of the prosciutto strips and roll the date with the prosciutto towards the empty side of the prosciutto strip. You should end up with a prosciutto-wrapped date. Secure everything in place by diagonally inserting a toothpick into the date. Repeat this step for the rest of the dates.
Notes
  1. You will end up with extra prosciutto.
Adapted from Giada
Adapted from Giada
Mon Petit Four http://monpetitfour.com/

Monday Morning Inspiration

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I always say that if there was a decade I would love to be in, solely for the fashion, it would be the 60s. I love the structured, fitted pieces they all wore back then. They were so elegant and chic, and made all the women look polished and dressed up. Paired with the beauty trend of that time, the cat eye and perfectly pinned up hair, women looked like a million bucks. I’d just need a Don Draper as arm candy and then I’d be fashionably set.

Faye Dunaway for Vogue Italia

Jean Patou

Grace Kelly

Natalie Wood

Givenchy for French Vogue

Actress Marisa Mell

Irene Gindry

Ina Balke

dresses by Pierre Cardin

model Twiggy

Brigitte Bardot

Catherine Deneuve

Sophia Loren

Audrey Hepburn

Potage St. Germain (Fresh Pea Soup)

potage st. germain

Pea soup, or split pea soup, is a soup that’s usually been made with dried peas. Back in the day, it was the “poor man’s” food, a soup enjoyed by peasants and village laborers. When the modern version of using fresh peas was introduced, fresh pea soup became a luxurious innovation that was fit for serving the likes of Louis XIV (whose royal palace Ch√Ęteau de Saint-Germain-en-Laye inspired the name Potage St. Germain). 

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The soup has the consistency of a creamy tomato soup. Like tomato soup, it’s a blend of broth, pureed vegetable (fresh peas), and a dash of cream. You can easily whip up this soup in 20 to 25 minutes. You’ll simply sautee some onion (or shallots) and butter in a saucepan…IMG_7367

Then add in some chicken broth, fresh peas (or frozen peas that have been thawed out), and a smidgen of sugar. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. 

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Once the peas have become tender, drain them reserving the cooking liquid in a large bowl. 

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Puree the peas in a food processor or using an immersion blender, then return them back to the saucepan.

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Add some of the cooking liquid back into the pan and stir. A little bit of heavy cream and a little more salt should give you a soup that’s creamy and thick enough to lightly coat the back of your spoon.

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Top with croutons and your choice of cheese (I used Gruyere).

potage st. germain 1

potage st. germain 3

Potage St. Germain
Serves 2
Creamy and delicious fresh pea soup.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/8 c of finely chopped onion (or shallots)
  2. 1.5 tbsp butter
  3. 1 1/2 c of fresh peas (or frozen that have been thawed to room temp.)
  4. 2 c chicken broth
  5. 1/8 tsp sugar
  6. pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)
  7. 1/8 c heavy cream
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat butter until melted. Add in onion and saute until translucent (about 1-2 minutes).
  2. Pour in the chicken broth, peas, and sugar. Add your salt and pepper, then give it a stir. Let mixture come to a boil and cook until peas are tender (about 15 minutes).
  3. Drain the peas, reserving the cooking liquid in a large bowl. Transfer the peas to your food processor to puree, or use an immersion blender. Scoop the puree back into the saucepan and turn on the heat to medium-low.
  4. Add at least 1/2 of the cooking liquid back into the saucepan and stir until you achieve desired consistency, adding more liquid if necessary (usually about 3/4 of the total cooking liquid should do it).
  5. Pour in your heavy cream and stir. Add more salt as needed. Once soup lightly coats the back of your spoon, soup should be ready. Add croutons and cheese to garnish (optional).
Mon Petit Four http://monpetitfour.com/