Originally posted April 2011.
You know what I should have done tonight?
Laundry. I mean, since I’m leaving for scenic Hinesville, Georgia, in about 48 hours and there is a heaping pile of clothing in my laundry basket strewn about my closet in the vicinity of my laundry basket, you’d think I’d take a step toward making the whole packing endeavor a little easier tomorrow evening.
I’ll be kicking myself tomorrow as I whine, “I don’t know what to weeeaaarrrrr….”
But not tonight. For tonight, I not only ate my favorite potato chips, drank my favorite (well, one of them) beer, and listened to the new album of my favorite band (holy moly, you MUST listen to “Wasting Light.” Like, if there is one thing you take from this post, I can’t decide if it’s “make my recipe” or “listen to the new Foo Fighters album.” I am that conflicted.)…
I did my one of my fa-vo-rite thiiiings — tried out a new recipe!
I’m kind of in love with Food Network magazine. Like, I kind of want to marry it. I know, I know. I’ve said this before, about onion soup, and probably about the best brisket I’ve ever had, or those homemade potato chips I had at this place, or anything from Blue Water Seafood Company…but this…this makes me want to do foolish things, like make five different variations of deviled eggs, even though I think eggs are the ickiest. Or make a ham so I can make their hoisin-spice glaze, even though I have absolutely no reason to make a ham and I never eat leftovers, anyway. But that’s love, ain’t it? You do impractical things, and waste time at work so you can fawn over the object of your affection…
I’m starting to sound creepy and sort of going off track, aren’t I? ANYWAY. Back to the point, which is that in the May issue, they have a page of mix and match options for a “Quick Bread” recipe. You can choose between one of five fruit or veggie flavors (pear, apple, banana, carrot, or zucchini), add any variation of about 15 fruit/nut mix-ins to the batter, and choose from five different glazes.
Needless to say, I stared at it, dumbstruck and smitten, like it had just told me its favorite book was Slaughterhouse Five. Oh, wait… =D And then realized… I have everything I need to make a delicious variation of this quick bread… and needless to say, my night was scheduled.
Apple Bread with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts with a Brown Butter Glaze (adapted from Food Network Magazine, May 2011 issue)
For the bread…
1 cup shredded apple (the equivalent of about two medium sized apples)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup cooled melted butter (or vegetable oil)
1/2 cup sour cream (or plain yogurt)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp citrus zest (optional — I skipped this, though I’m sure it would have been delicious)
Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly butter a loaf pan. Mix your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg) in a large bowl, then add the dried cranberries and walnuts.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, melted butter, sour cream, vanilla extract and citrus zest. Add your shredded apple (an easy way to do this is to put your apple slices in a food processor and blend for about 5-10 seconds) to the egg mixture, then fold the egg mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined.
Spread your batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick (or wooden chopstick!) inserted into the center comes out clean — about 55 minutes.
For the glaze…
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp milk
Either way, I’m feeling okay about my decision to bake instead of launder, because while baking some deliciously sweet and spiced bread may not be proactive or productive, it’s a step above laying in bed watching old episodes of True Blood. Because, let’s be honest here…if it weren’t for Food Network magazine, that’s proooobably what I would have ended up doing. What? I love Franklin Mott. He’s delightfully insane. Fight me. Actually, don’t. Just make this bread. I’m so looking forward to having a slice for breakfast with a nice, hot cup of coffee. See? If something gives me incentive to not hit the snooze button two three four times in the morning, it’s gotta be good. I mean, really. Look at this…