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From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite..."Home again, home again, jiggety jig." Just in time to learn that rain, which admitably was fierce, caused our block party to be cancelled. While I was sorry I wouldn't be able to touch base with the neighbors, I was awfully glad I could take another day to become reacquainted with my kitchen. The Silver Fox volunteered for dinner duty, so while he pulled the elements of our dinner from the freezer, I put my feet up and relaxed. He chose some chili and a lovely quick bread that works well with any dish you that you might normally serve with cornbread. The bread is a Mark Bittman creation and I originally found the recipe in the New York Times. If you enjoy quick breads and are not put off by the flavor of molasses, I hope you'll give this recipe a try. The loaf is sliceable and many like to use it for sandwiches. I find that the flavor of molassses overwhelms the innards of most sandwiches, so I don't use the bread in that way. I do, however, like to eat it out of hand with butter or cream cheese, and have found that leftovers make fabulous toast. I prefer to use the more subdued flavor of light molasses when I make this bread, but if you enjoy the full-bodied flavor of molasses, by all means, use the darker varieties. Here is how this simple substitute for cornbread is made.
Fast and Easy Whole Wheat and Molasses Quick Bread...from the kitchen of Onee Perfect Bite courtesy of Mark Bittman and the New York Times
Oil or butter for greasing pan
1-2/3 cups buttermilk or plain yogurt, or 11/2 cups milk and 2 tablespoons white vinegar (see Step 2)
2-1/2 cups (about 12 ounces) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup molasses
1) Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-by-4-inch or 9-by 5-inch loaf pan, preferably nonstick.
2) If you're using buttermilk or yogurt, ignore this step. Make soured milk by warming milk gently - 1 minute in microwave is sufficient, just enough to take chill off - and add vinegar. Set aside.
3) Mix together dry ingredients. Stir molasses into buttermilk, yogurt or soured milk. Stir liquid into dry ingredients (just enough to combine) then pour into pan. Bake until firm and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Yield: 1 loaf.
Lighter Whole Wheat Quick Bread: Use 1-1/2 cups whole wheat and 11/2 cups all-purpose flour; omit cornmeal. Substitute honey for molasses. Beat 1 egg into wet ingredients in Step 3. Proceed with recipe.
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