fresh bread


Making bread is one of those things that I wish I did more often. It’s really so simple and so rewarding, and yet I never make the time to do it. Perhaps because the process of rising and waiting seems so much harder than it actually is.

This weekend I made a few loaves using this recipe and I dare say they turned out perfectly.


As you can see, by perfectly I mean a little odd. They grew from beautiful orbs of dough into misshapen blobs. Delicious misshapen blobs. They were moist and fluffy on the inside and perfectly crusty on the outside. Everything that I want in a piece of bread.


We’ve already eaten our way through these two loaves, slicing them up and smothering them with various spreads. Such a treat. So here is to turning bread making into a habit.

chocolate chip banana muffins

This next post is from Nicole, a friend and vegan blogger who I was able to meet last year when she was visiting Los Angeles. She’s a great girl and not only does she cook  up some tasty vegan food, she also takes amazing photos. Luckily she’s kind enough to share a recipe with us. It looks delicious. (more…)

bread and butter

Dear readers, this post has a split personality. But that’s kind of just how I am. I’m leading you, just momentarily, to a more personal place.  A place of bread and butter.

I was reading this post the other day about following your dreams and your passion and it really resonated for me. Now, while it may seem that I spend most of my time in the kitchen our out photographing fun stuff with Shawn, the truth is I have a full time, totally not creative job,* just like tons of other people out there. I spend most of my day calculating things and making a lot of spreadsheets.

Then I get to go home and bake and blog and photograph and sew for the few hours I have before I am too tired to function. It’s been going like this for about the past few years with a few variables. At some point there was a lot of script writing. Sometimes there are a lot of night time bicycle adventures. At one point there was a lot of watching edits of Brainwashed Love.

It hasn’t been easy. It’s been a lot of work, to keep up all these interests and paths. Sometimes I hate that I can’t just decide on one thing. I know it won’t ever be like that for me. I want to make movies. I want to bake cupcakes. I want to do it all. Of course all these creative endeavors come at a cost. So that’s what the day job is for in the mean time. It’s the bread and butter.

In 2009 Shawn and I took that crazy leap of making a feature film. We completely produced and financed it ourselves. It was something we both knew we had to do. I’m sure it was one of the best decisions we’ve made even though it was scary. I’m still so proud of what we’ve accomplished by making a movie together. It’s something that many people dream of doing and never get the chance to do. We did it, and we did it well. Not to mention it just gave us that much more confidence for the next one.

So here I am, a bit over a month out from the first time we screened our film, thinking about how to follow my dreams. I know I have to devote as much of myself to these creative endeavors as I can stand.

I’ve realized that I love this blog. I don’t just enjoy blogging, I LOVE cute & delicious. I love that it is a place where I can sprinkle bits and pieces of all the things I create. So I’ve recently invested more time into it, trying to post more often and make it as cool as possible because it makes me happy.

I’m loving planning our wedding. It’s like the biggest excuse to craft and design ever. How could I not love that?

The one thing I’ve had to let fall to the wayside recently is Vegan Bake Sale. It will return. In a grander more splendid form. Cross my heart.

I’ve been really into practicing photography lately. I’ve always taken photos for this blog (although, in the past, all the good photos were taken by Shawn). I’m really trying to step up my game. It helps that I have a good teacher.

I’m still trying to figure out how to turn all these loves, these things I’m truly passionate about, the things that I live for, into my bread and butter. I know somehow someday this will happen, I just haven’t figured out how to make it happen yet. I’m ready though.

So I’m leaving you with these thoughts and some insanely good Beer Bread from a mix I bought at Trader Joe’s. I know I said I don’t usually buy boxed bake goods but sometimes you have to make an exception. This is one of those times.

Yeasted breads

I haven’t been sleeping very well lately. I know it is because I’m jet-lagged but the past week has been a little strange. It has contributed to a wonderful development in my home though. When you wake up at 3 am and your fridge is empty, it makes perfect sense that you should bake some bread. Right? I thought so. In the past week I’ve been experimenting with some yeasted breads. I can’t help but still get a thrill when they rise up like magic.

Perhaps the most delicious and filling was the rosemary focaccia. I used the recipe in The Joy of Vegan Baking pretty much exactly as it was written. This loaf was dense and yet fluffy, moist and salty and completely packed with rosemary flavor. The one time I’ve made focaccia before it was not nearly this thick and wonderful. I want to eat a million sandwiches off of this stuff. The crust has a light oiled flavor and the olives compliment the whole thing quite nicely.

Another project was a basic french loaf. This was the simplest of the batch but still satisfying. It was plain but great for toast. The crust was fairly crunchy as I tested out the technique of throwing water in the oven to steam it. I was impressed for it being such a basic loaf that it really was so good. This was also the quickest to prepare, easy to turn to in a pinch.

When I was researching tips to make my french loaf, I discovered that everyone in the bread making world seemed to be crazy about this No-Knead recipe from the NY Times. Of course I had to try it as well, despite it having a rising time of 20 hours total. Everything I read, promised me a light interior with a beautiful crunchy crust. I was not let down. I must admit that I definitely messed up this recipe. At hour 12 or so I could see that my dough was definitely too wet. Being that it had been rising for so long I just decided to go ahead with it anyway and hope for the best. Though I know that something was off, just by looking at the dough, it still tasted amazing. It was insanely good and very easy to assemble, despite my mis-measuring somewhere. If you have the foresight to put this together a day in advance, it is well worth the wait.

More autumn flavors

I made some pumpkin bread last week that was absolutely delicious. Super moist with some subtle spice. This is only half the loaf since it all got eaten so quickly. Pumpkin is seriously awesome. I’m going to have to come up with some more pumpkin dishes before the end of November. There is still time yet!Wonderful news though….I’m getting a big baking treat tomorrow! A special present to myself. I’m sure a lot of people out there could guess what it is. So excited. 🙂