Cinnamon Swirl Spelt Loaf

There was an ice storm raging outside the house yesterday morning, but I went ahead and pulled out the ingredients to bake bread anyway.

The schools were closed; all three kids and Danny were home. Traffic and weather authorities had cautioned us not to leave the house, and we had no desire to venture out. I had no groceries, but figured that if I could get a couple of loaves of bread baked off, at least we could have toast and eggs or sandwiches for supper.

I just didn’t count on the power going out. Twice.

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Sea Salt Focaccia with Radish Ramp Butter

Like each of my monthly #EatSeasonal recipes, today’s post was inspired by a couple of ingredients that are coming into their own right about now.

It wasn’t until I had worked out the kinks of the recipe and started photographing the dish, that I realized my Sea Salt Focaccia with Radish Ramp Butter would make a delightful addition to a Mother’s Day tea. Perhaps because of the blush pink spread or the sheer decadence of crusty white bread slathered with butter, but this recipe denotes a fancy tea and deserves as much.

(Oh hey, if you are going the afternoon tea route next Sunday, may I suggest these Herbed Avocado Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches and maybe these Triple Berry Scones. And then please invite me over.)

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Overnight Maple Hot Cross Buns

I wasn’t intending to develop a new recipe over the weekend, but I was playing around with these maplelicious hot cross buns and they turned out so well, I knew I had to share my notes and findings in a recipe.

On Friday evening I was in need of a little baking therapy (it’s a real thing, you know). Recent news and events from the week had left me floundering a bit; I needed to find my ground – and I aways find it in the kitchen.

I ground cardamom, cracked eggs, measured maple sugar and by the time I had the dough mixed up and in the fridge, I was already feeling better.

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Pumpkin-Olive Oil Bread recipe from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book

This week has been unusually busy for me and I’m five days away from a big deadline with my next book, so I am taking a break from recipe development.

That is sometimes how the business of blogging goes: freelance work and publishing projects ebb and flow, occasionally taking precedence over blog posts.

However, I can promise that I have big plans for the holidays and you are sure to love what is coming. New recipes, round-ups, cookbook recommendations, and perhaps even a giveaway or two are all in the works – just as soon as I make that pesky deadline.

To break up the long work days, Clara and I play in the kitchen together on an occasional baking project, like this lightly-spiced pumpkin olive-oil bread. Today’s recipe comes from a new cookbook I am thrilled to tell you about…

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Kids in the Kitchen: Mexican Garlic-Oregano Bolillo Buns

Where I grew up in the frozen Yukon Territory, winter arrived early and stayed late, so the best way to cope was to embrace the snow.

Once a year our family hosted a sledding party that lasted all day; the crunch of our guests’ tires on snow beginning after breakfast and lasting into the night, when the Northern Lights flickered overhead.

Before the party, my mother and I would make bolillos, traditional Mexican crusty rolls, to serve with my mother’s hearty soup, and the pots of chili that guests brought. It was my job to shape the buns, making sure the ends were twisted and placing them on cornmeal-sprinkled baking sheets.

After the second rising, we would slash the tops lengthwise from end to end, and slide the pans into the oven to rise gloriously and turn brown all over.

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