Dorie’s second baking article appears in the November issue of Bon Appetit and as I read it I found myself nodding along in agreement. Dorie mentions unearthling a scrap of paper that says “Exercise more; take a drawing class; learn Spanish; tackle War and Peace.”
Although War and Peace has never quite made it onto on of my many to-do lists, exercise is always there and take a drawing class and learn Spanish have also made appearances. Last year I actually took the drawing class although I can’t say I’ve drawn a single thing since it ended. I also made a half-assed attempt at learning Spanish by downloading conversational Spanish lessons to my iPod and listening to them repeatedly. I eventually got bored of those and didn’t learn Spanish, unless you count being able to greet someone and give directions on how to take the bus to the supermarket.
One of my never ending lists is a “Stuff to Post” list where I have a wealth of my cooking and baking exploits. Today I’m able to remove part of the Dorie section as I share with you Pecan Brown Sugar Shortbread, Bill’s Big Carrot Cake, Alsatian Apple Tart, Cream Scones, (with raspberries) Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies, (with lemon zest) and Fresh Ginger Chocolate Gingerbread, (with lime cream cheese icing) all from Baking From My Home to Yours. Anything listed in brackets was my own additional to the already superb recipes. I enjoy an opportunity to add cream cheese icing to anything and it pairs wonderfully with chocolate gingerbread cake.
Sometimes the things that make my non cooking related lists are pretty unattainable, like ‘acquire a life sponsor’. Other times I write down simple things like ‘do laundry’ just so that I can have the satisfaction of crossing it off the list. I’m currently accepting suggestions for things to add to my list, I’m feeling the urge to try something new, so send your ideas my way. I’d also be happy to hear some of the things on your lists and if they ever actually get done.
Bacon Cheddar Quick Bread with Dried Pears, (from Dorie Greenspan via the October, 2008 issue of Bon Appetit)
5 bacon slices, chopped
1 cup coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese plus 1/2 cup 1/4-inch cubes extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces total)
1 cup finely chopped moist dried pears (about 3 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Generously butter 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch metal loaf pan. Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
Combine bacon, all cheese, dried pears, walnuts, and sage in medium bowl. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper in large bowl to blend. Whisk eggs, milk, and olive oil in another medium bowl to blend. Pour egg mixture over flour mixture and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Add bacon-cheese mixture and stir until incorporated (dough will be very sticky). Transfer dough to prepared loaf pan; spread evenly.
Bake bread until golden on top and slender knife inserted into center of bread comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool bread in pan 5 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in plastic, then foil, and store at room temperature.