Tag Archives: real food

Cheesy Beer Bread

My last recipe for sweet potato chili may have left you wondering what to make to serve alongside it.  Well look no further because here is a simple and delicious bread recipe.  This cheesy loaf is perfect for dipping into chili (or any soup, or served plain, or with butter on top…).  I first made this back in November with a bottle of pumpkin beer, but feel free to use whatever brew you have available in your fridge.

Cheesy Beer Bread
Makes 1 Loaf

Pumpkin beer and a pumpkin candle...I obviously love fall a little too much.

1 cup diced onions
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground thyme
½ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
12 to 15oz. of bottled beer
1 ¼ cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese, separated

1.  Heat olive oil in a small pan over medium heat.  Add onion, reduce heat to medium-low, and caramelize for 20 to 30 minutes. 
2.  In a large bowl, combine the next 7 ingredients (whole wheat flour through garlic powder). 
3. Dig a small hole in the middle of the mixture, and add 1 cup grated cheese and caramelized onions. 
4.  Pour beer into bowl, and stir until combined.
5.  Pour batter into a greased loaf pan (or spray with non-stick cooking spray).  Top with remaining cheese if desired and bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes. 

 

Extra, extra!

Wine of the WeekMain Street Merlot from California.  Like the description on their website suggests…

“It is family dinners on Sundays,
It is the heartbeat of a holiday,
It is the comfort of home,
Where familiar places line the streets and friendly faces welcome you every time,
This is your Main Street.”

 

 

…I did enjoy this with some friends over dinner on Sunday, and it was very smooth and fruity.  Another thing I like about their website is the Fact Sheet that describes exactly what goes into this varietal. 

 

Extra, extra!  Take 2:  Read Mark Bittman’s take on McDonald’s newest menu arrival:  oatmeal.  I pretty much agree with what he says and also ask the question, “Why?”

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Just ERF

I’m a big fan of Mark Bittman.  For those that don’t know, he’s a quite famous food journalist/opinionist who wrote a column called “The Minimalist” in The New York Times for many years.  That column led to a variety of cookbooks  and books about his take on how to eat.  He believes a few main things when it comes to food:  eat less meat, more vegetables and fruits, and cook.    He keeps it simple, and I like that.

 

The reason I bring him up is that he now writes an opinion column for The New York Times, and I stumbled upon his most recent submission today.  It focuses on the newest set of U.S. dietary guidelines that the USDA just unveiled.  He takes note of how confusing the guidelines are to the everyday consumer because they have two different parties to satiate:  the eater (as in you) who wants to use the latest guidelines to improve his/her diet and also the distributors within the vast food industry who need to stay in the black. 

 This “health of the people vs. health of the business” is not a new conundrum in terms of food and the food industry, and it certainly will not go away anytime soon.  I don’t forsee Wal-Mart removing all processed foods from the shelves and replacing them with celery and apples.  Why should they when produce costs more money to bring in, is perishable, and also less favored than Pringles?  (On the flipside — one probable reason why Pringles and other processed foods are so popular is because they have been made so accessible to most consumers throughout the country, and so the arguments go on). 

I don’t have an answer on how to make both parties happy.  Wish I did.  To me, both groups have to share the blame for the mass proliferation of fake foods and the decrease in truly nutrious items. 

In his article, Bittman suggests that everyone just needs to ERF more.  No, ERF is not the cousin to ALF, if that’s what you’re thinking…



ALF says, "Just ERF!"

 

ERF means Eat Real Food.  He poses the question:  “Is ‘Eat Real Food’ Unthinkable?”  This one I do have an answer for…



 Nope.

It really is not difficult to make quick dishes that are healthy, delicious, and pretty darn satisfying.  In fact, it’s incredibly simple.  Hopefully I’ve shown you a few ways you can cook quick and tasty foods in the past month or so (and I plan on continuing to do so).  Whether it is fried eggs and tomato or blue cheese risotto, anyone can make the recipes I’ve posted.  You just have to decide to take the time to cook more and use as many real ingredients as possible.  In case you need some inspiration on where to start, here are some options:

 



 

I’ll get off my soap box now.  And go find a snack.

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