Baking these Pillsbury crescent rolls required me to concentrate for about 3 minutes total.

A not-at-all dreary Fall day at Oxbow Regional Park.

Yesterday’s cheddar-rosemary soda bread, today. Portland, Oregon, USA 11:30am 🍞 #adayinthelife

I keep seeing ajennische’s same 6 posts at the top of my timeline, @help, and they’ve all got very up to date timestamps whenever I refresh.

Healthcare workers, Pioneer Courthouse Square. They led us in a 9 minute kneel.

Hello Portland people! Anyone know of a good, peaceful and earlyish protest tonight that you could recommend?

This Healthy Banana Bread recipe is great! I got it from a friend who swears by it, courtesy of Cookie and Kate.

I wouldn’t call it “healthy” exactly but it is less sugary and cloying than “regular” banana bread. More of the sweetness is conveyed through the mashed banana than through the maple syrup which is nice.

Also it didn’t call for a lot of maple syrup. You can use honey too but I am a maple syrup fanatic so.

Here’s what I changed from the base recipe:

- All purpose flour (instead of whole wheat or white wheat)
- Olive oil instead of coconut oil
- Three large bananas (instead of two)
- Added chocolate chips

All of these change are legit per the recipe, which talks about many different variations, including vegan, gluten-free, etc.

The whole point of the base recipe is that it is supposed to be healthier, because it uses natural, less-refined sweeteners and wheat flour instead of white flour. As the recipe says, some of the ingredients have trace nutritional elements.

It is a really good recipe. It will definitely change your life because it results in next-level, less toxic banana bread. 🍞🍪

Homemade No-Knead Olive Bread

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I was a spectator in the creation of this bread. It seemed kind of temperamental during the rise and proofing process-it takes a couple of rises/proofs before you can bake it. I understand that is from the olives and garlic inhibiting the rise.

It looked gorgeous and tasted even more gorgeous. I recommend using decent quality kalamata olives. We bought ours in a jar but I bet if they were oil- or salt-cured, they’d be even better.

I think it would be interesting to try a similar recipe but with sourdough so I am actively looking for one.

This recipe will definitely change your life if you or your bread are good-quality-olive and/or roasted garlic-deprived. 🍞

Flour’s Famous Banana Bread

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This recipe (courtesy of Food Network) was easy and quick to throw together. A stand mixer is definitely recommended unless you want to whisk eggs and sugar for 10 minutes straight. I subbed in chocolate chips for walnuts-good decision, at least in the short term.

I like this one because you can do almost everything in the stand mixer so it’s not stressful and physically taxing to combine, and there’s very little to clean up.

I do find the base recipe to be quite nice. Next time I will reduce the amount of sugar by one-third because I don’t think it needs that much. It stayed plenty moist for about 3 days, by which time it was all gone.

This recipe will change your life if you are looking for a quick, delicious stand-mixer-centric banana bread recipe, Otherwise it will not change your life much. 🍞🍪

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, Sally’s Baking Addiction

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This recipe was shared by @hollyhoneychurch. Thank you Holly! 👋🏻

Holly warned me that it was a very sweet recipe and to reduce the sugar but since I have had bad luck lately with messing with recipes, I decided to ignore her sage advice and proceed as instructed by the “official” recipe.

It’s kind of a strange recipe in the sense that you take the cookies out of a 325F oven before they look done (12-13 minutes), and the recipe specifically says that they will look underdone. And they did.

Too sweet for me but still delicious. I will invest in better-than-Costco chocolate chips next time for this recipe as they contributed to the overly-sweet issue. So yeah.

This recipe did not change my life but the cookies were tasty. 🍪

Blackberry Pie

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We’re branching out a little from bread-making and trying something different.

This recipe from Simply Recipes tasted ok although we had a glitch which you can see in the photos. I thought that once I combined the (admittedly store-bought) blackberries with the other pie-filling ingredients and baked the pie, the pie filling would end up looking more homogenous that it did. The blackberries had clumps of sugar and flour and cinnamon on them, despite the fact that we left them to macerate for twice as long as recommended, while the crust was chilling in the refrigerator. I don’t think the clumping affected the taste much, but it wasn’t as attractive as other berry pies I’ve had in the past.

I had another unforced technical error, too. I forgot to rotate the pie halfway through the baking process which resulted in inconsistent crust browning.

It tasted OK, not amazing. They recommended between 1/2 cup and 3/4 of a cup of sugar and I used 1/2 cup. It was adequately sweet, not too sweet, but something was just missing. I did also substitute vanilla extract for the almond extract the recipe called for. On the other hand, the scratch pie crust was good.

It’s hard to say if this recipe will change your life, because of the ingredients we used and the various mistakes I made. I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt because the other Simple Recipes recipe I have baked is not to be denied 🍪

Low-Carb Bread Mix In A Bag

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01387FAC 7A7C 4318 A585 B1AB98CFA939 1 105 cThis bread mix from Bob’s is terrible.

There are two ways to look at it. Either a.) Noble effort or b.) Miserable failure. I guess you don’t have to choose-it’s really both.

It tastes oily and dry at the same time. It’s chewy in an unpleasant way, and hard to swallow. It did look pretty-sort of-when it came out of the oven. The crust was crunchy and OK but the interior was inedible.

My friend said that all low-carb bread is terrible and if that’s true, this bread is emblematic of what is wrong with low-carb bread.

Really, my biggest criticism of this bread is that if you need to eat low-carb, why punish yourself with crappy “bread”?

This bread will change your life-for the worse. Very disappointed, Bob’s. 🍞

Cooking Interlude: Bob’s Red Mill Sourdough Pour-Off Pancakes

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These were kind of meh. The recipe is straight off of Bob’s Red Mill site. It took a cup (!) of starter for this recipe, which turned out to be the main ingredient, and it only made 6 smallish pancakes.

There is another recipe on Bob’s site for overnight sourdough pancakes so we’ll have to try that one too.

These pancakes will not change your life, but they will deplete your starter. 🥘

Banana Bread (OG)

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This Simply Recipes banana bread you can make with less sugar (1/2 cup instead of 3/4 cup or a whole cup). I appreciate that because it’s plenty sweet as it is. I much prefer this one to the other banana bread recipe I tried earlier.

I added chocolate chips to the recipe because I love chocolate with banana. They taste great together.

This recipe will change your life if you are short on good banana bread recipes. Try it with just 1/2 cup of sugar. It’s just as good and probably not as horrible for you as the same recipe with more sugar. I might try it with 1/3 cup of sugar next time. Plus you can add chocolate chips to expend the sugar budget you saved by not putting in the “normal” amount. 🍞🍪

Bob’s Red Mill Butter Mochi

AFBF5FE4 8F55 48F1 9C8B 31F01E7DA0B1 1 105 cThis recipe is on the back of the small Sweet White Rice Flour bag from BRM. It is very good. And pretty easy. We got good results with about the same amount of effort as baking brownies.

My only real points of comparison for butter mochi are what we get from the Hawaiian place down the street, and what we had when we were in Hawaii. This seems pretty authentic. It looks and tastes just like the stuff from down the street, and it has that weird mealy/grainy dissolving in your mouth thing going on.

This recipe will change your life. 🍪

Cooking interlude: Instant Pot yogurt

089332F6 AFCA 47A6 ABE2 6BDDD28C0635 1 105 cThe Instant Pot is a really easy way to make really good yogurt that is significantly more interesting than store-bought. This recipe is from their recipe app.

It takes a while (about 15 hours on the short side), but I think it’s better than store bought because it has a more varied texture. I guess you could get rid of that in a blender or something but I happen to really like it the way it is.

I sweetened the original batch with a little bit of maple syrup before fermentation, and then again when I stirred in additional maple syrup to taste just before eating. It was delicious.

I’ve made it twice now and the second time I made the mistake of trying to boil the milk quickly on the “UltraBurner” on our stove. That just scalded and burnt the milk, leaving a film of burnt milk all the way around the pot and up the sides. I scraped it all off but the burning flavored the milk I used to make the yogurt so it kind of had a smoky flavor. The liberal amount of maple syrup I added before eating them kind of drowned out the smoky/burnt flavor.

You can make a LOT of yogurt from a half-gallon container. I made 5 small (pint) mason jars and one quart mason jar with a half-gallon of homogenized milk.

This yogurt recipe will change your life if you like DIY cooking projects and are unsatisfied with the texture and consistency of store-bought yogurt. 🥘

Ghirardelli brownies from Costco

These brownies from the giant Ghirardelli box from Costco are Epic. Delicious and super easy. And they come in a pack of 8.

They’re extremely chocolatey, almost fudge-like, dense, and very good. They have that amazing, melty mouthfeel that a lot of gluten-free things have nowadays.

The back of the package has instructions on how to make them but also how to proportion things if you are making more than one (!) batch at a time. The basic batch is like 24 or so brownies, but there are instructions for more (!!).

Highly recommended. These will change your life if you are used to mediocre brownies. You will for sure become a brownie snob and never tolerate any lesser kind of brownie. So when you’re doing the aisles at Costco, don’t forget to hoard a few 8-packs because you never know when you might need however many brownies that bakes. 🍪

Bob's Red Mill English Muffin Bread

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I learned from this recipe that the secret to good English Muffin bread-y products is uncooked yellow grits (aka polenta).You roll the dough in them just before baking. It helps the dough from sticking to the baking vessel, it provides insulation to protect from burning, and it also tastes crunchy and toasted. Like another, sparser layer of crust almost. And the crust is good, but the doughy, fluffy interior is great.

The recipe is simple but also kind of time-intensive as it involves multiple rises.

I wouldn’t totally agree that it is “English Muffin” bread because we toasted a couple of slices. And this is definitely not very similar to a toasted English Muffin. Slightly more crumpet-like, I guess.

This recipe is decent and delicious but it will not change your life, sorry Bob’s. 🍞


I co-baked matzoh from scratch this year with my niece, over FaceTime. Her baking skills are impressively intimidating.

Hers turned out a lot better and more authentic looking. We used a New York Times recipe from the Spanish Inquisition era that called for a lot of honey. My matzot came out thick and chewy and super sweet. My niece’s matzot were thinner and had legit blisters, much more similar to the store-bought kind than mine, although she reported that hers were also sweet.

It was a fun project but the end result for me was pretty disappointing. This matzoh recipe will not change your life unless you are dissatisfied with store-bought matzoh and you want something chewy, sweet and thick, which is pretty much the opposite of store-bought matzoh. So yeah.

Cooking Interlude: Matzoh Ball Soup

For Passover this year, we made matzoh ball soup. This requires matzoh balls, so we made those too, from a Manischewitz mix. They were pretty good, I thought.

We boiled them in homemade chicken stock with a little water and bouillon added to make enough broth to boil them all in. They were delicious, we decided, because they came out nicely salty from their broth bath.

These matzoh balls did not change my life but they sure did taste real good. Nice addition to our Seder. 🥘

Banana Bread with Pecans and Chocolate Chips

Similar recipe as the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread, but banana bread instead of pumpkin.

Decent, although we need to debug either the recipe or our oven’s convection feature. The outside turned quite dark brown after 30 minutes more than the recipe called for, because it wasn’t anywhere near done after 65 (!) minutes at 350F (which our oven insists on dialing down by 25 degrees). The dial-down might have been part of the problem.

Anyway, all things considered, it was decent for a banana bread. I think we need to do a banana bread head-to-head for this recipe and the other one I really like.

This banana bread will definitely not change your life, however.🍞🍪

Artisanal Almost No-Knead Sourdough

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Same recipe as last time: America’s Test Kitchen. This time though, we made it with a flour from Bob’s Red Mill called “Artisan Bread” flour. The website says it is more glutenous than regular bread flour. We used the same gluten-free (brown rice flour-based) starter. We’re trying to keep our options open in case we want to try making GF bread sometime.

Whatever the magic powers of the combination of this recipe and artisanal bread flour milling, it made for a delicious loaf. It was spongey and sour and airy. Almost like a very fresh ciabatta or even a fougasse-type concoction. But also definitely a sourdough. Fantastic crust although we almost burnt it-the dutch oven was on the hot side of the oven so parts of the crust were dark brown. But still very edible and crusty. 

We bartered a loaf for some masks that a neighbor made. The neighbor was very pleased with the bread.

I didn’t do the slash across the top correctly and I over-floured it just before putting in the oven but man. It tasted great! This loaf lasted approximately three hours before it was hungrily devoured by our household.

This recipe will change your life if your life is limited by a previous lack of access to fresh, spongey and yummy white flour-based sourdough. Or if you need to score three masks, and your neighbor really likes carbs and has three masks but no delicious homemade artisanal sourdough. 🍞

Whole Wheat Sourdough

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Great recipe.

It’s just a basic sourdough but we made it with whole wheat flour. When we made it, we still had a lot of whole wheat to get through. We had just gotten stocked up on flour so now we have All The Flours (whole wheat, “artisan” bread and regular white).

It was pretty dense, but it was very moist when fresh and still chewy a day later. Kind of a spongey consistency. Very tasty and definitely had that sourdough tang. We need to try making this again but with bread flour.

This recipe will not change your life unless, like us, it is your first time making sourdough in which case you will wonder where it has been all your life? 🍞

Whole Wheat Popovers

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From Ina Garten’s recipe, with modifications

I made these with whole wheat flour and they turned out to be quite delicious as a weird, stodgy take on the buttery, flaky kind. These were buttery, not flaky, and actually quite dense. They had an eggy/custardy consistency inside.

These popovers will change your life for the better if you are looking for a way to use whole wheat flour for popovers but weren’t quite sure how. Or if you want a 1970s alternate reality/parallel universe version of a more traditional, flaky popover. If you are looking for an airy, light and flaky popover, they will change your life-in a wistful, disappointed way. 🥐

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

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Easy to make, but slow (65 minutes or so) to bake. A beautiful pale brown when out of the oven, probably due to the whole wheat flour that we are working our way through, plus the light brown sugar that the recipe calls for.

When I was checking for doneness, I didn’t pierce the crust in enough places, so missed that there was a layer of unbaked dough near the top of the both loaves. Lesson learned, I’ll know for next time. We’re going to let it stale and then make French toast out of it. I also need to figure out where the hot spots are in the oven.

I decided to add chocolate chips to the mix. That was a good decision. Next time I make it, I will probably cut the sugar in half because it was too sweet, especially with the addition of the chocolate chips.  

Food Network has a great webpage with 50 different quick bread recipes, which is a very useful resource. There are savory and sweet varieties.

This recipe will not change your life, although it was a good excuse to take our new stand mixer through its paces. I made a double batch and some flour and whatnot spilled over the edge of the mixer’s bowl. Once I got the liquid in though, it was easy and quick. Our stand mixer has a paddle that automatically scrapes the side of the bowl so that you don’t have to. It’s an excellent feature. 🍞🍪