joyeux cuisine

a blog about good food, family, friends, and life.

cinnamon swirl bread.

I’ve told you this before but it never hurts to state it again. Baking is my stress reliever. So far into the school year I’m not super stressed. That comes next week when I have 17 projects due at the same time and my oboe teacher wants me to practice for 3 hours a day. Some days I find myself awake at midnight with cinnamon bread in the oven washing a t-shirt in the bathroom sink because I need to wear it for a parade in the morning and I ‘forgot’ to do laundry. Welcome to my life.

This bread reminds me of my childhood and mornings before school. I used to love cinnamon toast (aka toast with butter and cinnamon sugar on top of it). I would eat it almost every morning. It’s just one of those things you have to love. When school wasn’t hard and there wasn’t so much drama in your life.

This bread is definitely not drama. It is delicious. The center is a little bit gooey and the cinnamon is spread through the entire slice loaf so no matter how thick or thin you cut your slices you will always get some. The difference in texture from the walnuts is a nice surprise. The original recipe calls for pecans, but alas, I am out. Walnuts are just as spectacular though. Feel free to skip the nuts if you’re allergic or just don’t want any. Totally up to you.

I encourage you to make some bread, make a new friend, and stop freaking out about jazz theory.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

from bake or break recipes

makes 1 9×5 loaf

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (or pecans), toasted

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup sugar

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/3 cup canola oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan. In a small bowl combine the 1/3 cup of sugar, the cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside. In a large bowl combine the 1 cup of sugar, the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium sized bowl whisk the egg, milk, and oil together until well combined. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients. Stir together until just combined. Pour half the batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar mixture on top. Cover with the remaining batter and top that with the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture. With a spatula swirl the two together being careful to mix them well, but not completely. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then remove from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This bread will last well wrapped at room temperature for 3-4 days.

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homemade granola.

I’m watching the opening ceremony for the Olympics right now. Are you watching it? I guess the question right now would be: did you watch them last night too? Even though it just started, I am in awe. (People! Queen Elizabeth just jumped out of a helicopter. Well…at least her stunt double did. Still, awesome.) I love everything about the Olympics so I am in heaven right now. I downloaded the NBC app to keep up with all the coverage and I even went crazy and got the TV Guide app so I’ll know when everything is on. I’m crazy. But I think we all knew that by now.

I’ve been trying to make some healthy things to eat recently. Maybe to combat the fact that I bought a bag of mini Reese’s at Walmart today and then proceeded to eat half the bag. I have no self control when it comes to those. I’m really testing myself with the 10 dozen frozen cookie dough balls in my freezer right now. That number will reach about 17-18 dozen before too long. Hopefully that many will get baked too…we’ll see about that.

(Mary Poppins just destroyed some nightmares. I always knew she was the best nanny ever.)

Are you seeing every delicious thing right now? I’ll spell it out for you. Oats, coconut, pecans, walnuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Oh man. This is awesome. These are good things. Not only for making granola but also for you. Walnuts and pecans are full of protein and fiber. Both are really good for you. Unlike the Reese’s I’m eating right now…oh well. You can pretty much put anything you want into granola. Dried fruit, chocolate chips, anything. Make it your own! That’s the beauty.

All that goodness gets drizzled with honey and butter for a sweet topping. Bake that up and it gets golden brown and some parts stick together and get super crunchy. The coconut gets toasted and the flavors meld together beautifully. The cinnamon and nutmeg get even more fragrant in the oven. This granola is perfect for a late morning or early afternoon snack. You can even enjoy it with some milk for breakfast. So make some granola, watch some Olympic coverage, and cheer for your favorite athletes.

Homemade Granola

4 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup honey

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Place honey and butter in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Place oats, nuts, and coconut in a large bowl. Stir together and then mix in the spices making sure everything is dusted lightly. When butter is melted, drizzle half of the mixture over the oats. Stir to combine well. Divide the mixture between the 2 cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and divide the remaining butter mixture between the two pans granola. Drizzle each and stir again. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes until toasted. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Eat it alone, serve with milk, or even over ice cream.

Store your granola in an airtight container at room temperature.

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