Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rodelle. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands and companies that help to support Floating Kitchen!
On Tuesday, I made bread. In the morning, my hands gently worked the dough. I kneaded it, rolled it, shaped it and braided it. I made it pretty. I watched as the heat from my fireplace helped it to rise to it’s full potential. And I watched my social media feed fill up with announcements from friends who had voted. The hashtag #ImWithHer seemed to dominate the landscape.
That afternoon as my bread baked, my house filled with warm, comforting smells of vanilla and cinnamon. I audibly squealed as I removed the braided loaf from my oven, absolutely delighted over just how beautiful it looked. The swirl was somewhat hypnotic. While the blushing sweep of cranberries provided just the right pop of color. It was perfect.
I anxiously awaited for it to cool. I snapped my photos and took my first bites. I felt happy and accomplished.
But as the day wore on, I struggled to hang onto those feelings. The election coverage that evening caused me to stress eat almost half the loaf, sending me into some kind of a carbohydrate-induced downward spiral. And eventually, I found myself too mentally and emotionally exhausted to even stay awake for the duration of the reporting. I went to bed not knowing the final outcome. In the morning when I checked my phone, I cried. And then I called my Mom and cried some more.
Pajama-clad, I re-warmed some bread and ate it reluctantly. Later, I shared a slice with my neighbor in his backyard. And we both tried to breath.
I think it’s safe to say we’ve got some work to do. Although, I have to admit that I’m not 100% sure what that means or where to even start. But for now, I bake. And listen. And love. And vow to not grow weary.
This Cranberry Pecan Braided Bread certainly won’t solve our problems. But maybe make yourself a loaf and find some comfort and solace in that action. Share a loaf with a friend (or perhaps an enemy). And take care of yourself and the people around you. It’s the least we can do for one another.
I’ve partnered with Rodelle to bring you today’s recipe. Rodelle’s vanilla extracts and other baking essentials are top notch, and I’ve been using them exclusively in my kitchen for years now (did you know they also have a line of savory products!). When I’m cooking and baking with Rodelle ingredients, I’m completely confident that my recipes will turn out to be total show stoppers. And that’s an awesome feeling to have.
I’m also proud to work with a company that not only supports their farmers and growers abroad, but also derives 100% of their energy from wind power and other alternative sources. I hope that more companies will follow their lead.
This Cranberry Pecan Braided Bread might just steal the spotlight at your next Holiday gathering. And as your guests “ooh and ahh” over it’s festive presentation, you’ll be secretly smiling on the inside knowing that it actually wasn’t all that difficult to bake (I promise it’s not nearly as intimidating as it looks!). So be sure to stock up on some essential Rodelle baking ingredients this season, and let’s rock this whole Holiday entertaining thing!
Recipe adapted from my Braided Cinnamon, Apple and Pecan Bread
It’s hard to pick a favorite Summer fruit or vegetable. Each week it seems like I have a new obsession.
I started off the season by eating my weight in cherries (and I have the stained cutting board to prove it). Then I quickly moved on to plowing through buckets of blueberries and shucking enough local corn to make my fingers sore. Now I’m all about the heirloom tomatoes. Their jewel tones and sometimes silly, oddball shapes make me smile. And at the moment, their flavor is superior to just about everything else at the farmer’s market.
Heirloom tomatoes are like the prize at the end of the Summer. They’re our reward for sweating through the hazy, hot and humid days of June and July. And I, for one, have my eye on the prize.
This Heirloom Tomato and Hazelnut Galette puts these Summer beauties front and center. Both literally and figuratively. I definitely recommend trying to get your hands on a mix of different varieties, because this will give you the greatest visual impact. But if you can only find a single variety, that’s perfectly fine. Heirloom tomatoes come in a wide range of sizes. I used 3-4 medium sized heirloom tomatoes for this recipe, but you may need more or less depending on their size. You’ll want enough slices to create two layers that loosely overlap each other.
Galettes are suppose to be rustic. It’s normal for them to turn out a little lopsided. And maybe even crack on one side. It’s all part of their charm. And it’s why I love them so much. I’ve never been the best at constructing beautifully crafted baked goods. Freeform is certainly more my style.
There is one unexpected ingredient here: hazelnut butter. I got the idea for idea for combining hazelnuts/hazelnut butter with tomatoes from a salad I had a Saint Dinette. It might sound like an odd combination. But it works really well. You can find hazelnut butter with the other natural nut butters in your grocery store. Be sure to purchase a plain, unsweetened variety (not chocolate flavored!). Or you can easily make your own if you have high powered blender or food processor. And for a third option, you could swap out the hazelnut flour/butter for something of the almond variety.
Recipe for the dough adapted from Smitten Kitchen