Hello lovelies! It is almost the end of november and I am all what the heckkkk where did the semester go???? I think this is probably what most people are thinking, and it definitely comes with a sense of relief. Butttt there are still two weeks left and let me tell you, they are going to be busy as bees kind of weeks. This is why I made you all a snack. It is something that definitely requires you to get your butt out of study mode for a bit, but doesn't take so long that you start to get stressed. In other words - a perfect break <3
Okay so. When I first started this blog I made a decision that I wasn't really going to talk about what I was doing in school. First off, no one wants to hear me going on and on about all the work I have because let's face it, we are all busy and have our own schedules and to do lists and don't need to read about someone else's. Really though, there is a much simpler and more egotistical reason that I did not want to write about it here. The thing is, for the last three years I have been working towards a degree in fine art photography. I was embarrassed to share that with all of you folks because, to be honest, I never really learned how to do digital photography. My program is primarily focused on film photography and darkroom work. I spent most of my degree processing black and white film, and printing both black and white and colour images in the darkroom. It is pretty darn cool, and I feel like I am appreciating it more and more as the end of my degree approaches. The thing is, I really want to share some of my other photography work on this blog, especially a project I am working on for a class called "wanderlust" (photos taken in the same place as this one).
So, what I am saying is that I was worried people would judge me for my less than perfect food photography knowing that I had almost completed a whole degree in photography! But then I realized something: everyone is so sweet, and friendly, and encouraging, and really all of my worries were founded upon nothing. This is a space for creative experiment, and creativity and art is always a process. There is no such thing as a first trial being perfect, or even anything at all ever being perfect. I am excited to keep shooting, keep trying, and keep sharing this process with everyone :)
I decided I had to sneak a picture of donut in somewhere. He is just too freakin cute! I also wanted to say how much I am loving november and how yesterday was the first real snow (even though it actually did snow back in october). I have been obsessively walking the city and editing photos while listening to the harry potter audiobooks on my ipod, and it is just great and makes me so happy <3
I already told you a bit about this fried bread/toast delicious thing going on here, but let me just get a few more words in. I've been dreaming of this maple chili roasted squash for a while now. It just feels so november, you know? And then the other day I was at frigo (the co-op grocery store at my university) and they were selling my favourite greenhouse grown sunflower sprouts and this whole toast idea just sprang into being.
It is spicy, sweet, rich (because of the fried bread), and fresh tasting. It makes a super quick lunch for a few days in a row if you prep the ingredients ahead of time, and definitely has that hearty satisfaction that the coming of winter constantly begs.
Stay warm and cozy buddies, talk soon <3
Fried Rosemary Beer Bread w/ Maple Chili Roasted Butternut Squash
Makes 1 loaf of bread and enough butternut squash for 4 toast toppings
Rosemary Beer Bread (from Half Baked Harvest)
- 3 cups all purpose unbleached flour (I have also used 1 cup whole wheat and 2 cups all purpose)
- 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 12 oz (354 ml) of beer (I used an IPA but any beer will work)
- 2 tbsp honey (sub maple syrup or agave if vegan)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped (apprx. 1 tbsp)
Maple Chili Roasted Butternut Squash
- 1/2 a medium butternut squash, seeds removed
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup + more to taste after roasting
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp chili powder (I used 1/2 tsp but if you don't like spice you might want less)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
For the Rosemary Beer Bread:
Preheat the oven to 375 and lightly grease a 9x5 loaf pan.
In a medium sized mixing bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and rosemary. Pour in the honey and the beer and stir until just combined. Pour the dough into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the top is browned and a toothpick or knife comes out clean from the middle of the bread. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Maple Chili Roasted Butternut Squash:
Preheat the oven to 400 and set aside a baking sheet or roasting pan.
Peel and slice the butternut squash into 1 inch cubes (this is a great tutorial if you feel afraid of squashes like I used to be!). Place the cubed squash onto the baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, maple syrup, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until the squash is soft and the edges are slightly browned. Remove from the oven and toss with another tbsp of maple syrup if desired.
Assembly of the toast:
Slice thick pieces of your rosemary beer bread. Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat and place your bread on the pan when hot. Fry on each side for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Top toasts with butternut squash and sprouts. Serve warm!
The bread will last on the countertop in a airtight container for up to 4 days, and in the fridge for up to a week. The squash (if any leftovers) can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for one week.