Living here continues to amaze me. I was working at a little elementary school outside of Nashville yesterday. While listening to a great little 2nd grade reader, the announcements came on to inform the children that all after school activities would be cancelled due to inclement weather. I quickly looked outside expecting to see blinding snow and high winds.
This is the last week before my crazy life as a grad student starts up again. So I’ve been going on a baking and cooking frenzy. I made this banana bread earlier this week. So glad I did. I’ve been enjoying a slice at breakfast… or as a mid afternoon snack… or both!
There is an Italian restaurant at home that my family always went to growing up. Their Caesar salad is divine and they have an unbelievable pasta dish: porcini mushroom tortellini with a mushroom cream sauce. In addition to their amazing main dishes, this restaurant also serves homemade focaccia bread at the beginning of every meal. It is dense, salty, and perfectly seasoned.
Chocolate chip cookies are definitely a popular cookie… and for good reason. It’s in the combination of a sugary cookie and melted chocolate chunks. Not to mention their tastiness increases exponentially when dunked in a cup of cold milk! There really is nothing like a soft, warm chocolate chip cookie straight from the oven.
The first time I made this recipe I was in college when my friends and I made Easter dinner together. It is a braided swiss white bread. I loved how soft and dense the bread is and also how beautiful it looks with the braid! Not to mention, your entire house smells heavenly from baking it!!
I was lucky enough to get this recipe from my wonderful friend Laura… and I think about her every time I make it — Thanks La!! Her family absolutely loves bread… and cheese (I think that’s part of the reason we get along so well!). To me, they are the experts on both. I can’t remember a time going to their home in Wisconsin and not eating fresh baked bread from their oven.
My mother has been making these since I was a little girl. I have so many memories of helping her make them in the kitchen (and of pinching off pieces of the sugary dough when she wasn’t looking). My favorite part of making these was getting to eat the end pieces… they just didn’t make the cut onto the final plate.
Living in the south has me all confused. The fall season I have experienced for the last 25 years of my life means much cooler weather and an amazing display of fall foliage. But here in Nashville, it’s the middle of October… and still 85 degrees and sunny outside!