Irish Bread

Exhibit A

I have made this quick bread for many years. This recipe card is written in my teenage handwriting. It is well documented that this is Irish Bread. See Exhibit A. Not Irish Soda Bread. Can we agree that it’s a quick bread and that it’s delicious? Good.

This recipe defies all baking’s measuring and mixing logic. On the back of the card there is no “cream butter and sugar, adding eggs one at a time…” So every time I make this, I try to remember how I made it decades ago. The answer is the same every time. It doesn’t matter. I just dump everything into a bowl and mix it. I’m glad we got that out of the way.

The measuring is a bit suspicious. Put the eggs in a measuring cup and and add milk to the one cup line. How is that possible? Aren’t eggs different sizes? Do you scramble the eggs first? What sense does this make? It just works. I do not scramble the eggs. I just break them into a pyrex measuring cup and add milk. Ta. Da.

I have added to my repretoire the use of parchment paper to line the pan. I’ve had too many breads stick to the pan bottom and tear apart. I cut the parchment to the right width and use metal clips on the long sides of the pan to prevent overhang paper folding into the bread. I’ve had that happen way too many times.

Along the way I discovered sparkling sugar. It does not melt. It is great to sprinkle on top of muffins, cookies, cakes. It zhuzhes up baked goods. There are other sugars you can use but I prefer white sparkling sugar. It adds some crunch and shine!

Before we start baking, let’s do some prep work. I like to plump up my raisins by soaking them in warm tap water for a few minutes. I use a mesh strainer to drain the water from the raisins. The recipe calls for melted butter. I like to melt it on the stove and let it cool. You don’t want to add hot butter into the batter. Once you have those tasks completed you can start with the rest of the measuring.

Shall we bake some quick bread?

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

2 large eggs


3/4 cup sugar

1 cup raisins

1 tbsp caraway seeds (optional)

Sparkling sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare loaf pan with nonstick spray and parchment paper. Soak raisins in warm water to soften. Then drain water before using.

Crack two eggs into a measuring cup. Do not scramble them. Pour milk on top of the eggs up to the one cup mark.

In a mixing bowl, place all of the dry ingredients, except the raisins and caraway seeds. Pour into the bowl the cooled butter and milk/egg mixture. Using a mixer, mix until all ingredients are well blended. It will be a thick batter. With a spatula add in raisins and caraway seeds. Pour into prepared loaf/bread pan. Sprinkle the top with sparkling sugar

Bake for 45 minutes to one hour at 350 degrees. I start checking on the bread at 45 minutes. I turn the bread in the oven so it bakes evenly. It’s done when a toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden. Place pan on cooling rack.

Let the bread cool for about 10 minutes before you remove from pan. This bread is best the day it is made but is still great the next day. I strongly suggest a smidge of butter on the warm bread. It’s amazing. Store at room temperature.

Strawberry Cheesecake Bowl

I have had my fair share of failures from TikTok influencer recipes. This one is actually fantastic. It appears to be a re-done Weight Watchers recipe from years ago. The chef/influencer I follow had it down to 173 calories. I, of course, tweaked it and made it less healthy by just a smidge.

I used low fat vanilla Greek yogurt that has 180 calories for 3/4 of a cup. The suggested Fat Free Greek yogurt had 170 calories. I figured if the recipe was a bust, I’d have yogurt I’d never eat, taking up real estate in the fridge. So I bought vanilla low fat Greek yogurt. Marginal calorie increase.

The original recipe also allowed for strawberry jam. I don’t think this necessary. I went jam free and did not regret that decision. I used the suggested sugar free cheesecake instant pudding. It was good. I probably won’t use the sugar free again. The recipe only calls for 1 tablespoon of the pudding powder. I think if you skip the jam and suggested 1/2 broken up graham cracker, you will be just fine.

It does not taste EXACTLY like cheesecake, but it was very tasty. I think you could use any instant pudding flavor. I used the cheesecake pudding and made three variations. One bowl was the yogurt, instant pudding mix and freeze dried strawberries. This was fantastic. The next one was similar, but I replaced the strawberries with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter/chocolate powder for an added 50 calories. Next time I will top it with some fresh banana. It was really good. My original was the yogurt, pudding mix, graham cracker crumbs and fresh blueberries. I didn’t have graham crackers, just the crumbs from a past cheesecake. I don’t think it brought anything exciting to the bowl. I would skip the graham cracker.

I made this, each time, for lunch. It was very filling. I had it with my mid-day coffee. Perfect pairing!

Here’ is the original recipe. I suggest you make it your own, and experiment.

170 g (3/4 cup) Fat Free Greek Yogurt

7 g (1 tbsp) sugar free cheesecake instant jello pudding.

12 g strawberry jam

1/2 graham cracker.

I measured out the yogurt and added the instant pudding into that measuring cup and stirred until it was completely mixed. I placed it in the fridge for about 5 minutes. Then I transferred it into a bowl, so I could gussy it up.

Give it a try! You can make this healthier by adding protein powder as well.

Penne with Spinach-Ricotta Sauce

Snowy winter days bring carb cravings. This recipe will satiate those cravings. I can’t even pretend it’s healthy but it’s delicious. You can add a salad on the side. I prefer to serve it with sausages. Since it’s a simple recipe with few ingredients, buy the best ingredients. Splurge on the pasta, buy a creamy ricotta, toss in fresh baby spinach and grate your own parmigiano-reggiano. Honestly, I often double the sauce recipe. Also, this recipe takes about 30 minutes in total.

I’m a believer of prepping before you cook. Fill the pasta pot with water and put it on the stove. Put an inch of water in a second pot for the spinach, I use a 10 inch fry pan, and place it on the stove. Dice your onion and place it in a bowl. Pull out the your butter and measure the ricotta and cream. My whole nutmeg tends to get pushed into the back of my baking shelf, so I take it out and find the grater. Once I get cooking I don’t want to be slowed down by having to search for ingredients. Being organized makes the cooking experience more pleasant.


6 ounces fresh baby spinach

1/2 medium onion, finely diced

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pound penne

3/4 whole-milk ricotta

1/3 cup of heavy cream

1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring your pasta water to a boil.

Bring the spinach water to a boil. Add about a teaspoon of salt. Once it’s boiling, toss in the spinach and stir it. It will greatly reduce, so if your pan is small, you add it a little at a time. The spinach should take about 5 minutes to cook. Once it’s completely wilted, drain in a colander. Let it cool for a couple of minutes. You can use the back of large spoon to squeeze out the water or you can use your hands. Transfer the spinach to a cutting board and finely chop it.

Melt the butter in a large skillet and add onions. I like to cook my onions at a low temperature to soften and caramelize them

When the water for the pasta is boiling, add two tablespoons of salt and the penne. Cook per directions on package. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water in case you need to thin out you ricotta sauce.

When the onion is ready, add the cooked and chopped spinach to the skillet and saute, stirring often for a few minutes. Add the ricotta, cream, and nutmeg, and cook, stirring, until the ricotta is heated through and the cream has reduced considerably. Taste and season accordingly with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

When the penne is done, drain it well, and toss it with the spinach and ricotta sauce and the parmigiana-reggiano. I pour the pasta into the pan with the sauce. You can mix it in another bowl. If the sauce still seems thick, add a little pasta water and stir. This is handy way of making a sauce creamier.

Serve at once. Simple and delicious.

Here is the original recipe.

Cocoa Brownies

In December Louise Miller posted her favorite cookie recipes on Twitter including this fudgey brownie recipe from Bon Appetite. It’s part of BA’s best recipes. This recipe makes just the perfect amount of brownies in an 8 X 8 pan. She fancied them up by adding Andes mints to the batter and a chocolate glaze with peppermint extract.

Let’s bake some brownies!


Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8 X 8 X 2 glass baking dish with foil, pressing firmly into pan and leaving a 2 inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray; set baking dish aside.

Melt butter is a small sauce pan over medium heat. Let cool slightly. Whisk sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl to combine. Pour butter in a steady stream into dry ingredients, whisking constantly to blend. Whisk in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. Add flour and stir until just combined, (do not overman). I added a cup of chopped up Andes mints and mixed them into the batter. Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top.

Bake until top begins to crack and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 25-30 minutes.

Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool completely in pan. Using foil overhang, lift brownies out of pan; transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.

Louise recommended a delicious glaze for the brownies. It’s super simple and fancies them up. I added sugar pearls on the top. Crushed candy canes are a festive touch.

Chocolate Glaze

4 ounces of butter

8 ounces chopped up semi sweet chocolate or chocolate chips

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 tsp peppermint extract

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler, stirring until melted.

Add the light syrup and extract. Mix until combined.

I leave the brownies uncut and in the pan, in the foil wrap and then add the glaze. Smooth the glaze over the brownies making sure to cover every corner! Add any toppings while the glaze is still warm. Once the brownies are cool and the glaze is set, you can take them out of the pan and foil, then cut the brownies.

Store at room temperature. You can bake these ahead of time, and freeze them unfrosted. I leave them in the foil and then defrosted them in the foil and pan. After they were defrosted, I made the glaze.


Meltaway Thumbprint Cookies

Cookies do not bring Christmas cheer. Lies! Fake news! But these cookies are guaranteed to bring you happiness. It’s a King Arthur Flour (KAF) recipe that was brought to my attention on Twitter by a pastry chef/author Louise Miller. This recipe is easy, delicious and stays fresh for several days. The cookies are tender and delicate. After I baked them, I froze half a batch and they were still wonderful.

The original recipe calls for Fiori di Sicilia, a citrus and vanilla flavoring. It’s out of stock at KAF and I successfully used vanilla extract and orange extract instead. The grated orange zest stands out as well. The orange skins were not thick enough for me to use my box grater, so I changed to a zester with better results. I love jams and jellies. I used raspberry preserves. Next time I will use apricot and blueberry preserves. Specific to (KAF) are thumbprint cookie cutters. They make a beautiful cookie but are not necessary. You can roll the chilled dough into a ball and with a wet finger, make an indentation prior to baking. Simple!

The recipe also calls for extra-virgin olive oil and butter. I don’t usually like baked goods with olive oil. These cookies are the exception. You wouldn’t know it was an ingredient. The cookies are very tender. It seems like a lot of fats in the recipe but it works! Don’t let them dissuade you from trying the recipe. Use good olive oil and butter. It’s important to use quality ingredients when you bake.

Let’s bake some happiness!


2 1/2 cups (300g) KAF unbleached Cake Flour

1 cup (113g) confectioners’ sugar

1/4 tsp salt

8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter, softened

6 tablespoons (76g) extra-virgin olive oil

1 to 2 teaspoons grated orange zest, to taste

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp orange extract, to taste

2 large egg yolks

jam or preserves

Sift together the flour, confectioner’s sugar, and salt over a medium bowl. I use a mesh strainer instead of a sifter.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter an olive oil until it is fully combined. It’s very important that the butter be very soft, in order to have the fats mix together thoroughly. Mix in the zest, vanilla, and yolks. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Scrape the bowl and mix briefly once more to be sure no dry flour remains. I do use my stand mixer and use a low speed to add the flour.

If your are going to use cookie cutters, shape the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and chill for a least an hour. The dough can be made up to 2 or 3 days in advance. If you are not using cutters, after chilling the dough, make a ball of about 1 tablespoon of dough and make the indentation. If the dough is too crumbly and difficult to form into a disk, you can add a small splash of milk. Measuring the dry ingredients correctly helps prevent this problem. I prefer to weigh my ingredients.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the over to 325 degrees and place parchment paper on two baking sheets.

If you are using thumbprint cutters, on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1/4″ thick. Dip cutters into flour and cut out shapes. Press the plunger several times to make the indentation and emboss the pattern. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the baking sheets. Reroll dough as needed to use remaining dough.

Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown. Remove from oven and leave cookies on baking sheets. Fill the indentation with the preserves while to cookies are hot. This will help the jam melt and give it a smooth finish. Cool cookies completely before removing from the pan.

Store cookies at room temperature for several days in an airtight container. If you need to stack the cookies, place parchment paper between the layers. You can freeze these, even with the jelly, for a longer storage period.

You can sift more confectioner’s sugar over the cookies prior to serving. Fancy them up a bit.

It all started with one book…

A few months ago, I popped into my hometown. When I drive through, I revisit all my happy places and think about what they meant to me.

Driving past my old high school and the town library, I was reminded how one book helped me change my life. It brought me knowledge, which gave me confidence, which helped me be the best at something. Because of this book, I made many friends and memories, and grew up. One book helped me change.

Picture it, Sicily 1972, a young girl wandering far from home…just kidding. But it was 1972 and the start of Title IX. I may have wandered a bit. It was the first year of alleged equality in sports. It was the first year of a girl’s high school track team in my hometown. You know the song, big girls can’t run, so they throw. I had a natural affinity for throwing the discus. Try to find a sexier sport.

There was an abundance of resentment and toxic masculinity among the male species in the field events.  We were given the bare minimum that the law legislated. I went to the library and found a book on how to throw the discus. I found one oversized paperback book that became my bible. I don’t recall the title but it was unlikely as catchy as “Discus for Dummies.” I practiced seven days a week. By my senior year I sported a snazzy metal back brace. I still competed. No one told me not to. I taught myself how to spin when I threw the discus and improved every week. It was unusual for girls to master the spin. I kept looking at the black and white photos trying to capture the technique I needed. I practiced. I watched. I was determined. It was the foreshadowing of my future, being an individual contributor within a team. This book held the key to my accomplishing something. I became the best in my school, in my league and one of the top 20 in the state every year. It was measurable in yards, feet, and inches. It was indisputable. How often are you the best at something? As of a couple of years ago, I still held the record for my high school set in 1975. It’s a disgrace that female runners have set new records, but not in field events. The coaching is crucial.

This success gave me the opportunity to be recognized by a coach from another town and other high school track elites in my league. He believed in me enough to want to coach me on his free time. He wrote me a letter and called our Athletic Director. Unfortunately, I turned down his offer. One of my many mistakes in life. My friends and I became friends with these other athletes. It was great to fit in with people I admired. There were flirty friendships. There were some shenanigans. We went to their team dinners and parties. We went cruising in cars. I brought them to Boston and Cambridge for the culture. They brought me to bars. They got me fired from a great babysitting job. Note to self: boys, beer and babysitting do not go together.

Over the four years, I began to realize the impact of Title IX. I learned a lot about having to work at getting what I wanted. It wasn’t all victories and tooting rainbows. Life slapped me in the face more than once. I learned to endure. I was a constant in the Athletic Director’s office. We needed time in the weight room. We needed real uniforms. We needed better coaches. I was naive enough not to be intimidated. I was just a girl who had goals. I learned I had to rely on myself and my friends. We accomplished so much, and many life lessons were learned.

I had no idea how all these experiences would shape me, or how they would shape the future of women’s athletics. I just did what I had to. It was an exciting time of opportunities. It all started with a book.

Dear Twitter

Dear Twitter.

It’s been fun, but all good things must come to an end. You’ve been a good friend at 3am. So, thank you for entertaining me, and I’ve learned a lot about myself because of you. I have so much to be thankful for.

Thanks for keeping me informed on all the Boston news there is to know. I can watch any news station while following the other ones on Twitter. So many different angles to follow. Kudos to the WBZ morning team for their social media presence.  Oh how I laughed. You guys rock.

Thanks for sharing all the k-pop stories. There could be a Twitter just for all things k-pop. This has been a recent joy for me. It’s a new world. I’ve been reminded how little I know and how I will never know enough. It’s a fascinating industry. There isn’t enough time to listen to all the new-to-me artists. I’ll catch up. The music is amazing. But thanks for all the laughs and the information that makes me scratch my head. To all the artists, jebal be healthy and happy. Oh, and BTS, I have a profound respect for you as a group and as individuals. Let’s talk about it someday. Also, thanks for all the k-drama stories. So many series, so little time. They are my therapy. More to come on this topic.

Speaking of music, thanks for all the news on The Rose. It’s an amazing band of young men that work hard at their passion. They seem to be kind souls that care about their fan group. I need to believe that. I hope they realize they do not have anything to prove to anybody. Their music and lyrics are healing. Rock on guys.

Thanks for introducing me to new authors and reintroducing me to old friends. They are an amazing group. I love their book and life discussions. You inspire me in many ways. Sass on people! I have also discovered I never get tired of pictures of the Domino Sugar plant in Baltimore. 

Thanks for introducing me to new music. People who show you new music are the best. 

Thanks for all the Boston Police and Emergency Service news. It explains what I see and hear from my window. It reminds me how they are real heroes. 

Thanks for all the humorous tweets about grammar. The 15-year-old me never knew it could be so entertaining. She just thought it was confusing. 

Thanks for all the news stories be it international, national, or local. All of them are important. It reminds how I need to be more curious and learn about the world.

Thanks for making me laugh and cry. Maybe it was just information overload. Anyways, thanks for stirring my emotions. 

Thanks for opening my eyes to all the newspapers, magazines, journals, and other resources that exist in this magnificent world. I have bookmarked them for a snow day. 

Thanks for introducing me to podcasts, YouTube channels and other platforms I absolutely needed to know existed. My small world got bigger and brighter. My mindset is better now. See what I did there Eric Nam? People have their stories and I need to hear them. There are so many great things to discuss. I just pretend to hate people.

Thanks for all the pictures of the ocean that is happy and angry. The ocean is Mother Nature at her best. You’ve patched my soul.

Thanks for all the my-kinda-small town news. The article on my son was my favorite. You should have written more about my daughter in her high school basketball days. Just sayin’. I hold grudges forever. 

Thanks for all the political posts. I hated most of them. They reminded me how insane it is outside of my bubble and that people are weird and stupid. Fine, I already knew that. 

Thanks for all the weather news. I love weather. Thanks to someone awesome that reposts my weather photos. Weather is more than science to me. If Jim Cantore shows up, we know we are screwed.

Again, thanks for introducing me to new platforms so I can stay connected to the world. I’m still on the fence about needing to be connected. I just ordered more paper and pens just in case everything goes to shit collapses.

Lastly, thanks for reminding me how much hate there is in the world. How we all must make small changes every day. I’ll continue to be guarded and worry about mankind. I also learned to walk away from the destructive, negative people. I won’t let them win. I always had this power, I just forgot.

There are more things to be thankful for, but I will stop now. My mind can’t rest until my pen hits paper for another thought.  Last one out, hit the lights. Bye. 

Strawberry Summer Cake

My colleague told me about this fantastic recipe. I was looking to make something special for my son and his girlfriend. I didn’t want to make a double layer cake, or the usual chocolate chip cookies. I wanted something summery, so this seemed perfect. Here’s the original recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I opted to use only all-purpose flour, instead of the suggested barley flour. I don’t like buying ingredients I won’t use again. The cake is a wonderful texture and has a lovely flavor. More importantly, it’s delicious. You can use any berry of your liking. While the cake is baking, the berries get a jammy texture from the sugar topping. I reduced it to just what covers the berries. The amount varies deciding on the size of the berries. If they are smaller, I use more strawberries, and more sugar to cover them.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter/prepare the springform, cake pan, or whatever you chose to use. I have an Emile Henri pie plate that is deep and it works perfectly. Smitten Kitchen discusses what to use in detail. You have to remember that the cake rises a lot.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray with Pam in a 9 inch spring form pan or a deep pie plate. I use an Emil Henri deep pie plate and it fits perfectly in it. You have to remember to cake rises a lot and you don’t want the batter to overflow. Smitten Kitchen discuss pan size at length on her blog.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy, with an electric mixer. This should take about 3 minutes and is an important step in any cake recipe. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined in a large measuring cup or bowl. I added this step. I like to mix the wet ingredients together to avoid over mixing the batter. Blend in the egg mixture until just combined with the sugar/butter mixture. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth. The batter will be thick.

Pour into prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberry slices, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer. Sometimes you don’t always use all the strawberries. I found it depends on the size of the strawberries. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar (or less) over berries.

Bake cake 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50-60 minutes. My deep pie plate takes about 50 minutes. If it’s not quite done, it will continue to cook in the ceramic pie plate. I suggest start checking a little before 50 minutes. The strawberries will bubble and get gooey. Let cool in pan on rack. Cut into wedges. You can serve with whipped cream. I like it plain. I found this cake is better the second day. The cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, loosely covered, and longer in the refrigerator, if there’s any left over.

Enjoy! Happy Summer!

                    InstaPot Rice Pudding

You’re probably asking yourself, “Do I really need to make rice pudding?” The answer is a firm yes. It’s perfect anytime of the year. Topping off a bowl of rice pudding with whipped cream will save your soul. The secret is to find the right recipe. I’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. This recipe has a nice consistency and a blended vanilla/cinnamon flavor. It also is quick, and you don’t have to stand by the stove and stir. Your only concern is giving it enough time to cool and thicken. I like to add plump golden raisins, but you don’t have to. I use vanilla beans, but vanilla extract works too. If you don’t have a cinnamon stick, you may add ground cinnamon to your taste. The recipe calls for a strip of orange or lemon zest. I prefer to keep it simple and use only the cinnamon and vanilla for flavorings.  Melissa Clark from the NYTs created this recipe and if you have a subscription, it can be found on the NYT recipe app. I love to read the comments. You can walk away with some additional ideas for most recipes.


¾ cup arborio or other short-grain rice

2 ½ cups whole milk

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick

½ vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped with the tip of a paring knife, or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Large pinch of fine sea salt

½ cup heavy cream

2 egg yolks

½ cup golden raisins (optional)

Ground cinnamon or cardamon, for serving (optional)

Whipped cream, for serving (optional)


Step 1

Stir into the Instant Pot inner pot, the rice, milk, sugar, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, seeds, and salt.

Step 2

Lock the lid into place and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure.

Step 3

Open the lid and discard the cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean. 

Step 4

In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and egg yolks. Whisk into the rice and continue to stir until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. It will still look soupy. The residual heat of the rice will cook the yolks, and chilling will thicken the pudding. Stir in the raisins, if using. 

Step 5

You can spoon the pudding into individual bowls or leave in one bowl.  I like to let the pudding cool for about 20 minutes, then I cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours.

Serve with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or cardamon and whipped cream, if you’d like.


What do you do with the remaining egg whites? You can make meringue cookies or refrigerate them to be used in an omelet. No need to waste them!

Date Nut Bread

I copied this recipe from my mother’s recipe box when I was a newlywed. I am certain her index card was not this disorganized. There is a reason recipes aren’t written in paragraph form. The stained recipes cards have the best recipes. But what hasn’t changed is the sweet and moist date nut bread. I like it the second day better than the first. It’s mandatory to refrigerate it for maximum flavor. If you are so inclined, it freezes beautifully and is always a welcomed gift.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a bread loaf pan. I like to line it with parchment so the bread releases easily after cooling.

1 cup boiling water

1 cup chopped dried dates

1 tsp. baking soda

1 pat butter

2 eggs, room temperature, separated

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped nuts or additional chopped dates (optional)

Preparing the dates:
In a, preferably, glass bowl, place one cup of chopped dates, 1 tsp. baking soda and one pat of butter. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over date mixture. Let cool to room temperature, for about 1/2 hour.

Separate the eggs. Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl and beat until stiff. Place the egg yolks in a small bowl and stir them until well mixed.

Into the cooled date mixture, add the egg yolks, sugar, flour, vanilla extra and the nuts/dates, if you desire. You can also leave out the nuts and additional dates. Stir until completely mixed. Fold in the egg whites. Be careful to gently fold them so you don’t deflate the egg whites.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for one hour. I always check at 50 minutes, just in case. When done baking, place on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes. Take the bread out of the pan and cool completely. Once cooled, I place the bread in a plastic bag and keep it in the fridge or freezer.