Category Archives: Bread

Whole Wheat Beer Bread

Whole Wheat Beer Bread

I love living in Oregon.  One of the cool things about where I live besides breathing fresh air, drinking clean water, tall mountains and trees is that Oregon has lots of breweries.   And seriously good breweries…  Hand crafted IPA’s, wheats, amber ales, darks, porters, lagers and the list goes on.  I can think of at least 5 microbreweries within a 10 mile radius from my home.

What I have learned is that a really good beer makes a really good beer bread.  The problem is making that choice to sacrifice a couple of your favorite beers for baking bread.  My Whole Wheat Beer Bread is so good that you really don’t have to think too long and hard about making that tough decision.  My Whole Wheat Beer Bread is ridiculously easy to make and tastes absolutely wonderful.  Makes 1 tasty loaf.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups beer (20 ounces)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 X 5 pan.  Mix all ingredients except the olive oil in a large bowl, mixing dry ingredients first then adding the beer.  The batter will look like really thick pancake batter.  Add mixture to the baking pan and drizzle the top lightly with olive oil.  Bake 60 t0 70 minutes until a beautiful golden brown.  Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool.  Slice and serve with sweet cream butter.

Strawberry Bread

Strawberry Bread

As an accountant I am required to pay attention to detail.  That’s how I am and that’s my job.  Today while at home in my kitchen I did not pay attention to a recipe and as a result, I goofed up…  This morning I decided to make some Strawberry Bread with a bunch of leftover strawberries that I had stashed in my fridge.  Years ago, I made up an awesome recipe for Lemon Zucchini Pineapple Bread that I used as a model for my Strawberry Bread.  Today, as I was measuring ingredients, mixing the batter and talking to my son at the same time, I looked down into the bowl and realized that the batter did not look right…

Succulent strawberry

I noticed that the batter was unusually dry and lumpy.  Oh geez!  What the heck did I do?  I yelled to my son upstairs and asked him how many cups of flour I added to the bowl.  He yelled back with “Mom, I saw you adding four!”…  I knew then that was the problem because when I wrote the recipe I was supposed to only add three.  OMG!  What to do now?  Well, those who know me know that I’m rather stubborn and I was determined to not toss it all out, and start over.  So, I decided to improvise.  To correct my mistake, I added an about an extra 1/4 cup canola oil and a splash of water to the mixture.  After a bit of fiddling with the recipe, I got the bread batter looking like it should. So I prepared the loaves for baking, crossed my fingers and tossed them in the oven.

An hour later, I pulled them out, let them cool, and sliced.  Crisis averted!  Talk about lucky!  They looked and tasted wonderful.  Next time I bake I will make it a point to pay extra attention when measuring my ingredients.  If you follow my recipe below and don’t put in too much flour in the mixture like I did, you will make 2 wonderful loaves of Strawberry Bread.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 cups chopped strawberries (washed and hulled)
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs lemon zest

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.   In one bowl add your flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Whisk to mix well.  In another bowl whisk together the eggs, canola oil, vanilla extract and lemon zest.  Gently add the strawberries.  Don’t over mix.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Place batter in two greased 4 X 8 baking pans in the oven for one hour or until done.  Cool on wire rack and slice.  Makes 2 fabulous loaves.

Pear Bread

Pear Bread

I cherish my weekends.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love sipping coffee, reading the paper, and doing whatever the heck I want.  In my opinion, weekends are way too short.  I never seem to finish all the things that I set out to do.  Well, early this morning I decided to make a loaf of Pear Bread to enjoy with my cup of coffee.  My Pear Bread is made with my home made Pear Sauce that I made a couple of days ago.  This bread is easy to make, has a light texture with a hint of lemon and a sweet pear flavor.  If you don’t have pear sauce, don’t despair!  Use some good quality applesauce instead.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. baking sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. pear sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  Grab a 4″ X 8″ baking pan and grease well with non stick cooking spray.  In a medium sized bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the pear sauce, eggs, oil, and lemon zest.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened.  Do not over mix.  Add the mixture to the baking pan and bake for 1 hour or until done.  Cool on a wire rack then remove the loaf from the pan.  Makes one fabulous loaf.

Chocolate Banana Bread

Chocolate Banana Bread

I know that I am in deep trouble when I see my husband Bruce open a freezer door and something falls out.   Every time that happens I hear him say my name.  Not just Tessa but, a long drawn out Tesssaaa….!  Then I cringe.  I know what he is thinking and what he is going to say next.  I know that it is way past time to use up freezer inventory.

I opened the freezer this morning and out fell a frozen banana.  Fortunately Bruce was at work and didn’t see.  I picked my evidence off of the floor and snagged the remaining bananas from out of the freezer.  It was time for banana bread.

My Chocolate Banana Bread is easy to make and is the perfect use for bananas that need to be eaten up or have been stored in your freezer (like mine!).  It is moist, chocolatey, and has a wonderful banana flavor.  Makes 1 luscious loaf.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 3 – 4 RIPE bananas (peeled and mashed well)
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tsp chocolate extract
  • dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup extra dark cocoa powder

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grab a 4 X 8 loaf pan and spray it with non stick cooking spray.  In a medium sized mixing bowl mix the bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and chocolate extract.  In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and extra dark cocoa powder.   Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.  Spoon the mixture into the baking pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool on a wire rack.  Slice and serve.

Herb Rolls













Herb Rolls

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year.  It is without a doubt the perfect excuse to spend quality time with family and friends.  This year were invited to spend the Thanksgiving holiday at my brother in law’s parents home.  We always love going to Jim and Kathy’s house.  It seems like nearly everyone in the house is an amazing cook and it’s always fun to see what dishes others have to contribute.  This year we had both turkey and ham, stuffing, potatoes, yams, ginger carrots, green beans, gravy, cranberry sauce, chicken livers, bruschetta, pumpkin pies, apple pie, cookies, whipped cream, cheeses, and so much more.  Their house is noisy with dishes clanking, champagne bottles popping, people laughing and the sound of football on the TV.  There was so much food that I think I gained 5 pounds yesterday…

One of my contributions to this year’s  great feast was my fresh baked herb rolls.  I’ve been making these savory little herb rolls for nearly 25 years.  I’ve baked them for countless holiday dinners and it’s to the point that no dinner is quite complete without them.  What makes these rolls so special is that I like to use fresh herbs snipped directly from my garden.  I have planted rosemary, parsley and chives next to the back door specifically for this purpose.  I would love to take complete credit for this fabulous recipe but I can’t.   This recipe was originally adapted from my Good Housekeeping Illustrated cookbook.


4 1/2 cups flour
1/3 c. baking sugar
2 packages quick rise yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. nonfat milk
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
2 eggs
1/4 c. finely chopped mixed herbs  (parsley, rosemary and chives)

1 egg beaten with 1 Tbls. nonfat milk for the glaze

In a Kitchen Aid mixing bowl, add your sugar, yeast, salt and 1 1/2 c. flour.  Put the milk and butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave about 1 minute until milk is very warm and butter is melted.   Add the milk and butter to mixing bowl.  Using a dough hook on your mixer, slowly mix for about 3 minutes, meanwhile scraping the side of the bowl.  Add another 1/2 c. of flour and the eggs.  Keep mixing for about 2 more minutes.  Add the remaining flour.  Mix for another 8 minutes or until the dough is mixed well and elastic.

On a lightly floured surface add the dough from the bowl.   Flatten dough with your hands and knead the fresh herbs into the dough for about 2 more minutes.  Turn the dough into a greased bowl, cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for about an hour.  Punch down the dough and let rest for about 10 – 15 minutes.  Separate dough into 24 even sized pieces (1 1/2 ounces each).  Roll into balls.  Place on silpat lined or greased cookie sheet and cover with a cloth.  Let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Uncover the rolls and brush with the egg glaze.  Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden.  When the herb rolls are done, pull from oven and let cool for a bit on wire racks.  Serve warm with fresh cream butter.  Makes about 24 herb gems.

Raspberry Applesauce Muffins













I’m going to be brutally honest with you…  I’m not a baker.  Don’t get me wrong  for I love to bake but it is something I am simply not that experienced in.  As a child, I was not taught to bake cakes, pies or cookies.  Pies were made by some woman named “Hostess” and cookies in our home came out of a bag and they were called “Oreos”…

In light of all that, I do have several of my own recipes that I enjoy making and my family loves.  One of our favorite recipes is for my Raspberry Applesauce Muffins.  My Raspberry Applesauce Muffins are light, lemony and has tons of fresh raspberry flavor.  They are easy to make and are great to share at the office or as a hostess gift.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 2 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. baking sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh raspberries (if too large, coarsely chop)

Let’s begin. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Grab some muffin tins and grease well.  I often times use cupcake baking cups when I am making muffins to share with my coworkers at the office.  If you choose to use the baking cups, don’t grease your tins.  In a medium sized bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Mix well.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the applesauce, eggs, oil, and lemon zest.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened.  Do not over mix.  Now gently fold in your raspberries. Add the mixture to the muffin tins, filling about 3/4 full.  Bake about 20 minutes or until the muffins turn a gorgeous golden brown.  Remove from the oven, cool on a wire rack then remove the muffins from the tins.  Makes about 12-15 muffins depending on the size of your tins.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Pancakes with Raspberries and Tropical Syrup

It’s a beautiful day today in Southern Oregon.  It’s early in the morning and my family is still fast asleep.  The sun is shining, the sky is blue and I have the day off.  I feel as though I am one lucky woman.  I took a personal inventory and determined that have a wonderful family, a great husband and cool friends.  I know that it does not get much better than that.  My guys don’t know it yet but as soon as they wake up they are going to get raspberry pancakes for breakfast.  I also have a little box of fresh fruit that was leftover from a fruit plate that we had with dinner last night that I am going to turn into a an easy tropical syrup.

Fast forward a couple of hours.  My guys loved them!  The pancakes were simple.  I opened a box of readymade pancake mix and followed the directions for 4 servings…  Ya, I know what you are thinking… It’s shameful for a food blogger to admit that.  Before you dish out the insults, stop and think and I’d be willing to bet that you have done that too.  I then gently folded some chopped raspberries into the batter and began to prepare the tropical syrup.

The tropical syrup was pretty simple too.  All I did was chop up the fruit that I had (there were bits of strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, blueberries, and raspberries) and it came to about 3/4 cup of mixed chopped fruit.  I added the fruit to a saucier and added 3/4 cup of water and 1 cup of extra fine sugar.  I cooked the syrup on medium low for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally until the fruit cooked down.  I then removed the syrup from the stove and let cool.  It made about a cup and a half of syrup.  Meanwhile, I cooked the pancakes.

The key to great looking pancakes is to use a hot griddle, be sure to not over mix and to use a small scoop or ladle for dishing out the batter.  Enjoy!  Tessa


Lemon Zucchini Pineapple Bread

It’s summer here in Southern Oregon and in no time I will be dealing with the onslaught of fresh zucchini from my garden.  I learned from mistakes of prior years, and this year I planted only one zucchini plant.  There have been times that I had so much zucchini that I could not even give them away.  One of the things that I like to make with fresh zucchini from my garden is my Lemon Zucchini Pineapple Bread.  The fresh lemon zest and the flavor of the crushed pineapple make these little loaves of bread bright with flavor.  Make these and share with your coworkers at the office or for a quick breakfast on your way to work.  Can be frozen to be enjoyed at a later date.  Tessa


3 c. all purpose flour
1 1/4 c. sugar
4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2/3 c. canola oil
1 8 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drained well.
2 c. zucchini grated
1 Tbls. lemon zest

Let’s begin. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grab 2- 4″ X 8″ baking pans and grease well.  In a medium sized bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, pineapple, zucchini and lemon zest.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix until moistened.  Do not over mix.  This will look like a thick cake batter, and that is okay, it’s supposed to be that way.  Add the mixture to the two baking pans and bake for 1 hour.  Cool on wire racks then remove loaves from pans.  Makes two fabulous loaves.  Enjoy!