Archive for the ‘Bread’ Category

Cranberry Swirl Bread + Giveaway Winner!

Until we hit the 50s in Wisconsin, I’m milking winter baking season for as long as I can. There’s nothing like the aroma of warm, fresh bread wafting through your home when there’s a foot of snow on the ground (like today). Plus, the athlete in me says I need the carbs to continue my running streak. I’ve got five days under my belt so far, with two more to go until I hit a week. So far the only thing that’s sore is my left bicep (huh!?).

While I’m still hunting for the perfect cinnamon raisin swirl bread, I have found its sweeter cousin, cranberry swirl bread. The bread is so light and airy, which is the perfect vessel for ribbons of sweet cranberries and walnuts. On top is a flaky, buttery streusel topping that will convince you to make a loaf of this homemade goodness yourself.

I made this loaf using my KitchenAid Stand Mixer with dough hook attachment. When it comes to using this kitchen appliance or our 20-year-old bread maker, the KitchenAid is a little hard to beat. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to use.

Making Pumpkin Pie Dip in my KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered my Edgeware Grater and Zester Giveaway! The Winner is:



Congrats, Carol! Please send your address to me at and your zesters will be on their way! For those of you who didn’t win, I have my biggest giveaway ever coming up tomorrow. Here’s a little hint.

Question: What’s your favorite thing you’ll miss about winter? Besides baking, I’ll miss the soup :)

Alpha Bakery Banana Bread

Happy President’s Day! Don’t forget, you still have until Tuesday to enter my Dreamfarm Giveaway! This weekend I actually had some time to bake and watch TV (neither of which I’ve been able to do lately!). For me, that means catching up on Nashville, American Idol, Smash and America’s Test Kitchen :)

Fresh Valentine’s Day flowers make TV watching that much more enjoyable.

Yesterday I FINALLY made it to Trader Joe’s by Bayshore Mall. In addition to stocking up on produce like organic gala apples, kale, spinach, carrots and broccoli, I had to pick up a jar of their Crunchy Cookie Butter. I actually stopped myself from picking up a jar of smooth cookie butter because I figured one jar was enough!

One reason I especially love weekends is that I actually have time to bake for fun. As a kid, I remember learning to bake with Gold Medal Flour’s Alpha Bakery Children’s Cookbook.

Although I only remember us making one recipe, I would constantly flip through the pages because I thought the illustrations made the food look delicious and fun. Because this book meant so much to me, I grabbed in when I rediscovered it from my parent’s house about a year ago. I didn’t want it getting lost or, god forbid, thrown away.

One of the first things I ever remember making with my dad was banana bread. And when I rediscovered cooking and baking in college, this was what I made, loaf upon loaf.

Instead of sticking to our tried and true recipe, I decided to bump up the health factor and make substitutions. I swapped out much of the oil for applesauce, I used white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose, and I added Navitas Natural Cacao Nibs instead of chocolate chips.


In addition to this healthy banana bread, I’ve also created a version of a guilt-free Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Bread.

Question: What types of foods did you make as a child? Did you ever have a childhood cookbook?

Top 12 Recipes of 2012

Happy New Year’s Eve! As I’m switching my planner to 2013, it seems like I was shopping for a 2012 planner at Target just yesterday. This year seemed to move at lightening speed — with a new nephew, new jobs, new friends, new gym, new home projects and a whole lot more. Yes, 2012 was an awesome year, but I feel strangely optimistic that 2013 will be even better :)


Since the countdown is happening tonight, I thought I would do my own. Here are my Top 12 Recipes of 2012.

#12) Coffee Rum Chata

#11) Canned Apple Pie Filling

#10) Stuffed Pepper Casserole

#9) Tamale Pie

#8) Homemade Marshmallows

#7) Oreo Rice Krispie Treats

#6) Corn and Scallion Sourdough Pancakes

#5) Whole Wheat Zucchini Banana Bread

#4) Spicy Tomato Peanut Butter Soup

#3) Japanese Eggplant Parmesan with Slow Cooker Pasta Sauce

#2) Chicken Enchilada Soup

#1) Shrimp and Grits

Question: What is your favorite recipe from 2012? Links welcome!

Pumpkin Recipe Roundup

As I was trolling though my recipe section, I began to notice something. I use pumpkin, a lot. From breakfast to desserts and dinner, nearly every one of my food categories contains a dish with pumpkin. Since it’s fall and canned pumpkin is everywhere, what better time to do my first recipe roundup?

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup

Pumpkin Pie Dip

How to freeze a Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili

Black Bean and Vegetable Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce

Question: Do you like cooking with pumpkin? What do you like to make? Links welcome!

A Weekend in Appleton

This weekend we had a long-awaited visit to Appleton to see Brenton’s family. I haven’t been up there since February to make homemade pasta, so it was nice to catch up, have a fish fry and take a field trip to Pigeon Lake for a relative’s 80th b-day party.

It was at a golf course, which was absolutely beautiful.

One of Brenton’s favorite parts were the drinks. Unusually good bloody mary’s for $4 a piece. Definitely a nice change of pace from Milwaukee’s drink prices.


That night we had an awesome dinner at the Gospo’s. Brenton’s dad made the dough for flatbread from the book “Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in 5 Minutes a Day.”

I finished it off with some Asiago cheese and a Zahar spice blend from Penzy’s. Seriously amazing. Our dinner consisted of the bread, homemade crab cakes, shrimp and some fried cheese and marinara sauce. (not shown: about 10 more pieces of flatbread) :)

Question: How was your weekend? Did you do anything exciting?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I’m thrifty by nature. No, I don’t mean just shopping at the thrift (which my mom taught be how to do as a kid). I’m the type of person who mends my own sock when there’s a hole. I cut into bottles of lotion to get that last drop out. And I never waste food.

So when B had a hunk of leftover sourdough bread that was about 2 days away from hitting the trash, I tried to think of how I could best use it up.

My first thought was bread pudding. But after a delicious breakfast of French toast with strawberries and bananas, bread pudding wasn’t sounding that appealing.

Then B suggested croutons. I’ve been on a salad kick lately, and there’s nothing like a homemade crouton to take it to the next level.

These are super simple to make.

Homemade Croutons

A large hunk of day-old sourdough bread, cut into small cubes
Wildtree’s Garlic Grapeseed Oil (can also use olive oil)
Spices, such as onion powder, garlic powder, Penzy’s Sicilian Salad Seasoning, ground pepper, etc.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place bread cubes on top. Drizzle oil over the bread and then liberally coat bread with desired spices.

Bake for about 30 minutes, tossing halfway through. Note: I’ve found that the baking time largely depends on how fresh/stale your bread is. The fresher it is, the longer it will take to dry out. Your goal is a dry bread cube that is lightly golden brown.

Since I don’t have any lettuce in the house, and therefore can’t make a salad, I’ve been snacking on these croutons plain. Yum. If you’re near a Penzy’s, I highly suggest picking up the Sicilian Salad Seasoning. In addition to red bell pepper, thyme, basil and rosemary, it also has Romano cheese.

On a parting note, it snowed last night. This is what we woke up to this morning in Milwaukee.

Question: What do you do with leftover bread?


Carbs, Carbs, Carbs

Happy Friday!

I know I haven’t posted in awhile, but life has gotten in the way…like it always does :)

But this time, it’s all good things.

I’ve been working on a few food stories for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. I got to make these to-die-for homemade pretzels for their DIY column (for you King Arthur Flour fans out there, these are their Hot Buttered Pretzels).

I’ll make sure to post the recipe next week, after it prints, for those living outside Wisconsin. But let me tell you this: These pretzels were seriously the most delicious treats I’ve made in months. And unlike many other recipes I’ve made for the paper, I wasn’t super stressed out or yelling at B (which is what usually happens when we are flying around the kitchen and trying to take pictures at the same time). I blame our lack of counter space :)

One of the main reasons I wanted to try pretzels was because B has been making his own bread with the stand mixer.

His latest creation:

Don’t mind the “my bread has a tumor” shape. It still tasted great!

Speaking of baking, I’ve got a pile of ripe bananas that are calling my name on the counter. I may have to try this Heavenly Healthy Banana Bread recipe from King Athur flour.

Question: Have you tackled homemade yeast breads?


Welcome to She's on the Run! I'm Alysha, a copywriter and food writer living in Milwaukee. I live to run, write and explore wonderful food - this blog is how I find balance while constantly being on the run. Feel free to reach me at with any questions or comments.
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