It's been a glorious week! I've worked in the garden, savored curling up with a good book in the evenings, and been thankful to have a job I enjoy enough to actually look forward to returning to work after vacation. By far the most exciting part of this week, though, was a blogger meetup!!
Alyssa, of Southern Good Eatz , with whom I was fortunate to work at my previous job, joined me at the Atlanta Bread Company (Georgia's version of - and dare I say improvement upon? - Panera bread company) for a glorious meeting of the culinary minds! :-) I hadn't seen Alyssa in person since I'd changed jobs, and it was such a treat to be able to catch up and hear more about the deliciousness I'd been admiring on Alyssa's blog, such as this scrumptious-sounding pumpkin French toast ! One knows one is truly in grand company when the restaurant staff have to gently remind you that closing time occurred 10 minutes ago, while all along you'd been blissfully convinced only a mere hour had passed.
Alyssa ordered a lovely turkey panini and a salad, and while we both confessed to perusing the menu online ahead of time (ah, it's so wonderful how fellow food bloggers understand! :-) I changed my mind at the last moment when I spotted a new salad on the menu, with grilled salmon and brie. Amazingly, I had never tasted brie before, so for research purposes I spontaneously ordered the salad!
This was Alyssa's first brie also, so we sampled simultaneously with all the diligence and concentration of an undercover detective. Naturally, the brie would have been better warm, but when paired with the grapes in the salad it took on a lovely, delicate yet distinctive flavor that captivated me immediately. Brie will definitely make a belated entrance into our kitchen!
Conversing with a fellow foodie is always inspiring, so the very next evening I spent some contented time with mixing bowls and wooden spoons, concocting a few simple, utterly cozy, comforting, and deeply flavorful loaves of bread to share with my co-workers the very next day... All part of the beautiful circle of food that draws us together, brings us closer, holds us dear.
Cheddar-Dill Quick Bread
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 T raw turbinado sugar 1 T baking powder 1 tsp salt 2 tsp dried dill 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 12 oz beer (I used a lager for this particular batch, but I would imagine a stout would be ever better with the cheddar...) OR unflavored seltzer water, if your prefer or have it handy instead Olive oil for drizzling
~ Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9X5" loaf pan with cooking spray. ~ Stir together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, turbinado sugar, baking powder, salt, and dill. ~ Stir the cheddar cheese into the flour mixture. ~ Pour the beer into the dry ingredients, and mix gently until well combined and a soft dough has formed. ~ Transfer the dough to the loaf pan, and bake for 45 minutes - until the top is just golden brown. Cool on a wire rack or serve immediately, lovely and warm!