It has been quite magical not having to hustle and bustle around because of some impending deadline. I am finally allowing myself to fall asleep on the sofa without a care or a worry of having to get up and finish something. Last night, I fell asleep half way through Monday Night Football and because it wasn’t the Broncos, I continued to sleep. I only got up on my husband’s insistence that I couldn’t sleep out there all night and stumbled upstairs to my own bed.
The fog seems to have lifted from the dark recesses of my mind as well. The glowing embers of what were once my creativity and inspiration have been fanned into life and the flame is beginning to burn bright once again. I will capitalise on this rejuvenated spirit lest it flicker and die away.
The last few months have taken my energy, there is no doubt, but it only takes a few days of a clear and rested mind to be fully recharged again. I love my job and I love the flexibility and the freedom I have to create at will. I love the camaraderie and support of the people I work with and the lip smacking of the clients who try my creations and the sunny, smiles of the excited kids biting into a warm, gooey cookie.
But I won’t lie, all the praise and compliments in the world can only keep you on an adrenaline high for so long! That’s why, this last week has been pure heaven. After the major Thanksgiving production was over, we celebrated the birthdays of my two daughters who were born a day apart, We ate out, we ate too much, we shopped, we slept in late, we lounged around in our pyjamas; it was what I needed. A moment to do nothing.
The funny thing about doing nothing is soon you begin to crave doing something. My something has always been a mind that’s constantly in flux; whirring, scurrying, restless and impatient. Of late, the thoughts have been a lot about life, and food and how to implement these thoughts into a productive life and creative food.
Well, I still have to work but because I have my thoughts and my inspiration back, I’m looking forward to going to work on Saturday. I am looking forward to getting my hands dirty in the kitchen over the next few weeks and then getting busy on the computer telling you all about it. Or I may just have another cup of coffee and linger by the window seat a bit longer.
Talking about having coffee, this Sweet Potato Tea Bread, goes perfectly with a steaming cup of tea or coffee. I made this with the leftover sweet potato casserole from Thanksgiving. I think I made almost 6 pounds of the stuff and though we finished most of it, there was a bit left; great for experimenting. If you have leftover sweet potato to repurpose, make this! This bread lasted a day, it’s SO good. The casserole I make is my husband’s family’s recipe; a Southern style with a pecan streusel on top. Deliciously and conveniently, the pecans were also included in the bread. The recipe below is for the version with the sweet potato casserole, so if you make some for Christmas, you can conveniently make this tea bread for Boxing Day or the New Year’s. I have also included, in the notes section, the amounts needed for making this from fresh, roasted sweet potatoes.
Serves: 15 slices
- ¾ cup/110g spelt flour
- ¾ cup/110g whole wheat pastry flour
- 2¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 2 cups/455g sweet potato casserole
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup/59ml oil
- ½ cup/100g brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼-½ cup/59-118ml milk
- Preheat the oven to 375F/180C
- Grease or line with paper a medium size loaf pan.
- Mix the flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together in a bowl.
- In another large bowl, add the leftover sweet potato casserole.
- Mix in the brown sugar, the eggs, oil and vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture to the sweet potato mixture and mix.
- Add ¼ cup milk to loosen up the mixture.
- Add the remaining ¼ cup milk if the mixture still looks to dry or thick.
- The mixture should be medium consistency, like a thick pancake batter.
- The flour can be a bit dry depending on the humidity of your location
- I always need more liquid because it's really dry in Colorado.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and place in the oven
- Bake for about 50-55 minutes.
- Check to see if it has risen and has browned on the outside and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the loaf.
- Allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes and then remove from pan and cool all the way.
¾ cup/110g spelt flour
¾ cups/110g whole wheat pastry flour
2¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups/455g sweet potatoes (1 or 2 medium sweet potatoes)
¾ cup/150g brown sugar
½ cup/118ml oil
¼-½ cup milk
¾ cup roasted and chopped pecans, optional
And HIGH ALTITUDE bakers:
Reduce the baking powder to 2 teaspoons.
I know for many of you, the upcoming holiday season is as stressful as it is fun. Know that I feel your pain! Yes, there is still work, and deadlines and commitments, but in the end, it is a time to relax and enjoy time with family. I wish you all the same euphoria I have felt this week 🙂