Thursday, February 5, 2015

Winter Kitchen. . . . . . .

I made Irish soda bread from a mix, just to give it a try thinking it might be 
good to make another later for St. Patrick's Day!
 It was good warm straight from the oven, but much too crumbly and dry the next day. 
The garden birds are loving the remains!
Some people say not to feed birds bread and baked bits from the kitchen, to 
stick to that very expensive bagged seed. We do both and hope the birds
are picky enough to know what's good for them.

Do you throw out leftover bread for your garden visitors?

Now these carrot raisin muffins I will not be sharing with the wildlife, sorry sweet 
birds and voracious grey squirrels, you aren't getting a single crumb! 
There are never any leftovers after we eat our share, give away a few, and stash 
some in the freezer for next week!
Must admit I've been baking them often - a big batch every couple of 
weeks - because they are delicious and healthy. 

What are you whipping up in your Winter kitchen?  If, like me, you have a rather 
large stash of cookbooks, it's just a matter of picking a recipe where you have 
the ingredients at the ready - or make a special trip to the store if you're not 
buried in snow - here we've not had a flake all Winter.
I find so many great sounding dishes I want to make, however a lot of these 
new-fangled cook books, although stunning in presentation and full of creation, 
just have too many ingredients most us don't keep on our shelves as basics. 

Anyway, today I do have my basics on hand to cook up a nice pot of black bean 
vegetarian chili for the very cold night ahead. I'll serve it thick over rice today, 
then add more broth to turn the leftovers into a delicious liquescent black bean 
soup for another meal.

Happy Winter kitchen days. . . . . . the best, warmest, room in the house, right?


  1. Your soda bread looks so good I can almost smell the deliciousness 12,000 miles away!
    And oh I love the sound of carrot and raisin muffins too - I'm secretly hoping I can wheedle the recipe out of you dear Mary.
    I have a couple of old favourite cook books I keep going back to - with basic recipes for all seasons that I can tweak different ways.
    I'm a 'bread for the birds' culprit too along with a variety of seeds. Being summer here all the birdies are feasting on the plentiful supply of seeds in the garden. They're having a wonderful summer garden party, it's open to all feathered creatures – all cats are banned!

    1. Here's a link to the post where you will be directed to the recipe for these great muffins Shane.

  2. That's disappointing about the bread but at least the squirrels had a taste of the rest. I had a hankering for soft molasses cookies this week so I made a batch. They are so tasty with tea. And addicting. Which is a problem for me. I should make a pot of vegetable soup. Good idea. It's turning snappy cold here this afternoon which means the snow will stop for a few days. Have a cozy day. xx Pam

  3. That bread looks delicious! Too bad it was so dry the next day. I am trying so hard to be good, but I want to make chicken and dumplings so bad!

  4. My Grandma always had me throw bread crusts out for the birds. I was so disappointed that it was always just sparrows. I can't have bird feeders because of my dogs and (formerly) my cat.

  5. Hi Mary, thank you for all your visits to Comfy House! I love Irish Soda Bread but I've always made mine from scratch. Sorry yours was only good for one day. I always throw out my old bread products to the birds and squirrels - right under the bird feeder. Maybe I should do a google search to see if that's ok. Black bean chili? That sounds delicious. Would you mind sharing the recipe? We eat a lot of vegetarian meals and both love black beans. I baked a dairy and egg free apple cake today. Just had a piece and while it's not as good as cake with eggs and milk in it, it was pretty good. I will be serving it to my mom and aunt this weekend, both who are lactose intolerant. Tonight's dinner is in the oven...stuffed manicotti. Will serve with a mixed greens salad and red wine. :-)

  6. Oh, that black bean vegetarian chili sounds wonderful. I wouldn't refuse a muffin, either.

  7. The bread looks so good, too bad it didn't live up to its promise. The muffins also sound delicious and I'm glad you put the link to the recipe in the reply to Shane. My husband would love these.

  8. The muffins look delicious and a good thing for the freezer.
    No bread for the birds, but they do get the expensive bird food
    which we buy in 25lb. bags.

  9. Yumm - looks so delicious. I baked some cookies today from leftover dough from christmas - shortbread thumprint cookies homemade jam in the thumbprints -blackberry, raspberry/peach and blackberry/raspberry - each on delicious. Nice for a snack now and then through the weekend - then I am going to make a fresh apple cake - lots of cinnamon, apples (2 cups of batter to 4 cups of finely chopped apples) and pecans. Right now a meat loaf and baked potatoes are in the oven - just as well use it as long as it was heated for the cookies. Next week I need to bake bread - we have been out of homemade bread for a while now.

  10. I, too, would like to try your black bean chili recipe! Never had Irish soda bread. Guess I will have to try it sometime! I'm sure the little creatures in your yard appreciated the hearty meal to keep them warm during these cold nights. I baked banana muffins (2 batches actually, 1 as muffins and 1 as a loaf) and sprinkled in Nestle's new chocolate chips that are filled with peanut butter -- they are an absolute hit! Richard (who typically doesn't care much for sweets) said that these were his favorite banana muffins that I've ever made. The recipe calls for some nonfat greek yogurt, so they are nice and moist, too! Hope all is going well with your appointments, been thinking of you guys lately. xx

  11. Dear Mary, I don't think that I would share your delicious soda bread with my garden critters. Even if it is crumbly, it looks good enough to eat to the very last crumb.
    I turn my toaster upside down, once in a while, to let the birds have the accumulated bread crumbs.

  12. Mary, my chef has been baking bread all winter. He makes batter bread, a recipe from one of his aunts. I'll send it to you or perhaps post it. It's so yummy with chili or soup on a cold winter day.
    Yes, we love to feed the birds here!

  13. It is good that we just finished dinner because after reading your post I would be hungry! It sounds like you are an experienced cook – yummy food must be served at your house.

  14. Oh wow, that bread of yours looks amazing. Makes me want to go make one of my own. Have a lovely weekend.


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