Buckwheat Beer Bread, Sweet Summer Marinade, & an update on stress

Buckwheat Beer Bread

{buckwheat beer bread}

Over the winter I realized something about myself: when I’m stressed, I bake. 

Unlike cooking other meals, baking requires precise measurements, specific amounts of time in the oven, and careful attention to a recipe. One wrong move and you could end up with a salty tray of cupcakes, a burnt batch of cookies, or a loaf of bread that didn’t rise. 

Concentration is a must. And when there are a hundred other things on your mind, you welcome any distraction that comes your way. Hence the beer bread post this week. If Chris ever walks into the house full of homemade baked goods, he should probably put his turn out gear on for protection. 

And bring me flowers. 

And dark chocolate. 

Better make it the trifecta and add wine to that list too… 

…lots of it. 

Go big or go home right? 

U.S. Botanic Gardens

{U.S. Botanic Gardens}

A couple of weeks ago, Chris and I went to the Botanic Gardens in D.C., which is part of our plan to enjoy the more tourist-y things while we can. We’re not going to live here forever, so we decided to start taking advantage. The orchids are on display right now, and they were absolutely beautiful (see above pic!), and peaceful.

In my previous post I told you that I’ve been a bit stressed lately, and most of that stress is work related. While I can’t necessarily change it, I can change how I react to it.   

You know that saying, “take life one day at a time”? Yeah I did that, except to the extreme…right down to the minute. I literally took each task ahead of me, one minute at a time. When I crossed one off the list, I knew I was one task closer to being done. I just kept saying to myself, ‘you can do this. It won’t last forever. Just get through the next hour and you can move on’. This is also similar to my mantra when I run. 

Or, keep it simple like Dori and say “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming….”

But whatever floats your boat.

Stress, in any form, is a constant part of life. Our bodies are tested on a daily basis. Whether being exposed to an under-the-weather co-worker, having your butt kicked in spinning class, arguing with your spouse, being laid-off from work, or consuming foods riddled with toxic chemicals, it’s never-ending. Carrying the burden of stress, the anticipation of it, or even someone elses, can have a huge impact on your body and mind. I learned that the hard way when I threw my lower back out the weekend before my busiest week at work (last week).

I have never felt more old in my life, than the moment I threw my back out for the first time. I really need to buckle down on my strength training.

The point is, stress will either tear you down, or lift you up by making you realize what you’re made of.

I had the balls to experience both scenarios in the past two weeks. 

But lucky for you, it ended with a beer bread recipe.   

Oberon

Beer Bread

This is the basic recipe for beer bread. I always use a beer that has great flavor. Remember, whichever you use is what you will taste. Bell’s Brewery (from Michigan) just released their seasonal Oberon beer, so I had to use it! Has an orange taste.

  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 T sucant (or other granulated sugar)
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 bottle of beer

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a standard loaf pan (mine is 4 1/2 x 8 1/2). Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl, and make a well in the center. Pour beer in the center and stir together with a wooden spoon. Now pour in loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes.

Buckwheat Beer Bread

I realize that buckwheat is gluten-free, but that this recipe also calls for whole wheat pastry flour (not gluten-free). Just use another gluten-free flour similar to WWPF. I tried baking it only with buckwheat flour and it turned out really really dense, so I wouldn’t recommend it. Also, if you don’t like the taste of soba noodles, you probably won’t like this bread.

  • 2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 T sucant
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 bottle of beer (again, I used Oberon)

Follow the same instructions as regular beer bread.

buckwheat beer bread

buckwheat beer bread

AND because I was feeling neglectful last week (sorry blog world), here is a bonus recipe… 

  Summer Marinade Madness   secret ingredient

Sweet Summer Marinade

This would be great to use when grilling your favorite meat-free meal. Use it as a marinade or glaze. Veggie kabobs, portobello mushroom caps, homemade veggie burgers, etc., would all be good! Store any leftovers in an airtight container or mason jar. 

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T sucant, brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 T coconut oil

Whisk all ingredients together in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, stirring continuously for up to 5 minutes.

*******

Stay tuned for a special post on coconut oil (and its’ many uses!), and my experience inside a tiny Tumbleweed home!

Did I mention how AWESOME you all are?? I recently had a friend from Michigan tell me she tried my pancake recipe and loved it. I was so excited that someone had actually used one of my recipes! Although very therapeutic for me, if I thought I was the only one reading this, I’d probably cry. Soooo thanks for stopping my tears 🙂

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