Monday, March 7, 2011

Keeping Up to Date

As week three begins in the Money Pit, we are seeing lots of progress, although the tile design in the Master bathroom is intricate, so there is a lot of sawing and cutting going on.  Pictured above is some date nut bread I made this morning from dates that I picked up at Specialty Produce last week.  Date nut bread is one of those old recipes that we never seem to make anymore, and yet, it's a lovely quick bread to serve with coffee or tea.  This one is flavored with orange juice, and it's terrific---especially if you could see that the remains are a few crumbs on the counter! 

Santee Date Nut Bread
Makes One 9 by 5-inch loaf (I used a mini bundt pan with 4 little bundts which worked perfectly)

1 cup orange juice heated 
2 cups dates, pitted and coarsely chopped (see note)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

  1. Coat the inside of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  
  2. In a large mixing bowl, pour the orange juice over the dates and stir in the baking soda.  Set aside to soften the dates.
  3. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the buttermilk, sugar, butter and egg.  
  4. Pour in the flour, baking powder, salt, nuts, and the reserved orange juice/date mixture.  
  5. Beat until the mixture is well combined.  Transfer the batter into prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for 55 to 60 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.  
  6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack and cool one hour before serving.  The loaf can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 2 months.  
  7. To make cutting the dates easier, spray the blade of your knife with non-stick cooking spray.
Date Nut bread is terrific served with whipped cream cheese, and honey or honey butter.  

 This is the shower after Saturday.  

 I can't wait for this to be done!

 There is tile on the floor!!! The seat also has tile!

 Molding is in the WC room!  We are going to have to figure out what color to paint the walls soon---should be fun.  

I hope you had a great weekend, I'll be back tomorrow with some thoughts on food and community---until then enjoy your evening. 

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