Baked Loaf of Cheddar and Spring Onion bread on a rack

Cheddar and Spring Onion Bread

Lately, I have been obsessed with playing Great British Bake Off in the background. There is just something comforting about hearing the voices of the judges and the contestants talking about food. As you can imagine, I am obsessed with food. The other day, I was lucky to pay attention when the episode on quick bread started playing. Before I knew it, I was designing this cheddar and spring onion bread in my head.

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chocolate chip buttermilk banana bread muffin on a cake stand with a single bitten muffin below

Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Banana Bread

I still have memories of myself running late for school and making a swift stop at a local Whole Foods Market. Just to the left of the door as I walk in, there is a baked goods displayed case. In that case, there are all kinds of yummy breakfast pastries. I have done this routine so many times, I know exactly where to look for my chocolate chip banana bread muffin. It is usually on the first two shelves, somewhere in the center. On my way to the cashier, I’ll grab a chocolate protein shake or a bottled green juice depending on what my eyes reach first. The total for my mad dash breakfast is usually just a little over five dollars. Now, I am making chocolate chip buttermilk banana bread to recapture some of that moment.

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A loaf of lemon poppy seed cake decorated with slices of lemon and thyme buds with dripping frosting on a white plate

Cleaning Up the Pantry

A cut loaf of lemon poppy seed cake decorated with slices of lemon and thyme buds with dripping frosting on a white plate

There is a theme emerging in my life at the moment. Food waste, and how to reduce it, has become a big thing for me. I am trying to use what I have on hand instead of continually shopping for food. This Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Thyme is a result of my attitude adjustment.

I live in a house with four other girls. As someone who loves food so much, I have managed to wrangle a more than massive amount of storage for my food and kitchen equipment. I have always known that I own a lot of food and things. Undertaking the project of organizing my personal pantry this week blew away my expectations.

It has always been clear to me that in order to manage my money, I have to manage my food budget. As someone who has survived an eating disorder, I get nervous when it comes to placing any form of boundaries around food. This has been the justification for shopping without controls for years. My free all approach means I am constantly buying more food than I can eat and throwing things out. Or I just forget that I own food. I decided to make Lemon Poppy Seed cake with Thyme because I discovered that I had an unopened jar of poppy seed in my stash.

A loaf of lemon poppy seed cake decorated with slices of lemon and thyme buds with dripping frosting on a white plate

The poppy seed jar was an impulsive purchase from sale. I just assumed I would find a use for it. That was about a year ago. Physically going through the pantry, and seeing what I had on hand, has made me realize I need to shop way less. For the next few weeks, I am committing to eating what I have already; in the pantry, fridge and freezer. It all has to go.

The recipe for the Lemon Poppy Seed cake with Thyme came from the Bake From Scratch. The only amendment I made was to half the recipe. I didn’t need two loaves of cakes in my house. The batter was pretty easy to put together especially since I used a Standing Mixer. I didn’t get the sense that this was finicky in any way. It almost felt like I was making a pound cake with some flavoring added.

I have had the Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Thyme for past couple of days and I am impressed with the texture. My daily slice has been consistently moist. It has been a great accompaniment with my morning cup of tea. Although, I have had to stop that because I really try not to start the day eating sweets. I feel like it makes the rest of the day turn into a massive sugar rave.

Do you have any emerging theme for 2019?