It’s the afternoon on New Year’s Eve (2020) and I must say, it’s actually kinda nice to be sitting on my couch here. There’s a heavy rainstorm here in Austin and I’ve been watching it since this morning. The Christmas tree still lit up and the heater is blasting. Typically, on this day I’m in France, ringing in the New Year with friends and family there. For obvious COVID19 related reasons, we didn’t make our annual trip. We also didn’t visit family in California for the same reason.
Instead, we stayed in Austin and created a cozy end of year holiday here. The social and celebratory side of me was worried that I’d feel the disappointment and fear of missing out this year. The independent and “hygge-side” of me has appreciated this slower time after such an emotionally complex year. And an unexpected perk of being home this afternoon, is that I get to take the time to catch up on my blog. I love seeing the recipes that are most popular right now (like this and this). And it’s been fun sorting through older recipes, like today’s, that need a new picture and a few minor tweaks. I’m appreciating this time.
In the last ten years I’ve moved a lot. From Northern to Southern California. From the USA to France. From Nice to Cannes. Back to Northern and then Southern California and then back again to Northern California. And now settling in to Austin, Texas. It’s been an incredibly fulfilling and fun whirlwind. And one in which, the staples in my kitchen were never actually “stapled”. They were constantly being donated or used up quickly around moves.
During the past decade, I never wanted to buy anything. I wouldn’t even buy poppy seeds — simply because I never wanted to add any extra thing to my kitchen, ensuring that nothing added up too quickly before the next move. While dramatic, especially given the size and weight of a poppy seed, it felt like a ton to me. So I lived without and only bought ingredients that I knew I’d use quickly, like chocolate chips and vanilla.
2020 has been the year that we’ve started to really settle in a place for the first time since after college. Thus, 2020 has been the year that I’ve added poppy seeds to my pantry. 😉 And let me tell you, it’s been wonderful. I think poppy seeds are largely underrated. They liven up any muffin or cake with their cute little black flecks. They are great with almond extract, lemon, and vanilla. And they’re actually quite nutritious. If you’re interested how they positively effect your health, HERE is an article about it.
This is a delicious and classic poppy seed bread recipe. It’s lightly sweet so it’s a match made in heaven with a cup of hot coffee or tea. It’s very easy to make and creates a lovely golden loaf. I actually like to serve it upside down because the bottom of the loaf is so nicely browned and perfectly flat and smooth. It makes cutting a slice so satisfying. You’ll see what I mean when you make it.
I raise my poppy seed slice and my cup of hot tea to you and your loved ones. Cheers to a happy, healthy, and hopeful 2021!
Poppy Seed Bread
- 1 2/3 cup Flour
- 1 tbsp. Poppy seeds
- 1 tsp. Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1/2 cup Butter, softened
- 3 Eggs
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 1/4 cup Sour cream, yogurt or applesauce
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar for about 2 minutes, until creamed. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well. Add the vanilla extract, milk, and sour cream until combined. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, careful not to over-mix.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan and cooling further on a wire rack. Slice and serve.