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As a food blogger, I make a lot of food. With the amount of recipe testing and random menu combinations I create on any given day, in today’s society I am beyond lucky to say that sometimes it becomes just too plentiful to consume for my small family of three. We are very fortunate, and we know it. We are thankful. That’s why today’s post sponsored by Land O’ Lakes highlights one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen: Spread the food love!
Cooking, baking and creating is my job. And one of the best parts about it is sharing the results with friends and family. Let’s just that say if you’re my neighbor, you very well could receive a text that says to check your front porch (and if we’re really good friends, your fridge or counter) because there’s going to be something good waiting for you when you come home from work that day. Or better yet, stop by my house and let’s share it together.
It’s my way of saying thank you for being there. And for putting up with all those times I took your photo as a reluctant hand model when all you really wanted to do was dig into dinner or dessert on the table.
See how well that works out for everyone?
Today I’m sharing this Cherry and Almond Quick Bread. It’s perfect for sharing any time of year. Plus, I’m giving my 3 tips to help you share your own bounty with family and friends, and add a little good to their day.
Perfection Is Not the Point
Do you know how awesome it is to receive a warm plate of cookies delivered to your door…just because? I would love that. I mean, what could possibly be better? Unless there was a jug of super cold milk sent along with it? Oh shoot. But do I have enough milk to share? What if they don’t like chocolate chips and prefer snickerdoodles? Oh, man! These cookies look a little flat, misshapen and now after all this fretting they’re not even warm anymore.
Really? Are you going to do that to yourself? Don’t. Don’t overthink it. Don’t over analyze. The point is not perfection. It’s about showing you care by sharing. Your recipient will get it. And love the gesture in all it’s imperfect intention.
Just Enough is Just Right
I often determine who my food-loving recipient is going to be depending on how much food I have to give.
If it’s a big batch of my favorite Lemon Chicken Stew or a party of Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks, I know it’s going to go to one of Smudge’s friends’ families with plenty of hungry mouths to feed. If I’ve photographed and thus picked apart something like my favorite Tomato, Zucchini and Caramelized Onion with Feta Tart so that now my portions have dwindled, the untouched remains are going to be claimed by my vegetarian neighbors, who are a party of two if you don’t include the cats.
With this Cherry and Almond Quick Bread, I made it a few times to get the recipe right. My last two loaves were divided and delivered to a couple of different families who could enjoy one slice per person. Smudge claimed a whole half to herself. I couldn’t blame her for it.
Spreading the love. That’s how we do. You should too.
Made to Deliver
It used to be that I’d be ready to share my food treats with others, standing by to plate them up for delivery, and BAM! I was suddenly yanked from the stage with the hook like a bad comedian because I had nothing to put them in.
Not anymore. Now, I’m prepared.
I’ve found there are a few easy vessels to keep on hand for take home/to go/and food delivery. They’re not fancy, but they do the job.
For soups, pastas, salads and mains, I keep a small number various sizes of inexpensive store-bought plastic containers with lids around. I also recycle my cottage cheese and sour cream tubs on hand for packing food in. I’ll fill a large canning jar with a screw top lid if it’s a larger portion of soup or pasta or even just load it into a gallon freezer bag if it fits the bill. The best part of using these containers is I don’t ever worry about getting them back.
Give and keep giving is my motto.
For cookies, cakes and brownies or bars I keep a stack of heavy duty paper plates on hand and simply wrap the with aluminum foil. At holiday times, I’ll keep an eye out for sales on nondescript cheap plastic platters or plates to use all through the year.
For quick breads like this one, paper lined trays are readily available at most supermarkets. I debated on using one or two for today’s blog post, but I just went with my good old bread pan. It’s dependable. And bakes a really good bread.
Let’s get to this bread!
About the Recipe
I was gifted a whole box of these dark, sweet cherries and knew I wanted to pay it forward. A simple quick bread was the perfect showcase to share them in.
This bread has an almond flavoring that goes oh-SO-well with cherries. Rather than go the simple route of adding almond extract to the batter, I created a deeper, more intense flavor by using almond paste blended into Land O’ Lakes Super Premium European Style Butter. The European style butter is super creamy and rich thanks to a higher fat content that makes it perfect for baking. I usually use unsalted butter for baking so I can control the amount of salt myself.
The result is a bread that rises well yet isn’t too dense or heavy, with just the right crumb. My husband’s favorite part is the crispy crust. It’s the result of the almond paste butter mixture that creates a crisper shell as almond paste will do.
Of course you can enjoy a piece of this quick bread hot from the oven and slathered with butter. It’s so good that way. But don’t rule it out as the base of an ice cream dessert like Smudge created 3 nights in a row.
She even gave me a bite. It looks like sharing is in her genes.
Cherry and Almond Quick Bread
- ¼ cup LAND O LAKES® Super Premium European Style unsalted butter at room temperature
- 4 ounces almond paste
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup sweet cherries pitted and sliced or quartered
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a bread pan with baking spray.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and the almond paste until well blended. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and add to the sugar mixture alternating with the milk. Gently fold in the cherries.
Pour the batter into the bread pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until the bread has pulled away from the sides of the pan and the top is golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Here’s to getting into the kitchen and cook something fresh and seasonal now.
As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
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