the good food box and winter breakfast breads.

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a more exciting name for this post, i cannot come up with. (believe me, i tried.)

there has been a good bit of talk (from one blogger in particular) about the moral perils attached to sponsored posts; sponsored posts are those which are authored for remuneration, either in the form of products or money. advertising and advertorials are becoming more common in blogs and i personally don’t see anything wrong with that, because at the end of the day it’s not much different from campbell’s placing a soup advertisement next to a recipe that calls for soup. product placement has been part of our society since before television (radio shows were often sponsored and had products included in the content). since i don’t monetize my blog (at the moment), i look for opportunities to share events or organizations that are doing good things with food: for example, capital cupcake camp.

so, when the folks behind the ottawa good food box asked me if i would like to test drive their program and write a little ditty about it, i felt that a) the contents of the food box would all be used (i wouldn’t be creating waste); and b) food equity is something that i want to support, because there were certainly times when i was in my undergrad that i could have used the tremendous power of buying wholesale. oh, and the organization also tries to provide locally grown fare whenever possible. boxes (available in three sizes) are delivered monthly, the idea being that they can supplement your current grocery shopping and take a least few dollars off the grocery bill.

i received the medium size food box ($15) this past wednesday. justin faubert of landwaterfork (a relatively new-to-ottawa caterer and sustainable food consultant) outlined in detail what was included in the food box, but to recap, it includes:

  • 5 apples
  • 4 pears
  •  2 oranges
  • 6 bananas
  • 2 lb bag of yellow onions
  •  2 lb bag of carrots
  • 2 green peppers
  • ½ lb button mushrooms
  • large head of celery
  • green cabbage
  • romaine lettuce
  • small bag of fresh cranberries
  • small pumpkin
the box is a welcome reminder that i need to eat more fruit and vegetables! (i eat a good amount of vegetables with dinner, but fruit never makes it into meals.) by and large, i knew what to do with the contents: stir-frys, soups (including a delicious pumpkin one that i’ll post the recipe for later this week), sandwiches. but, to be honest, the cranberries stumped me. luckily, in flipping through my newest issue of real simple, i came across this bread, which seems to be an excellent breakfast for winter, and especially christmas!

cranberry-hazelnut bread

cranberry-hazelnut breakfast bread

1/2 cup hazelnuts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 cups pastry flour, spooned and leveled
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon orange zest (from 1 orange)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh (or frozen) cranberries

heat oven to 350° F. spread the hazelnuts on baking sheet and toast in oven, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. remove the skins*; coarsely chop.

butter an 8½-by-4½-inch loaf pan. in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt. in a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, eggs, orange zest, and vanilla; add to the flour mixture and mix until just combined (do not overmix). fold in the hazelnuts and cranberries.

transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes. cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

*a note on removing skins: you may have your own method, but if you don’t, i recommend looking at this video. i swear, it works for garlic as well as nuts and it far easier to clean up than rolling the nuts in a towel. i usually use a large mason jar, rather than a bowl, but it still works like a charm!

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One thought on “the good food box and winter breakfast breads.

  1. This makes me miss my CSA box! I let it go when life got a little crazy a few months back and I couldn’t keep up with the weekly shipments. I love how getting a grab bag of produce forces you to get creative with your veggies (although I’ll admit that I always opt for the one without fruit, because I like fruit but prefer veggies!).

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