I just received my box of fruit and veggies from Imperfect Produce: imprfct.us/v/karen_245. With this and my Kingwood Farmers Market finds and H-E-B purchases, I just got carried away. I know I will use the peppers, spinach, onions, celery and cucumbers for my everyday cooking but OMG, I have overpurchased on fruits and squash. To top it off, I went to Aldi for one item and jumped on this giant jar of dill pickles for under $4. Now, how could I pass that up? And did I mention the 32-ounce jar of Greek olives … No wonder those close to me call me “Crazy YiaYia.” It’s an affectionate nickname!

I decided to make my olive bread, crazy pickle bread and a peachy sweet dessert bread. “Please, Join Our Table” and enjoy a big slice of one or all of these unique breads topped with a generous helping of sweet butter or sour cream.

Crazy Pickle Bread

This CRAZY delicious treat will leave you craving more! It was sent to me by Krystal Wertman, founder and organizer of the first “In a Pickle Festival of Kingwood.” What a great way to use up my surplus of pickles.

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons sugar (I  was using dill pickles and dill pickle juice so I doubled the sugar amount listed.)
1 3/4 cup all- purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon Jelly Girl Crazy Pickle juice
1/2 cup chopped Jelly Girl Crazy Pickles
1/2 cup pepper Jack cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together sour cream, vegetable oil, eggs and sugar until smooth. Add flour, baking powder, salt and Crazy Pickle juice; stir until combined. Fold in chopped Crazy Pickles, cheese and dill. Pour batter into a loaf pan. Bake until the bread is golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.

Homemade Greek Olive Bread

3 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon yeast
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives (sliced)
1-1/2-2 cups warm water
1/4 cup fresh  dill chopped
1 /2 cup Feta or  Halloumi cheese, chopped into 1/4- inch cubes or crumbled
2 tablespoons toasted  sesame seeds

In a large bowl, add flour, olive oil, yeast, salt, sugar and kalamata olives. Add water gradually until all the dry ingredients are combined to form soft dough. Add dill and cheese if desired. Knead for a few minutes and set the bowl in a warm place to rise for about 2 to 3 hours (covered). Once dough has risen, knead again for about 5 minutes. Place in a greased and floured loaf tin and allow to rise again for 1/2 hour (covered). Brush with olive oil and top with sesame seeds. Make 4-5 slices on the top of the bread. Bake in oven set at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Remove from loaf pan and place on cooling rack. Delicious when still warm, sliced, topped with herbed goat cheese.

Peachy Perfect Bread

(almost a cake)

3 cups sliced peaches (fresh or frozen)
6 tablespoons sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground  cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup finely chopped  pecans (sometimes I  use macadamia nuts)
1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips or shredded coconut (optional)
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, combine peaches and the 6 tablespoons of sugar in an electric blender and mix until pureed. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg to the peach mixture. In a medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups sugar and the butter; mix until creamy. Add the eggs and mix well. Combine the ingredients of both bowls, folding until ingredients are incorporated together. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Add white chocolate chips or shredded coconut. Pour into greased and parchment lined loaf pans. Place in oven and bake 55-60 minutes or until knife inserted into one of the loaves comes out clean.

Note: Sometimes I poke holes on the top of the finished loaves and sprinkle with peach schnapps. Let cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Karen Boughton
Author: Karen BoughtonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I grew up in a big, Greek, cooking family. I married my high school sweetheart and soon had three daughters. My husband and I worked in the family’s Greek restaurant, “Zorba’s,” for several years before moving to Baton Rouge and eventually Corpus Christi. There I taught microwave cooking classes for Amana.in studio and on television for three years before moving to Kingwood in the late '80s. I reached out to learn more about regional and international foods, spending 16 years in management in private athletic/dining/country clubs for ClubCorp, where I embraced health and cooking. In 2008 I joined the Tribune Newspapers as food editor, the same time that I became a nutrition advisor and USANA Health Sciences Associate. These two passions have given me better health and the freedom to live life my way.

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