Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

Photo 2016-02-17, 6 25 46 PM
Photo 2016-02-17, 6 25 46 PM

I thought I would bake something simple and quick after work today and make something that I always wanted to try. AND GUESS WHAT? It was still light enough for me to make and shoot this when I came home. The days are finally getting longer around here and I’m so excited to have more light in the early evenings.

Just as a side-note, Steve bought me a lighting kit for our anniversary in December which I promptly asked him to return. He walked in with the huge box that included two large white umbrellas, lights and two stands. I told him that I wasn’t planning on shooting a whole wedding reception in the house and this kit was just too out of control big for me to use with food photography.

Photo 2016-02-17, 6 23 10 PM
Photo 2016-02-17, 6 23 10 PM

WELL.

I hate to admit it.

BOY DO I EVER HATE TO ADMIT IT.

I don’t even want to admit it.

BUT.

I WAS WRONG.

There I said it.

I…..WAS…..WRONGGGGGGGGGGG.

What I thought I wanted was sold out everywhere. It was the small Lowel Ego table lighting system that you could find on Amazon. It looked like a perfect set up for me and I was really mad that it was sold out.

Did you know that there are over 159,000,000 food bloggers out there. Ya. That’s right. I’m just one in a hundred and fifty nine million. Not everyone needs an indoor lighting system but it seems like at least 40,000,000 food photographers cleared out the Lowel Ego’s and then there was NONE LEFT FOR ME. Waaaaaaaaa!

Photo 2016-02-17, 6 29 31 PM
Photo 2016-02-17, 6 29 31 PM

I messaged one of my fellow Instagram foodies who takes really incredible photos of his recipes. He was kind enough to share his lighting secrets with me. Wanna know what he told me? Forget the Lowel Ego light, buy yourself what I have….and that was…..the same thing Steve brought home in December – The Wedding Photographer White Umbrella Kit.

UGH. I really don’t like it when he’s right.

Can we get back to this monkey bread please? We need to first discuss what the heck a monkey bread is:

Photo 2016-02-17, 6 30 39 PM
Photo 2016-02-17, 6 30 39 PM

A classic monkey bread recipe is oozing with warm caramel and cinnamon. It is arranged in a pan, adding nuts and raisins among the biscuit pieces.

In my case, I threw in a few extra ingredients to make it my signature Monkey Bread.

I also made a yummy, drippy and delicious orange infused glaze that basically was the “icing on the cake”.

Take a good look at this because tomorrow it will be ALL GONE.

Photo 2016-02-17, 6 29 28 PM
Photo 2016-02-17, 6 29 28 PM

This is the best way to monkey around….Y.U.M.

p.s. Doesn’t this kinda look like a monkey except for the crazy eyes and the weird looking face? ↓ Ya. It does. It really does.

Photo 2016-02-17, 6 28 02 PM
Photo 2016-02-17, 6 28 02 PM

BLACKCURRANT CARAMEL WALNUT MONKEY BREAD

-2 (340g) cans of ready to use biscuits (I used the Pillsbury Country Style ones - dough for 10) -About 80 blackcurrants or blueberries (you can use any small fruit or berry) -¼ cup white sugar -1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon -5 tablespoons butter -¾ cup packed dark brown sugar -1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (I used walnuts because they were hanging around but pecans or any other nut would work too)

Glaze -1 cup confectioners sugar -2 tablespoons orange juice or milk -1 teaspoon real vanilla extract (I like to use the clear vanilla so it doesn't turn the icing beige)

1) Preheat oven to 350F and prepare your bundt pan by generously coating it with cooking spray (I use coconut oil). 2) Pat each biscuit out on a board and cut in half.

Photo 2016-02-17, 4 10 31 PM
Photo 2016-02-17, 4 10 31 PM

3) Add two fresh blackcurrants to each biscuit half and roll it into a ball.

Photo 2016-02-17, 4 20 17 PM
Photo 2016-02-17, 4 20 17 PM

4) Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and roll each biscuit ball in the cinnamon mixture.

Photo 2016-02-17, 4 32 05 PM
Photo 2016-02-17, 4 32 05 PM

5) Put ½ the nuts into the bottom of the bundt pan; add half the cinnamon balls on top of the nuts. Melt the brown sugar and butter in the microwave or on the stove. 6) Pour half the melted brown sugar and butter over the first layer of cinnamon balls.

Photo 2016-02-17, 4 52 26 PM
Photo 2016-02-17, 4 52 26 PM

7) Add the other half cup of chopped nuts and the rest of the cinnamon balls. 8) If you have any cinnamon mixture leftover, sprinkle this on top and pour the rest of the brown sugar mixture over the second layer.(I did this step backwards by mistake because I got too excited with these balls) Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until nicely browned.

Photo 2016-02-17, 5 40 13 PM
Photo 2016-02-17, 5 40 13 PM

9) Meanwhile, make your glaze by combining ingredients and mixing until a nice not too thick consistency is achieved. Set aside and cover with plastic wrap. 10) Remove the monkey bread when done and let cool about 10 to 12 minutes before removing from bundt pan.

Photo 2016-02-17, 6 11 04 PM
Photo 2016-02-17, 6 11 04 PM

11) Drizzle glaze over monkey bread when almost completely cooled. You can also serve this warm too, but the glaze will dissolve quickly from the heat of the bread. Either way, it's delish.

Photo 2016-02-17, 6 24 34 PM
Photo 2016-02-17, 6 24 34 PM
Photo 2016-02-17, 6 22 41 PM
Photo 2016-02-17, 6 22 41 PM
Photo 2016-02-17, 6 28 15 PM
Photo 2016-02-17, 6 28 15 PM