I haven’t done a recipe post since the New Year because of all the back-to-back style challenges, so here’s the first recipe of the year, which combines two of my favorite things: banana bread and coconut. Recipe adapted from here.
What You Need:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 medium overripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes (or shredded coconut)
1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan and set aside (I used a 9×9 pan, which worked out fine.)
2. Stir together the mashed bananas, coconut milk, oil, sugar and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
3. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually mix the dry ingredients with the wet until just combined. Stir in the coconut flakes.
4. Pour batter into pan (I like a lot of coconut, so I sprinkled some of top as well.) Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool completely before slicing.
Because everybody in my family (except for me) studied in Germany, when we do celebrate Christmas it is with German traditions. And one of those traditions is the Stollen, the German Christmas bread. I haven’t been able to find the exact kind here in the US, so I’ve been making it myself for a couple of years now. It doesn’t taste quite the same, but it’s fun to make, and it helps me feel closer to home.
ETA: Recipe adapted from here.
What You Need:
1 tablespoon yeast
2/3 C warm milk
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C butter, softened
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 1/2 C bread flour
1/3 C each currants, raisins and candied cherries (quartered)
2/3 C candied citrus peel (I got a tub of mixed dried fruits for fruitcake and used 1 C of it in place of the cherries and peel)
1 ts each ground ginger and allspice
6 oz. marzipan (found in the baking isle)
About 2 tablespoons melted butter and powdered sugar, for dusting
1. Dissolve yeast in the milk (I also added 1/2 tablespoon sugar to help the yeast along), let stand until foamy.
2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the sugar, butter, egg, salt and 2 C flour. Mix well. Add the remaining flour, a little at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead in the dried fruits, ginger and allspice, until smooth, about 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, make sure it’s coated with oil. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
4. After the dough has doubled, punch it down and roll it out. Shape the marzipan into a log and place in the middle. Fold the dough over, pinch the seams together to seal. Place the loaf, seam side down, on a baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce to 300 degrees F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes more. Let cool completely. Pour the melted butter over the loaf and dust it with powdered sugar (the traditional loaf is rolled in powdered sugar, but I find that a little too sweet.) Enjoy!
Warning: heavily pictured post ahead. Most of them are of food. But it’s Thanksgiving, so you understand.
In the morning, after arriving at Debbi’s, our host, we all decided to go to our favorite diner for a light brunch/lunch.
Then we went home and the cooking began. Debbi had to leave for another Thanksgiving (poor girl was twice as stuffed by the end of the night!), so we cooked slowly to wait for her to get back. And remember how I said I missed Lunar New Year at home? Well, I got that homey feeling again – it was overcast outside, and we were all chilling and cooking in the warm kitchen.
Julie was in charge of the turkey (we named him Rupert) and these delicious chipotle bacon deviled eggs; Dan made green bean casserole; I made mashed sweet potatoes (also with chipotle), spring rolls and pumpkin cream cheese bread, and Debbi made pumpkin chocolate chip bread with frosting.
We barely made a dent before we all had to retreat to the couch and watched “Punkin Chunkin” and slowly fell into a food coma. There were four of us at Thanksgiving dinner and we made enough food for 10 people, so guess what? We’re coming back tonight to eat the leftovers.
I’m a banana bread convert. I know there are people who won’t eat bananas unless they’re in baked goods, but I was the opposite: to me the idea of bananas in muffins and things just seemed… wrong. Well, no more. I usually buy more bananas than I can eat, and I hate throwing anything away, so banana breads they become.
I don’t remember where I get this recipe from. The chocolate was my idea, though, it’s a natural addition to peanut butter.
What You Need:
1 9″ loaf pan
3 ripe bananas, mashed (if your bananas are not ripe enough, peel and freeze them. When you thaw them out, they’ll be nice and mushy)
1/2 C creamy peanut butter (you can substitute the same amount of oil)
2/3 C sugar
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 ts baking soda
1/2 ts salt (I omit this and don’t see any difference in taste, since peanut butter has enough salt in them)
1 ts baking soda
Optional: 2 TBs up to 1/4 C cocoa powder, 1/2 C walnuts, 1/2 C chocolate chips (or, you know, all of the above :P)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Beat the mashed bananas, peanut butter and sugar together. Add the eggs, mix until smooth.
2. Shift all the dry ingredients together, along with the cocoa powder (if used). Combine with the wet ingredients until just incorporated.
3. Mix in walnuts and/or chocolate chips, if used.
4. Butter or spray your loaf pan with cooking spray, and pour batter into pan. Bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
For my first recipe post, I decided it would be best if I make it a baking recipe. I like cooking as much as baking, but I cook because I have to eat, whereas I bake because I enjoy it.
Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz.
What You Need:
A 9-inch cake pan, or a cast iron skillet
3 Ts butter
3/4 C packed light brown sugar
Sliced fruits enough to cover the bottom of your pan in a thick layer – anything you like, peaches, apricots, plums, pears, apples, or, the traditional, pineapple (I used 4 small nectarines)
Berries (optional. I added blueberries before, but they’re not on sale now)
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 C sugar
1 ts vanilla
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 ts baking powder
1/4 ts salt
1/2 C whole milk, room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in your pan (I do it on the stove. If you’re using cake pan, just stick it in the oven.) Add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar is melted and begins to bubble. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. Once cool, arrange the fruit in a pinwheel design, added berries if used.
3. Beat the 1/2 C of butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla, then one egg at a time, until smooth.
4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in half of the flour mixture, then the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients. Do not overmix.
5. Spread the batter over the fruit, then bake for 45 minutes to one hour.
6. Remove from oven, let cool, then place a cake plate on top, and flip the cake out on to the plate. Ta-da!
– Being the only one at a party who doesn’t drive and who lives the farthest away. Yeah, it’s kinda awkward to ask “So, who’s going to give me a ride home?”
– This couple on the bus in front of me was really going at it, and since they were right there, there was nowhere for me to look (even if I turned my head, I could still see them out of the corner of my eyes.) Look, I have nothing against PDA, but there’s PDA, and then there’s “Please get a room.”
– Um, just realizing as I was writing this that I left a chunk of white background in my “Awkward & Awesome” header as well as my “Weekend Round-Up” header. And I’ve been using them for a month now. How did my OCD miss that?!
– Pinterest. It’s like a virtual pin board where you can add photos of things you like to a collection. It’s great and easy to use. A lot of bloggers swear by it, so I finally signed up. I’m not addicted (yet), but I have to say, it’s pretty awesome. Check out my boards here.
– Debbi’s birthday at the Edison. That place is so cool. Yeah, the price is exorbitant, but I think they’re selling ambiance more than anything.
– This incident… I’m not sure if it belongs in “awesome” or “awkward”, but here it is: Last Saturday at the book sale, an old man was browsing next to me when his pants suddenly decided to drop to his ankles. All by themselves. Apparently his belt wasn’t tight enough. Nobody else noticed (or they pretended not to) while I was like “Heh heh heh.” Inwardly, of course. Laughing out loud would be rude 😀