28 April 2012

Blog Love: Honey Whole Wheat Banana Bread

This week, I found myself with a few bananas that I hadn't managed to get to before they turned brown. Although I have a slew of banana-containing cookie and cupcake recipes that I have bookmarked, I decided to use these bananas to try out a rather wholesome banana bread recipe, particularly since I recently fell victim to slutty brownies.. yet again.

So for this week's "blog love", I recommend you all check out Cookie and Kate's blog. I used her banana bread recipe, but I plan on making many other of her recipes in the future. Her blog is full of healthy, but flavorful ideas accompanied by really exceptional, clean looking photography.

As for the banana bread, the only change I made to the recipe was really an addition of raisins, because to me, banana bread just seems barren when there are no raisins involved. Anyway, I highly recommend you take some time (maybe 10 minutes max in prep time) to whip together this bread and then enjoy a slice of it, warm, with a pad of butter or a smear of peanut butter!

Happy eating!

21 April 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

In Tuesday's Village Acres' CSA shared, I received my first few stalks of rhubarb for the season and today seemed like the perfect time to use them! I had strawberries that had been ripening away in my refrigerator and was full from a dinner of wild rice, pesto, and tofu, with little intention of wanting to eat batter (a rare occasion), so off to the blogs I went!

I decided on using smitten kitchen's recipe, because I had almost all of the ingredients to begin with and in close to the quantities called for. I now am completely out of white sugar, light brown sugar, and butter, but I'd call that a successful baking session! A few edits were made to the recipe, however.
  • I used a glass Pyrex dish (not quite a 9"x13", so whatever is next smallest) that was not specifically "deep dish" with no problems. I did put the Pyrex on top of a baking sheet in case there was some bubbling over, but I seem to have been spared any messes!
  • I used dark brown sugar, because I didn't have any turbinado sugar.
  • I had no lemon, so there was no lemon in the topping or filling. In the filling I did go with a splash of orange juice instead of the lemon juice to add some citrus. If there were Gran Marnier in the apartment, I probably would have tried subbing that in for some tang and citrus. (Boozy fruit, who doesn't approve!?)
  • I added a few dashes of cinnamon and and just a smidge of ginger to the filling for a little extra flavor burst.
  • I didn't have any cornstarch, so I went with just over a tablespoon of flour to toss the fruit in.
Despite the number of little substitutions I took and liberty I used in making this (okay, I didn't measure any of the fruit.. or sugar..), it turned out pretty spectacular looking! Now I'm just deciding whether I want to make fresh whipped cream for it or if I should go out and buy some local, fresh ice cream!

Happy weekend everybody! Hope you find a chance to make a crumble (or crisp, if you will) in the near future with all of the fruits just coming into season!

19 April 2012

Pesto doesn't mean pasta!

Alright, let's start off by admitting I had an absolute fail when it came to saying that I was about to post more regularly, because that clearly didn't happen.

I do think I have since come up with two ways that will keep me better accountable to keeping this little diddy updated. However, I am going to need some help, my imaginary audience! First, I hope to post pictures throughout the week of the more put together dishes and whenever you like what you see, you comment on it and request that I write up a recipe for it! Bam! How do you like that?

Secondly, and what has inspired this post, is the idea of "blog love" which entails posting one recipe once a week that features a recipe created by some other food blogger that I admire. This idea struck me as genius when I came across it earlier today on Heather's Dish. Heather was posting about this addictive spinach pesto recipe that she's currently infatuated with and that I knew I had to make.

It's really perfect timing for a pesto what with summer on its way and all sorts of green veggies about to appear. Really, I've had great success in the past making pesto with the traditional basil, but also spinach, garlic scape, kale, broccoli, and even asparagus! Not only that, but pesto should not be restricted to just pasta. I think it's a great addition to breakfast, really. Try it on a fried egg sandwich, in your scrambled eggs, even add a little touch to your hashbrowns!

So I broke out the big guns (thanks, Sean!) and here we have it, some garlicky spinach pesto! Just a few notes to follow on this recipe and how I approached it.

  • I used 1/3 c good quality, organic olive oil and probably could have used even less! 
  • I toasted the walnuts on the stove top, but putting it under the broiler could also work! (I've never tried using the microwave for toasting nuts, though.)
  • I went for double the amount of garlic and half the amount of onion. In the future, I might scale back on the amount of garlic from a full doubling of garlic, not because I don't love garlic, but because it might come off as just a bit abrasive too non-garlic lovers (not that those exist, or anything)! 
  • I only included half the amount of cheese. Using the recommended amount (1/2 c) would probably balance out the extra garlic I included just perfectly, but I was trying to make it just an eensy bit healthier. Go figure.

Alright then, happy eating to you all on this gorgeous Thursday. I vow to check back in very shortly!