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Showing posts from February, 2015

Bananas Foster Bread

Oh no not ANOTHER banana bread recipe. I can't help it, I always seem to have bananas that get ahead of me. My intentions are good but I forget about them. Before you know it they are turning black. This one has it's own good quality - hey it's got booze in it. How can you go wrong with that??

Bananas Foster Bread (Adapted from Cooking Light)

1 1/2 c mashed bananas (about 3)
1 c brown sugar (divided)
5 T butter
1/4 c dark rum
1/3 c buttermilk (or yogurt)
2 eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1/4 c ground flaxseed
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t allspice

1 T butter, melted
1 T dark rum
1/3 c confectioner's sugar

In a skillet combine bananas, 1/2 c brown sugar, butter, and rum. Cook until mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat and add buttermilk to cool it down. Transfer to mixer. Add the remaining 1/2 c of brown sugar and the eggs.
Meanwhile in a separate bowl mix dry ingredients together.

Mix the banana mixture until combined. Add flour to banana mixture and m…


What is Fougasse you ask? It is a French flat bread that I would say is in the focaccia family.

Herbed Fougasse (Adapted from Art & Soul of Baking)


1/2 c warm water
1/4 t yeast
1 c bread flour
pinch of sugar

In a bowl mix the water, yeast, and sugar together and let sit until bubbly. Mix in flour. Knead until smooth and elastic. Cover and let sit at room temperature 4-6 hours (or up to 12), or refrigerate 24 hours. (If refrigerated, let dough sit out for about 30 minutes before continuing).
1/2 c warm water
1/2 t yeast
2 T olive oil
1 1/4 c bread flour
1 1/2 t Rosemary
1 t thyme
1t salt

1 T olive oil
1 t Kosher salt
2 t Rosemary & Thyme

In a mixer, pour water and yeast and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Add the biga and olive oil. Mix Add flour, rosemary, thyme, and salt. Knead until dough comes together. Cover with a towel and let rest 20 minutes. Turn mixer on and continue to knead until firm, elastic, and smooth. Dough should be a little sticky but you m…

Pasta al Forno

I know, I know, I'm not a huge Rachel Ray fan either - a little bit too much of processed food for me. But every once it a while I guess you are bound to come up with a decent recipe. She has definitely done that with Pasta al Forno. This is, of course, done in 30 minutes, but it definitely has the flavor of something that is cooked longer. It is also a great way to heat up the house - since the oven is set to 500. I love making this on a cold weeknight - which we've had quite a few of them lately.

Pasta al Forno (Adapted from Comfort Food)

1 lb of ziti or penne
2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 oz prosciutto, chopped
3 clove garlic, chopped
1 28 oz can of tomatoes
1/2 c heavy cream
1 t dried basil
1/2 t dried oregano
2 pinches of cinnamon
1/3 c Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 500. Grease casserole dish (I prefer butter for this recipe). Boil water for pasta. While waiting for water to boil and pasta to cook, place onion and olive oil in skillet. Add prosc…

Belgian Waffles

Waffles - they're not just for breakfast. When the girls were younger, on Sundays we would have breakfast for dinner. I would make pancakes, French toast, bacon and eggs, or waffles. The girls are gone and we just haven't done that for a while. We've just developed other bad dinner habits (ice cream sundae for dinner when it's just too hot to eat, guacamole for dinner when I'm just lazy). I thought it was high time we did breakfast for dinner again.

Belgian Waffles

3 eggs
1 c milk (or buttermilk)
1/2 c butter, melted
1 t vanilla
2 c flour
1 T baking powder
1T sugar
1/2 t salt

Whisk together eggs, milk, butter and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients until smooth (you may have to add a little more milk). You do not want it as thin as pancake batter but not too thick either. I would say a little thicker than cake batter. Make waffles according to waffle maker directions.

I really like this recipe. It came with the waffle maker (it's a Kenmore). Many other Belgian waffle…

Tomato Pesto

This recipe struck me as very interesting. However, I was a afraid that by using tomato paste it was going to be very heavy tasting. It was actually quite good and not too strong on the tomato paste.

Tomato Pesto (Adapted from Cooking Pleasures)

1/4 c pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c olive oil
6oz tomato paste
1/4 c fresh parsley
1 1lb of pasta
1/4 c Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions. In a small skillet, toast pine nuts. Remove from pan and place in food processor. Saute garlic in 1T of olive oil.  Place in food processor. Add tomato paste, parsley, salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth. Place pesto in a serving bowl. Reserve some pasta water. Add pasta to serving bowl and mix.  Add reserved pasta water until sauce is to desired consistency. Add Parmesan and stir through.

It is a very quick recipe to pull together. All the work is done while the pasta is cooking.  The original recipe did not toast the pine nuts or saute the garlic. I felt it necess…

Not Barbecued Ribs

These ribs are so unbelievable. You will not believe that they were made in the oven or in this case Sous Vide. I've made them plenty of times in the oven and decided they would be an excellent candidate for Sous Vide. I've given the oven recipe too because I know not everyone has a Sous Vide. It does take a little planning ahead because you do need to let the ribs sit overnight with the rub. You also need to be around for the cooking which is low and slow.

Not Barbecued Ribs (Adapted from Alton Brown)

1 rack of baby back or St. Louis Style Ribs
5 T brown sugar
1 T garlic powder
1/2 T thyme
1 T Ancho (feel free to add more)
1 t allspice

Mix ingredients together in a small bowl.

Set out a large piece of aluminum foil. Place the ribs in the center of the foil and rub the bottom side with half of the rub. Turn over and put the rest of the rub on the other side. Make sure you rub the spices into the meat well.

Fold either side of the foil over the ribs and seal the ends. If bak…

Spaghetti with Tuna

You know I make so many different recipes that I forget what I make. This was one. I started to do a post on it and I was thought hmm I have several recipes that I made that are tuna and pasta, I better look and see if I posted this one. And look I did. Well this time I used fresh pasta. So see it must be good. This is how it looked this time:

Creme Brulee

So I told you I got a blow torch for Christmas (when I mentioned this to my friend, she thought I was taking up a new hobby). Well I decided it was time to break it out and give it a test run. I had this recipe for ages. I don't know where I got it from - ripped from some magazine.
Creme Brulee (I can't figure out how to do the fancy accent marks but you get the idea)

1 vanilla bean
1 c milk
1 c heavy cream
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 c sugar
Raw sugar 

Slit open the vanilla bean and place it in a saucepan. Add milk and heavy cream. Heat until little bubbles appear at the edge of the pan. Remove from heat.

In a bowl whisk the eggs and egg yolks together. Add some of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk this mixture back into the saucepan. Over low heat, heat about 7-10 minutes until the mixture coats the back of the spoon (about 165 degrees).

Divide evenly among ramekins. Place ramekins in a 13x9 pan or roasting pan. Pour hot water around the ramekins until it is halfw…

Cinnamon Chicken Pilaf

I've been making this recipe for a long time. The cinnamon flavor really is a nice flavor with the rice and chicken. It is another one of those real homey tasting meals. It also cooks relatively quickly and doesn't require a lot of fuss. 

Cinnamon Chicken Pilaf (Adapted from 365 Ways to Cook Chicken)

1 whole chicken (cut up)
2 T olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 c rice
3 oz tomato paste
2 3/4 c chicken stock
2 cinnamon sticks

Dry chicken with paper towel. Season with salt and pepper. In a skillet with a cover brown chicken in olive oil on both sides. Remove and set aside. Cook onions in remaining oil until translucent. Add rice and saute for about 3 minutes until it smells slightly toasted. Add tomato paste and chicken stock; stirring until tomato paste is dissolved.  Add cinnamon stick and chicken back to the pan.  Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until stock is absorbed, chicken and rice is tender.

It looks like too much liquid:
But fear not - it absorbs:

Sourdough Banana Bread

I was a little hesitant with this recipe. I make a good banana bread and did I really need a different one - well apparently I did. It's another one from that Step-by-Step Breads book that I keep telling you to get. I think at this point I've tried almost every recipe in there.

Sourdough Banana Bread (Adapted from Step-By-Step Breads)

2 1/4 c flour
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1 egg
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c oil
1 c sourdough starter (at room temperature)
1 c mashed ripe banana (about 3)
1 t vanilla
1/2 t lemon zest
1 1/2 c raisins
1 c nuts (optional)

In a small bowl mix dry flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg. Set aside. In a mixer beat egg. Add sugars and oil. Add the sourdough starter, bananas, vanilla, and lemon zest. Mix until blended. Gradually add the flour until mixed in. Stir in raisins. Pour into a 9x5 loaf pan. Bake at 350 (325 for glass) for 1 hour 10 min or until toothpick comes out clean. Co…

Sesame Noodles

Sesame Soba Noodles (Adapted from Back to Her Roots)

9.5 oz soba noodles
4 green onions
1/2 c cilantro
1/4 c sesame oil
2 T rice wine vinegar
2 T honey
2 T tahini
2 T toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Cook noodles until al dente (lean towards the firmer side) in salted water. Drain and rinse in cold water. In a large bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients. Toss with noodles.

I didn't have sesame seeds so I left them out - no biggie. It was still delicious without them. This is a quick and easy dish and the leftovers are great for lunch.

Let me tell you what happened when I went to boil the noodle. They came in a packet like dried spaghetti comes in. I slice off the end of the packet and dumped them in the water. Now I've bought them before and they've been in a box and usually they have a paper band around the middle. Well I didn't realize that these also had the band in the middle until they fell into the water. So I had to fish them out and remove the bands. N…

Cucumber and Carrots

Cucumber & Carrots (Adapted from Martha Stewart Hors d'Oeuvres)

1/4 c carrot juice
2 cardamon pods (freshly ground)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 English cucumber

In a small saucepan, simmer carrot juice and cardamon until reduce. Set aside to cool. Strain juice and add to softened cream cheese. Pipe cream cheese mixture onto cucumber slices.

I used homemade cream cheese and I think some of the flavor of the carrot and cardamon was lost to the tang of the cream cheese but it was still very tasty. Definitely learn how to use a piping bag. These would be less impressive if there were just dollops of cream cheese on them. They really took little time to make but look like they took FOREVER to prepare.