Thursday, March 19, 2009
I fully intend to post about BB's Bonus Recipes, Sauteed Broccolini chosen by Mary at Meet Me in the Kitchen and Brownie Pudding chosen by me!, but I've got a pretty busy couple of days. Persian New Year is at 4:44 am, and we're trying to get everything together. Not to mention, my sister-in-law's birthday was Tuesday and we're going out for dinner tomorrow night to celebrate.
I also have plans to post all about Norooz/Nowrooz/Norouz (Persian New Year) tomorrow, so I can explain a lot of the traditions we go through- from the haft sin, a gorgeous table set with various meaningful items, to sabzi polo with white fish, white fish with dill-flavored basmati rice as a traditional dish for the evening...
Sorry for the delay but I promise I will post about everything as soon as I possibly can! :)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Repeat after me- Brown bananas are NOT a bad thing. Sure, they make the entire kitchen smell like banana... sure, they magically produce fruit flies, the most annoying insect known to man. But trust me, banana bread makes those worth it. Too bad my grandmother kept her promise and never wrote down that recipe.
However, The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book rescued me once again! This recipe is such a baking staple, and the Baking Book gave me a recipe that is going to be used in our household for a loooong time.
The end result is so soft, and not too banana-y, not too sweet. I can't even imagine how it would taste with chocolate chips mixed in. Oh oh, or toasted and then slathered with butter then topped with cinnamon & sugar.
Oh my... I think I may have to make this again tonight. I'm drooling like a goober. If you want to try it for yourself, check out the book or see the recipe below! :)
Banana Bread (from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book)
2 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 large, overripe bananas, mashed well (roughly 1.5 cups)
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted & cooled
2 large eggs
1/4 c. whole or low-fat plain yogurt (this would probably be tasty with vanilla yogurt!)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Adjust a rack to the lower-middle position in the oven. Grease an 8.5" x 4.5" loaf pan.
2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt (and cinnamon, if using). In another bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, melted butter, eggs, yogurt and vanilla. Fold wet into dry with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in walnuts (after tossing with a 1/2 tbsp. of flour, if using).
3. Scrape into loaf pan and smooth out the top. Bake until golden brown, rotating halfway through baking, about 55 minutes (I found that it actually took closer to 1 hour and 15 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs attached.
4. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out on to wire rack and cool for an hour before cutting and serving.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I had a couple of issues though...
One? I just made a version of chicken piccata last week!! Therefore, I had no white wine left. :( *plays tiny violin* So I had to substitute with low-sodium chicken stock. However, I think this may have cut down on an issue some of the other BB members had with the sauce being too lemon-y... the chicken stock (and the sweet Persian lemons I used) kept the acidity low, so I didn't find it too tart.
Which is amazing because I am NOT a tart person... me + lemon= love/hate relationship
The other issues I had were really minor. I love Ina but chicken piccata is supposed to have capers. So I had to add capers to keep from throwing a fit. :-D I also had the hardest time finding broccolini!! I went to 2 produce markets and 2 grocery stores in search of it before I finally found wildly pricey "baby broccoli". Needless to say, 1 bunch of "baby broccoli" only amounts to six servings if you only serve one or two stalks per person. I ate more than half of the bunch just after I finished cooking them, so at least 3 theoretical dinner guests would have been left veggie-side-less.
Check out the other Barefoot Bloggers to see what others thought! If you want to try the recipe for yourself, they're both available on Food Network here and here here. :)
Click here if you're hungry!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
When I was little, "growing up" meant being able to buy a pony, living in my own place, and being able to eat cookies and other sweets for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Well, I may not have a pony, but I do live in my own house (with Hubs and my mother-in-law of course) and I do indulge in cookies for breakfast. So two out of three isn't bad, right? :-D
This cookie bar was born out of a recipe for "breakfast cookies" given to me from Hubs's coworker... well the ingredient list came from her, but I was too lazy to do drop cookies, so I just mushed the dough into a greased baking dish and baked the heck out of it. Besides, I'd already made orange-blueberry muffins (with this recipe), banana bread (which I will definitely be posting about this week), and had cooked dinner, so my eagerness had dwindled considerably by the time I yanked the dough out of the fridge.
Hey, I'm an unemployed college student, I need something to do when I'm home alone all day. lol Hopefully both of those statuses will change soon, as I am supposed to graduate in June and I hope to have a full-time job by then!
Breakfast Cookie Bars
1 c. butter, softened (if you use salted butter, omit the 1/2 tsp. salt obviously!)
2 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. all-purpose flour (a good way to add a little "health" to these is to use 1 c. whole wheat flour and 1 c. all-purpose flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. shredded coconut
1 c. walnuts
1/2 c. dried cranberries
3 c. Special K cereal
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom & sides of a 9"x13" glass baking dish.
2. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder & baking soda.
3. Cream together butter & sugar. Add eggs 1 @ a time, scraping sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix in vanilla.
4. Mix in dry ingredients, pulsing the mixer slowly to keep from coating you and your kitchen in flour.
5. Stir in coconut, nuts, cranberries & cereal by hand.
6. Press into baking dish, trying to make it as even as possible.
7. Bake in the center of the oven for 30-35 minutes (I actually don't have an exact measure of how long this took to bake, since I would set the timer for 6-8 minutes and then check on the "doneness" of the center).
8. Remove from oven and let cool. Turn out on to cutting board. Cut into 4's and cut each quarter into 6 pieces.
Sorry for the inaccurate timing, but if you decide to do the drop cookie version, drop tablespoon-sized bits of dough 2" apart on a greased or parchment-covered cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.