This is my cookcabulary


Banana bread!

image

I like to buy my bananas yellow and a tinge green. Once they have a spec of brown I wont touch them. Lucky for me, Sam likes them a little bruised and ripe so we make a great banana eating team! However, Sam was gone this week in MO for work and the bananas just sat on the counter… who’s going to eat the gross browned fruit I thought!? Oh yea, me! ….if I make banana bread with them!

Baking banana bread is really quite simple! You can make variations to it such as substituting zucchini, for example. I had intended on making my gluten free recipe but lucked out! Sam and I went to Saturday market yesterday and he scored some chocolate zucchini muffins from a gluten free vendor. Now that he had his treat, I could have mine! I don’t have anything against baking gluten free and eating it – obviously, but I enjoy gluten! Its just a fact! So, Sam gets muffins and I get bread.

*if you want the gluten free recipe, just email me*

Ingredients:
1/2 c vegetable shortening
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c ripened bananas, mashed
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/4 c flour
Pinch cinnamon
Add nuts if desirable

Preheat oven to 350°
Butter and flour loaf pan
In an electric mixer, combine sugar and shortening. Add eggs one at a time and then vanilla. Combine with bananas. Turn mixer off and scrape sides and blender before adding dry ingredients.
Add baking soda, salt, flour, and cinnamon.
Mixture will be pretty thick and sticky.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake one hour (or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean).

I doubled the recipe and it came out just delicious (since I had 3 very ripe bananas)! When loaf is done baking let cool for a bit before removing from pan. Once cooled, slice and eat plain…or smear some butter on it! I like to sample a piece before it cools so the butter melts – oh yum!

Happy banana baking!

Advertisements

I love lemon!

image

image

My absolute favorite treat to make involves an amazing ingredient: lemon. For years I avoided tarts, bars, and custards for no real reason. It was probably late into my teens that my mom made her home made custard and I.fell.in.love. What was I thinking years before that convinced me not to try this zesty fresh ensemble? I know I’ve blogged before about lemon-y goodness but it never gets old! I did the custard in tartlettes with fresh berries for a work party. And then I am sure Ive posted on the bars my lovely coworkers so often request.

This time around I wanted to make a true tart. Being as I had bought a cute tart pan around Christmas and STILL hadn’t used it! I looked online for a tart recipe and compared it to my bar recipe. The difference was mainly the quantity of the ingredients, but not the ingredients themselves. I didn’t have enough eggs to follow trusty Martha so I decided to just make the bar recipe in a tart pan!

Here’s ‘yo list of ingredients:
12 T butter + 1 T (cold)
1-3/4 cups + 3 T all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 t salt
4 eggs
1-1/3 cups sugar
1-1/2 t lemon zest (key ingredient here friends)!
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice strained
1/4 cup whole milk

As you can tell – this is not a gluten-free treat unfortunately. :(

I started by buttering my tart pan. I then cut out a circle of parchment paper and placed in the pan. THen buttered again on top of the paper. This may or may not be necessary with a tart but it reallllllly helps when you make bars to pull them out so I would still recommended it.

In a bowl combine 1-3/4 c flour, confectioners sugar, cornstarch, and salt – mix thoroughly. Cut the remaining 12 T of butter into small pieces and combine with flour mixture. Hands work best but you can use a pastry blender or two knives to create a coarse meal. Transfer butter-flour mixture to tart pan and press into an even 1/4″ thick layer. I had leftover and decided to make mini tarts in my small springform pans as well (more for me!!). Refrigerate 30 minutes.

While crust chills, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

While the crust bakes we assemble the filling! Wahoo – the best part!

Combine eggs, sugar, flour and lemon zest.  Now, I LOVE  the tart lemon flavor this dessert represents. So, my teaspoons of zest are heaping. It just makes it perfect! Whisk ingredients until smooth. Then stir in lemon juice and milk with a pinch of salt.

When crust is gorgeous in color and sizzling we add our filling. Reduce oven to 325 degrees, stir mixture one last time, and add to pan! Bake until set – about 20 minutes.

Allow dish to completely cool before cutting to give filling a chance to settle. Feel free to garnish with fresh mint, fruit, or powdered sugar. And next time, maybe substitute the lemon for lime? Have some fun with it. I just love it naked! Mostly because I just want to skip making it look pretty and eat it already!!

This is truly my favortie dessert and hopefully you love it as much as me!

*PS – while I love posting from my phone I have to admit I miss taking good pictures! So, I apologize for the cruddy phone images but oh well! :)


more flank steak!

image

This summer I have been craving lots of flank steak. As I’ve posted before, I usually just marinade it in soy sauce…but this time I wanted more! I wanted lots-o-flavor; sweet and savory! I went online and found the prefect answer

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak
Marinade:
1/3 c olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
2 Tblsp red wine vinegar
1/3 c soy sauce
1/4 c honey
1/2 tsp ground pepper
Combine ingredients (it will smell sooooo good!) And place in zip lock bag with meat. I just bought a hefty looking steak, maybe 2 lbs? Place bag in fridge and let it get delicious for about 2 hours or over night.
When ready, place on grill and cook to taste. Flank steak is best served on the rare side. Let sit after grilling to allow juices to flow and cut AGAINST the grain of the meat – on a diagonal.

I served our steak wih fresh corn on the cob. Sam likes to place the corn in foil with a little butterand then grill it. Delicious!

I also made Caesar salad – from scratch. The last time I made this dressing it tasted like pure olive oil – totally gross! I always complained to my mom I couldn’t get it right and over fathers day she taught me – again. So, I attempted it last night on my own. With ingredients like fresh garlic cloves, anchovies, tabasco, and olive oil – this dressing almost never tastes the same so I was a little nervous! I made sure to use 100% olive oil this time instead on EVOO and I would absolutly recommend it! So, into the Cuisinart  the ingredients went and a few minutes later…Caesar dressing!! It worked! I do think there was too much garlic so it was a bit spicy but it worked. I can only get better from here right?? At least this time it was thick and creamy and not runny like oil! But, due to the imperfections (and the fact I never asked my mom if she was OK with it) I won’t be sharing the recipe ;) Some things require a mystery, ha.

Anyway, have some fun with grill and enjoy fresh homemade foods!!


Mobile blogging!? YES!

One post in 2 months – pathetic. I really miss the craft of making delicious treats to share with all of you. You start a blog and feel seriously compelled to update constantly! While I continue to cook (almost) daily for our dinners the baking has slowed in my household. Now that I am 6-1/2 months pregnant I just get too tired and ache-y standing in be kitchen. At least that is the excuse I am going with.

Whoa – I feel like Rev Run right now. Tapping away my inner thots on a phone…ha. Only I’m clothed and sitting outside – not a bubble bath.

Anyway I always thought mobile blogging HAD to exist but apparently I didn’t look hard enough. I logged on from my phone this morning and there in front of my fingernails was the Android app! Wahoo! So, lets see if it helps – I think it will. Except now I am getting a cramp in my left hand typing all this…guess I’ve got endurance to build up.

So as my first mobile post (and I apologize now for grammar and spelling via phone) I’m sharing my FAVORITE summer treat.

Strawberry shortcake
Take 1 cup Pamela’s pancake mix
1/4 cup shortening
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp milk
Combine shortening and mix wih fork until crumbly.
Add milk while stirring utility smooth and combined.
Use an ice cream scoop and place on greased baking sheet. Cook 12-15 minutes at 375 utility golden brown on top.

For the strawberries I just cut them into slices and add some sugar to get the sugars flowing. Sam enjoys the syrup on his shortcake so add a little extra for that. Let the berries sit a bit in the fridge before serving.

Layer it all together and put a giant dollop of cool whip on top!

Crud. I uploaded my pic directly on Facebook and didn’t save the pic to my phone! Oh well…

Enjoy!