Friday, April 3, 2015

An apology and some Cinnamon Crumb Banana Bread as a peace offering.

Oh, hey.  Hi, do you remember me?  Sorry its been a really REALLY long time, and if I don't remember your name, and you don't remember mine, we can reintroduce ourselves and start over.  I am Jennifer, I love to cook.  Like a lot.  And once upon a time, I blogged about it.  Well, I am back to blog about it again, along with other things, mostly because my Instagram and Facebook friends are sick of my food pictures.  I am also on a weight loss journey (which, I know sounds crazy after the sentences above.) so you will find some recipes here that are re-done versions of comfort food.  So, welcome back, and enjoy!

This is definitely NOT a health food...well it has bananas, and dairy and eggs....soooooo.  Ok I concede, its not waist line friendly, but its rainy and yuck in New York and my Things are on school vacation, and dammit, I wanted Cinnamon Crumb Banana Bread and I am the boss of me.

I don't own a camera, and the iPhone pictures aren't as drool worthy as they should be.

What you will need:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter- at room temp
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 overripe bananas- smooshed
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the crumb:
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter- melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
What you do:

Pre heat oven to 350.  Cream the butter and sugars together, until light and creamed.  Add in egg, and vanilla and mix until well incorporated, than mix in bananas and buttermilk. 
In a separate bowl, sift together flour,salt,baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.  
In 3 batches, mix dry ingredients into banana mixture, mixing only until combined.  Pour out into a buttered loaf tin.  

Mix together the crumb ingredients, and with your finger, crumble on top of the bread batter.  Bake for 40-50 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean.)

Naturally I HAD to sample.  I took one for the team, slathered it in butter and loved every second. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Tale of Monte Cristo....sandwich

So I found myself with with an unexpected kid free day (hooray!), and so I thought I would do something very adult.  I called a girlfriend and invited her over for lunch.  She mentioned something about no more peanut butter and jellies and suggested we do something exotic.  I immediately popped out with "English Tea! You know, tiny sandwiches, tea, sugar cubes (do they still make those)  and we can watch some long, incomprehensible British movie on  Netflix.".  Then shuddered a little that I considered English Tea exotic.  She gave me a "Hell Ya!" and I felt much better.  She made her way over, and I got to prepping crust less cucumber, watercress sandwiches and tea, set the table all fancy like and put on my best non sweatpants outfit. 
It took us about 30 seconds to realize that cucumber watercress sandwiches are pretty dang gross, hot tea in September in Florida is just plain nuts, and that neither of us really wanted to watch some forbidden love blossom between Sir Reginald and Lady Tightbottom.   So I ran in the kitchen, whipped up some of these Monte Cristo sandwiches, poured us both a HUGE glass of sweet sun tea and we began an Absolutely Fabulous marathon on the couch.  Very adult indeed. 

P.S- they still do make sugar cubes, and they are the coolest.  I bought two packages...

What you need:

  • 4 slices white bread ( or you can use a Brioche)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp cream
  • dash of vanilla
  • ham
  • Swiss cheese
  • turkey
  • powdered sugar
  • strawberry jam
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • Mustard

What you do:

Whisk eggs, cream and vanilla together in a pie dish, or other flat bottomed vessel and set aside.
In a frying pan, heat butter and oil over medium heat.  Assemble your sandwiches as follows: On one slice of bread, spread desired amount of mustard, layer cheese, ham, turkey and another piece of cheese and top with your second piece of bread.  Put the whole thing, bread side down in the egg mixture, let it sit long enough for the bread to soak up some egg, than flip over.  Repeat with other sandwich and fry until both sides are golden brown and slightly crisp.  Once plated, dust with powdered sugar and serve with the strawberry jam. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Homemade Vitamin Waters

From left to right: 2 jars citrus , 2 jars white peach and mint, 2 jars watermelon and rosemary
(not pictured: Kiwi and strawberry, and cucumber melon and mint.)

So I am pretty good about my water intake.  Not on purpose though, mostly because its hotter than the Devil's hairdryer 90% of the year in Florida, and I don't take too kindly to the heat.  I do find that I get majorly bored with plain water after a while, and turn to the fancy shmancy flavored and "enhanced" waters on occasion, and am always floored at the price.  So I complain and gripe, then leave the store in a flight of fury forever to be known as the "crotchety old, but not old, woman..who complains about the price of water". 
So I made my own!

I wont do a recipe format, because this is so easy, and I'm lazy today. 
So basically fill a quart size mason jar half way with any fruit combination you like.  I tend to do 2 fruit, or a fruit/herb combination.  Fill the jar with cold water, and pop in the fridge overnight (at least).  Strain out the fruit and enjoy the "fruit flavored waters" of your labor!  You can use the fruit for about 2 rounds of flavored water before it breaks down too much. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blueberry cream pie

I won't apologize,  I'll just offer up pie.  And if that doesn't work, I will gladly offer up a video of myself doing my best James Brown dance...but I would choose the pie, because the dancing is terrible. 

This pie was the product of some boredom, some Pinterest Pins, and a hankering for cheesecake without the patients to make it.  It is versatile, you can change out the blueberries for strawberries, peaches or any Fruit-and-cream combo you like best.  (Totally NON VEGAN!  Vegan version to follow)

What you need:

  • 1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • half a stick of butter- melted

  • 1 block of cream cheese- at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus one tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar ( I used a little less, I prefer the tang of the cream cheese to sweet)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Blueberry Syrup

  • 1 pint of blueberries- washed, and drained
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar

What you do:

Preheat oven to 350.  In a small bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and butter until crumbly.  Press mixture into your favorite pie dish, make sure to keep it even and cover the sides well.  Bake for 10 minutes, and set aside to cool completely.

To make the syrup, put the blueberries, sugar and water in a pot, and bring to a boil, turn down the heat slightly, and allow to simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.  (Nigella Lawson says "never stir a sugar syrup while its on the heat, that's how crystals form"  So swirl the pot several times while its simmering to mix.  Take it off the heat and allow to cool.

In a medium bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Set aside.  In another bowl, or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together until smooth.
Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture in a few small batches. 
Spread the cream mixture in the cooled crust and allow to set in the fridge for a few hours to firm up.
Slice and serve with blueberry syrup, pass out seconds, and thank me later.

** Variations:  If you make a deep dish pie, you can use 2 blocks of cream cheese for a denser pie, or 1 1/2 cups heavy cream for a lighter pie.  Instead of blueberry syrup, add fresh strawberries or peaches to the top!**


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