Sunday, May 31, 2009

Avocado Mango Salsa + Honey Mustard Chicken

I served this salsa with leftover honey mustard chicken (recipe below). The sweetness of the mango brought out the subtle honey glaze on the chicken and the avocado and onion add a deeply savory note. The cilantro adds great really can't have enough of it. The salsa is cool, light and creamy; I could absolutely eat it straight out of the bowl like I would a bowl of ice cream.

Avocado mango salsa

serves 2-4

juice of 1 lime
1 ripe mango
2 ripe avocados
half small onion, fine dice
handful cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
  • Squeeze lime juice into a medium bowl
  • Cut mango into cubes: 1) A mango has a flatish oblong pit in the center of it. Your goal is to cut along the sides of the pit, separating the flesh from the pit. Holding the mango with one hand, stand it on its end, stem side down. With a sharp knife in your other hand, cut from the top of the mango, down one side of the pit as close to the center (pit) as possible. Then repeat with the other side. You should end up with three pieces - two halves, and a middle section that includes the pit. 2) Take a mango half and use a knife to make lengthwise and crosswise cuts in it, but try not to cut through the peel. Turn the mango inside out so that the flesh of the mango protrudes. 3) Use a small paring knife to cut away the pieces from the peel. Finally, I like to pick up and eat the bit of mango left on the pit (it gets a touch messy and makes me feel like a kid again:), but you can use a knife to cut it off and add to your salsa. Add cubed fruit to bowl with lime juice.

  • Cut avocado into cubes: halve each avocado, remove the pit and, as you did with the mango, use a knife to make lengthwise and crosswise cuts in the flesh. In this case, use a spoon to scoop out the avocado into the bowl with the mango.
  • Add onion and cilantro to mango and avocado and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you don't eat right away, add one of the avocado pits to the bowl and use plastic wrap to top the salsa directly (the plastic wrap should touch the mixture). These methods will keep the avocado from oxidizing (as will the acid in the lime juice).
  • Enjoy!

Honey mustard chicken
serves 4

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (or, if you don't want to break down the chicken, buy the pieces that you prefer)
1/8 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 t pepper
  • Preheat oven to 400, place rack in middle position and line a baking sheet with foil (it'll make fo a much easier clean up).
  • On a baking sheet, toss chicken with oil and salt, place skin side down and bake. Remove the breasts and wings after 2o minutes and continue to cook the legs and thighs for 5 more minutes.
  • While the chicken is baking, combine the honey, mustard, pepper and a pinch salt in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  • Remove chicken from oven and transfer to platter. Discard the fat from the baking sheet. (This is super important because the excess fat will smoke in the broiler and likely set off your fire alarm.)
  • Preheat broiler
  • Toss chicken with honey mustard and place on baking sheet skin side down. Broil for 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook 4-5 minutes longer. During last 5 minutes, check every couple of minutes because the glaze will burn quickly. Remove from broiler and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Chicken is great hot or at room temperature.
  • Enjoy!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Strawberry Honey Butter

OMG, this is tasty. When I dip my spoon in for yet another big honkin' bite, I have to remind myself that it's butter. Why then do I feel less guilty smearing it on a piece of cornbread that's also largely butter? Anyhow, this is a keeper. Make sure to use super fresh strawberries for best results. Spread it on toast, biscuits, croissants...any vehicle will do. Just eat it!

Strawberry honey butter

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 pint strawberries, cut into a small "dice"
1 T + water
1 t fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 T honey
  • Heat the strawberries and 1 T water in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until the strawberries have broken down and they are a jammy consistency, adding small amounts of water as necessary. (At this point, feel free to strain the strawberries through a fine mesh sieve to eliminate seeds.)
  • Add lemon juice and honey and bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  • In a medium bowl or Tupperware container with a top, combine butter and strawberry mixture until fully combined. Cool in refrigerator for at least an hour. Take out of the fridge 20ish minutes before serving to get the chill off.
  • Enjoy!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Buttermilk Pancakes with Strawberries

Last week I used buttermilk to make chive biscuits to go alongside pork chops. As usual, there was leftover buttermilk. Motivated by the buttermilk's expiration date (it was the day after, but I seem to be okay...just livin' on the edge) and the dearth of any good breakfast fare, I made pancakes. The pancakes, loaded with gorgeous strawberries, needed no butter and were perfect with a good glug of New York State maple syrup. Yes please!

Stay tuned...I also made ridiculously yummy strawberry honey butter.

Buttermilk pancakes with strawberries
makes 12

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3 T sugar
2 1/2 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
2 T (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking
2 cups fresh strawberries, cut to medium "dice"
2 T butter for pan
maple syrup (bring to room temp if you think of it in time)
  • Preheat oven to 250
  • In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  • Measure buttermilk into a 2 cup capacity measuring cup and add eggs. Whisk until incorporated.
  • Pour buttermilk into dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in strawberries.
  • Heat a large nonstick pan or griddle (I wish) over medium heat and add about a quarter of the butter. Add batter using a 1/4 measuring cup and cook for about 3 minutes per side. Transfer pancakes to a baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Wipe out any dark bits from the pan, add more butter and continue until all batter is used.
  • Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pretty in Pink


This is a super simple side dish. Just make sure to leave yourself enough time to roast the beets. Or, better yet, roast them the day before and this dish will come together in five minutes. The honey in the yogurt brings out the natural sweetness of the beets and the scallions add a nice savory crunch. Use in place of tzatziki, next to a grilled steak or, if you're like me, as lunch.

Roasted beets in honeyed yogurt

1 bunch beets
1/4 cup plain yogurt, I use low fat, but any will work
2 T honey
3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Wash beets and cut off and discard stems. Wrap each beet in foil, place on baking sheet and roast until tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Cool until you are able to handle. Peel beets and slice or cut each into 8 wedges. Place in medium bowl.
  • In small bowl, combine yogurt and honey. Mix well. Add to beets and combine.
  • Sprinkle scallion over beets.
  • Enjoy!
roasted beets in honeyed yogurt

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Eggs and bacon take two

I had a bunch of that slab bacon leftover from the weekend and wanted to put it to good use before heading upstate for a camping trip in the Adirondacks. So, with bacon in mind, I raided the cabinets. Not so surprisingly (because I always gravitate towards pasta), I came up with spaghetti, a couple of onions and eggs. I caramelized the onions for depth of flavor and sweetness, cubed and cooked the bacon until it was nice and chewy (dare I say that?) and, yes, I used some of the rendered fat to coat the spaghetti. Finally, if that wasn't enough, I fried the eggs slowly making sure to leave the yolks super soft so when pierced with a fork they'd spill over the pasta adding richness and, frankly, decadence. This is straight up unabashed comfort food. Do try at home!!

Spaghetti with caramelized onions and bacon topped with an incredible egg

1 T olive oil
2 yellow onions, diced
salt and pepper
3/4 lb spaghetti
8 oz slab bacon or 6 slices, cubed
2 eggs
  • Caramelize onions following the directions in "Farmers Market Lunch" (in purple).
  • Cook pasta in liberally salted water following instructions on package. Test the pasta during the last few minutes of cooking time so as not to over cook. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining pasta. This will create a "sauce".
  • Meanwhile, cook bacon until chewy but not crisp, 5-7 minutes, in a small saute pan over medium low heat. Remove from pan and set aside. Pour off all but 1 T fat and set aside.
  • Heat 1 T fat over low heat and add eggs. Cook until white has set, but yolk is still runny, 4-5 minutes.
  • Drain the pasta and return to pot. Add onions, bacon and some of the reserved water and bacon fat. Toss pasta using tongs, adding more water and fat until you reach desired consistency. I used a full cup of the reserved water and about a 1/4 cup fat. Add salt and pepper to taste and top with fried egg.
  • Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On a budget? Chickpeas do the trick.

Ever since I listened to NPR's "How Low Can You Go" with chef Jose Andres, I've wanted to make this dish. I love chickpeas, am always looking for new and satisfying vegetarian meals and, woohoo , this one is as cheap as chips. In fact, the premise of the show is to feed a family of four for under $10. Taking that even further, I increased the amount of chickpeas from 9 oz to 1 lb. (I left the remaining ingredients alone and the flavors were plenty strong.) The additional chickpeas stretch this, making it even more wallet-friendly, but when reheated the spinach became rather slimy and unappealing. I would recommend making a big pot and adding a handful or two of spinach to each individual bowl you dish out. One last note, the original recipe called for a pinch of saffron, but I didn't add it because I didn't have any...that's the way it goes in these here parts. Don't know what I missed and I'm okay with that; this was delish nevertheless!

Moorish-style chickpea and spinach stew

1 lb dried chickpeas
Pinch baking soda
6 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1/4 cup olive oil
2 oz white sliced bread, with the crusts removed
2 T Spanish sweet paprika
1 t ground cumin
2 T sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound spinach, washed and cleaned
  • The day before you cook, soak the chickpeas in cold water with a pinch of baking soda.
  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
  • In a large saucepan, add rinsed chickpeas and add cold water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for two hours, until the chickpeas are tender. Every 10 minutes or so, add 1/2 cup of cold water to slow down the simmering. By the end, the water should have reduced so it is barely covering the chickpeas. (I cooked the chickpeas a day ahead and cooled in the refrigerator over night. Before resuming the recipe, I warmed the chickpeas over low heat until just simmering.)
  • In a small saute pan over medium to low heat, brown the garlic in oil, about 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the bread and brown on both sides, about one minute per side. Remove the bread and set aside.
  • Turn of burner and allow oil to cool for a few minutes. Add the paprika, cumin and vinegar to the oil and whisk to incorporate.
  • In a mortar, smash the reserved garlic and the browned bread to make a very thick paste.
  • Add the spice mixture along with the garlic and bread paste, to create a thick, stew-like sauce. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Ladle into bowls and top each with a big handful of spinach. (It's also great ladled onto prepared couscous.)
  • Enjoy!
Here's the radio show with the original recipe and great tips from chef Andres (like serving a fired egg on top of the beans and spinach!). In the interview, Michele Norris is a little skeptical about "talking" to the chickpeas, as Andres recommends, because she's not "fluent in chickpea". Good thing touching and tasting them works as well!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey...

Yesterday, when I picked up some delicious Tremblay Apiaries honey at the Greenmarket, I couldn't resist a nice slab of bacon from Flying Pigs Farm. I knew eggs and bacon would be exactly what I'd want to eat on my leisurely Saturday. Coffee, oj, eggs and bacon; it's weekend on a plate! As you may know,
I'm on a major honey kick these days. In fact, this morning my boyfriend asked me if everything we eat is going to have honey in it...I don't think that will be the case, but not far from it. Anyhow, he asked for honey glaze on only one of two slices of bacon, but while he was polishing off his last bite he mentioned that he would go ALL glazed next time! It's very subtle with just the right sweetness so as not to over power the saltiness that makes bacon so enticing. And the spice from the cayenne adds a nice little zing. Good morning!

Scrambled eggs with HONEY glazed bacon

serves 2

4 thick cut slices slab bacon
1 T honey
1/8 t ground coriander
pinch cayenne pepper

5 eggs
1/4 t salt
splash milk
  • Preheat oven to 375, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place bacon on parchment.
  • In a small saute pan combine honey, coriander and cayenne over medium low heat. Stir until mixture has tiny white bubbles, 2 minutes.
  • Using a spoon, spread honey mixture over each slice bacon and bake 15-25 minutes, depending on thickness of bacon. Rotate pan about 10 minutes into cooking time. Drain on paper towel.
  • After you rotate bacon, whisk eggs together with salt and pepper and add to a small saute pan coated with small tab butter, over LOW heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Add a splash of milk and continue to cook 2 minutes. The eggs will be cooked, but rather loose at this point; just the way I like them. Cook until your desired done-ness.
  • Enjoy!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Yummy Greenmarket Honey!

I picked up some honey at the Union Square Greenmarket this afternoon. It comes from Tremblay Apiaries in Van Etten, NY. There are currently five types of honey on offer ranging from mild to very complex: Raspberry and Rose; Spring (a mix of apple, rose, and locust); Linden; Russian Olive, which is similar to the very rare Tupelo, and Wild (too many types of flowers to list). I picked up a pound of the Linden because Alan, the very friendly and informative honey guy, said it's great for the lungs and throat...hello tea sweetner! I also bought some of the Russian Olive (not just because I love Van Morisson's song Tupelo Honey) because it's soo interesting! I used it to make salmon in a honey soy vinaigrette. Sweet!

Salmon in HONEY soy vinaigrette

4 T honey
4 T soy sauce
3 T lime juice
4 t Dijon mustard
2 T water
2 t vegetable oil
4 6 oz salmon filets
  • Preheat oven to 400
  • In a small bowl whisk together honey, soy, lime juice, Dijon, and water. Pour into a small saute pan over medium low heat and cook until it shimmers, 2 minutes. Cool slightly.
  • In a glass or ceramic baking dish, brush with oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Pour vinaigrette over fish, place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sweet and Savory

This has been one of my go to recipes since I started cooking (though I wouldn't really call this cooking. Toasting, I'd call it toasting and assembling.). If you can toast bread, you can make this delectable sweet and savory crostini. It's great as an appetizer, but the blue cheese makes it rich and satisfying enough to be the main attraction if paired with a mixed greens salad in mustard vinaigrette. And it's a great excuse to drink a little red wine! Not gonna argue with that...

Crostini with blue cheese, hazelnuts and HONEY

1/3 cup hazelnuts
baguette, sliced 1/3 inch thick
olive oil
salt and pepper
3 oz blue cheese, crumbled
  • Preheat oven to 350 and place rack in middle position.
  • On a baking sheet toast hazelnuts for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly colored and skins are blistered.
  • Wrap nuts in a kitchen towel and let steam 1 minute. Rub nuts in towel to remove loose skins (don't worry about skins that don't come off), cool completely and coarsely chop.
  • Turn oven up oven to 400

  • Place the baguette slices on the baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the baguette slices with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes. (Use this method to make any type of crostini.)
  • Spread/press cheese onto each crostini, sprinkle with hazelnuts and drizzle with some delicious honey.
  • Enjoy!
  • pepper. Bake until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes. (Use this method to make any type of crostini.)
  • Spread/press cheese onto each crostini, sprinkle with hazelnuts and drizzle with some delicious honey.
  • Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Farmers Market Lunch

Pleasure on a plate!

Frittata with Asiago cheese and caramelized onions +
Roasted Adirondack Blue potatoes and asparagus

Roasted Adirondack Blue potatoes and asparagus
serves 2 with enough leftovers for a satisfying snack

4 medium potatoes (any will work)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch asparagus
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Slice washed potatoes lengthwise a little less than 1/2 inch thick. Slice each cross section into 1/2 inch "sticks". Finally, cut into cubes.
  • Place cubed potatoes on a baking sheet and coat with olive oil and salt and pepper liberally.
  • Roast for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  • Get caramelized onions started for the frittata NOW!!
  • While potatoes (and onions) are cooking, place asparagus on a baking sheet (tin foil if you don't have another) toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Turn heat up to 400 and continue to cook potatoes for 15 minutes. With 1o minutes cooking time left, put asparagus into oven. Test for done-ness; potatoes should be soft and asparagus should have some bite.
Frittata with Asiago cheese and caramelized onions
serves 2

1 medium onion, diced
1 T (plus more if necessary) olive oil
4 eggs
splash milk
salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup grated asiago cheese
  • In a small nonstick saute pan over medium-low heat, heat oil and add onions. Cook until almost soft, 20ish minutes. Turn heat up to medium-high and cook for another 10 minutes or until dark golden brown. Throughout cooking time, stir occasionally and add the occasional tablespoon water, if necessary, to continue softening onions and to prevent sticking or burning. Drain on paper towel and salt to taste.
  • While onions are cooking, combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Whisk well.
  • Preheat broiler
  • Add egg mixture to same nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Cook slowly, without stirring, for about 4 minutes, or until the bottom has set. Sprinkle the cheese onto the eggs (will sink into the liquid eggs) and continue to cook for another minute.
  • Place saute pan with eggs under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbling, 2 minutes. Remove from broiler and top with freshly cracked pepper and caramelized onions.
  • Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oh Honey Honey

Tonight was my first Pollinator Week meeting at Just Food. Planning is in full swing! The goal is to cook up a great week of events celebrating bees and honey (June 22- June 28) and, ultimately, to legalize beekeeping in NYC. The informational email about tonight said edibles were welcome; I figured honey was a good inspiration. Eat these like you would a cookie, a granola bar or crumble them over vanilla ice cream. Get busy!

Honey Bunches

Yield: 24
adapted from butter sugar flour eggs

8 T (1 stick) butter
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I prefer unsweetened)
1/2 walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup honey
24 walnut halves
  • Preheat oven to 350 and place oven rack in the middle position. Butter mini muffin tins.
  • In a small sauce pan melt butter over low heat
  • In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, walnuts and flour. Mix well.
  • Stir honey into melted butter and bring mixture to a boil, stirring often. Pour over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  • Using a buttered tablespoon, spoon 1 tablespoon of mixture into tins. Using buttered fingertips, press mixture so that it's level.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until beginning to brown.
  • Cool in tins for 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
  • Enjoy!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rhubarb strawberry puddin' cake

This is just plain freakin' YUM! And it's easy to make. I had a bee in my bonnet to make a tart, but by the time I got home this evening I didn't have the patience nor stamina. Enter this no-beating-or-chilling-necessary cake. I wanted a fair bit of the tart rhubarb to stand out, so I used more rhubarb than strawberries and kept the sugar to a minimum. I did, however, use candied ginger which lends a touch of sweetness. Anyhow, it turned out great. I just might have to whip up another one for mother's day. Susie, my mom, asked for a hula hoop! Sweet and tart all around...

Rhubarb strawberry pudding cake

1/4 cup water
1 1/2 t. cornstarch
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 cups trimmed rhubarb, chopped
2 cups strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size (they don't have to be tiny)
2 T candied ginger, minced
1 cup flour
1 3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled *
1 t. vanilla
  • Preheat oven to 400 and place rack in middle position. Butter an 8 inch square ceramic or glass baking dish.
  • In a small to medium sauce pan stir together water, cornstarch and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer stirring constantly. Once at a simmer, turn down heat and stir occasionally, 3 minutes. You want the rhubarb to be soft with some integrity, not mushy. The change happens quickly, so watch closely in the last minute of cooking. Remove from heat. Stir in strawberries and ginger.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and granulated sugar.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together egg, milk, butter and vanilla until smooth. Add dry ingredients and whisk until just combined (batter should be smooth).
  • Reserve 1/2 cup fruit mixture and add remaining to prepared baking dish. Pour batter over fruit, spreading evenly. Drizzle reserved fruit over top. Bake, rotating once, for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Enjoy!
* So, I melted the butter and left it to cool while I measured out and prepared the rest of my ingredients. And, then I watched 30 Rock. By the time I got back to baking, the butter had started to solidify. To try to contain the enormous PILE of dishes that so frequently overtakes my kitchen, I melted the butter, poured it into the large stainless steel work bowl a la step 4 and proceeded to use the same sauce pan to cook down the rhubarb. All this to say, I had chunky butter that needed to loosen up a bit and I sure didn't want to create MORE dishes. Finally to the point...I ran hot water down the edges of the bowl, turning completely, until the butter warmed up and whisked smooth. (Placing the work bowl over hot water, in a water bath, would work too, but that would not harness the aforementioned pile.)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

You take such darn good care of me, Quinoa.

The basics, yo.

Quinoa is the seed of a dark leafy plant related to Swiss chard and spinach, but because of its texture, it is usually grouped with the grains. It is light and fluffy, has a nutty flavor and is easily substituted for rice and couscous. It cooks quickly, is easy to digest and is a bona fide nutrient powerhouse. Need I say more? Not really, but I will...

-Quinoa is packed with protein. In fact, it's the only grain that is a complete protein, making it especially good for vegetarians and vegans.

-It's wheat and gluten free making it ideal for restricted diets and people with food allergies.

-It's low on the Glycemic Index and won't spike blood sugar levels. Great for diabetics.

-Full o' fiber. 'nuf said.

-Aaand, it's uber-packed with vitamins and minerals like potassium, magnesium and iron.
Woo hoo!

Now, get a hold of your excited self and make some quinoa!

Quinoa with black beans and tomatoes

2 t lime zest
2 T fresh lime juice
3 T olive oil (or whatever kind you like)
1 cup quinoa
15 oz. black beans, canned or soaked, rinsed
2 medium tomatoes (cherry or plum is fine too), diced and tossed with a pinch of sugar if needed
4 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  • Whisk together lime zest and juice, oil, 1/2 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper in a large bowl.
  • Rinse quinoa VERY well in a sieve and drain.
  • To cook quinoa, remember, 2 to 1. 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa. Combine water, rinsed quinoa and a good pinch salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes. You will know when the quinoa is cooked when: the water is absorbed, it's translucent and the germ of the seed shows a little white ring around the outside.
  • Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Enjoy!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Banana Bread

I am a quick bread fanatic constantly looking for the one recipe that will allow me to throw all others away. The closest I've tasted is my mother's, but for some reason I am stuck on using butter instead of vegetable oil. This one's good, not great, and will do in a pinch. It certainly wins convenience and cost effective points. The amount of sugar is minimal, which I like, but I think next time I will add raisins to up the sweetness a bit naturally. I will also increase the amount of ginger and cloves considerably...maybe 1 t ginger and 1/2 t cloves, but that's just my taste. Alas, I am still looking for the definitive banana bread recipe. Let me know if you have it!!

Banana Bread

1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups sugar
1 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground cloves
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cool
3 large very RIPE bananas, mashed well
1 t vanilla

  • Preheat oven to 350,put the oven rack in the middle position and grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan.
  • On a baking sheet, toast nuts for 8-10 minutes. Cool, chop coarsely and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices and nuts.
  • In a medium bowl, combine mashed bananas, eggs, butter and vanilla.
  • Lightly fold wet ingredients into the dry until JUST combined. Like muffin batter, you don't want to over mix or your bread will be rubbery.
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake 55-60 minutes, rotating half way through, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The long walk

So, yesterday I decided to stay out of the kitchen. I just felt like kicking back and letting someone else prepare my food. My boyfriend and I left the house around lunch time with the intention of wandering. We had no plans and liked it that way, but Dim Sum Go Go beckoned. And we obeyed. After a lovely walk through the LES and the outskirts of Chinatown, buying beautiful homemade udon-style rice noodles from a woman on the street, we climbed the stairs and were seated at a communal table overlooking the convergence of E. Broadway and the Bowery. I'm not the person you necessarily want to do dim sum with, as I don't REALLY know what to order, but no matter, I like to eat, don't care much about what people think and will try anything. That said, this was not an adventurous meal because I had a hunch that it was just the beginning of a day filled with eating (and drinking). We did store up enough energy to see us through our 10 mile walk, though. Favorites: Rice noodles with vegetables, steamed pea shoot dumplings and the ubiquitous (bc it's delicious) pork bun. The ginger scallion dipping sauce was nothing to shake a stick at either.

After lunch, we decided to walk over the Manhattan Bridge. We figured it wouldn't be as crowded as the Brooklyn Bridge and it's just a few blocks North of Dim Sum Go Go. We walked through Downtown and Cobble Hill and up passed the Gowanus towards Park Slope. Once again, we experienced a powerful pull. This time it was beer. Beer Table is a great setting for afternoon drinking. It's all washed wood and exposed brick and the windows were thrown open to let the breeze in (strangely, though, the AC was on too). Canning jars abound. They hold the numerous types of pickles (including eggs) on offer and hang from the ceiling as sort of nouveau down home lights. We had a total of three beers here before moving on to cheaper swill... The least expensive beer is the Schlenkerla Helles at $10 for 500 ml. It's described as, "soft, thirst quenching, laced with smoke". We chose it to quench our 'long walk' thirst, but felt it was too smokey. The bottle is very asthetically pleasing though, so it's got that. We moved on to a Cantillion Kriek at $13 for .125ml, a lambic with a tart (not at all sweet) cherry taste. I could have put this back all day long had it not been for the price. Finally, we tried a 'T Smistje Catherine at $17 for .125ml. It was described by our charming server as a, "Belgian interpretation of a Russian stout." It's lighter than your average stout, a little bit smokey with a hint of sweetness. Very drinkable. The beer is interesting and tasty, the service comes with a smile, it's those through the roof prices that made us ask for the check.

Just the prettiest beer I've ever seen. All cherry all tart.