Breakfast & Brunch

Chocolate Banana Bread

February 22, 2010

Chocolate Banana Bread

Saturday was one productive day. I awoke with an abounding desire to brighten up this home. It’s been too dark, cluttered and wintery these past few weeks and we’ve been craving some positive energy. The spring cleaning momentum was in full swing and I had every intention of taking advantage. I swept, dusted and fluffed. He scrubbed, wiped down and polished. I washed, folded and put away. We rearranged, reorganized and repurposed. The sun was shining and as long as I looked out and up (at the clear blue sunny sky) instead of out and down (at the snow piles), I could practically taste April. The kitchen underwent a nice spring cleaning, as well. The cabinets were wiped out, the pantry tidied, the fridge cleared of old forgotten food. And how could I neglect the black hole that is our freezer. Some real gems emerged this month, including soup (I think) with an illegible name and date along with an old, old, old nut roll from last Christmas (as in 2008). On the flip side, a few brown bananas showed their speckled faces. I decided the only thing better than a house filled with the aromas of Lysol and fabric softener is a house filled with the aroma of freshly baked banana bread. Especially one that included cocoa and chocolate chips.
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I do dream of goat cheese

February 11, 2010

Date Walnut Goat Cheese Spread

If someone had told me five years ago that in 2010 I’d lie in bed concocting recipes for sweet and savory goat cheese spreads, or day dream about goat cheese baked with herbs and pizza topped with goat cheese and caramelized onions, I would have (nicely) called them crazy. Hate is such a strong word, but I hated creamy goat cheese. I figured it was just one of my few taste aversions, similar to how some people strongly dislike the taste of onions or fish or capers even if they’ve never had a bad experience with them. I loved cow’s milk feta and blue cheeses, but soft goat’s milk cheeses didn’t fly with me. And then, about two years ago, something changed, my palate got a grip, and suddenly goat cheese wasn’t so repulsive. The more I ate it the more I enjoyed its tangy flavor. And as of late, I’ve been having mad cravings for it. Stubborn as I may be, I would have to acknowledge that the aforementioned crazy person’s prediction was true. I do dream of goat cheese. Which brings me to this ridiculous spread.
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Calls for frittata

January 19, 2010

Sunday Morning Frittata

I believe every weekend is cause for celebration. Surviving the weekly grind, regardless of your profession or life’s calling, is deserving of at least a few minutes of relaxation and reward. Perhaps for you this is splurging on a nice bottle of wine on Friday night, a scoop or two of good vanilla ice cream with real hot fudge sauce, a movie with friends or a stroll through your favorite park. Our weekend routines often include playing catch-up from the week before and preparation for the week ahead. Yet regardless of the weekends’ tasks, we take time to enjoy breakfast together on Sunday whenever possible. This is our weekly reward and we cherish it. And while the company ain’t bad, it’s the food that keeps us coming back. Sunday morning calls for frittata.
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Off the chain

January 11, 2010

Peanut Butter Granola

Define: off the chain

1. (adj.) awesome
2. (adj.) out of control
3. (adj.) no longer on the chain
4. (adj.) a term used to describe peanut butter granola

You may have guessed I like love peanut butter. Coming up with interesting ways to incorporate it into recipes is sort of an ongoing obsession. So while I continue working out the kinks in a lightened-up Asian noodle salad recipe, I share with you my latest concoction: peanut butter granola. I served this granola at a recent brunch, after which a close friend playfully deemed it “off the chain”. Those of you who know me (and said friend) would agree I’m (we’re) not exactly one(s) to use the expression in passing. Though, I’m having an embarrassing amount of fun thinking about how it would sound in casual conversation…
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Muffins don’t discriminate

January 4, 2010

Go-To Muffins

It’s been awhile since I’ve baked muffins. Typically they go to waste in this house. With a husband who doesn’t much care for breakfast breads (or desserts, generally), I’m usually hard pressed to see them consumed within five days (or before they start growing blue fuzz). Yes, I could freeze. But we have an especially deep freezer which likens a black hole. The only foods that seem to come out are nuts, stocks and buy one get one free chicken breasts. Baked goods are usually forgotten. Where are those walnuts I stashed in here? Oh, a loaf of banana bread! From 2008. Trash. A random bagel (when did I buy these?). Who doesn’t love the taste of freezer burn in the morning? I always have the best of intentions, but a terrible memory, clearly. And because it pains me to throw food in the trash, I save baking muffins for expected guests. Or for when my fridge needs a good clean out.
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