Where I’ve been (and a loaded banana bread)

October 2, 2010

Chunky Monkey Banana Bread

I really and truly have not forgotten about you. Scout’s honor.

While I have every intention of finding my way back to this fun space on a more regular basis, at the moment I’m a bit indisposed. Aside from the fact that my appetite and desire to cook has waned a bit (and at times, a lot) over the past few months, I’ve also chosen to spare you from notes about the gourmet delicacies emerging from our kitchen. I can’t imagine you’d have found my saltine, spicy pickle relish and sharp cheddar cheese tea sandwiches all too appetizing. I’m also a tad reluctant to divulge a recent interest (er, obsession) with Cheetos, french fries and meat (roasts, steaks, meatballs, the whole nine).

And if you still haven’t caught my drift, about six months back a little something of a blue line, or double blue line, or exclamation point, or smiley face or some other nondescript abstract symbol appeared one Monday saying “wake up, kiddos, you’re, uh, havin’ a kiddo”, and indicated we had about nine months to fuss over names and nursery colors and colleges (teasing – kind of – and not before we stared at each other blankly for about three weeks, hoping the other would have a rational response to “well, what do we now?”). This puts us a mere thirteen weeks away from adding diapers and wipes and extra bold coffee, red wine and feta cheese to the top of the shopping list. I can’t promise two to three recipes/posts per week in the coming months (er, years) as I did so ambitiously following this blog’s launch, but I hope to drop by weekly at minimum. For my sanity’s sake, at least.
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A spicy craving

May 14, 2010

Spicy Ginger Muffins with Buttermilk Glaze

For the past month I’ve been on a major breakfast smoothie kick. This is odd, seeing as how I’ve never really loved meals in a glass. I want texture and chew, something warm and satisfying in the morning. But what started as the solution to an unusually warm morning and a lack of interest in anything that might cause a make-up melt down, resulted in a daily ritual of a little milk, a little yogurt, a frozen banana, some berries, a tablespoon or two of ground flaxseed and a couple fistfuls of spinach (which, I kid you not, is undetectable, save the slightly off-putting resulting color) whirred together in the blender, which has recently acquired its own very valuable corner of limited counter space.

And so we continued, this morning ritual and I, until recently when my body copped a major attitude and was all like No more smoothies. No more vegetables for breakfast. No more pea green glop. I WANT A FREAKING MUFFIN! Bssshh. [Snap.]

 A spicy muffin for a spicy attitude.
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tubers + beans

May 11, 2010

Sweet Potato Hummus

Sweet potatoes make everything better. And orange.

Hummus included.

I snagged this recipe out of a magazine before bothering to read the ingredient list. The title said it all.

It’s slightly sweet in a what-is-that-in-a-good-way sorta way. Think roasted red pepper hummus. But better. And crazy good for you. This totally opens a zillion doors. Next up, peas! And beets! And turnips, oh my! You know you’re a vegetable addict when…
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Homemade Greek Yogurt

March 17, 2010

Yogurt Cheese/Greek Yogurt

I caught Mark Bittman’s column today which reminded me of the batch of yogurt cheese I made last week. If you’ve never tried this before, and like Greek yogurt, give it a shot. We usually turn it into dips made with olive oil and the Middle Eastern spice blend za’atar (recipe included) or tahini, lemon juice and garlic. You can control the thickness and consistency depending on how long you allow the yogurt to drain. I usually drain my yogurt for 24 hours, yielding a cream cheese consistency. Draining for 8-12 hours would yield a consistency more similar to Greek yogurt. Omit the table salt if you enjoy Greek yogurt with sweet pairings, such as fruit and granola or drizzled with honey or jam. No special tools required, provided you own a colander, bowl and cheesecloth (or flour sack kitchen towel). It’s the easiest homemade cheese you will ever make.
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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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