Wednesday, August 26, 2009

banana bread

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/4 cup applesauce
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 cup mashed bananas (2 or 3 medium bananas)
1 3/4 cups flour (I sneak wheat flour in and nobody notices)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup chocolate chips (yum!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Smash the bananas until they’re broken up but not completely smooth. Some lumps are OK.

Add in the applesauce, eggs, milk, and brown sugar.

Blend with a hand mixer until everything is incorporated. Again, small lumps are OK.

In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients (or gently shake them through a strainer, which works the same).

The cookbooks all say you don’t have to sift your flour any more, but you know why I do?

Because these lumps are *not* OK.

Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and mix gently with a spoon. When all the flour is mixed in, add any optional ingredients.

Spray your loaf pan with cooking spray, and pour in the batter. Bake at 350 until golden and a toothpick/piece of dry spaghetti comes out clean, about 60 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool to room temperature. OK, who am I kidding? As soon as it comes out of the pan, everybody in the house is going to grab a piece because it smells sooooo good.

Quick! Cut yourself off a piece and save it for breakfast tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

garlic fridge pickles

* 2 whole Cucumbers
* 2 cloves Garlic
* 1 cup Vinegar
* 1 cup Water
* ⅓ cups Sugar
* 1 tablespoon Salt
* 1 teaspoon Dill, Dried
* 1 pinch(es) Red Pepper Flakes
* 1 pinch(es) Coriander
* 6 whole Peppercorns

Use cucumbers with no wax residue on the peels.

Slice cucumbers in 1/4″-1/8″ slices.

Cut garlic cloves in quarters, then smash them a bit.

Put cucumbers and garlic in a bowl.

Heat vinegar (I like apple cider vinegar, but white works also), water, sugar, salt, dill, red pepper flakes, coriander and peppercorns in a small sauce pan until sugar and salt are dissolved.*

Pour over the cucumbers and garlic.

Cover and let marinate in refrigerator for at least two hours.

Serve cold.

* We don’t love sweet pickles around here, so next time I think I'll cut back on the sugar.