Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Banana Bread

A good simple banana bread, takes maybe 15 minutes to make the batter and about an hour to cook.

preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

Mash 3 large ripe bananas together until smooth. Mix with about 1/2 C strong coffee. Add a dash cinnamon and 2 sticks melted/softened butter and 3/4 C loose brown sugar. Beat in 2 large eggs. Mix well and add 1.5 tsp baking powder and 1 C all purpose flour and 1 C whole wheat flour (pastry flour if you can find it). Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for one hour.

milk chocolate chip cake

Made for a friend's birthday who isn't a fan of dark chocolate, I used this recipe as a guide:

The cake is the same there as it is here, but the ganache changes and is made using milk chocolate and no caramel filling (as milk is much sweeter than dark chocolate.

Bring 3 C heavy cream to a simmer (steam rising off the pan) and remove from heat. Combine with 1.5 pounds milk chocolate chips in a bowl and whisk to combine until thoroughly mixed. Add a generous dash of cinnamon if you like. Place in refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease 3 shallow or two deep cake pans, about 9" in diameter.

In a bowl, sift/mix together 2 C sugar, 1 3/4 C all purpose flour, 3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1 1/2 tsp each of baking powder and soda. Add 1 C whole milk, 2 large eggs, and 1 stick melted butter. Once the ingredients are combined, add 1 C strong coffee to the mix. Divide the batter evenly amongst your pans and bake for 32 minutes.

Once the cake is done, allow to cool completely and then gently remove from pans. Place a layer onto a surface you can use to construct and serve the cake - I use a cake container. Cover the layer with ganache and evenly spread more chocolate chips. Place the second layer op top of the first and again cover with ganache. Follow with your third layer, if you have one, or finish by evenly spreading the top and sides of the cake with the remaining ganache. freeze or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

awesome buttermilk cornbread

A good solid cornbread. Good with chili on top.

Grease a loaf pan and set the oven to 375 F.

Cream 1/2 C butter or smart balance with 1/2 C sugar and beat in two eggs. Add 1 C buttermilk and 1/2 tsp baking soda. Mix in 1 C cornmeal, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp chipotle or chili powder and 1 C all purpose flour. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

nutella peanut butter cookies

Basically like a regular peanut butter cookie, but half of the PB is replaced by nutella, and 1/2 C flour is replaced by cocoa powder.

preheat oven to 375 F.

cream 1 C smart balance with 1/2 C chunky natural peanut butter and 1/2 C nutella. Add in 1/2 C white sugar and 1 C packed brown sugar. Beat in 2 eggs, then 1/2 C cocoa powder, then 2 C all purpose flour and 1 1/2 tsp baking soda. Mix well, refrigerate for about 30 minutes, then roll into balls and flatten onto baking sheet with fork tines. Bake for about 10 minutes, then cool. THe batter also freezes well for future use!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

easy orange-ginger tofu stir fry

A quick and easy dinner or lunch.

add 1.5 C brown rice and 3C water to a cooking pot an bring to a boil, then simmer on low heat.

Cube 1/2 lb tofu and drain on paper towels. In a heavy bottomed saucepan or wok, saute the tofu until browned. While the tofu is browning, in a bowl mix together 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1/2 C soy sauce, 1-2 tsp sambal, 1-3 chopped scallions if you have them, ~1tbsp grated ginger and 1 tbsp brown sugar. Peel part of the rind of an orange (using a vegetable peeler and mincing, or small grater) and add to the mix. When the tofu is browned, add to the liquid, adding a small amount of water (1-2 tbsp) if desired. Allow to marinate while you fix the vegetables.

Chop 1/2 medium head broccoli into florets, 2 carrots into diagonal rounds, slice several mushrooms and cut one zucchini into rounds. Saute for 2-3 minutes in the same pan you browned the tofu in, the add 2-3 tbsp of water and 1 minced clove of garlic and cover on medium until the carrots are tender but not mushy. Add the tofu and sauce and simmer uncovered on low. Check the rice to see if it's done (taste a small portion, if it's at all crunchy, it's not there yet, cooked brown rice is chewy, nutty and the grains should be opening up on the sides).

When the rice is done, top a portion with vegetables, tofu and sauce and enjoy. Garnish with cilantro if you like.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

coconut lime chili sea scallops

A really simple way to prepare scallops on or off the grill.

Buy 1 - 1.5 lbs sea scallops from a reputable fishmonger. Place in a pan large enough so the scallops are next to each other but not really piled on top of each other. Squeeze fresh lime juice (about one lime's worth) onto the scallops, then pour coconut milk on top. Add a small amount of chili powder and a small amount of salt and pepper to the mix and marinate for about an hour, more if desired.

Cook the scallops in a fish basket on a charcoal grill or in a nonstick pan on the stove until lightly brown. Serve hot.

coconut-heavy carrot cake

I made this a little last minute, so I didn't have pineapple or walnuts, two traditional carrot cake ingredients, but the cake was a big hit anyway!

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 9 x 13 cake pan.

Grate a few carrots, to make 2.5 C grated carrot. Place in a large bowl and beat in three eggs. Spice liberally with ground cloves, cinnamon (vietnamese if possible), ginger, nutmeg and vanilla extract. Add 1/2 C smart balance and 1/2 C vegetable oil. Beat in 1.5 C white sugar, or brown if you have it on hand. Add 1/2 C raisins and 1/2 C coco creme (coco lopez) and 1/2 C sweetened shredded coconut. Finally add 2 cups all purpose flour (whole wheat if you have it) and 2 tsp baking soda. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 1 hour. Remove and cool completely, then frost with cream cheese frosting.

Frosting: use about 2 tbsp neufchatel cream cheese and 2 tbsp smart balance. Use a form to blend together until smooth and completely blended. Add about a cup of confectioners sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract and cream together until blended. Gradually add more sugar, using a few drops of hot water to keep the mixture smooth until frosting is sweet and thick (probably about 3 cups).