A Note on the Hoarding of Brown Bananas; or, It May Be Time to Make Banana Bread

Rich, dense and buttery; chock full of tasty bananaloids.
Rich, dense and buttery; chock full of tasty bananaloids.

I have a deep dark secret. I cannot throw away a banana. When they go brown in our house, in to the freezer they go.  Then, one day I open the freezer and it’s like they were banana tribbles.  When the hell did all those naners get in there?! Oh, wait. Right. So….time to make some banana bread it is.

Betty Crocker has this amazing BB recipe that I’ve barely tweeked. It’s really yummy, dense and moist and full of bananaloids. It comes together lickity quickity.

8" loaf pan from Chicago Metallic
My precious!

 

Having good, solid tools for cooking makes the process easier and more fun. In that vein, I am always on the lookout for serious quality bakeware.  Home Goods is a great place, especially around the holidays.  I love my Chicago Metallic pans – they are serious shit. Heavy. Nonstick. Steel. I reduce my temp by 15* to the recipe because of their dark finish, but they are awesome. 

Sprinkled with sugar. They get so sparkly! 

Ready for the oven
Ready for the oven

 And now, the whole house smells great. Waiting for these babies to cool and slice seems like it will take forever.

Drizzled with a little melted butter.
Drizzled with a little melted butter.

 

Have a slice.
Have a slice.

 Alrighty  – two beautiful loaves. One for us, one for the neighbors (you remember the neighbors, the ones who bring us all the goodies from M-O-M? Yeah, gotta take care of each other.)

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Velouté d’asperges et courgettes au thym et citron (it sounds so fancy for leftovers…)

Some parts of being a former French teacher I will not let go – the biggest being a serious French Food Fangirl, and proud of it. Why? Allow me to illustrate – they can take the bits of stuff we would have thrown out and turn it in to something extraordinary.  This is creamy asparagus soup made with asparagus butts. You know, those end pieces you trim off and throw away? 
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This is a super simple recipe and you can discern every ingredient with each bite – the sweetness of the squash and onion, a faint note of celery, the earthiness of the asparagus, touches of lemon and thyme and through it all the gorgeous richness of that butter. Oh, my.

 

This beautiful, rich, fresh-tasting soup came to be because I was going to post about a roasted asparagus salad but wound up with some serious woody asparagus stems.
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And that made me think of my last French host mom, and how horrified she would be if I threw that much food away. So, I put those, and a couple chopped up courgettes, a celery rib and a slice of onion in the steamer.
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After twenty minutes, I puréed it with some warm chicken stock, pushed it through a mesh sieve, put in a ton of butter and a dash of lemon zest and fresh thyme and called it exquisite. Which it was. 

Asparagus Courgette Soup

The next time you have some asparagus butts, make this. You will be SO happy!

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Aw, Bitch Please (with those damn roasted chick peas)

Oh, food trend. You fucking hipster. Fine. You got me.  And lawdee lawd, do you suck.

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The meta blogs are all roasted chickpea this, and roasted chickpea that. And Billy loves him some chick peas. So I started to think,  my that sounds delicious! They must know something I don’t know! Surely roasting them will not return them to their pre-cooked state, as my girlfriend T. jokingly asked at Happy Hour last. 

Wrong. 

First batch – she-who-shan’t-be-named’s recipe states 400* for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Results? Bits of charcoal, quickly tossed in the carport to avoid stinking the whole house.

Second batch – (after recipe research and comparison, and the determination not to be bested by a garbanzo bean) 375*, 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Seasoning – pimentòn ahumado dulce, garlic and onion powder, flaked kosher salt, olive oil. 

Peas – one 14.5 oz, drained rinsed and dried (but not peeled. The Goddess gives us fiber for a reason, people.)

Oven – convection @ 375*

Second batch – stirred every ten minutes. Not bits of coal this time, but rather a range of barely a crust on the outside to T’s predicted rock-hard state.

But, here’s the thing. The first bite or two you really taste the seasonings, and think “hmmm” and can possibly forgive the erratic textures.  Possibly. But after that? You’re just munching on this sometimes almost soft, sometimes break-your-teeth-crunchy canned-chickpea-flavored stuff.  

Don’t be fooled by the hipster food – it’s fucking with you.  Not even one of Bill’s super amazing Bloody Marys could  make me want to eat this shit.
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Curried Lentil Soup

3/8/15 – Alas, dear friends, this post was also hacked. And I did not see it before I had the back up version restored. So…..we have some pictures, and the recipe….
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The Quest for the Perfect Cranberry Scone, Episode 2

Cranberry Clementine Scones
Cranberry Clementine Scones

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3/8/2015 – Well, this sucks. This post was hacked and deleted, and I don’t have a back up. Stupid hack fucks.  At least we still have pictures, and honestly this is the same scone base I always use, just with two Tbsp clementine zest and 1/2c. chopped fresh or frozen cranberries added and skip the lemon and pistachio, and the glaze is made with the juice from those clementines.