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.)

Banana Nut Bread
Serves 24
Beautiful, moist and buttery with good banana flavor
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr
172 calories
24 g
26 g
7 g
3 g
3 g
55 g
75 g
11 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
55g
Servings
24
Amount Per Serving
Calories 172
Calories from Fat 64
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
11%
Saturated Fat 3g
15%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 26mg
9%
Sodium 75mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 24g
8%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 11g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
2%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The wet
  1. 1 1/8 c sugar (plus some to sprinkle on top)
  2. ½ c butter, melted
  3. 2 eggs, room temp.
  4. 1 ½ - 2 c. puréed overripe bananas (about four med)
  5. ½ c buttermilk
  6. 1 tsp. vanilla
The dry
  1. 2 tsp bkg pdr
  2. ½ tsp salt
  3. 2 ½ c flour
  4. ¼ tsp bkg soda
  5. 1 c chopped nuts (plus more for garnish)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350*.
  2. Grease two loaf pan bottoms & corners, and line bottom with parchment.
  3. Mix together the wet in the mixer.
  4. Sift together the dry and add to the wet, barely mixing. Lumps ok.
  5. Put in the pan(s), sprinkle with nuts and sugar, bake 350* for an hour.
  6. Cool ten minutes, slice a spatula or butter knife along the edges and depan them to finish cooling. (Hello, parchment, I love you.)
  7. Enjoy. This is definitely a Maginnis favorite.
Notes
  1. This will only work if your bananas are seriously overripe. Like, black or almost. But *not* if they're at the "my, that smells like banana rum" stage.
  2. Makes two loaf pans 8"x4 1/2" or one 9"x5"
  3. Betty uses 1 1/4c sugar, but I take some out because of the extra banana and the sugar on top.
  4. I've tried half brown half white, but my loaves burned. Will need to experiment/research more for that.
Adapted from Betty Crocker
beta
calories
172
fat
7g
protein
3g
carbs
24g
more
Adapted from Betty Crocker
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/

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? 
VAC2med

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.
VAC4med

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.
VAC3med

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!

Asparagus Squash Soup with Lemon & Thyme
Serves 2
Fast, healthy creamy soup equally delicious hot or at room temp.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
217 calories
12 g
46 g
18 g
6 g
11 g
367 g
28 g
8 g
1 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
367g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 217
Calories from Fat 159
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g
28%
Saturated Fat 11g
56%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 46mg
15%
Sodium 28mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 12g
4%
Dietary Fiber 5g
20%
Sugars 8g
Protein 6g
Vitamin A
40%
Vitamin C
74%
Calcium
7%
Iron
20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups of asparagus butts
  2. 2 courgettes (zucchini/dark green summmer squash)
  3. 1 small celery stalk
  4. 1 thickish slice of an onion (about 1/4")
  5. Chicken broth as needed
  6. 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  7. 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  8. 1/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Instructions
  1. Steam the veg for 20 minutes.
  2. Purée in your food processor for a good bit with enough hot broth to get it going. You can add the rest of the ingredients here, or after you strain it - your choice.
  3. Strain the purée through a mesh sieve to get out the woody parts of the stem and celery strings.
  4. Serve with a lemon wedge, and if you're feeling truly daring another pat of butter.
  5. Now in your best Julia voice, say "bon appétit!"
Notes
  1. Serve with some garlicky croutons and Yum!
beta
calories
217
fat
18g
protein
6g
carbs
12g
more
Adapted from La Dinette de Crevette
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/

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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.

CP1

 

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.
BM_CP1

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….
CLS1

Curried Lentil Soup
Serves 8
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
355 calories
24 g
68 g
26 g
8 g
15 g
381 g
438 g
7 g
1 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
381g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 355
Calories from Fat 229
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26g
40%
Saturated Fat 15g
77%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 68mg
23%
Sodium 438mg
18%
Total Carbohydrates 24g
8%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 7g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
95%
Vitamin C
17%
Calcium
4%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1# green lentils
  2. 3 carrots, peeled and in soup-sized discs
  3. 2 Tsbp. unsalted butter.
  4. 2 potatoes, peeled and in 1" dice
  5. 1/2 large white onion, in 1/2" dice
  6. 2 celery stalks, in soup-sized discs
  7. 2 quarts chicken stock
  8. 1/4 c. Patak's mild curry paste
  9. Chopped cilantro and sliced lime for garnish
Instructions
  1. Rinse and inspect the lentils for any undesirables.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat the butter on medium and add the onion and potato. Cook until the onions begin to get clear around the edges and the spuds have absorbed some of the butter.
  3. Add everything but the garnish to the pot, simmer on medium-low for about forty minutes.
  4. It's done when the lentils are tender.
  5. Take your stick blender to one side of the pot and blend about half - this makes for a creamier soup.
Notes
  1. Buy the curry paste. It is FAR superior to the powders.
beta
calories
355
fat
26g
protein
8g
carbs
24g
more
Bucket of Yum http://bucketofyum.com/

The Quest for the Perfect Cranberry Scone, Episode 2

Cranberry Clementine Scones
Cranberry Clementine Scones

CCS6 CCS8

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.