Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sour Cream Banana Bread

adapted from All Recipes


2 Tbsp. white sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ cup and 2 Tbsp. butter room temperature
1 ½ cup white sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
8 oz sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
dash nutmeg
dash ground cloves
¼ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

optional topping
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 or 3 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease 2 bread pans. In a small bowl stir together 2 Tbsp. white sugar and ½ tsp. ground cinnamon. Dust greased pans lightly with mixture.

2.  In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until combined. Add mashed bananas,  sour cream, and vanilla, beat until combined.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture with a wooden spoon until just incorporated. Add walnuts if desired.

{If using optional topping- prepare by combining brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon and using pastry blender to cut in the butter until crumbly. Add chopped nuts and sprinkle over the batter in the pans.}

4. Divide mixture into prepared pans at bake at  325 for 60-70 minutes. Allow to cool in pan on rack.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sweet Pea Cauliflower Couscous


I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever bought cauliflower. It just isn't one of the veggies I am naturally drawn to, but I really enjoyed it in this simple side.

2 cups cauliflower florets
3/4 cup sweet peas
2 cloves garlic, minced
coconut or olive oil for sauteing
3/4 cup whole wheat couscous
1 + 1/2 cup water
1/2 lemon, juiced
Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste


1. Steam the cauliflower and peas to desired tenderness.
2. In a large skillet saute garlic in a teaspoon of oil until fragrant over low heat. Add couscous, cauliflower, peas and water. Remove from heat and put a lid on the pan. Allow to sit for ten minutes.

3. Add lemon and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.

Coconut Almond Crusted Chicken

from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice


2/3 cup sliced almonds, crushed
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/8-1/4  teaspoon curry powder
pinch of sea or kosher salt
a few cracks of fresh black pepper
4 large skinless chicken breasts or cutlets, at room temperature
1/3 cup coconut oil, plus more for greasing pan.


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with coconut oil.

2. In a large, shallow bowl mix coconut shreds, chopped almonds, curry, salt and pepper.

3. Rinse chicken and trim off visible fat. Pat dry with paper towels and set aside.

4. Melt coconut oil. Dip chicken in coconut oil, allow excess to drip off, then dredge in coconut/almond mixture, patting the coconut mixture onto the chicken. Place in single layer in baking dish. Add a bit more of salt and freshly ground pepper.

5. Drizzle remaining coconut oil and coconut/almond mixture over the top. Bake about 40 minutes for breasts or about 20-25 minutes for cutlets (internal temp. 160 degrees F).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Impromptu Quiche

   We had tons of eggs that needed using so quiche seemed to be in order. I was at the store and wanted to make the quiche lorraine, but could only remember it needed leeks. When I got home I realized  that I didn't have most of the ingredients. Luckily quiche is a pretty flexible food and allows a bit of this or that. So this quiche was made with a little scavenging of the fridge and turned out to be just lovely. Really I think you could make quiche out of just about anything if there is good cheese involved.

2-3 tsp. olive oil
3 leeks, diced (white and light green only)
1 cup onion, diced
½ cup sour cream
½ cup half and half
4-5 eggs
salt and pepper
crumbled bacon
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


1. Heat a large sauté pan over low heat. Sauté the leeks and onions in the olive oil 35 to 40 minutes until caramelized, occasionally stirring. Remove from heat and cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 inch pie pan (I use spray). Mix the half and half and sour cream in a medium bowl. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Add salt and freshly ground pepper.

3. In the greased pan spread the leek and onion mixture evenly over the base. Sprinkle the bacon and then the cheese over the leeks and onions. Pour in the egg batter and place the quiche in the oven.

4. Bake until puffed and golden, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Want fries with that?

The beginning of December it was single mom time and so we ate this , this , and this for a few lunches and dinners. Now we're living out of suitcases for a few weeks- so cooking has been interesting. Instead of feeling super adventerous we've been making old favorites while getting acquainted with a different kitchen and of course eating out- Costa Vida & Cafe Rio once each this week, not too shabby.

This little Miss has been a great eater and has a new favorite way to eat apples. Instead of the typical slices, why not match sticks or 'fries'- certainly a lot better and she doesn't know the difference.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Reese's Cup Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

from Annie's Eats 

For the cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled (optional)
For decorating:
1 ½ – 2 batches peanut butter frosting
miniature Reese’s cups, halved and/or chopped


1.  For the cake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°.  Butter two 9×2” round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper.  Place the pans on a baking sheet.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

3.  In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy.  Add the sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until thoroughly blended into the butter.  Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in the vanilla.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk; add the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 (beginning and ending with the dry ingredients).  Mix each addition only until it is blended into the batter.  Scrape down the bowl and add the melted chocolate, if using, folding it in with a spatula.  Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans.

4.  Bake for 24-28 min minutes or until the cakes feel springy to the touch and start to pull away from the sides of the pans.  Transfer to wire racks to cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners.  Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
     To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on cake stand.  Spread peanut butter frosting on top of the cake layer.  (If desired, sprinkle with chopped Reese’s cups.)  Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting.  Frost the top and outside of the cake with remaining peanut butter frosting. 
5.  Decorate with halved and chopped Reese’s cups as desired.