a few eats from the week

April 10, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Posted in food | 2 Comments
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to start, the world’s most unhealthy incarnation of white cheddar mac & cheese. it was incredibly delicious.DSC00430.JPG  

i started by frying up a few slices of bacon in a pan, while i cooked the mac in the ‘wave. when the bacon was done, i extracted the slices from the pan and reserved the tasty bacon juice. when the macaroni was done, i poured the bacon fat over the noodles, added the package of powdered cheese and a big scoop of homemade apple butter and stirred vigorously. when i was satisfied with the mixedness of my supper, i added the bits of bacon that i had shopped up. this is illegal in at least two states and several countries. it was that good. i take no responsibility for your high cholesterol.

i made my cocotropiveginugraice (coconut, tropical {pineapple} vegetable{edamame+peppers} grain {quinoa} + rice- what a mouthful!) again because i had new dehydrated pineapple to use and jon brought home my old stash of coconut milk. this time i used 2/3 cup white rice, 1/3 of a cup of white quinoa (i do not like the red stuff), a few rings of dried pineapple, chopped up, a handful of frozen red pepper, a big handful of frozen shelled edamame and 1 can of coconut milk.

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i put everything into the rice cooker, pressed start and went grocery shopping. when i came home, it was ready to be served into a bowl of creamy, sweet, protein and vitamin packed goodness:

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i really liked the extra bit of texture that the quinoa gave it.

and last week’s coconut sorbet had some smoothie action:

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frozen strawberries (that i picked last summer!), a banana, a scoop of the coconut sorbet, a few lychees from a can + some of the light syrup they came in.

it was a good tropical contrast to the winter wonderland outside.
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the cranapple leather seems to have worked out. it’s a pretty colour. i think next time i will spread things out less thinly. will post more after it has been reviewed by my discerning taster. i definitely want to add some pureed banana to the next lot.

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if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?

March 21, 2009 at 2:25 am | Posted in food | 1 Comment
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why change a great thing? well, if no one ever did, how would we have things that are greater than great? fantastic even? you gotta take that risk.

if i do say so myself, i make some freakin’ awesome banana muffins. i use tyler florence’s recipe for the ultimate banana bread, obviously making changes like substituting the pecans for chocolate chips and making them in muffin form rather than a loaf.

the bananas i bought last weekend went ripe ridiculously fast for my liking (i had to stop eating them around wednesday because i like my bananas yellow with a tinge of green), so by friday, it was high time for action in the kitchen. last night i decided i wanted something a little different – something tropical. so i went about throwing caution to the wind and making crazy substitutions left and right. i was heavily rewarded this morning with a muffin cup of deliciousness.

Here is tyler’s recipe, with my changes in brackets
Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (i used 1.5 c flour and 0.5 cups unsweetened coconut)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 overripe bananas (i used 5 because that’s what i needed to get rid of)
  • 1 cup sugar (i always cut this down to 2/3)
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled (i only put in 1/3 of the butter, for the rest of the fat, i used some cream cheese i needed to get rid of and the balance in coconut butter)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (skipped)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped (instead, i chopped up several rings of pineapple that i dehydrated this week)

Directions
I love how Tyler whips the bananas. I’m not a big fan of mashing things and I truly believe that the whipping with the sugar makes all the difference in the excellent muffin texture. He says to whip half, mash half for texture (banana chunks?) but I always just whip all.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  • Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together for a good 3 minutes; you want a light and fluffy banana cream. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla; beat well and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated; no need to overly blend. Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Give the pan a good rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.
  • Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Don’t get nervous if the banana bread develops a crack down the center of the loaf; that’s no mistake, it’s typical. Rotate the pan periodically to ensure even browning.
  • Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes or so, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.


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