April 29, 2008

Salmon, Rice and Music

I suppose I should give things to you in that order, food and then music since this is a food blog after all. The salmon and rice are both recipes I made a long time ago but never got around to posting, (picture quality is usually the reason for late posting, but sometimes I simply mislabel/lose photos and then have nothing to show for my efforts). I should really stop telling you that I made certain dishes a long time ago and let you assume that I post about things on the day I make them, it would make me seem much more accomplished. I’m posting this one today though because I’d like to get back in the habit of eating fish twice a week, because I like to. I don’t have any excuse for not doing it, fish is the ultimate 30 minute meal as it cooks in no time. I’d even go so far as to say it’s a 20 minute meal, (take that Ray Ray!). I just have to actively seek out new fish recipes so that I don’t resort to baking it on a bed of lemons all the time. That’s what I usually do and it’s delicious, but it can get a little boring after a while. The teriyaki recipe I used on the salmon this time wasn’t boring, was easy to make, (falling into my 20 minute meal guidelines) and could be used on veggies or chicken too.

The Vegetable Fried Rice is from my favourite Steamy Kitchen, (the Jumbo & Jaden Project strikes again!) so obviously it’s great. If you have not read this particular post from Jaden, go over there and read it now whether you want the rice recipe or not, (which of course you do) because it’s hilarious. I think I made this rice purely because I loved the post that went along with it so much. You’ll also want to go visit Jaden’s blog to see a much nicer photo of what your rice might look like. From my experience, (that’s not saying much, I know…) fried rice works best with day old rice so make a little extra next time you’re having rice for dinner and then you can have this the following night.

Ok, on to the music! Hurrah! I love music and there are lots of new things happening lately. Many artists are choosing alternative ways to release their music to the masses, rejecting traditional forms and the constrictions placed upon them by record labels. Last year Radiohead released the album In Rainbows as a name-your-price digital download with massive success and other bands and artists are following suit and developing new ways to put out music.

Earlier this year Trent Reznor released the four part album Ghosts I-IV without giving any warning that it was coming. It’s an instrumental album that was made available in many different ways, ranging from a free download to a $75 deluxe set, (which sold out). Last week NIN finished a new track called Discipline, mastered it in the studio and released it to radio within 24 hours of its completion. It’s awesome and you can download a copy of Discipline for free via the NIN website by clicking here. And then click back to NIN.com on May 5th for some sort of announcement, I’m hoping for more downloads, but I’m greedy.

Coldplay has a new album, Viva La Vida, (album art is pictured below) which will be released in its entirety in mid-June but they have also opted to make the first single, Violet Hill, available for free download. You can download a copy of Violet Hill via the Coldplay website by clicking here.
If you’re having trouble getting the Coldplay song, wait a while and try again later, I think the site’s been overloaded as it took me a couple tries to get the song, but it was well worth it.

That’s all for now. If anyone wants to give me free tickets or take me to see these bands, that would be super… I’ll make you dinner in exchange. It’s clearly an amazing deal all around. Everyone wins.

Salmon Teriyaki (from Food Network)

1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin or medium dry Sherry
2 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons peeled, chopped fresh gingerroot
2 (1/2-thick) salmon steaks

In a small saucepan simmer sauce ingredients, stirring until sugar is dissolved, until reduced to about 1/2 cup and cool to room temperature in a metal bowl set in a large bowl of ice and cold water. In a baking dish large enough to just hold salmon steaks in 1layer marinate salmon in sauce, turning to coat, 15 minutes.

Preheat broiler. Line broiler pan and rack with foil. Arrange fish on rack in a single layer, not touching each other, brush with melted butter or margarine, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Just how long fish should be broiled can only be estimated by size and shape. For a 1/2-inch cut steak, the steak should be 2-inches away from the heat and you should cook the first side 3 minutes and 3 to 5 minutes on the second side.

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April 27, 2008

Daring Bakers: Cheesecake Pops

I woke up this morning and the first things I thought were 1- Why is my bed so comfortable? and 2- Why does my room smell like daffodils? After those first few seconds of foggy confusion passed I remembered that I was home for the weekend and that means a queen sized bed and fresh flowers from the garden by my bedside. It also means access to an ice cream maker and waffle iron and that sounds like a winning breakfast combination to me. I've already made two ice creams and a sorbet, (which will be revealed at a later date) so I set about making some wonderful cornmeal waffles (a Dorie recipe) with maple blueberry sauce and orange segments for breakfast. However, my waffle maker is not the most efficient machine ever, it only makes two waffles at a time and takes about 8 minutes to make those two. That means that once the batter is made, there's a lot of in between time while waiting for a whole batch of waffles to cook.

So I popped open the laptop and clicked over to Tastespotting, (an addictions of mine) and one of the first pictures I saw was a Daring Baker cheesecake pop. Uh oh, who posted April's challenge early? I checked the link to see who it was from and was surprised when it was none other than Tartelette. At this point I started to wonder if I had misread the posting date. Helene wouldn't do something stupid like posting a challenge early but I was sure that this month's challenge wasn't supposed to be up until the 30th. I clicked onto a few other Daring Baker websites and quickly realized that I was in the wrong and that if I didn't start typing, my post would be one of the late ones. Luckily I had already completed the challenge weeks ago, (which is somewhat shocking in and of itself as I'm generally the queen of procrastination) so all that was left to do was to slap together a post and do a little photo editing. But then I had to finish making waffles and once that was done I realized it was a gorgeous sunny day and I needed to go on a morel hunt, (more on that later too) so here I am, finally getting around to writing something about those adorable little treats on sticks.

So about the cheesecake pops: I made mine orange scented by mixing the zest of two oranges into the sugar before proceeding with the rest of the recipe. I used Wilton wafers to dip my cheesecake pops and they were really easy to work with. Speaking of the Wilton wafers, have to thank a certain Cream Puff for doing some of my shopping and bringing me the Wilton wafers as well as the lollypop sticks. Shortly after the challenge was announced I had emailed Ivonne, asking her if she knew where I could find both of those items and she told me about a place called Golda's Kitchen, a kitchen supply store in Toronto that I can't believe I had never heard of before. As luck would have it, Ivonne was also planning a visit to Golda's and asked me if I wanted her to pick anything up for me while she was there. I browsed the website and found way more goodies than I could afford. I decided to stick with what I needed for the challenge and just got the wafers and lollypop sticks, (and maybe some silver dragees for an as yet undetermined use).

Thanks Ivonne, they were much appreciated! I brought my completed pops to a potluck lunch and didn't return home with any, which is always a good sign. Cheesecake pops certainly make for a fun and whimsical display, but I'm not itching to make them again, they were messy and took forever! That's not a comment on the recipe, but just on the nature of cheesecake pops. They require multiple steps and quite a bit of time and don't fall under my usual slogan of "Go Big or Go Home." They were tasty and pretty though and something I had wanted to make ever since I saw Bakerella's Cake Pops so I'm glad I got a chance to make them. Big thanks to our hosts this month Deborah of Taste & Tell and Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms, I was very happy that they chose this recipe. (which can be found in Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor). As per usual, you can check out a multitude of cheesecakes on sticks by visiting the Daring Bakers Blogroll.

April 24, 2008

Tarts and Bikes

It seems as though we’ve skipped spring altogether and launched right into summer. If that means no rain, I’m ok with it. I hate rain like nothing else. Luckily, there hasn’t been too much of it and it’s been pretty warm in the city which means that bike weather is back. When I lived in the country, biking was a leisurely activity whether on or off road, in the city it’s always an X-treme sport. Yes, capital X to the treme. The hazards that you deal with in city biking far outweigh anything you might encounter in the country. In the country I might have to avoid the occasional car, (which I will probably wave to because I know them) sometimes a squirrel, (which I will probably wave to because his name is Nutkin) maybe a dog if it’s a bad day, (but it won’t really be that bad, cause I’ll probably just wave to the dog because I know him too). In the city I always have to be on guard, ready to defend myself against things like crazy inept city drivers, (in cars, trucks, buses and transport trucks) streetcars, (and possibly even worse are the tracks they leave all over the place) other bikers, (you’d think we’re all in this together, but some bikers are nut-jobs) pedestrians, (and their various accoutrements) and random other dangers like construction, potholes, city animals, street lights and a lack of bike lanes.

As if all of that isn’t bad enough, I live in the bike theft capital of the universe so if I wanted to continue to put my life at risk on my bike I have to keep it chained to me at all times. I swear, just stopping at a traffic light could leave you susceptible to having your bike stolen while you’re still on it. One minute you could be riding along and the next minute you’re on the ground, pedaling the air and wondering what the hell happened to your bike. Despite all of this, I put on my helmet, warmed up my bell dinging thumb and headed out for a ride today in the sunshine. I made it home in one piece, although the sun got the best of me and I’m a horrendous shade of pink this evening. What does all of this have to do with the vegetable tart you’re looking at? Nothing, but I wanted to remind people to be nice to bikers and the tart seemed like a nice backdrop to do so. And while I’m ranting- could grocery store employees please be gentle with my produce? Eggplants are not to be hurled like footballs. Thank you.

The tart is actually Anna Olson’s Roasted Garlic Vegetable Tart which is from her new show Fresh and is the April recipe for the Cooking Club Challenge on the Foodtv.ca blog. The tart requires you to make much more garlic oil than you will actually need but it’s not hard to find other uses for it. Or, if you’d rather, you could probably just roast some garlic, puree it and then only add as much oil as you need to brush it onto the phyllo. I also opted to top some of my tarts with goat cheese instead of feta and it was super. I realize it’s not exactly butternut squash season right now, but this tart lends itself well to substitutions, so whatever looks fresh would probably be good. Oh, and next time I’d add bacon. Definitely bacon.

Roasted Garlic Vegetable Tart (From Fresh with Anna Olson)

1 heads garlic

1 cup canola oil

6 cups peeled and diced butternut squash

salt and pepper

1 x red bell pepper, diced

1/2 heads sliced fennel

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage

finely grated lemon zest

3 sheets phyllo pastry

4 ounces feta cheese

For roasted garlic oil, preheat oven to 375 F. Peel garlic cloves and place in a baking dish. Cover with oil, stir to coat, and cover dish. Bake until garlic cloves are golden, about 40 minutes. Let cool.

Toss squash with 3 tbsp garlic oil and season lightly. Bake squash, covered for 15 minutes at 375 F, then uncover and reduce temperature to 350 F, and bake until tender, about 20 more minutes.

Toss cooled squash with diced red pepper, sliced fennel, sage and lemon zest. Season to taste.

To assemble tart, increase oven temperature back to 375 F. Spread out 1 sheet of phyllo (keeping other sheets covered). Brush lightly with garlic oil and lay another sheet over. Continue layering remaining phyllo sheets, brushing with garlic oil between each layer. Fold phyllo in half lengthwise and gently lift and place in an ungreased rectangle (4-x- 10 inch) removable-bottom tart pan. Spoon squash filling into tart shell and crumble feta over. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until phyllo is a rich brown.

Serve tart warm or at room temperature.

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April 21, 2008

Fruit Compliments and Bits and Bites

Aren’t those little oranges adorable? I didn’t make anything with them, I ate them as is, but they demanded to have their picture taken and I complied. Since when do oranges call you cute? I don’t know, but I could get used to receiving compliments from fruit. I’m not choosy, I’ll take ‘em where I can get ‘em. If a pineapple wants to call me pretty or a kiwi wants to call me smart, I’m ok with that too. Of course, I would prefer if the Kiwi was tall with a cute accent, but once again, I’ll take what I can get.

Ahem, back to the food… About twice a month I write a review for Paper Palate. Sometimes I share the review here or link to it and sometimes I forget altogether. That was the case last month when I posted a review on Paper Palate of the March issue of Bon Appetit which featured that amazing Caramel Walnut Upside Down Banana Cake and then falsely thought I had also posted about it on Jumbo Empanadas. Eventually I realized this error and posted about it here too because it’s definitely a cake that deserves to be seen.

Also in that post, which was filled with bananas, I mentioned making Banana Walnut Whole Grain Muffins from the Wellfed Network and Bran Banana Raisin Muffins from Cookie Baker Lynn but I didn’t post pictures of either of those. It wasn’t because I didn’t have any, but because for some reason, (lack of organization or a Kiwi to remind me) I couldn’t find them at the time. They’re here now though, so enjoy.

And for the record, I jazzed up the Wellfed muffins by subbing the walnuts for white chocolate chips and filling the middle with bittersweet chocolate chips. On top of that, I had been seeing a lot of carrot cakes with cream cheese frosting and I really thought I wanted carrot cake, but then I realized it was just the cream cheese frosting I wanted. So I made some, ate it with a spoon, (craving satisfied!) and then topped a few of the banana muffins with it.

When I discovered the banana pictures that I had forgotten to post I also found some pics of more dishes I made at Chef School, (which were MIA at the time I was going to post about them). So the Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast and Lasagna Bolognese with Spinach Noodles both should have been in last week’s post about chef stories. Geez, this post is filled with links. You’ll be lucky if they all lead where they’re supposed to, half the time I don’t even know.

More recently on Paper Palate I reviewed my new Food & Wine magazine, (which I received courtesy of the amazing Katie) and made Reverse Chocolate Chip Cookies from that issue. They were so good that I took them in to work on my day off so that others could enjoy them, (and by ‘others enjoy them’ I mean so that I didn’t devour the entire batch myself). In my quest to make cookies an acceptable currency, (and to make everyone love me) I’m slowly gaining ground, every cookie helps.

Have you had enought yet? I’m cleaning out my closet and I’ve still got one more Paper Palate post of mine to share with you that’s all about Italian cuisine, or more specifically The New Regional Italian Cuisine Cookbook. This is a book that has a photo of every single recipe, as well as scenic shots of Italy and close-ups of ingredients.

Recipes are titled in both English and Italian and are indexed by region as well as by course which is very convenient for scatterbrains such as myself who are constantly losing things. The only reason I remember what I made from that book is that I wrote it down: Insalata al Pecorino (Salad with Pecorino Cheese), Ossobuco d’Agnello (Braised Lamb Shanks) and Crostatina di Mele (Apple Puff Pastry Cake). Which reminds me, there were a whole bunch more recipes from that book I wanted to try. I should go do that…

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April 17, 2008

Time Goes Back

I feel like I’m living in the past. Maybe it’s because I’m putting up another post that would have been more appropriate 2 months ago when I actually made this dish. Hearty risotto and ribs are great when it’s cold outside, (like in February) and you want something to fill you up and keep you warm. It’s not generally what you crave when the weather is balmy and patios are all the rage again, (I wish I had a patio...). I suppose, however, that you could do these ribs on the bbq instead of in the oven and they’d be pretty nice for an outdoor dinner. The risotto might need to be replaced with potato salad though.

But I digress, when I read a claim of ribs in under an hour over at The Kitchen Sink, I was immediately intrigued. They looked absolutely amazing but could you really make ribs in under an hour? The answer is yes. These ribs were pretty good. They weren’t fall off the bone tender like would be achieved by cooking them low and slow for hours on end, but if you don’t have all day to make ribs, these are a very good substitute and will definitely satisfy a rib craving.

As for the risotto, I’ve posted twice before about wild mushroom risottos, (here and here) and have made many other risottos that I haven’t posted about, usually because I don’t follow a recipe when making it. Once you have the basic technique for making risotto the flavour possibilities are endless. You can pretty much turn anything into a risotto. If only everything were so easy.

Chinese Barbecued Baby Back Ribs (Gourmet, November 2007)

3 tablespoons chopped peeled ginger
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons honey
4 pounds baby back ribs (2 to 4 racks)

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Line a 17- by 12- by 1-inch baking pan with foil.
Purée ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and oil in a blender, then transfer to a bowl and whisk in hoisin sauce and honey. Reserve 1/2 cup sauce and coat ribs with remainder.
Arrange ribs, meaty sides down, in pan and bake, turning and basting once with some of reserved sauce halfway through baking, until cooked through, about 40 minutes.
Turn on broiler. Brush ribs, meaty sides up, with remaining sauce. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until edges are lightly charred, 4 to 8 minutes.

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April 13, 2008

Stories on Demand

I often ask people to tell me a story. For the most part, the response I get is some variation of “I don’t know…”, “What kind of story?” or “I don’t have any stories.” Just so you know, none of these are acceptable answers. Requesting that I tell you a story instead is also unacceptable, I asked you first. A while ago some of you asked me about culinary school and I don’t want to disappoint so I’m going to tell you a story. It’s not my own, but it’s entertaining none the less and that’s all that really matters.

I’ve realized that chefs are full of stories. Lots of stuff goes on in a kitchen and if you manage to get a chef to start telling you about some of it you’ll never be at a loss when someone asks you to tell them a story. During one of my classes we started talking about first kitchen jobs and the pranks that get played on rookie chefs. I like the chef that I have for this class because I find him sarcastic with a dry wit, (I don’t think everyone gets his humour, but I enjoy it). I see him as someone that’s hard to fool or put anything past but apparently that wasn’t always the case.

One of his first apprentice jobs was working in a ski resort. He was eager to please the head chef and do well and subsequently accepted everything the chef told him as truth. So when the head chef called him over one day and told him he needed to go across town to another resort to fetch the lobster gun, he didn’t even question it. Instead, he trudged through deep snow to the other resort, intent on returning with the lobster gun, whatever that might be. While he was making his way over there, the head chef of the first resort called over to the other resort and let him know that one of his apprentice chefs was on his way over and to send him back with something ridiculous.

Chef arrived at the second resort and was welcomed in. They told him they had packed the lobster gun and it was ready for him to take. And then they pointed at a box the size of a refrigerator. Once again, Chef didn’t ask any questions, he just accepted that he was going to have to lug this thing through the snow and back to his kitchen. This was no easy feat, that box was seriously heavy and when he finally arrived back at the kitchen, sweating and out of breath, the head chef and other cooks were waiting for him.

They proceeded to open the box and pull out the following items: a toilet, bricks, books, a bag of flour and some old railway ties. No lie. They all thought it was hilarious, (as do I) but Chef was not happy. So what did he do to make up for it? He made sure to play pranks on all the new apprentices who came after him. He then warned us not to fall for it if anyone asked you to go fetch a lobster gun, a can of steam or a caraway splitter. He also made it clear that if someone told you to hang the spaghetti to dry, they were pulling your leg, (this supposedly happened in a kitchen he worked in when a cook told an apprentice to hang up all the spaghetti after cooking it and to leave it to dry overnight, when the head chef came in the next morning the kitchen was covered in spaghetti and hanging from the ceiling tiles, he wasn’t impressed).

So that’s my story for you today, I hope you enjoyed it. All of the photos that accompany my story are of stuff I either made at school or were inspired by things made at school. The lamb curry and the quiche lorraine were made during two separate cooking labs. The mac and cheese and the lasagna, (with spinach and mushrooms) were both made at home with leftover béchamel sauce that I made in the lab. And the brown sugar bruleed grapefruit with kumquat garnish was shown to us in a demo lab minus the kumquat, (but I made this a while ago when I had a whole lot of them) and I recreated it at home.

For another excellent story, click here!

April 11, 2008

All Aboard the Failroad

I made this cheesecake about 5 months ago. 5. The year was still 2007 and I’m just getting around to posting about it now. And I don’t have a recipe for it either. FAIL. I feel like it’s a common theme lately. Maybe I should just post my life in pictures to the FailBlog. If you’ve never visited this site, go now, it will cheer you up if you’re feeling blue. Yes, I know it’s wrong to laugh at the misfortunes of others, but if this is wrong I don’t want to be right. I’ve just spent way too much time looking through the archives… There are some gems hidden way in the back and I don’t care if they’re photoshopped they still make me laugh.

The vanilla cheesecake originally came from a recipe that my Grandma clipped from the Toronto Star and asked me to make for her, which I happily did. I chose to add raspberry puree on top because it looked prettier that way. I took the recipe home with me so that I could post it here and I’m convinced that I tucked it into a cookbook or magazine for safekeeping but who knows where it is now?

I decided to go ahead and post this cheesecake anyways because at least I know it was good, unlike most of the things that have been coming out of my kitchen lately. I recently made a carrot ginger muffin that I had such high hopes and it probably would have been great if I had of followed the recipe. But no, it was one of those days where I started baking without checking ingredients first and soon realized that I was out of some of the essential ones.

Instead of going to the horrendously overpriced corner store across the street, (appropriately named 3 Star Variety) I made some substitutions which were not in the muffin’s best interest. Maybe these muffins would have been better if I had someone to crack the eggs for me. They would have also been better if they contained the required 2 eggs at all. Ugh. Hot on the heels of the bad muffins, (which I’m still eating because I can’t bring myself to throw them out) was what can only be described as a bad frozen mandarin concoction, (I refuse to call that mess ice cream). FAIL.

Better luck next time.

April 08, 2008

Thank You!

A very big thank you to Katie of Other People’s Food for the wonderful Blogging By Mail package and to the tireless Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness for organizing yet another round.

Katie generously sent me a package containing a Food & Wine magazine, (one of her favourite’s) the Amelie soundtrack, (for listening to while in the kitchen which she discovered through Dorie’s blog- see, all good things come from Dorie!) and the seeds to grow all of the veggies needed for the perfect salad, (a mixture of radishes, carrots, arugula and green onion). All of this would have been great on its own but I’m especially lucky because I’m going to be getting a monthly gift from Katie in the form of a subscription to Food & Wine! I’m not really familiar with this magazine so I’m looking forward to seeing what it has in store for me. Katie even wrapped each part of the package separately in pretty flowered paper so it was like mini presents, hurrah for Christmas in April! Thanks for everything Katie, much appreciated! Now I just have to make sure Ozzy doesn’t steal my magazine when it arrives next month…

And if anyone is curious as to what I sent out, my package went to Rachael of Fresh Approach Cooking and can be seen here.

April 05, 2008

Ozzy and This Post Are Bananas!

Ozzy Osborne? Almost. Crazy? Definitely. The basement dweller who lives below me is a spitting image of Ozzy Osborne. He has long black hair, little purple glasses, plays the guitar and is just creepy. I’ve previously mentioned my struggles with The Landlord here and here and now it’s time for you to hear about one of the other nut cases that I deal with on a regular basis: Ozzy.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Ozzy is bananas. But not in the good and tasty way like banana bread, white chocolate banana muffins or caramel pecan upside down banana cake. No, Ozzy is bananas in the sense that he’s crazy. He doesn’t seem to have any concept of time either, as he’s woken me up on numerous occasions at 4am by playing his electric guitar with the amp plugged in and turned up. Scares the bejesus out of me. He also shows up randomly at my door and the worst part is that I can’t hide from him because he knows when I’m home! He can hear me walking around, turning the tap on, cooking and ugh, showering, (as one friend pointed out, to my absolute horror, he knows when I’m naked).

So I answer the door and try to be polite and think of an excuse of why I can’t go drink beer with him, (his usual request). Sometimes I pretend to be on the phone, but he’s persistent and will show up first at my front door and then 20 minutes later at my back door. Other times I’ve ignored the knocking, which is hard to do with someone so persistent, but I don’t always have the patience to deal with him. When I see him outside the apartment I hurry to get my keys and rush inside before he has time to strike up a conversation.

Between avoiding him and The Landlord, it’s an ongoing mad dash to get in and out of my apartment without being seen. Perhaps the best part of all of this is that The Landlord constantly tells me to stay away from Ozzy because he says he has brain damage from all the alcohol and drugs and Ozzy tells me to stay away from the crazy Landlord who’s always in everyone’s business. I think they’re both nuts.

I’m currently involved in a battle of the bass with Ozzy. I think he’s winning. His bass shakes my floor and therefore everything in my apartment. The only card I hold to best him with is the scent of freshly baked cookies. On quite a few occasions I’ve heard him come home when I’m baking and comment on the smell. I contemplate bringing him some in the hopes that he’ll knock off the bass, but I think it will have the opposite effect and just make him come visit me more often, which I’m trying to avoid. So to drive him crazy and to keep me sane, I keep on baking. I find bananas to make especially fragrant baked goods and I’ve been on a banana binge lately, turning them into cakes and muffins and smoothies, but not taking nearly enough pictures. Sometimes I feel like one banana muffins looks like all the others but that doesn’t stop me from baking them. I’ve made Peanut Butter Banana Muffins from Pittsburgh Needs Eated, Banana Walnut Whole Grain Muffins from the Wellfed Network and Banana Bran and Raisin Muffins from Cookie Baker Lynn but I don’t have pictures to show for any of these. Shame on me. Ironically, the one picture of muffins that I do have is my White Chocolate Chunk Banana Muffins that I don’t have a recipe for because I made it up. The thing is, I wrote it down, but when I made it a second time it wasn’t as good so I’ll have to play around with that one for a bit before I post it for real. I’ve also made Cooking Light’s Classic Banana Bread which I found on Twin Tables Banana Bread Bake Off. This is a pretty nice post that features 6 different banana bread recipes that you should definitely check out. Oh and I've also made tons of variations of David Lebovitz's Easiest Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe Ever, (chocolate, bananas and Bailey's? Yes please!).

And finally, I made Bon Appetit’s Caramel Walnut Upside Down Banana Cake I was convinced I had already posted about this cake. So when I saw Deb of Smitten Kitchen make it I made some comment about how great it was when I made it with pecans, blah blah blah, then I checked my blog to see exactly when I posted about it and I found out that it was at about a quarter to never. Good job self. I’ve got a brain like a sieve. Don’t worry though, I won’t forget to post about the raspberry ice cream I made at the same time as that cake, (which was ages ago). It’s a Ben and Jerry’s recipe that I was inspired to make after my mom made their kiwi ice cream, and it was phenomenal, (and she is phemomenal).

Ben & Jerry's Raspberry Ice Cream (From the Ben and Jerry Ice Cream Book)

Compared to other fresh fruit, fresh raspberries are intensely flavorful and very tart, so to make ice cream you need less fruit and more sugar. If you prefer a chunkier raspberry ice cream, return the raspberries to the refrigerator after pouring off the juice. After the ice cream stiffens (about 2 minutes before it's done), add the whole raspberries, then continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

Makes generous 1 quart

1 pint fresh raspberries

1½ cups sugar

Juice of ½ lemon

2 large eggs

2 cups heavy or whipping cream

1 cup milk


Toss the raspberries, ¾ cup of the sugar, and the lemon juice together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the remaining ¾ cup sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the heavy cream and milk and whisk to blend.

Drain the juice from the raspberries into the cream mixture and blend. Mash the raspberries until pureed and stir them into the cream mixture.

Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer's instructions.

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