Banana Nut Bread

Gosh darn it.
I was looking on my FoodBuzz profile and decided to check out who was "buzzin' me" when I came across a person of interest. I took a look at their website and they a great looking photo of some banana bread she had just made (there was even a cute story to go with it). I can't remember who the blogger was, which means I can't give her the 'just' credit that is due her.

She is the reason behind my bread tonight. It's her recipe... so I can't take any credit. I made 2 small alterations, but the basic recipe is all hers.

Sorry. Please forgive me.

RECIPE: (as copied from this "ghost" blogger)
1 c sugar
1/2 c milk (she used whipping cream)
1/2 c shortening (I used butter.... I ALWAYS use butter when baking)
1 tsp baking soda
3 medium bananas, softened and mashed
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (I used 1 tbsp - oh, shut up!)
2 c flour
1 cup nuts

Preheat oven to 350. Mix sugar, milk, shortening (butter), bananas and eggs. Add remaining ingredients stirring slowly - don't overmix. Put in 9x5 loaf pan (or you can make muffins). Bake 1 hr 15 m (loaf pan) 30-40 m (muffin pan). You can cover yours with foil to prevent "over" browning.

She had problems with the middle remaining a little 'soft and gooey.' I baked mine for the recommended time and then sat out and let it cool completely in the pan.

Hot Mustard Wings

This is a good example of some recipes will out EXACTLY how you think they will. For some reason I thought that this was a good recipe to try. The recipe appeared in Rachel Ray's February 2009 magazine. Under the article "Surefire Bets" appeared a picture and recipe for these wings. They looked good, but I still wasn't sure about the whole "mustard" thing.

Well, I made them, and that's the end of that. (I will NOT be making them again).
If you love mustard... you'll like the wings. I'm not "crazy" about mustard and should have never tried to make these damn things in the first place.

RECIPE: (page 124 of magazine)
2 lbs chicken wings, sepearated at joints w/ tips discarded
3 tbsp Hot Yellow mustard (I couldn't find yellow, so I used brown)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp hot sesame oil (again, I couldn't find "hot" so I used regular)
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp sugar

Bake chicken in 500 degree oven for 35 minutes (now that's hot). While chicken is cooking, whisk together remaining ingredients. Toss chicken in sauce, and serve.

Blackberry Creme Tuiles - Yum!

I'm back in business.
For those of you that did not know, I've been a Daring Baker for some time. I wasn't able to complete a few challenges towards the end of 2008, but I requested my re-admittance from the almighty Lis, and my wish was granted!

This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen aka Baking Soda at Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angelique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux. Both of the above sites will have the FULL RECIPE fore viewing and copying.

I was very excited when I saw some of the early posts from fellow DBers. The pictures reminded me of this cookie that "a lady" use to make for me for the holidays. The cookies reminded me of a 'watery sugar cookier' because it was so
thin and sugary. Sadly, this was not the cookie I had hoped... but don't fret... I was very happy with the outcome indeed.

I decided to fill my tuiles with whipped cream topped with fresh (previously frozen) blackberries. I loved them... and so did my husband. (we figured the kids wouldn't like them... so we didn't share!)


Pork Drunk Veggies

Tonight, along with my Costco meatballs and perfectly cooked (in a rice cooker) rice and decided to make some veggies. Trying to get my kids to eat certain kinds of veggies is a task all on it's own. I have to sneak it to them under a mount of sugar, smother them in chocolate... or better yet overdose the veggies on pork, garlic and onions. Not too mad, right?

Vegeatable(s) of choice

In skillet brown diced up bacon to render some fat into the pan.
If you want the bacon to be "crispy" fry it until it is crispy, once the onion is added moisture will be introduce and you will never achieve crispy. Add a few gloves of garlic (a tsp of the minced, in-a-bottle, kind) along with some salt and pepper. Let the onions get soft, and then add the veggies. You can add frozen veggies because the water will not allow anything to burn. Fresh veggies just cook quicker.

Lazy Taters!

Not only was "I" lazy for dinner last night... so were my taters!
They just LAID there while I dressed them, and then they didn't put up a fight when we ate them. Awww... don't feel bad for them, it was their

Potatoes (use as many as you need; 1 potato yields 4 taters)
Sour cream
Green onions
Cheddar/Jack cheese
Olive oil
Salt, pepper and garlic salt

Rinse and clean your potatoes. Cut in half width-wise, then cut the halves in halve. Slice a portion of the bottom, off the potato, so that it will sit straight up on a baking sheet. Brush olive oil on the tops of the potatoes, then sprinkle the season over all of potatoes. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hours, on the very bottom of your
oven. Pull the sheet out of the oven, sprinkle a combination of the cheeses on top. Put sheet back in oven for 2-3 minutes.

Place a "dollop" of sour cream and green onions on top of each tater. Enjoy


New Product Alert

Well, well, well. Have I mentioned that I <3 Foodbuzz? (that little symbol means "love"). I get to try some cool products just for being a FT (Foodbuzz Tastemaker). A couple of days ago I received these goodies in the mail (too bad I don't check my mail everyday). Anyway, they are a new type of granola bar by Quaker.

I received all three of the new flavors: Dark Chocolate Raspberry Almond, Honey Roasted Cashew Mixed Berry and Toasted Coconut Banana Macadamia Nut. As I'm typing I'm munching on the Cashew Mixed Berry one, and I have to say that it's very delicious. I can taste every ingredient in the bar and 'infused dried cherries' were a nice choice (I swore it was cranberries until I read the label).

It's available nationwide beginning January 2009 - which means that you TOO can munch on these snacks.

Even my 2 year old loves this stuff, even though some of it ends up all over his face, hands and clothes. :(

"Hey Quaker... where's my check for this endorsement?"


Honey Wheat Bread

On my quest to get out some of my baking frustrations this weekend, I tackled a wheat loaf. I haven't been able to bake anything from the book I recieved at Christmas (The Professional Pastry Chef - Bo Friberg) and I thought that now is as good of time as any.

RECIPE: (as followed from page 123 of the book) - I scaled the recipe in 1/2 which yieled 2 loaves.

1 3/4 c milk (240ml)
4 tsp salt (20g)
1 c honey (340g)
7 oz unsalted butter, room temperature (200g)
1 oz fresh compressed yeast (30g)*
1 c warm water, 105-115 degrees F
1 lb 4 oz whole wheat flour (570g)
1 lb 4 oz brea flour (570g)
Egg wash
Wheat bran (optional - I didn't use it; I used oatmeal flakes)

1 In a saucepan, combine milk, salt, honey and butter. Heat to 115 degrees, set aside.
2 In a mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk mixture, wheat flour and all but 1/2 cup of bread flour. Knead dough on low speed, using a dough hook, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add bread flour while kneading if necessary.
3 Cover dough and allow to rise until double in volume (approx. 2-3 hours)
4 Punch dough down (literally), cover, and proof again until double in volume (another 2-3 hours).
5 Punch dough down again, then scale dough into 4 equal pieces (570g each).
6 Form each piece into a loaf.

7 Egg wash all loaves, invert them in wheat bran; place loaves bran side up in pans.
8 Let loaves rest and rise until they are slightly less than double in volume.

9 Bake at 400 degrees, using steam** for 10 minutes. Continue baking for another 25-30 minutes; until golden brown and until you hear a hollow sound when you knock on the bottom of the loaf.***

* when using dry, instant yeast, always reduce the recipe by 1/2. Dry yeast is twice as potent as fresh yeast (eg. 5g fresh yeast = 2.5g dry yeast)

** using steam - just place a pan filled with water in the bottom of so to create stem during baking.

*** the "hollow" sound means that air is present in the loaf of bread and the moisture is gone. The perfect loaf has no moisture present.

Cinnamon/Nutmeg Waffles

There's a place in Los Angeles (there's actually three in the SoCal area) called Roscoe's (we normally don't say the entire name) that by far has the best waffles around. They do "something" to them to make them taste so wonderful. For years (and years) people have tried to figure out the recipe. Is it cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, butter, what? No one seems to know. I remember at one point thinking they made special butter, which is why their waffles tastes so good.

The other day I went and got a to-go order of some chicken and waffles, and discovered at least two of the ingredients in the recipe. Now, I haven't figured it out yet, but I guess I can keep on trying.

*Note, waffles are very heavy and will completely knock out the members of your family. Use discretion when making them before heading out of the door.

RECIPE: (pancakes/waffles)
1 c flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp sugar
1 c milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp. salt
Combine dry ingredients. Add milk, egg and oil. Mix until smooth.
Cook as you normally would. If making waffles cook until only a slight
amount of steam comes out of the waffle iron.

RECIPE: (syrup - if you're feeling really "homemade")
1 c. water
1/2 tsp. maple flavoring
2 c. sugar
Bring water to a boil. Add flavoring and sugar. Cook, constantly stirring for 2 minutes. This makes a very "watery" syrup... it also makes A LOT OF IT. Scale in half and you may be able to use it for the rest of the year.... it truly is A LOT!


Infamous ROYAL Icing

(ask, and ye shall receive)

This icing is what I used to icing and flood cookies. It's great, easy to make,
and keeps (refrigerated) for up to 5 days, if stored in an air tight container.

RECIPE: yields 4 1/2 cups
1/3 c pasteurized egg whites (3 eggs)
4 1/2 c + 1 tbsp confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice (plus more to taste), fresh lemon juice

Either in the bowl of an electric mixer (w/paddle attachment), or with a hand mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar 1/2 cup at a time on med/low speed. Scrap bowl after each mixing. Add lemon juice and beat on med/high until stiff peaks form (7-9 minutes).

If icing is too thick to pipe out, add water 1 tsp at a time until it's the consistency that you want.

You have to use this immediately, or place in air tight container.

**Add food coloring (liquid or gels) to color the icing any color you want**


*COOL word alert*


As much as I would love to take credit for this wonderfully, creative word, I didn't not make it up. Chef T aka Lepkugen is the smart one!

When it RAINS, that's when I make a FLOOD

Well I guess our luck has run out (for now). While all the rest of the U.S. have been experiencing horrible weather, we've been enjoying temperatures in the 80s, all across SoCal.

I know your all secretly hating me.
[ducking all of the cyber daggers thrown my way]

We yesterday we had a slight drizzle, but today it rained for most of the day. Since rain normally makes for a lazy day (hence the reason for the DIY dinner) I attempted to gain a little ground on what I plan on doing for Valentine's Day. I practiced flooding some sugar cookies with simple designs to see if I liked the outcome.

So far, I'm doing ok.
RECIPE: Vanilla Sugar Cookies (from Confetti Cakes)
2 1/3 c + 2 tbsp A/P flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 c butter
1/2 c + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 egg, large
1 tsp Pure vanilla extract

Sift dry ingredients. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat until combined. Add flour mixture in 2 batches. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap - refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Place ball between two pieces of parchment paper - roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Keeping on parchment paper, transfer to baking sheet - refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove from REFRIGERATOR, cut out shapes. Freeze cut-outs for 15 minutes prior to baking in 350 degree oven for 10 min.

Allow cookies to cool completely. Using pastry #1 or #2, and royal icing, pipe border around cookie. Using same royal icing (add water to make loose) "flood" cookie, now using a #3 or #4 tip. Use a toothpick to spread icing all the way to the border. Use a 'lighter' color royal icing when doing the "drop-in flooding" - darker color will bleed.

(so the ones that I sprinkled colored sugar on top of ... were still drying, that's why they look like CRAP!)

DIY Nachos

After a long week of cooking, the last thing I want to do is try and "figure out" what my family wants for dinner. My husband will eat anything (veggies included), my oldest son will also eat anything (maybe not all veggies) my daughter... well, she's something special - and is where most of my trouble comes from. The baby... well, he eats off of everyone's plate, mostly sucking off whatever is on the surface and spitting out the rest.


Tonight... I chopped up lettuce, tomatos, onions and cheese. Browned some ground turkey, and opened a bag of tortilla chips. DINNER IS SERVED - Do It Yourself Style.

A Tasteful Pursuit

What does it mean to you to be involved in Share Our Strength and to participate in this event to end childhood hunger in America?

I would love to participate, in any way that I can, to help share all the wonderful foods of this country, with any and all of the hungry children IN this country. I find it heartbreaking that some children will not have birthday cakes this year, or be able to claim a "favorite" food to share with other children. I'd simply love to be of service to any organization or cause that wants to bring a smile to a young child's face.

What one fun foodie question would you ask the chef of your metro’s dinner if given the chance to interview him/her?

-If you had your choice, what food would you love every child in the Los Angeles area to experience.

This is how you do a SANDWICH

Ok, I would love to take credit for making a sandwich that looks so go, but I just don't think I can do this justice.

Please take a look at this sandwich over at Maman and Gourmand.



Egg Wash

In culinary school they have a funny way of letting you know that the way that you've been doing things for the past 50 years is WRONG. Apparently there's an entire "way" of creating egg wash.

What? You didn't know that? And you call yourselves mothers, cooks, men!

So, the (*cough*) proper way of creating egg wash is by using 2 eggs. after cracking and emptying them into a strainer, you're suppose to whisk them (while still in the strainer) and allow the "egg" to strain into a bowl. And VIOLA you have culinary egg wash.

HOT bananas with COLD coffee

So tonight in my Nutrition class I found out that I'm clinically overweight and that my BMI is slightly over where it should be.


So in all of my "gonna begin making better food choices" HYPE, I came home and made dessert. What the hell... what does a registered dietician know about food anyway?

2 bananas, large sliced length-wise
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c dark liquor (I prefer brandy or grand marnier)
3 tbsp butter
coffee flavored ice cream

Heat butter in skillet, melt slightly (don't burn)- medium heat; add brown sugar and start to carmelize. Add alcohol and cook for less than 1 minute. Add bananas, reduce heat and cook 2 minutes on both sides. Spoon over ice cream, making sure to drizzle sauce over all over plate.

I bet if you add some kind of nut (walnuts, pecans) on top this would be even better! :)


America, we now have a new president!

So I know the "official" ceremony is not for a few hours yet.
And I know I may have some McCain/Palin supports that visit my blog. I don't mean any disrespect, but I am one of the many Obama/Biden supporters.

Today, history will be made... and I hope we are all just a "little" bit happier to be alive to witness it. I am, and I'm grateful to share this day with my family and friends.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day.
(Look at that... I almost made the day cut-off. The blogger gods can be cruel)

(this picture was taking at midnight on 1/19 (or 1/20). Thanks Mako)

Bad mommy, shame on me.

On January 15th, my daughter played in her Winter concert. She performed, while playing her clarinet, 4 songs. I was unable to make the beginning of the concert because it was my first night back to school (see me, the doofus, in my chef coat).
My instructor, did allow us to leave early on the first night, and I was able to make it for the last song (I know there's a CHP officer somewhere on the 405 still looking for me).

Mommy is proud of you, babe. That's my 11 year old, 5'4" daughter standing next to me. Oh, and my 8 year old 4'7" son passing along the bunny ears!

So this picture below is not that good, um... because the light was behind us, maybe?
That's my family: me, my hubby, all 3 kiddies and Papa (the grandfather).

OMG! My first award.

I'm so excited.

(climbing up onto my soapbox)

"I'd like to thank all of the bloggers of the world for making this moment possible. Without you, I'd be nothing, and have no one to talk to, share recipes and pictures with or keep me up in the middle of the night. I can't imagine a world without blogging, that world would be a world I wouldn't want to live in. A special thanks goes to 5 Star Foodie who was generous enough to pass this award around, and I was lucky enough to be a recipient. I will cherish this award FOREVER!"


Air kisses. Air kisses. Air kisses.

Princess wave.... (stepping down off my soapbox).

I will now like to pass the LEMONDADE STAND CROWN to other deserving bloggers:

Of Soup & Love, The Behind the Wheel Chef, Tasty Pastry, Joy the Baker, Peanut Butter and Julie, Laptops and Stovetops, There's Always Room for Dessert, La Mia Cucina, Evil and Demented Little Cooker Girl and The Spiced Life.

All of which can be found on the right hand side of my blog... BECAUSE THEY ROCK!!!

Rules for the award can be found HERE!

White Chocolate Brioche

(sorry guys, in culinary school all measurements are metric - get over it)

500g Bread flour
10g salt
75g sugar
10g Active dry yeast (use 20g if using "live" yeast)
6 eggs
63g milk
250g butter, cubed and cold
1 c white chocolate morsels

*This will yield 2 large loaves, or 4 small ones (good for 2 people)

Activate yeast in milk (mix together). Whisk eggs. Add dry ingredients into bowl of electric mixer. Add yeast and eggs. Mix on LOW speed (always mix bread on low).Once mix comes together, add butter, small amounts at a time. Add the white chocolate morsel and stir on low. Once the mix is fully incorporated, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.

Section out 100g pieces of dough, roll into a ball and let rest for 30 minutes.
Roll balls out into long tubes (3 for each braid) and begin braiding bread.
If making 2 large loaves using 150-200g balls. Egg wash the braids and allow to rest again for 30 minutes. Bake in 325 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until the bread browns. Bread is done with it you knock on it and it sounds hollow (means there is no more moisture present).


Steamed King Crab Legs


Crab legs, however many pounds and kind

Steam crab legs for at least 20 minutes.