Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mini Banana Muffins

Anything mini is on my mind right now. Mini fingers and toes and tiny little eye lashes and a nose. So it is fitting that making mini muffins was right up my alley. 
My sister and brother in law recently visited from Seattle. We had a lovely brunch with my parents and all got to marvel at how small we start when we come into this world. 
We also got to eat, laugh, hug and we had muffins. 
What to do with left over bananas.... muffins of course. I added browned butter and made a crumb topping to add to the fun. 
Super easy and quick to make while the "mini" was sleeping. 
The crumb topping added a nice texture on top. You could also add walnuts or pecans. You could even go wild with blueberries or chocolate. Banana muffins are a blank slate for creativity and these are so easy to make you could whip them up for a post Thanksgiving brunch or over a long lazy weekend. So get going!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Brown Butter Banana Peach Bread

Lately, all I have wanted to eat is fruit. Call it a pregnancy craving, or maybe the fact that I just don't want summer to end. I love the this time of year where the summer meets fall. And this fall is especially exciting as we are welcoming a new little pumpkin to our family. However, there is still a part of me that is not yet ready for summer to be over. I am still enjoying the sun on my face, sitting in the backyard with my son, and eating all the summer stone fruits I can.
This banana bread is the merge of these two pleasures. The spices of fall with the warmth of fresh made bread, and little explosions of sweet sweet summer. It is also a no mixer one bowl kind process that is easy to whip up on a lazy weekend.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blackberry maple compote & Polenta Crackers

You gotta love blackberries. I do! And right now they are so good. I have been obsessing over this blackberry corn ice cream and yet to try it. However, I did make a blackberry compote and some polenta crackers that paired very nicely with good friends, warm weather and of course....cheese!
The compote came from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day. If I had time I would make her food every day. It is that darn good!
This compote can be drizzled over ice cream (there I go again)  placed on some pancakes or even mixed into oatmeal for a special weekend delight.
 The polenta crackers were a bit thick for my taste, but received good reviews. 
Plus, who does not like a duck cracker.... I know a toddler who can not resist.
Crunchy and nutty and with the compote and cheese very tasty. It is also probably a bit better for you than the Blackberry Corn ice cream I am still craving. There is always next year.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Brown Butter Peach Crumble Bars

 Farmer's markets, fresh flowers, peaches and brown butter shortbread bars. Just some of my favorite things from this summer.
I have been so busy this summer that I have not been able to blog as much as I have wanted. However, the baking is still happening. While the toddler is sleeping I am trying to get photos off of the camera and into the blog-o-sphere. 
These are an easy crumble bar, but browning the butter ahead of time gives them a nutty flavor that is just lovely. The fresh peaches add sweetness and it all just screams summer fun. I hope you agree!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ode to Joy & Cupcakes

Life can really move fast. Before you know it we are already into summer...what? I have really meant to blog, but have been so busy. After listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Homefries, with Joy the Baker. I was inspired to bake her birthday cupcakes and of course attempt to blog about it.  These were made for a bunch of different Memorial Day BBQs and right now with the 4th of July beating down our door. I suggest you make them.
Dense, chocolaty, chocolate easy as pie cake, cupcakes. Turned awesome with some.....
Peanut butter cookie dough balls shoved into the center. Yes, a cookie and  a cupcake in one! Hooray!
Add some marshmellow frosting and you have yourself and party, shin-dig, doo-wop..thingy! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Coconut Custard Tart

 When I asked my Dad what his favorite dessert was for his birthday dinner his response was coconut cream pie and my reaction was to quickly bite my nails and head to the Internet. I had never in my life even thought of making any type of cream pie. For some reason in my head I thought that cream pies were very very hard to make. Boy oh boy was I wrong. This could not have been easier. Thank you Dori Greenspan, Google and Shared Sugar. I was able to make an easy coconut cream tart that just as good to eat as it was to make.
I made the custard the night before using eggs, milk, dark rum and of course lightly toasted coconut.
 You can leave the rum out if needed, but the combination with the coconut is a happy little marriage in creamy heaven.
 The shortbread crust was simple to make in the food processor and easy to mold in the tart pan.
 Vanilla, powder sugar and cream... mix and you get the best whipped cream ever. If you really want to booze up your tart you can add a splash more rum to the cream.... alas, I felt that the rum flavor was just enough in the custard and left it out.
Assemble together and add some toasted coconut on top. This tart was simple, perfect and traveled well. It also made my Dad smile... best part of the day!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Oatmeal, dried fruit and nut cookies has been a bit and then I hit you with a post about dried fruits and nuts. One would think I am a hippy from Nor Cal... well kinda.
Nuts and fruit in a cookie.
However, these cookies look like they would be boring blobs of fruits and nuts. Kinda like a granola bar that sat in your car too long ( yes, the one you ate cuz you were starving and HAD too!)

But, noooooo these are tasty, salty and sweet, dense and chewy and basically breakfast in cookie form. Hmmmm sounds good to me!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cucumber Goat Cheese Dip With Radishes and Scallions

Now that spring is almost here and green is taking over the week... I thought I would share a simple fresh and easy cheese dip. Easy and fast and fit to eat with crackers or dip veggies.
Plus you get to make cucumber is fun to make and adds great flavor to the dip.
If you have extra cucumber water it can be used to add to a citrus mint drink or even to spice up a martini...just in case you have had enough green beer. 
 The combination of radishes, cucumber, and mint pair well with the tangy goat cheese.
I forgot to take a picture of the dip with all the lovely veggies. We had good friends over, and I got side tracked with great conversation and watching the little kids giggles. Lets just say the dip was a hit and just the right thing to share to celebrate  the beginning of spring.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lucy's Chocolate Minis

I have no idea who Lucy is and I don't care. What I do care about is chocolate, sugar and eggs. And I really care that Lucy's lovely minis come together so quick and easy... (while the baby is napping type of easy and fast.) Plus minis are so cute and so much fun to eat... and portion controlled (if you can eat just one.) 

Added some candied pecans and sour cherries to the tops of a few to spice things up.
Melting the butter and chocolate....two other delicious things to care about.
I suggest you care about Lucy's Chocolate Minis too.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Stove Top Braised Short Ribs

For Valentine's Day dinner I thought it would be fun to switch it up a bit. I would make dinner, my husband usually does the cooking. (Thank God!) And he would make dessert. Let just say it was a match made to be...and my stomach totally agrees.
First off, I have never ever braised a thing in my life. Second, it is so easy and so tasty. Tasty also because short ribs braised in wine with whole shallots and carrots and a bunch of thyme, and parsley makes for a good show...really it does!
Oh I forgot the mushrooms! They were just like little magic after they soaked up all the goodness of the braise. 

I also forgot to mention that the short ribs were dredged in flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg and then seared in bacon fat...yes I said it bacon fat....fatty fat fat!!!

 The scene is set...

 Wine and cheese please.

 A chopped salad with mango, pear apple and pomegranate seeds.
And there she is.....oven braised short ribs over a cheesy polenta. As you can see the dog is wafting in the aromas.
And to top it all off my husband made mini pecan sour cherry sticky buns with gelato and chocolate. (He needs to bake more often.) All I can say is that this was such an easy dinner and it was so good. Glad that Valentine's Day comes once a year as my taste buds, and belly could not handle anymore!