Friday, December 24, 2010

Banana Crumb Muffins

Tender muffins made with bananas. A sweet crumb top. I want to take these muffins on a picnic. I want to alternate taking bites of muffin and taking sips of black coffee.

Bananas, why are you so yummy? Why are you so yummy in baked goods, in smoothies, in pancakes, with peanut butter?

Bananas, why do you sometimes attract little fruit flies? Why do the flies love you so?

Banana Crumb Muffins
from pipandebby

serves 12


1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 large ripened bananas, mashed
3⁄4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted

Crumb top:
2/3 cup packed (light or golden) brown sugar
4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.

2. In a large bowl, mix together 11⁄2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and 1/3 cup melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 4 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Pour in the butter, one tablespoon at a time, just until moistened. It will resemble coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chocolate Truffles: 5th Avenue Chocolatiere New York


5th Avenue Chocolatiere

693 Third Avenue at 43rd Street
New York, NY 10017
(212) 935-5454

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oh Cappuccino, You Have My Heart

I'm in bed at 10pm on a rainy Tuesday night.
I'm already fantasizing about waking up tomorrow.
I'm fantasizing about sipping my morning cup of coffee.

I like strong coffee. I like Americanos. But on a day when I need a little extra love and joy, I go for a cappuccino. Oh cappuccino, you have my heart.

Caffe Strada
2300 College Ave
(between Bancroft Way & Durant Ave)
Berkeley, CA 94704

Saturday, December 18, 2010

R.I.P. Purple Pumpkin, HELLO Pumpkin Mac n' Cheese

So we've had this ridged purple pumpkin living with us since October. Today was the day that I transformed our dear purple pumpkin into some precious puree.



This dear purple pumpkin made a TON of puree.

The 1/2 cup of puree that I used tonight in my pumpkin mac n' cheese barely made a dent in the sea of puree that is left.

But the mac n' cheese sure was thick, creamy, and...bright orange!

Pumpkin Mac n' Cheese


What you'll need . . .
  • 1-1/2 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour (any kind will work, I used all-purpose)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup pureed garbanzo beans (or hummus, or cream cheese...I used cream cheese)
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • OPTIONAL: flaky sea salt, breadcrumbs, fried sage/rosemary
Method . . .
  1. Cook the pasta to the package directions.
  2. While you wait for it to finish: Spray the inside of a large sauce-pot with the cooking spray. Pour the olive oil into a large sauce-pot and cook over medium heat. Then stir in the flour and keep stirring until the mixture is thick -- but not browned. (About 1 minute)
  3. Add the milk and stir constantly for about 3 minutes or so. Until thick.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree, cheese, and pureed garbanzo beans (or hummus, or cream cheese)(to puree the garbanzos, just rise a can of beans, put in a food processor with a couple tablespoons water, pulse until smooth -- like hummus), paprika, and pepper. Stir until everything is melted. Add more seasonings to taste.
  5. When you pasta is done, just drain and add to the cheese mixture. Stir for a minute or two, then turn off the heat and serve.
  6. Adding some flaky sea salt, breadcrumbs and/or fried sage or rosemary gives this dish a leg up.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Toast and Coffee: Ahh, the Simple Enjoyment of Eating

Toast. Butter. Nectarine Jam.

A strong smooth Americano.

The simple enjoyment of eating.

It feels great to start the morning off on the right foot.

Pizzaiolo Oakland

5008 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
Tel: (510) 652-4888

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cheesy-Veggie Pie, with Salami, held together by Eggs and a Splash of Milk

Quiche? Frittata? Cheesy-veggie pie, with salami, held together by eggs and a splash of milk.

Whatever its called, its easy, I made it up, its healthy, its got pie crust.

And it's great leftover the next day.

Cheesy-Veggie Pie, with Salami, held together by Eggs and a Splash of Milk

1 recipe for pie crust
1 head of broccoli, cut into tiny bites
1 zucchini, sliced thin
8 slices salami
Cheddar cheese + this other amazing Spanish cheese that I had, too
6 eggs
splash of milk
salt and pepper

1. Make you crust. Refrigerate. Roll it out. Place into a pie plate or tart pan lined with parchment. Pre-bake your crust in a 400 degree F oven until just lightly colored, about 15-20 min.

2. Take your zucchini and salami and place along the bottom of the tart pan. Whisk together your broccoli, cheeses, and eggs with a splash of milk and salt and pepper. Pour into the tart pan over the salami and zucchini. Bake until done, about 30 min.

3. Let cool for about 5 minutes. Serve.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Minestrone Soup

Yesterday I bawled my eyes out.

Amongst many other pressing stress issues going on in my life, one of the reasons I was crying was due to a lack of vegetables.

No joke and this is not pathetic; eating my vegetable variety is integral to my sanity.

I was unsatisfied with my eating habits for the week and it really hit me hard.

All week I was imagining a huge box of fresh vegetables just somehow appearing on my counter top so that I could make bounties of veggie stir-fries and veggie roasts and veggie soups. Unfortunately the vegetable gods did not hear my today I sucked it up and went to the store (aka today I made the time to go to the store).

I cooked up a HUGE pot of minestrone soup so that I could be eating leftovers for days. Take that, tears.

Break some bread, grate some Parm, and slurp some soup. It'll calm you down.

Minestrone Soup

10 servings
from Cooking on the Side

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced on the bias
2 small zucchini, trimmed and sliced into rounds
32 oz broth
2 cans (14.5 oz each) petite diced tomatoes, with juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
freshly ground black pepper
10-12 oz macaroni, uncooked
1 can (15.8 oz) white beans, rinsed and drained

1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots, and zucchini and cook for 4-5 minutes, until veggies are soft-ish.

2. Add broth, tomatoes, oregano, basil, and pepper. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook for 8-10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in the white beans until heated through.

3. Ladle into bowls and serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and rustic bread.