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Posts Tagged ‘food’

banana bread no refined sugar

I pulled out my BH&G cookbook for the base recipe for banana bread, then put my spin on it.  An acquaintance once asked if I bake without refined sugar, well this is the first way I can implement coconut sugar successfully without the kids noticing.  It’s moist and has a tender crumb, exactly what good banana bread should be.  While I can’t ingest nuts, I’m sure they would make a swell addition.

 

  • 2 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Combine the dry ingredients, including the spices and stir with a whisk.  Set aside.

Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Pour the wet into the dry bowl.  Stir and fold the mixture until the flour is incorporated.  Do not over mix.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 35-55 minutes.  A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.

Immediately remove from the pan and paper to a cooling rack.  Wrap leftovers in plastic, it should keep for up to 3 days at room temperature.

 

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I saw a post on In Search of Bees blog about making dairy-free ice cream.  I’m in the middle of trying to convince Hubby that I want need must have an ice cream maker.  The Thai Tea Ice Cream sounded so good that I had to start experimenting, ice cream machine or not.

The recipe is only three ingredients: coconut milk, tea, sugar.  How could this go wrong, I thought.

Oh, but it did…

The can of coconut milk was not milk at all.  I read the label again after opening the can and seeing something that resembled hair gel.  Coconut Cream?  It didn’t look like cream of any sort!  It was sweet and thick, and the can was already open, so I kept going.

I have a box of Indian Chai in the cupboard waiting to be brewed, steeped and enjoyed.  I made a sachet for the chai and put in the pot of simmering coconut cream.  Nothing happened, there was not a hint of diffusion of the dark spicy tea out to the coconut.  The cream was too thick and did not let any flavour out of the bag.  I opened the stupid bag and poured the chai into the pot.  There.  Now do something!

Instantly you could smell the chai and coconut.  How the heck am I going to get the tea out now?!?  A sieve might work.  Cupboards, drawers, nooks, and crannies did not possess the one tool I needed desperately, and right now.  I only have one wire strainer that was to be my sieve for this experiment, and it’s lost.  So much for mise en place, eh?

I turned to the closest thing in my kitchen with small holes: my cheese grater.  It wasn’t perfect but it managed to catch the bigger clumps of chai as the auburn coconut cream cascaded over it into a bowl.  There’s still chai bits in the bowl.  I picked out the chai, painstakingly, one little piece of crud at a time.  What did remain would stay in the ice cream.

The sticky chai coconut caramel mixture was poured into a freezer bag and plopped into the freezer.  I went to sleep.

This morning I checked on the chai “ice cream”.  It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t look frozen.  I’m afraid to taste it now.  In the spirit of experimentation, I tried it.  It has a caramel overtone and a heavy sweetness, too sweet to be consumed alone.  So I made coffee…

The coffee with the failed ice cream wasn’t all together unpleasant, still on the sweet side though.  Let’s call it the ice-coffee-coconut-chai-escape.  The kids seemed to like this concoction more than I did.

Lesson for today:  coconut cream is not the same as coconut milk.

To-do list: Buy coconut milk and a wire mesh strainer.  Don’t forget the ice cream maker.

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spicy sweet potato kale

I threw together this dish using a few ingredients I had on hand.  Simple. Spicy. Earthy.

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 baked sweet potato, skin removed and cubed
  • 2 large handfuls of shredded kale, spines removed and washed before shredding
  • chili powder
  • ginger powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sesame seeds

Heat the oil in a skillet.  Add the sweet potato cubes and kale.  Add the spices to your taste, I just put a few dashes of each, enough to dust the surface of the vegetables.  Hold off on the salt until the kale it wilted and crispy.  Add the sesame seeds to an empty corner of the pan to toast lightly before stirring into the kale and potato.  Plate immediately.  I had also fried courgettes in the same pan to eat along with the kale and sweet potatoes.

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Local Lovelies: Persimmons

local texas persimmon greenling.com

Second only to peaches, persimmons are my favorite local fruit.  Find them at farm stands or CSA boxes in the fall.

local texas persimmon greenling.comLittle Sister devoured more than her allotment!  Big Brother was on the fence but liked the few slices he tried.  You can taste the sunshine in these orbs, slightly sweet with a hint of diluted apricot.  I’ll be hunting for persimmon trees (if I can manage to keep it alive long enough to bear fruit!).

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2011-10 lemon poppy loaf 2

We were at a friend’s house this weekend to celebrate Mike’s birthday.  Friend of friend Sam made Avgolemono for everyone.  She graciously allowed me to share her recipe for this lemon egg soup, which was amazingly tangy and silky. A flavorful soup is one that takes time, love and affection. Like raising a child, you have to watch it carefully, give enough to keep it going, and know when it’s time to let go. A poignant analogy as many parents I know have let their chicks out of the nest to join the collective (a.k.a. college). My aunt is probably freaking out right about now as my youngest cousin begins his college career. Boy, do I feel old saying that!

Anyways, on to the soup!

Sam described creating the foundation of the soup with a homemade chicken stock. You can find posts here and here which discuss stock. For this soup, a simple mirepoix and a roasted chicken will suffice. Over a period of 8 hours, the stock should be watched, more water added as needed to extract every bit of chicken flavor from the carcass of a lemon-rosemary roasted bird. Keep the breast meat aside, but everything else can be used for stock. If you don’t have all day to make soup, you’re forgiven, go ahead and use the box or cubes instead. You’ll need 10-12 cups of stock. This will make 8-10 servings, depending how hungry y’all are.

Add shredded breast meat to the stock. Simmer while you work on the next step.

Get 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 10 lemons), less if you’re making less soup.

Separate 6 eggs. Set aside the whites (make a lemon meringue pie or something!). Whisk the yolks then add small amounts of stock from the soup to temper the eggs.

Add the lemon juice to the tempered yolks while whisking.

Turn the temperature down to a bare simmer. Slowly incorporate the yolks into the soup. Adjust the salt if needed.

OPTION: For people who can eat gluten, some cooked orzo may be added to this soup. Sam left it separate from the soup so everyone could choose to add some (or not) to their respective bowls. You can cook the pasta in the stock for 10 minutes before adding the chicken meat as well.

Thanks Sam for sharing your soup!

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On the hunt for peppers on your burger?  I found three around town and I’ll tell you which one was my favorite.

First up is the Oasis Hatch Chili Burger.

oasis hatch chili burger texas

The Oasis

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The bun was big and dry, the burger was dry too.  Come for the views of Lake Travis (and yes there was water in there), however the incredibly slow service may irritate you.

Second were the Hatch Green Chili Sliders I found at Round Rock Market Days.

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Hatch Green Chili Truck

These little babies had a creamy sauce and juicy slider patties, topped with roasted hatch chili peppers.  Perfect quick lunch while on the go at the market!  Saw the Rockin’ City Rollergirls there too.

The last one I want to share with you is a Poblano Burger from Louisiana Longhorn Café in Round Rock.

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Louisiana Longhorn Café

Louisiana Longhorn Café

The Poblano Burger was on the special menu, and it was loaded with toppings.  The Cajun fries were tasty but a little greasy.  It had fresh pico de gallo and avocado to compliment the peppers.  All held together with cheese!  Our server brought out a pitcher of ice tea, none of that annoying tea to sweetener ratio control required, you can refill at your own pace.  The décor was full of purple and gold (LSU), mirrors, and odds and ends.

Even though I enjoyed the Poblano Burger with the added avocado, I have to say my favorite pepper burger was the Green Hatch Chili Truck’s hatch sliders.  It’s great to see a few trucks around Round Rock after the Trailer Park went vacant this summer.  Sucks to lose a spot to hang out with the dog and kids, while eating a variety of foods.  I hope to find the Green Chili truck again!

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