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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Elvis bread

Legend has it that Elvis was quite fond of fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Not exactly health food and who knows if it’s even true, but it is the inspiration behind my twist on my signature banana bread (which, I’m proud to day, just brought me over $200 in fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society :)).

Peanut butter and bananas–a classic combination, right? And I must say, it’s positively marvelous in banana bread.

Peanut butter banana bread

How can you resist those swirls of peanut butter?

Elvis Bread (peanut butter banana bread)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)
  • 2/3 cup sugar (you can use regular granulated sugar or brown sugar–the latter makes this even more moist!)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (you can also substitute milk, but I highly recommend buttermilk for the texture–it makes the bread very fluffy and tender)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (I used coconut oil, but you can also use butter)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 very ripe bananas, frozen and then defrosted (the freezing and subsequent defrosting adds unbelievable moisture to this banana bread)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees and grease a regular size loaf pan (or 2-3 mini loaf pans)

In a bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon).

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, beat the sugar and oil together until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. While the mixer is running, add in the eggs, one at a time. Add the buttermilk, vanilla, and bananas. Now add the flour mixture, a third of the mixture at a time. As always, be careful not to overmix, or the bread will turn out tough!

Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts if using them, then pour half of the batter into the pan. Drop in the half of the peanut butter and swirl it around with a knife. Top with the rest of the batter, then drop in the rest of the peanut butter and again, swirl with a knife.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown, then cool on a wire rack. And then… enjoy :).

Peanut butter banana bread

Think Elvis himself would approve?

Eggcellent…

Ok, fess up–who else has a hard time peeling eggs without taking out most of the egg with those darn shells? Am I the only one?

Bueller? Bueller?

Ok, maybe it’s just me, but on the off chance that someone else finds it just as annoying as I do, here’s a video that will blow your mind (er… egg…). This better not be some parlor trick, although I will verify the next time I hard boil some eggs and report back to you.

(Coco)nuts over coconut oil

I’m baaack!!

Sorry for the brief hiatus, folks–Darth Real Life has kept me busy of late, but of course, this does not keep me from thinking/talking about food, so of course,the first chance I get to share my ramblings? I’ll take it, naturally!

So as you might have surmised from this blog post title, I have a new obsession. And my friends, I can’t recommend it enough. Two words:

Coconut Oil.

Coconut oil

Try it--you won't regret it!

I guess I should start by saying that I was reluctant to try it for a long time. For years, I’ve been reading about the benefits of it–high in antioxidants, possibly the best of the “healthy” fats, all kinds of healing properties, etc. Given my healthy eating bent, I knew I had to incorporate it into my eating somehow, but… well, I didn’t want to. Because, you see… coconut oil has a, shall we say, distinct smell, and I just couldn’t seem to get past that. It doesn’t smell bad by any means (on the contrary, it reminds me of macaroons, yum!), but the scent is pretty strong, and I figured the taste would be pretty pronounced too, which meant it would add a funky flavor to things I normally cook with oil: eggs, veggies, meats… I mean, really–the idea of eating coconut-flavored eggs over easy just didn’t sound all that appealing to me. Call me crazy.

So when I finally decided to buy a jar of it, I couldn’t even bring myself to use it in my cooking (unless it was in baking, where I felt its natural sweetness lent itself well). Instead, I used it on my face and in my hair (side note: my skin hasn’t looked this good since I was a little girl) and thought I would just get my use out of it this way.

Then I read all about expeller-pressed (also known as “refined”) coconut oil and how it had none of the coconut smell and taste, and I thought, hmm… maybe I’ll give this one a try and if it’s still not what I can tolerate, I’ll just give up on the idea of coconut oil in my foods.

Well, what do you know, it’s true! Expeller-pressed coconut oil is indeed very neutral smelling and tasting, and now it’s the oil I use exclusively in cooking. I even gave it my “ultimate” taste test: using it to cook eggs. It passed with flying colors.

So as a bonus gift for being MIA for so long, I will share my favorite omelette recipe, which I now cook with coconut oil. Give it a try when you get a chance!

Jen’s Greek Omelette (makes 1 serving)

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 oz. feta (if possible, buy the one that comes in a block, not the crumbled kind–the latter just isn’t the same in terms of flavor or texture)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven at 400 degrees.

In the meantime, heat the coconut oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat on the stove (I like cast-iron best because it’s nonstick when seasoned, and is all natural, so you don’t have to worry about any weirdo chemicals to make it nonstick). Start sautéing the onions, mushrooms, and spinach. Sprinkle with salt to soften the veggies.

While the veggies are cooking, whisk the egg and egg whites and season with salt and pepper. Crumble the feta and add to the egg mixture. Once the veggies are cooked, add to the egg mixture, then add the entire thing back into the skillet. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until the edges begin to pull away from the pan, then put in the oven to finish cooking (about 7-8 minutes).

To serve, cover the pan with a plate and flip over to plate the omelette. And voila, you’re ready to eat :). (Promise there’s no coconut taste!)

Greek omelette

No coconut-y eggs for me!