Monday, March 28, 2011

Baking Illustrated Banana Bread

I have been using the banana bread recipe in Baking Illustrated for many years now and I really enjoy it. It makes a flavourful loaf with a crispy crust that is dense yet fluffy. It is easy to make and I usually have all the ingredients on hand. Also, I like recipes that call for melted butter. I keep mine in the freezer, so it can easily be melted in a saucepan on the stove top (or in the microwave if you have one.) This recipe can also be spruced up with the addition of toasted nuts or chocolate chips. Or my personal favorite, replacing the banana with pureed pumpkin and sprinkling pumpkin seeds on top for a tasty pumpkin loaf.


2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cool
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350°F degrees. Line a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl; set aside.
  3. Whisk together the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  4. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

Banana Bread

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spicy Peanut Coconut Curry with Raita

Curry Dinner

This is a rich and satisfying curry with subtle flavours and a variety of textures. The cucumber raita balances out the spice from the Premala's masala powder and adds a fresh and savory addition to the meal. Serve on bed of your favorite rice and enjoy!

Spicy Peanut Coconut Curry with Raita
Serves 4-6



2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 carrot, diced
4 small yellow potatoes, diced
2 cups cauliflower, chopped into small segments
1 tomato, diced
1 19 fl oz can of chickpeas
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup of water
1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon Premalas Red roasted Masala Powder (from the Saskatoon Farmer's Market)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice

  1. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Saute onions, garlic, ginger, fennel seeds, and cumin seeds for a few minutes or until onions are tender.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients and cook on medium-low heat for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft
  3. Remove from heat, adjust seasoning, and serve on a bed of brown basmati rice with a side of raita.



1 cup cucumber, grated
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped

  1. Crush cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle.
  2. Mix all remaining ingredients together.
  3. Enjoy as a side dish or mix it in with your curry and enjoy!

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Sunday, March 20, 2011


This made a lot more Guacamole than I was anticipating. PD and I ate it with some nachos made on a pizza stone - something I highly recommend (the pizza stone keeps the nachos crispy and warm and the cheese helps season the stone, win win!) We also added it on top of tofu scramble made with mushrooms, onions, garlic, salsa, and peppers for a delicious spicy brunch. There was even enough left to bring over to a friends for a board game night. Next time I might use a little less red onion, sometimes I find it a little over powering. Also, 2 teaspoons of Sambal Oelek might be a little much for some tastes, it was quite spicy.


3 avocados, peeled, pitted and mashed
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
Handful of cilantro, finely chopped
1 tomato, diced
2 teaspoons Sambal Oelek chili paste
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste

  1. In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados and lemon juice. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in Sambal Oelek, cumin, and salt to taste. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor, or serve immediately.