Sunday, October 4, 2015

Red Lentils and Spinach in Masala Sauce

It's been a cold and rainy weekend here so far - fall has definitely arrived. With the falling temperatures and the cloudy skies I have been craving warm and comforting foods. This recipe for red lentils in a masala sauce fits the bill perfectly. Tender red lentils in a thick and spicy tomato sauce finished off with spinach, cilantro and coconut milk. This may not be your traditional fall dish, but why not give something new a try. It's healthy and delicious, perfect for curling up on the couch with and listening to the rain falling. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sweet Honey Cornbread

It's been officially fall now for about a week. This is always a bittersweet time for me. I love summer, and I'm sad to see it go, but I do also love watching the changing seasons. My least favorite part of this time of year is the cooler weather because I am pretty much cold all the time, so it only gets worse as winter comes. However, one of my favorite parts of fall is the warm, comforting foods, the soups, stews and braises, the pumpkin bars and other tasty fall treats. These can help warm me up on a cold fall or winter night.
One of my favorite cooler weather dishes is chili, and what goes better with chili than some delicious corn bread. Corn bread is one of my favorite quick breads, I really need to make it more often! I'm partial to a sweeter and richer cornbread. For anyone who likes a coarser, Southern style cornbread this probably won't be what you're looking for, but for me it is perfect. Nice and moist due to a good amount of butter as well as some buttermilk, and sweetened with a little honey mixed with some brown sugar. It's the perfect combination in my opinion, perfect for the cooler fall weather, or anytime really!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Cinnamon Swirl Sourdough

There is almost nothing better than the smell of cinnamon and sugar and yeasty goodness spilling from the kitchen. It is comforting and warming, so delicious, making my mouth water every time. I recently came across this recipe for cinnamon swirl bread that uses some sourdough starter as well. Since I'm always looking for new things to do with my starter, and cinnamon bread is one of my favorite things of all time, giving this recipe a try was a no brainer. I was not disappointed. The crumb is tender and soft, buttery with a hint of sweet. A fragrant cinnamon sugar filling is rolled up inside this delicious package. A recipe to come back to for sure. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Buttery Vanilla Birthday Cake

When I think birthdays, I think 2 things; presents and cake!! Two of my favorite things! I don't think I have to say anything about presents, but I do have something to say about cake. I. Love. Cake. I know I've said it before, but I am going to state it again. I truly cannot understand anyone who says they don't like cake. I find this hard to believe. I do believe that some people have never tried a really good cake, or that some people find cake too sweet or too rich to eat much more than a bite or two. But to say they actually don't like a spectacular fresh, homemade cake, never! 

Anyway, it's my birthday today, so I had to share my birthday cake. I love making layered cakes, so my birthday is the perfect time for me to pull out the cake pans and bake myself my favorite thing. While I love all cakes, I am partial to a simple, buttery white cake with a simple American buttercream, and if it's pink, even better! 

Regardless of how anyone else feels about cake, to me this one is a winner! Enjoy!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mexican Salsa Verde

I love a good sauce. Regardless of what I'm eating, it is always better with some kind of sauce or spread to liven things up a little and add some more flavor and complexity to the food. A couple of weeks ago, while I was perusing the farmer's market, a beautiful basket of tomatillos caught my eye. I had made salsa verde once before, and knew that I really enjoyed it, but I couldn't exactly remember what it was like, so I knew I had to try it again. I went to one of my favorite sauce books and, with a little adjustment for the ingredients I had, blitzed together this fresh and delicious sauce. It turned out so good; tart with just the right amount of heat, slightly warmed with a bit of cumin and packed with more flavor from the cilantro. This simple sauce is so easy to throw together, and turns out a real winner, perfect for everything from meat, to fish, to eggs, to a big bowl of chips, or simply for downing by the spoonful straight from the bowl!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

I had three very black bananas on my counter a few days ago that needed to be used. So when this banana oatmeal bar popped up on one of my recipe searches and called for 3-4 bananas, I knew what I needed to do. It was the perfect way to use those bananas up and provide me with a breakfast treat for the upcoming week. I love killing two birds with one stone! 

Another bonus; these bars are pretty healthy. Most of sugar comes from the bananas, with the addition of just a bit of brown sugar for a little extra sweetness. There is actually no wheat flour in these bars either, just oat flour that I made in my food processor. Chocolate chips and a few walnuts added in bring the whole thing together into a tasty and hearty bar. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Cinnamon Sugar Whole Wheat Banana Bread

I don't know about you, but in my opinion there is no such thing as too many banana bread recipes. I've made so many different recipes over the past few years (banana oat bread anyone? How about buttermilk banana bread, or Greek yogurt banana bread? And don't forget about sour cream banana bread or banana chocolate chip breakfast cake!) and I haven't ever been disappointed. There are a few key points to keep in mind however. First is don't over bake!! This is key. There is almost nothing as disappointing as a dry slice of banana bread. And second, don't start with a poor recipe. This one may not be as easy figure out, but if your new recipe is fat free, gluten free, dairy free or in some other way flavor free there is probably no way to salvage it. I'm not saying you can't find a good gluten free (or whatever free) banana bread recipe, but you have to be a little more careful when picking a recipe. 

This cinnamon sugar banana bread recipe is the newest addition to my banana bread recipe collection and it certainly does not disappoint! It's full of oat-y goodness from some ground up oats that combine with whole wheat flour to produce a wonderfully chewy and hearty loaf. Some brown sugar adds a nice hint of molasses and a little butter adds richness. I decided to spice it up a little by adding a sweet cinnamon sugar swirl to the center of this loaf. It added a sweet and delicious surprise that really elevates this recipe to the next level. Another winner to add to your banana bread repertoire!