Sunday, July 18, 2010

Banana Walnut Bread

For some unknown reason....I kept thinking of banana bread. It kept running in my head and I knew that I had to bake it.

Banana bread is easy and fast to bake. It is basically a "quick bread" which is bread prepared with leavening such as baking soda or powder, rather than yeast. As a result, the bread does not have a long proofing and rising time, like yeast breads.

I used a recipe from Joyofbaking which is currently my favourite website for bakes
1 cup (115 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
1 3/4 cups (230 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 ripe large bananas (approximately 1 pound or 454 grams), mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place oven rack to middle position.

2. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan. Set aside.
( I used an 8 inch... my bread raised way too high because the loaf pan was too small)
3. Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

4. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside.

5. In a medium-sized bowl combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.

6. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. (Do not over mix the batter. Over mixing the batter will yield tough, rubbery bread.)

7. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Soba Salad with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I have a "Vajajay potluck" this evening. One of the girls moved to a new house and invited us to a potluck party.

Took me a while to decide what to bring as some of the girls are vegans.. no diary product and meat. It is hard to find a recipe that does not use diary eggs, no butter, no milk.

I finally decided on to a soba salad with spicy peanut sauce. This is an adaptation from a recipe 101 cookbook
My version :
1 package soba noodles
(or any other vegetables)

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup soya sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp of cannye pepper ( more if you like it spicy)
1 cup hotwater ( less if you like it thicker

1 small bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced
1 small bunch of parsley
1/2 cup peanuts ( roasted and unsalted)


1. Bring a large pot to boil. Boil the soba according to package instruction
2. Remove and run under cold water
3 Boil the broccoli and carrot ( or any other vegetables)
4. Set aside

1. Combine the ingredient and whisk till smooth
2. Add water to achieve the consistency you prefer

Gently toss the noodles and the vegetables with the dressing and sprinkle withe the garnish
Chill for one hour prior to serving. ( You can also serve this at room temperature)