Saturday, February 27, 2016

Yummy Banana Cake

At a recent get-together with my college buds, they asked me if I had a banana cake recipe - cake, not bread...

Of course I do!!!  And here it is...

Mix together ½ teaspoon apple pie spice, 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ tablespoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt.  Set aside.

Beat ¾ to 1 cup muscovado sugar and ½ cup softened butter.  (I usually use about 2/3 cup of sugar especially when I know my bananas are really sweet.)  Add 3 jumbo (XXL) eggs and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Mix well. Stir in ½ cup yogurt and 1¼ cups very ripe mashed bananas; the mixture will look curdled.  Stir in flour mixture into the wet batter.

Fold in ½ to 1 cup chocolate chips, raisins, or nuts, or a mix of mix-ins. (I usually use ½ cup chocolate chips.  If using raisins, soak in about ¼ cup rum for 15 minutes then micro 3 times in 25-second bursts.  Drain excess liquid.  Cool to room temperature.)

Spoon the batter into greased and lined baking pan/s.  If you have extra bananas, slice them into rounds and arrange on top of the cake.  (I have been known to top the cake with chopped Reese cups, as well as chocolate chip cookie crumbs!)

Bake at 350F, until a tester comes out clean:

8 or 9-inch round pan, 8-inch square pan, or 11x7-in rectangle pan, approximately 40 to 50 minutes
8x4 loaf pan, approximately 45 to 55 minutes
20 to 24 cupcakes, approximately 18 to 22 minutes
14 to 18 muffins, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Pho Ga

Pardon the color of my picture, I'm not sure what happened...

but this was my attempt to make pho...

I basically followed this recipe although I did not have shrimps so I used squid balls instead...

Hubby's comment was "Not bad".  Personally I think it needs more work!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

"Benedict Muffinbach"

Friend T has christened this -

Benedict Muffinbach.  I suppose the inspiration came from it being similar to Eggs Benedict, but that it is radically not... combined with a wonderful play on the name of a favorite British actor playing the character of Sherlock Holmes.

But, yes, it is a variation on the same theme... something on top of an English muffin!

This time, I got inspiration from one of the breakfast items of my favorite coffee and tea cafe... Salmon Scramble... although their version is on a rosemary focaccia.

Toast an English muffin and spread lots of cream cheese over the top.  Layer on 2 to 3 pieces of smoked salmon (or as many as you like!) then top with scrambled eggs.  Drizzle dill sauce over and sprinkle cayenne pepper on top.

Enjoy!  Hubby sure did!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Eggs Benedict... Not!

I had it all planned. I was going to make Eggs Benedict for breakfast. According to Wikipedia, Eggs Benedict "is an American brunch or breakfast dish that consists of two halves of an English muffin each of which is topped with Canadian bacon – or sometimes ham or bacon – a poached egg; and hollandaise sauce".  My first try to make poached egg was dismal... worse, I forgot to buy ham, I only had chicken ham.  Long story short, I gave up the original plan.  But I already had the muffins, the chicken ham and egg... I did the next best thing.  I made a look-alike...

I toasted the muffins and spread some cream cheese on them.  The chicken slices were next then a slice of sandwich cheese.  A fried egg with a runny yolk and another one over easy went over the cheese.  And a sprinkling of cayenne pepper on the eggs.

The dish looked naked and not quite a look-alike but I did not particularly want to make Hollandaise sauce!  In the end I mixed some mayonnaise with a little mustard, some lemon juice, a pinch of dried dill and some salt to make a sauce.  And for good measure, I added coleslaw too!  Here's what my look-alike looks like...


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Quick Brined Chicken

Roast (or turbo) chicken was never a favorite.  Mainly because they were mostly dry, tough and flavorless.  But once I learned the secret, it has become an easy meal!

The secret is brining!  And I followed Ruhlman's instructions.  I mainly do the quick brine method and I end up with moist, flavorful chicken!

Well, ok the process is not that fast (I did say easy, not fast) but the procedure is mainly waiting time... and the pay-off is really great!