Quest for the Best Banana Bread Gets Bewitched

We have recently seen some banana bread recipes floating about with pumpkin added to the mix. Now while that sounds totally interesting and very Halloween-y, we’re keeping our banana breads on this quest simple and pure.

Our eighth banana bread recipe on this quest came to us from Sally at Bewitching Kitchen. Now for those of you that don’t know Sally, she is an amazing cook and a bread baker extraordinaire. So you can bet we were excited to try this recipe.

Miss A was again at the ready for another banana bread baking adventure. She did a great job mashing the bananas and mixing them together with the buttermilk. 

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May I Have Seconds…Make That Thirds Please

I’m assuming from the title you can guess this is a meal that we enjoyed. We chose another Filipino recipe, Pork Estofado. Raymund at Ang Sarap has been a wonderful inspiration for our Filipino food selections. He made a version of this back in September and I was completely intrigued by cooking bananas in a pork dish.

It’s been a hectic week and we’re all fighting off colds, so no one is really running at full steam. We also wanted something that was going to be easy for a weeknight full of the kids’ activities. That’s why we opted to make a few adaptations to this dish, one of which was to make use of the slow cooker.

We started by bundling our spices and seasonings, including bay leaves, peppercorn, minced garlic and star anise in a cheesecloth.  Continue reading

Jeet?

Or in non-Rhode Island speak, have you eaten yet? Yep, it’s state night and we’re sticking with our “island” theme for the week. Okay, it’s not an actual island as Mr. N now knows, but we’ve already done Hawaii, and besides we miss New England.

As for Rhode Island, well we knew right away what meal we’d whip up for this adventure. Any guesses?

Alright, how many of you guessed Rhode Island Clam Chowder? If you did, yay! You’re right. Now, how many of you knew that Rhode Island Clam Chowder is not a red chowder, not a white chowder, but traditionally a clear broth chowder? That’s right, tourists often go for and favor the traditional New England white clam chowders, but Rhode Islanders can be found digging in on a version that puts the clams center stage.

Now a true Rhode Island Clam Chowder uses quahogs, but we couldn’t find any so we’re making due with chopped canned clams in clam juice. Continue reading

Livin’ on Island Time

I mentioned in our last post that Mr. N is studying landforms in school. This weekend he had to put together a model of his chosen landform. Knowing that most of the kids would likely choose a volcano, Mr. N did the next best thing, an island – with a volcano.

And with islands on his mind, he also knew that he wanted to pick a “piece of land with water on all sides” for his next international cooking selection. Now when Mike and I think islands we think of the Bahamas, Hawaii, French Polynesia… Mr. N however surprised us with a country that’s not just one island, but one that’s home to 94 million people and comprised of 7,107 islands – the Philippines.

A quick search of Filipino cuisine and it was clear that Chicken Adobo is a popular recipe and was going to be our first selection. Raymund at Ang Sarap has a great explanation/history of Adobo here as well as a number of other delicious Filipino recipes. You can bet we’ll be reading up on several of his recipes these next few weeks.

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Pear-ific

Since we’re enjoying our pears around here, we thought we’d share this one before we head off to Mr. N’s new international destination. It doesn’t really fit with any particular region or state; although we did use our Canadian Ice Syrup again. Not to worry if you don’t have any, maple syrup will do the trick. We’re calling these Grilled Pears with Iced Mascarpone.

Start with some Bosc pears, slice them in half, scoop out the core and remove the stem. 

Next it’s time to poach the pears. We used a combination of water, white wine, vanilla, lemon juice and sugar for our pears. We first dissolved the sugar before adding the pears to the liquid. Continue reading

Don’t Try This at Home

It’s our last night of Welsh cuisine, for this little stint at least, and you know what that means. It’s dessert time! We came across the recipe for an apple pastry in our Welsh cookbook. The description reads, “Although traditionally cooked on a griddle…this apple pie can be baked in the oven.” But that’s like a dare isn’t it?! At least it was to us, we weren’t about to bake this in the oven. We all know apple pies are fabulous in the oven, and we’re no strangers to them around here, but an apple pie on a griddle?? That’s a new one.

We began our Apple Skillet Pie by whipping up our all butter, double pie crust (the same one we used for our blueberry pie this summer). Then we mixed up our standard apple pie filling. This time we used a combo of Granny Smith apples and McIntosh apples.

We then tossed in some white sugar, dark brown sugar, lemon juice, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and a tiny pinch of ground cloves. Continue reading