Monthly Archives: March 2012

Banana Crumb Muffins

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Banana crumb muffins.. It’s like banana bread hopped into a muffin pan and covered itself in brown sugary goodness.

Yes, that’s exactly what banana crumb muffins are like. On Monday, Georgia and I decided to beat the Monday blues by whipping up a batch of her favorite muffins. Originally, she had planned on making them Monday morning before school. We all knew how that would turn out, so instead we made them in the afternoon.

Though, the recipe is pretty easy and takes almost no time, so you could theoretically make them in the morning before school/work/whatever. Or, you could just sleep, which is also cool.

I’m not even going to tell you how many of these babies we ate. They are THAT good. I highly recommend you make them right now. Or tomorrow morning, if you’re crazy like that. And don’t forget the crumb topping. It’s necessary.

Banana Crumb Muffins
From allrecipes.com

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease or line 12 muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a smaller bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until the batter is moistened.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle the topping over muffins.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

The Hunger Games Feast

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Hi all! Today we present to you a feast inspired by the recent release of one of our favorite book-turned-movies, The Hunger Games. If you haven’t heard of this book and/or film, you probably have been living in a cave  (not unlike the one Katniss and Peeta take refuge in) for the past few weeks. If this is the case, I highly suggest you get off your derrieres, go to your nearest bookseller, and read it NOW. Then go see the movie. Both are phenomenal. I cried. Four times.

ANYWAY. Before going off to the movie on Friday, Caty and I (along with our wonderful friend and fellow chef Sophie) decided to cook a meal that could, arguably, be something the characters in The Hunger Games could eat. We concocted a mainly produce-based meal: Carrot soup, blackberry sauce with goat cheese (like Prim’s!) and caramelized apples. It was delectable, and actually pretty healthy, all things considered. The soup was creamy and garlicky, the apples sticky-sweet, the blackberry sauce rich with flavor. Tell me that doesn’t sound good.

Our ideas came from fictionalfood.net.

So, without further ado, here are our recipes:

Carrot Soup (slightly adapted from cookingnook.com)

3 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cups carrots, sliced
1 potato, peeled and diced
12 oz vegetable broth
1 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
Ginger
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Sauté garlic and onion in butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots and potato, stir to coat. Add broth, water, ginger, salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, over medium heat for 15 minutes until vegetables are well cooked. Add extra broth if the soup is too thick.

2. Purée the soup in batches using a blender, immersion blender or food processor until it is smooth. Pour the soup back into saucepan and serve.

Blackberry Sauce: Melt 1 tablespoon butter and 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add blackberries, cook for about 5 minutes. Serve over toasted whole-grain bread with goat cheese.

Caramelized Apples: Melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or measure to taste.) Dice apples and simmer, turning until they are evenly coated with butter/sugar mixture. Cook until soft and caramelized. Serve á la mode.

May the odds be EVER in your flavor.

Berry Pi

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Happy Pi Day! In honor of everyone’s favorite irrational number (and because Caty and I need to find some way to make calculus class less dull) we have concocted some little treats for you all to enjoy. Pi-shaped dough on top not required. We used some frozen berries (the strawberries were actually Schnack-garden-grown, and were delicious) to make our mini pastries, and they came out awfully cute. So, celebrate Pi Day! Any excuse for dessert.

Berry Pi

Filling

Mix together: 1 cup blueberries (or strawberries)
1/2 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (not for strawberries)

Crust

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup ice water

  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour with the salt. Add the butter and pulse until the size of peas. Drizzle in the water and pulse until the crumbs are moistened; turn out onto a work surface. Gather into a ball, flatten, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness or less and line ramekins or pie tins with it. You may want to prebake the crust for ten minutes or so, so it doesn’t get soggy when you add the filling.
  3. Fill with berry mixture, bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
  4. Consume 3.14159

Guacamole Grilled Cheese

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Hello, friends!

I would just like to quickly share the grilled cheese I just made. Guacamole grilled cheese: made with cheddar cheese, guacamole, caramelized onions and tomatoes on whole grain bread. It’s SO good. If you have an avocado and cheese in your fridge right now, please please make this. You won’t regret it, I promise.

It’s still Meatless March, so look out for more vegetarian recipes coming your way very soon! (For those of you who are still carnivorous–I bet this sandwich would be absolutely delicious with the addition of bacon or turkey. Or both!)

For those of you who like to follow recipes, here’s the preparation:

  1. Heat sliced onions and sliced grape tomatoes in olive oil in a cast-iron skillet until lightly browned
  2. Top 1 piece of whole-grain bread with 2 tablespoons of guacamole, shredded cheddar cheese, the onions and tomatoes
  3. Cover with the second piece of bread and heat on the skillet until brown on each side, flipping occasionally

Rotini with Arugula Pesto and Roasted Peppers

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Hello there! Caty and I are celebrating Meatless March, our month-long endeavor into vegetarianism. To welcome March in with some delicious veggies, Caty and I decided to make our own arugula pesto, a sauce surprisingly simple and delightfully delectable. It was easy to make, and homemade pesto is infinitely more yummy than the store-bought alternative. A tip I’ve learned for the perpetually busy? Make enormous amounts of pesto, freeze in ice cube trays, and pop out when needed for dinner in a pinch.

Arugula Pesto
adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything

2 cups arugula, well washed and dried
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons walnuts or pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup olive oil

  1. Remove any tough stems from the arugula. Place it in a food processor or blender with the garlic, nuts, salt, and about 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2. Add 1/4 cup olive oil and pulse a few times. With the motor running, add additional olive oil to make a creamy sauce, stopping the machine occasionally to scrape down the sides if necessary.

We served it with rotini pasta and roasted red bell peppers (place on a cookie sheet, add some olive oil, and broil until soft) for an early, scrumptious dinner. Enjoy!