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Archive for the ‘Breakfast and Brunch’ Category

This weekend I decided to tackle the growing collection of frost in the freezer. At the back of the freezer, long forgotten about, I found two ripe bananas which I had been saving for banana bread. Since it was a lovely fall weekend, I thought some baking was in order.

This recipe is based on Quick Banana Bread from The Joy of Cooking with a few modifications. When my brother and I were growing up, the Joy was one of our favourite cookbooks. With instructions on how to skin a squirrel and recipes that make 200 cookies, the Joy is sure to be a hit with young chefs. We would pore over it for hours before deciding to make some obscure cookies, candies or a cake. Mom never questioned our choices and was always supportive of our efforts, even when we really did make 200 German Honey cookies.

This recipe requires less cooking time than many others I have seen and is very easy. Enjoy it while it cooks and fills the house with a wonderful aroma, hot out of the oven with butter melting on it or the next day for breakfast (if there’s any left!)


Banana Bread

Preparation time: 15 mins + 45-60 mins cooking time.
Makes one loaf.

1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup brown sugar
Grated rind of one lemon

2 beaten eggs
1 to 1 1/4 cups of ripe banana pulp

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.

1. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

2. Blend the butter, sugar and lemon rind in a large mixing bowl until creamy.

3. Beat the eggs and banana pulp into the butter and sugar mixture.

4. Add the sifted ingredients to the sugar mixture in 3 parts, beating until smooth after each addition.

5. Fold in the walnuts.

6. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.

Bake for 45 – 60 mins until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool slightly before sneaking the first hot slice.

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Apologies.. it has been a long time since I’ve written a new post. I’ve been busy finishing up my PhD and unsurprisingly didn’t have any spare writing time. I’ve now pretty much finished it and have started work full-time. I’m planning to return to my blogging and enjoy cooking again. Earlier this week I had a craving for blueberry muffins so on Friday I bought some blueberries on my way to work and today I made some yummy blueberry muffins. I used the site NutritionData.com to calculate the nutritional information which I must admit was much worse than I had thought. I did use reduced-fat butter so the numbers should probably be a bit less than those quoted for my muffins. Feel free to use margarine or other reduced fat spread.


Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12 muffins.

Blueberry Muffins

1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pans or use paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix in.

3. Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture, alternating with milk. Mash 1/2 cup berries and stir into batter. Fold in remaining berries.

4. Fill muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and wait 5 minutes to remove from pans.

Per Muffin: 222 kcals, 9g fat(5g saturated), 4g protein, 36g carbs, 718g sugar, 0.6g salt.

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I was feeling particularly hungry this morning so I decided to make kasha for breakfast. Kasha has been a part of Eastern European cuisine for many centuries, although in Slavic languages it refers to a porridge made not only from the buckwheat groats used here, but a whole family of porridges made from wheat, buckwheat, oats, millet, rice, potatoes, etc.
This is another recipe rom my mom’s cookbook and it reminds me of her.


Breakfast Kasha

Breakfast of the giants on the Russian steppes. A very complex carb!

1 C kasha (toasted buckwheat groats)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 1/2 C boiling water
1 C raisins (opt.)
2 bananas, sliced (opt.)

1. Mix dry measured kasha with beaten egg in a saucepan. Bring water to a boil in kettle and add to pot. Add fruit if using.

2. Bring to a boil on medium-high. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 20 minutes. If it is too hot use a diffuser or waffle to keep it from boiling over.

This is enough for 2 breakfasts. Refrigerate half (well-covered) for the day after tomorrow or find someone to share it with.

Cover with milk and brown sugar or maple syrup or honey, etc.

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Except for my dad’s crepes, this yummy pancake from my mom’s cookbook is my favourite weekend breakfast.


Swedish Puffed Pancake

Serves 4 (or 2 hungry).

Mix this up in a few minutes. While it is baking, go and have a long hot shower or go for a quick run.

Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.

Fresh out of the oven

Sift together:

1 1/2 C flour
3 TB sugar
1 tsp salt

Beat together:

5 eggs
3 cups milk

Stir wet into dry. Beat until smooth.

Heat 2 TB olive oil in a large glass or other oven-proof pan by putting it in a pre-heated oven for 5 minutes. Take hot pan out of oven and quickly pour batter in and return it to oven. Bake 30 to 45 minutes or until puffed and golden.

Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon.

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