Bananarama

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Since moving into our new wee house all I have wanted to do is stay home and bake and paint. Our house is so fun! Theres a lawn and so much space in the kitchen and its easy to clean up! Our first week here we felt like we were on vacation and we’d have to go back to the trailer at any minute. I love this little place.

Anyway, the two things I have been wanting to bake the most is blueberry pie (donezo) and my favourite banana bread. Its not exactly the healthiest version of the after school snack but it is so quick, super moist and gets even better the longer it sits. It is an absolute assassin with some salty butter on top.

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My Favourite Banana Bread

Yield: 1 8×8 pan or 1 large loaf
Time: 45 minutes start to finish
Cost: <$5

2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
salt

2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup oil
dash of vanilla
8 ripe bananas
2 tbsps sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350F and line your pan with parchment paper.

Mash bananas and sour cream together.

Mix dry ingredients together.

Beat sugar and eggs together for 10 minutes on medium speed. Drizzle in oil. Mix in walnuts, banana and creme fraiche. Fold in dry ingredients. Pour into pan.

Bake about 30 minutes. Longer if you are baking in a loaf pan.

Wait til it cools completely and eat with salty butter!

 

 

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Orange Espresso Date Squares

Orange Espresso Date Squares

Yield: 24 bars
Time: 45 minutes
Cost: <$10

Oat Crumble:

2 1/2 cups flour
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
360g melted butter (3/4 lb)

Stir dry ingredients together. Add melted and cooled butter and stir to combine.

Date Filling:
1 kg dried, pitted dates
1 c up brown sugar
1 tsp alt
4 shots of espresso, or 1 cup of strong brewed coffee
1 orange, juice and zest
6 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Chop each date in half ensuring there is no pit.
Combine dates, sugar, salt, coffee, orange juice and zest in large pot.
Bring to boil to soften dates, making sure it’s not too mushy, you still want some chunks!
Off the heat, add butter and vanilla extract. Let cool.

Firmly pat 1/3 of the oat crumble mix into the bottom of a parchment lined baking tin. Spread a thick, even layer of date filling topping on top and sprinkle on the remaining 2/3rds of crumble mix on top.

Bake 350f (160C) until golden. Cool and cut into 24 squares.  freeze.

Batch o’ Lavosh

Crackers are nice. I made some. You can make some too! DO IT! It’s good stuff.

These lavash crackers were bundled up in cellophane, tied with a ribbon and given out in our christmas baskets as presents this year with jam and cookies and stuff like that. They were delicious.

For full step by step photo instructions, check out my Instructable here.

Lavosh Crackers

Yield: Two 13 x 9 sheet pans of crackers, over 3 dozen medium crackers
Time: 1 1/2 hours, start to finish
Cost: <$5
Hardware:

– Medium sized bowl
– Measuring cup
– Teaspoon & tablespoon measures
– Rolling pin
– Pizza cutter, or sharp knife
– Pastry brush
– 2 cookie sheets (13″x9″)

– Baking paper
– Thermometer (optional)

Software:

– 3 cups all purpose flour
– 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
– 1 teaspoon dry yeast

– 2 tablespoons honey
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 cup water, at blood temperature

– 1 egg for an egg wash (optional, can use water)
– Toppings such as sesame seeds, poppyseeds, paprika, chopped nuts, cracked pepper, sea salt etc..
Instructions:

1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine warm water and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes to give it a head start. Your water should be around 95 degrees, or just slightly warm to the touch. If you are using instant yeast, you can skip this step and just combine all ingredients into a bowl.  Stir in the flour, salt, honey, olive oil and bring everything together into a shaggy ball.

2. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for about 10 minutes. The dough should be satiny to the touch, not tacky, and supple enough to stretch when pulled. If the dough tears easily when stretched, knead a little bit longer until it can be stretched out without tearing. The dough should register 77° to 81°F on a thermometer if you’re using one. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or tea towel and let dough sit in bowl at room temperature for about an hour, or until the dough doubles in size. (You can also retard the dough overnight in the refrigerator immediately after kneading or mixing).

3. Press down your dough and fold it in on itself a couple of times to redistribute the yeast. Divide in two. Press the first half of dough into a square with your hand and dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Roll it out with a rolling pin into a paper thin sheet about 9 inches by 13 inches. I find its easiest to pick the dough up, and gently stretch it out using your knuckles and the back of your hand until you can see light through it. Repeat with the second half of the dough.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line sheet pans with baking parchment. Carefully lift the sheets of dough and lay it on the parchment. If it overlaps the edge of the pan, snip off the excess with scissors. Use a very sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough sheets into triangles.

5. Beat an egg in a small bowl with a teaspoon of water. Gently brush the top of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle a covering of seeds or spices on the dough.


6. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until the crackers begin to brown evenly across the top. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the pan before moving.

Toasty Oaty

Made some granola bars! Woop!

I’ve been posting some recipes to Instructables and I’m loving that website. DIY and How To’s for everything from chicken soup to laser robots. Yeah, laser robots. It’s a thing.. in the future..

I’ll keep posting what I make here of course, but I’ll be linking it to my Instructable pages for a more in depth break down. Also my mom joined, which is awesome. We are nerdy instruction pals 4ever. Also, my cream cheese recipe, has twenty two thousand views. How mental is that!

These granola bars are the cats ass BTW. Crunchy outside, chewy inside, easy, fast, cheap, healthy.. what more could you want.

Healthy Granola Bars
Yield:  12 bars
Time: 15 mins. prep, 1 hour bake
Cost: <$10 or approx. 0.60 cents per bar

Hardware:

– medium sized pot
– baking sheet
– parchment paper
– wooden spoon
– 8×8 inch square cake pan, greased and lined with parchment paper

Software:

– 1 can sweetened condensed milk
– 2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
– 1 cup nuts
– 1 cup dried fruit

Optional:
1 cup chopped chocolate
1 tsp oil

Combine + melt for dipping or drizzling over bars.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread out oats and nuts (but not the fruit!) on a cookie sheet.

Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, stirring often to avoid burning the oats around the edges. As soon as it’s turning a bit brown and you can smell the toasty nuts, it’s done. Set aside.

In a saucepan, heat the condensed milk until the consistency is runny. Add in any spices + salt.

Add all of the dry ingredients and stir to thoroughly mix and evenly distribute all ingredients.

Pour the mixture into a 8×8 inch parchment lined baking pan and and flatten with a spatula or the back of a spoon.

Bake for about an hour @ 300  degrees until the mixture looks dry and is not sticky to the touch. It should be just barely starting to brown.

 

 

 

Honey & Sriracha Almonds

I love two things most in cooking. First, honey. A little bit of it to anything makes it better. It is sweet golden heaven and Ive been known to squirt it directly into my mouth and eat spoonfuls of it until Im sick. It’s amazing something so divine is from a bee’s butthole!

Second, is the firey red sauce that makes everything delicious, my sweetest darling, sriracha. Made of chilies, a little vinegar and salt, it is pure distilled tastiness.

So, when looking to make a healthy snack that would be good enough to sway me from eating an entire chocolate bar by myself, I figured these two would be the dream team. I covered some almonds with them and it is, very tasty. DO IT I DARE YOU!

Honey & Sriracha Almonds

2 tbsp oil
6 tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp sriracha chili sauce
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp sea salt
2 cups whole almonds

Preheat oven to 150C or 300F.

Mix all ingredients together, toss in almonds to coat.

Spread out in an even layer on a tinfoil lined baking sheet.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until almonds are toasty, stirring often.