light banana bread
During a hair cut yesterday my stylist asked what I was working on lately at work. “Christmas cookies” I replied. She groaned “Oh my Goddd, how do you not weigh 800lbs? Being surrounded by all that all day?” This is something that comes up occasionally when people first find out what I do. I am by no means a skinny girl, but I’m also not that overweight. My answer: lots of working out, everything in moderation, and cutting as many corners as I can during my non-work hours eating.
This light banana bread is a great example. Cue Sunday morning: lazily waking up and brewing a pot of coffee, seeing I have a bunch of overly ripe bananas on my counter. Banana bread is the #1 solution, but I always try to eat super healthy at home, so I start to backpedal. But reconsider, and attempt to make it healthy..er.
Starting with a Cooking Light recipe is a great foundation. But theirs was portioned out to 20 slices. 20 slices? They would be paper thin. I need a REAL slice, thank you. So I futzed. I played. And this bread slices into 12 pieces at 155 calories a piece. Victory! Plus it tastes delicious to boot. Fragrant and spicy from the cinnamon and unbelievably moist considering the low amount of fat and dairy in it. It’s all about cutting corners in everything but flavor in the end. And this does it perfectly.
rolled spinach omelet
I woke up this morning to sun, a blue sky, and 71° temps outside. I was grinning ear to ear as I rolled out of bed and decided to make myself a little something special for a real spring Sunday brunch.
I’ve had this rolled omelet bookmarked for a couple weeks because I always have some version of the ingredients around and knew I could throw it together at a moment’s notice. I used only one package of frozen spinach and added a little more Dijon because I’m a mustard addict, but it was still deliciously fresh and light, but paired with some hearty toast, a nice filling brunch. Making omelets can be such a pain so this dish would be fabulous to serve to a group without fussing with a lot of individual pots and pans. Or just one person with a hearty appetite and a love of leftovers.
oatmeal raisin scones
Scones are tricky things. They’re one of those rare baked goods that should be dry, but not too dry. The texture should politely request to be dipped in tea, but not cry out for it.
I had to keep telling myself these things as I made these. I had a craving for oatmeal raisin cookies but wanted to try something new so I went with scones instead. King Arthur’s recipe is a great foundation to start from and I edited from there, and made myself resist adding more milk, more butter, etc. The first time around the texture was, ahem, less than ideal (and the taste of baking powder was unbelievably overwhelming), so this batch had a little more butter, little less baking powder, and brown sugar.
They’re super hearty and dense, but in that good scone way. Be sure to use sprinkling sugar (or some kind of sugar) on top – the texture really completes them. Served with a cup of good tea, they’re perfect.
oat soda bread
It’s been so long! I can’t believe it had been almost 2 weeks since I’ve baked something but it’s sadly true. Last weekend I got sucked into my new part-time job of working in a wine dept at a local gourmet grocer (best PT job ever!) so I had no time to cook. I made sure to make time this weekend to relax and play in the kitchen, and this bread was the counterpart to a wonderful soup I whipped up (and will be posted later this week!)
Chalk it up to St. Patrick’s Day being around the corner, but a quick soda bread sounded like just the ticket when I was perusing some bread recipes online. Easy, fast, and using ingredients I had on hand (the buttermilk was from the soup), I’m so glad I chose it. The bread is hearty and filling with tons of texture and flavor. As I ate it I thought “This is the kind of bread you eat as a meal, not as a side.” Especially slathered in warm, salted butter. Delicious.
On a different note, it feels selfish and almost silly to be posting about bread and complaining about my lack of time to post. The disaster in Japan is unbelievable and things that are larger than life like this really make you value what time you have and how you use it, so please take the time to donate to the millions in need: Red Cross Donation. Keep Japan in your thoughts and prayers, they are going to need them more than ever.
buttermilk cheddar biscuits
These are biscuits that will drag your tush out of bed on a Sunday morning.
Ok, maybe not on a Sunday morning (more like an afternoon for me), but still, they’re pretty damn tasty. Homemade biscuits are just one of those wonderful things that uses all cold ingredients (no waiting for butter to come to room temp) and comes together so quickly, you should always make them fresh. As much as I love plain buttermilk biscuits, throwing in a few handfuls of shredded sharp cheddar cheese only makes them better. So grab some buttermilk at the store in the next few days and whip these up on Sunday… whenever you manage to get out of bed.