Thursday, May 20, 2010

Simple, Beautiful, Everyday Bread

It's crunch month time. My future career and life will depend on this 8 hr exam exactly one month away. It's hard to think that my life will depend on a 3 digit score but that's how the field of medicine works. With the courtesy of Dr. Costanzo, I have my study schedule down to the minute second. It also means a whole less blogging time and the need for quick, easy meals. 

 1 of many books I got to know

Thursday, May 13, 2010

When 2 become 1 ------- Banana Peanut Butter Bread

If you guys were thinking of the Spice Girls when you saw the title, that is exactly what popped in my mind the moment I tasted this fusion of deliciousness. No one can deny how great banana bread is when you have 2 ripen black bananas sitting on the kitchen counter. If anything can possibly be better than warm banana bread fresh out of the oven (besides the Spice Girls that is ), then it's this Banana Peanut Butter Bread.

Chunks of chocolate chips interspersed between sweet nutty goodness

Not your average Banana Bread

Recipe for Peanut Butter Banana Bread (adapted from SugarPlum

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 medium ripe mashed bananas
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided use
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together banana, peanut butter, 2 tablespoons butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes; beat in eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in milk and flour mixture until just combined; stir in chocolate chips

Pour batter into prepared pan; bake for 50 minutes. Remove pan from oven, melt additional tablespoon butter, brush evenly over the top, and top with sugar. Continue to bake an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool for 20 minutes before running a knife around outside edges, removing, and transferring to a wire rack to cool an additional 30 minutes before slicing.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Better than Papa John's Pizza

As you can see, I have been fully utilizing my bread machine lately. Better use it while I still can. My big Board exams are set  for June 21st and by the end of this week, I might have to take a full time  break from blogging. It will miss blogging a lot, especially since I just started having a good flow with it. Anyways, back to the spotlight of the night. I made my first homemade pizza!  

 The crust I had made ahead of time with the bread machine thru a recipe I found online. The crust turned out thick, chewy with a definite crispiness to it. If you like a slightly crispy crust, then this recipe is just for you! The assembly was the fun part. We put sausages, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms and basil over a homemade tomato sauce and generously sprinkled mozzarella cheese over it. 

It always taste better when it's homemade. I can't agree with it more! 

Homemade Pizza Sauce (updated
1 can of Herinz tomato sauce
2 tbsp of tomato paste 
1 fresh tomato, sliced
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp of dried basil
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt 
2 cloves of garlic, minced
sugar (adjust as needed)
water (adjust as needed)

1. Heat up your frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil/ canola oil.
2. gently fry the garlic until fragrant.
3. throw in your tomatoes, tomato sauce, paste, seasoning, basil.
4. Bring it to a boil.
5. Turn the heat down to a simmer and add salt and pepper.
6. When the sauce has thickened, taste and adjust with sugar
7. Use 1-2 tbsp on a 9 inch pizza. 
8. Freeze the rest for your next awesome pizza!
p.s. if you want more tomato flavors, feel free to add more tomato paste and adjust consistency with hot water. 

What are your favorite pizza toppings?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Who needs Panera Bread? Homemade Tuna Melt with Avocado & Tomatoes

It was 1130am. I was craving a panini but feeling too lazy to drive out to the closest Panera. I rushed to the kitchen and started raiding my fridge and cabinets. A-HA! I found a can of tuna fish. One glance in the fridge and I knew I was set for an awesome lunch. I grabbed an avocado, a tomato and the bottle of Light Mayo and turned on the Panini maker. Luckily, I still had some homemade whole wheat bread I had baked with the Bread Maker the other day sitting around. A couple of slices and a dash of pepper later, I was settling on the couch with a hot crunchy panini oozing with yummy goodness and  a glass of raspberry lemonade.