We have a banana problem in the mainland U.S.
They are all the same.
I find that many people are surprised to learn that there is more than one kind of banana. The size, flavor, and texture of the bananas in our supermarkets have engrained in us that there is only one fruit that can be called a banana.
I was always amazed by the many varieties of bananas we had access to in Brazil. The tables at the farmers market were always loaded with short, fat, long, skinny, and just about every other shape and size of banana.
Each had its own flavor, too.
Some were drier and starchier, others soft, and sweet. Very few tasted like the large bananas that we get in the U.S., most often from Central and South America. They grew those were we lived in Brazil, too.
Every now and then, I see a few bunches of a different type of banana in the international section of our supermarkets. Occasionally, I pick up a bunch to see how they compare to the varieties I know from Brazil.
I feel like every time I get my hands on some figs, I want to stuff something with them. The fig and lavender cookies I made last year are a good example. There is just something that about that sweet, jammy interior that is so good when it’s warmed up and discovered inside something unexpected.
Well, it’s fresh fig season in California once again, and I was lucky enough to have several leftover from a photo shoot to afford me the opportunity to experiment with them.
When you have a party there is always one thing that no one ends up eating or drinking. At least there always is for me. It’s usually that thing I bought just to make sure all the bases and guests preferences were covered.
During our 4th of July party a few weeks ago it was the lemonade I bought to make sure those who weren’t drinking alcohol had some options. It was just a jug of organic Trader Joe’s lemonade, but once the party ended it went back in the fridge unopened and has been in there ever since.
I expected I’d use it in cocktails or something later this summer. Then we walked past a coffee shop during our trip to the Seattle area this past weekend, and the whiteboard out front caught my attention.
Lemonade lavender smoothie.
When we travel abroad and find ourselves at a hotel breakfast, one thing I always have my eye out for is muesli.
Up until food bloggers in the U.S. started recreating it as overnight oats, it had never caught on in the States. And it’s still not something you are going to see out much.
In other places, it’s a continental breakfast standard. And despite the fact that I’m usually not huge on soaked, mushy things, it has always been a welcomed find.
I’m not sure what prompted me to make up a batch last week. It was either the hot summer weather, or that I’d made a round of homemade almond milk and wanted to use it up.
Either way, I found myself inspired to make a new muesli creation.
This twist on one of my favorite brunch meals pairs Crab Cakes Benedict with the crisp 2013 Oak Knoll Chardonnay sent to me this month from Cultivar Wine.
We were at least a year into our time living in the Bay Area before I discovered Crab Cakes Benedict. To be honest, I’d probably only started eating regular Eggs Benedict not long before that.
The crab cake version, though? Well, it blew the old standby away. In all honesty, I can’t say that I was a super huge fan of the original anyway. The Canadian bacon on the English muffin didn’t do much for me, nor did the sauce.
But Crab Cakes Benedict is a whole different story.
Just out of curiosity, what is the authentic shape of a scone? All of the scones I’ve eaten in Ireland are round. That’s probably a safe bet. But a lot I eat in the U.S. are wedges or triangles. It’s the shape I make most often, too.
Call me crazy, but every once in a while I like to pull a wild card and make them square or rectangle. In the grand scheme of things, I realize this really doesn’t matter. A good scone is a good scone regardless of shape. This is simply a little sneak peek into the things that roll through my head when I’m in the kitchen – authentic scone shapes.
Speaking of good scones. I have some for you today!
We returned from Kauai this past weekend. It was our first trip to that island and our second to Hawaii. As usual, the travel gave me some inspiration for the kitchen along with a few ingredients that made their way back to California via my suitcase.
Am I the only person who didn’t know about poha? How did I miss this?
I feel like I have a basic knowledge of most cuisines, but as much as I enjoy Indian cuisine, poha completely slipped passed my radar. I first discovered it a little while back through Liana Krissoff’s Vegetarian for a New Generation. Her book contains a poha recipe and I was hooked immediately.
Poha is a flattened white rice and when combined with spices, veggies, and eggs it’s like an Indian-inspired fried rice! There is something about it that I enjoy so much more than regular rice. Internet rumor has it that it’s easier to digest as well. But don’t take my word for that. I’ve just seen it around the web.
I rarely make smoothies. I’ve just never been that into them. I’m confident this has to do with the fact that I simply don’t like the name smoothie. We’ve talked about this before, right? It’s kind of how some people dislike the word foodie (which I’m okay with, by the way).
So if I do make something that resembles a smoothie, it’s called a breakfast shake. On occasion, a breakfast shake is just the thing I want first thing in the morning. This is especially true when I have some killer ingredients to use in them.
This creamy, homemade peanut butter oatmeal is naturally sweetened with banana and dates and topped with crunchy chopped peanuts.
I have a problem with oatmeal. It’s not oatmeal’s fault at all. No, this is an — it’s not you, it’s me situation.
Oatmeal is part of my normal breakfast cycle. Meaning, we have an on-again, off-again type of relationship. I crave it and eat it almost everyday for weeks. Then I get tired of it and need a break.
Well, we are on-again. So that problem I have has reared its ugly head.
These candied ginger scones are made with almond and spelt flours. Fresh lemon zest brightens the flavor for summer and zucchini keeps each bite soft and tender.
I promise I won’t spend all summer talking about the heat. But I also won’t fool myself into thinking this is going to be easy. 100 degree temps June through about October is going to take some getting used to.
Even more so because I am not a summer person. Summer has always been my least favorite season of the year. I’m all about fall. I even love the cold temps of winter, although I’m glad that I now get to drive to the snow versus having it come to me.
Despite my cool weather preferences, the one thing summer has never done is kept me from baking. I still gladly fire up the oven. That’s what the air conditioner is for, right?