Archive for January, 2014

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Banana Coconut Upside Down Cake

January 26, 2014

There is something very comforting about an upside down cake. I love when you flip it out of the pan, and then all the caramelized topping drips down the sides. This one mixes together bananas (my brother’s favorite) and coconut (my fiance’s favorite) plus caramel (one of my favorites).

You will need:

  • 3 bananas, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 8 T butter, divided
  • 1/2 c brown sugar, packed
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1 c toasted coconut flakes
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 1 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1 t vanilla extract

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a round cake pan with cooking spray (I used a 9-inch one).
  2. Line the bottom of the pan with the banana slices.
  3. In a small pan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter with the brown sugar and lemon juice until it is dissolved into a syrup.
  4. Pour the syrup over the bananas.
  5. Top with the toasted coconut.
  6. In a medium bowl, cream together 4 tablespoons of the butter with the white sugar.
  7. Mix in the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
  8. Mix in the egg, milk and extract. Beat until well mixed.
  9. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the cake is golden and a tester comes out clean.
  10. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before inverting to serve.

20140123 Banana Coconut Cake

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Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

January 9, 2014

This cookie recipe is adapted from on recently printed in Self. It caught my eye, and I saved it for the winter holiday season. These look festive with the red berries and the green pistachios. They also are not overly sweet — which can be a nice change of pace!

You will need:

  • 6 T butter, at room temperature (I used a SmartBalance blended butter stick)
  • 1/4 c canola oil
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1/4 c mini semisweet chocolate morsels (scant)
  • 1/2 c shelled pistachios, finely chopped

Then you will…

  1. Place the butter, oil and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Beat together until well combined (I used a handheld mixer).
  2. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and baking soda until mixed well.
  3. Gradually mix into the flour.
  4. Stir in the cranberries and chocolate.
  5. Split the dough in half and form each half into a log, about 2 inches wide by 8 inches long.
  6. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and then in freezer paper.
  7. Freeze them for at least an hour or until ready to bake.
  8. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  9. Spread the pistachios out on a cutting board.
  10. Remove one of the logs from the freezer. and roll it in the nuts to coat the outside.
  11. Slice the log into about 20 slices.
  12. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for about 8-9 minutes, or until just golden.
  13. Repeat with the second log.
  14. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

20131208 Pistachio Cranberry Cookies

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Artichoke Garlic Bread

January 1, 2014

This recipe is insanely delicious. It also is incredibly simple, which means you can easily impress guests with very little effort. I used a roasted garlic ciabatta, but you could use whatever bread looks particularly yummy and crusty at the market.

You will need:

  • 1 loaf of crusty bread, cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 3/4 c Asiago cheese, grated
  • 1 c Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3/4 c sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 6 oz plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 t fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 t salt

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Place the bread, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. The garlic should be starting to soften, and you should be smelling yummy garlic in the air.
  5. Mix in the artichoke hearts and continue to cook for another minute.
  6. Remove from heat. Mix in the remaining ingredients.
  7. Spread on top of the bread.
  8. Bake until warm through and golden, about 10-15 minutes.  Keep an eye on it so that you don’t burn the bread or cheese!20131208 Artichoke Garlic Bread
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