Saturday, 27 June 2015

Healthy Cookies 'n Cream "Ice Cream"

it's a scientific fact that as temperatures rise so to does the desire (my desire specifically) to consume as much ice cream as possible.  #figurefriendlynotsomuch

being that isn't the healthiest of choices, it's important to find work arounds,  like turning frozen fruit into the creamy, soft serve 'ice cream' everyone loves.
the secret ingredient, which is no secret to this blog of course, is bananas.

incredibly delicious with no added sugar, saturated fat, cholesterol, and yet all of the flavour one would expect out of a bowl of ice cream.  in the past i've added coco powder, peanut butter, and the the delightful combination of both.

thanks to the good folks from 'yonanas' you can now do just the same.  this small kitchen gadget turns bananas into delicious creamy soft serve with zero guilt.  hello, summertime!
today my craving for cookies 'n cream has taken over, and now i have a guilt-free mid afternoon snack to help beat this heat.

thanks yonanas!  xo.

Cookies 'n Cream Ice Cream

2 ripe bananas, frozen
2 oreo cookies

remove bananas from freezer and allow to thaw for 10-15 minutes.
insert 1/2 frozen banana into yonana machine
followed by 1 oreo cookie
1 frozen banana
remaining oreo cookie
1/2 banana
stir in bowl to combine.

disclaimer:  Yonanas provided me with the machine, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Lemon Buttermilk Rhubarb Bundt Cake

earlier this week i was gifted some fresh rhubarb from my friends lovely garden.  the gift of fresh produce is thoughtful and always appreciated by me.  of course the proper thing to do is when you receive a gift like that is to bolt to the kitchen and make something beautiful, heavenly, and delicious.  #doneanddone

having already tackled rhubarb crumb bars, baked oatmealpie, cobblers, orange quickbread, and roasted rhubarb parfaits (did i mention i really like rhubarb?),  it was time to graduate to the next level,
a lemon buttermilk bundt cake, kind of level.  

if you've been a follower for any amount of time, you know that lemon is my go to.  i can't get enough of it.  my birthday cake every year, is actually lemon meringue pie.  ya, i'm that girl.  so when i stumbled upon the recipe for this cake from the cookbook Rustic Fruit Desserts, it had my name written all over it.  also, it's technically my birthday month, so really this, plus the gift of rhubarb, is pretty much the universe telling me that i should eat cake.  right?

let me say this, this is my new favourite cake.  i'm serious.  my new favourite.
the lemon flavour comes through beautifully in the cake, matched perfectly with the tartness from the rhubarb and then finished off with a sweet lemon glaze.  #heavenly
you should make now.stop everything. 

Lemon Buttermilk Rhubarb Bundt Cake

courtesy Rustic Fruit Desserts



2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
zest of 1 lemon
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon lemon oil or extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 pound rhubarb (3 cups), trimmed and very thinly sliced

Lemon Glaze

2 cups confectioners' sugar, more as needed
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon nearly melted butter


Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 10-cup bundt pan.

To make the cake, sift the 2 1/2 cups flour, the baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Using a handheld mixer with beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest together on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition, then stir in the lemon oil. Stir in the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the buttermilk in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. The batter will be very thick.

Toss the rhubarb with the 2 tablespoons of flour and fold half into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining rhubarb on top.

Bake for 30 minutes, then rotate the pan and cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until the center springs back when lightly touched. Cool the cake in its pan on the wire rack for 30 minutes before inverting and removing the pan.

To make the lemon glaze, whisk the confectioners sugar, lemon juice and butter together. The mixture should be thick. If it’s not, whisk in another tablespoon or two of the sugar. Spread the glaze over the cake as soon as you remove it from the pan.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Brown Butter Tutorial

butter is good.
brown butter is better.
that's really all you need to know.

it's a classic french ingredient, which sounds even fancier when pronounced as such...buerre noisette.
everyone should know how to make it.  consider it a life lesson up there with homemade pie crust.
brown butter takes cookies, home baked quick breads, brownies, and even popcorn, up a flavour notch to a nutty, toasted, deepened heavenly flavour.

How to Brown Butter

unsalted butter, sliced into tablespoon sized slices.

heat a thick-bottomed skillet on medium heat.  add the butter whisking frequently.  continue to cook the butter.
once melted the butter will foam up a bit, then subside.  watch carefully as lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan.  smell the butter; it should have a nutty aroma.  remove from heat and place on a cool surface to help stop the butter from cooking further and perhaps burning.

use browned butter immediately or store covered in the refrigerator for future use.

courtesy: simply recipes

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Cream Cheese Frosted Banana Bars

so far this week has been busy/hectic/crazy.  the school year is quickly coming to an end, and i'm now in the thick of year end play dates, teacher gifts, and prepping for our road trip next week.
luckily for me a little stress and hecticness is what i thrive on.  key is little.  

first on the docket is food gifts.

round 1 = banana bars w/ cream cheese frosting.

i'm a sucker for banana bread.  i let bananas get over-ripe on purpose, and then convince myself that it's only right to make bread, muffins, cake, etc.  the only thing better than banana bread, is banana bread covered in thick cream cheese frosting.  #truth
round one complete.
next up, round two.  s'mores cookies.

Cream Cheese Frosted Banana Bars

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
3 large mashed ripe bananas
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

cream cheese frosting
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

preheat oven to 375F.  grease and flour a 10 x 15-inch pan (or for thicker bars use a 9 x 12-inch)
in bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream.  add in mashed banana and vanilla, mix for 1 minute.  add in flour, baking soda and salt and mix until combined.
pour batter into prepared pan and cook for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  (note: if using a smaller pan you will need to adjust your cooking time accordingly.   25-30 minutes)
remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

to make frosting:  cream together cheese and butter until smooth.  add in sugar 2 cups at a time.  blend in vanilla.
spread frosting evenly over cooled bars.  cut into bars.
store covered in refrigerator.

How to Flavour Burger Buns

an easy way to amp up any hamburger is to show a little love to the vehicle that houses the beloved meat patty, the bun.

a simple store bought bun, a little egg wash, some herbs,cheese, & spices, and you've now capitulated yourself to a whole new level of burger master.


How to Flavour Burger Buns:

preheat oven to 375F.
lightly beat 1 large egg white with 1 tablespoon water.
brush on buns, then add toppings and bake until egg white is dry, 6 to 8 minutes.


buffalo blue cheese
replace the water in the egg wash with buffalo hot sauce; brush on the buns.
sprinkle with blue cheese and celery seeds.
bake as directed

middle eastern
brush with egg wash, then sprinkle za'atar spice mix and poppy seeds.
bake as directed.

brush with egg wash, then sprinkle with chopped garlic, fresh thyme, dried oregano, red pepper flakes and flaky sea salt.
bake as directed.

salt & pepper
brush with egg wash, then sprinkle with flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
bake as directed.

brush with egg wash, then sprinkle with seeds and grains (such as pipettes, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and oats).
bake as directed.

bacon & cheddar
brush with egg wash, then sprinkle with shredded cheddar and finely chopped cooked bacon. 
bake just until the cheese melts, about 3 minutes.

brush with egg wash, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and thinly sliced roasted nori (seaweed sheets).
bake as directed.

smoky chili
brush with egg wash, then sprinkle with chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder and ground cumin.
bake as directed.

courtesy Food Network Magazine July/August 2015

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Classic Apple Crumble

when it comes to crisps & crumbles, purists will tell you it's all about the apple.  bathed in cinnamon & sugar, topped with buttery, crunchy oat crumbles, and finished with creamy vanilla ice cream, it's what classics are all about.

Classic Apple Crumble

6 cups granny smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
juice 1/2 lemon

crumble topping
3/4 cup quick oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup unsalted butter

vanilla ice cream for serving

preheat oven to 375F.  spray large baking dish with non stick spray and set aside.
in large bowl combine apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and lemon juice.  toss to evenly coat.  place fruit in prepared dish.  set aside.
in medium bowl combine oats, flours, brown sugar, cinnamon and almonds and mix well.  cut in butter using a pastry cutter or you hands till coarse crumbs are formed.  scatter over top of fruit (you may or may not use all of it)  bake for 45-55 minutes.  if topping begins to brown too quickly cover with aluminum foil.
remove from oven and allow to cool before serving.

serve warm with vanilla ice cream

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