Archive for March, 2011

The BEST gluten free Banana Bread!

March 24, 2011

Well folks, I have finally crossed over to baking by weight. This post by Gluten Free Girl convinced me that this would be an easier way to convert recipes to gluten free and have them turn out, you know, amazing! All it took was a $20 investment for a new kitchen scale (really super basic digital one from Wally World) and my world is completely changed! Woo!

I successfully converted this recipe, which is for Cook’s Illustrated Banana Bread. My mom was the one who told me about the recipe, which involves extracting the liquor from bananas, reducing it to a syrup, and then baking it all up into an orgasmic banana treat. I hope that’s not over stating it. No wait…it’s totally not. This is the best damn banana bread ever.

Damn girl. That's some banana bread you got there.

I am so happy that I finally found something that tastes like ACTUAL banana bread. I made this one a while back and, while good at the time for my gluten craving body, just wasn’t the right texture. I’m a big texture person, and that has been the worst thing for me since going gluten free. There are some super strange textures that accompany gluten free baked goods when you don’t know what you’re doing. Dense, chalky, dry….bleck. This bread is none of those things. Moist, fluffy, decent crumb…RIDIC. Plus, you can eat it WARM. Right out of the oven. It won’t fall apart and you will be SO HAPPY πŸ™‚

I’m including the recipe with my modifications so that you can see how this works. I highly recommend reading this post by Gluten Free Girl for specifics πŸ™‚

WARMMMMMM πŸ™‚

The Best GF Banana Bread

8 3/4 oz unbleached all purpose flour (I used a gf baking mix, bean based)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt
5 large very ripe bananas, peeled and frozen
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
5 1/4 oz light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp granulated sugar

Thaw frozen bananas FIRST . You will notice a brown liquid coming out of the bananas as they thaw! Hooray! That is the magical ingredient that makes this recipe the bomb diggity.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, walnuts and salt in a large bowl.

Place the bananas in a mesh strainer over a large bowl and wait for them to release their liquid (about 15 mins when they’re thawed out). You should have about 1/2 to 3/4 cups of liquid. Transfer the liquid to a small sauce pan and cook over medium high heat until reduced to about 1/4 cup.Β  Remove pan from heat, stir reduced liquid into bananas and mash with fork or potato masher until fairly smooth. Whisk in butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla.

Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle granulated sugar evenly over loaf. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool bread in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove loaf from pan and continue to cool.

Another edition of a few of my favorite things!

March 7, 2011

Well! It’s been a while since I’ve done a round of “these are the things i’m crushing on right now”! Let’s jump right in. These aren’t all strictly food related, but it’s a nice little mental snapshot of my life right now πŸ™‚

So first of all, I’m a little crazy about the book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver. If you’ve never read it, it’s a beautiful story about the Kingsolver family’s journey toward self reliance and closing the gap between the farm and the dinner table. On grander level, Barbara discusses some of the global food issues facing us all and what they mean for future generations. I LOVE THIS BOOK. I couldn’t put it down the first time I read it a few years ago and I’ve read it probably 5 times since then πŸ™‚

Another thing I’m obsessed with is this super eco friendly idea for a beautiful, chic and elegant wedding for under $100!! I bet you thought it couldn’t be done. In the era of $50,000 and $100,000 birthday parties for 6 year old girls, and million dollar mega weddings, I found this idea to be exceptional and personal. Not that I’m such an expert on these things, but I find so many weddings to be about, well, stuff. Not so much about the people actually getting married. It becomes about the dress and the shoes and the bridesmaids dresses (note to my friends: you will NOT have to buy a dress you’ll never wear again, k?) Just saying. This is sweet. And I looooove the idea of a simple breakfast beforehand so that the guests can get to know each other, because frankly I am tired of wandering around awkwardly looking for a pal to hang out with!

For your canning porn supplies, you might want to take a look at these spectacularly cool labels on Zazzle.com by user NostalgicJourney. I LOVE THESE. I am going to get a few sheets for my mom, who goes absolutely crazy canning homemade applesauce, tomatoes and pears every year. This year I hope to can my own produce in these jars, which as far as I am aware are only available in the US through Lehman’s Hardware. Before I knew that Lehman’s is a famous locale for these hard to find jars, it was just a fantastic stop in Kidron, OH on the way to my gramma’s house! Who knew that canning mavens everywhere would give their eyeteeth to visit the actual store πŸ™‚ Anyway, I know these just look like glass jars, but they are topped with a glass lid and sealed with a rubber seal. They are a more sustainable way to can your goodies, since you don’t have to buy new lids each year! Plus, they’re super cute and European looking.

Check out this article about GMO alfalfa from SlashFood! I am as against GMO’s as I could possibly be, considering that in the US we have absolutely no alternative if we want to buy our food at a grocery store. It is a frustrating issue to people like me who feel that we have walked down a path now without knowing the consequences first. Sigh. I will continue to contact my legislators about this, for all the good it will do me. Sometimes it feels like screaming into the face of a howling gale.

GMO Alfalfa has been officially approved by the USDA. Stupid Monsanto.

Finally, a new favorite gluten free blog, just for you! I am in love with The Baking Beauties and I can’t believe that I hadn’t found this site before now! You’ll love Jeanine’s easy to follow directions and delicious recipes. I also appreciate the fact that she is clearly a cook and not a food stylist. I am not terribly food style-y with my pictures and I appreciate another real live person who has delicious food and what looks like a real live kitchen πŸ˜‰ Go check her out!

 

I hope you guys enjoy the new goodies! Let me know what you think with some comments on the actual blog once in a while, I get lots of comments on facebook but not a ton here! let me know how i’m doing!