Bagel Brunch

by BiteSizedJessica on January 12, 2015

Bagel Brunch-077-RecoveredI know it’s January and that means New Years Resolution month in full effect. Healthy eating, exercise, less drinking…it seems like those are the top three resolutions on most people’s lists. My question is, who came up with this masochistic tradition? January is the coldest, meanest month of the year – and that’s when we are supposed to stop eating cheesy pasta bakes, give up red wine and head outside for a brisk run? Is everyone insane?

In honor of my abstinence from this barbaric form of self-torture, I am kicking off the month of January with a fully loaded bagel brunch. Toasted everything bagels from Ess-a-Bagel (best in the city), whitefish salad, olive cream cheese, tomato, onion and cucumber. There’s no better way to start a cozy Sunday morning hiding out from the icy chill of winter’s winds. I think I’ll have a glass of red wine with dinner tonight…

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Banana Bread

by BiteSizedJessica on July 6, 2014

Frozen_BananaBread-101Growing up, my mother’s freezer was the most notorious place where food went to die an undignified death. Bagels were tossed in there half wrapped in a piece of paper towel. A crumpled piece of foil obligatorily placed atop an opened loaf of bread signified zero understanding of food preservation techniques using a freezer. Yet if you ever questioned the madness, my mother would vehemently defend her freezer tactics. “It’s just a frozen bagel! It’s perfectly good,” she’d assert while microwaving said bagel, before toasting it into oblivion.

The other very notorious kitchen violation my mother commits is the way she handles bananas. My mother knows how to rot a banana with the best of them. Every time my father goes down to the market for something, my mom asks him to throw in a banana for good measure. It’s just this obligatory request that’s born more out of an impulsive need to buy more than one thing at a time, than out of need.

As a result of this compulsive banana buying, I too have become a hoarder of this Musa fuit. Every time Jon goes out to the store, I ask him to buy a banana, just like my mother. We accumulate them more than anything else in our apartment.

Fortunately for the sake of not wasting food, I learned a great trick about preserving rotten bananas years ago. Apparently, if you freeze a banana, it remains preserved and ready to use in banana bread. Banana bread quickly became my go-to housewarming gift, my favorite party-favor and one of my most trusted recipes. It’s the perfect way to re-use a fruit that would otherwise be considered trash.

Here’s my recipe for banana bread. Please, rescue any otherwise doomed banana from the garbage. Put it in your freezer when it starts to turn brown and save it for a rainy day.

Frozen_BananaBread-010

INGREDIENTS:
(Makes 1 loaf)

1 stick of butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cupu sour cream
4 browned banaans
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup pecans, toasted
1 1/2 cups flour

Frozen_BananaBread-052

What to do:

1. Cream butter and both sugars in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.

2. Add eggs one by one until fully incorporated.

3. Add salt, baking soda, vanilla, bananas and sour cream. Beat until incorporated.

4. Slowly incorporate flour in 3 parts until batter is smooth.

5. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350 until a cake tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes – 1 hour.

6. Allow to cool slightly before slicing.

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Chocolate Chip Scones

by BiteSizedJessica on October 14, 2013

ChocolateChipScones_04_©2013JonathanMeterNow that the weather has finally cooled down, I’ve been itching to use my stove and oven again. Jon and I have been out of town every weekend since the summer, and this was the first weekend I could get back to cooking at home. In celebration of UK chocolate week, one of Jon’s client’s, Divine Chocolate, gave us a bunch of bittersweet bakers chocolate. So for Sunday breakfast, we baked something traditionally British – scones – and added the chocolate to make them even more special. These scones were easy, delicious and can be made the day before. What else could be better for a fall Sunday morning?

ChocolateChipScones_01_©2013JonathanMeter

INGREDIENTS
(Makes 16 2-inch scones)
Adapted from Martha Stewart

3 1/8 cups all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/8 cup + 1 tbsp superfine sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 stick butter
3 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling

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What to Do: 

1. Sift all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 eggs and all the milk.
2. Dice the butter and mix it into the flour using your hands. Try to work quickly so the butter stays cold.
3. As soon as the butter is incorporated, stir in the eggs and milk.
4. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until just combined. Do not over knead.
5. Roll the dough into a 1″ disk.
6. Using a 2″ biscuit cutter, cut rounds and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
7. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the remaining egg. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
8. Bake at 400 for 12-14 minutes. Serve warm!

ChocolateChipScones_03_©2013JonathanMeter© 2013 Jonathan and Jessica Meter

 

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