Follow me as I dive into the world that is cooking! There will be mishaps, burns and feasts as you watch my progression from college-student fare (pizza rolls and ramen noodles) to (hopefully) goddess of the hearth! I am always open to new recipes and ideas, so feel free to contact me.

February 27, 2013

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Candied Ginger

Food blogs are a lot like Netflix for me.  I get online and start digging through people's blogs, looking at their amazing photos and unique recipes.  I can sit there for hours, picking out things I want to try and thinking, "Wow, that sounds great!  I have everything to make it too!  What else do they have?" until it's two in the afternoon and I'm still in my pajamas, my hungry stomach making my brain feel weird.  That's what happened today.

Except I finally caught myself, ate some oatmeal, and started snapping photos outside.  Today was beautiful.  Puppy was so darn happy I left the back door open for her to run in and out at her leisure, and the breeze outside was much more pleasant than the 50+ mile an hour winds we got yesterday.  A friend of mine told me a giant box came blowing down the street at her on the way to my house last night...

Oh yeah, so about those super-ripe bananas.  I could smell them (in a good way).  So I sat there for who knows how long looking through a bajillion banana-related recipes until I found this one.  Smitten Kitchen mentioned this lovely and hilarious woman's blog in one of her posts, so I decided to explore.  I love both of their writing styles, and their photos alone are worth checking out.  The banana bread recipe that Orangette posted has chunks of crystallized ginger in it.  I hesitated when I read this, thinking that it would be an unpleasant surprise when discovered by my face while eating.  I was wrong.  Ginger + chocolate chips + bananas = awesome, to put it as simply as I can.

So here is to a successfully productive day of not just finding new writers to enjoy, but also new recipes to put in my book of "Yes".  I found crystallized ginger on the bulk aisle of the supermarket, and I know health stores usually have it.  This bread isn't obnoxiously sweet like some of the quick-breads I've made, and it's densely fluffy (?) without being soggy.  The top comes out crispy and adds a good texture to the soft inside without cutting the top of your mouth (I hates that!).  Plus it smells good when it's baking.  I added my favorite streusel topping to this, but it is entirely optional.
Leyla's hipster pic

I guess what I'm saying is stop reading and start baking!  Now!  Go!  Hustle!  You can keep wearing your pajamas though, I won't judge you.

February 25, 2013

Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I know I promised to post something soon after my previous post... and I also promised it would be healthy.  While I'm sorry for not keeping to my word, but I'm going to make it up to you with this awesome recipe.  My family and I are big on social gatherings (we're Cajun, dawlin'), so having good recipes for large groups or for entertaining is essential.  This is a great dip to bring to a birthday party, a friendly get-together, or just to enjoy at home where you don't have to fight off the other chip-hands in your way!  I brought this to my godson's first birthday party where it got destroyed (in a good way).   Oh, and yeah, I have a godson!  He's so stinkin' cute too.

Spinach artichoke dip is also Keto-friendly.  For those of you not familiar with the Keto diet, you basically eat cheese and bacon to jump-start burning off fat; it's super-low-carbohydrates and mostly proteins and dairy with a few vegetables in the  mix.  My good friend Frankie over at Frankie Fights Food has experimented with many different ways of cooking Keto dishes, so if you are in need of more recipes of that nature, please see her site.

Godson and his Dad!
I serve this dip with either tortilla chips, pita chips, or toasted french bread.  I think it would also make a good add-on to a sandwich if you're feeling daring (or bored with smoked deli turkey).  If you're planning ahead for something, you can mix this the night before, store in the fridge, and it takes less than 30 minutes to cook into cheesy deliciousness!  I doubled the recipe for this occasion, since there were to be about 25 people attending (this is an easy one to double!).

On a side note, the birthday party was a blast, and I never thought watching a baby destroy a cake could be so adorable and entertaining.  Happy first birthday, dear Ian!