Really Short and Sweet: Banana Bread

Banana bread is one of those favourite and easy recipes that I keep going back to time and time again. I think there's something about the scent of bananas that boosts the butteriness of this quick bread and makes it so irresistible. It's completely delicious on its own, but this "deluxe" one is packed with chocolate chunks and walnuts too, just for extra oomph.

(Recipe after the jump)


Season's Eatings: The Christmas Feast

Well hello!! I've neglected this poor blog for long enough so it's nice to have time to post again. I hope everyone had an excellent food-filled holiday. I certainly did and had a great time cooking up a family feast on Christmas Day. It was actually the first time I made a whole turkey and to my relief, it worked out and we weren't stuck having pizza delivered for dinner.

Want to see it?

Ok. Don't laugh.

Errr, I know. This bird isn't particularly sexy, and it isn't going to be gracing the glossy pages of Food and Wine magazine anytime soon. But what it lacked in looks it made up for in taste. It's inner beauty that counts, isn't it? The turkey was filled with cinnamon steeped apples, onions and herbs before it was roasted. The aromatics steamed and flavored the meat so perfectly I don't think I will ever stuff a turkey with normal stuffing. Herb butter was also rubbed under the skin, which seeped into the meat and made it extra juicy. Delish.

Of course, the turkey was served with the works (cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing, roast vegetables and mashed potatoes). Unfortunately we got too excited to eat and the meal was quickly devoured before I got any photographic documentation. But the recipes are included below for reference.

The meal was topped off with a Buche de Noel. The cake is a traditional Christmas dessert made to look like a log used in winter solstice rituals. This rendition was made with a delicate flourless chocolate cake roll, inspired by roulade leontine. The inside was filled with hazelnut buttercream. The outside is usually covered with chocolate buttercream and textured by dragging a fork through so that the surface imitates tree bark. I wanted to pull out all the stops though, so I covered the top with flakes of dark chocolate bark. (To make the bark, temper about 1/2 lb chocolate and spread it thinly over a parchment lined baking sheet. Allow to set and break into pieces). To add to the disguise, the "log" was garnished with little meringue mushrooms. When it was finally all assembled, it looked like this:

Missing a little something though, right? Like, SNOW!

That's better. All in all, the Christmas feast went quite well. And good company only makes good food better.

(Recipes after the jump)