All Posts By Lauren Miyashiro

Flour’s Famous Banana Bread — The New Girl

by in Recipes, October 8th, 2013

Flour's Famous Banana Bread - The New GirlI’ve been on a banana bread kick lately, mainly because I keep finding myself with speckled bunches on my counter. Not wanting to leave the fruit to waste, my kitchen’s output of banana bread has been high. Perhaps I’ve subconsciously been buying too much as an excuse to take out my loaf pan, but so far no one has complained.

For my last go-around, I was craving the type of recipe I imagine most grandmothers have handwritten and stowed away in their recipe boxes. Although I love finding ways to gussy up the traditional loaf, I wanted to find a good base recipe — one that’s perfect on its own but would taste fabulous with chocolate too.

Flour Bakery’s Famous Banana Bread is just that. It requires only the most basic of ingredients and is easy to make, as all quick breads should be. Most importantly, you can really taste the banana. The tiniest addition of sour cream balances the sweetness, while the cinnamon and vanilla add comforting warmth to each bite. One piece makes a delightful morning treat, but I find myself sneaking bites at all hours throughout the day.

Tips to consider for your next loaf of banana bread

Cinnamon-Sugar Soft Pretzels — The New Girl

by in Entertaining, Recipes, September 18th, 2013

Cinnamon-Sugar Soft PretzelsI used to be indifferent to football. These days, however, you can find me sporting an Eli Manning jersey and checking stats for my Fantasy team. Perhaps dating a diehard Giants fan and living with two guys has influenced my change of heart. But really, I think it’s the food that won me over. There’s an unspoken rule that all food eaten on Sunday should be of the comfort food variety, and I’m OK with that. An excuse to eat nachos, wings and brownies? Count me in.

For a recent Sunday night game, I made cinnamon-sugar soft pretzels. Chewy, with a slight crunch from the buttery sugar coating, they tasted just like the famous ones that tempt you at malls and airports — and they smelled equally amazing. Even after a quarter filled with fumbles and turnovers, my frustrated friends couldn’t help but be giddy while my pretzels baked in the oven.

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Gourmet Hot Dogs — The New Girl

by in Recipes, June 13th, 2013

Brooklyn's Corniest Hot DogsI must confess: I’ve never been much of a hot dog person. At a tailgate or poolside, I’ll happily indulge. But when scouring the Internet for new recipes, franks are not usually on my radar. At least, that used to be the case.

There has been a lot of buzz around hot dogs during the last couple years, and the momentum hasn’t stopped. Not just for game day anymore, the popular American finger food has become trendy and edgy, pushing past traditional ketchup and mustard to embrace new and bolder toppings. Hot dogs are popping up on menus worldwide and taking over magazine spreads; the question is whether they’re worth the hype. I may have been a skeptic before, but after making Brooklyn’s Corniest Hot Dog, I am a firm believer. Corn and caramelized onions are a match made in heaven. Add bacon, and now we’re really cooking. Needless to say, this recipe was a winner.

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Picture Cook: A Different Approach to Home Cooking

by in Books, June 3rd, 2013

Picture CookThere’s no right or wrong way to learn how to cook. Some people are more logical and some are more visual. For the latter group, traditional cookbooks can be a bit intimidating, which is exactly where Katie Shelly drew her inspiration for her upcoming cookbook, Picture Cook.

Katie doesn’t credit herself with particular culinary intuition or talent. She learned to cook through experimenting and focuses on making “food that is tasty and does the job.” Composed of 50 recipe “blueprints,” her book covers snacktime to dinnertime with illustrated ingredients and steps. Her hope is that home cooks will find the drawings straightforward and easy to improvise.

Do you dive into a recipe right away or watch Ina or Alton make it first? If you’re a person who learns by seeing, perhaps recipe drawings are just the inspiration you need in the kitchen. Let us know what you think — what works for you?

To learn more about Picture Cook, head over to NPR’s food blog, The Salt.

What’s the Best Cooking Tip You’ve Been Given?

by in Community, May 17th, 2013

What's the Best Cooking Tip You've Been Given?Food Network recently asked fans on Facebook for their best cooking advice. Many responded with advice from some of our all-star chefs, while others shared top tips learned in the home kitchen. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Marina Muñoz: There are three and they are all from Ina. First, add coffee to enhance chocolate. Second, roll blueberries around in flour so they don’t sink to the bottom of muffins. And lastly, keep mashed potatoes hot by putting them in a double boiler before serving.
  • Tina Banaszewski: Save rinds from hard cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano to use in soups or sauces. Drop in and take out like you would a bay leaf. So crazy how flavorful this is.
  • Deborah Campbell: You can always add (seasonings), but you can’t take away, so add a little at a time.
  • Amber White: Place a chilled disc of pie pastry into a floured two-gallon Ziplock bag and roll out while it’s in the bag. Cut the side seams of the bag when done, place upside-down pie plate over dough and flip the whole thing over. Mess is contained, dough doesn’t tear.

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Simple, Perfect Strawberry Shortcake — The New Girl

by in In Season, Recipes, May 14th, 2013

Simple, Perfect Strawberry Shortcake - The New GirlAlthough I try a variety of recipes and techniques, my baking repertoire is largely reflective of my unyielding craving for chocolate. I appreciate most types of desserts, but my search for the best chocolate chip cookie and most fudgy brownie tends to dominate my kitchen agenda. Come spring, however, my sweet tooth changes. Instead of dreaming of all things cocoa, I find myself wanting desserts like Rhubarb Pie, Lemon Bars and Strawberry Shortcake.

You can’t go wrong with Strawberry Shortcake. Ruby red strawberries, fluffy whipped cream and straight-from-the-oven cream biscuits are stacked together to create the ultimate springtime treat. Even if you don’t consider yourself a baker, this recipe is a breeze. Effort and time required for measuring and mixing is minimal.

While my friends will never turn down a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies, I’m pretty sure this sweet and tart dessert came as a pleasant surprise. There’s a reason strawberry shortcake is so popular at parties and special occasions: It’s downright tasty. But really, any day is a good day for this homey dessert. All you need is good company and you’ve got yourself a reason to head to the store for strawberries.
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