Everyday Banana Bread — Simple Scratch Cooking

by in Family, March 6th, 2012

banana bread
Every week I find myself flooded with overripe bananas since everyone in the house prefers to eat firm, barely ripe ones. The first sign of a brown spot, and they’re left to languish on the counter, eventually becoming so ripe the only purpose they serve is as incentive to bake some banana bread. I know, this doesn’t seem like a problem. Banana bread has a lot going for it. It’s easy to make because it’s a quick bread — it uses baking powder to rise, not yeast. It’s also the ultimate “waste not, want not” use of ingredients past their prime. But best of all, it can be a breakfast on the go, a tasty snack for school lunch and even play a pinch hitter come dessert time.

The real problem with having too many overripe bananas is I feel guilty making my favorite banana bread recipe twice a week. The recipe is great, but with one stick of butter in it, I decided my weekly banana bread infatuation needed some lightening up. The Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Banana Bread has been relegated to a once a month treat. What I needed was an “everyday” banana bread recipe, one I could feel better about making, and eating on a regular basis.

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Parmigiano-Reggiano — Iron Chef America Ingredients

by in Shows, March 5th, 2012

parmigiano reggiano iron chef america
I am positive that just about everyone reading this post will have bought packs labeled “Parmesan” from their local supermarket. I am also sure that just about everyone will have used said Parmesan in their cooking, whether it was as the basis for a sauce or simply grated over a bowl of steaming pasta.

Unfortunately, much of what is on sale in the U.S. is mass-produced, a pale imitation of true Parmigiano-Reggiano from Northern Italy, and lacks the texture and deliciously nutty flavor of the genuine article. The good stuff may be pricey, but it is worth every penny and I really hope that Battle Parmigiano will inspire everyone to go out in search of the real deal.

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Vegetarian Pot Pie — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, March 5th, 2012


Every bit as warm, comforting and hearty as its chicken-filled counterpart, Aida‘s Vegetarian Pot Pie boasts a creamy, veggie-packed center baked until bubbly underneath a flaky, buttery crust. Make sure that your crust achieves the same glossy golden hue as Aida’s by lightly brushing the top of the dough with an egg-water mixture before baking. Ready to enjoy in just 50 minutes, this filling dish is a go-to dinner option for those hectic weeknights.

Though the pot pie can be an entire meal in itself, serving Food Network Magazine‘s Simple Green Salad or Pesto Bean Soup in addition to it would balance out your dinner in a flash.

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

Classic Diner Dishes Reinvented — Worst Cooks in America

by in Shows, March 5th, 2012

team bobby worst cooks in america
The fourth episode of Worst Cooks in America had the remaining recruits tackling some of America’s favorite dishes in a quintessential atmosphere — a New Jersey diner. Diners have been a part of American history since the late 1800s and often resemble a mobile home. Known for offering a wide variety of dishes like French fries, nachos, grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken fingers and milk shakes, diners are a casual place to grab a bite to eat.

This week, Bobby and Anne tasked their teams with making two of those dishes: French fries for Team Anne and nachos for Team Bobby. Each team was shown the basics of frying and then they were asked to reinvent the classes with creative toppings.

Members from Team Anne aced the creativity portion of their test, creating sauces, guacamole and frying up eggs, but many of them had an issue with cooking the fry perfectly. According to Anne, all French fries should be double-fried; watch this video to learn how to cook French fries perfectly.

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Chiles Rellenos — The Weekender

by in View All Posts, March 2nd, 2012

chiles rellenos
During my childhood years in Southern California, Mexican food was something we ate only at restaurants. Sure, we’d occasionally have burrito night at home, but there was nothing authentic or traditional about those overstuffed and rolled tortillas.

It wasn’t until I moved to Philadelphia and became friends with a woman who had lived in Mexico until the age of 14 that I discovered how truly approachable this cuisine was. Thanks to Angie, I learned to make authentic tamales and carne asada. She even shared her grandmother’s recipe for mole with me.

In recent days, it’s been harder to find a chance to get into the kitchen with Angie. She has twin toddlers and so keeping them out of trouble is her primary focus. Still, I want to keep nurturing my still-nascent Mexican cookery skills, so last weekend I went in search of a new recipe to try.

What I found was Melissa d’Arabian’s version of Chiles Rellenos. Though labor intensive, this dish was a huge winner in terms of flavor. It was just the thing for a lazy Sunday meal and The Weekender.

Before you start broiling your peppers, read these tips »