Tag: fall

Banana Bread with Miso and Ginger

Banana Bread with Miso and Ginger // Serious CrustBanana Bread with Miso and Ginger // Serious Crust

I heard people were getting worried. In the week before I posted the recap of Feast last week, at least two people said to me, “I was looking at your blog, and noticed you haven’t posted in a month! Is everything ok?” Which at least means they hopefully like coming over to this little corner of the internet. Mostly though, it has just been a wildly busy month. But hopefully things are calming down a little bit, and as we settle into fall, I can get back to more cooking and writing.

A few weeks ago we cleaned out our freezer to make room for a giant tub of Salt & Straw ice cream, and discovered that we had so many frozen bananas. You know, every time a banana or two gets overripe, you throw it in the freezer, thinking “Oh, I’ll use it soon.” But you always forget. Anyway, I saw this pile of bananas and thought to myself, ok, the time has come. But of course I didn’t want to make just a traditional banana bread. So I took a standard banana bread recipe from Food52 and added a couple things: miso and crystallized ginger.

If you’ve never baked with crystallized ginger before, I highly recommend it. My family likes to put it in apple pie at Thanksgiving. It lends a nice bit of spiciness, and makes you feel a little bit healthy about whatever baked good you’re eating. What is it about ginger that makes everything it’s in seem healthy? How misleading. In this bread, you’ll find little zings of it as you munch on this moist quick bread, a perfect combination of sweet and savory (thanks to the miso).

Banana Bread with Miso and Ginger

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

3 large or 4 small ripe bananas
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 Tbl butter, melted and cooled
4 tsp white miso (optional)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup crystallized ginger, chopped

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a loaf pan (5×9 inches).

In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas. Add the egg and sugar, stir to combine, then add the butter and miso. Mix until thoroughly combined.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In two additions, fold the dry ingredients into the wet, being careful not to overmix. Gently fold in the crystallized ginger. Pour into loaf pan.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, until a toothpick (or wooden skewer, which is what I had on hand) inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool for ~5 minutes in the pan, then remove onto a cooling rack. This bread is best served warm and fresh. If you’ve got some leftover, store in the fridge for best second-day results.

Weekend Finds 9:29:13

Well, it has been officially windy and rainy in Portland this week (downing trees and outing power and everything!), so the time has come to hunker down, put on those shawl collar sweaters, and bring some of these weekend finds to life.

1. How to Make a Good Crockpot Meal

Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Crockpot tips from Bon Appetit

First and perhaps most importantly, let’s revisit slow cookers as it gets colder. I never know which recipes on the internet to trust, but one resource I always listen to is Bon Appetit. This is a great little reminder of the do’s and don’t’s of crockpotting.

2. Pumpkin Time!

Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Pumpkin pumpkin everywhere!

Portland is certainly getting into the fall swing of things, as many bakeries are featuring pumpkin on their menus. This article from Portland Monthly tells you who’s falling for what fall treats. Pumpkin streusel muffins, pumpkin caramal ricotta tart, pumpkin cupcakes with molasses butter cream… how can I decide? It’s also inspiring me to revisit some of my favorite pumpkin recipes

3. Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Cinnamon Raisin Bread from A Subtle Revelry

Ok, admittedly, all of these breads from A Subtle Revelry look beautiful, but the cinnamon raisin loaf really stood out to me. I grew up eating cinnamon raisin bread, toasted, slathered with cream cheese. I remember how good it would make the kitchen smell in the morning before I went to catch the bus to school. Imagine how heavenly the house would smell if you made a whole loaf. From scratch.

4. Leif

Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Beautiful Agate platters from Leif.

This online shop has some beautiful tabletop items. I’m particularly into the dip dye place mats, the dipped mini bowls, and the agate platters, which would make for an AMAZING cheese spread, and you know it.

5. Buttermilk Bacon Grease Cornbread

Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Buttermilk bacon grease cornbread from Local Milk

I can’t even. This buttermilk bacon grease cornbread from Local Milk sounds so effing good, I have a feeling that once I make it I’ll hide it from everyone else and eat the whole dish, still warm, slathered in butter and honey. Ok, maybe not, but I’d like to do that. There’s another variation for Coconut cornbread in her post that also sounds scrumptious.

Friday Finds 9:6:13

This weeks Friday Finds feature my new place of employment, an idea I wish I’d had, OYSTERS, and prepping for fall.

1. Firehouse

Friday Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
A peek inside the wood-fired oven at Firehouse, and the pizza that cooks there!

Firehouse is my new place of employment! Jonah and I went and had dinner there last night, and the food is really spectacular. I could’ve told you that a month ago when I started, as they’ve been having me taste the menu so that I can be familiar and make recommendations. But last night I got to experience the atmosphere and food from the diner’s side, and it really was lovely. One of my favorite things about their dishes are the combinations they serve – things I’d never think of. For a while, our rotisserie chicken came with roasted bread, summer squash, cherries, and pistachios. Doesn’t that sound good? (It was.)

2. Ricotta Crostini Party

Friday Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Ricotta Crostini Party on Honestly Yum

Remember how last week I was talking about how crostini are great and easy and you can do anything with them? Here are some MORE ideas, as well as some pretty pictures. I love the idea of having a crostini party where you put out the bread spread with ricotta, and bowls of all the topping options, leaving people to create their own masterpieces.

3. Kitchen Share

Friday Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Kitchen Share

Like a library, but for kitchen appliances, Kitchen Share has just opened up a branch in my neighborhood. I love this idea! My kitchen is already so full with my mixer, food processor, and blender, but there are so many things I want to try. I simply don’t have room for all the appliances – and let’s be honest, how often would I actually use a dehydrator or bread machine? This seems like the perfect opportunity to try out some recipes that require appliances that I don’t have. And it’s free, after your one-time donation when you sign up for a membership.

4. Fall is on it’s way…

Friday Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Ready for fall: Miso + Molasses Squash and Tofu, anyone?

School has started for kiddos, and today is rainy and gray in Portland. It’s hard when the grocery store is still full of tomatoes and stone fruits, but I am itching to get my hands on some squash and start making those hearty fall recipes.

5. Oysters

Friday Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Our platter of oysters at Elliott’s!

I don’t know if I told you about my recent revelation: I like oysters. It’s strange, I was talking with an old friend a week or two ago about what makes you a “real person,” aka a grown up. I was very nervous to go to Elliott’s Oyster House for happy hour with our friends Dylan and Caitlyn while in Seattle. See, they really like oysters, and I’d never had a raw one, and only recently had one that wasn’t breaded and fried. I didn’t want to embarrass myself. But holy smokes, they were so delicate and refreshing, they tasted perfectly fishy and like the ocean. I’m glad I stuck with my “I’ll try anything once” rule this time around.

Roasted chicken with root vegetables

Roasted chicken with root vegetables

Roasted chicken is, in my opinion, one of the easiest, most delicious meals you can make. Cut everything up, season it, put it in a dish, and stick it in the oven. I promise, anyone can do this. My mom used to make this dinner all the time because it was so simple and didn’t take too much time, and I remember when I finally got the recipe, I thought, “That’s all? Really?”

It makes a really good winter dish because it’s hearty, healthy, warming, and full of root vegetables (or whatever vegetables you want, really).

Roasted Chicken

Note: After the basics listed below, you can add whatever you want. Martha (Stewart… we’re on a first name basis now) adds prunes, which I’ve never done. Sometimes if I want lots of leftovers I do even more veggies. If I want more starch, I add potatoes. You could add turnips, parsnips, shallots, beets… Anything you can roast, you can put in this dish.

Ingredients

2-4 bone in chicken breast halves (skin on!)
a bunch of carrots, peeled, halved, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
about 6 garlic cloves, quartered
a red onion, halved and cut into wedges
vegetable or olive oil
butter
salt and pepper

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Rub chicken with butter, place in a baking dish (I always use glass/pyrex). Toss vegetables with some oil and arrange around the chicken in the dish. Season with salt, pepper, and anything else you want (I’ve used thyme, rosemary, tarragon… try a different spice every time!). Jonah and I like to use the fresh bulk herbs at the grocery store in the produce section. They’re so cheap because they’re sold by weight, but a couple sprigs of thyme really weighs almost nothing.

So everything is in the dish, yes? Roast for 10 minutes, then toss the veggies and check on how everything is cooking. Continue roasting until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, usually 15-30 minutes depending on your oven.

See how easy that is? Now enjoy it with a good glass of wine (if you’re of age, that is).