Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Quick Banana Bread

I am a fan of banana bread. It screams comfort to me. Jon hasn't been feeling well, so I made a big pot of chicken and vegetable soup and a loaf of banana bread.

I wanted to be able to eat the banana bread, so I opted to try a new gluten free recipe. The one I used came from of my Betty Crocker gluten free cook books. I had to make a few substitutions on the fly because I didn't have quite enough gluten free Bisquick. But, lucky for me, I am a fairly savvy cook.

The results were wonderful! It was moist and tender. I would like a little stronger banana flavor, but Jon said it was perfect.

This would be a great holiday bread for brunch or for a sweet treat. It's perfect for those gluten eaters in your life because it uses gf flours that don't have strong flavors. My husband who is a big fan of gluten filled treats asked why I was eating the bread- he didn't know it was gluten free until he was told. That is a huge success in my book!

Here's to you and your culinary adventures!

Quick Banana Bread
Makes 1 loaf

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup mashed, ripe bananas
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1 1/2 cups gluten free Bisquick**
1 1/4 cups brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. Spray the bottom of a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add banana,eggs and buttermilk. Mix well.

In a separate bowl combine Bisquick, rice flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, spices and salt.

Add dry ingredients to the banana mixture. Stir to combine. Pour into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the loaf. Remove the bread from the pan and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

* If you don't have buttermilk- take 1/2 cup milk add 1/2 TBS lemon juice or vinegar. Stir. Let sit for 5 minutes. Stir again and use as directed.

** You can use 2 1/2 cups of gluten free Bisquick. If you do, omit the rice flour, tapioca flour, and xanthan gum.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Roasted Potato Salad

 I love German potato salad. Jon hasn't ever been a huge fan, he says it's too sharp for him. I on the other hand, love the vinegary bite.

I found this recipe a few weeks ago- it's a gentler version of the traditional dish. Jon fell in love with it. At the end of the meal he stated, "Let's do this one again, soon!"

I had some of the leftovers the next afternoon for lunch. It was delicious. It rewarmed wonderfully.

We served it with grilled chicken breasts and fresh veg.

There you have it, quick and easy. And yea. Bacon. Who doesn't love bacon?

Here's to you and your culinary adventures friends! Cheers!

Roasted Potato Salad

2 lbs baby red potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
2 TBS olive oil, divided
1 large sweet onion, diced
1/2 TBS sugar
6 strips apple smoked bacon, uncured, chopped into small pieces
salt and pepper to taste

4 TBS red wine vinegar
3 tsp sugar
1-2 tsp Dijon mustard (I used French's dijon with chardonnay)
¼ tsp Italian seasoning
3 TBS reserved, warm bacon drippings
1 TBS olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, add the halved (or quartered)  potatoes along with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss well to combine.

Spray a foil lined baking sheet with cooking spray, and turn the baby potatoes out onto the baking sheet. Roast for 35-40, or until golden-brown and tender; while potatoes roast, crisp the bacon and onion.

In a medium-large non-stick pan set over medium heat, add a tsp or two of olive oil; when hot, add the onion and 1/2 TBS sugar. Cook/caramelize the onions over medium for about 10 minutes, or until a golden, caramel color, and softened. Remove from heat. Set aside and keep warm.

To the same pan set over medium heat, cook the bacon pieces until brown and crispy, then remove them with a slotted spoon and onto a paper towel to drain; reserve 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings. Set aside to use in the vinaigrette; keep the drippings warm.

Prepare the dressing in a mason jar or container with a tight fitting lid. Combine all the dressing ingredients. Shake well to combine.

Add the warm, roasted baby potatoes to a large bowl, and then add the onion, bacon,  and vinaigrette. Toss well to completely combine, making sure that all of the potatoes are well dressed. Serve warm.